Rolleston-on-Dove WI News 2004

Newsletter - Winter 2004

Christmas is coming and we look forward to our party and to the Group Carol Service, which this year is in Rolleston Church on Wednesday 15th December. The Autumn Group meeting attended by many members took place in Hanbury when a professional pantomime dame entranced members with his anecdotes, his make up and the beautiful costumes he makes himself. Several members attended the Autumn Council meeting at the County Showground to hear National Chairman Barbara Gill and the Rev. Roger Royle and cheer the members of our winning Quiz Team who won the Knighton Challenge Shield.

We have held classes for Chinese wraps (ask a member!) and to make items for the annual Fair. We hope you didn’t miss the bargains and the homemade cakes.

February 2005 is a milestone month for Rolleston W.I. as we mark our 70th birthday. At our monthly meeting the Staffordshire County Chairman, Denise Moreton, will talk about her W.I. life and cut our celebration cake. We will also have a new trophy to compete for within our W.I. Her family is presenting the Barbara Reynolds Plate on that evening. Barbara was our President for many years – an inspirational leader who is remembered with great affection. To reflect Barbara’s interest in knitting, which she promoted and taught, the Plate will be awarded for the first time for the best set of hand knitted premature baby clothes. All the entries will be donated to the Special Care Baby Unit at Queen’s Hospital.

Our celebrations continue with a dinner at Hilton House Hotel where the guest speaker will be Tricia Stewart one of the “real” Calendar Girls who posed nude for the charity calendar with friends from a Yorkshire W.I. We are eagerly awaiting her account of the calendar, the publicity, which followed, and the resulting film. We plan a weekend with husbands and friends in Bath and Bristol to round off our month.

We usually meet on the first Monday of the month at 7.15 p.m. in John of Rolleston School Alderbrook site and we would be delighted to welcome you at a meeting or you could phone 813414 for further information.

Joan Price, 
Press Correspondent

Newsletter - Autumn 2004

A busy and varied programme was on offer this summer.

A demonstration of Italian Summer cookery (with tastings) was very well received as was another on modelling with salt dough – a fascinating hobby with a small initial outlay, which can produce amazing decorative items. Summertime means even more outings for us and our annual Picnic Supper was held this year at Heage Windmill on a very windy evening that was ideal for demonstrating the power of the sails at speed. A garden in Repton provided another excellent evening outing and we spent a memorable glorious summer day at Denman College, the W.I.’s own residential Adult Education College which is a beautiful Georgian house and grounds in Oxfordshire. We weren’t so lucky with the weather for our Summer Garden Party but everyone enjoyed the chance for a get together and a super supper. Still to come we have a September Sunday at Woburn Abbey.

We were pleased to be a part of English Events Day and see our boat proudly displaying the W.I. badge sailing on the Alderbrook. Members helped with the making of the wonderful well dressing and provided supplies and helpers for the Refreshment tent and the Craft displays

In June our President, Verity Conner, and a supporting party represented us at Lichfield Cathedral at a special service to mark the Staffordshire Federation’s 80th anniversary. Several members will be going to the County Federation meeting in October including the victorious Quiz team who came first in the County Quiz and will receive the Knighton Challenge Shield. The Choir continue to meet and practice hard and Scrabble buffs want a regular get together.

Future plans include our annual Christmas Fair in Rolleston Club on Saturday 20th November, a Ghost Walk in Lichfield and a talk by Sylvia Everitt on her new projects. Her Millennium Embroidered panels are now on permanent display in the Heritage Centre in Lichfield. We will be learning how to make Chinese wraps and perhaps making some for sale at the Fair! After Christmas celebrations we look forward to celebrating our 70th birthday with a dinner and speaker and a weekend away in Bath and Bristol.

Interested visitors are always welcome at our monthly meetings – 7.15 p.m. on the first Monday of the month in the Alderbrook site of the John of Rolleston School. Do come and join us! Further information on 813457 or 812184.

Joan Price, Press Correspondent

Croxden Abbey Visit

On a fine March morning, members of Rolleston on Dove WI and some of their husbands put on their boots for a walk from Alton to Croxden (and back!). They walked the footpaths, first to Great Gate where they stopped to look at the whipping post, then to Croxden where Arnold Burston gave them a short talk on the history of the twelfth century Cistercian Abbey. They then continued on a loop back to Alton, where they enjoyed lunch together at the Blacksmith's Arms. The trip was organised by Helen and Peter Barnett as one of a series of walks, and was led by Helen. Peter met the party at the Abbey with very welcome hot drinks.

The "Abbey of the Vale of St. Mary at Croxden" was built by Norman monks from Aulnay-sur-Odon on land given by Bertram de Verdun, Lord of Alton. The monks were very successful sheep farmers and, despite some setbacks, they flourished until 1538 when their land and goods were seized by agents of King Henry VIII and given to Geoffrey Foljambe. Although the buildings were subsequently plundered for buildin stone, enough remains to give a clear idea of what a magnificent structure it must have been. It is now owned by Mrs. Hazel Bolton and administered by English Heritage.

WI Birthday & Events Committee Dinner

Rolleston WI celebrated a very successful year for the Events Committee, who mastermind all the catering and organise 'big' do's! A very enjoyable get together was had at the Castle Hotel in Hatton. At the same time Cath Gamble, a long standing member and extremely hard worker in the WI celebrated her 75th birthday. She was very surprised to be serenaded and to have a birthday cake. A very good time was had by all!

Newsletter - Spring 2004

The winter months have proved to be both busy and entertaining for W.I. members, beginning in November with a seasonally chilling and often gruesome, talk by David Bell on Staffordshire ghosts. Members had the opportunity to view some of the books he has written for both children and adults. November also saw some of our members involved in what proved to be an enjoyable craft evening, organised to produce items for the annual Christmas fair. The Fair also took place on November 22nd and turned out to be the most successful one yet, thanks to all the hard work of the members and the support of the visitors to the Fair.

On the November 10th the W.I. hosted a flower arranging evening at which Mrs Marilyn Ottewell demonstrated several beautiful flower arrangements that were raffled off at the end of the evening. This was both an enjoyable and very successful event. 

At the December meeting our speaker, Mrs Barbara Knight, treated members to an insight into the colourful life of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire during the latter part of the 18th century. This was particularly interesting as a trip to Chatsworth House, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, had been planned for the following Saturday. Members also enjoyed the traditional mince pies and carols, at this meeting. Our usual Christmas collection for St Giles Hospice was also taken.

The ‘behind the scenes’ tour of Chatsworth came next and turned out to be a lovely pre-Christmas treat which was thoroughly enjoyed by all who went. The month ended with our Christmas party which included a delicious home made buffet supper and a very amusing entertainment by The Stretton S.T.A.R.S.

January proved to be equally as busy, beginning with the meeting at which our guest speaker, Mr Gifford, gave a talk on the restoration of Heage windmill and the problems of raising the funds for such a daunting project. He also brought along slides and gave us a brief history of the windmill. This was followed later in the month by a tour of Sinai house and lunch at the Albion, both of which were very popular. Towards the end of January the W.I. held a pub games evening for members, family and friends, which proved to be a most enjoyable evening for those who attended. 

The next few months promise to be equally busy and entertaining, so why not come along, try a couple of meetings and make some new friends. We meet on the first Monday of the month at John of Rolleston School, Chapel Lane, at 7.15p.m. For more details contact Lesley Harding on 01283 530824.

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