Sunday, 23 September 2018

WI

BENSON

BENSON

OUR president Yvonne welcomed all members to our May meeting.

WI business and several events and outings were then discussed. It was once again the time of year when WI members countrywide propose and select worthwhile resolutions that could form the basis for campaigns and activity.

This year our proposal was “Failing to care — assessment of need in long-term care”.

As an amendment had been added to the original proposal, it was decided that voting would be delayed until after our speaker had finished her talk to enable members to discuss and give further thought to the resolution.



Yvonne welcomed our speaker Fiona MacPhearson who had worked for Carers Oxfordshire, a county-wide service, for the past four years.

Fiona explained that Carers Oxfordshire was in partnership with Age UK and social services and supported the 60,000 carers currently in Oxfordshire.

We were then shown a film of real carers talking about their roles and how they benefited from the support that Carers Oxfordshire provided.

You are a carer if the person you care for cannot cope without your help and you do not get paid — this currently saves the country about  £119 billion per year.

Fiona explained that Carers Oxfordshire does not provide hands-on care but offers information and advice to give carers the confidence to care.

This help could be in the form of providing information on grants to help arrange a break from caring, checking that carers are receiving money to which they are entitled, organising support groups and providing emergency carers support and much more.

Fiona was thanked for her very interesting talk by Jenny Grinham.

After discussions, voting took place on the resolution.

Our delegate, Jenny Grinham, who was to attend the national federation’s annual meeting, was asked to take the decision against the amendment and the original resolution to the meeting.

Refreshments followed, together with a delicious birthday cake baked by Yvonne to celebrate member Gwenda Feates’s birthday. Happy Birthday was sung heartily by all the members.

Benson WI meets at Benson village hall on the third Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm. Our next meeting will be on June 17 when Janet Matthews will be talking about “the centenary year, looking back at Benson WI records”. Please join us as you will be made most welcome.

For more information, please call Lin Reader on (01491) 836800.



COCKPOLE GREEN

ON Wednesday, April 20, president Adrienne Rance welcomed members and Wargrave resident Feyza Howell, who gave a delightful talk about the history and art of belly dancing together with a demonstration.

Feyza wore a wonderful costume and danced for us before explaining the history of the dance, whose origins go back more than 6,000 years.

The dance takes many different forms, depending on the country and region, both in costume and dance style. The beat of the music plays an intricate part in the dance, so much so that one can identify the difference between Egyptian belly dancing and Turkish.

Even though Feyza has been dancing for 10 years, it took her four years to perfect the Egyptian style.

Arabic dancing is not the same either, with the style reflecting different rhythms. Records show that throughout the Ottoman Empire artists performed these intricate hip movements and torso articulations (called shimmies), mainly for female audiences. Finger cymbals and veils were used as props.

In those days, the costume was a long, wide skirt, shirt and waistcoat but due (in part) to Western influence, also Indian, it changed to a bra, bare midriff, veils and lots of glitter and beads.

European travellers to the Middle East in the 17th and 18th centuries mention this dance form but it was a number of international exhibitions that popularised it in the Western mind. The 1893 Chicago World Fair is accredited with coining the term “belly dance”.

Feyza then invited members to join her and perform some of the movements.

She chose a piece of music played by a modern Arabic rock band and about 10 ladies bravely tried to do the movement in time with the music.

These moves included wrist curls, snake arms and shimmies using the knees to name but a few.

We found it very difficult to use muscles that we didn’t know we had but we all agreed we enjoyed trying.

Feyza finished her talk by performing one of her favourite dances on the stage.

It was hardly surprising to learn that there are quite a few dance classes here in Berkshire.

Starting in September, Feyza will be holding her own monthly workshop session. If you are interested, call Selina Avent on 0118 940 3426 for details.

Feyza was warmly thanked for introducing us to her passion of Turkish dancing before joining us for a delicious tea prepared by Gill Tomlinson and Judy  Rowlands.

Our next meeting is our garden party, which this year is being held at Robin’s Corner, the home of Maureen Rothery, on Wednesday, June 17 at 2pm.



GREYS

VAL MUNDY, our president, welcomed us to the May meeting on a sunny afternoon.

To the envy of us all, Janet Leaver, our secretary, showed us her invitation to the WI centenary garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Four members had attended the splendid centenary celebrations at Dorchester Abbey in April when a number of WIs came together on a brilliant day to hear the abbey bells ring out as the centenary baton arrived from Berinsfield, escorted by a trailer full of colourful ladies.

The service was conducted by Canon Sue Booys in the presence of our MP John Howell and the (then) Deputy Mayor of Henley Jeni Wood before 250 women, accompanied by the organ, attempted to raise the roof with their joyful rendition of Jerusalem and the National Anthem.

The centenary baton was passed throughout the congregation and a 103-year-old WI member cut the cake for everyone to enjoy with a cup of tea.

The following day, the baton arrived at Greys village hall by classic car from Stoke Row, to be greeted by Greys members with a glass of bubbly, again in sunshine and to the surprise of passing drivers.

Dressed overall in balloons, the baton was then driven to Greys Court. Here a gathering of members watched as it was ceremoniously passed from the Oxfordshire federation to the Buckinghamshire federation after a few words from Lady Brunner’s son, Hugo.

Later in the month, members attended our group meeting when Mike Hurst gave us an intriguing history of popular music illustrated on his guitar, commencing with Summer Is Icumen In, written by the monks of Reading Abbey in the 13th century.

Everyone appreciated the excellent supper provided by our hosts, Stoke Row WI.

Following these reports, members contributed to a lively discussion on the national federation resolution calling for the removal of the distinction between health and social care in assessments of individuals (a concern which has been voiced by the federation since the Sixties).

The resolution would be debated and put to the vote at the annual meeting at the Royal Albert Hall on June 4.

The afternoon ended with a delicious tea provided by Joyce Robins and Alma Headland.

Our next meeting will be at Greys village hall on June 17 at 2.30pm when children from the Valley Road School Dance Club will perform 100 years of WI dance. Come and join us — new members are always welcome.

As our former president Lady Brunner said: “I can’t imagine how you would live in a village if you didn’t belong to the WI. It would be like eating bread and milk instead of a good balanced meal.”



HAMBLEDEN

IN the absence of Frances Emmett, the meeting was chaired by Molly Carter, vice-chairman.

She welcomed 27 members to the evening and reminded them that there will be no meetings in the village hall in June or July.

On June 16 we will be attending the 100th anniversary of the WI at Waddesdon Manor and on July 9 the meeting will be at Laceys Farm, Lane End.

Arrangements were well in hand for the picnic lunch and the cost of the coach was to be funded by the branch. There was a £10 entrance fee to Waddesdon.

Nikki Mainds advised members that the committee will provide the pudding and Prosecco but that they should bring their own main course and a folding chair.

Any member who has not booked but wishes to go should call Nikki on 01628 487602 as there are still a few places on the coach.

Anne Langley gave a report on the annual council meeting at Aylesbury when the inspiring speaker was Anna Tierney, a paralympic skier, who had started her sporting career as an eventer but after a snowboarding accident was paralysed.

After having rehabilitation, she decided to try for the paralympic team to represent Great Britain in skiing events at Sochi.

She came fourth on a very difficult slalom course and is now touring the country inspiring disabled athletes to achieve their full potential. Suzy Livesey then gave a witty account of driving the WI baton-holders through the Buckinghamshire countryside with passengers dressed in appropriate outfits.

She had been wise enough to carry a spare petrol can and needed to use it when she ran out of petrol a few miles from home. She seemed glad that this event will not happen again for another 100 years.

Hambleden WI will be planting a tree to mark the centenary in September and displaying the archives and appropriate memorabilia collected by the WI over the years.

The members then split into groups to discuss the important resolution to go to the Royal Albert Hall national federation’s meeting calling on the Government to “remove the distinction between nursing care and personal care in assessment of the needs of individuals in order to advance health and wellbeing”.

After a lively half hour, the vote showed that three members were against the motion and 25 for it, so the motion was carried.

The newly formed drama group then gave poetry readings by seven members who competed for the Knight Cup. The winner was Jo Tilbury. The chocolate cake competition for the Wilson Cup was won by Catherine Dinsdale. The trophies will be presented at the annual meeting in the autumn.

After all the business members enjoyed a well-earned delicious tea provided by Bernie Beavis, Lois Howden and Christine Banbury.



HARPSDEN

IT was a beautiful, warm, sunny day for the May meeting, when president Pat Eades welcomed a new member Ann Lincoln and three visitors, two of whom were from Greys WI which would be representing Harpsden at the annual meeting at the Royal Albert Hall on June 4.

It was with regret that the death of Margaret Harrison was announced.

Members celebrating birthdays in May were Rosemary Emmerson, Shirley Weyman, Pam Williams and Violet Lawrence.

A presentation was made to Patricia Williams for all her hard work in organising outings over a number of years.

However, she was soon back on her feet as she had attended the centenary celebrations at Dorchester Abbey and gave a lively account of the day which commenced with the departure from Henley on a Routemaster bus. This had been decorated the previous day and Harpsden WI member Mary Burton had helped.

There were 300 women in the abbey and, with the organ providing a stirring accompaniment to the singing of Jerusalem, the event was most moving.

The centenary baton was passed around for everyone to see and touch.

At Greys Court the following day the baton was handed over to the Buckinghamshire federation.

A delightful display of photographs from both these events was on show and Di Painter and Valerie Moore were thanked for their expertise with their cameras.

Various events and outings from News & Views were mentioned by the president, including the National Memorial Arboretum, “Tea and Textiles” at Denman College and also at Denman “Inspiring Women” when Fern Britton will be in conversation.

On June 24 members, together with Peppard and Shiplake WIs, will be able to see the centenary roses which were planted at Greys Court. Hopefully, they will be fully in flower.

Members who wished to take part in Sunday lunches or to attend the Regal Cinema in Henley with others were invited to sign up, so they could get in touch with each other.

The craft group is meeting in the near future and it was suggested that the members might like to make some bunting to be used at WI events.

A visit to Salisbury Cathedral to view the exhibition celebrating the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta was put forward by Mary Burton.

Pat Eades announced that the August meeting, which in the past has been held in a member’s garden, would this year be held in the village hall and would take the form of a centenary celebration.

Suzanna Rose took members through the resolution being debated at the annual meeting.

It was felt that the resolution could have been worded in a better way and, after much discussion, it was left to the Greys WI delegate to listen to the debate and to use her powers to vote as she felt fit.

The speaker for the afternoon was Jane Whitfield, a freelance solicitor from Earley, near Reading.

She very clearly pointed out the meaning of lasting powers of attorney, which deal with property, money and the health of the individual  concerned.

She also mentioned that an enduring power of attorney did not usually include instructions regarding health and that the LPA had superceded the EPA.

Mrs Whitfield’s talk certainly provided much food for thought and she dealt with many questions following her talk. She was ably thanked by Pam Hails.

The competition was for “an interesting pen” and was won by Ruth Norman. Peggy Burchell and Judith Young came second and third respectively.

The next meeting was to be on June 10 when the speaker would be Mike Willoughby talking about the Lest We Forget project and the competition was to be for a memento of the First World War.

Meetings are held in Harpsden village hall, starting at 2.30pm.



WARGRAVE

ON Wednesday, May 6 Professor Roger Shaw gave a talk entitled “Zheng He: discovering America?”

The lecture was based on the books by British author Gavin Menzies, who surmises that only China during the Ming Dynasty, under Emperor Zhu Di, had the time, money, manpower and leadership to send out expeditions circumnavigating the world.

He then sets out several reasons and speculations as to why the Chinese circumnavigated the world a century before Magellan and discovered America before Columbus in 1492.

Admiral Zheng He was a navigator and diplomat in China during the Ming Dynasty. He set sail to explore the world in ships which were amazingly sophisticated, powered only by sail, oar and rudder.

Menzies claims that the world travel map-making was completed by the Chinese by 1450.

Much of these studies have been dismissed as works of fiction by professional historians but they made a fascinating talk, much enjoyed by members.

Future events include:

June 17 — Village festival bridge night, Wargrave Piggott Junior School, 7.30pm.

June 27 — Village festival cake stall, 2pm.

July 1 — The history of flower arranging with Irene Manson.



PANGBOURNE

WE continue to increase our membership as the public are becoming more aware of the WI is this special centenary year.

At the federation’s annual meeting, chairman Sara Staker confirmed that membership was on the increase and urged all members to move towards the next century by embracing modern technology and to access the WI’s “Moodle” information and learning tool.

After receiving the centenary baton from Wiltshire, the Berkshire federation arranged a multitude of events to enable as many members as possible to share in the experience.

The handover to the Oxfordshire federation chairman Pauline Goddard was on April 14 at the Sherriff Boathouse at the Redgrave-Pinsent Rowing Lake in Caversham.

The surprise guest was Polly Swann, a member of the GB rowing team, who delighted members as she spoke of her Olympic achievements and experiences. Members were truly inspired by her commitment to her chosen sport.

A privileged tour of the boathouse was given by Andrew Knee-Robinson, GB Rowing’s events organiser, and members found it of great interest.

Afternoon tea provided an opportunity for members to talk to members of other WIs and to tuck into the array of cakes provided, the main focus being the celebration cake made by Heidi Anderson, daughter of Berkshire federation trustee Penny Anderson.

Members could also delight in the array of colourful pennants on display representing all the WIs in Berkshire. What a lovely reminder of a special event.

One of our most recent speakers was Nick Brazil, from Whitchurch, who gave an illustrated talk on the “Literary and artistic footprint of Pangbourne”. We were taken on a tour of the Thames Valley, starting at Mapledurham and finishing at Aldworth.

The members were absorbed and enthralled by the talk, which was lavishly illustrated.

In May we were entertained on a musical theme by Carol Wheeler, known as “Carol of the Bells” as she is a handbell ringer and a member of the South-East Region Bell Orchestra.

Carol has been handbell ringing for 40 years, the last two as a solo player. She owns her own set of 26 bells which came from America.

A varied selection of music was played, including Singing In The Rain, Over The Rainbow and My Favourite Things. Her final choice was Jerusalem by William Blake, where members were encouraged to sing along. It was definitely entertaining.

A coffee morning organised by Anne Kingston was a great success and raised nearly £147 for Pangbourne’s coffers. Well done, Anne.

On June 20 we will be having a stall at Pangbourne village fete and would welcome other WI members to pop in to see us between noon and 5pm.

On July 14 we will be celebrating our 94th birthday.

There is always a lot going on, so please pop in and see us on the second Tuesday of the month at Pangbourne village hall from 2.30pm.



PEPPARD

IRENE LINDSAY, our president, welcomed Jane Handley, the delegate who was to represent us at the national federation’s annual meeting at the Royal Albert Hall on June 4, and Sue Frayling-Cork, president of Sonning Common WI.

Irene was also delighted to inform members she had been offered unexpected tickets to the annual meeting and the Buckingham Palace garden party hosted by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Members look forward to a first-hand account of both occasions. Some members have tickets to attend a live screening of the annual meeting at the Corn Market, Wallingford.

After covering the centenary baton events, Irene opened the discussion on the resolution for this year.

The resolution calls on the Government to remove the distinction between nursing care and personal care in the National Health Service in order to advance health and wellbeing for individuals.

Members were unsure who would be responsible for deciding how much of which sort of care would be required and from where this combined care would be funded.

A vote was taken which narrowly approved of the resolution but which left more questions unanswered.

After such serious discussion, the mood was lifted when members participated in a beetle drive, which was a first for many,

A scrumptious tea was provided by Kathy Anderson and Irene Lindsay. Flowers for the president’s table were provided from the garden of Elizabeth Waterfall.

Our next meeting was to take place at Peppard Memorial Hall on June 10 when Jane Whitfield was to tell us about gaining “Lasting power of attorney”.



ROSEHILL

PRESIDENT Margaret Pyle welcomed members and visitors to our May meeting on a monsoon-like Wednesday afternoon. Well done all those who braved the rain to attend.

Margaret said that the record for the April meeting was available for all to read.

A few walkers were able to get out during April and enjoyed a walk to Clayfield Copse to see the bluebells.

Margaret Seal handed out buttonholes to three people with birthdays in May.

She went on to say that Margery Record was now in a home in Tilehurst.

Treasurer Doris Goddard reported that she had sent £53.50 from the annual collection of Pennies for Friendship to the Associated Country Women of the World.

She also confirmed that we have 38 paid-up members.

Brenda Caborn then gave a very detailed account of the spring council meeting which had taken place at the Hexagon on April 20. Several members had attended and all said that it was a very entertaining morning.

Margaret Pyle reported on the Caversham group of WIs’ baton lunch which had taken place at Caversham Heath Golf Club with about 40 members attending.

Margaret and Pat Butler attended the ceremony for the handover of the baton from the Berkshire federation to the Oxfordshire federation at the Redgrave-Pinsent Rowing Lake in Caversham.

We then came to the main part of the afternoon in which the members discussed the resolution for the national federation’s annual meeting, which read: “This meeting calls on the Government to remove the distinction between nursing care and personal care in the assessment of the needs of individuals in order to advance health and wellbeing”.

Some interesting topics were raised and then members were called upon to vote for or against the resolution.

After the vote, members enjoyed a very welcome cup of tea before the raffle was called.

There was a bring and buy stall, including a plant stall, which was very successful.

We meet at St Barnabas’s Church Hall, Emmer Green, on the first Wednesday of the month at 2pm and would be pleased to receive any visitors, so why not come along and see what we get up to?



SHIPLAKE

THE Chelsea Flower Show was the cause of a considerable drop in members present at the May meeting but president Joan Jolley warmly welcomed those of us who were in attendance.

A report on the previous month’s centenary celebrations at Dorchester Abbey was given by Rosemary Appleby.

The South Chiltern Group, comprising Harpsden, Peppard Common and Shiplake WIs, arrived in style in a decorated double-decker bus, much the best way to make an entrance.

Everyone was able to see the centenary baton, the weather was perfect and all 300 ladies and dignitaries present had a great day.

In contrast to the slightly formal abbey celebrations, the handover of the baton on the following day at Greys Court was a much more relaxed event.

It was almost with a thankful sigh that Oxfordshire federation president Pauline Goddard passed the baton to Berkshire, the next stop on its tour through the counties. Joan told members that this year’s competition for the Grace Phillips Memorial Salver would be for an item commemorating the centenary in any preferred medium. Lots of scope for entries.

May is WI resolution month. As resolutions are never quite as clear cut as they first seem, they always provoke differing points of view.

This year’s calling for “the removal of the distinction between nursing care and personal care in the assessment of individual needs” was no different.

Janet Matthews, our delegate to the national federation’s annual meeting, was given an almost unanimous mandate to agree with the resolution with the usual proviso that she should allow for any amendments presented at the meeting.

Janet was also our speaker for the afternoon. Her talk on “The history of the WI, with special reference to Shiplake WI” was extremely well researched, fascinating and funny.

Janet thinks that the WI was the original social network in that it brought together rural womenfolk, even if just for an afternoon once a month.

Shiplake was founded on October 16, 1927 with 65 members — uncannily on a par with today — and, not surprisingly, meetings were somewhat different in those days.

Prospective members originally had to be nominated and seconded and the committee had the right to veto any applicant.

Knitting at a meeting was allowed but the member had to sit in the back row, as did hat-wearers.

As today, there have always been great discussions on meeting teas. One momentous decision was taken in 1949, when it was decided that members could no longer reserve a cake before tea.

Janet is hoping to publish a booklet on her research soon.

The tea hostesses were Irene Crawford and Pam Hudgell.

Sheila Smith won the Associated Country Women of the World flower competition with a wonderful deep red peony and Pam Parrott won the monthly competition with her Cluedo dagger.

Meetings are held in Shiplake Memorial Hall every third Wednesday of the month (except August) at 2.30pm. New members and visitors are always welcome.

For more information, please call the secretary on (01491) 410256.



SONNING COMMON

OUR president Sue Frayling-Cork welcomed members and visitors to our May meeting and read a quote from the Dalai Lama’s guiding principles: “Be guided by realism, moderation and patience”. It’s a thought for us all to share as we strive to uphold the principles of the WI.

The usual business followed. Members were informed that Mary Trimble from Stoke Row WI had, very sadly, passed away and will be very much missed by all who knew her.

She had been an incredibly active member for many years and had been president and secretary. She also held various offices with the Oxfordshire federation.

Sue Frayling-Cork has sent our sympathy to Stoke Row WI who are fellow members of the Witheridge Group.

Sue reported that the beds to be available at the new Townlands Hospital were threatened with being reduced from the original 18 proposed to five. Members were asked to complete a survey, either on the form provided or online, if they did not agree with this reduction and details were available on the information table.

Sue Hedges, our secretary, talked about a project she had become aware of which was a reminder for people to make their family and friends aware of their wishes in regard to organ donation.

Small ducks are knitted (pattern provided) and tagged with a label. They are then left in places where a member of the public might find them and when they read the message on the label, it acts as a reminder.

This project has been successful in other areas of the country. Members showed an interest, so you may soon be finding our little knitted yellow ducks.

Carol Harman and Janet Weaver were thanked for organising a bluebell walk which was much enjoyed by those who took part.

A big thank-you was conveyed to everyone who had helped with the centenary baton celebrations.

On May 20 some of our members went to Dorchester Abbey to see the baton arrive and to join in with other WI members from Oxfordshire.

The bells were rung and after the welcoming programme, members all received a slice of the celebration cake and a welcome cup of tea. The sun shone and it was a day to remember.

The following day, the baton was delivered to Sonning Common WI from Cleeve by Goring. A welcome party greeted the arrival at St Michael’s hall and a coffee morning with 100 cakes was held.

The baton had been transported by various methods of transport, including sports cars and vintage cars. It was taken from Sonning Common WI to Stoke Row WI by our member Lynn Lloyd-Lewis in her son’s Alfa Romeo sports car.

From Stoke Row the baton was taken to Greys WI and then on to Greys Court where it was handed over to the Buckinghamshire federation. The many months of planning had delivered a fantastic celebration of 100 WI years.

Sue Hedges was contacted by BBC Radio Berkshire at very short notice to speak to their listeners.

She gave a very articulate and informative account of the celebrations, despite not having had any time to prepare.

Some members of Sonning Common WI had attended the Witheridge Group meeting at Stoke Row WI in April.

The entertainment was provided by Mike Hurst, who spoke about the days when he was a member of the Springfields with Dusty and the music that they so enjoyed.

Those who attended had a lovely evening and, once again, Stoke Row made them very welcome.

Alison Bishop reported that our April fund-raising coffee morning was again enjoyed by all and a profit made. Thanks were given to all the usual helpers.

Alison informed our members that our summer outing would be to Mapledurham House and Mill in August.

We were also reminded that we were to hold a tombola at the Chiltern Edge Horticultural Society’s table top sale on May 23.

As is usual for our May meeting, the next item on the agenda was to vote on the resolution for 2015.

Sue Frayling-Cork outlined the resolution for discussion. The original proposal was worded: “This meeting calls on the Government to remove the distinction between nursing care and personal care in the assessment of the needs of individuals in order to advance health and wellbeing.”

An amendment was then put forward to change the words “nursing” to health and “personal” to social.

Sue then introduced Jane Handley, who was to be the delegate for Sonning Common and Peppard WIs at the national federation’s annual meeting.

There followed a lively debate among members about the pros and cons of the resolution and the amendment. Votes were taken on the original resolution and then on the amended resolution.

Our delegate was requested, on our members’ behalf, to vote for the amended wording and against the original wording.

Our president thanked the members for their patience and their genuine consideration of this delicate and difficult subject.

The raffle was followed by refreshments and a beetle drive. A fun, lighthearted game soon brought the smiles and laughter back to the room with much friendly competition.

The flower of the month competition was won by Joan Reeve with Sue Hedges second and Christine Gibson third.



STOKE ROW

SADLY, we began our May meeting with a minute’s silence to remember a good friend and member Mary Trimble, who had passed away last month.

In keeping with every other WI, our May meeting saw us debating the proposed resolution on how to define caring needs and funding. It was a very complicated subject not fully covered by a resolution but we did our best with some guidance from our member and a member of the national board of trustees, Jane Probitts, who lives in Stoke Row.

After we had cast our vote to be taken to the national federation’s annual meeting at the Royal Albert Hall, we had our much-needed refreshments while another member, Angela Spencer-Harper, showed us some interesting and very old photographs of long-gone residents of Stoke Row with some historical comments to accompany them.

Our president went to the national meeting, where the resolution was not voted on because it was insufficient and needed more research before valuable time and resources were spent on it, which was our feeling so we were pleased with the outcome.

The highlight of this enjoyable meeting was the presence of the Queen, accompanied by Princess Anne and Sophie, Duchess of Wessex, all WI members.

The Queen gave a short speech from the stage and cut one of many cakes and all three royals presented some prizes. A special moment indeed.

Each WI member present received a commemorative piece of cake, most of which was consumed on the way home in the coach.

In the same week, our president Penny Noble and another member, Jane Brazil, were fortunate to be chosen to go to a royal garden party, held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

It was hosted by the Duchess of Cornwall, another WI member, and there were other royals present.

There was a total of 8,000 invited WI members — what a sight that was in our best hats and frocks!

These were two wonderful days which will be long remembered. Thank goodness the weather was kind, if a bit blustery for some of the hats.

Down to earth for our next meeting, when we will be seeing how to make silver jewellery. WATLINGTON WE had a demonstration of rag rugging at our meeting on May 13.

Members tried their hands at hooking different coloured rags through hessian, reminiscing about the rag rugs their grandparents used to have.

Our next meeting was to be a garden party at our president’s house in Pyrton on June 10.

Our meeting on July 8 at 7.30pm willfeature a talk by Amanda Wood entitled “India — tigers, temples and the Taj”.

Do come along to one of our meetings where you will be warmly welcomed. For more information, please call Kath Gomm on (01491) 612939 or just come along as a guest at any of our meetings.



WHITCHURCH HILL

MEMBERS had a lively discussion at the May meeting, when they considered their response to the resolution to be considered at the national federation’s annual meeting at the Royal Albert Hall.

The resolution calls on the Government to remove the distinction between nursing care and personal care in the assessment of the needs of individuals in order to advance health and wellbeing.

The discussion ranged though personal experiences, how such a move should be financed in the present funding crisis, particularly the problem of moving the burden of costs on to the NHS when it is already in financial difficulties, and a number of other aspects of the problem.

Following an in-depth consideration of a number of related matters, the members voted unanimously against the resolution.

After the vote and the usual business matters, we were treated to an interesting talk by Jan Guiver about the Associated Country Women of the World, a charity which is well supported by the WI.

We heard of its foundation in 1915 and how it now has 450 societies in 70 countries and has consultative status at the United Nations with representatives in Geneva, Vienna and New York.

ACCW can fund clean water and sanitation projects and small business schemes and support subsistence farming, good nutrition, improved hygiene, skill training and family planning work.

The assistance it provides for a wide range of schemes encourages members to continue supporting it throughout the year.

On May 23 members ran, as usual, their tea and cakes tent at the Whitchurch Hill fete. Visitors to the fete appreciated the splendid range of home-made cakes, scones etc on offer and with fine weather and a good attendance, all enjoyed the afternoon.

Meetings take place at Goring Heath Parish Hall on the B471, usually on the third Tuesday of the month.

However, there will not be a general meeting in June as some members will be on a visit to Highgrove.

Our next speaker meeting will be on July 21. Visitors are welcome. For more information, please call 0118 984 1696.



WOODCOTE

SHIRLEY welcomed the members and our visitor Pam to the meeting on May 20, a lovely spring day.

Birthday buttonholes had been made for Audrey Hawthorne and Hazel Tagg.

This was our resolutions meeting. We voted for the Government “to remove the distinction between healthcare and personal care in the assessment of the needs of individuals in order to advance health and wellbeing”.

This was approved by a majority of the members.

Shirley would vote on our behalf at the annual meeting at the Royal Albert Hall.

The lunch club would be going to the Queen’s Head in Crowmarsh, the walking group had been busy along the country paths and the table tennis group would be taking its summer recess until September.

The chance to chat group met at Margaret Carter’s house to put the world to rights.

We had a lovely tea thanks to Marianne Adams, Monika Watters and Betty Thomas. This was followed with various poems, all age related!

We heard about trips to Buckingham Palace, Kew Gardens and the National Arboretum.

We will be playing croquet in July and going to Mapledurham House for our garden meeting in August. Hopefully, this will keep us out of mischief for the summer.

New members are welcome. Just come along to a meeting on the third Wednesday of the month in the village hall.

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