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W.I. Newsletter July 2018

With all the doors and windows of the Village Hall open to allow the air to flow through to cool us all down, on yet another sultry hot summer evening, it is possible that the whole village could hear the shrieks of laughter emanating from our members this month.

Judy Theobald, a journalist in local radio and publications had been booked to speak. Her topic was “Life & Other Problems.” If ever a title conjured up preconceptions, then this was it – surely, I wasn’t the only one to have the thought that we had enough of our own, without listening to someone else’s. How wrong could we be.

Hampshire born Judy decided when she was seven that she wanted to be journalist, but prior to this she opted to learn secretarial skills, including shorthand and typing, which she thought would be useful skills for a career in journalism.

She tried working as a secretary, but soon realised this wasn’t for her so joined the Metropolitan Police, but the opportunities for women at that time were not as prevalent as they are today, and she left the force when she got married.

She and her first husband moved to Lincolnshire and eventually she did achieve her ambition, albeit at the age of 37. Despite being initially being turned down, she was delighted to be recruited to write a weekly poetry column entitled “Life & Other Problems.” The original title suggestion (from a man) for this section, was “View from the Ironing Board” – that was firmly rejected by Judy.

Judy was a hoot, she has a comical take on life and told us her life story with great humour. She can be outrageous and irreverential, but this probably belies the reality of bringing up two children on her own following the end of her second marriage.

She told stories, read out a few of her poems and made witty asides all through the evening. Having come back to live in Hampshire recently, to be nearer to her grandchildren, she has been involved in starting a WI in Netley Abbey.

She was a real breath of fresh air and how she made us laugh.

A few days earlier, several of us had attended a lovely service in memory of our former President Muriel Spanholtz. Her family had travelled from the USA with a portion of her ashes, so she could be reunited in the Churchyard with her husband Span. Many of us have fond memories of their time in the village.

No meeting in August, but there are still a few events on our calendars including making our preparations for WI refreshments at the village fete on 1st September.   Don’t forget if anyone in the village would like to help by baking a cake for us, all contributions are very welcome.  Please contact our President Kate Bennett.

Incidentally our Programme for 2018/2019 has now been updated on this website and contact information can be found on our committee page here as well.

Diary Dates:

11 August – Breakfast Club
25 August – Lunch Club

1st September – Village Fete : WI Refreshments

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