Anecdotes of a veteran farmer

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morpeth rotary club

In honour of George Strachan’s 52 years in Rotary and 95th birthday, he was awarded Honorary Membership of Morpeth Rotary Club by President Rhona Dunn.

Rhona highlighted some of the features of 1921, the year of his birth.

It was the year when car tax discs were brought in, the Royal British Legion was started, Queen Mary became the first woman to be awarded an Honorary Degree by Oxford University, there were one million unemployed people in January, but that rose to 2.2 million by June, DH Lawrence published the novel Women in Love, and Agatha Christie brought out her first story to feature Hercules Poirot.

Other famous people born that year included Harry Secombe and Robert Runcie, and Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Not one to lose an opportunity to entertain an audience, Mr Strachan talked a little about his life as a farmer, livestock auctioneer, business manager and Jacob Sheep breeder, and followed up with a few anecdotes.

He said that until four years ago, he had been hale and hearty, with few ailments, but then got knocked down in a supermarket car park and was run over. He has recovered well, but has some problems with his hearing and memory.

He used to have Moor Farm at Stannington.

While there he enjoyed being a local hospital visitor as he loves talking to people. St George’s Hospital was one place he visited regularly. He got in touch and asked the administration if he could visit and talk to the patients, but was initially told “not really”. He was eventually encouraged to visit, talk and get involved.

At one time, he was inviting 20 patients a day to visit his farm and watch what was going on, which they enjoyed very much. Later, Government rules and regulations changed, and that was not allowed any more.

He likes to think he could do just about any routine job on a farm, but there were always times when more exciting things happened.

Once he had to jump into a river to save a lamb, and another time he was knocked into a dip tank by an old and heavy pet sheep.

He has been a judge at all of the major UK agricultural shows, totalling over 120, and including the Royal Show when it came to Newcastle.

He has been voted one of the top three judges in the country.

In all of these activities, he has found a sense of humour to be invaluable.

Mr Strachan, with great self-sacrifice, then asked Rhona if he had spoken for long enough.

In spite of shouts of congratulation and for more, the happy event was brought to a grand and celebratory conclusion by Rhona presenting his wife Cathie with a bouquet of flowers, before recently joined new member, university lecturer Anya Goeing, gave them both a lift home.

Morpeth Rotary Club meets at Morpeth Golf Club on Tuesdays, at 5.45pm. The meeting on Tuesday, April 5 will focus on maximising the potential of all young people.