Beadnell WI, October meeting

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New member Janet and two guests were welcomed to the October meeting of Beadnell WI, together with a pleasing number of members.

President Lynne Angus gave a brief outline of the work begun by a small steering group to try to gain funding to rebuild our hall within the next few years.

She also asked members to give serious thought as to who might succeed her and Sue in 2014 as president and secretary.

The luncheon club had been warmly welcomed to Bamburgh’s Victoria Hotel, on a wet and windy day. The next outing will be to the Apple Inn at Lucker.

Members were reminded to bring secateurs or old scissors to November’s meeting if they wish to make a Christmas table decoration with Lizzie Harratt. Eva Rutter will also be opening up her Fairtrade stall on that evening.

Margaret Brambley suggested that it might be easier to maintain our twinning with Appleton le Dale on a postal basis, because of difficulties with the distances involved.

Members agreed and favoured the thought of forming an association with a city-based WI closer to home.

Although pipped at the post, our darts and dominoes teams had put up a valiant effort and enjoyed themselves.

Our special guests for the evening were John Goldfinch and his Labrador-retriever-cross guide dog Ivor.

These two friends brought home to us the mutual advantages we can be to one another.

John spoke to us of the 82-year-old history of the Guide Dogs’ for the Blind Association and the complicated and painstaking path of training dogs and matching them up with potential clients.

The Association relies mainly on legacies to fund its activities. Training a dog and supporting it throughout its lifetime costs £50,000. Amazingly, these dogs are not classed as working animals, so VAT is charged on their food.

Ivor kept making his feelings obvious by thumping his tail on the floor, or sitting up every time we laughed.

John kindly judged our competition for a dog in any medium, by feeling each entry and listening to a brief description from his driver Paul.

Margaret Brambley won the competition, followed by June Scott and Dorothy Hodgson. Dorothy Oglethorpe won the raffle.

The following evening saw us enjoying a very pleasant pre-Christmas event organised by our social committee.

Members were joined by family, friends and visitors who were offered wine and a beautiful variety of cheeses, together with an interesting array of ideas for Christmas gifts, backed up by seasonal music.