Category Archives: Women’s Institute

Women’s Institute related posts and pages

WI Report – February 2016

No excuses for careless or bad driving following the informative talk,accompanied by power point illustrations,by Steve Greenhalgh and his team from Somerset Road Safety, presenting Route 60 +.

We were asked to give a two way flow interaction to the talk, Steve was helped by his colleagues, Malcolm and Kevin.All were previously in the police force except Kevin who is still an active member of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Team and also has his own driving school. Automatic drive cars were recommended, be careful if you are a clever lady who can change her own wheels, nasty accidents were illustrated.Golden rules before setting out on any journey, wash windows, check tyre pressures and be aware that to have a dirty number plate is an offence.

We were subjected to an examination regarding speed limits, we scored well in this. A good driver remembers the following two mantras

C. Concentration
O. Observation
A. Anticipation and Awareness
S. Space
T. Time

Only a Fool Breaks the Two Second Rule which applies to distance between vehicles.

A unit of alcohol is the amount of alcohol the body processes in an hour and it is a myth that food makes it safer to drink when driving, food slows down the absorption process.Once over 70 years of age, check photos as only valid for 10 years whilst !licences have to be renewed every 3 years.

We cannot alter yesterday’s accident figures but we can influence those of tomorrow.

We were given goodie bags containing an up to date Highway Code, useful literature, high viz jacket. emergency cagoule,key rings etc. Sally thanked Steve for a very helpful and, date she says it, arresting talk.

Business matters were short and sweet,volunteers are needed for the Bath and West Show. Transport arrangements were made for the visit to Bridgwater Custody Unit.

The competition for a Motoring Memorabilia was won by Sheila Taylor with a second world war headlight shield Pat Maddaford  A a Helmet a d Sally Walker with an old road map.

The Flower of the Month was won by Janet with Tête a Tête daffodils.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – Jan 2016

Trish Cox, our President and other members of the Craft Club, presented us with a hands on opportunity to be crafty. Trish explained that she had wanted to join together with like minded people and had tried initially to have craft projects at her house.This had not been very successful and eventually in 2013 the Craft Club was formed, meeting at the Meadway Hall on the first Tuesday of the Month. This club has gone from strength to strength, with members displaying a variety of talents.The only thing that they have not been able to master is crochet,but help is at hand with Mary Burt’s granddaughter, Hannah, willing to give instructions. Australian cross stitch was demonstrated, no one knows why this is so called, Christina Napper learnt the tricks of the trade whilst holidaying in Australia, this stitch not being known in England unless someone out there knows better,please let us know. One proud achievement is the making of 48 cushions, used in the oncology departments of local hospitals,for the comfort of breast cancer patients.Other items include many varied Christmas decorations, decupatch the art of making decorative items with little scraps of paper and glue.One of Trish’s new ventures is the making of knitted brooches which were very attractive.For the next two months the theme will be Easter but everyone is welcome and it is not necessary to make anything, just drop in for a coffee and a chat.Bring along your own project, one enthusiastic member brought her horse blanket to repair. Tables were set out with everything needed to have  go and soon everyone was knitting, stitching, glueing and pushing pieces of fabric into polystyrene shapes. This who!e session was very successfully organised and carried out with great aplomb by Trish.

Resolutions were discussed and votes taken. Sue Searle had resigned as our team convenor and Sally kindly volunteered to take over this position. Sheila Taylor spoke on behalf of all members when thanking the aforementioned Craft Club For the valiant fund raising activities they have carried out over the past months.Subscriptions were paid and names taken for the forthcoming Roadshows and Public Affairs Visit to the Avon and Somerset Police Bridgwater Custody Unit.

Competition Hand Made Item, Pat Maddaford jewellery, Sally Walker walking stick, Francis Riley knitted clothes for dolls.

Flower of the Month PT Maddaford.

Next month’s speaker is Steve Greenhalgh Somerset Road Safety.


Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – December 2015

Angela assembled us for a group photograph and at the commencement of the business matters, Trish told us of Kathy’s

decision, due to health reasons, to resign as joint President. Trish will now act alone, Kathy asked members to give Trish their continuing support and Trish thanked Kathy for her previous input and wished her a speedy recovery.

The information that Compton Dundon was selected to represent Ashcott and Pedwell at the Annual General Meeting is incorrect ,

Shapwick W I is to do this, we wait to see if they wish to do so.We are now not needed to organise the short mat bowls competitions.

A letter of thanks from Mo Retford for our contribution to the recent Group Christmas concert at Puriton where we performed an

original sketch cleverly written by Sally Walker. Trish reported on the Christmas dinner held at the Castlebrook Inn when mine hosts did us proud, we all enjoyed the food and the hospitality, thanks to Trish and Val for organising this event.

Despite Trish hitting a magnificent 63 and Anthea 55 pins, we still lost to  Middlezoy by 57 pins, hard to believe but well done Middlezoy.

Jenny Barham spoke and demonstrated on the art of creating wonderful Christmas Garlands from everyday household items and scraps of materials,preferably cut from garments with sentimental connections, thus creating a garland of memories combined with vibrant colours. No need to spend large amounts of money, Jenny expressed surprise at the prices charged at up market shops for items which can be made at home,simply and cheaply. Have a go, involve your grandchildren in making painted trees pulling them away from the I pads, is Jenny’s advice. Jenny congratulated the members who had contributed homemade craft items to the stall at the meeting and said the quality of work was exceptionally high. Sheila Taylor,in thanking Jenny, said she had been inspired with the many wonderful and original ideas.

Mary Burt won 1st prize in the Christmas 200 club draw with Mary Badman also receiving a prize. The competition for a table decoration was won by Pat Maddaford,second Angela Castle, third Trish Cox.F!ower of the Month won by Joan Carbin with Christmas Roses.

Presentations: Skittles Cup Mary Burt. Flower of the Month Cup Sally Walker.Competition Cup Janet Davies.Short Mat Bowls Competition,Certificates and Trophy Frances Riley and Anthea Bell. Village Show W I Shield Cookery Boiled Fruit Cake, Sally Walker.

The evening concluded with a drama presentation, reading of a funny poem and a very special raffle, hampers won by Kath Franks, Janet Wall and Val Day. Special sweet packages won by Val Day,Pat Mizen,Wendy Edwards, Angela Warren,Corrine Webb.

We all received a present from Secret Santa. End of another year, happy new year to everyone, see you in January, second Wednesday in the Month, new members very welcome.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – September 2015

P1110728This meeting took the form of a celebratory Rainbow party to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the W I movement.

Members wore bright colours, Kathy welcomed everyone including  members’ friends and Sandra Ford who is the advisor for the Polden Hills Group.After dealing,  very briefly, with the business matters, Sheila Taylor read us an excerpt from the archived minutes of 1948 when a telegram was received at 3.40 p m, Compton Dundon post office, imagine the excitement, from Buckingham Palace in which the King and Queen thanked Compton Dundon W I members for their kind loyal message congratulating the royal pair on the occasion of their Silver wedding anniversary.

The committee had worked very hard to present the hall in party mood and the supper was, as always, excellent. Mind bending paper quizzes were placed before us all, some did better than others solving the questions. Thanks to Sally Walker for this entertainment.  Trish Cox displayed many of the items made at the recent craft classes – these will be on sale at the forthcoming Big Breakfast.

Much reminiscing was done looking through the scrap books of our younger years.

Dates to Remember:

Thursday October 1 Skittles Compton Dundon  v Buckland Dinham – Cup Round – The George Inn Croscombe at 7.30 p m.
Friday October 2 Group Meeting at Woolavington.7.30 p m
Friday October 23 Skittles Compton Dundon v Puriton Ring of Bells Ashcott 7.45 p m.
Tuesday November 1 Visit to Bucklers Mead Yeovil W I.

Latest News Unfortunately, one of our members, Kath Franks has had to return to hospital following what is believed to be a slight stroke and we all send her our very best wishes and hope that she will be back with us very soon.

Wendy Edwards.

WI – July / August Activities

Ladies who Lunch met in late July at the Tapas Bar in the High Street, Street. Highly recommended. August saw us at The White Horse Haselbury Plucknett – excellent food in a tasteful dining room. The September get together will be on Friday September 18 at Winstone’s Fish and Chip Bar at Shepton Mallet.

Scrabble has taken place at Mary’s and Angela’s houses and Julie Gordon will host the next game on Tuesday September 22.

Skittles at the Castlebrook August 19 v Ashcott W I This is the first time we have played on the newly refurbished alley at the Castlebrook Compton Dundon and we learnt, to our cost,that the balls are small and the spaces between the pins large. Ashcott  conquered the difficulties before we did, resulting in a win for them by 23 pins.Both teams enjoyed a snack supper of sausage and chips.

July 24 A very successful quiz evening organised by Wendy,ably assisted by her son Robin who devised the quiz and acted as quiz master.Thanks also go to her daughter Louise who designed the posters and walked around the village with Wendy putting the posters in appropriate places. Thanks to  wonderful support from Somerton W I who fielded no less than six teams, family and friends and some W I members the whole evening went well, with lots of laughter and intelligent answers. Somerton W  I were rewarded with three of their teams taking the honours.  Thanks to Wes and Nicky, mine hosts of the Castlebrook, who worked so hard arranging all the tables and who supplied a very reasonably priced buffet supper, which was excellent.

At the annual Flower show the W I shield for the cooking competition, this year it was for a boiled fruit cake, was won by the present holder, Sally Walker, congratulations Sally.

August 23 – Atrocious weather all day, until to our great relief at 5 pm the clouds rolled away and the sun shone for our trip on Cabot’s Matthew at Bristol. Angela Castle organised this trip, we were joined by a party of friends from Langport and Somerton. A fish and chip supper was partaken on board, the mini cruise around the basin was idyllic and we saw the fantastic waterfront flats and houses also a great viewing of the SS Great Britain.A fitting finish to our summer activities, the weather has not been good but it has not stopped us enjoying ourselves.

We look forward to meeting again on Wednesday September 9 when a Rainbow Party will be held to celebrate the centenary of the W I movement.

Wendy Edwards

WI Report – July 2015

Jacky Robertson travelled from Gloucester to tell us about her support group for ladies considering breast reconstruction following surgery. Jacky gave us a potted history of her life, widowed at a very early age, Jacky answered an advertisement for a job offering travel, excitement and opportunities for training in various fields, this proved to be with the auxiliary RAF. Having raised her two sons, Jacky felt the need to rediscover just who she was and having been accepted proceeded on her military career. The training policy is” break you down to build you up”.Surviving everything, Jacky served in a medical role in Cyprus. Deciding to leave after serving for five years, Jacky went for a routine mammogram where nothing sinister was found but she was advised to self check regularly. Emphasising how important this is, Jacky told of finding a”ridge” which resulted in hospital biopsies and within three weeks had her breast removed. On being offered reconstruction , Jacky decided to complete her chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments before making a decision. Following talks with people in the same position, Jacky founded a local group called Uplifting. This group offers support and advice to anyone considering reconstruction surgery. Finding a similar organisation online called Keeping Abreast Jacky’s group decided to lose the title Uplifting and became Keeping Abreast South West.

This group is not about the why’s and wherefore’s of breast construction, but to inform of just what is available. The surgeons at Frenchay Hospital, now Southmead Hospital at Bristol specialise in plastic surgery reconstruction, and there are various methods. Jacky, following her initial treatments, decided to go for reconstruction, and stressed that it is important to ask for help during the recovery period and this is where the group support comes into its own – joining together people with the same problems. Mary Badman thanked Jacky for her talk, we had once again learnt something new.

Skittles – we continue our losing streak, being beaten by 21 pins when playing Puriton at Woolavington.We also sent a team to the Group Quiz at Woolavington where we held up the other seven teams.

A group photograph was kindly taken by Ian Dallimore, at Wendy’s request, to accompany her report for the centenary supplement to be published by the local press.

County News: A tribute was paid to Sali Money recently deceased, who had contributed so much to county and local W I.

Our return visit to Bucklers Mead is to take place on Tuesday November 10 when the Speaker will be Mike Bolton on How We Used to Live.

Short Mat Bowls Teams for the forthcoming tournament at Ashcott in October will be Sandra and Mary, Frances and Anthea, Joan and Tina.

Quiz Night at the Castlebrook Inn on Friday July 24 at 7.30 p m when we welcome Somerton W I and members of the public.

No meeting in August but an open evening in September to celebrate the Centenary takes the form of  a Rainbow Colours Party. There will be a finger buffet, fruit punch, a special raffle, please wear brightly coloured clothes, bring a friend and example of  crafts Sheila Taylor will bring the photograph albums and scrap books.

The competition for Something Pink was won by Janet Davies followed by Adele and Gill Clothier and the Flower of the Month went to Sally Walker with pink dianthus.

Wendy Edwards.

WI – June 2015

During the talk, Martock to Moscow holiday on a Bus, Jill Barter who was welcomed by Angela, told of the various types of lavatories encountered on their journey, from acceptable on a coach to diabolic in Russia, there was a choice of a “long drop” to an adventure in a wood, some were so bad that the Irish ladies in the party refused point blank to use them and forced the authorities to open a hotel which provided decent facilities. Apart from that, the journey took them from Martock to Dover,  through France, Belgium, Holland with an overnight stop in Hanover Germany. The coach driver Chick, was extremely strict, insisting on punctuality at all times. The co-driver, Steve proved to be an expert on the Moscow Metro a fact that proved very useful when the final destination was reached.  In Warsaw the hotels were of the big Eastern European type, with no ambience but reasonable food.  During the Old Warsaw tour, the driver was persuaded, much against his will, to take the party to the Ghetto, where on a railway track, is a bronze cattle truck erected as a memorial to the many people  deported in this way to the concentration camps. A most moving experience. Belarus saw border guards featuring  big hats, guns, moustaches and long delays to enter the country. Russia, with the typical Russian welcome of bread and salt, not making up for the unpleasant lunch which followed.Food was very limited in an area close to Chernobyl as so many items were restricted.  Strangely at one point in the middle of nowhere with only two blocks of flats alongside emerged a McDonalds restaurant  where, here at least, the facilities were good. In Moscow they stayed in the Cosmos Hotel built for the Olympics. Red Square by night, Lenin’s tomb, St. Basil’s church,Gumm Department store and finally taken on the Metro accompanied by Steve and Chick who explained each station which was amazing. St Petersburg and then an early start to the border with Finland, taking two hours to leave Russia.Such a contrast in Finland, everything so clean, onward to Sweden, Denmark, saw the Little Mermaid, Germany and lunch at Antwerp of steak and chips – heavenly. Final stop in France where the food was just as bad as experienced on the first night. Finally on the ferry to Dover, coach to Bristol and mini bus to South Petherton. Not a holiday more a marathon sight seeing tour but as Gill Clothier, who proposed the vote of thanks said, compared to her experience of crossing Spain on a motor bike on a cold day, it sounded acceptable but none of us are rushing to book up.

Our fellow guests included members of Bucklers Mead W I and we enjoyed a superb supper with Janet, who was celebrating her birthday, generously supplying us with a glass of Bucks Fizz.Angela and Susie had attended the Annual General Meeting at the Albert Hall as observers and Janet and Wendy had watched the proceedings on the cinema screen at Yeovil. Skittles, we lost to Walton by 3 pins, the next match June 22 at Woolavington versus Puriton. Two members have the chance to attend a Centenary Gala dinner, half of the ticket price to be paid by the institute. Sadly Shapwick W I is to close at the end of the year, farewell party October 23  Shapwick’s 90th birthday to which we are invited. On a brighter note, the Prince George celebratory tree has decided to defy the vandals and has started to send out fresh shoots so we are hopeful of a full recovery. Thanks to Bob Knight who has made a guard for the tree and organised the  fixing of a plaque. Recipe available for the Boiled Fruit Cake to be competed for at the annual Flower Show – W I trophy. Sheila Taylor had done research on our embroidered tablecloth, of which there are only  two others, at Chewton Mendip and Shepton Mallet. A Mrs Brass had institigated the work in April 1957 and Mrs Kieff had taken on the task of its completion. It is thought the design had come from County.

Entertainment was supplied by Sally Walker and Angela Castle with a clever sketch depicting a broken down motorist and a bewildered call centre operator. The competition for a Bell was won by Trish Cox  followed by Sheila Taylor and Pat Maddaford with the Flower of the Month won by Trish Cox with Pinks.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – April 2015

A “Funny thing happened to me at a Funeral” was the theme for Clive Wakeley an undertaker from Yeovil who, at the outset, stressed he had no wish to offend but sometimes a little laughter at a funeral ceremony helps to deal with grief, and everyone has their own way of dealing with sadness.Clive talked us through many scenarios dealing with various types of coffins, modes of transport and last minute requests. So many stories, but one highlight was the story of a lady who had requested a cardboard coffin. This was in the days when cardboard coffins were very primitive and in this case, Clive asked the daughter of the deceased lady to come in and make sure the coffin he had acquired was suitable. The daughter took one look at  what was very obviously a cardboard box and said “My mother would not be seen dead in that!” Realising what she had said, they managed to stop laughing and in the event,the daughter decorated the cardboard coffin and it was quite presentable, so everyone’s wishes were satisfied. Clive told of a little boy, clutching his mother’s hand, in the waiting room at the crematorium could not take his eyes from Clive in all his regalia, top hat etc and said in a very loud voice “Look Mum there goes the Fat Controller”.Clive has attended funerals on the back of a high powered motorcycle where the deceased was a motorcycle fanatic and one lady requested everyone stop on the way from Bridport to Weymouth at a lay-by to consume an ice-cream from the ice-cream van as this was something she always did when travelling the scenic coastal route. Not only did the family eat ice-cream on the way to the crematorium, they also called in, to the delight of the ice-cream man, on the way back, hearses and funeral cars piling into the car park, much to the amazement of passing motorists.

Angela thanked Clive for his very amusing and comforting talk, many questions were asked, which Clive dealt with very competently.

Many requests for memorabilia from County, National and Wendy who will all compile records of the last 100 years, amusing anecdotes especially welcome.

Angela Castle and Susie Robertson will be going to the Albert Hall for the National Federation Women’s Institute Annual Meeting  Janet and Wendy expressed an interest in going to the cinema at Yeovil to watch the day unfold, live on screen June 4.

Patricia Heap is our new representative on the village hall committee.

The semi finals of the skittles competition will be played April 23 venue Travellers Rest East Pennard, opponents Buckland Dinham W I.

Women Walk the World.  Meet at the Castlebrook car park Tuesday April 28 to walk around the village, returning to the Castlebrook where mine host has kindly donated sandwiches and chips. The charge for this walk is £2.50 – all proceed to ACWW.

September sees us celebrating 100 years of W I the theme will be a Rainbow Party, ideas wanted please, – watch this space.

We will be entering a team at the Group Quiz at Woolavington June 19. Next month Yvonne Whittamore will speak on Fabric Flowers.Ladies Who Lunch will meet at the Castlebrook.

The competition for a decorated egg was won by Corinne, second Janet Davis and Christina third. The Flower of the Month winner Janet Davis with a mixed display of tulips and grape hyacinths.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – February 2015

Trish chaired this meeting, Kathy still not able to resume her duties following her recent operation. Trish was ably assisted by Janet. Apologies included one from Verity, who is hoping to rejoin at a later date, Jim still having a long term health problem. Angela is away, sunning herself in Florida. Janet Wall is also suffering somewhat with a painful knee, we wish her well and hope she will come back to the meetings soon.

Apologies to Corrine Webb from this correspondent, Corinne won the January competition for a Christmas decoration, with a bell,and the accolade went to Sally Walker. Sally has also announced that she is unable to take up her position as our representative on the village hall committee because the meetings fall on a Thursday evening and Sally is already committed on Thursdays.

Wendy announced that Jack Fisher of Berhill had approached her with an offer of a gift of TV remote control boxes which he had hand made with the possibility of selling same to raise funds for our depleted coffers. This will be discussed and a decision taken when a sample box has been seen to see if this is a viable proposition.

Congratulations to Julie Gordon who has won the County Christmas Quiz competition, a first for Compton Dundon.

Skittles: We won our match against Pawlett W I – we will play Walton W I in the next round of the cup knock out competition at the Ring of Bells Ashcott March 6 at  8 p m.

Janet continues her long running campaign to reinstate the bus service around Dundon and has had positive feed back from the bus company – watch this space but Janet emphasised that, if this service is resumed, it is up to everyone in Dundon to support it.

Notes from the recent Business meeting:

Kathy Newell of Puriton W I is still trying to obtain a stall at the Glastonbury Festival (held at Worthy Farm Pilton)

Should this bid be successful, the stall will be in the Green Field and conditions include having 15 free passes for volunteers.

It is not yet known how much this  will cost but money has been put aside. Thanks were received from the Music and Drama representative for the contributions to the recent Christmas concert where the theme was Old Time Music Hall.

Christmas Concert 2015 Monday December 7 at Puriton Church, theme Aspects of Christmas.

Janet Goodwin announced the winners of the league skittles,  Middlezoy W I and Walton W I first and second respectively.

Spring Council Meeting, March 23 Westonzoyland village hall, Speaker’s subject Hobble Skirts and Harlem Pants.

Group Quiz Friday June 19 Woolavington village hall.

Scrabble: Meet at Angela Warren’s Tuesday March 17. No Ladies who Lunch this month.

Trish announced that Bucklers Mead W I will be our visitors in June – members to bring a plate of food. Trish is running a  Savings Scheme for anyone who wishes to save towards the Christmas meal and next year’s subscriptions.

The village hall committee have purchased super new chairs, sitting is now much more comfortable.

Our Speaker, Dawn Lawrence whose subject is Endangered Species told us that her contribution to saving endangered species is to write poems which are subsequently sold in book form, funds going to saving animals. Dawn said her son inspired her, telling her humorous stories about camels whilst he was working abroad. Her first book featured 73 animals and the money raised was used for rain forest projects. Virginia McKellan, Joanna Lumley and David Sheppard are among the well known celebrities who are supporters of the same cause and the David Sheppard Foundation sells her books.

Following this initial introduction Dawn then read us a series of very well written,humorous poems featuring all species ranging from a glass frog who lives in the rain forests, Bengal tiger, polar bear, horned antelope from North America, snow goose ostrich, an animal who looks like guinea pig, sneezing monkey and tamarin monkey who is famous for its long droopy moustache and  a jaguar. Dawn also told us of rescuing a baby hedgehog who without her loving care would certainly have died and which she subsequently took to a hedgehog sanctuary.Talking of water voles,Dawn said this animal should never be known as Ratty as in Wind in the Willows, as in most certainly is not a rat

Members were able to purchase copies of the poetry books written by Dawn. Frances thanked Dawn and said she was certain her grandchildren would love the books.

The competition for a Wild Animal in any medium was won by Gill Clothier with a handsome tiger head plate with Trish Cox second and Patricia Heap third. Flower of the Month: winner Sally Walker with sprigs of Daphne.

Next month’s Speaker, Amelia Draffin Wiltshire Farm Foods.Competition Favourite Plate. Visitors very welcome.

Wendy Edwards

WI Meeting – January 2015

At the Christmas party held in December Gill presented Anthea Bell with the skittles cup, Wendy Edwards being the surprised runner up.  The next match will be a Cup Round versus Pawlett W I on Friday January 23 at the Ring of Bells Ashcott.

Kathy was unable to attend the meeting as she is still recovering from a recent operation on her foot, she is making good progress but did not think it wise to venture out on one of the wildest nights of the winter Trish competently dealt with the business ably assisted by Janet We were very pleased to welcome visitors, and to record the enrolment of several new members.Subs were paid.

Apologies for absence included one from Verity, whose husband, Jim has some serious health problems – we wish him well and one from Kath Franks who is making slow progress but who is hoping to rejoin us in the Spring.

A recent fund raising stall held at the Big Breakfast and the Christmas dinner raised £200 for our depleted bank balance.

An invitation was received from Frances and Allen to join their Wassail celebrations at 12 noon January 18. Kathy thanked us for the plant she had received. We heard sad news from Wiviliscombe W I that Betty Knight had died but on a more positive note, Vicky, from Wilton Lodge has given birth to a baby girl, four weeks early but still weighing in at 8lbs 12ozs. A thank you letter from Yeovil and District Support Group for Osteoporosis for the recent donation on £20 forwarded by November’s speaker,  Rosemary Leaf.

Resolutions were to be found on page 39 of the latest W I  Life magazine and members were invited to vote for the resolution they wish to go forward for consideration.

Forthcoming events: Scrabble Wednesday January 21 at Mary’s 6.45 p m – new scrabblers very welcome.

Ladies who Lunch Wednesday January 21.

Bristol Hippodrome for Anton and Erin March 29

Possible  Group outing to Strode Theatre for Oliver the week commencing April 20 and for the film

Second Exotic Marigold Hotel the week commencing April 27.

Trip to the Matthew at Bristol August 18

News of members – Sally Walker is the new representative for W I on the village hall committee.

Betty Bowles celebrated her 90th birthday,congratulations Betty, and is hoping to come back to our meetings in the Spring.

Our Speaker, Martyn Steer spoke to us on Local Justice. Martyn told us of his previous life – he spent 27 years in the RAF, having joined on leaving school, spending three years at college. Martyn travelled all over the U K, Germany, Cyprus, Libya, and had lunch with Gadalfi. In 27 years Martyn and his wife moved house 18 times and one day he decided he did not want to do it any more.He became a school bursar and on retirement, was persuaded by a certain Gerry Castle  to join the ranks of Magistrates and was taken on board in 2009. No further recruitment is taking place as the work load has reduced due to some matters being dealt with “out of court”. Martyn warned us that the following talk would not be a barrel of laughs but encouraged us to interrupt along the way to enlighten proceedings and he did admit there were times when he could manage a wry smile.

Local justice has been administered since 1361 in the days of Edward 111. 96% of crime committed in the country is dealt with locally and every case starts in a magistrates’ court. Sentences are passed for people who plead guilty and trials are held for people pleading not guilty. Sentences can vary for what appears to be similar crimes when extenuating circumstances are taken into account. Many people attend court, Crown Prosecution Lawyers, Witness Support, – legal advisers, interpreters if deemed necessary – courts can become rather crowded.

The main aim of sentencing is obviously punishment but this is tempered with the opportunities for rehabilitation and anger management courses.A question as to why some cases take so long to come to court, was due to the police and the Crown Prosecution Service not acting swiftly but it is hoped that, in the future, with the aid of modern technology, a great improvement will be seen.

Family courts are civil proceedings and we were surprised magistrates have the power to remove a vulnerable child from its parents and place in foster care, although Martyn emphasised there is a great deal of expert advice from the appropriate parties. Members of the public are not allowed access to Family Courts. All of this gave us a great deal to think about – Martyn explained everything very well indeed, and answered our  questions patiently. Patricia Heap thanked Martyn who donated his fee to his charity, Benchmark which raises funds for grants to youth projects.

The competition for a hand made Christmas decoration was won by Sally Walker and the Flower of the Month was won by Pat Maddaford with primroses. Spring cannot be far away.

Next month’s speaker Dawn Lawrence will speak on Endangered Species the competition is for a wild animal in any medium but nothing alive please.

Wendy Edwards.