Alnmouth WI, January meeting

Stained glass artist Helen Grierson at work.
Stained glass artist Helen Grierson at work.

Alnmouth WI’s new year started well with a good turn-out on a cold and frosty evening.

Janis, our president, started the meeting by reminding us all what a good night we had in December, our party of course, and thanking the in-house’catering team, flower arrangers and everyone else who made the evening the success it was.

There seems to be quite a bit going on within the WI at Federation level so Janis quickly went through the various events for members to consider, such as seeing the 100th anniversary annual meeting live, which is being held in the Albert Hall, streamed into the Tyne Theatre, Newcastle; a Newcastle theatre visit to see Stepping Out; something much more at home, our own WI’s birthday celebration, not quite 100 years but not far behind; various others and, of course, the dreaded subs, Jean Cullen, our treasurer, being at the ready to take our money for another year.

Our speaker for the evening, Helen Grierson, having previously set out some beautiful glass after being introduced by Janis, began her talk by telling us a little of her background which was very interesting.

Her home town was Ashington and with the encouragement of her parents to get as much as she could out of her education, she eventually became a primary school teacher and went down to London to see what it had to offer.

After going to night classes to study sculpture and drawing, she came back to Northumberland and fell in love with glass work, joined the Art Tour and set off on her present career.

At first she worked from a shed, progressed to the Biscuit Tin in Newcastle, found it a bit isolated as well as the overheads being a bit high, moved to a studio at Eshottheugh which promoted a lot of interest and is now at the Stag’s Head Gallery in Felton, sharing a space with seven other artists.

It is hard to describe how lovely her glass work is, all shapes, colours and size. She gave a brief description how she creates these beautiful works of art, but actually the best way to see them is to go to the Felton Gallery, which serves coffee, and see work both in progress and completed, which sounds an excellent idea to most of us.

Sue Ellis gave a vote of thanks for her excellent talk on our behalf and, as our tea ladies were at the ready, the evening finished off with a good chat and a cup of tea.

The birthday girl this month, out of the hat, was Jill Bourne, who took home a lovely bouquet of flowers.

Isabel Chalmers took the opportunity of mentioning a piano recital in the village church.

Our next meeting is on Monday, February 2, and the competition is based on a Valentine focus, which gives us a wide choice. Our speaker is David Waters and his subject will be The Work of the Northumberland Park Rescue Team.