Beadnell WI, October meeting

Beadnell bay
Beadnell bay

Members get fleeced

Our speaker at Beadnell WI for October allowed us some hands-on experience, which was great fun. Sue Gill’s subject was Spinning Yarns and Weaving Tales.

She brought with her one of her four, soon to be five, spinning wheels. Her talk about her hobby was given with passion and enthusiasm, which involved practical demonstration throughout.

We learnt of different types of wheels and their evolution over thousands of years, together with facts about the variety of fleeces available and their special individual qualities.

Washing fleeces and dyeing fibres in preparation for spinning make this a time-consuming activity, with a very satisfying outcome. Visiting areas at home and abroad to observe the raw product ‘on the hoof’ adds another interesting dimension to the process.

Our involvement started within minutes of the talk beginning. Working in pairs, we were introduced to the ‘drop spindle’, the earliest known method of spinning fibres. This was followed by a very tactile session, passing around an array of wools from animals such as different breeds of sheep, alpaca, yak, camel, musk ox, possum and silk worms. Very comforting and sensual.

The importance of suiting fibres to different requirements was obvious and fascinating. Many members were keen to get out their knitting or crochet needles to get busy.

During the business meeting we heard of enjoyable visits to the Insieme Restaurant in Seahouses, a grand centenary celebration with the rest of the Lindisfarne Group at Howick WI, and a jolly social gathering of all those who volunteer in the village of Beadnell.

Our next luncheon club outing will be to Sambuca in the Blue Bell Hotel in Embleton. Members are reminded of the evening with guests at the Links Hotel on October 30. A volunteer was asked for to attend next year’s AGM in Brighton.

Members were also alerted to a change in our programme. In November our speaker will be from the First Responders, demonstrating the use of defibrillators, exchanging with Katrina Porteous who will now visit us in March 2016. Following November’s talk, Eva Rutter will set up her annual Fairtrade stall for those who would like to purchase gifts or cards.

Catherine Willis and Jan Brunt outlined our coming Christmas shopping event to be held on Friday, October 13, between 6pm and 9pm. There will be some interesting festive stalls and people will be needed to help with refreshments, or to shop, to ensure its success.

Catherine and Jan would also be grateful if members could indicate their preferences for future events on the social calendar questionnaire. In addition, final numbers are required for those wishing to attend the ‘Christmas Magic’ event at the Sage in December. Remember that friends and family are most welcome to come along too.

Many thanks were given to those who had helped to make the Heritage Weekend successful. Special thanks went to Annette Manning for her excellent archive display and her ability to answer a variety of questions from visitors.

Jenny Spark won the raffle and Dorothy Oglethorpe the competition for something woven. Jan Brunt and Brenda Tinker were runners-up.

We closed with a very companionable supper, where there was much to discuss and catching up with those returning from holidays.