Having enjoyed our long summer break, the W.I. ladies of Rolleston arrived eager and ready for the September meeting. Friends were reunited and holiday memories exchanged. Our speaker was Margaret Cross who had lived in Nepal for many years as an army wife. She spoke vividly of the culture and friendship of the local village people. Later that evening we heard about the W.I. visit to the Houses of Parliament and the hospitality of Andrew Griffiths, our MP.
It is always a good idea to meet up with other W.I. members. Some of us travelled to Stafford to the Autumn Council Meeting. We listened to talks by Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner and by journalist Anne Diamond. Our County Chairman, Denise Moreton, shocked us all by announcing her retirement after nearly thirteen years of leadership. Our Group evening was hosted by Stretton and Claymills W.I. and this time held in Rolleston Club. The surroundings were comfortable, we had lovely cakes, a fascinating speaker “WildlifeKate” and a good time was had by all.
We try to support events in Rolleston. Many ladies helped with the Gala and also entered various classes. Congratulations to those who did well in their section.
Every member contributed a square towards our quilt and it was “aired” in church alongside all the other beautiful quilts. We pride ourselves on being creative and our art classes, craft mornings and choir continue to thrive. Our Christmas Fair will be held on 22nd November at 2pm in Rolleston Club. Please come along and support us. There will be crafts and decorations on sale as well as lots of interesting stalls, games and refreshments. We hope Father Christmas can make it again this year. We have lots to look forward in the coming months. There will be a visit to see Jersey Boys, a trip to Tatton Hall’s Nutcracker Christmas Mansion, a meal at the Mulberry Restaurant and our very own Christmas Party with entertainment. Nationally, 2015 is a landmark year for the W.I. as it has been in existence for 100 years. The Annual General Meeting will be held in the Royal Albert Hall for delegates and we will be able to watch it live at the Cineworld Cinema in Burton. It will be a special year for us in Rolleston as we will be marking 80 years since our W.I. began in 1935. We will be putting down our saucepans and tea towels and enjoying a lovely evening out at the Dovecliff Hall Hotel with transport there and back. What luxury! In February we have a weekend away in Liverpool, which is an interesting city.
We are a friendly W.I. with a good programme of speakers and a variety of things to do. If you would like to join us you will be made welcome. We meet on the first Monday of the month at the John of Rolleston Primary School. Please ring 530824 for details or look on the village noticeboard.
Members of Rolleston W.I. have been busy over the summer months. We joined up with our Forest and Vale Group at the National Brewing Centre. Early Birds were honoured to meet soldiers of the Mercian Regiment who were about to parade through Burton for the last time. We received the famous W.I. Baton which is at present touring around the British Isles. Each group will have a chance to record photographs on to the baton’s memory stick to mark one hundred years of the W.I. Afterwards we sat down to an afternoon tea. We visited the Staffordshire Regiment Museum at Whittington and had a wonderful tour, including a WW1 trench experience. Our Summer Party went with a swing with our own catering and entertainment. Some of us visited a glorious NGS Garden at Grafton Cottage in Barton. It was a riot of colour and perfume. A coach full of WI members, families and friends will soon be speeding down the M1 to visit the Houses of Parliament and will meet Andrew Griffiths, our MP. We also have a theatre visit to see Jersey Boys planned for later in the year. Our speakers have been excellent and our meetings well attended. Kathy Coe spoke about her local Pathways Project supporting abused women and her personal story was very moving. Di Millar from Rolleston told us about her time on a Mercy Ship based in Sierra Leone. The medical volunteers do wonderful work in difficult situations and Di’s photographs really brought it to life. The Ann Burston Bowl competition was held in May. Delicate corsages of flowers, vol au vents and cup cakes were brought along and judged. Congratulations went to Brenda Herriman and Elaine Toon who were joint winners. On the baking theme, we will be sponsoring cookery judges for the Village Gala again and are hoping for plenty of entries, including the men. Our Christmas Fair will be on Saturday 22nd November at Rolleston Club at 2pm. We hope to have a visit from Santa, games, stalls, tea and cakes. Please come along and support us! By then our W.I. choir, craft group and art class will be getting creative. If you are interested in coming along to one of our meetings you will be very welcome. Our next meeting is on 1st September at the John of Rolleston Primary School at 7.15pm. All details are on the village noticeboard or ring Lesley on 530824.
We began our new season with the Annual Meeting in March and were pleased to elect a committee of eight and Sue Fraser as President. We thanked our retiring President, Verity Conner, and all those standing down for their dedication over their time of service. We were very sorry to hear of the death of Ann Haywood. Ann had been a loyal and active member of both WIs for many years and she will be greatly missed.
We have had some excellent speakers, including Mac Joseph who gave a vivid account of the Back to Back houses in Birmingham from the Victorian era to the 1960s. The talk was especially poignant as Mac had been brought up in similar property in the Ladywood area himself and is now a volunteer N.T. guide. On the home front, the Barbara Reynolds Plate for knitting was won by Janet Press. There were many beautiful layettes and they have been passed on to the local neo-natal unit.
Helen Barnett organised a taster evening for members and guests. We had to tell spread from butter, guess the flavour of crisps and decide on the ingredients of local patés, cheeses and sausages. It was much more difficult than it appeared but a lot of fun! Congratulations go to Cynthia Bates who received her certificate and badge for 50 years W. I. membership. Also well done to Pat Edwards who won the Amy Everett Trophy for monthly competitions. Many appetising cakes were donated for St Giles Hospice in April.
Looking forward to the summer, we have a visit to the Staffordshire Regimental Museum at Whittington for an evening out with refreshments, a visit to a N.G.S. garden and a summer party. Although our Forest and Vale Group has been reduced in number by re-balancing, we had a good meeting in April. Our speaker was Simon Topham, the Chief Executive of Acme Whistles, who was very amusing and gave Megan Mawer a lot of information about her father’s police whistles. We will meet again as a Group in June at St George’s Park. We will take ownership of the National W.I. Centenary Baton for a few minutes and use it for a photo opportunity and we may even get a cream tea! In July we will be in London visiting the House of Commons.
Our members enjoy taking part in village affairs and willingly give their time and expertise. We will be helping with the “Love Rolleston” festival in many ways. Our newly formed choir, craft and art groups are flourishing but there is always room for more members. We have a good variety of speakers coming up and welcome anyone who would enjoy an evening of entertainment and good company.
We meet on the first Monday of the month at the John of Rolleston Primary School. Please ring 530824 for details or look on the village notice board.
Our W.I. launched into the New Year with a well-attended meeting in January. It was lovely to see old friends and make new ones. Our speaker was Jolyon McLaine, once a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF. His talk entitled The Ups and Downs of a Helicopter Pilot attracted several visitors. We look forward to welcoming him back for part two. Having enjoyed a super talk by local beekeeper Richard Matkin, Christmas came and went with storytelling, wine and mince pies, a meal at the Mulberry Room and our party. This year the carols were led by our newly formed joint choir.
It was lovely to see so many people supporting Laura Bailey’s World Challenge Coffee Morning. We worked with Doveside W.I. to support Laura and help her raise money for her expedition. Our next two meetings will feature The Forest of Mercia and Cooking Recipes.
It is our Annual Meeting in March. Verity Conner, our President, will be standing down along with other members of the committee. We would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication over the past three years. With only two committee members left we are hoping for plenty of willing volunteers to join them.
Several of our members went to the Mayor’s Civic Suite in Burton Town Hall. We were able to see the mace, the gold chains of office and the displays. Our Mayor, Councillor Michael Rodgers, gave us an insight into his civic duties, ably assisted by his mayoress Julie Killoran. Verity and Helen tried on the red robes and hats. You may have seen their photograph in the Burton Mail.
Apart from our monthly meetings we have several other interest groups. Our joint W.I. choir under the expert leadership of Ruth Winterbottom is finding its feet and is full of enthusiasm. The craft group continues to thrive. We will be learning the art of quilting in a planned workshop with the view to producing a finished piece of work for the Rolleston Airing of Quilts. Members have been knitting layettes for premature babies. Some will be entered for the Barbara Reynolds Plate in February then donated to the hospital’s neonatal unit. Mildred Bailey has kindly agreed to be our judge this year. Our Art Group meets every week under the guidance of Dianne Gharraie. We have explored art work using several media and are hoping to contribute a large post card to the Love Rolleston Village Fair.
Out and about, two teams will be travelling to Stafford to take part in the County Quiz. We hope to visit The House of Commons by invitation of Andrew Griffiths is we can find a suitable date and time. There will be a concert in Stafford to celebrate the County’s 95th year as a Federation. We plan to visit Casterne Hall later in the year. Members love to go out for meals and we have a committee dinner to look forward to and a return visit to the Secret Diner and the Mulberry Restaurant as well as our own Taster Evening.
We are looking forward to the better weather when our members will support village events and enjoy outings to gardens and beauty spots. New members are always welcome. We meet on the first Monday of the month at the John of Rolleston Primary School. Ring 530824 for details.
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Last updated: 6 March 2015