2010 saw the 150th anniversary of the founding of RABI.
A year of national and regional events marked these celebrations across the country and will be remembered for many years to come.
The year began with the popular Farmhouse Breakfast Week events in January and the traditional Plough Sunday services around the country, including in Chichester Cathedral where the RABI banner, designed and created by East Sussex chairman Clarissa Hallings-Pott , made its debut.
National celebrations for the 150th anniversary celebrations kicked off in February with a splendid service of thanksgiving in Westminster Abbey, attended by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, when the banner was officially blessed.
By March the regional events organised by the county committees were beginning to take off. As well as the regulars, such as the Singing Farmers performing their sixth annual series of concerts in the North East, the month saw the start of numerous lunches, dinners and awareness raising activities.
In April RABI was the chosen charity for Ludlow Racecourse's annual charity race day, an event that raised over £40,000. Also,as the YFC chairwoman's charity of the year, RABI had a high profile at the NFYFC annual convention.
May saw the 150th annual general meeting held in the resplendent surroundings of Blenheim Palace and RABI featured on the John Joseph Mechi garden at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show, in conjunction with Tiptree, which was celebrating its 125th anniversary and Writtle College.
RABI golf days have become popular fundraising events in a number of counties, with the national RABI golf challenge held in Oswestry in June. Throughout the summer RABI was represented at all the major and numerous local summer shows with several show societies helping to raise our profile and funds by selecting RABI as their charity of the year.
In July. RABI had 150 places in the annual British 10K London run and, supported by Yara UK and the Farmers Club, our red shirted runners from across England and Wales brought a splash of colour to the streets of the capital, raising over £33,000.
RABI's first national cream tea event, supported by jam makers Tiptree and Cornish clotted cream producers Rodda's took place during the August bank holiday week. The event attracted tea parties in gardens from Cornwall to County Durham in barns and on farms as far apart as Sussex and Northumberland and in offices, including AGCO's headquarters and RABI's solicitors Blake Lapthorn.
Starting in September, RABI's anniversary was celebrated in many harvest thanksgiving services across the country, including in 14 cathedrals, from Truro to Canterbury and Brecon to Ripon (the venue for RABI's national Harvest Festival) where we were supported by farmers' unions and young farmers.
October in the RABI calendar means Welly Week. There was the usual range of welly orientated activities involving all ages from school children, college students and young farmers to RABI county committees and Farm Women's Club members.
A reception at the House of Lords in November was a fitting venue for the transfer of the RABI presidency from Lord Plumb to HRH The Duke of Gloucester. It also provided an opportunity to thank many of the organisations and companies that had supported RABI throughout the year.
The carol service in the impressive setting of Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire provided a fitting finale to the national celebrations in December, involving trustees, volunteers, beneficiaries and members of staff, with the county's young farmers stewarding the post-service refreshments.
We now look forward to our 151st year in 2011!!
RABI - The First 150 Years
The history of RABI was serialised in RABI News during 2010 and the whole document can be downloaded as a PDF HERE.
- Early signup to events