W.I. Newsletter March 2023

President Lynne Lucas welcomed members to this month’s meeting and then went on to let our members know about all the opportunities available in the coming months.  These include a subsidised guided tour of Hillier Arboretum in June, a guided historical walk of Andover in July and a coach trip to Windsor in August, if there are sufficient numbers.  There is a choice of having free time in the town, or again if there is a demand, a group visit to Windsor Castle.

This month has also seen our Supper Club meet at The Peat Spade in Longstock, whilst our Walking Group adjourned to the Royal Oak in Goodworth Clatford following a stroll around Rooksbury Lakes and Upper Clatford.  The weather forecast wasn’t optimistic, but thankfully it held long enough for our members to stay dry.  We had also held our monthly coffee morning.

Our guest speaker, Judy Theobold, was making a return visit, she had last been with us in December 2019, before the pandemic and all that entailed. 

Judy is a tonic and soon had our members laughing as she gave us a summary of her life, so far. Judy has a humorous take on life, even though like most of us, she has had her fair share of downs as well as ups.  Her ambition to be a journalist was thwarted in the beginning, as when she was starting out on this journey, editors did not want to employ females in this role.  Undaunted, Judy became a police officer in the Metropolitan Police.  Apart from the benefit of being supplied with a work uniform (designed by Norman Hartnell, but completely impractical) she had looked at the statistics and found that the men far outweighed the women. She thought she might find a husband along the way. She did, but this was a disaster. By now she was living in Lincolnshire and married for the second time and had two children.  Again, this did not work out and she brought the children up alone.

Her persistence to pursue her career saw her pen a poem a week for a column in the local paper and from there she was offered the chance to be a reporter, which had her driving all over Lincolnshire to follow up a story.  It was at this time that she accidentally became a guest speaker for WIs and other groups. 

She then resigned and moved to Edinburgh, working for the Edinburgh Evening News and The Scotsman.   A spell working in the office at Rampton Hospital followed, where she claimed that sharp cutlery was not allowed, so any celebratory cake had to be cut with a plastic teaspoon! After this Judy was offered the job as Editor of Lincolnshire Life Magazine and absolutely loved it.

She returned briefly to the Southampton area, before being offered the chance going back to Lincolnshire to host a radio programme.  She did this for many years, but decided to resign whilst at the height of her success.   She moved back to Hampshire to be near her children and grandchildren.   She keeps herself busy by volunteering, continuing her public speaking and being a granny.  Before finishing she performed two of her poems, including one on life during lockdown. 

At the end of the evening, during a conversation, she admitted writing articles (such as this!) is as much about what you leave out as what you include.   She also said could I just say she was young and glamorous – so I have!

However, these paragraphs do not do her justice and a lot has been left out – not enough space!   She really did make us laugh a lot.

Our next meeting is on April 27th and our guest speaker is also familiar to us as he has been before.  This time Andrew Negus’ topic is Winchester (part 1).  Please come along to the Village Hall in time for a 7.30 p.m. start on 27th April.


APRIL 2023

08 April –           Walking Group

13 April –           Coffee Morning – Sports Pavilion at 10.30 a.m. (£2 to include refreshments) Open to non-members

20 April –           Supper Club (tbc) – a Volunteer to organise this monthly event is being sought please

27 April –           Monthly Meeting – Abbotts Ann Village Hall : 7.30 p.m.