W.I. Newsletter November 2023

Our members had a treat at this month’s meeting, their speaker Tony Strafford turned up in Uniform.  Although now retired and living in Andover, Tony had for some years served in the Tower of London as a Yeoman Warder, but more popularly known as a Beefeater.   The only people who can become such, must have served in the Army for at least 15 years and have a rank of staff sergeant or above. Tony had been a sergeant major, which accounted for his fine voice!

Tony gave members a background to the building of the Tower by William the Conqueror and revealed stories of various occupants over the years. Particularly, Kings and their attempts to win the hearts of the ladies they had fallen in love with, unfortunately these did not all have happy endings.   Although a true love match was that between Edward I and Eleanor of Castille.  When she died in Scotland, whilst her organs were removed and buried there, her body was placed in a casket for the long journey home.  At each stop along the way, the King had a cross erected, the most famous of these being Charing Cross.  She was finally buried in Westminster Abbey. 

Tony continued with more informative stores, some humorous, several tragic featuring Henry VIII and his wives. 

Unfortunately, several members missed this very entertaining talk as they had succumbed to Covid.  Thanks to Lynda Goldstone for her account of the meeting.

Our President was delighted to announce we had been awarded £800 by the Fete Committee, and this has been earmarked for new chairs exclusively for use by our members in the Village Hall.  

Unfortunately, costs are increasing and there is a need for fund raising to enhance our own funds, so members have been asked to put their thinking caps on for such an event.

Our members were advised that alternative arrangements had been made for our post-Christmas lunch.  We are now going to the Abbotts Mitre in Chilbolton on 20th January.  Menus will be available shortly for choices to be made.

During the month our members have continued to meet on different occasions; the book club discussed their first choice – split decision.  Some loved it, others just about tolerated it.  The coffee morning was well attended, others met for lunch and the walking group had a ramble starting and finishing from Rooksbury Lakes.  The route passed through Beech Hurst Park, as anticipated although members regularly drive past it, very few had been in it!  A pleasant surprise for some, but familiar surroundings for at least one member.   

We are back in the Hall on 14th December for our Christmas Meeting.  We have all been asked to bring a contribution to the buffet supper and to wear something festive.   We will have entertainment – The Land Girls.  Non-members are welcome – please come and enjoy an evening of festive fun.   7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall.


06 December –  Book Club – Dobbies Garden Centre 10.30 a.m.

09 December – Walking Group

14 December –  Monthly Meeting – Village Hall 7.30 p.m.