WI

Contacts
President Rosemary Bishton – 677290

Jill Parsons – 674580

Hon. Treasurer Mary Green –  675864

Hon. Secretary Myra Card  –  672651

Jenny Smith –  674330

Jacquie Waine   – 672651

22nd January 2014 – Wildlife in Canada – Philip Mugridge
26th February 2014 – Gardening for Bees – Allan Wells
26th March 2014 – Know your meat – Andy Hill
23rd April 2014 – 61st Birthday Party
28th May 2014 – Resolutions Evening Cheese making – Simon Weaver
25th June 2014 – Capsule in a case – Sue Pattinson
23rd July 2014 – Rescued Dogs from Afghanistan – Pen Farthing & two rescue dogs. Garden Party.
27th August 2014 – Olympic Games Maker – Sallie Dearnley
24th September 2014 – A girls life in the Army – Gillian Cane
22nd October 2014 – History of Cotteswold Dairy – Roger Workman
26th November 2014 – Annual Meeting. Humerous Poems – Paul Evans. Seasonal poem competition.
10th December 2014 – Christmas Party
28th January 2015 – The Art of Sausage Making – Rob Thatcher

January 2014
Our first Speaker this year was the very popular Philip Mugridge returning to talk this time about Wildlife in Canada.
The town of Churchill was set up as a fur station and fort near Hudson Bay in 1610 and was occupied at various times by the British and French.
It has been a military airbase employing a thousand people now the airbase is abandoned although the small town in the distance continues.
Philip visited Churchill, the polar bear capital of the world in the winter.150-200 bears come down to the bay sheltering from the strong winds and wait for the pack ice to form each year. These bears can wait for three or four weeks and during this time they wander around the outskirts. They have no fear of people and killed two boys who had been throwing stones at them. Neither are they fazed by the large vehicles that take visitors out to see them. The buses have to be big to prevent the up to ten foot males scooping people out of the windows or losing limbs!
Polar bears have a tremendous scene of smell. Philip told us of the man who had entered a burnt out building to steal meat from a fridge. He hid the meat in his trouser pockets only to be smelt out and eaten by a hungry bear. On a more positive note another person who was surprised in a building by a wandering inquisitive bear shouted “Get out, you’re not a member!” I don’t know who was more surprised but luckily the animal did as it was told and turned and ran.Philip’s photographs of polar bear were wonderful.

February 2014 – WI
Gardening for bees by Allan Wells
Allan explained you don’t need to keep bees to be a beekeeper, he could be either seen as a beekeeper or a gardener who has some bees!
He abandoned chemicals and does not use anything after years of pouring them into his garden. It was only when he realised he was not only destroying the pests but also the good insects that he stopped and is now a keen advocate for insects. Although initially the ‘bad’ insects did increase he said it was amazing how quickly the predator insects caught up and began doing his job for him.

March 2014 – WI
This month we heard from Andy Hill from Pilkington’s Butchers in Bishops Cleeve. Andy brought half a pig which he expertly cut up, explaining the various joints and answering questions from members as he did so. When he told us what went into the very cheapest supermarket sausages we felt that it was worth paying a little extra for something more attractive!

April 2014 – WI
April 23rd was not only St. George’s Day, it was also our birthday party evening. Members and guests enjoyed a hot meal prepared by the Committee followed by delicious puddings and were entertained with poems, humorous readings and a paper folding exercise which resulted in a small book promoting various crafts.

May 2014 – WI
This month Simon Weaver came to talk to us about his farm and cheese making. He had his wife started making cheese in 2002. Throughout his talk he encouraged us to taste his cheeses all of which tasted delicious. He explained the difference between Single Gloucester and Double Gloucester and that the milk for both must come from pedigree Gloucester cows to gain a designation of origin. Luck for us three men in the 1970s bought the few remaining Gloucester breed and increased the herds before they died out!

June 2014 – WI
‘Capsule in a Case’ by Sue Pattinson She brought along her own ‘capsule’ wardrobe and demonstrated how fifty or more outfits can be created from just a dozen or so carefully planned and colour coordinated items. She said that most women wear 20% of their cloths 80% of the time. We all went home determined to give our own wardrobes a good clear out! We also gave a rousing version of ‘congratulations’, with the words changed accordingly, to congratulate our President, Rosie Bishton, on having been awarded the MBE.

July 2014 – WI – Rescued Dogs from Afghanistan and Garden Party.
This month we heard a talk by Sally who was standing in for Pen Farthing and his dogs. She told us of the awful life of dogs in Afghanistan. Some dogs were used as fighting animals which meant they had their ears and tails cut off (without an anaesthetic) as they were most likely to be bitten off in a fight! The Taliban had banned all pets and as a consequence most dogs ran wild, running through the streets in large, possibly rabid, aggressive, hungry packs. Added to this there were not clinics to treat animals. The Army does not class them as Army working dogs, even though they are often befriended by and help the soldiers, so the dogs are in danger of being shot. Pen Farthing a soldier returning to Afghanistan decided to do something about it. He set up a clinic and educational programme for local people. Now called Nowzard Dogs, it is a charity which helps dogs, and sometimes cats, both in Afghanistan and those to be adopted and brought home or taken abroad elsewhere . It costs £4000 to treat a dog and bring it to the UK or elsewhere. A very interesting evening.

August WI – Olympics Game Maker – Sarah Dearnley
This was on a voluntary basis although she and all volunteers were given a free anorak, uniform, bag, water bottle, hat, watch, socks and trainers. Sarah was given a driving role, training was thorough, including a driving test in London, luckily she had lived in London before and knew her way around. Her car was a BMW 5 series.

Her first passenger was Mr. M. Ali.Ababi the President of the Physical Education Organisation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. She picked him up at Heathrow and took him to his hotel in Park Lane. She drove him around for five days not only in traffic but in the specially provided Olympic Lanes. Unfortunately he had to return to Iran so instead she chauffeured Mr Hee Jung Moon, Chief of Staff for the Korean Olympic Committee whom she found happy and even sat in the front of the car with her.

She had a wonderful time throughout the Olympics, the Koreans even gave her an invitation to the closing ceremony, Kelly Holmes shook her hand and everyone in London seemed to be friendly! On top of this Britain won 65 medals: 29 gold, 17 silver and 19 bronze. She received a thank you letter from the Olympic Committee, David Cameron and from Sebastian Coe.

September – A girl’s life in the army.
Gillian told us that she had not intended to be in the services. At the time, in the 80s she was working in London in an office. She had post-Christmas and New Year blues and on a cold wet January day she knew she needed a change. The Army was for the first time recruiting women to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. It sounded exciting, so she joined up!
But when she told her father he laughed so much he fell off his chair and her mother burst into tears. She told us she loved every aspect of Army life, she even loved it when she had to spend three days and nights in Ashdown Forest in the snow. “It came up to our knees!” The toothpaste froze and horror of horrors even the chocolate froze. The men were called back but the women stuck it out.
On another occasion it was so cold she slipped a heated pad down her thermal vest before she went on parade. As she stood there she could smell burning and that the smell was coming from her! Afraid that she might self-combust she ran back to her barracks and stripped off to find that her thermal vest had a big black hole! What a lucky escape.
She told us of her many escapades and how she had made some firm friends. It was a very entertaining evening. She would make a good Recruiting Officer.

October – History of Cotteswold Dairy
Roger told us how the dairy was originally called Spar Farm Dairy after the farm his uncle farmed. His uncle delivered milk to a lady in Tewkesbury in the 1930s when her former milkman was described as ‘using the cow with the iron tail’, by which she meant watering down the milk.
Throughout the decades the family watch words were: ‘quality, cleanliness and friendliness.’ It certainly worked their milk rounds went from strength to strength. He told us funny stories of an old man who asked for his small amount of milk to be delivered in a quart bottle ‘to save him getting out of bed at night’, how in Tewkesbury when there were big houses with servants, housekeepers ruled, and they had all joined forces to get their milk from Cotteswold Dairy after a milkman from another dairy had upset one of the housekeeper and finally how Roger, as a young enthusiastic man, went round the new and growing housing estates offering to deliver them milk.
Not only did the rounds grow but the premises grew as well and today milk, no matter what type, milk is processed in a very high tech way with lots of testing.