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Interment of Libby’s Ashes and Memorial Service

Libby's ashes interment took place in early August with just immediate family due to COVID restrictions. The family are hoping to have a larger memorial service at bluebell time in early May 2021. Details will be announced nearer the time through email and the NDGC newsletter. Anyone who remembers her well is welcome to attend, COVID restrictions permitting.

Rachel Sargisson (Libby’s daughter)

Libby 1Libby2

PASSING OF LIBBY DOWNING

Libby was a loyal member of the club long before I joined. I remember her for her smile, her effervescent energy and positive attitude and her encouragement. She attended every meeting and never failed to bring a big tin of extremely delicious flapjacks. As they got older Libby and her husband moved from dairy goats to Angoras and became much involved in the measurements and properties of the fibres. She was always pleased to welcome visitors. I loved their big rambling house and was particularly intrigued by one room. I'm not sure if you would call it a kitchen, a very large scullery or a dairy, but it had built in painted dressers on either side and a sloping brick floor which could be sluiced down to a drain. How practical! I feel fortunate to have been a member of the Goat Club at the same time as Libby. She was an inspiration.

Linda Gibbons


Good afternoon everyone,

I hope you, your families, friends, neighbours and animals are all safe and well in this currently strange and uncertain time. It’s a strange time at the moment too for the goat club. With no social events, fundraising or shows to go to, we are working behind closed doors as a committee to see what we can do to keep everyone involved and active whilst remaining safe. We are doing our best to keep you up to date with decisions on events, as and when we get the information, and will continue to do so over the next few months. Between newsletters, we will try and keep you updated on a personal level through the coming months on what’s happening in our goat holdings.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask that any members wishing to share or contribute with their personal goat/farm news to put something in writing and send it to Mary for her to edit and distribute. For those members with no email, you can still send news typed up or handwritten to: Mary Blackie, c/o Frances Martyn, Blacksmith’s Cottage, The Street, Wramplingham, Wymondham, NR18 0RL. These updates are designed to be informal, fun and personal – the perfect opportunity to ‘get to know’ and ‘virtually’ meet people who may otherwise have been at events over this coming year. No contribution is too small, regardless if you have had goats for a year, forty years or haven’t got them yet, share your story and tell us what is going on in your world at the moment. This is also an ideal way to share ideas, recipes and have a sneak peek into how other people keep their goats and what they keep them for. Share your sheds, assault courses, funniest pictures/stories, moments that have tested you and made you laugh out loud. Use it to ask questions or ask for advice on anything ‘goaty’. You can stay anonymous if you like and I, or one of the committee, will try to help if we can. You never know, someone else may be having the same problems or have the same questions too. Life is incredibly lonely at the moment so let’s all share the love of goats and bring some joy into everyone’s life!

If anyone has any suggestions on what they might like to see from the committee please let us know. Whilst we may not be able to do everything, we can certainly try and see how we could make some things work.

Below is the first ‘instalment’ to ‘kick off’ this new idea. Hopefully you will get to see a little bit more into my life as a back garden goat keeper.

Stay safe everyone!

Best Wishes,
Callum Williams
Chairperson of Norwich and District Goat Club
9.5.20

Callum with goat

Life in Lockdown - from the Common

For the last number of weeks, life here on the common has changed massively for us and our herd. The outbreak and consequences of Corona virus have been felt far and wide and by everyone without exception. For me it started with changing to working from home which inevitably progressed into being furloughed. I have spent the last few weeks at home, only making essential trips to drop off supplies to isolating relatives/neighbours or pick up what we need either for us or the animals.

For us, we are the lucky ones. I fall into the lower risk group being young and of good health. Our rural lifestyle means that we haven’t been overly affected by closed pubs, clubs and bars, and our biggest struggle is in not being able to hug loved ones. I am under no illusions though, and am incredibly lucky and grateful that my family and friends have their health and are coping well, both emotionally and physically in these challenging times. My thoughts are with those of us that are not so lucky and who have suffered illness themselves and/or the loss of loved ones or friends. My sincere thanks also go to the NHS staff and all frontline workers who are ‘out there’ risking themselves and their families, to keep us and the country safe with the bins emptied, shelves stocked and the post delivered.

For me the garden has been a life line. We have eggs from the hens and more milk than we know what to do with. Our cream separator has been a ‘God send’ and we are awaiting our first ever cheddar to be ready in the next week or so (wish us luck). To name but a few activities, I have managed to get new beds planted, fences replaced, sheds built and extended, seeds sown, vegetables established and also to tick a great number of ‘tidying’ jobs off the list. Of course with us both being off work these jobs have been completed ahead of schedule and in record time! - Under normal circumstances not half of this would have been done by the end of summer let alone the beginning of May!

The end of March/start of April saw a population explosion within our goat shed. Firstly with the arrival of Montru Tzura *5 BrCh (British Alpine) and CH R204 Montru Maya Q* BrCh (British Saanen) joining the herd – the former being a birthday present for myself from Teigh, and the latter being a birthday present from myself to Teigh. (A little early but sometimes it’s the way things work out.) I’m not sure you can get more ‘goat keeper’ than having a goat for your birthday if you tried! This was shortly followed by the arrival of three sets of healthy twins from our existing ladies- Teillum Hickory (Male Tog), Teillum Hilda (Female Tog), Teillum Aida (Female AN), Teillum Aikin (Male AN) and two AOV males that have been castrated. Fortunately this year all mums and babies kidded fine with little help or assistance. With the expected population increase (from five to thirteen I will add at this point) we had fortunately taken delivery of all the timber for ‘goat shed two’ or ‘GS2’ as it is known in this house, just a few weeks before lockdown. The extension to the shed nearly doubled our square footage and has allowed us to install a proper feed room and ‘utility’ area to help with the washing up and milk processing. My little kitchen was struggling to cope with the increase in buckets and bottles!

Goats in stableI'm hereHello

As much as I wish I did have a field and large spaces to play with, I am a ‘typical’ back garden goat keeper. My garden is about 150ft long and 40ft wide with the goats occupying the back half and my garden occupying the rest of the space. The goat sheds are shaded beautifully by several large oak trees that offer a lovely cool dappled light to their yard and allow the goat shed to never be too hot even on the hottest days of summer. When I lived at home with my parents and had my first goats back in 2010 I always dreamed of having my own home with my goats in the garden. Lots of things have changed for me personally in the last ten years, from being a thirteen year old living at home, to a twenty three year old sat in the sunshine, in my garden, watching the kids skip about over the log in their yard and typing this update. I have had the privilege to meet some incredible people and make some wonderful, life-long friends through goats and goat keeping. There is nothing quite like sharing the love for these incredible animal with each other, hearing each other’s stories and learning from lessons and mistakes.

HiMealtime

On the darkest days when we you are feeling most alone, always remember there is a family of goat keepers here within the club to offer advice, support and to just be a friendly face. We are all in these difficult times together and better days are coming.

“We may not all be in the same boat, but we are all in the same storm.”

Stay safe and stay well everyone.
All the best,
Callum


Memories of Jean Cunnington

Jean Cunnington

I met Jean before she had goats when her husband was vicar at Martham, this would have been in the 1970’s when I was asked to provide some goats for a fete at the vicarage in Martham. I remember Jean as being very enthusiastic about goats and keen to learn about them, this would be around the same time I met her husband who taught me judo at Martham Village Hall!

I next met Jean at Norwich and District Goat Club meetings and shows and Jean soon became known for her good work for the club. I was Chairman at the time and the club was thriving with over 100 people attending meetings. Jean had acquired goats from Catherine Lawridge, British Toggenburgs and AOV’s. Jean worked very hard with her goats and under her good management she was soon able to produce good milk yields. Sorry about the goat names but I do remember taking a very nice AOV milker into the show ring for her, the goat got reserve best in show!

Jean’s great love was British Toggenburgs and she did have some very good ones and she looked after them very well.

My last visit to Jean’s home at Reedham was when she decided to sell her BT milkers and it was obvious her health was failing. We kept in touch by telephone and letters and continued to meet at shows and club meetings.

My last memory of Jean will be her smile, which she kept through good times and bad.

David Will



Over the years I have come to admire Jean on many counts. As a fellow Christian, I have always been challenged and heartened by her cheerful acceptance of difficulties and misfortunes, both little and large, as part of God’s plan, even when it is difficult to understand. I have never heard her grumble about anything and I share with her the view that blessings come even in the most adverse situations. Likewise, I loved the fact that in all the times I have spent with her I have never once heard her say a bad thing about anyone. How many of us can say that?

As a goat keeper I found her resilience amazing. For the first few years I knew her she spent a lot of time and trouble researching sires for her girls that would improve the udders of her lines. She had high yields from her earliest stock but udders that didn’t in her view come up to scratch. Time after time her plans did not bear fruit despite the potential that might have emerged. Patience, persistence and hope are needed in goat breeding. Jean had all of that and in the end she got there, and from her goat house emerged goats taking honours in the show ring for their conformation as well as milk production. All who knew her were delighted for her each time that happened. I am glad that her dog Jack outlived her, for especially when she was living alone I know he was a great comfort and companion. Jean did so much for the goat club over the years, holding various positions in the committee and was always ready to help inexperienced goat keepers. I am sure I am not the only one who feels privileged to have known her. I will miss her enormously.

Linda Gibbons



Jean adored her family and her goats and I am pleased to own some of the goats she bred. I learned about her ‘goat journey’ over a cuppa a couple of years back.

Mum and I spent time with Jean earlier this year when she made yoghurt with the milk we took to her. That milk came from Jacmar Duchess, who was a goat that she had bred and who was a much loved goat of hers. We had a great session, learning as we chatted.

I have witnessed how sprightly Jean became when dealing with her goats. Leaving her stick behind at the gate and only finding it again when she was done.

We even swapped goats at one stage when she was looking for a wether as a companion goat.

She was cheerful all the time and I only witnessed her getting cross once when Richard and I were helping her pack up after a show and we didn’t get it right! She didn’t bear a grudge though.

Simply a lovely lady. - Rest now Jean xx

Hazel



I have been lucky enough to know dear Jean for 30 years or so. She was a major help when I first joined the club and she taught me a lot. At that time she was club secretary as well as playing an active part in the milk recording for the club. I used to take my milk samples to Jean at Lyng and they used to go with the milk from the local dairy farm. She almost despaired with me I think, as she would take great pains to show me how to tape the pots. I really upset her when I used Sellotape once instead of the black tape. Jean forgave me and I got it right in the end. Jean liked things done right and Jean did right by everyone. She had no favourites - she was friends with everyone and never minded asking for or giving help when it was needed.

Jean will be missed very much. She will be remembered especially for some of the high milking goats she bred and of which she was justifiably very proud. Jean Cunnington and the Jacmar goat herd will be recognised in the B.G.S herd books for the future, as well as in our memories. May she rest in peace with a goat somewhere nearby.

Lynn Jermy


Fund Raising and Events Report

I am very pleased to be part of a club that both look out for each other and work together so well. We have new members joining in and becoming invaluable instantly but we always look for more people to join in, so, if you fancy coming along to something just let us know.

We start our activity for the year with the Spring Fling, an event at the Norwich show ground, aimed at educating children through fun. We take milkers and kids to this event for the public to see and discuss. Zoe sets up the educational side of things as well as organising the event.

Fundraising this year has been quite successful so far this year.

Goat husbandry course: This was held in conjunction with the Norfolk Smallholder Training Group in April and well over a dozen of us enjoyed an informative session, lunch and practical experience. I must thank Sally, Frances and Mary for bringing knowledge and sharing their experiences.

Stody Family Fun Day: This was one of the events held during the Stody Open Gardens. The owners kindly allowed us to fundraise in front of the main house which is such a beautiful place to be. Several members took part in our mini fete. Particular favourites included splat the rat, bowling, throwing, trying your luck, finding the lost kid, tombola and the sock game. We have even more planned for next year, having already been invited to attend by Kate, the owner. This is such a lovely venue. Thank you to everyone who helped in any way.

Two weeks later we were back at Stody again, however this was in the tea tent! This was our first year providing teas and we all had a great time. Thanks Richard and Zoe for sorting this to make it all successful.

Still to come: Jumble sale, this year it’s being held on 12th October in Sculthorpe village hall from 11am to 1pm. Please pass on any jumble, raffle prizes, tombola etc to any committee member from now until then. Please note the date in your diaries.


We will be at the Harfest event held on the lawn of Norwich Cathedral on 5th October. A free to enter event organised by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA) to celebrate the countryside and locally produced products. Pop this event in the diary too.


Hazel Francis


IN MEMORY

At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 9th Feb, we held a minute's silence as a mark of respect and remembrance for those members of the goat club who are no longer with us, having passed away in 2018.

They are, Jayne Parsey (Tarry), Keith Parker, Danny Cunnington and Gilly Duffield. May they all rest in peace.


The photo below is of the trophies won by Gilly's goats at shows in 2018. They were awarded to her and her goats at the AGM.

In Memory


UPDATE ON THE WAYLAND SHOW

PRESS RELEASE - WAYLAND SHOW

Much-loved Wayland Show to move to a new date for 2020

The Wayland Agricultural Show has been a much-loved fixture on the local agricultural calendar since it was first set up over a century ago, attracting loyal visitors and exhibitors from across the region.

The Show committee and directors have confirmed that the Wayland Show will be moving to the early May Bank Holiday weekend in 2020 to replace the traditional August Show. The Show will take place on Sunday May 3rd 2020.There will be no show taking place in 2019 as the organisers focus on plans for the launch of the Spring 2020 Show.

Plans are already underway to ensure that the new, family-orientated Spring Wayland Show in 2020 will reflect the heritage of the region and the countryside of the 21st century, and provide visitors old and new with a truly rural show experience.

New and exciting interactive events and competitions will offer visitors of all ages the opportunity to enjoy hands-on experiences. Whether that means the chance to sit in a shiny new combine harvester, or a close-up experience with a Suffolk horse, or the chance to ‘have a go’ at livestock judging, there will be something available to ensure a memorable day for everyone.

At the heart of the new Spring Show will be all that is best from the region: quality livestock, unique craftsmanship, local musicians, and local foods and produce.

The Wayland Show intends to celebrate all that is good in the region and will be working with the local community, organisations and groups to combine skills and talents to ensure that the 2020 Show is indeed a regional celebration, proud of its heritage yet looking to the future.

Wayland Show President Kevin Bowes said: “The 146th Wayland Show in 2020 will build on the success of previous shows, but there will be new and exciting interactive events and competitions. We are keen to promote local participation to truly reflect the diverse cultural heritage of our local area.”
Mr Bowes added: “We are grateful to the many loyal sponsors who have supported the Wayland Show over the years and we look forward to welcoming them back to the new 2020 Show. We have raised funds and donated to numerous local charities in the past and we hope to continue to do so.”

Opportunities exist for volunteers to join the committee in a variety of rewarding roles. Anyone wishing to learn more about how to get involved with the exciting re-launch should contact Claire Bowes, secretary@waylandshow.com

January 9th 2019


Milk recording letter - please read

Click HERE for Milk Recording letter from BGS.


Goat Husbandry Course 22 May 2018

This was a joint Norfolk Smallholder Training Group and Norwich and District Goat Club event and was held at Hazel Francis’ home. Hazel led the day, with Frances, Karen and me helping with tea making and scone, cake and biscuit distribution. (Thank you Hazel’s mum who provided the delicious cheese scones!) The group of attendees were all would-be goat keepers, with a range of background experiences in smallholding and/or goat keeping. Callum’s husbandry notes were used as structure to help take us through all the basic information - goat breeds, housing, feeding, health and general care etc, but everyone’s questions and the resulting discussions took us well into more detailed information sharing.

We covered the good bits and the ‘horrid’ bits like, problems requiring vet visits and of course when needed, the dreaded trip to the abattoir. Hazel also gave us a demonstration on how to trim goat feet and Frances was given the job of checking and replacing the salt licks!

Hazel’s goats were most interested in meeting us all ……. even one of the billy goats who managed to escape to find out what all the commotion was about, and to join in the fun! The goats and the kids were of course a delight and everyone was, I’m sure like me, figuring out a way to sneak one of the little ones into the boot of my car to take home. (NO I didn’t….and no one else did either, but it was a jolly tempting idea!!!!)

So in all, it was a lovely day with fun, laughter and learning in the sun! Thank you Hazel and thank you everyone (including all you lovely goats!)

Mary

2018 GHC2018 GHC2018 GHC2018 GHC


Norwich and District Goat Club AGM 10th February 2018

Show Co-ordinators Report

Last year was a busier than usual show year, with 2 new shows on our calendar. For the first time we ran back to back male shows at Gressenhall, and goats were again part of the Wayland Show, after a long break.

Running 2 Male shows on one day was quite a challenge, but despite the weather we had a good day and everyone was very positive, if a little tired! The Wayland was a lovely day, and although numbers were small we were very well looked after, had a wonderful marquee for the goats and had the largest number of children in the Young Handlers class we’ve ever seen (most of them related to Hazel and Tim!!). The Club Show was blessed with good weather and gave us an opportunity to celebrate Jean’s birthday.

Sadly, last year saw the last Stody Show but enormous thanks must go to Richard for all the time and effort he has put in to the preparation for the show, in what is the busiest period of the year for him workwise.

The Dairy shows were both very relaxed affairs and exhibitors and judges alike gave us some positive feedback. Looking forward we need to find ways of attracting more entries, particularly for the Spring Show. We have put a lot of thought in to the dates for this year, to make sure we don’t clash with other shows in the area. Hopefully, this will help both our club and others to attract healthy numbers of entries for this year. The dates are now all confirmed as well as most of the judges. All Show Schedules for shows where Judges are confirmed are available today and if anyone is able to help distribute schedules to anyone outside the club, please let me know.

ShowDateVenueJudge
Spring Dairy28th AprilNorfolk ShowgroundMr Richard Wood
Heytesbury Dairy Show29th AprilNorfolk ShowgroundMrs Vicky Hardy
Male & Youngstock22nd July amGressenhallMr Tim Baker
Male & Youngstock 222nd July pmGressenhallTBC
Wayland5th AugustWatton ShowgroundTBC
Club Show12th AugustGressenhallMr Gerry Pitcher
Aylsham27th AugustBlickling ParkMr Teigh O’Neill
September Dairy15th SeptemberNorfolk ShowgroundMr David Brace
Breckland Dairy16th SeptemberNorfolk ShowgroundMr Terry Hanna

Finally, I’d just like to thank everyone who helps with the organisation, setting up and running of the shows. Particular thanks to Callum, who is taking on the Show Secretary role at the Spring and Club Shows, Richard, who deals with the September Shows, Toby, Hazel and everyone who turns up before each show to set up and stays behind after everyone else has gone to make sure it’s all tidied up. Without you we wouldn’t be able to run as many shows as we do, and I really appreciate all the support you give me over the year.

Jo-anne


2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM2018 AGM


Norwich & District Goat Club - Education Officer’s Report

By Zoë Mitchell

This is now my second year as the goat club’s education officer.

This task I have continued to embrace with enthusiasm as education is one of my many passions.
By doing this we, as a club, have brought the clubs image up to date and enthuse ones interest in goat keeping. We now have enough resources to allow two events to be stocked up at any one time. We continue to update the posters, display boards & leaflets to help new goat keepers.

The RNAA insists that all their managed events/shows with livestock have educational displays incorporated into ones stand.

Children just love to touch & feel everything i.e. goat skin, children’s books & toys.
We have designed a funny picture board & a photo booth. We even sometimes borrow Roland & Dreda’s artificial wooden milking nanny.

Adults too seem to be fascinated by the fact that a goat can give us so much; not just cuddles & milk, but also cheese, cream, yoghurt, ice cream, meat, leather, wool, soap, hand cream.
Its an added bonus when we have goats available to handle, cuddle, groom & feed.

We have now very successfully built up our overall image. Apart from our own club events & shows we are being invited to other events all over East Anglia with our education displays & goats ie. Norfolk’s smallholder’s club, Stody Open days, Gressenhall farming events, Harfest, Spring Fling, country fairs & fetes, lambing weekends, Wayland show, Aylsham Show, Green build.

Other like minded organizations are inviting us to host courses & give goat keeping talks.
Other goat clubs throughout the UK have been picking our brains too to help them enhance their image.
We have an amazing network of club members whose knowledge is phenomenal & is the icing on the cake at all events where the general public are concerned as they are always very inquisitive about goats.

Our members really enjoy sharing their knowledge & funny tales. They are also always on hand to help each other in times of need.

Thank you to all of you for supporting me in my role within the club.


GOAT CLUB MERCHANDISE

Polo shirt Club mug

We are now able to offer polo shirts and mugs with the Norwich and District Goat Club logo to all club members. Please go to the SALES page where you will find the order form for the polo shirts and details of how to order the mugs.


Further information will be added as it becomes available.