Rolleston-on-Dove WI News 2008

Newsletter - Winter 2008

With winter on its way Rolleston W.I. has been looking back at a summer packed with interesting meetings, social occasions and outings.

Our speakers have often had a link with food. In June a talk was given about Waitrose in Lichfield. This was a good way of finding out about the different types of employment in the store as well as the way staff are trained. Members were delighted to receive a ’bag for life’.

Mr Hingley gave us all food for thought with his amusing talk on the origins of sayings in July and in September Mr Hoskins told his heart rending story of ‘Happy Hens’. This project was up in a farm at Etwall, to encourage young people, who did not fit in with the school system, to have a purpose in life. The eggs were sold to make the project self financing.

At the October meeting Mr Derek Palmer was welcomed and he gave a talk entitled ‘Derby beneath your feet’. This talk gave the history and insight into the maze of sewers and drainage culverts that run underneath Derby City Centre. He explained that the Derby sewers had started out as open brooks, with the main one being Markeaton Brook. Thanks to a damming health report in the early 1800’s Derby was declared the worst city in the country for instances of Typhus. This prompted the covering up of the open brooks in the 1840’s.

He recounted a number of amusing stories from his career. One was the story of a pig stuck down a drain in Littleover. Having devised a rope and pulley system, he had to join the pig down the drain to try and encourage it back up, some amusing incidents followed. However with the aid of the Fire Brigade the pig was safely rescued only to be turned into bacon a few months later!

Simon Bullen came to the May meeting to talk about ‘Crime Prevention’. He set a fun quiz and members learned a great many tips on keeping their homes and property secure. In May there was also a special evening open to husbands and friends to learn all about the adventures of Sue, one of our members, and Nick Willmot, who had been crewing on a small boat in the Pacific. They negotiated the Panama Canal and reached the Galapagos Islands. With photos to prove it, they gave a hilarious account. Of course refreshments were fish and chips!

Garden visits are always popular and this year’s trip to Consall Gardens, designed and created out of a mine, was enjoyed by all, especially as the weather was pleasant. A whole day was spent at Althorp in August and this too was very enlightening with a tour of the house and a chance to enjoy the beautiful grounds. The summer party was good fun, with delicious food and some ‘fun’ games.

As Christmas approaches a small team of ‘crafty’ members are planning the W.I. contribution to the St Mary’s Christmas Wreath and Tree festival. Also the Christmas Fair, our big money raiser for the year will be held on Saturday November 22nd at Rolleston Club. Do come along for all the lovely homemade cakes, preserves and craft items as well as a chance to win beautiful raffle prizes. Santa will of course be in attendance.

If you would like to join our go ahead W.I. please come along to our meetings on the first Monday of each month at 7.15pm at the John of Rolleston School or ring 01283 813414 for more details.

Verity Conner

Newsletter - Summer 2008

With spring on its way Rolleston W.I. members were pleased to welcome Bridget Yates to their February meeting. Bridget was delighted to award the ‘Barbara Reynolds Plate’, given in memory of her mother, to Cynthia Bates, whose cushion was selected because it was beautifully designed and finished.

The speaker for the evening was Chris Bailey, formerly a manager of the Derby Marks and Spencer store before retiring. He came to give an insight into how this huge organisation is run from ordering and selling chickens to packaging knickers. Chris assured everyone that ‘the customer is always right’ and that M&S is one of the best run companies in the UK with a most benevolent attitude to staff. As he pointed out M&S have not been without problems recently as share prices plummeted at the dawning of the new Millennium, when sales fell. Unfortunately M&S had become a world wide retailer with shops in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey Canada and Japan. To suit these markets styles were changed but British women voted with their feet. Luckily with the new ‘Per Una’ label M&S is once again a popular store to suit ladies of all ages. W.I. members over the country are invited to help with choosing items to be manufactured for future seasons.

Everyone enjoyed the entertaining talk and the splendid fish and chip supper, which followed.

Later in February a full coach set off for 2 days in Cambridge, for members to enjoy a weekend with husbands and friends. The weather was fair and the spring flowers were blooming in the sunshine. There were so many interesting museums churches and shops that the time flew by. The hotel was very comfortable and the food was excellent. A good time was had by all.

At the Annual Meeting in March the vote was taken for a new President, when Mrs Sue Fraser was duly elected. Joan Price the retiring President was delighted to pass on the President’s insignia. The Treasurer declared a healthy balance and the President and Secretary reminded everyone of all the many events that had been organised during the year.

Results were given for the monthly competitions and the Rose Bowl was won by Margaret Hewitt for a second year.

Then Sue Pickess and her husband were invited to speak to members about their experiences in Burundi. Several years ago W.I. members had knitted ‘Burundi Bears’, which were sold to help alleviate the suffering and poverty of children in Burundi. Sue gave a very interesting presentation about the work, they had undertaken as unpaid volunteers for a year. Her husband had helped to build schools and houses for orphans. Sue herself worked as a teacher. Their enthusiasm for the project shone through and they are hoping to return again, despite the heat. Members felt humbled by the obvious happiness and the carefree attitudes of the smiling faced children in the fascinating photographs.

On March 13th the Group Dinner was held at the Pirelli Stadium. This was splendidly organised by Group Convenor, Helen Barnett. The Staffordshire Federation Chairman, Denise Moreton and Freda Houldcroft, an Executive Member joined the party. The food was excellent, as was the speaker Rhona Pownell. Excerpts were read from the Group minutes highlighting the changes that had taken place since the group was formed.

In April Sue Fraser took up her office as President only to find that she was the booked speaker. Despite two exacting roles she made it through the evening very successfully. Her talk on the newly opened Museum of Childhood at Sudbury Hall was fascinating. Sue has been a volunteer at Sudbury for many years and now has a full time job, which has given her opportunities to work on setting up the new displays of the toy collection. She had many of her favourites to show in her slides. Members are certainly are looking forward to a visit there in June.

Rolleston member Sue Willmot has returned safely from a voyage, with husband Nick, crewing on a small boat in the Pacific. Sue and Nick negotiated the Panama Canal and reached the Galapagos Islands. In May there will be a special evening open to husbands and friends to learn all about their adventures.

If you would like to join our go ahead W.I. please come along to our meetings on the first Monday of each month at 7.15pm at the John of Rolleston School or ring 01283 813414 for more details.

Verity Conner

Newsletter - Spring 2008

As always November proved a very busy month for Rolleston W.I. members, working very hard to put on an excellent Christmas Fair at Rolleston Club. There was a very happy atmosphere and everyone enjoyed raising the money to help fund the excellent speakers, who entertain us each month.

In an effort to help the Pre- School playgroup, a Christmas cookery evening also took place in November. Members made some of the refreshments, bringing along their own favourite recipes as well as sampling tasters from the demonstrator’s excellent choices. There was a chance for everyone to mix and share their ideas. All the proceeds were given to the Pre- School funds.

‘Angels’ @Advent’ held in Rolleston Church was a very successful community event, in which many W.I. members were involved. The W.I. ‘Angels’ team created the ‘W.I. Flying High’ and the tableau was much admired all weekend. Most of the materials had been recycled in line with the aim of the W.I. to reduce the carbon footprint.

The speaker helps to set the tone of the meetings and at the Christmas meeting the sound of ‘Oh no he isn’t!’ ‘Oh yes he is!’ came from exuberant members of Rolleston W.I., when Mr Trevor Lee shared his love of the pantomime with us all. Trevor was a very enthusiastic speaker, who brought back nostalgic childhood memories. Trevor had enjoyed some excellent parts in various shows, Dick Whittington’s cat being one of his favourite! The relaxed atmosphere of the evening continued with wine and mince pies, followed by carol singing.

The Rolleston W.I. choir performed two carols and all the members were in full voice as they sang some of their own favourites. Joyce Lockley, choir leader and Maureen George, pianist, were thanked for their hard work during the year and presented with a gift. The choir also took a leading part in the Group Carol Service, held this year at St. Mary’s, which was much enjoyed by members from surrounding villages.

2008 brought the closure of the ‘Portfolio’ covering our W.I. year, 2007. Joan Price, the President and her team have collected photos and text to show what an active W.I. we are. This ‘Portfolio’ has now been entered in a competition.

New members have been joining through the year and the January speaker, Mrs Spavold kept us on our toes. She gave an informative talk on the life and expectations of ‘Victorian Women’ particularly those of the upper and middle classes. The picture she portrayed was a stark contrast to the lives of women today, with Victorian women being regarded as no more than ‘chattels’ belonging to their fathers. Making a good marriage was of great importance and although it was invariably arranged on the basis of wealth, it also provided women with an escape from their fathers and a chance to take charge of their own households. Along with lunatics and criminals, Victorian women had no legal standing and surprisingly, children remained the legal responsibility of only their fathers until 1959! There was, needless to say, much indignation in the audience!

Sue Willmot also kept everyone amused and interested in a sailing trip from the Panama Canal to the Galapagos islands on which she was about to embark on with her husband, crewing for her sister in law and husband.

Rolleston members are taking part in the County General Knowledge Quiz as well as heading off for a weekend away in Cambridge in February. If you would like to join our go ahead W.I. please come along to our meetings on the first Monday of each month at 7.15pm at the John of Rolleston School or ring 01283 813414 for more details.

Cath Gamble

It was with great sadness that we learned that Cath Gamble, a Vice President and long standing member of our W.I., had died in December. Cath right up until her death was taking an active part in W.I. affairs. She had so many craft skills, which she shared with members over the years. She had been a National Federation Knitting Judge and had worked tirelessly for the Staffordshire Federation. Such a positive member, until her illness, she will be missed by us all. Members provided the ‘tea’ after her funeral to give her the good ‘send off’ that she deserved.

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Last updated: 19 December 2008