Lesbury WI

The meeting of Lesbury WI was held in the village hall.

The meeting opened with Ann Anderson reporting on her visit as our delegate to the WI national AGM.

She had thoroughly enjoyed the experience, apart from the long journey to Wales in a bus which had a broken air conditioning unit.

She gave a vivid description of all that had transpired, and said that the speakers had all been excellent. Her closing comments were that she would go again if she got the chance.

After Ann was thanked for coming, the usual business of the monthly meeting was attended to and our secretary Annette gave details of our forthcoming visit to Paxton House, to be followed by a visit to East Ord Garden Centre on our return journey.

Our speaker for the evening was a return visit from Dr Ian Roberts, whose last talk had been about Drove Roads.

His talk this time was about large estates and their management. His hand-outs showed the distribution of how different people shared the land in England in the 1870s.

It was interesting that some familiar names came up as being land owners of parts of Northumberland, the Duke, naturally, and also The Duke of Portland, the Earl of Redesdale, Sir Matthew Ridley (Blagdon), John Riddell (Felton Park), Earl Grey (Howick), Sir Walter Selby (Biddlestone) and Sir Edward Blackett.

In 1850, the Duke of Northumberland owned 160,863 acres, divided into 13 Bailiwicks, each put in the charge of a bailiff who looked after the management of everything in his bailiwick and responsible directly to the Duke.

It was interesting that nowadays significant areas of the land in Northumberland are owned by the Forestry Commission, the Ministry of Defence and the National Trust.

After many thanks to Dr Roberts and a welcome cup of tea, the competition joint winners were announced as Audrey Miller and Susan Wood.

The raffle was drawn and the birthday girl for June was Gillian Atkinson, who celebrates her 80th birthday this month.