SOCIAL EVENT: Rokeby Farmers’ Ball committee Harvey Barkes, Paul Barkes, Doug Anderson, Robin Bellas, Jonathan Wallis, Andrew Watson, John Hare and Rob Walton
SOCIAL EVENT: Rokeby Farmers’ Ball committee Harvey Barkes, Paul Barkes, Doug Anderson, Robin Bellas, Jonathan Wallis, Andrew Watson, John Hare and Rob Walton

PREPARATIONS are well underway for the Rokeby farmers’ ball next month and the organising committee is hoping the 73rd annual event will be another night to remember.

The ball, held at The Morritt Arms Hotel at Greta Bridge, started as a simple dinner dance for farmers on the Rokeby estate after the Second World War.

It has grown substantially over the years with guests from across the region vying for tickets.

The secretary of Rokeby Farmers Ball, Jonathan Wallis, said: “The main focus of the evening is for everyone to have a fun-filled evening – however we do like to raise money for good causes.

“When we put the 70th ball together we thought it was a good idea to celebrate the history and organised the first charity fundraising and we have kept up the tradition.”

The ball has raised more than £7,000 for both Teenage Cancer Research and the National CJD Research and Surveillance Unit. Organisers hope guests will dig deep for this year’s chosen charity.

Sam Turner

Mr Wallis added: “This year we chose Parkinson’s UK as one of our committee members, Dougie Anderson, suffers from it, and we try to ensure we look after our community.”

Mr Anderson retired from farming in September last year when he gave up his tenant farm on the estate, ending his family’s 160 year association with Moor House Farm at Brignall but is still actively involved in the community.

Mr Wallis added: “As much as we enjoy raising money, the fun does come first.”

Rokeby Farmers’ Ball will take place at The Morritt Arms Hotel on Saturday, February 2.

Tickets, which include a three course meal, cost £45. To buy them and for details contact Jonathan Wallis on 07921 134505 or email jonathan@jonathanwalliscs.co.uk