Burstall W.I has had a busy few months. At our May meeting we discussed the resolution which was to be taken by our representative to the AGM at the Royal Albert Hall. After the discussion we had fun playing “Botcha” and indoor Kurling. Some of our ladies are extremelygood at these games and there may have been more than a little competitive spirit.
Later in May we were delighted to have done well with our entries into the Suffolk Show, this encourages us to perhaps enter more next year.
Our June meeting was entitled ”Here we go round the Mulberry bush”. This was our annual garden party very kindly hosted by Mary Smith at Mulberry Hall. We enjoyed strawberries, cream and meringues homemade elderflower cordial and lemonade, convivial conversation and of course a quiz. We had a lovely evening.
In July we had an open meeting “Getting Ready for the Show”. This was to encourage people to enter our 62nd Burstall Show in August. Two experienced show judges gave us advice and tips on showing vegetables and flower arranging. Everyone gained something from this well supported evening and we hope our efforts will be rewarded Our thanks to Pat and Terry for sharing their knowledge.
In August we will have a guided walk in Christchurch Park . This will be on August 13th, meet at 7.30 at Crown Street car park . Everyone very welcome, this will be an excellent evening with our very knowledgeable guide Ann D. We will repair to a local hostelry for refreshments afterwards.
September 10th is the next meeting in Burstall village hall “Circles of your Mind” our speakerGeo Fradgley will tell us about crop circles. This promises to be a fascinating and enlightening evening and everyone will be most welcome.
What an historic week for the WI - a Buckingham Palace garden party followed by the AGM addressed by Her Majesty the Queen and attended by Princess Anne and the Countess of Wessex. The royal visitors were present in the auditorium for about half an hour while the Queen received the centenary baton, presented various awards and spoke of her connection with the WI and the continuing relevance of the organisation. The royal party left the stage and the Queen cut the celebration cake in front of the trustees, and members of Sandringham and Bagshot WIs - sadly we didn't see that!
Guest speakers; Lucy Worsley spoke about her research into the history of the WI which will be shown in BBC 2 documentary later this month.
Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE gave a very entertaining talk explaining that she was paralysed at the age of seven and although her father was an architect he refused to adapt the house. Her parents also fought to keep her in mainstream school. She enjoyed wheelchair sports particularly basket ball but was told that she was too aggressive and so she took up wheelchair racing with great success. Tanni studied politics at university which is standing her in good stead now that she sits in the Lords, a political independent with special interest for disablement issues and women's health
Helena Morrissey CBE is a mother of nine whose career is in asset management. In 2010 she started the 30% Club with the aim of increasing the representation of women on FTSE company boards and today there is at least one woman on every board and female representation has risen to 23.6% - nearly there!
WI Business: The treasurer reminisced about the 2/- subscription paid by members 100 years ago and reckoned that it was the same percentage of average earns as today's £36 subscription.
NFWI finances are in a very satisfactory state - the deficit of £300,000 on activities was planned, Denman College broke even and WI Enterprises made a £670,000 profit. Total funds are £9.5 million. (Full details in the WI Review)
The Resolution: Failing to care - assessment of need in long term care
‘This meeting calls on HM government to remove the distinction between nursing care and personal care in the assessment of the need of individuals in order to advance health and wellbeing.'
There were issues - an amendment was announced changing the wording - ‘nursing' to ‘ health' and ‘personal' to ‘social' which was said to sound more professional without changing the essence of the resolution. The amendment was agreed but after speeches for and against the resolution there was a ‘move to the next business' motion proposed, this was seconded, debated, voted upon and carried. The feeling being that the new Care Act of May 2015 had made the resolution less relevant and that the amendment changed it from what had been discussed at institute level. We were assured that there will be another opportunity to discuss the subject.
Chairman's Address: It was a very demanding meeting for Janice Langley coping with the presence of royalty, the live broadcast link ups and a malfunctioning microphone but she managed admirably.
In her official address she spoke of the success of the Centenary baton (which had completed its journey by being accepted into the hall by the Queen)and thanked the trustee who had come up with the idea. She also thanked the intrepid cake makers who had made the WI celebration cake cut by the Queen, and the many cakes given to the meeting's guests and shared by the meeting attendees. She also apologised again for the muddle over the palace garden party.
Janice reminded us that in 1937 Lady Denman said that the WI's greatest achievement was becoming self governing and this continues today with every member expected to play her part. In the future the NFWI aims to have greater involvement with the institutes.
The MCS has proved a very useful tool and we were assured yet again that the data will never be sold. The WI Life is the best ever communication tool and the upgraded website and the use of social media have proved very helpful.
As part of the centenary celebrations the tapestry showing the work of the WI during WW2 and created by members shortly after the war, has been displayed in Liberty's shop window. And the one mile of knitting WI members made at the annual meeting a couple of years ago is now being turned into hats and other useful items.
The meeting also included live link ups with Anglesey, Devon and Cheshire Federations, a fashion show of rather unusual knitwear presented by Kingston College and a performance by the choir that won the Singing for Joy competition.
A very full and interesting day - my thanks for the opportunity to attend.
Our April meeting took place in the Pavilion as the Village Hall was being refurbished.We were cosy in a much smaller space than usual, almost like camping with members bringing their own mugs for tea.
The planned craft evening had been postponed and at short notice Carol Mayston, a member of Burstall W.I., agreed to speak to us.Carol is part of the Environment Agency's Flood Resilience Team in Suffolk and spoke to us about the importance of a Community Emergency Plan.
2013 was the first time since 1953 that East Anglia experienced significant flooding. Unlike in1953 the Environment Agency knew in advance and was able to issue the relevant warnings.
The W.I were involved during the terrible floods of 1953 Carol quoted from the book “Sisters in Adversity” about the response from women all over the country to this disaster.
Although we are fortunate to live in an area unlikely to flood, we can still be affected by storms and heavy rain. Local rivers and drainage systems overloaded with extra water can sometimes cause localised flash flooding. Carol warned us about walking and driving through flooded roads.
We were told about the use of sandbags to protect homes under the threat of flood water. Perhaps the most surprising use of the sandbag is down the loo to prevent back flushing from the overloaded sewage system. How dreadful to clean up after that.
This was a fascinating informative talk, another great evening with the W.I.
Our meeting in March was very well attended and we were delighted to hear that the new Chairman of SEFWI is our very own Jane Sago.
Well done Jane, many congratulations from us all.
After the usual business we were introduced to our speaker for the evening, Colin Hopper.
Colin had been an Engineer by profession but had been interested in magic from the age of 8 when he performed his first magic trick. He now trains and assesses new magicians.
He told us that the question to ask is not how is the trick done but how does it work. We were given the history of the magic wand which no Magician should be without.
We were enchanted with his “beard trick”, we really couldn't see the strings, were there any?
Obviously this was magic.
Colin advised us that we need to be aware that suggestion from the Magician will set us up to think that all tricks are magic. He will be talking , moving the props, walking around the set and the audience will not know what to concentrate on.
Historically magic was used to frighten people and the first Royal Command Performance was by the magician Dedi in ancient Egypt. He had produced other effects such as decapitating birds head and reattach the head resurrecting it.
Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin the "father of modern magic", brought it from the street and circus side shows to an elegant stage or drawing room setting during the Victorian era.
The Magic Lantern was once used by Magicians to project images making them appear or disappear and giving the illusion of magic tricks.
Optical illusion and belief in the power of the Magician are key to accepting magic.
We thoroughly enjoyed this talk, another informative and entertaining evening with the W.I.
The February meeting included 4 new members and we were all warmly welcomed by our president Bina .
Topics discussed at the meeting included :-
After a lengthy business session we settled down to listen to our speaker for the evening, Jillian Macready, update us on the plight of the Hedgehog.
The Hedgehog is an indicator of environmental change and the decline of this loveable mammal is due to many reasons. Many are killed every year on the roads, they are not clearly visible at night when they are most active. Insecticides and slug pellets remove food sources. Tidy gardens no longer supply natural places for the Hedgehog to live and breed. Compost heaps, a few brambles, areas of long grass, leaf litter and log piles all encourage insects which are the main diet of the Hedgehog. In return they will eat the slugs for us, these seem to be their favourite food
Jillian asked us to report any sightings to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust using the website : suffolkwildlifetrust.org/hedgehogs.
Our next meeting will be on Thursday March12th at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.
A talk about the history of magic will be given by Colin Hopper.
Visitors are always very welcome.
Our first meeting of 2015 was open to everyone.
Members and guests were welcomed by Bina our new President and glasses of wine or non alcoholic drinks offered.
Ladies were able to watch or take part in making ribbon roses demonstrated by Lesley.
Made from lengths of ribbon these little flowers could be used to fill a vintage vase in a bedroom, or top a stylishly wrapped present.
Ladies could then move on to making lovely boxes for treasures or presents as Bina showed us. Some of these were so pretty and shows how we could reuse lovely cards or paper. How original to make your own personalised box for a gift.
Jane had the most delicious table of canapés and recipes to taste. This table was full all evening and there was little left at the end. Fabulous food with wholesome ingredients found in your cupboard, what could be better.
Ann was demonstrating how to make beautiful buttonholes from supermarket roses and ivy leaves .Although a bit fiddly at first with wires and tape all were successful .I heard a whisper that these may possibly appear at Church on Sunday since they will keep in the fridge for a week.
Burstall W.I have an interesting and varied programme for this year, this is published on the village website.
The members of our small but very friendly W.I welcome anyone who would like to join us. We meet on the second Thursday of each month at 7.30 pm in Burstall Village Hall.