Brockenhurst WI Press Report May 2019
In May Brockenhurst WI have their AGM so a good turn out by the members was required and, of course, they didn’t disappoint us. We had 41 members and 7 visitors who all warbled Jerusalem with great gusto and enjoyed a glass of wine!
We had our speaker first because of other business to conduct later so the magnificent Andy Broadhurst gave a short but very interesting speech entitled ‘Talk Hampshire Swift’s’. He talked us through the history of the Swift (probably around before man) and how to easily identify them as opposed to a House Martin or a Swallow. They weigh about the same as two AA batteries and fly for literally years until they settle and mate. In their average lifespan of 8 years they can fly 2000+ miles. They’re not really UK birds because they’re here for only 12 weeks a year and then they head back to Africa when the breeding stops. Sadly the Swift is in declining numbers due to the lack of nesting sites – when people ‘upgrade’ their homes and add plastic soffits the natural nooks and crannies in wood soffits are lost to the Swift. The Swift Society are trying to lobby government and builders to ‘build in’ Swift nesting sites to new build sites across the UK by adding a ‘Swift Brick’ which is a purpose made brick that is used high up in the build and is hollow thereby allowing the nesting Swift to set up home. They are creating some 300 new nesting sites a year across the UK and there are already 500 known sites in Hampshire – locally to us Lymington is the most prolific nesting site at the moment. We learned so much about the Swift that many members are now signed up for the Swift Walk in Lymington in June.
Following on from this we began the ‘business’ of the day – first up was the birthday posies and celebrating this month were Geraldine Angel, Pat Worn, Helen Mantle, Christine O’Connor and Anne Panayi – have a very happy birthday you May babies! Sue Garrod gave the treasurer’s report and this year’s needlework fiesta was incredibly busy and they made a handsome profit of £1,754. Karen Whitty ran through all the correspondence including a suggestion that we support last year’s End Plastic Soup Campaign by sending the clothes retailers (eg, Arcadia Group, Debenhams etc) who are not ‘doing their bit’ a postcard asking them to stop plastic pollution in their fibres and manufacturing – the idea being that the deluge of postcards might convey the message more acutely! We voted to join Hampshire WI’s 300 Club Raffle and our next lunch club was announced as 20th June at the Forest Park Hotel at 12pm prompt. We are also flying high in the Dart stakes having thrashed the competition in our last outing (the WI will remain unnamed)!! Anne Nolan put out a request for final entries for this year’s New Forest Show and 3 people were co-opted for the Produce Co-operative with this year’s theme being ‘A Festival Picnic’ We also voted on the two resolutions to take forward to the National AGM: ‘Don’t Fear The Smear’ and ‘Decline In Local Bus Service’ both made the grade and will go forward as our choices.
Then the AGM commenced – the entire committee of 11 were prepared to stand again and so were voted in en-masse by Rosemary Pope proposing and Ruth McDermott seconding and the motion was passed. Val Rayner was appointed as our financial officer for auditing our accounts. Karen Whitty read her secretary’s report and, along with all our various outings, excursions and activities, was pleased to report a 9% increase in our membership year on year. This was followed by the outgoing President’s emotional farewell speech – Janette Smethurst has served for two years as president and has been completely wonderful so we are all very sorry that she has stood down but sometimes even the best needs a rest! We then undertook a vote for the new President from the 11 committee members and the equally fabulous Liz Wingham was voted in – we are a very lucky WI to have such a great pool of ladies to pick from. Janette was thanked by everyone for her hard work and commitment and Liz was heartily congratulated by everyone on her new appointment.
So, a new era dawns, thank you Janette for being such an amazing president and good luck to Liz. Why not come along and meet our new president at the next meeting on Monday 10 May at 7.30 in the village hall.