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Countryside group celebrates centenary

[Thursday 01 February 2007]

A YORK hotel turned the clock back to the beginning of the 20th century this week as the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) celebrated its 100th anniversary and revealed the winner of its historic photo competition.

the organisation has grown from a small regional lobbying group into one of the country's most active and influential rural economy campaigners

Dorothy Fairburn - CLA

The Royal York Hotel (formerly the Station Hotel) - the venue for the inaugural meeting of the Yorkshire Land and Property Defence Association in January 1907 - hosted a celebratory founders' lunch, where some of the county's leading landowners will gathered along with Tholthorpe man, Geoff Wood, who has won a free meal for two at this year's Yorkshire show after unearthing a selection of family farming photos from the turn of the century.

CLA regional director, Dorothy Fairburn, said: "It is exactly 100 years this month since the Yorkshire Land and Property Defence Association - the forerunner of the CLA - held its first ever meeting at the Station Hotel in York.

CLA president, David Fursdon and regional director, Dorothy Fairburn
CLA president, David Fursdon and
regional director, Dorothy Fairburn

"Over the past century, the organisation has grown from a small regional lobbying group into one of the country's most active and influential rural economy campaigners, representing 38,000 members involved in more than 250 different types of businesses.

"I am delighted to be able to mark this historic occasion with so many members of the families that have helped shape our agricultural heritage in the CLA's birthplace of York."

It was on January 26, 1907 at the Station Hotel, York that the Yorkshire Land and Property Defence Association held its first meeting and began to lobby MPs on topical agricultural issues. The following year it joined forces with the newly established Central Land Association in London, creating an influential industry body that is today the Country Land and Business Association.

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