W.I. Newsletter October 2016

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It was like time had slipped at this month’s meeting; the Calendar showed October, indeed the autumn colours have been stunning this year, thoughts are reluctantly beginning to turn to Christmas and there was our speaker talking about Easter Eggs – but not the chocolate variety.

Our speaker this month, Mark Wilson has a passion for all things Fabergé which was sparked whilst on a cruise to the Baltic.  Previously, whilst serving in the Army he studied in his spare time to be a silver-smith.  Indeed he was so successful he now has his own hallmark registered at Goldsmiths’ Hall. 

Mark has been fortunate to be up-close-and-personal with these stunning items of incredible craftsmanship, both at the Hermitage in Russia and Buckingham Palace – HM the Queen owns some 700 pieces – but we had to make-do with slides.     Peter Carl Fabergé took on the family business in St Petersburg when he was just 24; his apprenticeship had been served by travelling all over Europe learning the trade.  Of course, the name Fabergé is most closely associated with the Easter Eggs commissioned by the Russian Royal Family.   Each egg contained a surprise.  The first one comprised of a ring, within a Crown, within a chicken, within the egg.  In all 50 eggs were created and the last egg produced in 1917 was different from the previous 49, as it was made of steel rather that precious metal and stones.  

Unfortunately, the Russian Revolution meant that the business had to close in 1917 and Fabergé himself fled to Switzerland, but he left his business to his 600 workers who all took a share in unsold merchandise, with the exception of one employee who took his share in machinery and set up his own business in his homeland of Germany.    

Earlier in the evening our president, Kate Bennett, announced we had been awarded fete funds towards our Centenary events next year.  There are already dates on the calendar for 2017.  

Several of us had travelled to The Anvil in Basingstoke for Hampshire Federation’s Autumn Meeting, where we were treated to Wendy Cope’s poetry in the morning and The Jersey Boys in the afternoon.  The audience was encouraged to get up and dance, but only one of our members joined in!

Likewise the Anton Danebury Group held its autumn meeting at Weyhill and again some of our members attended an excellent enjoyable afternoon.

Some of our members will be wandering down memory lane next month as Jill Hannington is going to tell us about old Andover, although, for many this will be unfamiliar territory.    7.30 p.m. in the Village on 24th November if you want to discover more.


Diary Dates:

10 November    –              Supper Club

12 November    –              Walking Group

24 November    –              Monthly Meeting – 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall – Jill Hannington (Old Andover)

26 November    –              Lunch Club