THE FARMERS – A BRIEF HISTORY - by Big Dick Thomas
Nobody knows why The Farmers are called The Farmers. They began life in the 1950s as the festival and touring side of The Old Buckwellians HC, based in Essex, with the name being used mainly for end-of-season visits to the Thanet International Hockey Festival in Ramsgate. Since 1970, when the Old Bucks – or Roding HC as they were by then – ceased to exist, The Farmers have not been attached to any one club. Founder member Geoff Gosford was made President by acclaim in a drink-fuelled frenzy in 2002, but there are no elected officials as such.
At the end of Roding HC’s final season, The Farmers made their usual visit to Thanet. By the following season, most of the players still living around the Woodford/Chigwell area (and Frank Hardy in Cambridge) had joined the Old Loughtonians. The lure of Thanet, however, and of Mrs Brewster’s unique hospitality at The Lawns Hotel, was too much to resist. Spiced up with some Old Loughts and odds and sods from elsewhere, The Farmers returned to Ramsgate with renewed vigour. A new kit in bright pink symbolised the new era. Sweatshirts were ordered carrying the words ‘Born to Lose’, which somehow appeared as ‘Baru ta Case’ – now adopted as the team’s official slogan.
The Thanet festival has now bitten the dust, and Mrs Brewster is cooking breakfast for the angels (and telling them that the bar closes in two minutes). But a thriving Farmers Golf Society meets throughout the year, there is a get-together in London every Christmas and, at the end of April, members from far and wide head for Ramsgate and the Sunaway Trophy golf competition, hockey at Jackey Baker’s, and the attentions of the rampant local women (if only).