The March meeting of Warkworth WI was attended by 44 members and six visitors. Membership now stands at 69.
The prospect of an unlimited array of handbags proved irresistible to WI members. As our speaker Susan Howard pointed out, few women admit to owning a lot of handbags, but the truth is that we are all tempted to buy more than we need.
Beginning with the narrow men’s coin purses of Tudor times, Susan progressed through the centuries, showing how the use and design of handbags corresponded with need and custom.
These days we apparently keep on average 40 items in our bags, but in the 18th and 19th centuries a tiny reticule sufficed, only big enough for smelling salts and a handkerchief.
In the 20th century, women wanted to carry make-up and cigarettes – handbag design reflected this.
Her examples were chosen for their style and workmanship and for the way they represented the fashion of the day, from the dainty Edwardian purses to 50s styles and eventually to the statement bags of Chanel, Burberry and Lulu Guiness.
The competition for a vintage bag produced some wonderful entries and was won by Eileen Murray with a lovely 30s fur handbag incorporating a muff.
Sonia Purvis won a bowl of bulbs for the birthday prize.
Next month the speaker will be Hazel Hodgkiss on pilates.
We will be holding a table top sale on Saturday, March 29, in the United Reformed Church Hall, The Butts, Warkworth, from 10am until 1pm. Tables cost £10, entrance £1 including tea and coffee. To book, ring Diana Webber on 01665 713439.