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.

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