Author Archives: Greg Jones

WI Report – March 17

March Meeting of the W.I. at The Meadway Hall in Compton Dundon on Wednesday 8th, 2017.

Trish Cox, the President, welcomed everyone to the monthly meeting and once the visitors were welcomed and business was completed, she handed over to the speaker, Judith Stewart, who spoke about the “Tapping Therapy”. She was quick to reassure us that we would not be required to tap dance, it was not that sort of tapping! Judith explained that this therapy was used in ancient times and may have been known to the Aztecs or early Chinese Dynasties. It found favour again in the 1960/70s when Dr Roger Callaghan had a patient called Mary, who had a disabling water phobia so serious, that she had to hide away if it rained. Slow progress was being made with conventional phobia treatments, but having knowledge of acupuncture he almost intuitively suggested trying tapping below her eye. Immediately began an incredible improvement and healing and this led Dr Callaghan to develop and promote this type of therapy. It is acknowledged that many physical problems can be caused or triggered by emotional situations which may arise from fears, guilt, cravings, addiction, nervousness, trauma, anger, pain, phobia and insomnia etc. Judith said these can be treated by identifying the negative aspect of the problem and tapping the meridians, or acupuncture pressure points, in order to bring relief. It can also help Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, jet-lag and encourage motivation to prevent procrastination. Judith worked in the Health Service and continues to volunteer at a Hospice, so is well acquainted with general medicine, but she finds that Tapping Therapy can work alongside it. A short breathing and tapping exercise was tried by all and various degrees of effect were experienced after just a short time. Since the meeting, by all accounts from those who tend to suffer from insomnia, their conditions are generally improving.

For those who might like to read more, information can be found at www.emofree.com there is also a heading “Gold Standard EFT” tutorial. Mary Hayward gave the vote of thanks to Judith.

Ladies Who Lunch will be meeting at The Unicorn in Somerton on Wednesday, March 22nd at 12.30. Please let Angie Castle know as soon as possible if you would like to attend as the Wednesday Carvery is very popular. Several members will be attending the Polden Group Spring Meeting at Middlezoy on Monday, March 20th at 7.30pm. Members expressed interest in both the Walking Treasure Hunt at Ilminster on May 5th, and Somerton Historic Walk on May 7th. Both these events are being organised by the Somerset Federation. The visit to the Bridgwater Police Custody Unit has been arranged for May 3rd and more information will be available next month.

Our speaker judged the two competitions and Trish Cox won Flower Of The Month with her blue “Star of Bethlehem” (Chinodoxia), while Mary Hayward won the Pillbox competition with a green enamelled box in which her mother used to store earrings!

Next month’s speaker will be Pam Martin on “Somerset in Stitch”, so the competition will be an embroidered item.

Sally Walker

WI Report – February 2017

With Janet in hospital having undergone a hip replacement Angie assisted Trish with the meeting. Janet has returned home and is recovering well. The correspondence included a thankyou from Tina for flowers and from YMCA Mendip for the Christmas shoe boxes. We welcomed a visitor, Libby.

A report from the Polden Hills Group stated that the Christmas Concert had been excellent with the profit going to Charlton House Hospice for children. Weston Zoyland were winners of the league skittles competition. There are now only four teams remaining in the league, Ashcott, Puriton, Walton and Woolavington.

Seven members are attending the Soup and Pud lunch at Walton. Trish will host a coffee morning on March 9 in aid of St Margaret’s Hospice. Ladies Who Lunch meet on February 10 at the Castlebrook Inn. The Annual General Meeting of the Meadway Hall will be held March 23. Patricia Heap is standing down as our representative on the village hall committee, Trish expressed our heartfelt thanks to her for all the hard work she had put in on our behalf. A new representative is required and Trish asked for a volunteer. Monday April 24 a W I Speakers Audition will be held at the hall and we are required to supply the catering service. This will involve tea, coffee, cakes, and soup or ploughman’s for lunch.

Sandy Bateman, our speaker introduced us to the Magic of Minack. Her talk consisted of two parts, a brief history of the Minack Theatre and secondly her personal involvement in the theatre. Sandy is a retired primary teacher, a member of Dundry W I and a Friend of the Minack. Rowena Cave established the Minack in 1931 practically building it single handed with the help of two local labourers who were knowledgable of building materials and methods.

Sandy decided she wanted to be an actress when she was 16 years old, she was allowed to attend a theatre school part time whilst working by day in a book shop at Bristol. The proprietor of the theatre school took pupils to perform at the Minack. John and Jacky Isles of Abbots Leigh Bristol formed a theatre company called Abbots Leigh Players and through this Sandy had the opportunity to perform at the Minack. The Minack is a magical place and Sandy has remained enamoured to

this day, although no longer taking part in performances.

The procedure is for a theatre company to pay rent to the Minack in order to perform there, in the early days the facilities were very limited but now are much improved. A committee chooses several plays to be submitted for consideration the trustees of the Minack making the final decision. Sandy’s first performance was in The Admiral Creighton, with rehearsals taking place at Abbots Leigh.Sandy would have to work around her commitment to her work as a school teacher which meant only performing at the end of July and throughout August but in 25 years Sandy always managed to do this. In the early days lighting was supplied by equipment taken down in a van and additional lighting supplied by car headlights but modern lighting equipment is now installed.

Saturday mornings were “get in and out” days, Sunday mornings, on stage at 10 am and rehearse all day. Sunday night major dress rehearsal the audience consisting of trustees and friends.

The weather can be awful but rarely stops a performance except on one occasion when it was halted half way through due to a violent thunderstorm. Amongst Sandy’s adventures was an occasion during a performance of Hay Fever when it rained so hard the toast on a plate was floating. Her final appearance was in 2004 in The Owl and the Pussycat, when, in costume, she decided she was really too old to clamber up and down rocks.

Sandy still goes down in June July and August to see the Friday night performances. Rowena’s legacy is carried on with Proms at the Minack in September whilst in the winter months the famous Fishermans’ Friend Singers perform.A continuing legacy is that of Cambridge University students performing Gilbert and Sullivan music.

In conclusion, Sandy told us of an occasion, when by this time she found herself being a single parent and finding it difficult to pay for accommodation for herself and her daughter to attend the Minack, having talked to Jacky Isles, Jacky and her husband paid the rent of her bungalow. This kindness,said Sandy illustrates  the magic and wonderful atmosphere of being involved with and associated with the Magic of Minack.

Verity Linnett thanked Sandy, saying how much she had enjoyed both sections of the talk. Sandy had set up a very comprehensive picture display of the history of Minack which we were able to browse whilst Sandy judge the competition A Theatre Programme which was won by Denise Larson second Diane Mitchell with Mary Burt’s programme which was for a Strode Theatre production featuring her granddaughter, Hannah, third. The Flower of the Month winner was Trish Cox with snowdrops.

Next month’s speaker is Judith Stewart subject, Tapping Therapy with the competition for a pillbox.

Wendy Edwards.

WI – December 2016

The Christmas celebrations kicked off with some members taking part in the Compton Capers at the Meadway Hall in November.

December 7 and members attended the carol service at Wells Cathedral. In the evening we went to the Lime Kiln for our annual Christmas meal, this was well attended and the food and service could not be faulted. The only thing missing was sparkly earrings, another of our quirky traditions which seems to have lost its appeal – pity. Thanks go to Val Day for the excellent organisation of this event.

Dec 5 saw the Group Christmas Concert at Walton village hall and once again members performed a sketch.

We welcomed a visitor, Libby, to our meeting. Janet told us of a request from the village hall committee for any ideas we might have for improvements or additions to our already excellent hall.

The unanimous feedback was for replacement of the existing noisy heating system, but this might prove to be a bridge too far with problems situating radiators etc.A thankyou letter was received from A C W W for our donation. It seems likely that the proposed visit to the Houses of Parliament in the new year will go ahead as will the visit to the Custody Unit at Bridgwater on January 31 at 10 am but we may not be lucky enough to be allocated a place.

Resolutions were voted on.

Presentation of Cups. The winner of Flower of the Month – Angela Castle

The competition cup – Pat Maddaford

And last but not least, the Skittles cup -  Mary Burt.

This month’s flower of the month was won by Janet Wall with Christmas Roses and the competition for a Christmas decoration won by Pat Maddaford second Trish Cox third Christina Napper.

Our speaker, Deanna de  Burgh who hails from Mells, the village famous for its daffodil festival introduced us to the making of hand crafted chocolates. Deanna, formerly a yoga teacher, suffered a life changing illness in 2010 which resulted in her becoming almost housebound. Undeterred Deanna learnt the craft of making chocolates in all manner of patterns and shapes.Deanna despatched her husband to buy the moulds and the Belgium chocolates needed to get started. Although Deanna favours Belgium chocolate, many of her pupils sing the praises of the chocolate from a well known discount store.

Interesting facts from the history of chocolate beans, the currency was three cocoa beans for the services of a lady of the night and one hundred to purchase a slave.

Deanna manufactured a corgi and a crown for the Queen’s Jubilee and having sent these to Buckingham Palace received a very royal acknowledgment.

Useful tips, do not keep chocolate in the fridge. Kitchen needs to be at a good room temperature when working, it is very therapeutic and grandchildren can be very useful when it comes to wrapping the finished article in attractive packaging. Claire Axten thanked Deanna and we were then able to take advantage of the colourful display of goodies brought by Deanna. We were all tempted to buy, even if we had finished  our Christmas shopping, deciding to spoil ourselves instead of everyone else.

Sheila Taylor thanked the craft ladies for all the articles produced during the year, the sale of which has helped to swell the coffers.

Great excitement as we chose a present from Secret Santa drank wine and ate mince pies. This was followed by a very amusing sketch a parody of Cinderella performed by Janet Davies, Mary Burt, Trish Cox, Val Day and Anthea Bell. Finishing with the singing of carols, we acknowledge the ending of another memorable year, we look forward to meeting up again in January when the speaker will be Ian Williamson My Trip to Nepal the competition being for a holiday souvenir. Remember, subs will be due in January.

Happy New Year to all W I friends far and wide.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Meeting – Nov 16

The secrets of dichroic glass were revealed to us by our speaker, Margaret Harper. Retiring from her post as a Personal Manager as she did not wish to learn the mysteries of computers, the bizarre fact emerged that she has learnt the tricks of her new trade from U Tube.

Originally a friend has decided to live in Spain and disturbed by the treatment of stray cats and dogs, had decided to set about rescuing them. To raise money, cards were made, but Margaret’s enthusiasm for this venture wained when, on one occasion, she was required to make 300 cards. When the said friend returned to England, Margaret decided to raise money for the Beacon Centre at Taunton. After trying various crafts Margaret fell head long for the manufacture of fused glass jewellery. This involves a lengthy process, heating shards of glass to incredible temperatures, in a kiln which Margaret purchased and which is computer generated programmed. Margaret has learnt to do this despite her earlier aversion to anything to do with computers. The type of glass required is manufactured solely in America, but can be purchased locally. Magic happens in the kiln, with colours changing when a temperature of 790 degrees is reached. Margaret says she is so excited by the whole procedure, she finds it very hard to wait the 10 hours it takes for the kiln to cool down to room temperature. Describing her activity, which consumes so much of her time, to her husband as work, this is not quite true, as  Margaret looks upon it as a game, and is so involved often gets up in the early hours of the morning, to check her kiln and the progress of her glass making.

Margaret presented an extensive range of her products, pendants glowing with colour, earrings, brooches and necklaces.Members did a great deal of Christmas shopping, happy to contribute to the fund raising for the Beacon Centre. Sally Walker thanked Margaret.

Trish asked us to spend a moment remembering Iris Burt, a long serving member, who had recently died.

We will represent Ashcott, Walton and Shapwick W I’s at next year’s Annual General Meeting which will be held at Liverpool, Janet will probably attend on our behalf.

The recent Craft Day, funded by our bursary,  had been enjoyed by those who went along, but the numbers attending were disappointing.

The replacement trough is now in position, having been artistically planted up by Royston and Harvey, thank you both.

Val Day had kindly organised the 12 Christmas boxes, members were reminded of the Christmas meal. Secret Santa will take place at the December meeting, gifts to the value of £5.

Patricia informed us of a scheme to improve the broadband speed in the village and reminded members of Compton Capers November 26.

Congratulations were extended to Anthea and Christina who had won the recent Short Mat Bowls competition.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – October 2016

We gathered in the small room  as the floor of the main hall is undergoing a face lift. This proved to be a nicer venue and everyone could hear what was being said from the platform.Janet was ably helped by Val as Trish is sunning herself in Spain.Twenty five members were present to hear a very refreshing talk by Claire Rawle on her experiences with antiques with the BBC. Claire divulged that her two ambitions as a 15 year old were
a. To leave school as quickly as possible and
b. To win the Badminton Horse Trials.

Leaving school was achieved when she gained sufficiently good O level results but winning Badminton eluded her, Claire thought this was just as well as she had been more likely to break her neck. At  Dulverton she became a part time assistant at an auction house,  Claire enjoyed the atmosphere of auctions having attended a great many with her father who had farmed in Gloucester. This was followed by a post at Sotheby’s where there was much learning and drinking, one lesson was always carry a file and a pen to look busy even if heading for a coffee break.Whilst working at Sotheby’s only articles of the highest quality were seen.

Opportunity to join the B B C programme Flog It,  Claire was reluctant as she felt she may lack the required expertise but passed a screen test at Whiteladies Road in Bristol with flying colours. The B B C operates to a very high standard with everything conducted correctly.

On to Bargain Hunt presented by Tim who is very knowledgable but very  naughty. For this Show people in pairs are required to apply, it is necessary to have enthusiasm and be able to react well to the camera.

Antiques Road Trip with Paul Laidlaw in which Claire travelled in a T V R Tuscan which is very difficult to enter and exit with a degree of elegance. It was good to be paired with Paul, who always wins, Claire would love to beat him, just once. Anyone who participates does gain from the publicity. It was a good learning curve acting as a dealer as opposed to an auctioneer.

Now back to her day job as an Auctioneer in Bridgwater, Claire will always be grateful for the opportunities given to her by the B B C.Angie thanked Claire. Judging the competition for an antique item Claire placed Wendy’s Black Forest dancing bear first. With Julie’s mother’s nursing notes second and a geological map third. The flower of the month was won by Angie.A measuring book dated 1800 was deemed to be very collectable.

Val has organised the Christmas meal and items for shoe boxes.
An e-mail from Liz Brown of Walton W I informed us of the death of Janice Davies, Wendy attended the memorial service on our behalf, Janice is held in high esteem by us all.

Mary sent a thank you for flowers, cards and visitors following her recent operation for a knee replacement from which she has made a full recovery, a big contribution to this being Harvey’s kind administrations!

The recent short mat bowls competition held at North Petherton resulted in the defending champions, Compton Dundon, retaining their
title with a large trophy to prove it. This is the 25th anniversary of this competition, 14 pairs took part, with Compton Dundon represented by Anthea and Christina, who reached the final by beating Sandra and Joan, also Compton Dundon, then beating Ashcott represented by Janet and Shirley in the final.

Wendy Edwards.