It may have been a cold, dark and miserable night but the turn out at the February meeting was excellent and the mood was warm, colourful and welcoming. The business part of the meeting was relatively short. There has been a request from headquarters for assistance with cakes and stewarding at this year’s Lincolnshire Show and also a request for just cakes at the Carrington Steam Rally over the May Bank holiday weekend. Outstanding subs from members were collected and everyone issued with their WI membership card and booklet of discount vouchers. Members were reminded that we did purchase a copy of the book “Women`s Century” which they are free to borrow but it was also felt that it would add to our mementos of the centenary year if every member also signed the book.
The President gave a big thank you to those members who entered the WI Life Hobbycraft Knitting and Crochet Competition. Their entry was a blanket of squares each knitted in different stitches incorporating the WI colours and logo.
Sadly Jenny, our Treasurer, has decided to stand down from this position and the WI committee as a whole. Re-selection for the committee will take place at next month’s AGM and it was stressed to the members that we need to have a committee member who will be prepared to take on the role of Treasurer for the branch to continue. Fingers crossed someone comes forward in March. A place will be booked on the Treasurer`s workshops being run at WI house in Horncastle in April to aid the committee member in the role and tasks involved.
The AGM can be a little “heavy” from the business point of view so to lighten it a little it has been arranged for everyone present to be taught how to make a Corn Dolly. The winner of the Ireson Cup will also be announced at this meeting.
Janet is prepared to arrange another flower arranging day. This was a very popular day when last run in 2014 and 22 members have expressed an interest in attending once the date has been finalised, which is likely to be in September/October.
A number of forthcoming social events in Nocton and Potterhanworth were mentioned, including a night of Irish Folk music and a delicious Irish supper in Nocton on Saturday 19th March in the village hall at 7.30pm, a “Pound Sale” in Potterhanworth Memorial Hall on Saturday 27th February between 2-4pm, where all items on sale will cost £1 and a quiz night on Saturday 23rd April with a Fish and Chip supper again at the Memorial hall in Potterhanworth. The very popular Metheringham WI Quiz, with its delicious afternoon buffet,will be held again in April with teams of up four.
As always delicious homemade cakes, biscuits and scones were enjoyed with a good gossip prior to the evening’s speaker. This month Dave Newman gave us a fascinating talk entitled “Life in the Victorian Garden”. Dave`s horticultural knowledge and skills are wide and varied and his fascinating talk was illustrated with some wonderful slides both old and new. The team of gardening staff to maintain these often huge and very varied gardens was very male orientated and ranged greatly from the Head Gardener who often received an enviable wage and home but a very heavy responsibility to the “Boys” we lived in much less comfort in the Bothy. The Victorians were very ingenious in their approach to solving problems with the warmth generated by manure being used in many ways to warm the crops and growing houses and frames. The garden had to produce flowers fruit and vegetables for the town and country homes and there was always competition as to who could provide and show off the most exotic and out of season produce as possible. The ability to cast iron also led to some of the most beautiful and enormous glass houses one such glory still being present at Kew Gardens. Some were planted up with exotic trees and plants and included a spiral staircase up to a viewing area allowing for afternoon tea to be taken whilst looking out over the “rainforest canopy”. Shows and societies were born and developed with the annual Gooseberry Show still being in existence, as I am sure is the record for the heaviest bunch of grapes at an astounding 17lb!!. With the discovery and import of flowers and shrubs from abroad, so many of which are common residents in all our gardens now, the format and nature of the gardens changed which led to the development of herbaceous borders and bedding plants in glorious colourful displays. The wonderful display in many sea side and town centres of ornamental clocks formed entirely from flowering and non flowering plants were remembered fondly by many. Methods of pest and bug control were interesting with nicotine smoke being used frequently along with more natural methods including of course the resident cat.
The competition for the evening was “Herb – dried or fresh” which led to a display that delighted our senses of smell, colour and taste. Maria won first place with a colourful and pretty posy, Barbara was second with a floral arrangement which included an amazing variety of fresh herbs and MaryAnn third with her very delicious Rosemary Shortbread.
The Raffle prize, a £10 gardening voucher, was won by Julie.
The next meeting is the AGM on Monday 14th March at 7.15pm in the Village hall; don’t be put off – remember those Corn Dollies.
There is of course our website for more information and details. Please visit http://noctonanddistrictwi.weebly.com. where the full programme for 2016-2017 is now available.