North Sunderland and Seahouses WI

The committee ladies had done wonderful work preparing the room for our 90th celebration, decorating and placing the various pieces of memorabilia to view as well as the delicious supper served to over 80 guests.

Our secretary, Sandra Macfarlane, had done a lot of work in that she had transferred the original records on to a computer and copies, dating back over the years, were placed along the walls. They made very interesting reading. Our handmade crafts were also on display.

Our guest of honour was Jane, our Duchess of Northumberland. We also had WI ladies from Embleton, Belford, Craster, Beadnell, Bamburgh and Howick, our WI advisors Prudence Marks, Julia Davison, Alison Strong and Jackie Wylie, Hilary Robson, our Northumberland Federation chairman, and Bridget Smith.

To add to the festivities, musicians Chris and Bob Ainsley joined us . They played their very own composition of Welcome In Your Grace. Their instruments were a keyboard and violin. Teachers Margaret Aydon and Maureen Kernow also joined us.

Our president, Pat Minto, opened the evening, welcoming all present, and then at the appointed hour Her Grace arrived to a very happy reception.

Her speech was very well received in that she sponsors many charities after which she asked for questions. One of which, naturally, was her further plans for The Alnwick Garden. These are progressing.

Our stalwart member, Nora Mileham, had baked the cake and photographs were taken of our Duchess and Nora cutting the celebration cake.

A bouquet of flowers was presented to Her Grace by Sheila Young, our oldest serving member, and Helen Fisher, our oldest member, presented the bouquet to Mrs Robson.

We then settled down to our two-course supper which comprised ham, salmon and turkey. We are indebted to Alan Scott, our local butcher, for his kind assistance in the cooking and carving of the meat, quite a job for a large number of guests.

There was also a very good array of salads, rice, curried eggs, plus delicious bread. The second course consisted of strawberries, cream and trifle, followed by a slice of the cake with our wine. Jim Stephenson donated the salmon.

Mrs Robson addressed us by giving advance notice of the various activities planned for 2015, events at Cresswell House and at the Grand, Tynemouth, as well as the AGM and the carol service at Hexham Abbey.

The vote of thanks was given by Norma Ham, president of Embleton WI. This was followed by the drawing of the raffle plus announcing the winners of the competition.

The evening finally came to a close. It had been a great success and, no doubt, will be talked about by all and sundry for some time to come.

Our grateful thanks to all concerned. It was hard work for our committee members but everybody agreed that it had been an evening to be remembered. Well worth the effort and much appreciated by everyone present.

Our meetings are always held on the first Tuesday of each month in the Social Club at 7.30pm.