WI Meeting 4th November 2019

Alnmouth WI small picA busy meeting with unusual musical entertainment

  • WI Business 
    Janis Crook opened with a welcome to everyone, especially a potential new member, Julie Wightman and explained the reasoning behind our new table layout.  Unfortunately, the large circular tables are proving difficult to handle, so in normal meetings we will use the smaller tables.
  • Apologies were received from Sue Wildsmith and Claire Smith.
  • Janis confirmed the October Meeting Report had been emailed to all members.
  • Janis commenced a rather long list of Matters Arising with a request for a show of hands indicating interest in the following:
    1. A bus for the Northumberland Federation Carol Service – a majority of people raised their hands.  Please see the last page for the Postscript to this item.
    2. A 2019 day trip to visit the Bowes Museum Christmas Market – depending on dates approximately a dozen hands were raised.
    3. A one day trip to Roslyn Chapel (near Edinburgh) with lunch and a visit to an outlet mall in the New Year – a majority of hands were raised.
    4. A 3-night trip to York including visits to museums and Castle Howard and a stay at a Premier Inn with our own coach and driver – a large number of hands were raised.

After such a positive response, the Committee will now commence planning and will advise dates, costs and details of all three trips shortly.

  • Birthday Wishes to our November born ladies: Sheila Halliday, Sue Wildsmith, Sue Summers, Tina Stroud and Margaret Stephenson.  Birthday flowers were presented to Anne August.

Upcoming Local WI & Federation Events 

  • Janis moved on to confirm the arrangements for The Music of Elvis trip on November 21st in Whitley Bay.  For those who have booked the coach, it will leave from outside the Schooner at 3pm, and will call at Shepherd’s Hill at 3.05pm and in Lesbury at 3.10pm.  On the return the coach will also do a drop off in Alnwick. Kathryn Archibald has booked a table for 4.30pm at Trenchers, Spanish City and will send out menu options separately to attendees.

Hotspur Night at the Musicals Poster

  • Janis gave feedback from the recent ‘Night at the Musicals’ Hotspur group evening which was well attended and a great success.  Thanks again to Jan Straghan who kindly did a superb poster for our entry into the competition. Unfortunately, we did not retain the trophy this time.
  • Janis congratulated Ethel Cook, Judith Williams, Margaret Reece and everyone involved in the Witches Warmer luncheon held on October 30th, which raised £441.70 from 56 covers.  Sadly, for the second year running we had some no-shows so we will ask for payment in advance for future events.  Ethel offered her thanks to everyone involved in cooking the soups and crumbles, the servers and those who did the clearing and washing up.
  • Janis said there would be NO Informal Coffee Morning this month as there is a lot on, but announced a 2020 date for your diary:
  • The Daffodil Tea will be on April 8th  2020
  • Kathryn distributed the Northumberland WI November Newsletter and the summary of the Northumberland Federation events.
  • Alnmouth Gift Shop are offering 10% discount to WI members on Sunday, November 10th (between 10 am – 4pm). 
  • Janis provided a summary of the details for the Christmas Party on December 2nd, namely:
    1. Evening starts at 7 pm
    2. The event is for Members only
    3. Entertainment will be provided by Mispent Yuke
    4. Please bring a ‘Secret Santa’ gift (£5-10 value), your own wine/drink, glass and plate.
    5. Dress code is ‘sparkly’.
    6. Marks and Spencer will supply supper to give our catering team a well-deserved rest.
    7. There will be a charge of £3 per member.

Thank you to those who paid on Monday, otherwise please pay at the door.  To assist with the catering, please contact Kathryn if you have not already signed up for the evening.

  •  Janis concluded by advising that Ethel Cook and Judith Williams have been invited to  lay the WI Remembrance Wreath, on Sunday November 10th, in recognition of their fabulous efforts in leading the catering team for our meetings and many other events this year.


Lesley Long talked about her show ‘Women on Air’ which airs every Tuesday between 11am – 1.30pm on Lionheart Community Radio.  Lesley is keen to redress the under-representation of women on the radio, and is keen to hear from women about their stories whatever they may be. Please contact Lesley on: 01665 606841 / llesley.long@lionheartradio.com) to share a story.

Colin Bradford & Janis Crook at 4th November MeetingColin Bradford : Reed Instruments 

Janis welcomed Colin Bradford who brought with him an array of reed instruments and talked passionately about musical scales, structures and the science behind a multitude of free reed instruments.  He may be a Quantity Surveyor by trade but he is undoubtedly a musician at heart.  I suspect it is quite a while since many of us were taught the basics of notes, semitones, octaves and scales!  Colin demonstrated his musicianship with snippets of tunes on his wide range of instruments. He also shared music videos from around the world and shared anecdotes and stories of his musical experiences and influences.

The Competition Winners

Congratulations to winner Judith Williams and runners up Mary Hollins and Jill Bourne for bringing their unusual musical instruments.

Supper Thanks

The evening was brought to a close with a delicious supper of homemade cakes, sausage rolls, pates and cakes.  Thank you to Ethel, Judith, Margaret and all contributors for a delicious supper of homemade cakes, sausage rolls, pates, cakes and Tina Stroud for the gluten free brownies.  Thank you to everyone who helped with the room set up and dismantling the tables and to Celia for her diligent preparation for our speaker.

Next Meeting 

The next meeting is our Christmas Party on December 2nd, at 7pm.


The Federation Office have advised that we will not  get any tickets for the Christmas Carol Service so please disregard the note regarding the bus.  Kathryn has contacted all attendees directly regarding this. As many people had this date booked in their diaries we will now do the Christmas coffee morning/get together that day and may even sing some carols of our own.   

Report by : Kathryn Archibald