WI Meeting 7th October, 2019

Alnmouth WI small picBloomin’ ‘eck  – That’s a lesson in how to multi-task!

WI Business 

  • Janis Crook opened the meeting with a warm welcome to all, especially two guests and potential new members, Jan Sutherland and Shirley MacLonnauhie, and then confirmed the report from our September meeting had been emailed to all members.  As usual it was also published in the Northumberland Gazette and the Bridge Magazine.
  • Janis attended to the Matters Arising, starting with a reminder that any stories or memories that members would like to be included in our Centennial leaflet need to be submitted.  She asked members who were awaiting clothing and aprons to collect their items and mentioned she has a couple of unsold items for anyone who is interested.
  • A couple of members had raised concerns that the charity Daft as a Brush were not covering our area – but in correspondence with the charity, they state they do cover our area but are extremely in demand and users must have a referral from the Freeman.  The charity have stated that they generally have a three week waiting list for Radiotherapy treatments but patients requiring Chemotherapy are generally helped in less time.
  • Janis gave a quick debrief from the WI Trip to Norfolk where 17 ladies and our Polish driver saw the sights along the North Norfolk Coast, a trip down the Norfolk Broads and a splendid trip to Sandringham House.  Tina Stroud added that it was a magical trip and encouraged members to participate in trips as they are a great way to get to know people, even if you are a new or newish member.
  • Janis mentioned that we now have a Birthday Register for anyone who wants to sign up. Birthday cards were presented to Jane Hindmarsh, Margaret Mayfield, Barbara Naylor and the Birthday flowers were given to Marjorie Swindale.  Happy Birthday to all with October or early November birthdays.  Finally, Janis presented a card of thanks to Jan Straghan who has penned a fabulous poster for our entry to the Hotspur group meeting on October 9th.

Upcoming Local WI & Federation Events 

  • Kathryn Archibald highlighted some of the local and Federation events that are coming up and asked members to sign up in the new events register.  Locally, we have a special invitation and discount from Julie and the team at The Alnmouth Gift Shop on November 10th and we have the Witches Warmer on October 30th.  Please sign up and publicise this event with friends and family.  Two sittings will be served: 12.00 and 13.30.
  • We also have an Evening of Elvis music on November 21st at Whitley Bay.
  • Our Christmas Party is scheduled for December 2nd, where Mispent Yuke will entertain us.
  • The Federation will be holding the Christmas Carol celebration in St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle on December 5th.  It appears that our WI have not been receiving our copies of the Federation Newsletter but this should now be resolved, with the help of Marjorie Read.
  • The Informal Coffee Morning will be October 17th, from 10 am at The Old School Gallery.

Our Speaker : Marjorie Read

Janis introduced our guest speaker, Marjorie Read, also Chair of the Northumberland Federation, who gave us an entertaining demonstration of flower arranging.  Marjorie is living proof that women can multi-task as she regaled many tales from her life, whilst effortlessly producing five fabulous flower arrangements.  We saw an autumnal crescent arrangement, a triangular multi-coloured array, a circular candle table centre, an elongated spray in a lovely handbag/basket and a delicate composition in a cocktail glass. 

Among her many pearls of wisdom, Marjorie gave hints on how to keep gerbera’s perky (a bit of Viagra), how to use mossing pins or staples to create an oval shape with aspidistra leaves, showed how not be afraid to cut the stems of blooms when arranging and the conventional wisdom of featuring odd numbers of blooms (unless you are using more than 7 when anything goes).  Marjorie said a good source for interesting containers and other floristry items is County Baskets in The Team Valley.  She emphasised that foliage is key when it comes to creating interesting arrangements – so the watchword is more foliage and less blooms.

Janis thanked Marjorie for sharing some of her life stories and for transforming an assortment of blooms and foliage into five fabulous arrangements before our very eyes, whilst entertaining us with her stories.

Flower Arranging_Oct 2019To the left is Janis and Marjorie sharing a laugh behind her fabulous creations, which Marjorie generously donated to the raffle, which Ann Coyne kindly organised.

Supper Thank You 

The evening was brought to a close with a delicious supper of homemade cakes, banana bread, cupcakes, cheese and biscuits.

Thank you to Ethel, Judith and Margaret for their catering prowess, 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 & Competition

The next meeting is scheduled for November 4th at 7pm in the Hindmarsh Hall where we will hear ‘Making Music with Reed Instruments’ and the competition will be an Unusual Musical Instrument.