County Chairman’s trip to Northern Ireland (10th-13th May)
“Top o’ the mornin to ya.”
28 Shropshire Young Farmers travelled by bus and ferry to explore Northern Ireland for Becky’s County Chairman’s trip last week. After a smooth crossing, we arrived in Dublin where we had a guided tour around the world famous Guinness Storehouse. We stood in the glass atrium which if the glass was filled, it would have held over 14.3 million pints of Guinness. We went through 7 fantastic storeys of Guinness heritage and history from production and the ingredients, recipe and craft of brewing to transportation to distribution as well as advertising and sponsorship. We ended the tour on a high (literally!) at gravity bar where we each had a pint of Guinness whilst admiring the 360 ̊panoramic views over Dublin. In the evening, we enjoyed mini guinesses and Irish chat, Irish music and dancing in The Temple bar along with James Latter (Whitchurch YFC) eating oysters!
The next day we went on a very interesting tour around McCormack’s family farm, County Meath which produced baby leaves and fresh herbs. We saw the leaves growing on the fields and watched the production line (it was a chilly 3 ̊!) including weighing, packing and distribution. McCormack’s sell to top retailers in Ireland including Lidl, Tesco and Dunnes stores.
We got back on the bus and travelled North to see the fascinating Giant Causeway. The coastal sights were truly spectacular with 40,000 or so hexagonal-shaped pillars dated back to volcanic age over 60 million years ago. After lots of pictures, sitting and contemplating, we headed back to Belfast to our quirky hostel where we stayed for the remainder of the trip. We ate at the 3rd best restaurant in Belfast in the evening and sampled Irish steak, stew and potato cakes.
On the Friday morning, we were up early to go to The Balmoral Show. Chris Potter (Dorrington YFC), Will Dale (Rushbury YFC) and Joe Williams (Brown Clee YFC) sheared sheep with Chris Potter being in the winning team for the rest of the world against Ireland. Fantastic achievement! There was a good show of cattle, sheep, machinery and tasty food in the food tent. In the evening after a few drinks in Belfast and a disco/karaoke bus journey lead by DJ’s Lil Davies (Rushbury) and Millie Preece (Much Wenlock) we went along to the Balmoral Show after dance and jigged the night away Irish dancing with local Irish Young Farmer clubs. Fred ‘Hove’ Allen was having such a good time he missed the taxi back to Belfast!
The sea was very choppy on the way home. “We’re going this way, that way, forwards, backwards, over the Irish sea” whilst reminiscing and laughing about the good times. We would like to thank Becky Green and Lil Davies for organising such a cracking trip. We had a lovely time.
By Kate Windsor (Whitchurch YFC)
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