On a wet and windy evening, the good ladies of Brockenhurst Women’s Institute arrived at the October meeting with a total of 45 members and 2 guests attending. There was so much to cover that the President made the decision not to sing Jerusalem – it was one of those tumbleweed moments! We quickly got on with handing out birthday posies to Louise Parker, Margaret Newton and Janice Pettigrew who are all October babies and formally welcoming April Chantler into the WI fold as a new member. The committee thanked Christine O’Connor and Britta Wells for selling raffle tickets, Elaine Blachford for the flowers, Evelyn Bartlett and Catherine Bowen for manning the refreshments, Louise Parker for being the receptionist and Pam McInnes for covering the secretarial role.
We had a lovely letter from Honeypot to thank us for the £167.65 raised by the members at last month’s meeting and we agreed that Honeypot was a charity we wished to continue supporting. We were asked for a show of hands to work at providing refreshments for the Brockenhurst Christmas Market and Fair (to be held Saturday 30 November) which was agreed and passed and Isobel Toward also said that she was happy to run the WI stall for the Brockenhurst Christmas Fun Night (Friday 6 December) but appealed for someone to help her run it and also for members to help provide presents for the children’s tombola. The coach for the Weald and Downland Museum trip on Saturday 2 November is filling up fast but there are a handful of places still available. We also discussed plans for a cookery demonstration at Bashley, a quiz night at New Milton Sands WI, our own Christmas party, Remembrance Sunday and the WI Christmas Carol Service (Wednesday 4 December in St Nicholas’ church – all welcome). We also ran a produce stall on the night so members could sell jams, chutneys, cakes and surplus produce to each other (all funds to charity). Our next luncheon was announced and will take place on Thursday 21 November at The Foresters in Brockenhurst at 12pm. And finally …… we added our congratulations to Ruth McDermott’s skittles team who came 2nd in the recent group match!
We then split into teams on 7 individual tables and the very entertaining duo that are Ken and Jean Aitken held a ‘Know your antiques and curios quiz’. There were various plastic trays with 5 or 6 antiques or curios in each of them and we had to try and work out what each item was originally for, write it down and once we had completed one tray we passed it on and accepted the next tray. They also had a photo and description of various items (e.g., George VI cabinet or Art Deco jewellery with a full description and multiple-choice answers for their values). It was absolutely brilliant and fascinating – who knew so many members would guess the opium smoker or knitting needle gauge, we have such varied hobbies!
In closing we very much welcome new people (you won’t be alone) and would love to see you on Monday 11 November at 7.30pm in Brockenhurst Village Hall where we will enjoy a talk entitled ‘Florence Nightingale’ (the social reformer and founder of modern medicine) who lived part of her early childhood in Embley Park near Romsey.