Lewdown Young Farmers Club are celebrating their 60th anniversary as they head into another year.

Plans and activities are already well underway for the Lewdown young farmers’ year ahead, sixty years after Dave Seccombe, the first ever chairman, set up the club.

Chairman Amy Lethbridge said: ‘We celebrated the year just gone in August with a big dinner and dance which had over 150 people. We also had a special cream tea afternoon with over 70 people in attendance. But we’re in our new year now (they run from September to August) and we’ll be hosting a special event for new members in two weeks time. There’ll be lots of games and activities where we get the chance to show them what being a young farmer is all about. We’ll also be running an evening where we go ten pin bowling in Trethorne with everyone.’

The club’s AGM took place yesterday evening (September 14) which laid out prospective plans and events for the youngsters to attend along with other courses of action.

Renowned for attending local carnivals, the young farmers will be at the Okehampton Carnival on October 15, Hatherleigh Carnival on November 12 and Holsworthy Carnival on November 19. Looking ahead to the summer next year, they plan to attend the Okehampton and Devon County Shows as normal.

There is a considerable charity aspect to many of the young farmers’ activities. From their year running 2021-2022, they raised over £7000 for Brain Tumour Research, Stroke Association UK and Hospiscare. At Christmas last year, they designed wreaths, raising £200 from their sales to donate to good causes. They also ran a christmas tree collection of 100 used trees from areas such as North Tawton, Hatherleigh, Holsworthy, Bridestowe and Okehampton which raised £820.

Another memorable event took place in February: nearly 100 tractors braved stormy conditions and formed a procession led by Eddy Vigers in memory of Dave Seccombe, following a route which stretched from Marystow to Lewdown.

Chairman Amy is joined by secretary Becky Dennis, treasurer Jordan Martin, president Dave Chick and leaders Lyn Ley and Simon Brooking. Being a young farmer runs in her blood; her grandparents attended the first ever meeting of Lewdown Young Farmers Club and her parents also went on to be members, with Amy joining at the age of 15.

Amy said: ‘I’m definitely going to push my future children to do it too. We’re all good friends and really enjoy the social aspect. It’s great that we’re able to get involved and do so much for charity too. All I can say for anyone who wants to join us or wishes to get involved is: just do it! Since being a young farmer with the club I’ve had the best time of my life. There’s so many different things you can get involved in.’