WI Newsletter – October 2004

At the end of last month’s newsletter, I finished with the assertion, that I believed the speaker for our October meeting was a very brave man, in view of the introduction of the green waste collection scheme. Well, in the end, Tom Evison was unable to attend due to some last minute holiday arrangements, but we were not disappointed as in his place he sent two of his colleagues from Test Valley Borough Council – Ken Lawson and Mike Pratt.

They brought along a presentation which included some alarming statistics, but throughout attempted to answer a barrage of questions from an enthusiastic audience. Mike & Ken confessed that they too had learnt a lot from the evening, and were delighted that they were preaching to the converted, as we all obviously recycle as much of our household waste as possible – even if some of the members remained unconvinced about the efficacy of the green bag!

They also said how impressed they were with the WI, as they had come along early to set up they were present for the first part of the evening – News & Events – and were surprised at how much we did between meetings.

October is a busy month for our members, and seven of us attended Hampshire Federation’s Autumn Council Meeting at The Anvil in Basingstoke. National Chairman, Barbara Gill, gave an address and urged us all to say “yes” whenever an opportunity presented itself, she had used the yes word wherever possible and look what she had achieved. Our guest speaker for the afternoon session was Edwina Currie, and she did not disappoint. She spoke about her time in politics and shared with us numerous anecdotes, also answering questions from the audience. These events are always rewarding to attend – as it gives an insight into the wider picture of the W.I. – after all, it is the largest organisation for women in the UK.

The following week, 10 of our members attended the Danebury Group meeting at Chilbolton, where the speaker was Chris Bird from Sparholt College who spoke about his experiences of preparing and exhibiting at the Chelsea Flower Show. He explained that preparations start as soon as one show ends, plans are submitted and then they wait to see if the College has been selected, this is by no means a foregone conclusion.

He revealed with some delight that he had been introduced to the Queen one year, which had meant a quick dash into a smart store in a nearby London Square, to procure a change of clothes.

Next month is our Annual Meeting when we look back over the last 12 months as well as looking forward to 2005 – our programme has already been planned – reports will be given by our Secretary, Treasurer and President.

A few weeks later, we will back in the Hall for our Christmas Dinner on 09 December.

Sharon King