Beadnell WI, Meeting

Beadnell bay/beach
 Picture by Jane Coltman
Beadnell bay/beach Picture by Jane Coltman

On a cold November evening it was wonderful to be welcomed to the hall with warmth and small vases of pink roses on the supper tables.

Three visitors joined us, together with our new member, Tonia. Business centred on opportunities locally and further afield to prepare for or to celebrate Christmas.

The lunch club is looking forward to a Christmas meal at the village’s Salt Water Cafe. Also on that day, we are anticipating welcoming people to the hall for hot refreshments following the switching on of Beadnell’s Christmas lights.

The village volunteers have been working very hard for the occasion, which has become a village tradition over the past few years. Soup, mince pies and mulled wine will be on the menu for after the church service and the walk to the Bullring.

Our seasonal supper party will be held on Thursday, December 14. Members were reminded to bring a small gift to put into Santa’s sack and bring along any cards they wish to exchange with friends to go into our own post box. Anyone who is able to help with the setting up for the party is asked to come along at 2pm on the day.

Wednesday coffee mornings are to continue, since villagers and visitors are enjoying them. There will be a hiatus over the festive season, with the final one for the year being on December 13. Mince pies are probably going to feature on that occasion too.

Many thanks were given to the organizers and helpers of the coffee and craft morning on October 24. The event raised £235 for the hall’s refurbishment. Excitingly, we are drawing nearer to our target to cover the costs and hope it will not be long before work commences on the project.

Six members had enjoyed a trip to Hexham to learn the skill of glass painting. We look forward to seeing the results of their labours at our Christmas party tables.

Another opportunity to produce items for Christmas is available closer to home, on November 18, Jan Brunt is leading a craft day for members and other locals. She ran something similar last year and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the occasion.

The highlight of our evening was a talk from Sir Alan Craft with the title of Medicine Through the Catflap. We enjoyed hearing about his journey from being a Newcastle schoolboy who qualified as a doctor and then, by quirks of fate and sheer hard work, achieved international eminence in the field of paediatric oncology.

Having opportunities to work alongside remarkable practitioners in the sphere of children’s cancer in Newcastle, and other parts of the country, together with being mentored by inspiring people, enabled Sir Alan to develop his own expertise. Liaising regularly with other international experts and devising mixed approaches to treatment has resulted in an amazing rise in survival rates for young people.

When Sir Alan began his career in the early 70s only 20 per cent could be cured. Today the number is closer to 80 per cent.

It was fascinating to learn of his involvement both professionally, and at a personal level, with a variety of eminent physicians and grateful survivors.

The competition for a winter warmer was won by Pat Brand, with Wendy Clark and Jan Brunt as runner- up.