Warkworth WI, December and January meetings

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The December meeting of Warkworth WI went with a real swing as 47 members enjoyed their annual Christmas party, entertained by a trio of musicians, Carole, Russell and Andy, who sang ballads and played guitar and mandolin, with an amusing poem by Pam Ayres for good measure.

The raffle for this month is unique: Members bring a contribution to some hampers and then in return get a free ticket.

The draw for these hampers followed the first session of entertainment and then members enjoyed a pooled supper.

The evening continued with more music and Lynda Davie gave the vote of thanks.

The party concluded with the results of the quiz and anagrams competition devised by Sylvia Capron.

The birthday flowers were won by Penny Mason and the competition for a pretty parcel was won by Jan Shotton.

The New Year started with an interesting evening of local history which attracted 42 members, two guests and five new members; a really good attendance on a dark, cold January evening.

The guest speaker, Peter Regan, spoke about the famous families of Northumberland, with portraits and illustrations of tombs and houses.

His account began before the Norman Conquest with families like the Ogles, spanning the centuries with Percy, Grey, Widdrington, Craster and Delaval.

He concluded with the great industrialists of the 19th century: Blackett, Bainbridge, Ridley, Armstrong, Joicey – familiar names placed in context with great skill.

As Peter said, some of their great houses might only survive as wedding venues, but they were all considerable land-owners and men of influence in their time.

Their lives reflected the historical events of Northumberland. Pat Bagshaw thanked him on our behalf.

The competition for an item of family memorabilia produced an amazing range of much-cherished objects, ranging from military medals (including the Legion d’Honneur) and other war-time keepsakes, to a bell from Guyzance Mill and a one-eyed Teddy.

Pat Bagshaw won first prize with a fascinating collection of documents which recorded the details and prices of a 1930s wedding, complete with swatches of fabric and bills.

The birthday plant was won by Anne Cashmore.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 4. It will be a members’ evening of hobbies and crafts.

Members are invited to bring along examples of their own work and perhaps to say a few words about their hobby. It was hoped to have some demonstrations.

The competition is for a knitted toy.