The Norfolk committee won the Hunter Farm Cup – awarded by R.A.B.I to the organisers of the regular fundraiser which raises the most money / awareness
Usually held just before the Norfolk Show in June / July, the committee’s cocktail party has been hosted every year since 1985 bar 2006 (when a ball was held instead). At early parties, the term ‘cocktail’ was used loosely to describe lemonade, sherry and brandy that had been mixed in a dustbin. Today’s parties certainly cater for more discerning tastes with champagne a feature.
Sir John White, chairman of the Norfolk committee, said: “Our annual cocktail party is a real farmers’ gallery and people will always come for champagne!”
Sally Mitchell, a member of the Norfolk committee, added: “This year’s cocktail evening will be our 32nd. In 1985, the then NFU Norfolk chairman suggested it would be a good idea to hold a drinks party in the NFU marquee prior to the Royal Norfolk Show. The idea was well-received and the rest is history. The very first cocktail evening raised £901 and we had 232 guests. Last year we raised £5,365. To date we’ve raised £152,000.”
Sadly, the Norfolk committee lost a key member recently in John Purling, former CEO of the Norfolk Agricultural Society, who passed away unexpectedly at the end of April.
“Our thoughts are with his family and all that he did for R.A.B.I,” said Malcolm Thomas, R.A.B.I chairman.
Pictured above are Norfolk committee members Sally Mitchel (left), Sir John White, and Carolyn Gay.