Beadnell WI, March meeting

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IN MEMORY: President Lynne Angus was sad to announce the death of one of our members, Gillian Jordan. We sent our sympathies to her family as we remembered this lovely lady.

Our March meeting was centred on a Janus-like approach, looking back into our past while planning for the future.

Lynne reported on successful outings by the luncheon club to the Olde Ship Hotel in Seahouses and by members and their guests to an evening meal in the Beadnell Towers Hotel.

The next lunch visit will be to the restaurant at the Sunnyhill Farm Shop in Belford, on April 1. Those requiring lifts are asked to meet at the Institute at the earlier time of 11.30am.

The theatre group enjoyed the NTC’s performance of Star Quality at Bamburgh Pavilion and The King’s Speech at Alnwick Playhouse. Their next venture is to see Blood Brothers in Edinburgh.

We are now hoping to resurrect our indoor bowls club. A coffee morning has been organised for April 20, and a bridge afternoon on May 6. Members were asked to put July 27 into their diaries as the date of our annual fete, so that we can plan well-ahead.

Ciara, one of our new members, gave us a succinct and eloquent insight into her work at the St Martin’s Centre in Byker, which aims to help clients of all ages who have complex needs. We were much affected by this glimpse into problems that some people experience in their everyday lives and have begun thinking of ways in which we might help.

With Annette Manning, another of our members, we stepped back in time to see what life was like for members of Beadnell WI between the 1930s and the 1960s.

Annette has made an excellent job of sorting through and ordering our archives, preserving them for future generations. She gave us details of the preparations that were taken for wartime survival, described how our hall was used for educational and recreational purposes and the garden for growing vegetables. The requisitioning of the building for military and war work spoke very evocatively of the importance of our WI at such a stressful time in the nation’s history.

We thanked Annette for her overview and for all the hard work she has undertaken on our behalf.

For the benefit of new members, Lynne then gave a short history of the WI Movement and our Institute’s place in the scheme of things. She also looked forward to our celebration in two year’s time of our 90th anniversary and outlined plans of how we hope to mark the occasion. Stimulated by what we had already heard, suggestions began to emerge from members. The next two years promise to be interesting.

The competition for something from the Twenties, the decade of our institute’s creation, was won by Denise Salisbury with a splendid period teapot, with Wendy Clarke and Angela Peereboom as runners-up.