WI Newsletter – May 2013

It was time to review the last 12 months at our Annual Meeting in May. Secretary Cecilia Cotton spoke of all the activities we had undertaken during the year and our varied speakers at our monthly meetings and the success of our two themed meetings in 2012, celebrating the London Olympics and Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. It confirmed what most of us already knew – we have been very busy.

President Sue George thanked everyone who had helped make the year such a success, and was particularly grateful to all who have helped her personally, in what had been a particularly difficult year. She was proud to be our President – thankfully she has agreed to continue in office.

Our Treasurer had balanced our books, these had been examined independently and all is well. She reported that we had spent our allocation from last year’s village fete on a portable speaker system for our own use – there’s no excuse now for members to say they couldn’t or didn’t hear all of what is on offer. Our membership is down slightly, to 37 (plus two dual members), but this was due, sadly, to the death of two members and two have moved away. However, we have also welcomed some new faces to our Institute, but there is always room for more. Tempted?

During our usual monthly updates, not only was there talk of walking, reading, suppers, lunches and coffee mornings, there was mention of the newly formed Darts Team organised by Karen Pickworth. Unfortunately, despite a few quick practices, we have yet to win a game let along a match. Two down, two to go.

The decline of our high streets was also on the agenda. This Resolution was to be debated at the National Federation of Women’s’ institutes AGM in June, but this month it was our turn. Normally the wording of these resolutions urges HM’s Government to take action, but on this occasion it was calling on every member of the WI to support their local shops and make the high street their destination of choice for goods and services. It was a close vote, but after much discussion our members voted in favour. The main issue involved the conflict of free parking at out-of-town retailers, but using town centres involved expensive car parks. Our members felt the availability of free short-term parking could be an incentive to consider changing their habits. However, Christine Fell did point out that we had a village shop at which parking was free and all manner of goods and services were available very close to home!

Janet Mason is a welcome addition to our committee for the next 12 months, but there is no change in officers, all have agreed to serve again for 2013/2014. Sue George was voted back in as President and the Committee subsequently voted Sharon King as Vice-President again. The new Programme should be ready for the next meeting.

During the evening mention was made of our visit this month to nearby Trinley Estate where our host was Andrew Hughes a former BBC Farmer of the Year. The Estate is in the higher level stewardship scheme and is, therefore, seen to offer the highest standard of environmental benefits. The Estate promotes the restoration of wildlife habitats including those for grey partridge, barn owls, rare butterflies, lapwings & bats – just to name a few. The ‘ah factor’ of the evening came at the end of the lovely sunny spring evening, when Andrew revealed his small herd of beautiful White Park Cattle which are bred for beef – another premium product. Cows and calf alike were as intrigued by their visitors as they were enchanted by them. Following this delightful end to the evening, members retired to a nearby hostelry for refreshment – no change there then.

Next month we having a “garden meeting” and we are fortunate to have amongst our membership Carol Pratt who is involved with The National Garden Scheme. Carol has arranged for a garden in Amport to be made available to our members for the evening of 27th June. The plan is to meet at our village hall car park at 7 p.m. and then travel across together. Members are requested to bring a deck chair each please.

Diary Dates

08 June – Walking Group

13 June – Supper Club

18 June – Coffee Morning

27 June – Monthly Meeting – Garden Meeting. Please meet at Village Hall at 7 p.m. to travel to Amport.

29 June – Lunch Club (to be confirmed)

Sharon King