Rolleston-on-Dove WI News 2007

Newsletter - Winter 2007

The Autumn programme began in September for Rolleston W.I., with an open meeting for members and friends, to learn more about the Severn Valley Railway. Our speaker Alan Longdon, a Director of the Severn Valley Railway Company had been booked months before the terrible flooding in the summer, which had closed the busy tourist attraction temporarily. Alan brought a magnificent selection of slides so that members and guests learned a great deal about this railway line running between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster. From his talk it was clear that Alan was totally absorbed in his hobby. As volunteers they were working hard to reopen the line and the donations from everyone at the meeting were to be put to good use to restore the line to its former glory.

October was a time to reflect on Mediaeval history. The Burton Statutes Fair did not stop members from gathering to listen to Dianne Mannering. Dianne gave a splendid power point presentation to illustrate the way William the Conqueror operated, when he took over England in 1066. He gave lands to those loyal to him. As a descendent of one of these Barons, Thomas, the Earl of Lancaster, at the time of Edward II, instead of supporting his king, turned against him. Thomas was executed by Edward but the three chests of silver mysteriously lost during fighting around Tutbury Castle were never found. 509 years later, in 1836, men working at the Tutbury Mill Race found silver coins from the time of Edward. Unfortunately many people tried to find more of the treasure but once a person was shot it became illegal to search in that area for coins. Dianne definitely awakened in her audience, an interest in local history.

Recycling is still at the forefront of members’ minds as they bring in batteries and foil. Now that there are local collection points for Tetra packs it is easier to deal with recycling these. Joan Price, the President urged everyone to think about their carbon footprint as winter approaches.

Another very successful crochet class has taken place and members have joined in with the Village Clean up again. The Heritage Weekend was enjoyed by all and many members helped to act as Exhibition Stewards. 

Rolleston W.I.’s own contribution to the weekend was ‘An Evening with Queen Victoria’ at Rolleston Club. This event was very popular and the hall was packed to hear Queen Victoria and Lady Ponsonby her Lady in Waiting take members and friends back in time to hear reminiscences of the monarch’s life. Refreshments as ever were delicious.

Two splendid outings to Castle Howard and Windsor Castle were arranged for the autumn. There is a visit to Shugborough at Christmas as well as to the Group Meeting in Hanbury when Pollyanna Pickering is the speaker. The choir is already practising to sing at the group Carol Service in December. Some Choir members are joining in with other choirs to sing at Lichfield Cathedral for the Staffordshire Federation Carol Service.

Rolleston members are busy concocting suitable ‘Angels’ as a contribution to the Angels @ Advent Weekend to be held at the end of November in St. Mary’s Church. Also on November 24th the Christmas Fair, will be taking place at the Rolleston Club. Everyone will be welcome to join us at 2.00pm. Plenty of behind the scenes work is already taking place to make sure that there are lovely items for sale. Naturally homemade cakes and produce will be available as well as some superb raffle prizes. Members will then celebrate Christmas in style with a party in December.

Rolleston is a very lively and busy W.I. with a fun packed programme. If you would like to join please contact Mrs June Bush, the Secretary (01283/813585).Come along and receive a warm welcome.

Newsletter - Autumn 2007

‘Recycling’ is the name of the game now with Rolleston on Dove W.I. members taking on the challenge to reduce their carbon footprint! W.I. members have always been in the forefront of campaigns to make Britain a better country in which to live. Not surprisingly Rolleston members have been joining forces to spearhead a drive by all members and their families to recycle as much as possible. A speaker in November outlined the way the Council works to help save the environment and now it is the turn of members to show just what they can do to help our carbon footprint. Besides always supporting the curb-side collections of garden refuse, cans newspapers, glass bottles and jars, Rolleston W. I. members can bring along foil, batteries, ‘tetra packs’ and stamps for recycling. With over 80 members, the willing volunteer collectors, have a lot to take home every month.

The President, Joan Price, gave everyone a questionnaire to fill in concerning their attempts to lessen the effects of pollution and waste. She was delighted that so many members are reusing shopping bags ~just like the ‘old days’. Rolleston members have shown that they can be as thrifty and careful as their wartime counterparts.

Janet Press had represented the members at ‘The Great Milk Debate’ .This is a cause to be supported by the W.I. nationally to help keep milk production flowing in Britain. At the moment farmers are finding it hard to keep afloat, as they receive so little for their milk. Members must ’Buy British’, Janet urged those present.

Members have been enjoying several outings, firstly to Repton School, where a master, Mr Plowright, gave them a fascinating tour of the buildings at the heart of the school on a very sunny evening. The newly refurbished library, with beautiful oak furniture, was so inviting and the cricket pitch reminded everyone of the 1930’s film version of ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’. Again in glorious evening sunshine, with 44 members, car sharing to save fuel emissions, a visit was made to Lower Loxley to view the mill house and gardens owned by Mrs Delia Brough. The house was an enchanting Aladdin’s cave with room upon room delightfully furnished around the mill wheel as a central feature.
The weather was not so kind in June when members set out to visit Blithfield Hall and Church. However the tour was fascinating and many enjoyed their picnic outside. A walk in July around Osmaston planned and led by Helen Barnett was enjoyed as was a visit to Bakewell Show. To round of the summer a full coach of members and friends will head off for a visit to Castle Howard in Yorkshire.

The summer season heralded the Rose Bowl Competition, at the May meeting, with its flower theme. Ann Haywood and Elsie Hood judged the flower arrangements in a teacup and John Phillips marked the photographs of flowers and the handmade flower cards. The judges gave very inspiring and helpful comments to all the entrants. Sue Underhill was declared the overall winner, with her beautiful arrangement complementing her cup and saucer. She was presented with the lovely Rose Bowl. Joan Price, the President, congratulated everyone who had entered on the high standard of craftsmanship.

Classes have been held for crochet too, as many members were interested in brushing up this craft skill.

As always good speakers make Rolleston W.I. meetings enjoyable. Louisa Luiggi gave an interesting insight into her work running a French style cafe in Nottingham and talked of her love of ‘French’ food and wine, so much a part of French family life. Not a witch but a very well informed Lynn Tann-Watson, came from her ‘Witches Garden’ to talk to Rolleston W.I. members in July Mrs Tann-Watson brought along herbs and plants to illustrate her talk and passed on some top tips for natural remedies. Several hundred years ago wise women could make potions, for healing or ‘love’! With the advent of modern technology these skills are being lost.

The summer party was well attended, with excellent catering, as was the ‘Cheese Evening’ when Mr Rogerson brought a delightful selection of very different cheeses to sample.

Rolleston W.I. members were pleased to help with fund raising for the Methodist Chapel, with a ‘Bluebell Tea’ in May and to join in with the John of Rolleston School Community Day.

Great preparations are afoot for ‘An Evening with Queen Victoria’ on September 16th at Rolleston Club. This is Rolleston W.I.’s contribution to the village ‘Heritage Weekend’.

Rolleston is a very lively and busy W.I. with a fun packed programme. If you would like to join please contact Mrs June Bush, the Secretary (01283/813585).Come along and receive a warm welcome.

Verity Conner

Newsletter - Summer 2007

As always speakers have proved to be excellent at the meetings of Rolleston W.I. Fishing and knitting were the order of the day, when members met in February. Mr Swales returned to Rolleston to give another fascinating talk, this time about Fair Isle, the most isolated inhabited island in the British Isles. It is a haven for bird watchers, which he has been visiting since 1952.

As the herring fishing became less profitable knitting was introduced and the traditional Fair Isle knitting is so prized by tourists that cruise ships drop anchor to allow passengers to go ashore to buy the sweaters, costing over £100, with each knitter using her own secret patterns and dying the wool different colours. Apart from Puffins and Terns and Razor Bills to watch, there are rabbits, some orange in colour, which are kept behind a huge wall, which divides the island into 2 parts. Nowadays the men make jewellery and stained glass .The refreshments for this evening were of course a fish and chip supper! As a ‘social time’ member, Sue Underhill gave an excellent account of her once in a lifetime experience of arranging flowers in Westminster Abbey. With a car full of white and blue flowers and grey and silver foliage, Sue and friend Judy drove to London in September and spent 4 hours amongst the hustle and bustle of the tourists in the Abbey, working on their arrangements, for the Battle of Britain Commemoration Service. They were pleased with the results, which looked magnificent in the photographs Sue passed around the room. 

The business of the Annual meeting was followed in March by another member, Margaret Hewitt, after her visit to Japan. Margaret gave a very interesting and fascinating talk highlighting her experiences of the Japanese way of life. Margaret had tutored a Japanese gentleman, in English. He and his wife became firm friends and Margaret took up their invitation to visit them in their native country .As Japanese homes are small, she arranged her own accommodation and made all the travel arrangements herself. Everything fell into place and she even managed to pre book a rail card to take her on the very sophisticated ‘Bullet Train’

The slides Margaret showed were excellent and they gave a flavour of Japan old and new. From the beautiful Buddhist Temples to the neat rows of school parties all proudly dressed alike, came a sense of order and discipline. The most moving slides were of Hiroshima and the stark reminder of the devastation caused by the nuclear bomb in 1945. The Peace Centre and garden, a memorial to those who died, surrounded the Trade Centre, which was the only remaining shell of a building after the blast. 

Margaret’s wish, to see the ‘Red Crowned Cranes’, came true and she had even brought back an origami crane from her travels. Her amazing determination and courage to travel alone were rewarded by a wonderful holiday to remember for ever.

The speaker for April, Sheila Cato, has recently joined Rolleston W.I. She gave a delightful talk on her life in New Zealand, where she emigrated in 1958. Sheila and her sister took a £10 passage with a guaranteed job and after a voyage lasting 6 weeks arrived to find that Wellington, viewed from the harbour had wooden, painted houses with corrugated iron roofs, which were so different from what she left behind in England.

Sheila found it strange that boys stood at the back at the dances and only girls could sit down. Then as the dance was announced the boys rushed forward to claim their girl. However New Zealand was very prosperous with plenty of food and a good lifestyle. Sheila settled down and married. She continued teaching and she brought up her family. When Britain joined the Common Market, New Zealanders turned to tourism to make money. Hence the ‘bungee jumping sheep’, which Sheila brought to remind us of the exciting sports as well as the beautiful scenery with mountains, lakes and geezers, which makes New Zealand a much sought after holiday destination. To round off her talk Sheila taught members a Maori song and a stick game. Pauline Giles and Sue Willmot were good sports, who joined in and tried it out.

As well as good speakers Rolleston members take pride in their handicraft. Bridget Yates and Angela Brooks the daughters of the late Barbara Reynolds, a Rolleston member for many years and herself a particularly gifted knitter, judged a competition, with 19 entries for a knitted scarf. They awarded the ‘Barbara Reynold’s Plate’ to Barbara Woolley for a complicated scarf, beautifully finished and using very modern yarn. Many members have been enjoying refresher courses for crochet and knitting, as Sue Willmot, now a Grandmother is taking her role seriously and is encouraging everyone to help her learn new skills.

Rolleston members enjoyed an excellent weekend in Manchester visiting the city and Salford Quays. They enjoyed attending the Group Meeting in April and have walked around the Fauld Crater. In the summer months they will be visiting Repton School, Blithfield Hall and a factory where pearl buttons are made, in Birmingham .The choir once again sang at Vicarage Fields under the leadership of Joyce Lockley.

Rolleston W.I. are celebrating success in the County General Knowledge Quiz held in Stafford on April 25th.The victorious team of May Anderson, Sue Fraser, Lesley Harding and Joan Price returned triumphantly with the shield ready to display it at the May meeting

Joan Price continues to act as President at the very hectic but friendly meetings, with a fun packed programme for 2007. If you would like to join contact Mrs June Bush, the Secretary (01283/813585) and come along.

Verity Conner

Newsletter - Spring 2007

November proved to be a very busy meeting for Rolleston W.I. Firstly Sue Willmot, was presented with the ‘Garden Trophy,’ a silver plate which was Staffs. Federation of W.I.’s prize for her short story. In the summer Sue had worked hard to create an amusing piece of writing to continue from a given opening line. She was delighted with the judge’s very favourable comments. As part of Social time members heard Sue read out the story very dramatically. 

The speaker for the evening, Mrs Danells-Smith, had travelled from the Tree Tops Hospice at Trentham in the Potteries, where she is a fund raiser for the Donna Louise Trust, which runs this Children’s Hospice. Mrs Danells-Smith showed a moving D.V.D of the hospice, the young people being given care and the wonderful facilities including a multi-sensory room and a Jacuzzi.

Although these children and young people are so ill there is still a ‘bubbling’ atmosphere, with lots of noise and fun to be had. Help is also on hand to give respite care and to support bereaved families. Mrs Danells-Smith showed overwhelming enthusiasm for her work.

December’s speakers, two handsome young men, Jason and Stuart, gave a very interesting insight into preparations for Christmas at Tesco, in Burton. They were both on a trainee management programme and they kept over 60 ladies enthralled with their free samples and their little competitions. Several members took home a bag of oranges. They were surprised at how well everyone could recognise the different apples they held up. Their audience was amazed that 3,600 turkeys were sold at Burton Tesco last Christmas. The seasonal goodies were very tasty and went down well with the festive wine and mince pies, served for refreshments.

In January, an amazing lady, Delia Brough described her life using a series of aprons. She had started as a dental nurse, married a coalman and helped with the ‘round’, used her exceptional cooking skills to sell ice cream , run a café and build up a restaurant business. Finally, in her leather apron, she helped out in an iron ore reclamation business, as her husband had a stroke. Her achievements amazed everyone present.

The Recycling Evening proved popular with plenty of villagers coming to find out exactly how to get the best out of the Council’s recycling programme. Members had a very successful Christmas Fair at Rolleston Club on November 25th and supported the Mellstock Band Concert in memory of Ann Burston. 

Rhona Pownell had members in stitches, with her monologues, at the Christmas party. The choir sang with gusto at the Group Carol Service at Stretton and some singers took part in the County Carol Service at Lichfield Cathedral. The Christmas visit to the Black Country Museum was much enjoyed and members are looking forward to the weekend in Manchester, with husbands and friends, in February.

Despite the increase in fees, Joan Price, the President, has been welcoming new members and the new magazine has been well received. The new year has also seen a very successful ‘Iris’ Paper Folding class led by Cynthia Bates, who had learned her skills at Denman College. Fifteen members displayed their cards very proudly at the end of the evening.

Everyone is welcome to come along and join our happy thriving Institute, which meets on the first Monday of the month at the John of Rolleston School at 7.15pm. Please contact the Secretary 813585 for more details.

Verity Conner

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Last updated: 22 December 2007