By 1994 Jana Hubena was pushing us to find a group that was compatible to her Agricultural College students. Despite there being an agricultural college here in Bridgwater the first group that approached us was the Bridgwater Young Farmers. Under the dynamic leadership of Polly Ashford they quickly assembled a team and at Eastertime headed off in the minibus with Smedley driving them.
Wed 6 April The group set off by minibus from outside the Arts Centre. 12 strong –Polly, Mark, Simon, Darren, Mike, Fred, Claire, Di, Andy, John, Gary and ‘Dave’ (also know as ‘Abo’ as he seemed to be Australian) The bus drove to Ramsgate and the night crossing to the Belgian port of Ostende
Thurs 7 April Through Belgium and Germany on the north route the group stopped overnight at Burnhams twin town of Fritzlar staying at the ‘Zur Spitze’ hotel and linking with some German friends.
Fri 8 April Continuing on through East Germany and dropping down past Karl Marx Stadt (Chemnitz) into prostitute valley, the group soon reached Prague where they stayed at U Holubu. These were the days when strippers would randomly turn up in a pub, strip and then have a whip round. As happened this night. While we were eating.
Sat 9 April Tomas Kleisner from the Klub z Starou Praha showed us around Prague and we were joined by Bela Lukasova. Tomas took the cultured members to the Opera, Bela took the others to a pub.
Sun 10 April Driving to UH the group met the students from the Agriculutral College in Stare Mesto (Uherske Hradiste) and were home hosted by them.
11-12-13 April The Young Farmers had a full and joint programme with the Czech students. Disappointingly on one night they decided to get very drunk in a wine bar where some young Czechs were singing sad songs in preparation to join the army. The farmers replied by singing bawdy songs about donkeys arses followed by marching around the wine bar with upturned chairs as bagpipes. We were rightly banned.
Thurs 14 April the group continued to Ceske Budejovice. Whilst Eva Kordova looked after the farmers headmaster Jan Zahradnik took Smedley to a strip cabaret bar. This whole tour was becoming a bit seedy. However, Zahradnik had a different motive. Whilst on the one hand saying how important freedom was because women could take their clothes off in bars, in fact at this bar one of his students was performing a satirical sketch in the middle of the debauchery. Jitka Charyparova stripped but was wearing a black body suit under neath and continued to remove her arms, legs and torso until just her head was left, with the punchline ‘at least i kept my head’. The purpose was more profound though as Zahradnik was letting me audition her for Czechomania. She passed.
Friday 15 April the group left for Nurnburg in Bavaria and stayed overnight in the Jugend Hotel there. It was Polly’s birthday and the debauchery kicked off early. At one point I walked into the party room and noticed i was the only one wearing trousers. I locked myself in the minibus.
Sat 16 April The group drove through Germany and caught a late night ferry from Ostende
Sun 17 April Got back to Bridgwater at lunchtime