Doveside WI News 2008

Newsletter - Winter 2008

Doveside W.I. continues to meet at Rolleston Scout HQ on the third Friday morning of each month at 9.45am.

The recent meetings have covered two very different topics. In September a very interesting talk on well dressing was given by Derek Palmer. As his family have been involved with well dressing in Derby for over 100 years, his illustrated talk not only showed the stages involved in the procedure, but also many photographs of years ago showing the old streets and people involved.

Mr Palmer has continued the family tradition and makes wool replicas of the well dressings, and of some of the beautiful buildings that have been demolished in Derby. Obviously a very talented man, he makes these for stage sets, churches etc. – a permanent reminder, but let’s hope the great tradition of well dressing continues.

Another equally gifted speaker came to the October meeting, Mrs Margaret Banton gave a demonstration of card making, using a variety of materials and techniques, she made a selection of most attractive Christmas cards inspiring many members to make their own. Such was the interest she has been asked to return next year to hold a card making workshop.

Some of the members attended the recent Group meeting held at de Ferrers School where they heard an account of the life of an apothecary. They were pleased to report that the craft competition was won by a Doveside member, Mrs Audrey Wolstenholme with a beautifully crocheted herb pillow.

The next few weeks will be busy with preparations for Christmas including decorating a wreath for the church Festival of Christmas Trees and Advent Wreaths. Apart from W.I. Carol services, both Group and County, the meetings for the rest of the year include Aromas of Christmas, and a visit by a belly dancer – should be interesting.

New members will be very welcome at any of our meetings.

Eluned White

Newsletter - Autumn 2008

Doveside W.I. meetings at the Village Scout HQ are “under new management” – Ann Haywood replaced Mildred Bailey after her term of office as President and the Secretary and Treasurer are also new.

The May meeting was given a most enlightening talk about the hard work involved in the running of St Giles’ Hospice at Whittington. Lyn Shiel gave an account of its origins, the valuable work going on to help both the patients and their families, and the efforts to raise funds to cover ever increasing costs.

This meeting was also attended by County Adviser Valerie Lasslin, who led the discussions about this year’s W.I Resolutions – one about bottom Trawling, and the other regarding the imprisonment of mentally ill offenders.

In June, Mrs Marshall spoke of the inspiration and dedication of members of the congregation of a church near Lichfield when they decided to commemorate its anniversary with a tapestry. With her expertise to guide them, they produced a work of art relating to village activities. This then led to further stitchcraft, by both novices and experienced needlewomen, and men – a credit to them all.

A rather expensive facelift was the topic in July – not a “New Look” for W. I members, but the refurbishment of Sudbury Hall Museum of Childhood. Sue Fraser gave a very interesting illustrated talk about the stages in this mammoth task – from planning, design and rebuilding work, to the cataloguing, storage and conservation of the many exhibits. When all this was completed, decisions as to the contents of rooms and cabinets then had to be made, and finding new exhibits to fill any gaps. This had resulted in a museum well worth a visit, although some of the old favourites may well be sadly missed.

The next meeting, in September, will hear about Well Dressings to start the Autumn programme which will also include Card Making, Aromas of Christmas and Belly Dancing!

New members are welcome on the third Friday of every month at 9.45am.

Eluned White

Newsletter - Summer 2008

Over recent months Doveside W.I. has continued to meet at the Scout Headquarters in the village.

The programme has been varied and hopefully enjoyed by the members.

A History of Ladies Fashion from 1840 – 1940 was the topic of the talk given by Mrs Elspeth Knight. Out of what appeared to be two bottomless suitcases, she produced various outfits to illustrate her talk – from the cumbersome bustle to utility clothing - she gave a flavour of dress over that period of time. Some of the group could remember the more recent attire, but I think all would have a mixture of relief at not having to wear the more uncomfortable clothes, yet have a hankering for the elegance and style of some of the other items.

At another meeting, members were given “Food for Thought” by the speaker Mr Lawrence Oates – his talk about Fairtrade was most informative and interesting. He explained the origins of the organisation, and how it works, illustrating this with a poster display and various examples of the products for sale. The merchandise included coffee, tea and chocolate, flowers, clothing and a football – the latter made in India. The projects help the communities involved, and Fairtrade also promotes British workers. Much hard work is undertaken both abroad, and in this country where they publicise the products and it is heartening to hear that local stores and outlets offer good support.

A Coffee Morning was held in February, and hopefully other social events will be organised in the months to come. The programme for the summer meetings will include a talk about St Giles Hospice and one about Marks and Spencer.

It is with sadness that this account of the last few months ends, as members will be upset to hear of the death of Noreen Sloper, who has been a loyal member and until recently the Group’s Treasurer.

Eluned White

Newsletter - Spring 2008

A historical theme seems to have woven its way into the topics for Doveside W.I. over the last few months.

The talk given by Mr George Hook in November, gave a most interesting and informative insight into the history and craftsmanship of the mother of pearl trade. He is the only craftsman with these skills left in the Birmingham area, and the company founded many generations ago by his family, may well disappear – modern methods of manufacture and competition from abroad having contributed to its demise. After a brief history of the firm, he explained some of the materials, techniques involved in manufacture, and handed around the various shells used, and then the finished articles, including cutlery handles, buckles and jewellery. It is sad to think that this skill could be lost for ever in Britain.

A seasonal talk – Customs for Christmas, given by Mrs Joan Ward, at the December meeting – again looked back in time. Reminiscing about her own family Christmases over the years, she went on to speak of the traditions through the ages – the never-ending, many-course meals of Tudor times, the introduction of the Christmas Tree, carol singing around the piano rather than watching television, and other interesting anecdotes including the reputed signing of over 60,000 cards by one man. Following the meeting members enjoyed a lunch, prepared by some of them, but were then saddened by news of the death of Mrs Cath Gamble, a long serving member.

The first speaker of the New Year, Mrs Sylvia Martin, spoke about the National Trust Literary Trail – delving back in time to illustrate the connections between many of the Trust’s properties and famous authors. The homes of Rudyard Kipling, Beatrix Potter and Virginia Woolf were among the many that she mentioned – a most interesting talk, sure to inspire members to visit some of these beautiful houses and gardens.

The last few months have been filled with various other activities including Scrabble, Theatre visits, Carol Services, not to mention Angel making! A varied programme has been planned for 2008 – topics ranging from Bee Keeping to Belly Dancing, Well Dressing to Fairtrade.

Eluned White

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Last updated: 19 December 2008