What a fantastic day we had at Forces Farm, Butterleigh, home of the Sarum Stud of Annie and Stewart Franklin and how very welcoming they were as with a team of helpers on the day, a wonderful spread was laid out before us. The Franklins’ generosity is becoming renown and this Celebration was no exception. The weather was just right and it was a marvellous opportunity for members to sit and socialise, catch up and see old friends.
Starting with a welcoming drink we were almost – but not quite – overwhelmed with the hog roast cooked to perfection, carved and served by Ian Jones and Vicky Stephens (that crackling was something else!) Yvonne Small and Jenny Stephens had prepared the rolls and put them in a serviette so it was a quick operation to add the beautifully moist and tasty pork, adding whichever sauce you fancied plus delicious coleslaw and salad. There were vegetarian choices with quiches brought by the Joyners so no-one could complain they couldn’t find something to eat. This feast was followed by a wide choice of desserts, at least half a dozen to choose from, I don’t think I was the only one to over indulge!
After a further drink of whatever you fancied, it was up to the outdoor menage to take part in or watch the various games which Maxine Ingham had devised, ably helped by Vicky Stephens in putting the teams together. Oh what fun the children – and adults – had, have you any idea how hard it is to ‘ride’ a spacehopper! And how those thighs ached afterwards! Other races included catching a soft boiled egg , catch a water balloon, 3 legged race, sack race, piggyback, and wellie wanging! Maxine was there with the appropriate sticker – some children had a whole chest full by the end of the games and thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to get both dirty and wet!
Some people had already had to leave but the rest of us then sat down to a welcome drink and to enjoy the wonderful celebration cake made for the occasion by Jo Rodd’s stepmother. A lovely moist chocolate sponge with the smoothest, thinnest icing you can make, it was just right with a plaque in the centre of the SWA logo. Invited to cut the cake, Mrs Jo Lutey, one of our longest serving members, said a few words reflecting on the growth and success of the SWA, remembering the founder members, and referring to the excellent reputation the SWA has gained within the Welsh Pony and Cob Society.
We are so grateful to the Franklins for generously sponsoring this memorable event and the approximately 50 members present will not easily forget the SWA’s 50th birthday celebrations.