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.