It is July; the hottest day of the year so far and the question arises to where have May, June and a lot of July disappeared? The answer is with many social outings and events together with our monthly meetings; NCWI has been very busy.
At our May meeting a member led the debate on the resolution “Women and Girls with ASD & ADHD under-identified, under-diagnosed, misdiagnosed, under- supported” giving a very personal insight into the affects of this within her own family. The members unanimously passed the resolution requesting our WI link delegate at the NFWI AM in June to vote for the resolution. (The resolution was passed by a huge majority at NFWI AM and will now be actioned by NFWI for lobbying etc). Our debate was followed by refreshments and a “Million Pound Drop” quiz that created so much fun and laughter that it has been ear marked for future use!
Our Dinner at the Worcester Golf and Country Club was a great success; a few of us had enjoyed a walk around Bevere led by Lynda in the morning with refreshments at Bevere café.
Food again with a social lunch at Lyppard Grange pub and the following day a pop up at Worcester Cathedral to view the travelling exhibition of the incredible and oh so beautiful silk tapestries depicting Genesis and the Creation. Coffee in the Chapter House.
Desna McCall gave a challenging and very interesting talk and presentation about working in a bear sanctuary and separately about seeing Polar bears in Canada for our June meeting. To celebrate H M the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee we held a garden party with a cream tea at a member’s home. The 50 homemade scones made that morning by the member were absolutely delicious and we all had a great time notwithstanding heavy showers (drenching!) and bright hot sunshine. Two members had kindly knitted “Winnies” and the members went on a Where’s Winnie treasure hunt besides playing various other games.
Social lunch was again at Lyppard Grange pub and there was a pop-up coffee morning at NT Greyfriars’ café. Two members were invited to attend the new Mayor’s Civic Service at Worcester Cathedral and enjoyed tea and cakes afterwards at the Guildhall. An evening walk at the end of June into the City along the river to the Diglis Hotel for refreshments (of course) and back again proved popular and will be held again.
There was a last-minute programme change for July and Miriam Harvey came to give a presentation and fascinating talk about “Tales from Worcester Infirmary”. Social lunch on a very hot day of the year took place for a few members at The New Inn. 10 pin bowling and members’ games night have continued. Yet to come are morning and evening walks and a cocktail evening. Phew! Just as well there are a few more days left in July!
Well, where did March and April disappear to? NCWI has been very busy with two meetings and many social activities and events and the days have shot by as we slowly (well a bit) but surely emerge from Covid requirements. NCWI has still been following National Federation’s suggestions with regard to meetings and events and Covid. In particular, we still bring hand sanitisers and wet wipes together with masks (if members wish to wear the same). Members are also encouraged to take a Covid test on the day of the meeting and asked not to come if they are unwell. The members have taken to all of this without murmur and basically have “got on with it”!
Our March birthday meeting (69 years old) was a great success. For the first time since December 2019 the members provided what has meant to be a pared down buffet but turned out to be a feast.
A sense of normality had returned.
April is now the beginning of the WI membership year and we are delighted so many members renewed and new members re-joined or joined. The year ahead looks positive and full of optimism.
Our speaker in April was Marilyn McCarthy who gave a presentation about “The swan food project”. The amount of information we learnt about swans, their nesting habits, feeding, and how we harm them with carelessly dropped items along the river bank and canals was immense. The talk elicited many questions. The river bank does not provide much food for the swans and we were encouraged to take fresh dandelion leaves or grass cuttings (weedkiller and any other additive free) and scatter them in the river or canal beside the swans. On no account should we feed swans where they are nesting as it encourages rats.
April saw us have a very friendly evening skittles match (dividing into two teams and not following the rules) at the local pub; again, the first time since July 2019. It was a great success and needless to say we also enjoyed the pub’s food and drinks!
May is our Annual Meeting and also our debate on the resolution “Women and Girls with ASD & ADHD under-identified, under-diagnosed, misdiagnosed, under- supported”. If this resolution is passed it will be further debated at National Federation WI Annual Meeting in June. In our social time we are trying out a new form of quiz which should create much laughter and puzzled frowns!
We have many social activities and events taking place over May – please see our “Activities” page for more information. March and April have seen many similar activities. On May 12th we are looking forward to our dinner at the Worcester Golf and Country Club; this dinner should have taken place at Christmas but because of rising Covid levels had to be cancelled. Now it is a Spring dinner! Onwards and upwards North Claines WI!
A number of months have passed since the last blog with Covid in the form of Omicron intervening- unfortunately.
We’d waited since 2019 (a certain virus in its first form of course intervened) to hear Ruth Lowe present Part 2 of her talk about Mary Quant at our November meeting and it was well worth the wait! The amount of clothes and items relating to Mary Quant and her design labels that Ruth brought with her was mesmerising. A number of Ruth’s items had been loaned to the V & A Museum’s Mary Quant exhibition which took place in London in 2019/20 and is currently on tour in New Zealand. Ruth told us that her sister who lives in Australia had been invited as a special guest to the Exhibition when it was in Australia and basked in Ruth’s glory with the loaned items! Ruth’s talk brought back memories for some of the members and introduced others to the quality and variety of the items. A great evening for all.
On December 1st we had our Christmas meeting and it was a great joyous night! Fish and chip supper for those who wished to partake refreshed by various cold drinks. Then came the piece de resistance when we were entertained by Andrew, a member’s husband, with a quiz followed by a fantastic musical melody. The variety of songs suited all tastes and everyone was laughing and singing. A mince pie and a mug of tea or coffee allowed lots more chat to take place before the Secret Santa presents were distributed and the raffle prizes drawn.
Then Omicron hit us all and with reluctance our Christmas dinner at the Worcester Golf and Country Club was cancelled and for January 2022 the Committee decided to resume meeting by Zoom. A beetle drive over Zoom on the 5th January was brilliant although trying to ensure that members only threw the dice at the same time was a little tricky! The last time we had a Beetle drive in the hall was January 2020- unbelievable. Social Zoom nights continued for each of the following Wednesdays in January. All social events and activities except for social walks were cancelled.
Hooray, come February 2022 we were back in the hall still following covid restrictions with masks, hand sanitisers and wet wipes and heard a great talk and presentation from John Butterworth about a group trip with which he was involved whereby they raised sufficient funds to purchase a Land Rover and to cover each person’s personal costs to travel overland to Nepal. There were many adventures on the way particularly going through Iran and Afghanistan but the Land Rover was safely delivered to the Nepal Leprosy Hospital.
Our social activities have resumed; 10 pin bowling; social lunch; cocktail evening night and social walks both our monthly one and pop-up ones that are proposed at short notice.
We are now looking forward to our March birthday (69 years old) meeting which is for members only. We are having a members’ buffet (the first since December 2019) and will be entertained by four members of the Performing Arts Group. But what we are all looking forward to is the resumption of all our meetings and all social activities in similar vein to those we were all enjoying pre Covid-19 and Lockdown. Onwards and upwards to great fun, laughter and chat!
We met “Amazing Grace” at our October meeting; a gorgeous 10-year-old black spaniel who is a “Hearing dog for deaf people” to Merleen Watson. Merleen is profoundly deaf (she lost her hearing a number of years ago) and has benefitted from Grace for the last 8 years. Grace has given Merleen back her confidence to go out and about again and also to be safe in her own home. Merleen gave an excellent and informative presentation about the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity. Grace also gave a short demonstration of how she alerts Merleen to various noises. Did you know that 1 in 5 of us have hearing problems and that will become 1 in 4 shortly? Currently there are 450 people (and this could be an adult or a child over the age of 7) who, having met all the criteria to receive a hearing dog, are on the waiting list which at the moment is a two year wait. Further information about this charity may be found on their website at www.hearingdogs.org.uk
In September Peter and Margaret Preece gave a presentation of “Hide and Seek Wildlife Photos”. The photos were stunning- so beautiful; many of them had been published in magazines and two at least had been in the BBC Countryfile calendars. We hope to have Peter and Margaret visit us again next year with a Part 2 of other photos.
We had a nature walk around Bevere on a beautifully sunny day as part of the Big Green Climate week. We were led by Lynda and learnt many interesting points including a discussion about the Fish pass (Google “unlocking the Severn” for more information) and the amount of water required to make just one T-shirt or a pair of jeans. We intend to have a spring nature walk in 2022.
We have commenced monthly walks in different parts of Worcester and this month will be led on a walk around parts of Warndon by Debra. We have also resumed our pop-up coffee afternoons together with many of our other activities including 10 pin bowling and cocktail nights! A very eclectic mix!
We are looking forward to Ruth Lowe presenting to us Part 2 of her talk about Mary Quant at our November meeting. Ruth should have presented this in 2020 but like a lot of things it was postponed but North Claines WI is definitely now resuming as much as possible and creating new activities and events but of course with the current Covid regulations still to the fore.
Well, we’re back. After much work reviewing risk assessments and the hall’s special Covid-19 regulations we physically met at Bishop Allenby Hall at 7.15pm on Wednesday August 4th and – it felt as if we had never been apart. Everyone was so pleased to be back even if it was armed with a mask, hand sanitiser and wet wipes. The doors were wide open for ventilation (luckily it was not raining).
The members were welcomed back into the hall with a glass (their own) of Prosecco or Schloer and a wrapped chocolate.
We began with Irish bingo which definitely broke the ice and made all of us relax (perhaps aided by the Prosecco?) and laugh. This was followed by six games of “ordinary” bingo and by the last one the numbers were coming swift and fast; much concentration was needed to keep up but such fun!
All the members had brought their own mug and plate and after all that bingo were refreshed with tea or coffee and a variety of individual homemade cakes baked by committee members. A large raffle ended the night.
We have been meeting with speakers and having social get togethers every week since March 2020 on Zoom and continued with this until the end of July 2021. Please read the previous blogs and also the postings on our Facebook page of the variety and the fantastic speakers we were able to hear. The latter was undoubtedly an incredible benefit of Zoom as the speakers came from far and wide and in “normal” times would not have been able to physically visit us. Another benefit was that the members who came onto Zoom, surprisingly as it was a virtual meeting, got to know each other so much better; friends coming together each week. If the speakers agreed, their talk was recorded and a link sent out to all members so that those who had not been able to join us were still able to see it. Very few speakers refused to be recorded. An email was sent out to members each week keeping them fully updated of all that was happening (all our members are on email).
Hopefully we will now be back to “face2face” meetings and also be able to enjoy many social events and outings; details of these are on our Activities page. We will of course still be following Covid-19 precautions.
We are all looking forward to the various planned social events and to meeting up together on the 1st September at 7.15pm at Bishop Allenby Hall to hear Peter and Margaret Preece give a presentation of “Hide and Seek Wildlife Photos”. You would be welcome to visit us but because of the Covid-19 regulations please email us first via our contact details page so that we may know you are coming and we may update you on the Covid-19 precautions that need to be taken. Thank you.