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

April WI report

The April meeting was very well attended and the members were blessed with the view of a spectacular sunset from our lovely Village Hall.

After the business our speaker Pam Martin, of “Somerset in Stitch”, gave an illustrated and practical talk with many examples, giving members the opportunity to try for themselves. She describes herself as a Stitchmaker, not exclusively sewing, or embroidery, but all sorts of work with yarns, wools, silks etc. Her passion however is free machine embroidery, which is apparently possible on any sewing machine by using a darning foot and covering or dropping the feed dogs. Severasl members took the opportunity to use the sewing machine ewhich Pam had brought with her. Using water soluble material and brightly coloured machine threads they added stitches to a frame of soluble fabric. Once sufficiently stitched the item is washed and the soluble fabric disappears leaving a gossamer fine circular structure which can be dried over a form to give it a bowl-like shape.

Pam also showed us her collection of postcard sized machine stitched local views, and large photographs which she has copied in stitching, the quality of which was impressive and could easily be mistaken for photographs. Members were enthusiastic and enjoyed this lively talk. Claire Axten thanked Pam for her talk and said that she might have encouraged members to try a new sewing skill.

The competition was for “a stitched item” and this was won by. The Flower of the Month was won by. and attracted many vases of lovely blooms.

Trish Cox has a Craft Club which meets in the hall on the first and second Tuesday of each month at 9.30 to 12.30. The cost is £2 per meeting but is not exclusively for WI members. Why not drop in to the village hall and have a cuppa with the group, bringing your latest craft item or a half forgotten unfinished project. Trish’s Coffee Morning on the 13th is raising money for St Margaret’s.

Several members will be visiting The Houses of Parliament on July 3rd which is sure to be a most interesting day. Also the Executive Producer of “The Night Manager” TV Series, Simon Cornwell, is speaking at the Oake Manor Lodge Golf Club, with clips and out-takes from the show on June 23rd, with a Carvery and Dessert being served as well. Angie Castle will be attending.

We will be “Walking The World” in May, the date to be announced at the next meeting. Also Bucklers Mead WI will be visiting in July.

This village WI has a very friendly group of women who are always happy to welcome visitors and new members on the second Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. We enjoy visits to theatre, gardens, factories exhibitions to name but a few, and we also have a “Ladies Who Lunch” group who meet monthly usually at a local hostelry. You are very welcome to join us at our next meeting on Wednesday May 10th when the speaker will be Michael Malaghan whose talk is entitled “It Shouldn’t Happen To A Writer”. The competition will be a Comical Greeting Card.

The Flower of the Month competition was won by Janet Davies, and the Embroidered Item was won by Claire Axten with a beautiful embroidered picture. Susie Robertson was second and Trish Cox third.

Sally Walker

Compton Dundon WI

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.