W.I. Newsletter September 2019

Our hard work at the fete paid off as we raised over £850 towards the grand total.  Our ladies baked and donated numerous cakes and then it was a team effort on the day; setting up in the morning, hanging bunting, decorating tables, creating small flower arrangements, keeping the urns topped up and boiled, making copious cups of tea and coffee, not to mention squash and re-fills, slicing, serving and topping up the delicious cakes on offer. Finally, and exhausted from the day’s efforts, it was time to clear up.   Kate Bennett masterminded this successful operation and thanks to all were given at our meeting.

Colleen Jackson had to send out emails and hit the telephones when she received the disappointing news that our speaker for this month had fallen prey to a nasty chest infection and regretfully had to cancel her booking with us the following day.  However, they say every cloud has a silver lining and eventually Colleen found Alan Jones who said yes, he could step in at the last moment.

He had several topics to choose from, but we opted for his tales of being a roving radio reporter for the BBC. He is now retired, but he obviously relished his time as he drove around his patch in the South of England in his SUV with an extending aerial.  This caused some consternation, as he was often mistaken for an inspector checking that people had a television licence.

He said he was going to begin and finish in Portsmouth as he delighted in explaining how events did not always go to plan.  He was quick on his feet to stop a Bishop, suffering from a fear of heights, from disappearing too quickly from a high roof.  He regaled us with his exploits of trying to get on board a very large America Naval Ship, at sea, walking a high wire and arriving at an event where everyone was naked and much more.

He had his audience in stitches and that was before he enlisted members to help. Hazel Carter was magnificent when she was asked to attempt to milk a snake – her acting skills came to the fore – before the final reveal.

Alan was present in Portsmouth when HM The Queen came to the Cathedral to distribute that year’s Maundy Money.  He wanted to give us a flavour of what Her Majesty says to the dignitaries lined up for her to meet.  Julia Rowling was beckoned forward, robed and masked and it was uncanny that, with these props, she was transformed from President to Monarch in seconds.  It was an hilarious end to a very amusing evening.

Our spirits were lifted, very necessary in these turbulent times, and we are grateful to Alan for stepping in at the last moment and to Colleen for finding him.

Our planned speaker for this month is Mr. F.E. Burroughes and his topic is “A Victorian Head Gardener”.  If you have green fingers and would like to hear this speaker then visitors are always welcome.

 Diary Dates

TBC                  – Breakfast Club

10 October        – Supper Club

12 October        – Walking Group

14 October        – Anton & Danebury Group Skittles

22 October        – Hampshire Federation Council Meeting – Basingstoke

26 October        – Lunch Club

29 October        – Reading Group

31 October        – Monthly Meeting Village Hall 7.30 p.m.