Alnmouth WI, March meeting

Chocolatier Dawn Watts.
Chocolatier Dawn Watts.

Janis quickly got started with the March meeting of Alnmouth WI, welcoming members and guests, then asking Caroline to go through the correspondence, of which there seemed to be a lot.

On a local level, we were reminded of our birthday party on March 18, which will be in our usual meeting spot, the Hindmarsh Hall, at 7pm, a theatre trip on July 23, to see Sister Act at the Theatre Royal, and a special add on which had just come in – an invitation to the Royal Garden Party for one person, which Judi Hill delightedly accepted on the stipulation that she tell us all about it.

Janis gave us an update of our connection with Swaziland WI and also some pictures which were passed around again, reminding us of their need for board games, books and videos, etc for their local school as of course their second language is English.

She also ran through a list of crafts which members may be interested in joining outside meeting times.

As it is our annual meeting next month, names were taken for prospective committee members, of who would like to continue for another year and also who would like to join them, so that should be an interesting meeting next month. So hopefully we will see some new faces joining the present members adding to our ‘think tank’ for 2015/16.

Our speaker, Dawn Watts, had of course already set up her equipment needed for the demonstration so, after being introduced by Janice to her eagerly waiting audience, she started by telling us the origins of her chocolate making enterprise.

In a nut shell, it evolved through the Lynemouth Community Trust, which is set up to provide training and employment to an area of unemployment.

Dawn previously ran a cafe, in the Old Lynemouth Hotel, as an employee of the Trust, and branched out into making fudge, leading on to attending a training programme in Manchester with Slatttery’s Patissier and Chocolatier Company.

It certainly worked as she took on one of our members, Ann Coyne, to help her make some Easter eggs and, with much mirth, for a beginner she did really well.

The chocolates and fudge sell under the name of Kenspeckle Northumbrian Confectionery both in shops and on the web, two of their customers being Fortnum and Mason and Selfridges, quite an achievement from a little place like Lynemouth.

She gave us one of their specialities to try, cinder toffee, in the shape of a lump of coal (a nod to Lynemouth which was once a thriving pit village) which was of course delicious.

It really was an interesting evening, one we all enjoyed very much indeed.

It’s amazing what we have around us and good to hear how well this small local enterprise is doing.

Our competition for an Easter egg was won by Ann Hobbis and as there was no birthday girl this month the lovely flowers went into the raffle which was won by a delighted Fran Bromham.

As next month is our annual meeting, we were reminded it will be a pooled supper.