Thropton WIs tally of excellent speakers during 2017 was raised to an inspirational level at our November meeting with a talk by Liesbeth Langford, who had been a child in Holland during the Second World War.
She was the daughter of courageous parents, an English mother and a Dutch father, who worked for the Resistance.
She described the atmosphere under occupation as one of total lack of trust in anyone and permanent fear, compounded, as the months became years, by extreme hunger.
In the freezing winter of 1944-1945, 18,000 Dutch citizens died of starvation. The survivors often had nothing but tulip bulbs to eat.
Mrs Langford delivered her talk with such sincerity that we were held enthralled, and horrified, by her tales of risk and bravery under the eyes of the occupiers. We were humbled by this wartime story and our speaker’s gratitude to the country which gave her sanctuary.
Thropton WIs oldest member, Florence Baker, is another brave lady, who as a Norwegian teenager also experienced life under German occupation and was able to exchange experiences with Mrs Langford.
Our business meeting had been conducted to a backdrop of bras on a washing line. These will be delivered to Oxfam for distribution in the Third World.
Christmas gifts were collected to donate in Rothbury and Morpeth, and Vikki Ewing, the Warm Hub organiser in Thropton, appealed for more helpers at the fortnightly lunches.
Members were informed about the proceeds of our recent coffee morning, most of which will be donated to the North Northumberland Hospice.
Future plans include trips to the Sunderland Glass Centre, the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh, and a lunch at Cragside.
The competition for a wartime item was won by June Hasson, and we were delighted to welcome a new member to the meeting.
Our Christmas meeting will include entertainment by harpists and a pooled supper. It takes place on Wednesday, December 6, at 7pm, in Thropton War Memorial Hall. New members are always welcome.