The Marches Group Meeting was held at Brampton Bryan on Thursday 27 June. Brampton Bryan WI were this year's hosts and the subject was 'Showcasing Brampton Bryan' and we were taken from the hall over to the historic village church of St Barnabas and learnt of its history and also of the Harley family (Lady Susan Harley gave us the talk). She took us into the Hall grounds which also contains the famous castle which was severely destroyed in the Civil War. The weather was perfect and the tour was followed by an excellent afternoon tea in the Parish Hall. Members from all WIs in the Marches Group attended, together with members from Bucknell WI in the Shropshire Federation. It was a splendid afternoon.
The original plan for this month’s meeting (a visit to a Wellington WI member’s garden) had to be abandoned due to very inclement weather; instead our members met as customary at the village hall for some last minute entertainment organised by our joint President Barbara Morgan. Inspiration was obviously not lacking as we were introduced to “Handbag Bingo” and “Weigh the Handbag”. The plethora of items that many of us carry in our handbags proved a revelation and the weight of two or three probably placed them in the offensive weapons category. Prizes were distributed to the winners and refreshments followed.
The Lunch Club met this month at The Riverside in Aymestry on 22nd May. It was a beautiful sunny day to stroll by the river, and enjoy the fresh produce used to create our delicious lunches, and we received a very warm welcome from the staff.
Our Speaker this month was Jules McRobbie who talked to us about her experiences Wild Swimming. While many of us perhaps felt slightly chilled envisaging some of the bitterly cold water that she often ventured into in the depths of winter, it was nonetheless a very interesting talk and everyone was impressed by her adventurous spirit. There was at least one member who seemed keen to brave the element and perhaps become involved in this slightly unusual pastime. Sheila Futcher gave a vote of thanks, which was followed by refreshments including hot tea or coffee which assuaged the drop in temperatures engendered by the thought of all that cold water!
We were invited to Pembridge WI for their “Pimms and Puddings” event on 1st May to celebrate their centenary. The Kington Operatic entertained us by singing songs from popular shows, they were really good and of course their puddings were to die for! We all had a wonderful time.
A number of our members attended this month’s Lunch Club get-together, which was on Monday 29th at The Angel at Kingsland.
The talk at our April meeting was about “Half Timbered Houses”. Our speaker, Penny Platts, was introduced and for almost an hour held the attention of her audience with a wealth of information about these ancient and very beautiful buildings, mostly in Herefordshire but a few in other parts of the country. We in this county are indeed privileged to be endowed with such a rich heritage and members were duly impressed by the breadth of Penny’s knowledge. Cerian Stokes gave a vote of thanks.
Our speaker at this meeting was Major Mike Atkinson who presented an informative talk on the work of the army’s Bomb Disposal Teams. Most members were probably unaware of how few components were required to make a simple bomb. While perhaps no-one had doubted that bomb disposal was a somewhat risky profession, Major Atkinson’s talk certainly focussed the mind to the risks that these teams take in order to keep us safe. Vanessa Woodward gave the vote of thanks. Refreshments followed.
Our speaker this month was Dawn Arkell. Dawn is a Pilates instructor who gave an enlightening talk on the history of Pilates, its theory and the well documented health benefits to people of all ages. This was followed by a few “simple” exercises designed to improve balance, during which one member at least found it difficult to remain upright. Without mentioning names the Minutes Secretary has now enrolled in one of Dawn’s classes.
If anyone is interested in attending any of Dawn's classes details can be found on her website: www.dawnarkellpilates.com
Monday – Weobley Village Hall . 10.30am
Monday – Kingsland Village Hall. 6.30pm
Tuesday – Leominster, The Forbury Chapel, 10am (low level) & 11.30 (Intermediate class)
Wednesday – Eardisland Village Hall, 10am & 11.15am
Friday – Leominster Community Centre, 10am
Dawn said that the 10 am class on Tuesday and the 11.15 on Wednesday are the most suitable for beginners.
It was lovely to see so many visitors and potential new members at the February meeting, we hope to add you to our membership in March!
Our own Debbie "Kirsty" Weaver gave a demonstration of some Christmas Crafting skills. Following Debbie’s instructions members swiftly learned how to make very attractive gift bags and tea lights using their own materials and some generously supplied by Debbie. The results of everyone’s efforts were very satisfactory and this part of the evening finished with a sense of achievement, enjoyment, a lot of mess – and of course a vote of thanks to Debbie whose organisational skills are to be commended.
Refreshments followed, the table looking very festive thanks to Barbara’s efforts. Crackers were pulled, paper hats worn and riddles were read. Custom was followed when Secret Santa presents were distributed, but with a novel twist on this occasion, once again organised by Debbie with an outside inflatable dice which was thrown onto the table and dependent on which number came up. Members either stole someone else’s present, moved all presents to the left or right, or exchanged presents before finally opening the present that they finished up with. As most members had imbibed a sufficient quantity of mulled wine during the course of the evening, this game became somewhat raucous.
An exceptionally successful meeting finally closed at 10.20 pm.