Alnmouth WI, February meeting

The howling wind coming off the sea didn’t put off members of Alnmouth WI as we had a pretty full house for our February meeting.

Haley and Janis Crook, our president and vice respectively , chaired the meeting as Yvonne, our secretary, was off skiing. Haley warmly welcomed members and visitors alike, thanking them for tackling the elements, and then invited Janis to read last month’s minutes.

Janis quickly went through matters arising, mentioning our invitation to Whey Aye WI who we have twinned with, also proposing an interactive evening on getting to know you, both later in the year, before moving on to next year’s committee.

There are five members wishing to retire for various reasons, pressure of work from our present president and other commitments from our secretary and the other reason being, as many of us have been on quite a while it is perhaps time to have a shakeup and bring in the new.

Not that any of the retiring committee are disappearing, we will just sit back and enjoy whatever is on offer.

As it is our 96th birthday in March it has been decided to celebrate in the Hindmarsh Hall.

After completing the rest of the outstanding business, Janis asked Lorna Tennent to tell us about her visit to her twin sister in Swaziland. We actually formed a friendship with Malkerns WI in Swaziland through Lesley, Lorna’s twin, on her last visit to Alnmouth about three years ago and have kept up correspondence, plus contributing from the sales of our book stall to help in the various projects they support.

The knitters in our WI contributed some fantastic tiny hats and bootees for the premature babies which Lorna took with her and was able to give them personally to their members.

Unfortunately, because of their poor supply of electricity, premature babies cannot be put into incubators so they use the ‘kangaroo’ method which is to wrap the babies up and strap them to their mother. Her heartbeat and breathing help to stimulate the baby’s body temperature.

Lorna gave us a really interesting view of the difference between their lives and ours and we will certainly endeavour to keep up our support in whatever way we can.

Our speakers for the evening set out their wonderful crafts and with great knowledge they talked about the origins of hooky, proddy and clippy mats.

I think some of the older members among us had an inkling of doing or watching their grannies, produce similar work, but Jane Jackson and Margaret Kenny had really looked into the history and the crafts on display were excellent.

Janis thanked Jane and Margaret on our behalf and asked them to judge our competition which was an item related to Valentine’s Day and the winner was Barbara Naylor, who had made a beautiful chocolate heart-shaped cake. The birthday girl was Sally Nicholson who got a lovely bouquet of flowers and the evening ended with a lovely selection of tray bakes, produced by the committee.