Rathfriland YFC reflections on the run up to Christmas

Members after the roller disco club meeting
Members after the roller disco club meeting

Rathfriland YFC began in the late 1940s with a small group of like-minded people striving to provide a community hub for young people in the town.

From that time, the club has seen many generations passing through the doors, creating a wide network of support throughout the surrounding area.

Members help Mourne YFC and Ulster Wildlife clean up Murlough Beach, Newcastle

Members help Mourne YFC and Ulster Wildlife clean up Murlough Beach, Newcastle

Without such support, Rathfriland YFC would not be as successful as it is today and members are very grateful to those who avidly attend and participate in events.

Today the club consists of around 65 paying members and club PRO’s Lois Bingham and Rachael McMinn 
both agree: “We are very lucky to have a strong committee consisting of members and friends at the helm, steering the club into a bright future.”

One of the best events in the club calendar was the three act play held each year at their old club hall on Newry Street, Rathfriland.

Since the move to Downpatrick Street, this has taken a backseat.

Members pictured at their stand at Newry Show

Members pictured at their stand at Newry Show

However, in February this year, Rathfriland YFC took to the stage with Widows Paradise by Sam Cree. After a six year break, what a reception they received!

Club secretary Alison Gracey said: “What an atmosphere in the hall over the four nights of the play. We had an absolute ball and we can’t wait to bring the next three act to the stage.”

It truly is a testament to what the club is all about… fun, frolics and a community atmosphere throughout.

Since then the club has hosted their annual treasure hunt and barbecue, a fashion show with all the latest style from Martha Jane, Rathfriland, S M Shoes, Rathfriland and Amelia Jane, Kilkeel.

Members prepare for their annual treasure hunt and barbecue

Members prepare for their annual treasure hunt and barbecue

This to name only a few events.

However, as the school year began in September, so did a busy year for Rathfriland YFC as they kick started their winter programme with new members night.

The evening saw over 20 new members joining the club and embark on new activities, making new friends and becoming part of the best rural youth organisation in Northern Ireland.

Next year the club enters their 75th year and with plenty of events in the pipeline, club leader Stephen Gordon says: “It’s great to see the club go from strength to strength each year.”

Rathfriland YFC big breakfast

Rathfriland YFC big breakfast

Recently, club meetings have consisted of a range of activities such as pumpkin carving, a roller disco, competition practice and a junior social by Embrace Socials.

On the run up to Christmas, Rathfriland YFC are looking forward to carols by candlelight on Friday, December 14th.

Club members and past Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster president, Roberta Simmons says: “This is the ultimate Christmas event for all the family including carols played by a brass band accompanied by mince pies and mulled wine. The perfect way to kickstart the Christmas festivities.”

Rathfriland YFC would like to wish everyone a safe and happy festive period.

Members pictured during visit to Draynes Farm, Lisburn

Members pictured during visit to Draynes Farm, Lisburn

Members pictured after taking part in the swimming gala

Members pictured after taking part in the swimming gala