WI Newsletter – October 2013

One of the advantages of working hard at the village fete is that we also reap the reward, as we benefit from the funds distributed annually amongst the various organisations in the village.

With the amount received last year we have been able to purchase a sound system for use at our meetings, and the remainder was put aside towards a craft day held on 19th October in the village hall. We had been fortunate to find the experienced tutor Louise Simmonds from the Jewellery Academy, and it was with some excited anticipation that 18 of us gathered for the morning session. We had a quick practice and then let loose to select our beads, this took some time as there were thousands to choose from. Then it was time to get creative, some of us had very low expectations of our talents, but it was amazing that each one of us finished the morning with a necklace to be proud of, one or two even had time to make matching earrings. The finished pieces were so varied and naturally reflected the personality of the creator.

A delicious buffet lunch was enjoyed before the afternoon session which was slightly more challenging. Jenny Best from Beaker Buttons, located at the Weyhill Fairground craft units, is passionate about Dorset buttons and was keen to share this, almost lost, art. Some took to this craft more naturally than other, but some of our keen knitters are looking forward to being able to customise their future efforts. Everyone taking part has said they enjoyed the day tremendously.

Members attending the Anton Danebury Group meeting this month were entertained by Trisha Lewis as she spoke about life of Joyce Grenfell interweaved with re-enactments of some of her famous sketches.

The headline speaker at the Hampshire Federation’s Autumn Meeting was the broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray, who spoke about her passion for Women’s Hour. She shared various anecdotes from her life and career, but she is obviously a busy lady as she left promptly, accompanied by her two tiny dogs who had been present all the while, without time for the usual question and answer session. Our first guest speaker was Julie Summers. Julie is an author, broadcaster and historian and was there to promote her book entitled Jambusters, which tells the story of the Women’s Institute during World War II. Julie was excellent and her book is full of anecdotes and fascinating information from those turbulent years. There was just time for us to be entertained by a trio of wonderful singers who sang a selection of songs from popular musicals.

Having heard that the Supper Club had enjoyed their foray to the Oak at Smannell the Lunch Club gathered there as well. Both groups thought the food excellent value, as portions are generous and the service attentive but not intrusive.

Jane Austen has become a much loved novelist worldwide, but this month our speaker Jane Maxwell wanted to emphasise that she did really belong to Hampshire, having grown up in nearby Steventon before moving to other parts of the county, briefly to Bath and then back to Chawton and lastly Winchester. Whilst many of us were familiar with elements of Jane’s own life, we heard more about her brothers and their mixed fortunes. Two joined the Navy and one, Frank, lived to his nineties and became Lord High Admiral. Another served in the Militia and later started a Bank. Unfortunately, this went bankrupt and investing friends and family lost various amounts of money. Her eldest brother Edward, as heir to a distant uncle, was able to assist his mother and two sisters when their own finances were at a low ebb. As we know Jane is now to feature on a £10 note, although not due to be in circulation until approximately 2017.

There is so much more to write about, but I think this is long enough so just time to let you know that next month we will be enjoying Cheese & Wine courtesy of Waitrose. So if this has tantalised your taste buds then please come along to the Village Hall on 28th November 2013. Our meetings start at 7.30 p.m.

Diary Dates

09 November – Walking Group

14 November – Supper Club

17 November – Farewell to Christine Fell; Tea party at 3.30 p.m. in the Village Hall.

19 November – Coffee Morning

28 November – Monthly Meeting – 7.30 p.m. in The Village Hall – Cheese & Wine with Waitrose

30 November – Lunch Club – to be decided

Sharon King