Bamburgh WI, March meeting

Members were reminded about the host of Federation events being held in the next few months.

They were asked to make suggestions for pledges in the WI auction and to make up a team for the annual federation quiz at Ulgham.

Janet Wilkinson gave a very amusing account of the spring council meeting at the Royal Grammar School.

As it was her first visit, she was not sure what to expect, but she was full of enthusiasm and had enjoyed every minute.

The main speaker had members rolling in the aisles and, as Janet said, she had not had such a good laugh for a long time.

The second Bamburgh quiz night had proved very popular and there was almost a full house at the Castle Inn.

The final quiz night for the winter was on Monday and we are hoping to start up again on Monday, September 29.

The Bamburgh 2014 Village Show schedules are now on display in local shops or you can view on line on www.bam burgh.org.uk

Potatoes, buckets and sunflower seeds can be collected at the Village Coffee Stop. The next village show committee meeting is on April 29, in the Pavilion.

On April 15, the WI is holding its annual fund-raising coffee morning for Pavilion funds and Carol Griffiths will be on hand for a book signing session for her new book about Bamburgh’s history.

On June 10, WI members are holding a workshop in the Pavilion when paramedics will be demonstrating on how to use the defibrillator that will be permanently installed in Bamburgh. Interested members of the public will be invited to join them.

Waiting very patiently in the wings was our speaker Gillian Hambleton from Northumberland Theatre Company, which is based at Alnwick Playhouse.

What a feast of delights Gillian gave us, taking on the roles of a multitude of characters in short dialogues and sketches.

Her role as the mother of an Eyemouth fisherman, lost at sea, brought tears to the eyes as her gestures and facial expressions were so moving and believable. We are all looking forward to the next NTC performance in the Pavilion later in the year.

The next meeting is on April 9, when Lydia Bankier will describe how we can look into our family history. Visitors will be very welcome.

Following this monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 18, Bamburgh WI was privileged to represent all the institutes from north Northumberland at a special celebratory event to mark 100 years of the WI in England and Wales.

More than 80 guests from 30 institutes in the north were invited to Bamburgh’s meeting place, the Pavilion, to welcome the national baton that is visiting every county from Wales, the west, north, east and south of England before arriving at the Albert Hall, London, in 2015.

The baton entered Bamburgh escorted by two Bamburgh out-riders on scooters decked in Northumbrian flags.

The baton-bearer then made her way through a guard of honour of Northumbrian flags to present the baton to the chairman of Northumberland Federation, Hilary Robson.

Guests were entertained by Margaret and Andrew Watchhorn playing many instruments, including the Northumbrian pipes, before enjoying a wonderful tea supplied by the Bamburgh catering team.

A celebration cake decorated by Margaret Smith with three figures showing the WI through the ages was ceremoniously cut and shared among all present.

We were very fortunate that the weather was exceptionally kind with warm sunshine so cameras, mobile phones and iPads were clicking to record a wonderful archive of this special day.

In the main hall, a collection including a screen, banners and wall hangings were displayed representing all seven institutes in the Lindisfarne group, each one showing the amazing craft skills of WI members.

Photos marking the popular and well-established Bamburgh sand-sculpture challenge, held for the past six years, were on display and it is hoped many more institutes will take up the challenge for 2015 when the suitable theme is 100 Years of the Women’s Institute.