W.I. Newsletter September 2023

The Village Hall was buzzing at this month’s meeting, and we were pleased to welcome several visitors.  Our President thanked all those members who had worked hard at the village fete this month and we were amazed to achieve the magnificent net total of £978.98.  We are very grateful to everyone in the village who responded to our plea for more cakes.  We were overwhelmed with the response so a big THANK YOU to everyone who supported us on the day, including those who came to enjoy our refreshments. 

We are a group of women who come together for social interaction and friendship and to keep young at heart.  There are opportunities to meet inspiring women and our speaker this month, Alison Hulme, was certainly inspirational.  On our programme there was reference to her Textiles.

In fact, Alison used her textiles to tell us about a period in her life beginning 26 years ago when she was facing many challenges including widowhood.  To help her cope she gave up work, which had involved catering for large events and travelling around the country.  A family member suggested she took up needlework to help fill the hours that were suddenly available.   What would have been a hobby for most has become an obsession for Alison.  She started small, but gradually gained confidence and created more adventurous items. 

She embarked upon a City & Guilds course, which meant she had to stretch her repertoire by coming up with themes to produce a body of work.  She then became a helper to course tutor at Eastleigh college, also acting as a runner for the Salisbury Auction Centre at the Cattle Market.  It was there that she met her second husband, and they embarked on many travels together including around Australia in a camper van.

She was then encouraged to consider taking a degree course, but due to a lack of qualifications her ability to cope with all that would be required had to be assessed.   As a result,  at the age of 60, not only was she was diagnosed as dyslexic, but that she also had dispraxia.    She had always felt that her inability to spell was because she was “thick”, which is so obviously not the case, and the second diagnosis also explained other problems she had encountered over the years.

She got her degree and brought along many of them items she produced as part of her course.

Sadly, her husband died three years ago at the age of 90, but she now has a thriving business and busy life which includes teaching, running classes and exhibiting at major venues.  I cannot recommend her too highly.  There is so much to her story, but to reveal it here would be to spoil it for others who have yet to hear her.  She has a sharp wit and brilliant sense of humour, which has helped her cope with her own health issues and those of her family.

Her audience were enraptured on this occasion and gave a prolonged enthusiastic round of applause.  Our lovely programme secretary Lynda Goldstone gave a thank you on our behalf and summed her up as truly inspirational and talented.

Our meeting next month is on 26th October and Susan Waldron will be taking us through jewellery making.  As we have been asked to bring £3 each for materials it looks as though we will be having some hands-on participation.   Please come to the Village Hall in time for a 7.30 p.m. start.  We would be delighted to see you there and welcome visitors.  


10 October –     Book Club (inaugural meeting) – Dobbies Garden Centre 10.30 a.m.

12 October –      Coffee Morning – Sports Pavilion at 10.30 a.m. (£2 to include refreshments) Non-members welcome

14 October –     Walking Group

19 October –     Lunch Club

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