Category Archives: Women’s Institute

Women’s Institute related posts and pages

WI Report – Feb 18

Alan Dean, who has lived in Compton Dundon for two years now kindly stepped into the breach as Speaker following the non arrival of the booked Speaker.

Alan and his wife are both qualified chemists, his subject, Pharmacy In The Plant. Alan and his wife Diane moved to the West Country from Yorkshire, having served, amongst other roles

as a Chief Pharmacist in hospitals for 30 to 40 years.

Diane’s first love is gardening which she has combined with looking after Alan and raising three children, having met Alan and married at Bath University. Another hobby is playing bridge and boules.

Inspired by plants and medicines derived therefrom, not strictly herbal. Aided by a slide show Alan showed us the progress made over the last fifty years. During his training, Latin was the principal language and suppositories were a very effect way of administering medicines, pills were hand made, we saw pictures of pill rolling equipment and mounds for pessaries. One sure way of finding out if a laxative pill was effective was to listen to them rolling around in the bed pan!

Plants are producers, manufacturers, static and vulnerable to attack whilst animals are consumers, mobile, pursuers and grazers.

Plants need a defence mechanism, thorns etc  but mostly defence was chemical attacking the nervous system of predatory animals.

Over the years the development of medicines taken from plants has to be controlled and whilst Alan is not against herbal medicines as such, it is important to know what is going on.

Various groups of plants include Mallow which produce a gum like substance, Great Kelp seaweed used to treat reflux problems and historically the treatment of wounds. Belladonna, eye examinations, Yew which is toxic used to treat some forms of cancer and many more, too numerous to mention here.

Frances Riley thanked Alan, saying that it was the second time she had heard Alan speak on this subject, previously at Gardening Club and it spoke volumes as to the quality of the Speaker that she had found it equally fascinating the second time around. We all agreed with this sentiment.

At the business meeting, Trish welcomed back Verity who has been absent for some months following a fall at home and a hip replacement. Verity thanked members for flowers, cards and especially a visit from Mary.

Four members went to  a Kurling competition hosted by Walton W I at Walton village hall, it was a superb evening, all of the W Is in the Group represented, lots of skills demonstrated, much laughter and well meant advice, tea and cake consumed and Compton Dundon reached the semi final, much to our surprise. Thankyou Walton for inviting us.

Trip to the Octagon Yeovil for the Vicar of Dibley, preceded by tea Thursday 22 February.

Scrabble at Sue’s Wednesday 21 February 6.45 p m .

Dates to Remember

Saturday  28 April Banner Parade celebrating 100 years of W I.

Wednesday 21 March Road Show, Meadway Hall, Hosts, Compton Dundon, Speakers’ subjects, Dogs Trust and S S Great Britain.

Saturday 26 May Centenary Events at Meadway Hall, 12 noon to 3.30 p m. come and support your W I.

The competition for a heart  shaped article was Angie Castle with a cushion, Sue with a glass heart and Trish a heart shaped stone.

Wendy won the Flower of the Month with a sprig of daphne.

Next month’s Speaker, Georgie Newberry, Wedding Flowers, Competition a buttonhole in any medium.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – January 2018

Our Speaker for the first meeting of 2018 was Karen Burge whose subject was Detoxing and Exercise.

Karen is very passionate about her subject and explained in great detail how important it is to regularly detox our bodies of impurities.

Karen is not a great believer in dieting in order to achieve weight loss as she feels the underlying causes of being overweight are much more complicated and need to be dealt with in very different ways. If consulted, Karen offers help in managing stress, mental health problems and digestive disorders.

Apart from eating the wrong foods, toxins can be taken into the body by other means and Karen stressed we must be very careful just what products we put on our skin. As we all know, one of the most important and simple things we can do is to drink lots of water.

Karen gave us a great deal to think about and she was thanked by Angela.

Subscriptions were due this month, Trish announced she was to run her Savings Club again this year and Pat presented the Financial Statement

Angela explained that although Tony Warren had printed and produced an excellent programme for our forthcoming year, Tony was not completely happy with the quality and hence made no charge, this is very generous, thankyou Tony.

Angela announced two outings

1. A performance of The Vicar of Dibley at the Octagon Yeovil

2. 12 April A visit to the racing establishment of Andrew Balding followed by a trip to Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey).

Scrabble evenings will start again and several members expressed an interest in taking part in a Kurling Competition hosted by Walton W I on Friday February 16 at Walton Village Hall.

The competition for an action photograph was won by Janet Davies     second

Denise Larson and third Pat Maddaford. Trish Cox presented the winning flower of the month with a bright and cheery marigold.

Next month’s Speaker is Lucy Harper, subject  Moringa Oleifera, the competition Something Heartshaped. It is to be hoped that more members will be able to attend if the weather improves and the flu bugs are avoided.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – Dec 17

Only 17 members braved the elements on Wednesday evening, which was a shame as Kay Wych, accompanied by her husband, Bill, kept us well entertained with her account of how she became a 16th century kitchen maid.

Born and bred in Glastonbury, in sight of the Tor, Kay’s early career was at a local factory working in the office, having been brought up to the sound of typewriters clacking as her grandmother with whom she lived, was a teacher of shorthand and typing. Quickly realising that her colleagues spoke the Queens English whereas Kay had a distinct Somerset accent (nothing wrong with that) Kay decided to improve her diction and joined a drama class.

Glastonbury Arts Club set her on her way, appearing in plays at Strode Theatre, and open air theatre in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey. Kay said think of life’s events being governed by three seeds. The first seed Kay put in the pot was taking part in drama The second was to study history, particularly of the local area.The third seed was archaeology.

Slowly, as she talked, Kay transformed herself into a 16th century maid, donning the appropriate clothes. Adopting the name of Alyce, she wore only blue or ochre as, at that time, only the rich were allowed to wear red, The material would be wool or linen. Fleas were commonplace and little bonnets were known as “nit caps”.

Alyce made things to sell, a salve for the “piles”made from lesser celandine roots.

Gradually the story emerged of the dissolution of the monasteries and the effect this had on people such as Alyce. Kay was joined by Bill, appropriately dressed as the King’s Officer, who confirmed the arrest of Bishop Whiting, who was subsequently hung, drawn and quartered.

Angela thanked Kay, adding that the wearing of the costumes had added to the authenticity of the telling of the events in the past..

December 6th saw a very good attendance at the annual Christmas Dinner, held this year at the Castlebrook Inn. The warmth of the welcome from the landlord and his wife, was matched by the excellence of the service and the food. A first class evening, a big Thankyou to Val Day and Trish for the organising and to the Castlebrook staff.

December 4th we took part in the Group Christmas Concert held at Westonzoyland Church. Anthea had put together an interpretation of the origin of the words of the popular carol Oh Little Town of  Bethlehem, an English and an American version. We have since received an accolade from Mo Retford County Music and  Drama firstly thanking Anthea for playing the organ for the general carols and secondly telling us that our presentation was exactly what she had been looking for, we are delighted.

Several members attended the annual carol service at Wells Cathedral.

Correspondence included an invitation from Liz Brown of Walton W I to a Kurling competition, Walton Village Hall, February 16 teams of 4, £10 per  team, supporters welcome at £2 each. We hope to field two teams.

Polden Hills Business Meeting, January 15 Woolavington Village Hall 7.30p m.

Frances reminded members of the next concert at the Meadway 17 February featuring the Church Fitters.

After all this we were more than ready for our Bucks Fizz, orange juice and mince pies.The raffle for the Christmas Hampers was won by Angela Castle, second Kay Wych, third Sheila Taylor, with the fourth prize a picture of Somerset Landscape won by Janet Davies.

Presentation of Awards.

W I Shield for Cookery at the Flower Show…Julie Gordon.

Cup for Flower of the Month Competition…Pat Maddaford.

Cup for Monthly Competition …Pat Maddaford.

The competition for a Frilly Apron was won by Pat Maddaford who also won The Flower of the Month with a rose.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – November 2017

Rachel Harding, our Speaker kept us fascinated with her Rhinestones and Sequins, Memoirs of A Competitive Ballroom Dancer. Her mother always taught her that self praise is no praise at all and Rachel has tried to adopt this motto throughout her dancing career.Starting at a social evening in their local village where Rachel danced quite happily whilst her husband sat in the corner, refusing to take to the floor. One very persuasive lady however would not leave him alone and he was finally dragged on to  the dance floor. At the end of the evening, his face was matching the colour of his tie – bright red.

On the journey home he vowed never again to be so humiliated and announced he was to learn to dance . Not quite believing what she was hearing, Rachel enrolled at their local dance school where they began with the traditional 1 2 3,1 2 3, which they practised over and over again, with the furniture pushed out of the way, at home.This was followed by the next lessons, 4 5 6, 4 5 6, again practised over and over again. Suddenly their teacher told them she felt they were ready for bigger and better things. Rachel and her partner ( as her husband was now known)  moved to an Advanced Class where, mesmerised, they were able to pick out some of the steps.Subsequently they were ready for a medal class.

Ordinary shoes are no good at all for competitive dancing, special shoes were purchased and Rachel began to make her dance dresses, her other love in life is sewing.Her partner was to wear a matching waistcoat to her dress, again her needle came in useful.

Progressing through the various stages, dresses became more elaborate and her partner had his dance jacket especially tailor made.

Rachel and her partner excelled at Latin dancing but the ballroom techniques were more difficult.This latter problem was solved when they were introduced to Peter Elliott, an ex World Champion. He gave lessons at Newbury, so much closer to home than London.Under his tutorage everything improved and they went from strength in ballroom dancing.

An extra section in the ballroom dancing competition at Gloucester was for Lady Elegant in which the dress, charisma and personality is judged as well as the dancing. Rachel, still making her own dresses, and what wonderful dresses they were, won right through to a 5th stage but, as they were by now dancing all over the world, this competition clashed with a dancing date in Germany which was judged to be more beneficial.

The Latin dancing had stagnated but its revival was  brought about by tutoring by Tony Goodyear of Bath, also an ex World Champion. Meeting  many famous people, amongst them Len Goodman who remarked on their charisma and confidence.The basic principles for both techniques are similar.

During the 14 years of active competitive dancing, Rachel and her husband ran their own business, managed a large house and garden  and raised two children, who incidentally took no interest in dance  but scoffed at their parents “prancing about”.

Rachel  brought one of her beautiful dresses for us  to examine and admire, plus lots of photographs of their dancing career.

Answering questions which were lively and varied, Rachel said her favourite Latin dances were Jive and Rumba and ballroom, the Foxtrot.

Frances thanked Rachel, saying how much she envied her life of dance, Frances would love to do the same but had married a non dancer.

Business meeting.

A very successful trip was made to Thatchers Cider Factory followed by a delicious lunch at the adjoining Railway Inn.Angela was thanked for her organisation of this trip.

A thankyou letter was received from Anthea for flowers and card received following her recent operation, we were pleased Anthea was able to attend the meeting. Pat Maddaford presented the Financial Statement showing a healthy balance.

Dates to Remember.

November 10 Drama Rehearsal at Mary Burt’s 4p m November 21 Craft Club at the Hall, 9.30 -12.

November 22 Scrabble at Julie Gordon’s 6.45p m December 4 Group Christmas Concert at Westonzoyland December 6 Christmas Meal Castlebrook Inn 7 for 7.30p m December 13 Christmas Party at Meadway Hall, Speaker, Kay Wych, Maid at Glastonbury Abbey.Mince pies, tea and coffee, Secret Santa, wrapped gifts to the value of £5.Raffle for two luxury hampers.

The competition for an evening bag was won by Christina Napper with Pat Maddaford and Angela Castle second and third. The Flower of the  Month, winner Pat Maddaford with begonias.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – May 017

WI Meeting Wednesday 10 May 2017

The meeting in our lovely Village Hall was once more graced with a stunning sunset. The meeting began with this month’s Speaker, Michael Malaghan who provided us with an amusing talk on his subject “It shouldn’t happen to a writer”.

Born in Leicester, he moved to Skegness whilst still a child, He began his career as a journalist in his local paper The Skegness Standard, which in addition to straight news also carried articles and features and Michael worked on the latter two. This led him to many interesting encounters, He told us of his visit to a Dog Training Class with his comprehensively naughty dog Toby, and of an anonymous visit he made to a Tassiographic reader who offered him a cup of tea, he said he preferred coffee (that wasn’t going to get his tea leaves read!) Once that little difficulty was overcome and he had drunk his tea, he felt she provided him with an accurate reading. He then came clean and asked for permission to review his visit explaining his reasons for arriving incognito, not wishing to influence the reading.  The Tea-leaf reader agreed and the article interested many.

He described meeting many interesting people as a journalist, and told further amusing anecdotes of his exploits.

In addition to Newspaper features, he wrote twist in the tale stories for ladies magazines (the names of which were familiar to many of us); a further development was writing for children’s programmes like The Tweenies and Chucklevision. Books for Teenagers followed, his first Greek Ransom was followed by The Lost Prophecies, and French Tapestry all adventure thrillers with a historical base, enjoyed as much by adults as the intended teenage recipients.

This enjoyable and amusing talk was followed by Tea and biscuits and our AGM and business meeting. It was good to welcome visitors and another new member this month.

The Competion for a Comical Greetings card was won by Pat Maddaford, with Diane Mitchell and Angie Castle second and third. Flower of the month was won by Joan Carbin with a beautiful and fragrant display of Rose blooms.

Next month’s speaker will be Dr Yvonne Varley on The Secret Life of Arthur Ransome and the Competition will be “A Childrens Book”. Visitors are welcome for which there is a small charge, we meet in Compton Dundon Village Hall on the second Wednesday each month at 7.30. There is plenty of parking and a warm welcome awaits

We are “Walking The World” on Friday May 12th at 6pm, which depending on the weather will start at the hall and end in the Castlebrook Pub. This is a national annual WI event which raises funds for ACWW – Associated Country Women of the World.

Sally Walker

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.