WI Newsletter – February 2010

Shrove Tuesday was in our diaries this year, as we had decided to organise a Pancake Morning in the Village Hall, following our success in 2007, although, of course, such success can never be guaranteed. Nevertheless posters were erected, emails and invitations sent and several of us turned up on the 16 February, to set up with nervous expectation. Will anyone turn up?

Well our three pancake chefs can most definitely say “yes”, Rachael Carter, Sheila Lockhart and Helen Stuart made many pints of batter and cooked 101 delicious pancakes, our first customer being Sir George Young, our local Member of Parliament, accompanied by his young granddaughter, which was a pleasant surprise.

Being half-term, parents were delighted to have somewhere to bring their young children; both generations appeared to enjoy themselves. Mums took the opportunity to sit and chat, whilst the children engaged in the activities designed to keep them out of mischief; those selling raffle tickets, cakes and books were kept very busy, as was Hilary Horsfell who came with her Phoenix Cards. Everyone’s hard work was much appreciated and although final figures are not quite to hand, it looks as if we made a surplus in excess of £300.

The walkers went south this month, heading off to Romsey following the line of the old Andover Canal and back before enjoying lunch and a chat. The Lunch Club and Reading Group are still going strong and Jill Reynolds opened the doors of her home for the coffee morning.

Our speaker this month was Tony Strafford who had come to tell us of Bishops, Sex and Money – actually tales from the Tower of London and some of its more notorious inhabitants. In fact, for many of us the delight of the evening, apart from him wearing his very impressive Uniform as a former member of The Yeomen of the Guard, was to hear how so many everyday expressions came into being. When we mutter we must “rob Peter to pay Paul” how many of us are aware that this dates back to the great fire of London. Despite raising taxes to pay for the rebuilding of the ruined city, there was not enough money to complete St. Paul’s Cathedral. Therefore, entreaties were made to the wealthy Collegiate Church of St. Peter (more usually referred to as Westminster Abbey). Other references have far more ghoulish origins; “pain in the neck”, “for the chop”, “heads will roll” can all be traced back to the days when prisoners were executed. Mr. Strafford spoke fluently for some time, enthralling his audience and without a single note to prompt him.

Roger Savage from Choice Plants has to follow that on 25 March at 7.30 p.m.

Diary Dates: 2010:

01 March – Danebury Group Meeting

10 March – Coffee Morning

13 March – Walking Group 24 March – Hampshire Federation Council Meeting – Portsmouth

25 March – Meeting at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall : Choice Plants – Roger Savage

06 April – Book Club (Teacher Teacher : Jack Sheffield)

10 April – Walking Group

Sharon King