November 2018: News From The W.I's
Beechmere Belles WI
We all arrived in our comfy clothes for our August meeting of the Beechmere Belles. This was the one we had all been looking forward to: Tai Chi. After an informative introduction, we all took our places and began to follow the smooth flowing movements.
Never have we made less noise, mainly because most of us were holding our breath while trying to follow the instructor and not to lose our balance on the turns. We were assured that this is a common thing beginners do, as they are so focused on getting it right. With breathing now being encouraged, we began to relax, the movements felt more comfortable and a rhythm was beginning to form.
It was fair to say everybody enjoyed the evening and, as usual, we finished off with tea, coffee and cake - what was not to like?
At this point I would like to say that we have had fantastic cakes made by our members this year: gin and tonic, apple crumble loaf and chocolate fudge tray bake, to name just a few.
September was another much-awaited meeting. We were visited by Sean McCormack, one of the Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the
Guard. Along with the history of its beginnings, Sean told us how he stood guard in Westminster Hall within Westminster Palace where the Queen
Mother laid in state, how he attends the opening of Parliament, where to this day they still search the cellars - thanks to Guy Fawkes - and many other state occasions. Along with his uniform, photographs and a letter of thanks from the Queen, we were treated to an entertaining insight into the life of a body guard: who knew that under all that smart red uniform was a man wearing stockings and suspenders?
As we all turned our calendars to October, there was still plenty to look forward to. The Wills Memorial Building tour was a great success. We got to see the beautiful Great Hall, and were able to sit in Winston Churchill’s chair, before climbing 345 steps to the top of the Wills tower, stopping on the way to hear the history of Great George, the building’s bell. Standing beside it as it struck 2 o’clock, and feeling the bell vibrate for so long afterwards, was a great experience. We finished the day with refreshments; after all that exercise, we needed to replace our fluids. Thank goodness Park Street has such a good selection of bars, coffee shops and restaurants.
The middle of October took us for an evening at Paintpotts in Thornbury, where we spent our time designing and painting our various choices of pottery. A creative bunch we were, in between chatting, drinking coffee and eating cake.
Our monthly meeting saw us celebrate the 4th Birthday of The Beechmere Belles. After re-electing senior posts and committee, we got down to the serious business of the fun quiz - each team determined to win. The most beautiful cake was made by our very talented secretary, which we all enjoyed with a drink.
The November meeting will see us making various Christmas crafts. If anybody would like to come and spend the evening with the friendly and fun Beechmere Belles, we meet every fourth Thursday at Emerson’s Green Village Hall.
Shortwood Village WI
Good day, everyone! Our October meeting was our AGM and 11th birthday, so we heard reports from our president, secretary and treasurer about the happenings over the last year.
Then down to business, which was to elect our committee for the coming year. Catherine, our president, reluctantly resigned after doing a magnificent job both forming our group initially and presiding over proceedings for the last eleven years. In that time we have had many hours of education from inspirational speakers, trips to various places of interest and hours of fun within the group at our monthly meetings, including popular and infamous quizzes run by Caroline and Lewina.
The nomination and voting process was carried out and rounded off with the mandatory tea and birthday cake, followed by a quiz to get the grey matter working!
Jo updated us on our plans for events to take place in 2019, as we are the host group in our area.
The November meeting is a talk from Tim Lewis, called Around the World in 80 Days.
We meet on the second Thursday of the month, so our next meeting is November 8 and we would love to welcome new members.
Our meeting place is behind the chapel in Shortwood, which is on the main road running through our village.
I want to offer my thanks and gratitude to all the 17-18 committee members.
You gave us a cracking 12 months, whilst ticking off lots of WI objectives.
Our monthly meetings were engaging, interesting and educational.
From a foot care demo, history night and a light hearted talk from an old friend, followed by life skills, a jolly good party with tons of chocolate not forgetting copious amounts of tea and cake.
We attended to the important matter of the 2018 WI Resolution, Mental Health Matters, in May.
We supported local community events such as St James’ Church Summer, Christmas Fairs and Mangotsfield Festival.
In December our chosen charity was the Salvation Army; we donated Christmas gifts.
We shared social activities with a number of neighbouring WI’s and supported some of their events.
Craft club, pub lunches, and supper evenings were well attended with good company, food and alcohol J.
WI activities range from Art to Zumba: it concerns itself with public affairs, including social policy, health and the environment. There really is something for every woman.
It isn’t all ‘Jam and Jerusalem’ it’s also ‘cake and coffee’ or ‘fun and friendship’.
I started by thanking our committee, so I will finish by thanking each lady who has helped and contributed in any way.