At Thropton WI, the May annual meeting is an opportunity to sing Jerusalem and remember all the talks, outings and activities of the last 12 months.
It’s a time to reflect on our collective efforts to improve our community, enjoy ourselves, learn from and help each other and to be proud of our achievements.
We’ve visited the past at Floors Castle and shopped in Kelso, lost our inhibitions at the Glenkinchie Distillery and piled on calories in Eyemouth.
In Newcastle, we stood on the Theatre Royal’s stage and explored behind the scenes, and, at the BBC studios, we recorded our own radio play and television news programme.
Our speakers’ subjects have been wide ranging, including the work of a prison chaplain, memories of a childhood on Nazi-occupied Guernsey and the history and work of the Northumberland Search and Rescue team.
We’ve had an inspiring talk about work with the children of Chernobyl and listened to First World War poems chosen and read by members.
We’ve been entertained with an autumnal food demonstration, climaxing with a firework cake (yes!) and with singing about the press gangs in the North East. We’ve heard about the rescue and restoration of a bastle in the village and been enlightened about humanist hatches, matches and dispatches.
We’ve been able to help with community-based projects, among them Rothbury and Coquetdale Youth Project, the war memorial rededication, North Northumberland Hospice, the Macmillan coffee morning and Rothbury Christmas lights.
Members have been able to participate in Federation events including bowls, International Day, the sparkling lunch in Tynemouth and a number of cookery events. We continued our twinning with Southridge, this year, enjoying a walk around Seaton Sluice.
We were greatly encouraged by Ursula Mavin being runner-up in the Keep Britain Tidy WI Outstanding Achievement Award. Both Ursula and Margaret Fisk are regularly litter-picking in Rothbury.
Thropton WI is very much a collective effort where every member plays her part in making the evenings run smoothly.
Special thanks go to our outgoing president, Marian Lampert, who has worked tirelessly for us over the last years and for many years before that as our secretary. Thank you Marian.
If you think you would like to join us, we meet on the first Wednesday evening of the month at 7pm in the Thropton War Memorial Hall. Come as a visitor, there’s no commitment.
Our next meeting is June 3 and the speaker, Frances Blackburn, will talk about Newcastle NHS Foundation Trust – Quality Care and the Personal Touch. Hope to see you there.