December was our Christmas party evening and the ladies and several gentlemen arrived in their party attire ready for some fun and were greeted with a smile and a glass of sherry kindly donated by the wine club, the sherry not the smile. The hall and tables had been beautifully decorated by the committee members and with Christmas lights and bright chatter the evening was soon in full throw .A greeting and welcome from our President Gill Bird and then the excellent food was served by the cheerful catering staff. Our music was provided by a glamorous lady called Blossom who sang a mixture of blues and jazz accompanied by Steve on his guitar ,you could almost believe you were in a sophisticated restaurant somewhere ,well almost. Towards the end of the evening yours truly made an entrance dressed in nurses uniform and cap pushing a trolley of instruments and other goodies .The reason for this was to perform some health and safety checks on the audience , to provide necessary medication and support for those with health problems to prepare them for what was to follow. Once they had demonstrated some muscle strength and an ability to perform C.P.R. to the tune of Staying alive it was considered safe to proceed to the next part of the evening when to the accompaniment of Blossom singing Hey Big Spender our own our very own Lorraine dressed to kill and moving with amazing agility sashayed seductively around the floor shaking and shimmying with considerable skill. There was a great deal of laughter at our little party piece for which we were grateful and the evening gradually drew to a close and I hope a good time was had by all.
As usual January blew in cold and wet but there was still a good turnout of members and after the routine business and presentation of birthday posies, and thanks to our hostesses the members settled down to hear our own Dorothy Readman give a talk on the Jam Factory that ran during the war years in Stradbroke. This was a war effort instigated under the auspices of the Ministry of Food but which was run by the Stradbroke W.I. A fine lady called Mrs Biddle wife of the local vicar was the President at this time and, as the excellent organiser that she was, instigated the start up of the jam factory in The Hay Barn in 1941. Fruit and sugar were purchased under the control of government licence and the ladies of Stradbroke set to and made their jam and later chutney which was sold locally at a fixed price . A great effort on behalf of the whole community providing workers ,storage space ,oil stoves and all that was needed for this enterprise ,we should be very proud of them all. Dorothy has researched this subject and written some of the history and details in a small book so if you would like to know just ask her I am sure she will be happy to answer your questions. Following the talk refreshments were served and naturally with jam as the evenings subject we served scones with jam and cream , absolutely scrummy . Our thanks to Dorothy for all her hard work in preparing this most interesting talk it was greatly enjoyed by all.
Our next meeting will be on February 8th when Sharron Jarvis will present Singing for health. Do come and join us you will be most welcome.
Wishing you all a happy healthy 2018