For our July meeting, we welcomed Victoria Barrett. Her talk was ‘Simply Alpaca; an unforgettable experience’. Even without the presence of a live alpaca, Victoria’s presentation was entertaining and informative; we certainly learnt a lot about life with alpacas. She did bring alpaca wool products for us to admire and so overall, a lovely evening.
Bearing in mind the wet weather we have had these last 2 weeks, we have been extremely lucky in the 2 trips we have recently had.
Following Will Kerton's talk earlier this year, a few of us went on a tour of Churchfields Farm last week. Fortunately the weather held whilst we explored the milking parlour, the cow sheds, the boi-mass boiler and the salt sheds. It was an interesting experience and we all learnt something new. After our adventures in the farm yard, it was back to the cafe for a well deserved cream tea. Some of us couldn't resist the temptation to buy some ice cream - some were even prepared with their coolboxes; well it was certainly needed for the one who bought 6 tubs of icecream.
Then yesterday, to Moreton Hall & Gardens. Yet again the weather held whilst we explored this privately owned garden which had been extensively restored. With fantastic views across to Wales, this was a true hidden gem of Worcestershire.
Unfortunately, there are no photos of our visit to Churchfields but we do have a few of Moreton Hall Gardens.
A lovely day in May and 7 of us joined the WI Garden Club visit to Stone House Cottage Gardens. Described as a romantic garden set in an old walled garden, it did not disappoint. Lots of unusual plants dotted amongst the wall and flowers, and so much to see in what is only 1 acre! After our meander round the Garden, it was time for a cup of tea. Unfortunately no refreshments at Stone House Cottage but just across the road was Hogarths Stone Manor. Well they were doing a special offer on tea and scones ....... so we had no choice really! Tasty fresh baked scones with clotted cream and jam; what a lovely way to finish our afternoon.
So our new Garden Club have completed their first outing together, a visit to Spetchley Gardens. A small group of 4 went and one of our members, Judith, has reported back as follows: "it was a lovely day and I certainly was very impressed by the beautiful garden. As it is so near and easy walking I would certainly recommend it as a place to visit. Annual membership is only £20 per year so worth joining as a relaxing place to visit. ". So first visit done but they have plenty more planned and hopefully we will see numbers 'blossom'!
10 members were greeted at the chapel by Cllr Chris Parsons and Cllr Julie Hemming. Julie kindly served us tea/coffee and cake whilst Chris gave us a very informative talk as to how and why Pershore Town Council undertook renovating the chapels. The buildings had fallen into disrepair but have been carefully renovated, as much as possible, to the original design and retaining as many features as possible. Originally there were two chapels either side of a covered arch, one Cof E and one RC. The Roman Catholic chapel is now a comfortable reception room, complete with a small kitchen, for people to wait away from the elements or hold a small wake. It was felt a stained glass window would complete the restoration of the chapel and so a commemorative window was commissioned as a memorial to those who served in both world wars. It was installed and dedicated for the centenary of the end of WW1.
The window consists of three panels:
Above the panels 3 traceries show the dove of peace with the sun’s rays radiating towards the windows. We all agreed it is a stunning window and a beautiful memorial to all who lived and died during conflict and a message of hope for the future.
We then enjoyed a pleasant chat and more tea, coffee and biscuits at the home of Mary, who lives alongside the cemetery. A most enjoyable morning.
Continuing our foodie theme of talks (well this is the third one this year!), in April we welcomed Shona Kelly of Peter Cook Bakery to introduce us to the art of real bread making. After telling us about her journey into bread-making, how Peter Cook Bakery developed and their mission to convert us to ‘real’ bread, she then demonstrated how best to prepare a dough for baking. It looked so easy that those of us who are not normally tempted into the kitchen have been encouraged to give it a try. Needless to say the bread she brought along for tasting was delicious.
Functional Neurological Disorder? This is as common as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) but is not known widely by the medical profession. One of our helpers at our last WITCH session lives with this condition; she has had to learn to walk again and has some years of physiotherapy and had speech therapy to help her talk coherently. Her family are very proud of her as she struggles to live a ‘normal’ life and be a ‘normal’ mum to her children. Unfortunately there is very little support from the NHS. Next week is the FND awareness week. and so if you can, have look at the FND website and the YouTube link to the condition and feel free to share this information.
March WITCH was a night of multi-tasking with crafters being able to try out 4 different quick crafts during the evening. First though we had a demonstration by one of our crafters on upcycling cards to make baskets – very clever use of cards and very effective & attractive looking baskets. Crafters then had the opportunity to try stone painting, make tassells, macrame key rings and button bracelets. We are now taking a break for the spring and summer, but we will be back and ready to start again in September.
Unfortunately, the planned speaker for our March meeting had to cancel but she had given us good notice and so we were able to source an alternative speaker in plenty of time. Having supported Cotswold RDA as our charity for 2018, we were delighted to welcome Claire Jenkins, their General Manager, to tell us more about the Cotswold RDA. Presenting with slides, she gave an inspiring talk on the work they do, how it enables those with disabilities and their plans for the future. It was exciting to see how much their work encourages a 'can do' attititude and how they are looking to widen the experiences of those children and adults that attend. A well deserving and hard working group to support!
Another night of concentration! Once we got started, there was no stopping the knotting!
Using paracord for their first bracelet, our crafters got the hang of the knots making a pink chunky bracelet before having a well deserved cup of tea and cake. Then it was onto twine and beads to do their second bracelets. Unfortunately, forgot to take photos again ..... must try harder at our next session in March.