Biggar Young Farmers celebrate 80th anniversary

It is 80 years since Biggar and District Young Farmers Club was first founded.
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Extending from Crawford to Auchengray, what started as a small group in 1923 has grown to become one of the largest clubs in Scotland, with some 110 members.

The club's anniversary year kicked off in March and will run until March next year, with members doing all they can to help others in that time.

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With that in mind, members have been raising funds for two causes close to their hearts. Brake, was chosen as member Archie Damer’s sister Beth was sadly killed in a road accident just outside Biggar last year.

Some 66 past and present members joined forces to scale Ben Lomond in August to boost the 80th anniversary fundraising fund for two charities cloose to members' hearts.Some 66 past and present members joined forces to scale Ben Lomond in August to boost the 80th anniversary fundraising fund for two charities cloose to members' hearts.
Some 66 past and present members joined forces to scale Ben Lomond in August to boost the 80th anniversary fundraising fund for two charities cloose to members' hearts.

And the Scottish Ambulance Service (air ambulance department) has directly helped many past and present members who have suffered accidents and needed urgent hospital treatment.

In a bid to raise funds for these incredible charities, two very special fundraising events have been staged this year – organised by charity convenors Abbie Baillie and William Erskine.

The first saw club secretary Laura Wight, Abbie Baillie, Finlay Barr and Kevin Robinston travelling up to St Andrews on July 24 to take part in a tandem skydive.

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Laura said: “It was the first time any of us had taken the leap and we were all a bit nervous on the way up to Fife.

The brave sky divers who took the plunge for charity back in July.The brave sky divers who took the plunge for charity back in July.
The brave sky divers who took the plunge for charity back in July.

“It’s pretty scary; the freefall at the start is definitely the worst bit – once the parachute is open you can actually enjoy it!”

All of the brave volunteers survived to tell the tale and were delighted with the support they received from generous donors, willing to sponor their charity effort.

On Saturday, August 26, 66 past and present members also joined forces to climb Ben Lomond, the most southerly munro, which towers over Loch Lomond at 974 metres.

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Laura said: “The youngest taking part was 14 with the oldest being 60; we all completed the walk in around three to four hours.

“We had a really good laugh and, because we had tea afterwards, it was a great way of catching up with some past members while also raising funds for our charities.”

On Friday, Allan and Karen Wight from Midlock Farm, Crawford, generously donated a Texel tup which sold at Kelso Tup sales to raise an incredible £2,200.

Laura added: “My uncle wanted to do his bit as a former member but also someone who used the air ambulance service a couple of years ago when he had an accident on the farm.

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“It was a huge boost to our fundraising tally, which is now sitting at £8000.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has supported our fundraising challenges this year; we’ve been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and I’m sure the charities will be very grateful. We’ll be presenting all the funds we’ve raised at the end of our anniversary celebrations next March.”

M embers will continue to fundraise throughout their 80th year. To support them, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/biggar-youngfarmers.

A time to celebrate

The Biggar club was established in 1923, making 2023 its 80th anniversary.

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It is now one of the largest young farmers’ clubs in Scotland, with more than 100 members.

The club is affiliated to the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs, Scotland’s largest rural youth organisation.

From competitions and events to training and travel, members – aged from 14 to 30 – enjoy a range of competitions with other clubs every year, from tug-o-war to cattle dressing, competing with other clubs in Lanarkshire, the west area and nationally.

The club’s next anniversary event will be a Burns Dinner Dance on Saturday, January 27, at the Tinto Hotel.

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