Old Ledbury - World War One in Ploughing Society

World War One in Ploughing Society

World War One Ploughing Society

Ledbury Guardian 29 08 1914
As a result of the war it was decided at the annual meeting of the Ledbury Ploughing Society, at the Plough Hotel, on Tuesday, not to hold a ploughing match this year and that the society should remain in abeyance for the next twelve months. Mr. J. PARRY presided, and there were also present: Messers H. COWELL, J. COWELL, J. CRADDOCK, H. GAROOD, H. W. HAMAR, J. H. PARTRIDGE, J. WALKER, T. J. POINER, F. TAYLER, A. DAW, F. FENWICK, J. S. FOWLER, E. MARKS and Mr. Guy SMITH (hon. secretary, pro tem).
The Chairman said he had received apologies for absence from Mr. W. BREWER (vice chairman), Mr. H. WESTON, Mr C.T. SMITH, Mr. E. WARD and others.
The Secretary made a statement with regard to the financial position of the society. He stated that a balance carried forward from last year of £44. 4s. There was at present a balance in hand of £43.18s.7d , which showed a deficiency of £1.5s.5d on the year''s working.
The Chairman said they could congratulate themselves upon their last years work which had been successful in every way. What little deficiency there was had been made up by difference in the prize money. If the prize list had remained the same as the year before they would, perhaps, have had a balance of between £12 and £14 on the year's working. He would move that the accounts be adopted, subject to audit.
Mr. GARROOD seconded and it was agreed to.
Alluding to the war, the Chairman said the society had never met together before under such circumstances as they did at the present time, and he was, therefore going to ask the company to drink to the health of " Our gallant Soldiers and Sailors who are battling with the enemy at the front. "" (Applause)
The toast was responded to very enthusiastically.
The Chairman said he was going to propose that in consequence of the war they should abandon the Society' s proceedings for the present year. He regretted having to make the suggestion, but there was a general feeling abroad that they, the people in the country, should all unite in support of the Government and the Army and Navy in looking after our own interests in producing as much as possible from the land, for the maintenance of themselves and those persons who were engaged in warfare. (Hear, hear). The circumstances in which they found themselves were very exceptional. At present they were at war with one of the most powerful nations in the world. They, in England, were fighting for their very existence, and it behoved them to concentrate all their efforts upon that one thing for a year at all events.
Mr. POINER seconded.
Mr. WALKER supported. He thought that under the present circumstances the policy suggested would be a very wise one, and the society should close down for this year. As the Chairman had suggested, they should not elect new officers but let the society stand over as it was presently constituted. They had a balance in the bank and he thought it should stop there. Probably, by the expiration of another year they would be in a better position and when their young men came back from the front, which was the earnest hope of all of them, the society could continue its work. (Hear, hear). He did not think at this juncture, a little sentiment was out of place, when he said there proceedings, if held this year, would be very dull indeed, with so many of their young men fighting abroad.
After further discussion it was unanimously agreed that the society should remain in abeyance for a year.
Mr Guy SMITH said the Hon Secretary (Mr C. T. SMITH) had asked him to offer a suggestion to the meeting. As they were aware, the society was in a good financial position, and there was no reason to suppose that it would not be carried on, and be self-supporting. They had a fairly large balance in hand and there was no doubt about the fact that they could build up an equally large amount again if necessary. At present they had about £ 40 lying idle in the bank, and Mr SMITH suggested, in view of the splendid way in which the society had been supported in the past and having regard for the many hardships that would surely fall upon many people, as a result of the war, that a sum of money out of the balance in hand, be given to either the Prince of Wales' s Fund or the County Fund.
Mr. CRADDOCK : I do not think we can do that.
Mr. GARROOD said he thought in so doing they would be exceeding their duty, although it might be the desire of everyone present to do so. He would suggest that the money should be placed on deposit with interest at the bankers.
Several members generously offered in that case to pay their subscriptions as usual this year, to one of the funds suggested, which met with general approval.
The Chairman said it would amount to the same thing if the members would pay their subscriptions as usual this year, to one of the funds suggested. He thought, however, they should consider their own neighbourhood first and give money to a local fund.
It was stated that there was not a local fund in existence at the present time, but the County Fund amounted to the same thing.
On the motion of Mr. GARROOD, seconded by Mr. CRADDOCK, it was agreed that before the Secretary collected subscriptions, the committee should meet and decide the question as to what fund the money should be allocated.
Mr GARROOD said it would be an entirely voluntary subscription.
The Chairman said the subscribers not present that day were at liberty to subscribe to the fund.
Mr GARROOD: This should not interfere with our private subscriptions.
The Chairman: Oh, no!
On the motion of Mr COWELL, seconded by Mr PARTRIDGE, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded Mr. FENWICK, who is one of the largest subscribers to the society, for giving his subscription and special prize to the War Fund.
On the motion of the Chairman, seconded by Mr HAMAR, Mr and Mrs E. MARKS of the Plough Hotel, were cordially thanked for the admirable way in which they catered for the wants of the company on the occasion of the societys' annual dinner.
Mr MARKS briefly returned thanks, saying that he was glad to know he had given general satisfaction.
A vote of thanks to the Chairman for presiding, concluded the proceeding.

Kington / Newent Reporter Newspaper 29 08 1914
Annual Competitions in Abeyance this Year
Members' Subscriptions to be Devoted to War Fund
On Tuesday afternoon the annual general meeting of the Ledbury Ploughing Society was held at the Plough Hotel, Ledbury, when it was unanimously decided not to hold the annual competitions this year, but that members of the Society should be invited to pay their subscriptions as usual, the total to be handed over to one of the war relief funds, probably the county relief fund. Mr John PARRY (chairman) presided, and also present were Messrs FENWICK-FENWICK, J E CRADDOCK, A DAWE, Hy. GARROOD, J PARTRIDGE, T J POINER, J H WALKER, H COWELL, J HOWELL, T S FOWLER, F TAYLOR R W HAMMAR, E A MARK, and the hon. Secretary's assistant, Mr G H SMITH.
The Chairman at the outset of the meeting apologised for the absence of Mr C T SMITH (the hon. secretary), Mr W BOWER, Mr H WESTON, C.C., and Mr E WARD.
Mr SMITH submitted the balance-sheet, which showed that the receipts amounted to £124 14s, including £44 4s balance in hand and £76 2s subscriptions and entry fees. The balance in hand was £42 18s 7d after the payment of all accounts, including £63 13s prize money, which did not include any of the prizes in kind or prizes paid direct by the donors. Mr SMITH went on to explain that there was an increase of £4 10s to £5 in the subscriptions and entry fees, and that had various amounts contributed for special prizes of £5, £1 10s and £2 given for special classes which were not credited to the general fund. The prize list for 1913 showed a very big increase over the 1912 prize list, the increase of prize money, exclusive of prizes paid direct by donors, being £19 18s - £63 13s against £43 15s. The increase was account for by the champion class for ploughing, which amounted to £7 10s, additional prizes in one or two classes, and a prize of £2 given on account of the withdrawal of a prize formerly given by one donor. Those items explained the slight loss on the year.
The Chairman said he thought they could congratulate themselves, taking all things into consideration, on passing through a successful season. What difference there was in the balance in hand was accounted for by the increased of the prize money, otherwise their balance in hand would have been £12 or £14 more. They could take credit for that. He had pleasure in moving that the accounts be passed.
Mr GARROOD seconded and the resolution was carried unanimously.
Subsequently the Chairman said that in all the existence of the Ledbury Ploughing Society they never met together under circumstance such as existed at the present time, and he would ask them to drink to the health and success of their gallant sailors and soldiers who were now battling with the enemy at the front. (Hear, hear.)
The Chairman then said he would suggest, and would propose under the present circumstances they abandon the Society's proceedings for the present year. It was with great reluctance on his part that he did so, but there was a feeling abroad that they should be united in support of the Government and the Army and Navy, and looking after their own interests as much as they possibly could, and produce all they could to maintain those persons gone to the front and their own selves. (Hear, hear.) It was under very exceptional circumstances they met. We were at present engaged in war with one of the most powerful nations in the world. We were fighting for our very existence and he thought they should concentrate their efforts on that one thing alone, and abandon their meeting this year. He did not think under the circumstances they could do better.
Mr POINER seconded.
Mr WALKER, in supporting, said under the present circumstances it was quite the wisest thing to close down for this year, and not to elect any new officers, but to let everything stand as it was that day. Their debts were all paid; they had a fair balance in the bank and it must stop there. Taking everything seriously they could not do better than adopt the resolution proposed by the chairman and next year at this time, God helping them, they ought to be in a better position than they were that day, with their young men back home, as they hoped they would be. A lot of their best young men had gone to join the Army, and they would not be here to take part in the competitions. He strongly supported the resolution, which he hoped would be carried unanimously, as they had something else to do at the present time. (Hear, hear.)
The resolution was carried unanimously.
On the motion of Mr GARROOD, seconded by Mr PARTIDGE, the retiring officers and committee were re-elected en bloc> for the ensuing twelve months, during which time the Plough Hotel will remain the headquarters of the Society.
On the motion of Mr CRADDOCK, seconded by Mr HAMAR, hearty vote of thanks was accorded Mr and Mrs MARK, the host and hostess, for their hospitality in providing rooms for the meetings of the Society during the past twelve months. Mr MARK briefly replied.
Mr Guy SMITH reported that Mr C T SMITH desired him to bring forward the question of contribution from the Society's funds to one of the war relief funds being raised. He pointed out that the Society had over £40 in hand, and when operations were again started there was no reason to suppose that the Society could not be carried on and be self-supporting. Mr C T SMITH's suggestion was that the Ploughing Society, being supported as it was by the public to a large extent, and taking into consideration the terrible hardship and distress that would be caused by this war, that the meeting should vote a sum of money from the balance in hand to be given to either the Prices of Wales's Relief Fund, the County Relief Fund, or the local fund.
This it was thought by the members could hardly be done, but a suggestion by Mr GARROOD that members should give their usual annual subscriptions to the Society this year, and let that fund be devoted to one of the relief funds, met with ready approval, the members unanimously agreeing to do this. Several of those present at once paid their subscriptions, and others put their names down for the usual amounts. Mr FENWICK-FENWICK, who is probably the largest subscriber to the funds of the Society, at once offered to give his usual subscription to the Society for this purpose, an announcement which was received with applause.
Mr GARROOD followed up his proposal by moving that the hon. Secretary be instructed to write to the members and subscribers soliciting the usual subscription and stating the objection to which it was to be devoted, but asking that any subscription given should not interfere with any contribution, already made or prospective, to the war relief funds.
Mr CRADDOCK seconded and this was agreed to.
It was decided that a meeting of the Committee should be held later when the subscriptions have been got in to decide to what funds the subscriptions should be apportioned, and soon afterwards the meeting closed.

1914 Kington / Newent Reporter Newspaper - Herefordshire History
1914 - 1919 Ledbury Guardian Newspaper - Herefordshire History
1916 Tilley's Almanack
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Comments are from members of the Old Ledbury Facebook Group
Cuttings from Ledbury Reporter Newspapers
Transcribed by Kay STEVENS

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