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Friday, 29 May 2015

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Women’s institute reports

BEFORE the May meeting, Sheila Longo and Anne Hogg took flowers to Eva Heslop as she has left the institute after 72 years. She was pleased and will come sometimes as a guest.

The members were entertained by two guest speakers. The first was president Maureen Stevens from Hexhamshire Women’s Institute, the rep for the 2014 AGM in Leeds, who gave a talk on the resolution taken by the Women’s Institutes and took the members’ vote.

Margaret Dodds was the main speaker, and gave a most interesting talk on the Tyneside Cinema and how they had done it all up.

You can go in at any time and visit the many cafes. They also have tours with guides; it sounds as if it is worth a visit.

The members had a good supper and chat and the evening ended with Ann Hogg winning the monthly draw.

Ann Hogg

MEMBERS and guests at the May meeting were delighted to welcome champion snooker player Vera Selby.

Vera said her journey to Kirkley Hall was a happy reminder of the time when she gave City and Guilds classes at the college.

She explained that snooker developed from billiards and has been played for many years.

As a young person, she watched family members play snooker. It has always been difficult for women to gain admission to a snooker club, however her mentor, Alf, encouraged her to play.

At first, Vera played in exhibition billiards matches. Later she was able to enter the women’s snooker championship which she won nine times.

Vera joined a men’s snooker team, becoming its captain and playing in the North East League.

Judith Arthur thanked Vera for an enthralling talk in which she said Vera had overcome the prejudices of a man’s world.

The next meeting is a Tyne river cruise on Tuesday, June 3. The July meeting is a lunch at the president’s home.

Margaret Neil

MAY was the annual meeting when Kathleen Jones attended as the Women’s Institute advisor.

Geraldine Bruce gave an account of the activities of the past year and said it had been another successful one, with a good variety of speakers and entertainment.

Barbara Nelson thanked the members and committee for all their hard work and support during her first year as president.

She said that, “Riding Mill Women’s Institute, is a place of friendship and fun, and that we make it work for us.”

Evelyn Downs reported a healthy bank balance, with the annual jumble sale being the main fund-raiser.

Kathleen Jones then spoke of the wonderful programme of events both at Cresswell House and Denman College and encouraged everyone to support them both.

The competition vase was won by Barbara Nelson. Members were reminded that the next meeting, on Thursday, June 5, will be the second part of George Proud’s talk on wild flowers.

Jenny Coates

LOCAL author, David Williams was the speaker at the May meeting, and kept members enthralled with his stories about the women in George and Robert Stephenson’s life.

He was clearly passionate about the two men and their families and gave a fascinating account of their personal and public lives.

He urged everyone to visit the cottage where George was born at Wylam and marvel, as he did, how the family shared it with three other families and still managed to raise such independent and inventive children.

Members were given the chance to go on several outings, including a weekend in Scotland in October

Cakes were requested for the Gosling Fair to be held on Saturday, June 21, in the reading room.

This is instead of the annual Goose Fair which has been cancelled due to the imminent closure of Ovingham Bridge.

Pat Stott

THERE was a good turn-out for the annual general meeting on May 7, despite the horrible wet weather.

Maureen Stevens presided and welcomed federation chairman Hilary Robson to the meeting.

The same committee as last year was voted in again and, after all the reports were read and thanks were given, the competition winners of the year were announced.

Maureen Stevens won first place and was the first recipient of the Hexhamshire Women’s Institute silver salver, awarded in memory of Pat Pickworth who was a long-serving member of Hexhamshire Women’s Institute.

Joint second place went to Mary Christer and Lynn Mould.

Brains were kept busy with a quiz while members enjoyed their supper.

A raffle was held at the 90th birthday meeting last month and a total of £200 has been donated to Tynedale Hospice at Home.

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 4, with a talk by Noel Adamson entitled The Brontes.

New members are always welcome.

Lynda White