Forum Posts

Stradbroke WI
Mar 20, 2019
In say hello.
W.I. March 2019. Stradbroke W.I. Report. For our open meeting last month, we had an excellent turn out of thirty four members, and welcomed fourteen visitors. We began the evening with a rendition of Jerusalem. Thanks to our hostesses, Annie and Jennifer who provided delightful posies for members with March birthdays. We were then treated to a wonderful talk by Mark Mitchels on the life of Beatrix Potter. He began by reminding us that her books had been enjoyed by children for over 100 years, and that they were as popular today as they ever were, with a copy sold somewhere in the world every fifteen seconds. They have been translated into many languages, the second most popular being Japanese. Beatrix was brought up in an upper class Victorian household by a very remote mother, a father to whom she was very close, and a much adored governess. Her collection of pets was most likely a substitute for friends. Her father was a keen photographer and so her childhood and later life were well recorded in photographs. Her governess, Annie Carter, left to get married when Beatrix was nineteen, and her first book, Peter Rabbit began life as an illustrated letter to Annie’s son, who was her godson. In 1830, Beatrix bought a rabbit who she called Benjamin Bouncer, and used him as a model for a set of Christmas cards which she sold as a set “The Happy Pair”. She was to prove to have a good head for business. Her books were published by Frederick Warne and she developed a strong relationship with a director, Norman Warne, but sadly he died before they could be married. She had spent many childhood holidays in the Lake District and bought Hill Top Farm in Cumbria, finally managing to break away from her parents, and marrying William Heales in 1910. She became well known for her love and knowledge of farming and when she died, left her estate of fifteen farms to the National Trust, with the instruction that there was to be no hunting on the land. Mark’s talk was truly informative and entertaining, and Caroline gave a very appreciative vote of thanks. Our next meeting will be a Silent Auction on 11th April Gill then closed the meeting with a reminder that we will be holding our Soup and Cake Lunch on Saturday 6th April to donate to the Blossom Appeal, which is raising funds for a state-of-the-art breast care facility at the Ipswich hospital. Please support us by buying a ticket, which cost £6 each. Thank you
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Stradbroke WI
Feb 15, 2019
In say hello.
W.I. 14thFebruary 2019. Stradbroke W.I. Report. Valentine’s Day! It was gratifying to see how many members had abandoned their partners to spend Valentine’s evening with the W.I. Although one lady solved the problem by bringing hers with her. Lorraine had decorated her welcome table with roses and heart shaped candles; although sadly, even with the Fire Station next door, we were not permitted to light them. Thanks to our hostesses, Moyra and June, who came with colourful Primulas to give to members with February birthdays. Our first speaker was Annie Groves, who is the Project Officer for the Active Well-being Group. She spoke about the work that the group is currently carrying out in Stradbroke and Fressingfield. The project, which is council funded, will run for a year before moving on to other villages. The idea is to promote a more healthy lifestyle among people who are identified as needing support. GPs, practise nurses and other clinicians hold one-one assessment meetings with clients, where they chat about lifestyle, diet, alcohol consumption, smoking etc. They also look at BMI and mental wellbeing. From the assessment, advice is given. This can take the form of GP referral to the gym, trial sessions with the local exercise classes, such as Zumba and Pilates and walking groups. The aim is to see around seventy five people in the year. Contacts are made through social meeting places such as the coffee shop, library, churches etc. W.I. was highlighted as a valued organisation in the village for helping to combat loneliness, and for the various clubs such as Kurling and Circle Dancing. Dorothy then spoke about her own personal experience and the benefit she had gained from it. Julia Nowell from Stradbroke First Responders then gave a presentation on the use of the defibrillator; an appropriate topic for February 14th! Julia has been a first responder for twelve years and is one of four such volunteers in the village. She explained that, when someone collapses and 999 is called, First Responders are contacted, as well as the ambulance service. Being a rural community, ambulance response time can be hours rather than minutes, so, to have equipment and trained people in the community can literally be a life saver. There are eight AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator) in Stradbroke. Two with the First Responders, one each in Spar, the surgery, the swimming pool, outside the fire station, in the High School and in the telephone box in Church Street. Julia gave us a scenario, where we were a group in the community centre at 9pm, when someone collapsed on the floor. In this case, someone should call 999, someone begin CPR and someone collect a defibrillator. Julia pointed out that, although the nearest AED was outside the Fire Station, the pool would still be open, and a trained operator would be there, so that was the best option. She then demonstrated the use of the AED, first cutting or tearing away clothing to expose the chest. The machine, and she had brought a training one, is then switched on and talks one through its use. It was a bit of light relief when the machine, instead of recommending shocking, announced that it had a low battery! Julia also refreshed our memories on CPR, demonstrating on a dummy. Thirty compressions, in time to singing Nellie the Elephant (!) followed by two breaths, and repeat. Dorothy then gave a vote of thanks. Sausage rolls and heart shaped biscuits were then served by our hostesses; the raffle drawn and the evening closed. This was such a worthwhile presentation; we urge all groups in the village to take up the offer of a talk from First Responders, as publicised on the Stradbroke Online facebook page. Our 14th March meeting will be an open one, with all welcome to hear Mark Mitchel talk about Beatrix Potter.
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Stradbroke WI
Jan 16, 2019
In say hello.
JANUARY 2019 STRADBROKE W.I. REPORT. Hello and Happy New Year to you all. Christmas came and went leaving a number of our ladies coughing and sneezing , we wish them all well very soon and look forward to the spring and some warm sunshine to clear the tubes. December saw our ladies and their partners gather for our Christmas supper and what a lovely sight it was .The committee as usual had worked their magic under the guidance of Gill and transformed the community centre into a fairyland of lights with beautifully decorated tables. All the ladies and guests were dressed in their finery and smiling happily as they quaffed their chosen drinks before settling at their tables to partake of an excellent meal. The entertainment was provided by one Lestyn Edwards a most accomplished piano player ,singer and raconteur who came as his alter ego a ballerina in a tutu , something of an innovation for the W.I. but what fun and judging by the laughter and applause greatly enjoyed. A very happy evening and thanks to all concerned. January and those who were well enough shivered their way to the meeting for a welcome chat with their friends and to settle in to a presentation by Sheree Queen who is a qualified aromatherapist. First we went through the routine business and a brief financial talk from Gwyneth, thanks to our hostesses Rose and Jane M, birthday posies or rather pots of primulas were presented to several members ,very pretty, the flowers and the members, then we quickly settled in for our evening talk. Sheree introduced herself and gave us a brief history of how she had become involved with training as an aromatherapist and I have to say it was a lot more of an intense training than one would expect . The problems of which essential oils could be mixed with which medical conditions and their treatments, medications e.t.c. and the risk of toxicity to the client if combinations were incorrect or too intense, it appears that essential oils are not something just to play with on a luxury bath night , they have to be appropriate to needs and in correct dilution. This said there are so many applications and uses from face and hand creams to treatment for insomnia ,blocked noses ,yes Vick vapour rub can be included here, and motion sickness, and all of it from natural sources. One of our members was invited up to have a foot massage and this she obviously enjoyed and walked away very light of foot afterwards, nice. It was a lovely evening from a lovely young lady and I saw several of her business cards being popped into handbags . Moira gave the vote of thanks on our behalf and a hearty round of applause from us all. Refreshments followed and a few notices as the evening drew to a satisfactory close and our members wrapped themselves up to brave the journey home, thank you all. Next month on 14th February we will have a demonstration of first aid from the local First Responders and I urge as many of you as possible and your friends come and listen to what they have to say. Prue Rush.
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Stradbroke WI
Aug 31, 2018
In say hello.
August 9th and after weeks of endless sunshine the heavens opened to soak the parched countryside. Of course it did it was the evening of the W.I. summer meeting and rain is positively traditional for the occasion. However, the elements did not win as after years of ducking the weather for this outdoor event we have cunningly changed our garden meetings to indoors ,simple but effective. The community centre is decorated with flowers and attractive table settings, we are warm and dry with lots of good food all organised by the ladies of the committee. As the members gathered for the evening they were greeted with a Pimms or a soft drink and encouraged to buy a raffle ticket or two as they chatted together waiting for the main event to commence. It has to be said that our members are a pretty smart bunch and really get into the summer theme as they come dressed fit for a garden party at Buck House, lovely. A few safety notices and a splendid rendition of Jerusalem then the feasting commenced. There was a lovely summer buffet of salads, meat ,cheese and bread rolls followed by some scrumptious desserts and more cheese and biscuits, plenty for everyone and pretty much all home made, we have yet to master cheese making and bread making takes forever. All this followed by tea and coffee and supported by some music from the 60s and 70s which had a few ladies moving in interesting ways and throwing some impressive shapes ,still got it. The evening passed quickly , the raffle was drawn and slowly the members left the party and made for home the rain having stopped . It was a good evening and thanks to all the workers and all who joined in the fun. Our next meeting will be on September 13 th when Jo Statham will give a talk on Alfred Hitchcock films, this is an open meeting so non members are welcome to join us , there will be a small charge for refreshments. Come and try us out you just might like us. Prue Rush
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Stradbroke WI
Jul 19, 2018
In say hello.
JULY 2018 STRADBROKE W.I. REPORT We all met on a balmy summer evening ready for another interesting evening with the W.I. As Gill was away Carol our Vice President stood in for the evening and, after the usual offices, we sang Jerusalem and saw the birthday posies safely presented. A slight change from our usual procedures had Carol introducing our speaker at the start of the meeting and so we settled in to listen to Sheila Harrison talk to us on the subject of Village People. Some of us sat back and waited for the music to start and to see and hear about the Indian chief, the fire fighter, the sailor, and so on who made up the group famous for singing about the Y.M.C.A. but hold hard we enjoyed instead a beautifully told story about the lives, works, and general history of the folks who lived in Weston Longville, a village a few miles outside of Norwich. According to the census of 1801 there were 365 people, 2 pubs, 1 shop and a blacksmith. Her main character was Parson James Woodford who was all things to his congregation, landowner, employer, spiritual guide, and the person most turned to for help and guidance. We learned about the social hierarchy from the Squire down to the farmers, the labourers, and the lowest of all, the skipjack or backhouse boy. The lives of the housemaids and scullery maids, the manservants, all of whom worked very hard and were poorly paid. Disease was rife and tuberculosis along with smallpox were a deadly pair waiting to take off the weak, the young, and the elderly. The crimes of the day sounded familiar, robbery, burglary, smuggling, and even drink driving when in charge of a horse or horsedrawn vehicle. So nothing new there but perhaps we don’t see too many drunk pigs these days !! The entertainment was usually homemade but boosted by visiting fairs and freak shows where deformed people were displayed for the delectation of the villagers, I guess we can’t criticise when you think of the oddball TV programmes we have available today. Sheila held us enthralled through the evening and gave us a very enjoyable insight to the life of our ancestors. As we moved to the refreshment table for a cheerful chat, we realised how glad we were to have been born in this era, well most of the time anyway. The full business followed and we were happy to hear that our quiz team had done well and that our next meeting on August 9th will be our summer meeting when the committee will provide a lovely salad buffet for all members to enjoy, so see you all in August ladies. The next full meeting will be an open meeting on September 13th when Jo Statham will give a talk on Alfred Hitchcock films so see you all then. Prue
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Stradbroke WI
Jul 02, 2018
In say hello.
WI Meeting Report June 2018 As usual the meeting opened with strong rendition of Jerusalem then we settled to the business of the evening. Gill dealt with the routine business and Carol gave the general report . Caroline and Loreli were thanked for the floral offerings and refreshments to come , birthday posies were presented then Gwyneth was invited to give a report on here trip to Cardiff where the resolutions were to be debated and discussed. Our own branch meeting had previously discussed and rejected the resolution which concerned mental health needs as it was felt that the matter already had a very high profile but the conference voted to support it and the resolution was carried. We all know folks with problems and have probably needed some support ourselves at times so let’s hope and work to improve the lot of others who perhaps don’t have a good bunch of W.I. friends to help them through. Next Jane Merritt bravely took the floor to explain the vagaries of the new heating system which seems to be a little troublesome and having teething problems. Hopefully there will be no more chilly meetings but for those who muttered I must inform you that the colour of the walls will remain ,hey ho can’t win them all but we appreciate the explanations, thank you Jane. As reported previously there is concern that older people and others in our local area are lacking in the activity and exercise areas and that loneliness and a sense of isolation are apparent and a problem. To this end SCC will be providing a mentor for Stradbroke and Fressingfield to come 1 day a week to help support set up and encourage solutions to some of these problems .This will be for the period of 1 year and will be launched on June 28th. No further details yet but it is hoped that the surgeries and other local institutions will be involved with referrals to this project . Thank you to Annie for the update . The ladies then agreed to support the local sports day July 14th and will provide refreshments. Our speaker for the evening was Steve Pomeroy who to the musical strains and narrative which is the opening to the film War of the Worlds came to talk to us about bamboo. Steve a self proclaimed bamboo nutter, and I quote, was overflowing with enthusiasm for bamboo in all its colours and forms and presented us with a quick quiz on our knowledge of bamboo thus providing us, according to how many points we scored, with our own certified, and I choose that word carefully, level of bamboo nuttery, umm. The various colours through black, variegated, bright yellow and green through to the pale bamboo we all know was surprising and offered great interest of colour in the garden. Many other uses were described including fabrics for clothes, building materials ,cooking utensils and crockery , not to mention weapons and useful in the garden and somehow not surprisingly it is used in some medicines. We enjoyed seeing the samples of bamboo and the slide show of so many varieties of bamboo including the hooligan Robusta variety which spreads rapidly through the garden and is used with great caution as rather vicious looking spears push rapidly up through the grass and look positively dangerous. It was a jolly evening and we thanked Steve for sharing his nuttiness with us.After refreshments Dorothy reminded us of the Blossom Appeal at Ipswich Hospital raising money to provide an all in one place breast cancer care unit and we agreed to help to support this project and help to raise money for this, watch this space. The next meeting will be on July 12th when Sheila Harrison will give a talk titled Village People. Come and join us 7.30 pm at the community centre you will be very welcome . Pru
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Stradbroke WI
May 15, 2018
In say hello.
MAY MEETING OF STRADBROKE W.I. The evening opened with the usual offices with Gill reporting on an enjoyable group meeting hosted by the Fressingfield W.I. and a brainstorming session organised by M.S.D.C. and B.C. discussing the issue of inactivity in the older population and others and how to address the problem. There were many interesting ideas but most of them scuppered by the lack of transport and funding, nothing new there. Next Jennifer lead us through the resolution for this year which was to lobby the government for parity between the care provision for physical health and that provided for mental health issues .A short quiz demonstrated some scary statistics regarding the numbers of mental health sufferers and there was a great deal of lively discussion where most members agreed the principal but not the presentation of the resolution. A vote was taken and the resolution failed on the grounds of agreeing with the principal but nothing positive in lobbying the government as this was already a big issue fully in the media with high profile supporters. Thank you Jennifer. Our speaker for the evening was our own David Merritt a retired commercial pilot who came to talk about his flying experiences and the background to being a commercial pilot. David began by explaining the strict criteria for pilots , the ongoing training and examinations the hours that could be flown in a year and the routine medical and physical health checks that they have to pass to keep their licence to transport hundreds of people around the world thousands of feet in the air with only one set of wings between them. These rules we all found very comforting but then we heard about the fun things that can happen!! The obvious risk of terror attacks are well known and our unpredictable weather can cause chaos on the ground as well as the skies but we would not think about temperature changes as the plane passes over factories with furnaces causing air turbulence or ice forming on the wings and around the engines making control and power of the aircraft more of a challenge, the placing of some runways that require extreme precision to negotiate safely and of course the Irish version of a precision radar controlled landing in the fog which translates to the air traffic control looking out of their window and talking the pilot down. I may never fly to Ireland or anywhere again. In all good sense David and his thousands of passengers are still alive to tell the tale so perhaps it’s not all bad. We also heard about the use of morse code and the phonetic alphabet used universally in communications and were given papers demonstrating both methods. Now for all quizzers did you know that all the Piper manufactured aircraft are named after Native American tribes e.g. Cherokee Apache e.t.c. . Caroline gave our vote of thanks to David for a fascinating talk then we all rushed off to find a hot drink to warm and soothe us in equal measures . Our next meeting will be 7.30pm on June 14th when Steve Pomeroy will talk to us about all things Bamboo ! so do come and join us you will be most welcome at the community centre . Prue O
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Stradbroke WI
Apr 23, 2018
In say hello.
Stradbroke WI Claim your free evenings Women of Stradbroke and neighbouring villages - did you know that you can come to 2 meetings for free as a taster? Come along for a visit and find out for yourselves what a sociable, educational, active and outgoing bunch we are. April business concerned:- Education. Healthy living, alternatives to plastic, food poverty, heart research and fun group quizzes. Activities within the village. Litter pick-up days in April, local food banks, debates regarding assisting the elderly with physical activity. Social Events Trips to Southwold theatre as a group, organised walks for the Association of Countrywomen of the world, group meeting to be at Fressingfield 25th April. Also the usual monthly circle dancing, kurling, book-club and lunch club meetings. The evening speaker. As a physical chemist Don Darling has spent much of his working life in ice cream and he came to talk to us about the challenges and innovations involved in providing the public with the happiness that is ice cream. Amazingly, fruity-ice foodstuff was thought to have been brought to Europe via Mesopotamia in approximately 2000BC, via China in about 1000BC and with Marco Polo to Italy. The Italians added dairy to it, and little did they know what a delightful craving they would start. The first ice cream machine being patented in the USA in 1840 lead to even more accessibility and ice cream factories beginning to titillate the public palate. The first of these factories in the UK was opened in 1922 by Bird's Eye-Walls. Modern ice cream is a complex combination of dairy products, fats, sugars, ice, air, stabilisers, thickeners and flavourings. It is formed by processes of mixing, pasteurising, freezing and hardening. We enjoy it in tubs, lollies, floats, ice cream sandwiches and rippled gateaux - and any colour from white to blue. Without the inventions of innovative chemists and engineers we would not have chocolate coatings, crisp cornets, ruffled ripples or coated ice creams on a stick. Different cultures enjoy their ices in many forms. The Germans are partial to spaghetti shapes; the Japanese like ice cream within rice cakes; in Thailand it is made to order on a frozen platter at street stalls and in Turkey they enjoyed the sticky-elastic maras dondurma, which is also sold from street stalls. We were informed that the best way to use our home machines is to aerate the mixture well by whipping, before adding flavourings. That being noted..........we all ate ice cream! And very nice it was too, accompanied by Kamal's wonderful baking. What more could we need? Thanks to our hostesses,Roz and Kamal, for the evening and to Don for providing a fabulous evening. Next meeting is May 10th when David Merritt will regale us regarding air navigation.
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Stradbroke WI
Mar 14, 2018
In say hello.
MARCH MEETING OF THE STRADBROKE W.I. As usual we opened with an excellent rendering of Jerusalem followed by some general business. Gill announced that Pat Marlow had been a winner of £50 in the 200 club draw and that Prue had won first prize of a £100 M&S gift voucher at the AGM at Trinity Park , lucky us .Dorothy then gave a full report on that meeting which had several excellent speakers the main one being Graham Walton father of the Liverpool sextuplets . Graham told us of his life in a house with 7 women, the trials the joys and the downright hard work involved in bringing up such an extraordinary family. Next Gill felt it was a good time, as we have several new members, to have a quick update on the various clubs that run within our W.I. Rose Tomson told us about the book club, Dorothy Readman enthused over the joys of circle dancing ,well we all go round in circles at times but the W.I do it to music, Pat Marlow explained about the lunch club and the fun trips to the pub for some lovely grub and finally Gill Bird invited all to come and try the Kurling club where stones may be thrown to help release stress, well stones can be slid if that is correct grammar but the effect is the same . All are welcome to try or join these groups so join the W.I there is a lot on offer. On display was a beautiful cot quilt made by Dorothy Readman as an entry for the Suffolk Show, we were all impressed and congratulated Dorothy on her lovely work . Good luck it should do well. Our hostesses were thanked, birthday buttonholes presented then we settled down to listen to our speaker for the evening. Ruth Miller had come to talk to us about the Foundling Hospital which was founded by Thomas Coram in the early 18th century for the care of babies born into impossible poverty to mothers of previously good reputation but who would be unable to care for their babies in the society that ruled at the time. Ruth ,herself a Foundling gave us a graphic description of the severity of the regime that the Foundlings were subjected to which although by her time was more enlightened than at its genesis was still very sparse and strict , very clean but completely segregated from the boys and most of the time from the public. Initially the children were taught to read but not write but it was soon realised that the ability to do both would help them in future employment and not necessarily make them think of themselves above their station in life!! We cringe to think of it now. The Hospital had many famous sponsors such as the artists William Hogarth and Thomas Gainsborough who were repaid by having their works displayed for public view in a gallery at the Hospital. Charles Dickens was also a sponsor and governor of the Hospital and it is thought that Oliver Twist was based on the Hospital and characters found there. Famously G.F. Handel was also a governor and introduced music for the foundlings particularly the boys who frequently went as musicians into the army .The second ever performance of the Messiah was performed at the Hospital Chapel and has been a classic ever since then. As finances became tighter the Hospital moved out of London into Redhill in Surrey, plenty of open spaces for the children to exercise in. No children were admitted after 1950 and the last foundling left in 1954. There is a book that can and probably should be written about this place for the good intentions but harsh ways of caring for these children, but I have squeezed just a little of the history into this report, there is so much more to this story and we thank Ruth for her honesty and congratulate her on finding her way through to become a qualified nurse and health visitor and raising her own family in her happy home, they must have done something right. A vote of thanks from Joan and we retired to the refreshment table for a good chat about all that we had learned ,thanking our lucky stars for our own good fortune. Our next meeting will be on April 12th when Don Darling will speak to us about ice cream making, watch out for the refreshments that night !! Do come and try us for size ladies, all very welcome. Prue Rush
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Stradbroke WI
Feb 13, 2018
In say hello.
The Stradbroke WI February meeting We were delighted that a good number of our members braved the dreadful weather to turn out for our February meeting; the hall looked quite cheerfully full, although some members didn't feel brave enough to remove coats! We were very pleased to welcome a new member, Linda Webb, and hope that she will enjoy being part of our group. Gill and Jane dealt with the correspondence and information, birthday posies were given out and hostesses thanked. Jane brought our attention to the report of last year’s Suffolk Show in the SEFWI magazine, which mentioned our WI’s scarecrow of Donald Trump, who even the youngest children seemed to recognise. Many of them queued to have their photograph taken with him. Gill read a letter of thanks from Nick and Suzanne Stones, who said how much they had appreciated the refreshments that our members provided after the funeral of Mary Stones. They also very kindly made a donation to our WI funds. Our speaker/singer for the evening, Sharron Jarvis, was then introduced. Sharron is a singing teacher and a voice facilitator; the title of her presentation was “Singing for Health”. Sharron began by mentioning studies carried out in Quebec and Helsinki, where singing was introduced to groups of people with dementia and cancer respectively. In both cases, it was shown that singing had a positive effect on the mental and physical health on those to whom it was offered. Sharron explained that one should sing to feel better, without worrying about how it sounds. Some of our members, who obviously consider themselves unable to sing, doubted the wisdom of this… She went on to say that there are three ways of learning; visually, audibly and kinaesthetically. Because of this, people with dementia can remember words when singing, when they would be unable to do so when talking. She told us that her fees for the evening would go to the Castlegate Group in Colchester, a group of adults with severe learning difficulties. Their concerts have been attended by many well known people, such as Terry Waite. Then, it was our turn. Sharron handed out words to “Mollie Malone”, and off we went. Most of us seemed to know the tune, which helped, and thus encouraged, we went on to sing “By the Light of the silvery Moon”; fine, but this time, we were divided into two groups each singing different parts of the song. We obviously impressed, because we were then singing two different songs at the same time; Israeli chants, which consisted of Tumbas and Badas, followed by Micheal Finnagen” and “This old Man”. These were sung as rounds, gathering speed as they went. I’m sure our lungs were feeling well and truly exercised by this time. To calm things we were handed the words to “Que Sera”. Poor Dorothy has very negative feelings associated with this, although she couldn’t quite remember why, so we quickly moved on, finishing with “Over the Rainbow”, which I think sounded quite beautiful! The vote of thanks was given by Carrie, who declared that the evening had been excellent and that the exercise had definitely helped with her cough. Our next meeting will be a talk on March 8th, given by Ruth Miller entitled “Foundlings”. Carol Darling
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Stradbroke WI
Feb 02, 2018
In say hello.
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 Prue Rush
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Stradbroke WI
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