Our January meeting was spent with “10 minutes in the life of….”. This was another opportunity to hear stories from our own members (pictured below) about their lives; we heard stories of running wild as a child round Bredon Hill, lending cushions to Prince Charles and love across a crowded dance floor. This is always a very entertaining and interesting evening and is a lovely opportunity to learn a little more about our members. This was followed by a slideshow presentation of what Eckington WI had been upto in 2017; if you have read our reports, you’ll know what a busy time we had! As well as our members, we also had a special guest, Bella. She was very good and helped to model a specially knitted jumper ... for a dog! Bella is a potential assistance dog and currently lives with one of our members until she matures. She occasionally comes to our meeting as part of her 'puppy training'; although she is a little bigger than a puppy now!
Well our last meeting of the year was a fun filled evening with Sylvesta the Jester. After welcoming members with a glass of wine, we settled down but not for long as Sylvesta in full jester regalia, led us in song and jokes throughout the evening. Finishing with a lively, loud rendition of Jingle Bells with all members taking part in shaking & ringing a variety of percussion instruments, we bade farewell to Sylvesta and then had a well-deserved cup of tea, served with mince pies and stollen. Business then followed with reports given on past events, such as our latest Craft Evening (please see our separate WITCH report below) and reminders of upcoming events, and in particular our Christmas Meal when we will be making a return visit to Whistlers. We also said goodbye to our Secretary Jeanne who is leaving us following her recent move away from the village; she will be missed. The meeting closed with the President wishing everyone a happy Christmas and looking forward to seeing everyone in the New Year.
Another good turnout for our last WITCH session on November 29th. Everyone had a chance to make at least 4 decorations - metallic ribbon baubles, a Christmas Pudding Box, a Santa tea light and a 5 point origami star. Some decorations were quicker to make than others and so there was opportunity to make additional decorations such as birch twig hearts, beaded decorations and felt mice. Phew - exhausting night but good results. Unfortunately did not get chance to take photos on the night but picture below is a sample of what we were producing.
Our meeting on November 1st was a timely event; we welcomed Alan Keech of Thoughtfully Wrapped who, after a potted history of wrapping gifts and tips about various wrapping papers, demonstrated a great way of gift wrapping a bottle. WI members & visitors had come prepared with bottles and paper etc to follow his lead. But whilst looking relatively easy to do, it was not as simple as we thought. Most of us had some issues along the way but we did end up with some very smartly dressed bottles which I am sure will be much appreciated by their recipients.
One of the pleasures of WI is the social activities organised by various groups. On Thursday 26 October, Naunton Beauchamp held a group meeting and presented Chloe the Midnight Storyteller. Chloe was a lovely vivacious lady who continues the tradition of storytelling with stories old and new. Jo & I went and were thoroughly entertained by the telling of her tales. The ladies of Naunton Beauchamp also provided supper of soup and bread - gorgeous home made soup. We both helped ourselves to lashings of soup and bread. Oops ....... we hadn't realised that the evening was ending with coffee and a huge selection of home made chocolates. Each table had a plate of 12 chocolates - enough for 2 each on a table of 6. Did I say that Jo & I were the only ones on our table but still had a plate of 12. Well what's a girl to do? So yes, we did ... we ate all 12! But there was still loads of chocolates left and we did refuse when they came round offering more chocolates .....
Our second WITCH session was decoupage on glass. This was a lovely evening with everyone working away and creating some lovely pieces of work. Many were surprised at the effect you could get with quite simple things and the best thing is this really is a craft where you can use things you have already got at home; well perhaps you might need to buy some craft glue.
5 of us went to this year's ACM at the 3 Counties Showground.
The meeting started with an uplifting rendition of Jerusalem. Business followed then we had a short presentation by Richard Tomkinson; Richard is the owner of Rosebank Vineyard where the grapes for the WFWI Centenary wine were grown. He gave an informed account of how the wine came to be made. Bottles of the wine were on sale (& we have bought some bottles ready for our own celebrations in 2018!).
The morning finished with a talk by Ben Cooper, an antique dealer who is frequently on Bargain Hunt. He gave an entertaining talk on his working life and his involvement with Bargain Hunt.
During the lunch break, we had an opportunity to marvel at the fabulous entries in the various competitions and buy home made crafts and produce.
Now Prue Leith had been booked as the guest speaker for the afternoon and many of us were looking forward to hear her talk; so it was such a shame that she had had to cancel at short notice! However, despite this short notice another speaker had been found to entertain us - Alison Sharman. Her CV was an impressive one including being the Controller BBC 1 Daytime. She had been instrumental in bring to our screens such delights as Masterchef, Bargain Hunt, Tipping Point to name but a few. She explained how she became interested in food and cooking, how her involvement in the various programmes came about. Her work has clearly been a mission of love and inspiration.
Finally after the presentation of prizes and a singing of the National Anthem, we went along our way home.
Our October meeting was a Harvest Celebration. It was a members only evening where we enjoyed a Harvest Celebration Supper prepared by Helping Hands. A delicious 2 course meal taking advantage of locally sourced seasonal produce included a seasonal vegetable filo pie, with an alternative chicken in wine dish, followed by a seasonal fruit salad and superb apple pie. All very tasty and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. After the supper, we had a knock-out conker competition; an elimination game which ultimately led to a ‘one hit showdown’. Unfortunately after several rounds of successful knock-outs, there was no final one hit champion so the competition was drawn. Here we all are waiting for our celebration to start!
Wednesday night was our first WITCH (WI The Craft Hub) meeting. Great to see so many from the village join us. Excluding our helpers, we had 9 WI members with 18 non-WI! So after a brief introduction to the night, everyone got on with the business of creating some lovely tea-towels and tote bags, whilst enjoying some tea & cake along the way. Couldn't do an all in one picture of everyone so had to split it into 3; talking of 3s, we had 3 generations of one family join - can you tell who they are?
Based on our performance at the March Hare Leisure Centre, probably not very fast! Cynthia, Sue, Sass, Mary Briscoe and I went to the WFWI Sports Taster Day last Thursday. First was the go-karting: 2 sessions 'racing' round the track. I think we all went quicker on our second go having got used to the track and the karts. However, not quick enough to be the fastest over all. Then onto crossbow shooting. We all hit the targets - so beware if you see any of us sporting a crossbow! Lunch was provided after an exciting but long morning. Photos below - can you identify the drivers? Separate videos can be found on our Facebook Page.