ACKLINGTON WOMEN'S INSTITUTE
24TH MAY 2014
of the Institute members put their baking heads on and created some
wonderful savoury dishes for the local Table Top Sale in Acklington
Village Hall. the dishes included - a selection of flans and
quiches (all different); sausage rolls; ham-filled rolls; pies;
shepherd's Pies; Homity Pies; various unusual flavours of scones as well
as home-made chutneys. the majority of goodies were sold and the
Institute were delighted to make £104 to go towards the Institute funds.
Sylvia Linnett (shown in the photograph) thanked everyone for their time
16th MAY 2013
READING ALOUD COMPETITION FINALS
We were delighted to come second in both
the Spoken Word (out of 7 teams) and in the Choral (out of 4 teams) in
the Finals of the Northumberland Federation Reading Aloud Competition
which was held at Stannington Village Hall.
The team consisted of (left to right) June Barras, Sylvia Linnett, Wilma
Nicoll, Doreen Colbourne, Moira Peden and Barbara King. The Choral
Team gave a very humorous reading of THE THREE LITTLE PIGS by Roald Dahl
and the Spoken Word Team were: Wilma Nicoll reading the Federation Set
Poem of PERSONAL HELICON by Seamus Heaney; Barbara King reading her own
choice poem of THE SUBALTERN'S LOVE SONG by John Betjeman and June
Barras reading a previously unseen extract from JEEVES & WOOSTER.
19th MAY 2011
READING ALOUD COMPETITION TEAM
Out of 16 Institutes who entered the Reading Aloud Team Competition,
Acklington were extremely pleased to gain second place in the final at
They were from left to right:
June Barras (with the most difficult part)
reading an unseen extract from CASE STUDIES by Kate Atkinson.
Barbara King recited her own choice poem by an unknown author titled THE
COLOUR OF YOUR LIFE.
Wilma Nicoll read out the very challenging Federation set poem entitled
REFLECTIONS by Louis McNeice.
WI NORTHUMBERLAND FEDERATION BOWLS
COMPETITION WINNERS 2017
On Wednesday 22nd March 2017 at Powburn,
Acklington WI Ladies became Supreme Champions
of the WI Northumberland Federation's Annual Bowls Competition after
winning round after round of all the other Institutes in Northumberland.
Below is the photo of the team and from
left to right they are:
Anne Grace; Wilma Nicoll; Barbara Cock and
MEETINGS - Reports and Minutes
14 AUGUST AND 11 SEPTEMBER 2018
Members of Acklington
WI have been busy this summer with numerous events, trips and meetings
to reflect upon.
On Friday 20th
July a modest group attended a trip to Wynyard Hall Rose Gardens.
Visitors reported having had a splendid day in gorgeous surroundings,
and the trip may be repeated next year so more members can experience
the sights and smells of the roses.
Shortly after, on
Wednesday 25th July, three members were invited to Amble WI’s
afternoon tea, celebrating 100 years since it was founded. Not only was
the food delicious and beautifully presented, but the warm welcome and
inspirational speeches made by Amble ladies left everybody feeling
rather jolly – or perhaps it was the prosecco.
For our August
meeting, member Gail hosted an indoor picnic at her home in Acklington.
The ladies in attendance each brought a contribution, varying from
home-made sausage rolls to a fantastic gooseberry cheesecake (which
deserves a special mention, Barbara King). Gail, who designs art and
craft activity boxes for children, provided all the materials needed for
members to indulge in a bit of practical art therapy. We enjoyed
painting designs in fabric paint on tote bags, leaving us all with a
useful item at the end of the day. In fact, the experience was so
enjoyable that we forgot to take any photographs and so may be forced to
return to Gail’s to reconstruct the event once more.
The planned speaker
for September’s meeting was unable to attend, so member Rosie Bush
stepped in at short notice to deliver a talk on teaching English
Literature in the modern secondary school system. After the business
matters were dealt with, the ladies were sat in small groups and given
copies of a poem studied by children at GCSE level. Rosie talked about
‘Walking Away’ by Cecil Day Lewis, and asked the groups to unpick the
narrative and look out for poetic devices. Some very perceptive comments
were made and the text was interrogated in the manner expected of
students aged 14-15. Rosie talked through the way students are required
to write in order to achieve a good ‘pass’, before asking members to
select one image from the poem to either draw or sculpt in tinfoil – an
activity used in school to bring imagery to life.
competition, to bring in a poem, was won by Barbara Cock with the
much-loved ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ a firm favourite of all members.
No one received any demerits but many figurative gold stars were awarded
for the willingness of members to go ‘back to school’.
Next month’s meeting
is the AM… And if that isn’t enough temptation, there will be cake!
10 JULY 2018
On the second Tuesday in July, members of Acklington W.I met in
anticipation of an evening of ‘Outdoor Plant Identification’ by Angus
McTavish from Kirkharle Courtyard, the birthplace of Lancelot
However, Angus was forced to rethink the talk at the last minute as the
plant samples he had planned to use had all either died or
unrecognisably shrivelled (which would have defeated the point of the
identification talk) in the preceding spell of hot, dry weather that we
Thankfully, Angus was an extremely adaptable and multi-talented guest
and didn’t allow the loss of flora to dampen the evening. Instead he ran
a well-rehearsed quiz about famous Northumbrians, with WI members in
small teams, competitiveness on hand even at short notice.
The quiz centred on a picture round with 20 famous Northerners, many of
whom were very local with a few Geordies thrown in to broaden horizons a
little. For bonus points, members were asked to give the date of birth
(to the nearest decade) and birthplace of each, which sounds much easier
than it was.
The faces featured on the quiz ranged from King Oswald, born in 604, to
Anthony McPartlin, born two months later than his co-presenter in 1975.
Local heroines Grace Darling (1815), Josephine Butler (1828) and Emily
Davidson (1872) were also featured, as was James Michael Bradford – more
commonly known as Jimmy Nail.
Angus McTavish has a passion for Capability Brown, and so he was also
featured in the quiz. Brown’s love of the Northumbrian countryside and
landscapes has certainly inspired Angus who now devotes his time to the
area, historical skills and practices of Kirkharle.
The quiz and accompanying talk was finished on a personal note, Angus
reminding us of the “cultural warmth” that is unique to Northumberland,
adding “This wonderful county… we sometimes take it for granted.”
The monthly competition, to bring a home-grown floral posy, drew a
record number of entries with a deserving winner in Mary Guy.
Next month’s meeting will be a summer garden party held at member Gail
Stokeld’s home in the village, with a pooled picnic lunch and
still-to-be-announced craft activity.
12 JUNE 2018
An early 6pm start saw committee members deliver a very
efficient business meeting in the car park at Acklington Village Hall.
Speed was of the essence as Graham Cock, long-time friend of the WI,
issued members with his annual local treasure hunt. The ladies split off
into three teams of four before racing, with grace and dignity, to their
vehicles of choice. Two navigators sat in the front of each car with a
pair of code-breakers working in the back seats to decipher the
locally-themed cryptic clues.
The fourteen instructions dictated the route from the
Village Hall to the station, towards Felton, across to Chevington,
through Ugham and past Widdrington. Members hurriedly noted down
telephone numbers, distances, house names, church service times and
more, with many of us learning things we had never known about places
just minutes from our homes.
The clear skies and beautiful sunshine caused only mild
inconvenience to those driving, facing into the sun and having to avoid
the many cyclists who seemed to be deliberately positioned to add
jeopardy to the hunt.
Despite advice from an inside source that “each clue
should be read in turn”, Graham’s crafty final clues took teams
frustratingly close to their start point and to Acklington Mart, before
racing – whilst adhering to the speed limits of course – across to Amble
where the hunt was concluded.
One brave pedestrian (hired by a rival team?) almost made
the ultimate sacrifice by throwing himself in front of one car, having
hidden behind a stopped bus. The driver expertly dodged this
inconvenient hazard and made it to the finish line, at Amble’s Sea &
After all three teams reached the venue and made it back
from the bar, Graham set to calculating the results. The atmosphere was
jovial, despite the underlying competitive tension between teams, and
the two-course set dinner was delicious, with many members splashing out
on a third course.
After dessert the results were announced. Other diners
must have been able to sense the anticipation as many listened in,
unless they were simply puzzled as to how one man had the captive
attention of twelve women. All teams had successfully completed the
treasure hunt in full, and so a three-way tie was declared. A
tie-breaker question decided worthy winners (pictured) who were rewarded
with bars nougat as the real prize had been lost in the post.
Everyone parted in good spirits and so next month’s
meeting will go ahead on 10th July at the usual time of 7.15 in
Acklington Village Hall. Visitors are welcome to join us for a lesson in
‘outdoor plant identification’, a topic which will no doubt allow for a
little competitive learning.
8 MAY 2018
The day had been
glorious with hours of unbroken sunshine and the evening did not
disappoint when Acklington W.I. met on Tuesday 8th May at the
Village Hall. The event was a Musically Illustrated Talk by local
musicians Wendy Fergie and Susan Clarke who played the Northumberland
Pipes and Fiddle.
The first tune played
was Chevy Chase written to depict the ‘Battle of Otterbourne’ which took
place in the Cheviot Hills at Otterburn in August 1388. It was a bloody
hand to hand battle fought between the Scottish troops of James, Earl of
Douglas and Lord Harry ‘Hotspur’ Percy’s English fighters. This spine
chilling piece set the scene for a series of both soulful laments and
foot tapping jigs. From ancient to modern there was something for
everyone to enjoy Including ‘Farewell to the Dene’ and the ‘Rothbury
The music was
followed by the business meeting during which a vote was taken by the
members on the proposed National W.I. Resolution ‘Mental Health
Matters’ Plans for a trip to Hauxley Nature Reserve and a Treasure
Hunt in June were discussed.
A pooled supper
followed the business meeting and this was consumed while everyone
talked about how much they had enjoyed the music.
The raffle was drawn
and the winner of the competition was chosen. In keeping with the local
theme the competition was for ‘Three Singin’ Hinnies’. For the
uninitiated a Singin’ Hinney is a girdle or griddle cake which got the
name from the way the mixture ‘sang’ as it cooked on the hot griddle.
Along with Leek Pudding and Blackberry Pudding, Singin’ Hinnies are
associated with the poverty cuisine of the coal mining communities of
Northumberland. These were simple, filling dishes requiring only one pan
which could be cooked over an open coal fire.
The meeting was
closed and a combination of great entertainment, a pooled supper and
lots of friends and visitors had come together to make this an evening
So whether you are
interested in craft or cookery, local history, supporting your
community, having input to campaigning for change or simply want an
evening out please come and join us. We normally meet on the second
Tuesday of the month at the Village Hall at 7.15pm. Visitors are always
welcome. As our next meeting is a Treasure Hunt we are starting at 6pm
at the Village hall and ending with Supper in Amble.
10 APRIL 2018
The venue for the
April meeting reverted back to Acklington Village Hall for ‘An Evening
of Comedy’ with Dr. Ray Lowry. We were delighted to welcome Dr. Lowry
who is an after dinner speaker. In a very amusing way he told us about
his many and varied career paths which included working as a dental and
medical health specialist. He also worked as a script writer for,
amongst many others, the Two Ronnies, Dave Allan, John Cleese and Tommy
In light hearted
mood after our evening of laughter it was down to the business side of
The forth coming
Annual Meeting at Cardiff was discussed and feedback was given on the
Council Meeting and one of the Centennial Celebrations at Ulgham.
The Raffle was drawn
and the winner of the competition for the funniest card or post card was
won by Denise Davidson.
The next meeting is
on the 8th May 2018 at 7.15pm at the Village Hall in Acklington. Come
along and join us for a ‘Musically Illustrated Talk on Local Music’.
Visitors are welcome.
11 MARCH 2018
The 96th Birthday of
Acklington W.I. in March was celebrated in style with Afternoon Tea at
‘Nelsons at the Park’ in Swarland. Nelson’s was set up in 2015 and has
an excellent reputation for food and service and we were not
disappointed. The tables had been decorated for this special occasion by
the committee and this included floral arrangements in jam jars in the
W.I. colours of purple, green and white.
The Business Meeting
was conducted, tea was served, birthday gifts were exchanged by
participating members and doggie bags were supplied to take away the
generous portions of left over cake. Everyone went on their way having
had a jolly good time.
On one of the coldest
and frostiest nights of the year only the brave and the foolhardy faced
the elements to attend the monthly meeting of Acklington W.I. at the
Village Hall on the 13th February.
The evening began
with the business part of the meeting and, after a ballot, a new
President (Sylvia Allan) was elected.
2018 is the Centenary
of Northumberland Federation of W.I’s and members were told of the
exciting Programme of Events which are planned to celebrate this
milestone. This year also sees the 96th Birthday of
Acklington W.I. and members decided that an afternoon tea would be an
ideal way to celebrate. It was decided to venture out of the village
for the celebrations and ‘Nelson’s Café’ in Swarland was chosen as a
After the business
meeting members joined in a floral art session. This was a continuation
of the theme ‘Fun with Foliage’ which was started last summer.
Members made a
‘living vase’ and turned a simple block of floral foam, a bunch of
grasses and a few roses into beautiful flower arrangements. This
Contemporary approach to floristry is a real challenge to the
traditionalists amongst us and not everyone’s cup of tea but nothing
ventured nothing gained.
Numbers at the
meeting were significantly reduced due to illness amongst members and
the inclement weather conditions but we went ahead with the Raffle and
the prize was a lovely ‘Bird Feeder’
competition was for ‘A Corsage for a Winter Wedding’ and this was won by
Mary Guy who produced a lovely arrangement with flowers and foliage from
Everyone enjoyed a
cup of tea before setting off for home and as we ‘skated away’ to our
various destinations we were thinking ‘roll on Springtime’.
2017 AND JANUARY 2018
The severe icy conditions in Acklington and Warkworth left a number of
our members unable to leave their homes safely so a decision was made to
defer the meeting of Acklington W.I. which normally takes place on the
second Tuesday of the month by one week. This turned out to be a good
decision as the better weather brought a near full attendance of members
for the Christmas Party.
Supper had been prepared by the Committee Members and after the Business
Meeting the Committee served Soup, Savoury Nibbles and a selection of
Desserts. Carols and Popular Christmas Songs were sung and this was
followed with a Reading by one of our members. The party ended with a
game of ‘Pass the Parcel’ and everyone said how much they had enjoyed
Although it was another cold evening the January meeting went ahead as
planned. The business meeting was conducted in the warmth and cosiness
of the Guyzance Room. Members were reminded that 2018 was the Centenary
Year of the Northumberland W.I. Federation and were told of the first
events to celebrate this milestone. This included a Centennial
Celebrations Competition Day in June and a Birthday Party in Ulgham in
The Business Meeting was followed by a Food Quiz which proved both
educational and amusing as one of the rounds of questions was about
guessing the English translation of a number of American Foods. From the
answers it was hard to believe that both countries ‘speak the same
The quiz was followed by a Pooled Supper and a variety of homemade
dishes were enjoyed by everyone. The competition was for the best
decorated biscuit or cookie and the winning entry was a beautiful floral
The February meeting is a Floral Art Workshop where members will have
‘More Fun with Foliage’
Dougie McEwan of ‘The
Stephen Carey Fund’ was the guest speaker when Acklington W.I. met on
November in Acklington Village Hall.
The fund was set up
in February 2013 by friends and family in memory of Stephen who died
aged 21 while playing football for his local team Alnmouth. He died from
an undiagnosed heart condition which was likely to have been triggered
during the physical exertion of the game.
Initially the monies
raised by the fund were used to provide emergency first aid training to
representatives of local football teams and then the group were
introduced to the concept of defibrillators by the North East Air
Ambulance Service and other organisations.
The fund then went
on to locate defibrillators in various locations throughout
Northumberland. They were housed in secure cabinets and volunteer
‘Community Guardians’ living near to the locations visit each cabinet
every two weeks to ensure both the cabinet and defibrillators appear to
be in good working order.
At the meeting
Dougie gave a very clear and informative presentation and demonstration
on the use of defibrillators. This left many of the members who had
previously had concerns about using the equipment with a new found
confidence. We were advised where the defibrillators are situated, how
to use them and how to go about increasing the number of locations of
On a lighter note
Dougie then agreed to judge the members Craft Competition which was for
a home crafted heart shaped article. The business meeting was carried
out and then it was time for members to socialise over tea and biscuits
before the raffle was drawn and the meeting formally closed.
The next meeting is
December in the Village Hall at 7.15pm
Acklington W.I. met
in the Guyzance Room of the Village Hall on Tuesday 10th
October for the Annual General Meeting [AGM].
presented the Committee’s Annual Report and reflected on what had been a
very full and varied programme. The highlight of the year was an evening
to celebrate Acklington W.I’s 95th Birthday. Other activities
ranged from a Cookery Demonstration, a Treasure Hunt around the
beautiful Northumbrian Countryside, a Craft Session and a Floral Art
Workshop. In addition there were talks by local volunteers from a number
of charitable organisations such as Canine Partners and Neal Skelton
entertained everyone with his recollection of his time at Everest Base
The Joint President
asked members to adopt the Committee’s Annual Report and thanked the
committee for their hard work during the year.
The W.I. Adviser gave
a very interesting and informative update on activities at Area level
and was pleased to announce the opening of a new W.I. in Gosforth. She
went on to say that two other W.I’s in that area were operating at full
capacity reflecting a trend of increased W.I. membership in Urban Areas.
The Advisor then held
a ballot to elect a President (Sheenagh Deakin) before judging the craft
competition which was for the best ‘Kitchen Utensil beginning with the
The three highest
scoring Annual Competition winners were presented with their prizes and
before closing the meeting the Joint President gave everyone details
about the next meeting on 14th November which is to be a
demonstration on the use of Defibrillators.
An exciting and incredible journey by our
speaker Neal Skelton. Starting from Alnmouth Railway Station to
Everest Base Camp showing slides of his journey on the way through very
lucrative cities to shanty towns. Along the way all the local
people they met were very friendly and helpful. He decided to take
this extraordinary journey because one his daughters didn't think he
could do it. Undoubtedly, he did.
A warm welcome was
extended to the fifteen members and one visitor present at our August
meeting. Then the business agenda was presented, including early
information about the next National Annual Meeting due to take place in
Cardiff on June 6th 2018. Members reported back on their recent very
enjoyable visit to Sandra’s Cottage Flowers, which had included a garden
walk and an opportunity to make an arrangement using easily obtainable
flowers and foliage from one’s garden, all topped off with a delicious
afternoon tea. Interest was shown in a similar event with a Christmas
theme, to take place in December. An invitation has also been received
from Warkworth WI for four members to attend a Comic Evening in October.
We then moved to
the theme of the evening, “Fun with Foliage”, in which our joint
President, Janet, led us through the process of making a floral
arrangement encircled in a cage of foliage. This method, new to
everyone, proved challenging at first, but was well worth the
effort, as each of us had a stunning arrangement to take home.
These were taken as the competition entries for the evening, with
and Barbara King as winners.
Our next meeting
takes place on Tuesday 12th September at 7.15 pm in the Village Hall,
when the topic will be “Everest Base Camp”, presented by Neal Skelton.
Visitors are always very welcome to join us then.
Following our June meeting' Treasure Hunt’ outing we were back in the
Village Hall for the July meeting of Acklington W.I. The meeting was
well attended with both members and visitors who welcomed Susan Fulton
and Esther from Canine Partners. Susan gave an interesting and
informative talk and slide show about the work of the charity which
specialises in matching trained assistance dogs with people with varying
degrees of physical disability. It was founded in 1990 and currently
places 78 dogs a year .Training takes around 20 to 24 months and the
cost from puppy selection to retirement is £20,000. As well as working
with civilians the charity works in partnership with Help for Heroes,
The Royal British Legion and other service organisations in providing
canine partners to injured servicemen and women.
Susan went on to explain the range of tasks that Esther
was capable of helping her carry out. This included dressing and
undressing, answering the phone and raising the alarm in an emergency by
operating a panic button and for those with more severe disabilities
canine partners can be trained to assist with help in getting in and out
of bed. Esther also helps with unloading the washing machine and Susan
made us all laugh when she told us that Esther, who is given a treat on
completion of a task, had worked out that if she emptied the washing
machine then put an item back in she could get a second treat.
Needless to say that although she is a working dog and
should be treated as such it was Esther who stole the show especially
when she was allowed to circulate and meet everyone at the end of
For the business part of our meeting Susan judged our
competition which appropriately was for the ‘best photograph of a dog’.
A raffle was held, forthcoming events and meetings were discussed and
after refreshments the meeting was closed. Next meeting 8th August in
the Village hall.
20 JUNE 2017
The route for the Car Treasure Hunt had been
devised by Graham Cock, husband of our Treasurer Barbara who had
no idea of the route he had planned.
After sorting out who was driving and which member would travel
in what car they all set off on time. Only one car managed to take
a wrong turning but soon recovered and they all arrived at the planned
destination of the Sea and Salt cafe in Amble at around the same time.
It was decided that there was no overall winner. The meal was
thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who was able to attend.
13 JUNE 2017
As our summer event - a Car Treasure Hunt - takes place later in
the month, this freed us up to accept an invitation from Lesbury WI to
join them on their regular meeting night. Several of our members
enjoyed a warm welcome, a tasty supper and an interesting illustrated
presentation from Patricia Forster of the Cottage Garden Society on the
subject of "Lady Gardeners". Our regular programme resumes next
month on 11th July when the topic will be "The Canine Alliance".
2 MAY 2017
A cookery demonstration is always popular
and this month's topic was no exception as we
welcomed Marjorie Goodchild who prepared five recipes which could be
part of a buffet, an accompaniment to a main meal or as an alternative
to a regular salad. These included such innovative dishes as Pork
Balls stuffed with Cheese; Courgettes with Prawn in a Tarragon Sauce;
Marbled Eggs with Dill and Ginger Mayonnaise; Pear with Blue Cheese and
Chicory in Orange Sauce. These prepared dishes were then donated
by Marjorie as prizes for evening's raffle. The competition also
had a cookery theme : Three Homemade Biscuits, the winners being 1st
Barbara Cock, 2nd Mary Guy and 3rd Moira Peden.
Then on to the business of the evening,
the main item being the Resolutions to be taken to the NFWI Annual
Meeting, namely on 'Alleviating Loneliness', and 'Plastic Soup: Keep
microplastic fibres out of our oceans'. After some discussion, it
was agreed that the first be left to the discretion of the delegate and
the second was carried by a majority in favour of supporting the
Arrangements were made for the forthcoming
May table top sale and for the Car Treasure Hunt to take place on 20th
June. This means that there will be no meeting on our regular
'second Tuesday' this June.
Thanks were extended to Barbara King for
her work to keep computer details up to date. The meeting ended
with the usual social time.
We’re all familiar
with the Fair Trade movement which works to ensure that across the
world, growers and manufacturers of the commodities we all use receive a
fair return for their work, but the topic this month – Shared Interest,
Investing in a Fairer World – proved to be less well known. Diana
Whalley, an Ambassador for this ethical investment organisation, gave an
enlightening overview of how it all works. The Newcastle based
cooperative manages investments of between £100 and £100.000, from UK
investors who want to be part of a fairer world, by enabling Shared
Interest to offer loans and credit facilities to producers who otherwise
may otherwise struggle to find fair financial support to develop their
business. Interest is paid in each investment which can
be withdrawn at
any time. The scheme plays a crucial part in the Fair Trade movement in
parts of the developing world. It certainly provided us with food for
Moving on to the
business for the evening, congratulations were extended to our Carpet
Bowls team, who brought home the cup as winners of the Northumberland
Federation Competition. Matters arising from our recent 95th
celebrations included appreciation of gifts of wine from Broomhill WI
and chocolates from the Federation Chairman Hilary Robson, and thanks to
Margaret Hammond for floral decorations.
report from the Council Meeting, at which our WI was awarded our
birthday certificate, included information on a dementia friendly cinema
and preparations for the WI Centenary in the coming year.
It was agreed to take
a table at the ACT May Day Sale in the Village Hall on May 29th
and details were circulated of a trip to visit Sandra’s Cottage Flowers
and gardens later in the year.
Our next meeting on
May 9th at 7.15pm, includes a cookery demonstration by
Marjorie Goodchild and visitors are always welcome to come along.
June Barras –
Members were in for a surprise when they
entered the Village Hall for the Institute's 95th
Birthday. With many thanks to non-members Acklington residents
Alison Sharpe and Violet Currie had decorated the hall beautifully with
plenty of bunting. The WI committee had set up the tables and
decorated them with 95th birthday memorabilia. Amble; Broomhill;
Felton; Shilbottle and Widdrington with Stobswood had been invited along
with Federation Chairman Hilary Robson.
committee had made or brought the buffet (including the cake) between
them making for an excellent spread. The cake looked wonderful after Margaret Hammond had put her decorative touches to it.
Hilary Robson and the oldest member present, Jean McDougall, cut the
cake between them.
Everyone present agreed it had been a
lovely way to celebrate the Institute's 95th Birthday.
Pictured is the Cake; the cake being cut
by Hilary Robson and Jean McDougall and members and
The February meeting of the Acklington Branch of the
W.I.was a lively event with everyone participating in a Qi Gong Session
led by local instructor Anne Raine.
Qi Gong is a form of Energy Exercise which has been
practised for centuries by millions of Chinese people and which is now
gaining popularity in the western world. Unlike Tai Chi which is a
steady flow of movement, Qi Gong is based on repetitions of precise
sets of movements the aim of which is to promote the movement of energy
[QI] in the body. It is claimed that even a few minutes of practice can
have an invigorating effect and regular practice can bring about a deep
strengthening effect for the whole body. The option of being able to sit
or stand while participating meant that everyone was able to join in and
feel the benefits.
The evening was rounded off with tea and biscuits and
because it was Valentine’s Day a heart shaped chocolate each. Well, we
had expended sufficient energy in our Qi Gong session to indulge without
feeling too guilty.
The Acklington Branch of the Women’s Institute met on the
10th January in the village hall for the first meeting of 2017. The
title of the presentation was ‘Refugees Sorting Fact from Fiction’. This
was delivered in an interesting and thought provoking way by guest
speaker Tessa Sayers, a resident of the local community. Tessa began by
telling us about the various roles that she had held during her time as
a volunteer for the Newcastle based West End Refugee Service including
being a past member of the Board of Trustees and her role as a
She explained the differences between Refugees and Asylum
Seekers and how under International Law everyone has the right to apply
for asylum in another country and remain there until the authorities
have assessed their claim. If their claim is successful they become
Refugees and have the same rights and responsibilities as a British
citizen and can work and must pay taxes like everyone else.
The West End Refugee
Service is a Registered Charity which has operated since 1998. It
provides practical support including home visits, advocacy advice,
employment advice and a clothing store as well as emotional support
through the Befriending Scheme. It operates mainly with unpaid
volunteers and is currently supporting around 800 Asylum seekers in the
What else in December
but our Christmas Party! After a tasty buffet supper, with traditional
drinks, some members entertained us all with a range of seasonal
readings, followed by the singing of Christmas songs and carols – all in
all a very pleasant evening of festive fun and camaraderie. We meet
again on January 10th when the speaker’s topic will be “Refugees”.
Visitors are always welcome to come along at 7.15pm in the Village
We began this month with a demonstration
by our speaker, Margaret Davidson, who began by showing how to turn an
old paperback and an unwanted CD into a “hedgehog”, useful to keep by
the phone as a saver of those little notes on which we scribble
messages- and so often lose! Then to the main theme, a handmade
Christmas card. After demonstrating paper folding techniques we were
let loose to produce a card of our own. This was then the subject of
the monthly competition, the results being 1st Sheenagh Deekin, 2nd
Margaret Hammond and 3rd Sue Straughan. Sylvia then gave the vote of
thanks for such an enjoyably productive activity.
Moving on to the business of the evening,
the usual agenda items were taken. Several members requested to receive
a postal copy of Northumberland News at an annual cost of £2.86.
Interest was shown in the Carol Service at Hexham Abbey, whilst details
of the forthcoming Reading Aloud competition are awaited with
anticipation. A subcommittee was formed to research on the Resolutions
Plans for the Christmas Party were made –
with catering provided by the Committee and homemade entertainment of
Carols and Christmas readings from members. Looking ahead to our 95th
anniversary in March, some thought was given to how it could be
The evening ended with a pleasant social
time for a cuppa and a chat.
This month we met for the Annual Meeting and welcomed Jo Dickson
who visited as our WI Adviser. We began with the usual items on the
regular agenda and minutes of the previous meeting, which had taken the
form of homemade entertainment by means of a beetle drive, kindly
arranged by Margaret, followed by a good chat over a pooled supper.
Whilst our dominoes team had spent a delightful afternoon at Craster,
the games had ended in a dead heat, resolved by Craster just pipping us
in the decider. After such fun and camaraderie we were then treated to
an afternoon tea par excellence. Three members were invited to
Broomhill’s 95th birthday celebrations for an enjoyable
evening of singing and supper.
Moving to the agenda
of the Annual Meeting, the Treasurer, Secretary and President each gave
their reports, outlining another varied and successful year of events
and activities, with finances in good state. Thanks were expressed to
the committee and members for their contributions throughout the year.
The WIA then took
over for the appointment of officers for the forthcoming year. Our
current President, Sylvia Linnett had stated that she would be standing
down. After a vote was taken and discussion ensued, two members, Janet
Leonard and Sue Francis agreed to share the role as joint Presidents,
whilst Treasurer Barbara Cock and Secretary June Barras agreed to remain
in post. Other members of the Committee, Mary Guy, Moira Peden and
Sylvia Linnett continue in post, whilst a new committee member, Sheenagh
Deakin, was welcomed on board.
The business part of
the evening completed, Jo Dickson ended with an entertaining account of
her experiences attending the centenary celebrations in London the
previous year. The results of the annual competition were announced as
follows: 1st Mary Guy; 2nd Sylvia Linnett; 3rd
Moira Peden. Then floral tokens were presented to Jo Dickson as thanks
for attending as WIA, and to our outgoing President, Sylvia, in
appreciation of all she has done, after which the evening ended with the
usual social time and refreshments.
We next meet on
Tuesday November 8th at 7.15pm with a demonstration of
Christmas card making, followed by an opportunity to try our hand. So
if you’re feeling crafty why not come along, as visitors are always
It was decided to have a Social Evening this month. Ken
Speckle Chocolatier with Dawn Watts will give a demonstration at a
20169 AUGUST 2016
Silk Scarf Painting demonstrated by Tracey Jones
12 JULY 2016
The People's Kitchen with Mary Kelly
2016 - FELTON GARDEN PARTY
For this month's group
meeting we enjoyed a garden party at the home of our President, Sylvia
The weather was kind enough to allow us to spend a very pleasant
afternoon relaxing and conversing in the garden over Pimms and an
elegant party spread.
Thanks to all who provided
the food and to Sylvia and Don for making their home and garden
I had the privilege to attend our Annual
General Meeting in Brighton as delegate representing Broomhill,
Shilbottle, Warkworth and Acklington W.I.s. Beginning with that
iconic moment as NFWI Chair Janice Langley opened proceedings by
inviting almost 5000 in the vast auditorium of the Brighton Centre to
join in singing 'Jerusalem', the programme continued with the Chair's
Address in which she looked back at the centenary events of the past
year which had been a 'year to remember'. The roots of W.I. lay in
the promotion of education to feed the nation and not to let food go to
waste and this is reflected in our aims today. She highlighted the
importance of Denman College in this, with several new projects soon to
be accessible through the media, such as The Food Club and textile and
crafts to download. Rising costs necessitated the current fund
raising campaign for Denman, however the organisation overall continues
to grow with a membership of 222,402 to date.
The two Resolutions took up the main part
of the meeting, firstly 'Appropriate care in hospitals for people with
dementia' followed by 'Avoid food waste, address food poverty'.
Speakers expressed views in favour and against each one before votes
were taken, resulting in each resolution being carried by a large
There were two Guest Speakers: Rona
Fairhead, BBC Trust Chairman, who saw much in common between the two
organisations in wanting to make a difference and campaigning to do so.
The second Guest Speaker, Lord Speaker Baroness D'Souza gave an
illuminating insight into the work of the House of Lords.
After an entertaining though controversial
rendition of singing and flag waving in the style of 'Last Night of the
Proms', followed by the anthems, we dispersed with what seemed in
general a feeling of encouragement, together with the benefit of meeting
up with members from other Institutes and sharing our ideas and
The decades were peeled back as our
speakers for the evening, Jane Mann and Hilary Waugh from Bailiffgate
Museum took us on a nostalgic journey to the ‘50s and ‘60s with a
variety of clothing and everyday objects to stir memories of younger
days. Liberty bodices, suspenders and stockings, corsets, capacious
Aertex knickers, Marcel hair wavers to curl and singe your hair, and
knitted bathing costumes which tended to stretch when wet – if any of
these strike a chord with you then you’re giving your age away. Indeed,
Hilary herself proved to be an exhibit in her full skirted coat from
1951 and very glamorous dress made for a 21st birthday in the
late 50’s. Their entertaining anecdotes were reminders of how social
acceptability has changed over the years, such as the fetching scarlet
underwear from the ‘50’s which had caused the owner’s mother to declare
that “under no circumstances would be hung out on my washing line”
Changes in rites of passage too were noted by the engine turned hair
brush and mirror dressing table set and the charm bracelet, popular
birthday gifts to mark a girl’s transition to grown-up status on
We were invited to have a good rummage and
choose something of personal significance to share with the group. One
member was soon wearing a hat and gloves similar to those she had worn
to go on honeymoon, whilst others recalled what they did on Coronation
All the exhibits have been donated by the
public and the museum itself is run almost entirely by volunteers.
There is a “Friends of the Museum” scheme which offers excellent value
at £15 a year for unlimited visits. Sheenagh then voiced our
appreciation of Jane and Hilary’s entertaining and evocative
Then followed the usual business matters.
After some discussion, the group arrived at the mandate for the delegate
to vote on the Resolutions to be tabled at the forthcoming Annual
Meeting in Brighton. Entries for the Ringtons Tea Competition were
finalised and arrangements made for the Garden Party in June.
The winners of the competition – for ‘Any
Old Thing’ – were 1st, Margaret Hammond with her book dating
from 1746; 2nd Sheenagh Deakin with an antique watering can
and 3rd June Barras with a Lepidodendron fossil from the
coal measures of some 300 to 250 million years ago.
The evening ended with a pleasantly
informal time for tea and talk.
The next meeting will be our Garden Party
on Saturday 18th June.
Acklington WI enjoyed a visit from Lorna
Wilkinson of The Rainbow Pottery at their April meeting. After a short
demonstration of painting techniques, there was the opportunity for
everyone to decorate a piece of pottery. We were delighted to welcome
no fewer than seven visitors, who, together with our members then
unleashed their artistic talents to produce an impressive range of
painted tiles, plates and bowls which Lorna will return after they are
Time was then taken to address the usual
W.I. business, beginning with a heartfelt expression of sadness at the
death of Julia Davidson, a very popular and supportive WIA. The
President welcomed Ann Dixon who was attending as an observer as part of
her training to become a WI Advisor. She went on to congratulate the
Carpet Bowling Team on their steady performance in drawing both matches
in the recent annual competition. Two members have been successful in
the ballot for the trip to Barnsdale Gardens and Burghley House in
July. The date of the proposed Garden Party has been moved to Saturday
June 18th to accommodate other village events. The secretary
has agreed to attend as delegate at the NFWI Annual Meeting in Brighton
in June. Interest was shown in the WI Bulb Scheme and the Ringtons Tea
The items painted earlier were then judged
as the competition for the evening, the results being 1st,
Julie, one of our visitors; 2nd, Mary Guy and 3rd,
Sue Straughan. Then followed a pleasantly informal sociable time to
chat over tea and biscuits.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 10th
May at 7.15pm in the Village Hall , with a visit from Bailiffgate
Museum, the competition being - what else but – “Any Old Thing”.
Visitors will be very welcome to come along.
For our March meeting, Acklington W.I.
celebrated their birthday with a visit to their local restaurant, The
Railway Inn. After an enjoyable meal, the customary gifts were
exchanged and the evening continued with the usual camaraderie.
The next meeting takes place in the
Village Hall on Tuesday April 12th at 7.15pm with a visit
from Rainbow Pottery, with the opportunity for everyone to have a go at
painting a piece of pottery for themselves. Visitors are very welcome
at this event.
9TH FEBRUARY 2016
A warm welcome was extended to our
speaker, David Carr, whose talk on “A Day in the Life of a Grocer” gave
an entertaining insight into his life over the past four decades since
first opening his grocery shop in Longframlington in1978.
He regaled us with some amusing anecdotes
and a variety of ups and downs - how six weeks of snow greatly
benefited trade, whereas the refitting of fixtures to create a
self-service facility caused unforeseen problems.
With his day starting at 3am, making some
sixty rolls daily and serving the needs of the village by opening every
day of the week, it was surprising to hear how David manages to find
time for other interests such as his involvement in the Restorative
Justice Programme at HMP Northumberland and his voluntary gardening at
St. Oswald’s Hospice.
In the long standing, but sadly now fading
tradition of the village shop, David’s store fulfils the wider role of
serving the needs of the community as a source of advice and help where
needed, whilst also playing a part in local activities. It was not
surprising to hear that he has won two national awards to mark his
The President then opened the business of
the evening, following the usual items on the agenda, in addition to
forthcoming events, namely the Ringtons Tea Competition, the Annual
Carpet Bowls competition and Warkworth Show entry . The delegate to
attend the Annual Conference in Brighton needs to be identified at the
Menus were circulated for the Birthday
Celebration meal in March and the results of the competition for three
scones were announced as 1st Moira Peden, 2nd Mary
Guy and 3rd June Barras.
The evening ended with a pleasant social
interlude over a cup of tea.
Next month we meet on March 8th
at The Railway Inn, Acklington, for our Birthday Meal.
12TH JANUARY 2016
President extended New Year greetings to everyone and welcomed the
Speaker, Tessa Sayers, who gave a very informative presentation on the
work of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and her role as a general advisor in
outlined the process of becoming a voluntary advisor, which takes 6 to
12 months of training and self-study, working at one’s own pace.
inception in 1939, when it opened with 200 Bureaux, the C.A.B. now
operates in three thousand locations, funded by 300 different charities,
with some twenty thousand volunteers. They provide both face-to-face
and telephone advice to two million people, referring to subject
specialists when appropriate. There is also a website
to maximise accessibility. Working on four basic principles – that
advice is free, confidential, impartial and independent – the C.A.B.
offers advice on a range of family issues and social and legal rights.
National Organisation provides training for advisors, and monitors and
manages the database by keeping up to date with ever changing
regulations. It uses that database to identify areas of need and takes
a proactive role in lobbying for improvements. The C.A.B. works in
partnership with other providers such as debt advisors and Macmillan
are local Bureaux in Morpeth, Alnwick, Berwick, Hexham, Blyth and
Ashington; our nearest drop-in facility is in Druridge Bay Community
Centre in Hadston Shopping Centre on the first Wednesday of each month,
10:30 – 12:30.
evening continued with the business agenda. In addition to the usual
items, the President announced some changes to the Committee. She
reported on three successful events: a Christmas Wreath making workshop,
the Christmas Hamper Raffle and the Table Top Sale, all of which had
provided a welcome boost to funds. Forthcoming events were discussed,
namely the annual Carpet Bowls Competition in March, Ringtons Craft
Competition in May and the Acklington W.I. entry for Warkworth Show in
August. Acklington once again has the opportunity to send a delegate to
the AGM in Brighton next June; members were asked to consider whether
they wished to be considered for this. Voting papers were collected for
the Resolution to be taken to the Annual conference at Brighton in June.
the raffle and competition results, the meeting ended with informal time
for tea and talk.
meeting is on Tuesday 9th February at 7:15pm when David Carr
will be speaking on “A Day in the Life of a Grocer”. Visitors and new
members are always welcome at every meeting.
8TH DECEMBER 2015
Barbara Cock and her husband Graham had arrived very early to put on the
heating so the room would be warmed up in time for members arriving.
The committee had set out all tables and chairs and decorated the tables
with cloths, napkins, crackers and decorations. The two varieties of
soup were bubbling away and the cold buffet, all supplied by the
committee, was very enticingly laid out.
All members were met in the Guyzance Room with a glass of wine/soft
Raffle tickets were sold for both the large hamper and the Institute
Sylvia gave a hearty welcome, despite her very hoarse voice. Sylvia and
Barbara Cock then refilled everyone’s glasses.
The soup and bread rolls were served by Sylvia and Barbara C as it was
felt to be easier. Members helped themselves to the very substantial
buffet followed by a choice of cold sweets.
After everyone had had their fill Sue Straughan got up and got everyone
singing from the prepared Christmas song sheets.
Doreen Colbourne gave an impromptu appreciation to the committee for all
their hard work thereby ensuring that members didn’t have to worry about
anything and just enjoy themselves.
The Institute raffle was drawn and the competition for a tree
decoration, which had been displayed very decoratively on a twiggy tree
branch, supplied by Barbara Cock, was judged by Sheena Deakin and gave
first to Sylvia Linnett; 2nd Janet Bell and 3rd
All too soon it was time to depart after everyone had definitely had a
The next meeting will be on 12th January 2016 when Tessa
Sayers will talk to us about the work of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and
the competition will be for a favourite Christmas Card.
10th NOVEMBER 2015
Sylvia welcomed all those present. Apologies were received from 3
The minutes of the Annual Meeting were read and the following matters
The Our/Old Time Music hall at Felton had been cancelled and refunds
would be issued by Cresswell House.
One member was unable to go to the ‘Music is Food for Feet’ at
Widdrington and offered her ticket to any member. There were no takers
so, as tickets were in short supply, would be offered back to
The Resolution we had proposed was not selected this time but would be
proposed again next year.
The produce for the Christmas Hamper could be left in the large bag at
the back of the hall. Tickets will be £1 each and can be sold to
anyone. The draw will take place at the Christmas Fayre in the Village
Hall on 20th December.
Werca’s Folk had to withdraw from singing at our Christmas party due to
being double-booked. Arrangements were being made to see if the
daughter of one of our members would be willing to play and sing for us.
The secretary went through the few events notified and the treasurer
gave her report.
Numbers were taken for copies of the Northumberland News for 2016 which
was down on the usual number as many members would be using the new
hyperlink. The Christmas Party would be £5 per head with the buffet
being provided by the committee. Members were reminded to bring their
own plate, small bowl, cup and cutlery.
The competition for the next meeting would be a Christmas Tree
Decoration of any medium bought, made or handed down.
Sylvia then handed over to two of our own members, Janet Leonard and Sue
Straughan, to talk about and demonstrate the art of Festive Flowers.
They had already set up the table which was beautifully covered with a
wonderful Christmas table cloth. Sue Straughan started by giving us a
short talk on health and safety and then showed us how to make a wreath
for practically no cost by gathering greenery, moss, cones, etc. from
around wooded areas. It looked so quick and easy the way she did it and
they looked wonderful. Janet said she was willing to hold Christmas
Workshops if enough people were interested to show us many different
techniques on how to enhance flower arrangements. She then showed us
some arrangements she had made beforehand and containers we could use
including a Rose Wreath around a lantern; Cinnamon Wreath & Candle; bark
surrounded by dried limes; Christmas Cake and a sparkly Rose Tower
before making up several arrangements with greenery collected from round
and about and bought flowers along with dried out slices of fruit, which
she told us how to make. They all looked really professional. Then she
went through the basics of making our own flower arrangements leaving us
to help ourselves to the mountain of greenery, cones, wires, dried
fruits, decorations she then let us loose on making our own with the
flowers we had brought with us.
After lots of discussion on what to use we all eagerly set to work
creating our own creations. When we had done the best we could all
arrangements were laid out on one table and Janet and Sue did the
judging giving first to Margaret Hammond, second to Sheenagh Deakin and
third to Wilma Nicoll.
Barbara Cock gave a very well deserved appreciation for all the hard
work that Janet and Sue had put into their presentation.
After refreshments we all left remarking on what a wonderful and
inspiring meeting we had had.
13th OCTOBER 2015
- ANNUAL MEETING
There was almost a
full attendance at this year’s meeting. The current President, Sylvia
Linnett, welcomed everyone and introduced Mrs Julia Davidson the Women’s
Institute Adviser (WIA).
The minutes of the
last meeting in August were read and matters arising were discussed.
These were: - non-viability of a vandal-proof bench due to cost but will
be put on hold; Darts lost 3 -1 to Whitfield. Mentioned to WIA how
disappointing that in the early stages of the tournament teams were
drawn so far away from each other. WIA said she would mention this at
the next governors meeting; 6 members won the Village Hall Quiz and a
Resolution entitled “The NFWI calls on this Government for an enriched
culture medium test for Group B Streptococcus to be available from the
NHS for every pregnant woman in the UK” had been submitted.
The business part of
the meeting followed. It was felt that a superior Christmas hamper be
made up and then raffled. A list of items had been made and each member
chose what they would contribute. A personal invitation had been
received from Widdrington Stn with Stobswood to their evening on 14 Nov.
News was gone through and the hyperlink for PC users taking them to an
up to date edition of the Northumberland News was highlighted. There
was no correspondence. Names and money were taken for several of the
events in November.
The deputy treasurer
gave out a copy of the pre-prepared financial statement and gave a brief
explanation. It was proposed that G S Nicholls once again be our
auditors. The winners of the annual competitions were 1st
Moira Peden and joint 2nd were Barbara Cock and Linda Aston.
The current secretary read the annual report. This was followed by the
The winners of the
meetings competition of a kitchen utensil beginning with H were 1st
Barbara King, 2nd Moira Peden and 3rd Mary Guy.
The next meeting will
be on 10 Nov when members Janet Leonard and Sue Straughan will be
talking to us about Festive Flowers where there will be a demonstration
and a practical (which will be the competition). Members need only
bring about 3 flowers and a candle if they wished.
The WIA spoke briefly
and remarked on what a lovely atmosphere there was amongst the members
and how our Institute not only invited other Institutes to our meetings
but how well we supported other invitations and events. She also spoke
about various other ways for fund-raising.
The new committee was
proposed and accepted. Sylvia Linnett remains as President, Barbara
Cock will continue as treasurer and June Barras will take over again as
There was a lot of
chatting during tea and biscuits before the meeting concluded.
11 AUG 2015
Sylvia welcomed all those present including 2
ladies from Warkworth WI.
Then she introduced Valerie Everett who gave a very
interesting talk about Joyce Grenfell. Not many people knew that Joyce
was actually born into Aristocracy. She married at 19. Her career
began by accident as a child but it wasn’t until 1939 that she actually
began to make it her career. Joyce joined ENSA and entertained the
troops both at home and abroad. Sadly, she would have become a Dame
herself but died just a few months before it could be awarded. Valerie
went onto recite three of Joyce’s well-known pieces – Three Brothers;
Free Activity and The Widow. This was an extremely interesting and
informative talk enjoyed by everyone. Margaret Hammond gave the
Sylvia went onto to conduct the business part of
the meeting before tea & biscuits.
Apologies were received from – June Barras; Janet
Leonard; Delsya Turpin & Jean McDougall.
Minutes of last meeting were read. Sylvia asked
members that if they knew they were going to be away for any of the
meetings could they please let the secretary know beforehand. This
prompted the question of how many would be away for the September
meeting. Half the members present would be away so it was decided to
cancel that meeting. Sylvia also asked if members would like a holiday
month each year as a lot of other Institutes do. Those present were
rather undecided so it was decided to review this again next year. A
tin would be going round at the end of the meeting for those who would
like to contribute to the GNAA in memory of Margaret Howie. The
Northumberland News subscription will shortly be due and will be £2.86
per annum. The Northumberland News was gone through with events
highlighted plus invites from Alnmouth and Felton & Thirston. The
annual darts rounds had been received and our first game will be at
Whitfield in Hexhamshire. Janet Bell; Barbara Cock; Barbara King and
Margaret Hammond volunteered to have a go. Correspondence had been
received regarding the WI calendar for 2017 and members were invited to
submit prints / transparencies with the subject being “Down by the
River”. Sylvia asked if any members would like to submit a resolution
for consideration. Two subjects were suggested - Public Transport in
Rural Areas and Death of Babies at Birth by Strep B.
Sylvia indicated her intention that she would like
to step down as President at the Annual Meeting and asked if anyone else
would consider taking over. However, she also said that she wouldn’t
like to see the Institute fold if no-one else was willing to take over.
Valerie judged the competition for a limerick
starting with ‘Stately as a Galleon ……’ awarding 1st to Moira
Peden; 2nd Mary Guy and 3rd Sylvia Linnett.
Our next meeting will now be the Annual Meeting on
14 JULY 2015
Barbara Cock stood in
for the President, Sylvia Linnett. She welcomed those present and
asked for a minutes silence in memory of a very valued and supportive
member, Margaret Howie, who had very recently passed away. Barbara also
read out a copy of the letter that Sylvia Linnett had sent to Margaret’s
husband David expressing our sympathy for the great loss of Margaret to
received from – Sylvia Linnet; June Barras; Janet Bell; Doreen Colbourne
and Margaret Hammond.
Barbara held a very
short business meeting by quickly going through the Northumberland News
and list of events enclosed. Reminders for diaries/calendars;
Harrogate trip in September; Alnmouth Centenary event 13th
September and asked if anyone was interested in the President, Secretary
and/or Treasurer Workshops. No further names were forthcoming. A
letter from Julia Woolley, Warden WI, about her trip to Buckingham
Palace was read through along with an e-mail from Celia Bouch saying how
delighted she was to be chosen for the Century Anniversary WI Bursary.
Kath & Harry Gilbert
were welcomed back this time with a slide show of ‘Postcards from
Brazil’. As usual their presentation was second to none with excellent
voiceovers and Latin/American music. A slide show that encapsulated
their trip and the members. Barbara Cock gave the appreciation.
Tea and biscuits
followed with Kath & Harry judging the competition for a postcard with
the results being 1st Barbara Cock; 2nd Moira
Peden and 3rd Mary Guy.
The next meeting will
be ‘Joyce Grenfell’ by Valerie Everett with the competition being a
limerick starting “Stately as a Galleon”.
13 JUNE 2015
Saturday 13th June 3pm and the green, white and purple
balloons were attached to the fence at ‘Oaklands’, the home of Margaret
Hammond, and the directional signs were in place for Acklington WI
members arriving to celebrate 100 years of the Women’s Institute.
was made into large jugs, the kettles were on and the petite sandwiches;
sausage rolls; fresh cream scones; cream & strawberry meringues;
strawberry meringue nests; lemon drizzle buns; strawberry bakewell
squares and chocolate chip squares were arranged on cake stands and
decorative bone china plates. The raspberry sponge cake iced with the
WI Centenary logo was in pride of place at the front. Outside, Margaret
had covered the patio tables with white tablecloths and her fine bone
china cups, saucers and plates set around. All set to celebrate the
National WI Centenary. We could have been in the garden at ‘The Ritz’
it all looked so grand.
On arrival, members were given a glass of Pimms or tea/coffee. Sylvia
read out a lovely card from Barbara Cock, who couldn’t attend, wishing
us a wonderful time and sorry to miss it all. The weather held out
beautifully so members were able to sit outside and enjoy Margaret’s
wonderful garden. Needless to say, there was a lot of nattering, as
ladies do. Unfortunately, for various reasons, several members were
unable to make it.
group photo was taken under one of the arches and then, as the longest
serving member of our Institute, Wilma Nicoll was invited to cut the
that point the drizzle of rain started and we all congregated in
This was the ideal time to have a very short business meeting where
names were taken for the Federation Quiz Night; Darts Tournament along
with orders for diaries and calendars. Sylvia regaled us with her
experience at the Buckingham Palace Garden Party and the AGM in the
Royal Albert Hall.
All too soon it was time to depart but not without clearing up
Margaret’s kitchen, dining room and patio.
The next meeting is on our normal 2nd Tuesday of the month 13th
July at 7.15pm in the Village Hall with postcards from Brazil with Kath
& Harry Gilbert. All visitors and potential new members are welcome.
12 MAY 2015
President, Sylvia Linnett, opened the meeting and
welcomed everyone particularly our visitors from Warkworth, Broomhill,
Felton and Widdrington & Stobswood Institutes.
Previous minutes were read followed by a discussion on
the resolution (Failing to Care – Assessment of Need in Long-term
Care). Sylvia had attended the briefing at Cresswell House and this
topic had many aspects to it. The members decided that Sylvia
should vote at the AGM at her discretion on our behalf. Sylvia asked
members to decide if they would like a holiday month each year; if they
had any ideas for future speakers and the Reading Aloud final is on 19th
May. Warkworth had extended an invite to take up seats on a bus to the
Scottish Borders on 7th July for £6 each. Reminded members
that the next meeting would be our Centenary event on Saturday 13th
June at ‘Oakland’s’, directions given.
The secretary advised members she had left a list of
future events in their copy of the Northumberland News and in addition
Widdrington Station WI has invited 4 of us to their meeting with
Perform performing ‘Live Act’ on 27th July and Shilbottle WI
to their meeting on 16th July for a talk ‘The Red Kites
Return’. Also included is an up to date list of current members.
Sylvia introduced Marjorie Goodchild who made 5 delicious
quick and easy meals for one starting
with the biscuit base and blackcurrant topping for a cheesecake. She
then went onto cook Salmon & Prosciutto, Mushroom Pasta, Mangetout &
Sweetcorn and Tomato & Black Plum Salad followed by the cheesecake
mixture to assemble and finish the blackcurrant cheesecakes. All during
the cooking Marjorie entertained us, as usual, with her wit and
stories. All the dishes were donated to the raffle. Wilma gave the
Marjorie judged the competition for 3 small savouries by
tasting one of each one and gave 1st to Moira Peden; 2nd
Mary Guy and 3rd Linda Aston.
A wonderful, tempting buffet was then opened with guests
first followed by members with the usual copious amounts of tea/coffee.
Needless to say this all went down very well among all the chattering
and catching up. There was a large quality raffle with many members
taking something home with them.
All in all, a very enjoyable meeting.
14 APRIL 2015
We were welcomed to some wonderful scents on entering the
hall for the April meeting. Alexandra Burn, who was giving us a talk on
Human & Canine Aromatherapy, had already laid out tester strips of the
many oils she had brought with her. Alexandra went from working in the
corporate sector to pursue aromatherapy which was being used as long as
6000 to 9000 years ago. Essential oils are the pure essence of the
plant with some taking an enormous weight to make just a few mls. Pure
oils, which must always be in a dark glass bottle, are extremely
powerful and are normally mixed with a carrier oil or cream as the pure
oil can burn. Alexandra normally works in London but now and again
visits the North East. She blends her oils at a client consultation
ensuring the smell is acceptable. The tester strips were sent around
with various reactions of likes and dislikes. Alexandra explained what
treatment each one was normally used for. Some members took advantage
of the oil scented hand cream which went down well. After several Q’s &
A’s Sylvia Linnett gave the appreciation.
Alexandra judged the competition for a pet portrait
before she left with 1st Mary Guy; 2nd Sylvia
Linnett; 3rd Barbara Cock.
The President, Sylvia Linnett, opened the business part
of the meeting asking if everyone had enjoyed the Birthday Dinner – they
all had. Sylvia Linnett will be attending the Royal Garden Party at
Buckingham Palace on 2nd June. Norham WI were holding a WI
Centenary event on 1st August; 4 people interested in the
Croquet organised by Bamburgh WI on 17th June; Edinburgh
trip with Widdrington & Stobswood on 7th June to be paid by
18th May and 4 for the Car Treasure Hunt at Longhoughton on
15th June. Sylvia congratulated the Reading Aloud team for
reaching the finals which will be held on 19th May at
Stannington Village Hall with supporters more than welcome. The WI
Centenary AGM at the Royal Albert Hall on 4th June can now be
seen by anyone having access to broadband. The Acklington WI entry for
the Rose Bowl competition at the Warkworth Show will be a maximum 20
line poem/limerick of The Magna Carta. The Pimms event at Margaret
Hammonds home will now be a Pimms & Cream Teas afternoon on Saturday 13th
June and will also be our WI Centenary event. Centenary raffle tickets
are available from Mary Guy.
Tea & biscuits followed with the result of the raffle.
The next meeting will be a short resolution discussion
followed by a Cookery Demonstration with Marjorie Goodchild making a
5-course meal on 12th May at 7.15pm with pooled supper and
special raffle. Members were invited to bring a friend/guest. The
competition will be for 3 small savouries.
10th MARCH 2015
March is [was] our Institute’s birthday month and as usual we celebrated
with a Birthday Dinner. The venue for the second time year running was
The Old Storehouse in Amble, where fifteen of us gathered for the event.
Sylvia Linnett, President, kept business to a minimum but pointed out to
members that there is to be a Royal Garden Party for WI members on 2
June 2015 at Buckingham Palace. One member from each Institute can go
to the event (at their own expense!). Sylvia asked everyone to consider
whether they would like to go. As usual, if there is more than one
volunteer, a name would be drawn by ballot.
The dinner was a great opportunity for us to sit down and catch up
together over a delicious meal. There were plenty of reminiscences and
laughter as a glass or two of wine was taken.
We drank a toast to wish the Institute a Happy 93rd Birthday,
then the birthday gifts that each member had brought were distributed in
a ‘bran tub’ style. There were many ‘ooh and aahs’ as we opened our
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 14th April in Acklington
Village Hall, as usual. The speaker and demonstrator will be Alexandra
Burn, an aromatherapist who works with people and dogs too!
All are welcome and there is a small guest fee of £3 – you don’t have to
be a member to come along to listen and have a cuppa!
10th FEBRUARY 2015
Moira Peden (Vice
President) opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and introduced Tessa
Sayers who spoke to us about Children’s Homes in India.
There are two homes
that Tessa and husband Chris are interested in and they are part of the
Faith, Welfare, Trust (FWT). They are Christian homes for 5 to 18 yr
olds mainly within the Chennai area. There is a set class system in
India that would be very difficult to change so those born into poverty
would probably remain in poverty. Apparently, it is a Hindu belief in
Karma and social states. Women and children would always be at the
bottom of the pecking order no matter which class they belonged to.
Tessa showed us many slides of children in the orphanages where they
certainly looked happy and well cared for.
There is scope for
children going onto further education at college/university but unless
they can get funding they would have to be supported by their own
families after the age of 18. This would mainly be boys who would go
into construction or engineering but some girls have gone on to become
nurses and teachers but most girls would become wives. We also saw
slides of endearing street scenes full of rubbish! There were also many
tented villages on the beaches.
Fund-raising was set
up in 1986 to start the orphanages off and now need around £38,000.00
per year to ensure that everything needed is catered for. Most of the
money comes from donations from Britain and Canada. The appreciation
was given by Barbara Cock.
Tessa judged the
competition for an elephant of any medium which was won by Sue Straughan
with Linda Aston second and June Barras third.
Moira then opened the
business part of the meeting whilst tea and biscuits were given.
Correspondence was dealt with. Menus were given out and members asked
to make their selection for our Birthday meal at The Old Storehouse in
Amble on 10th March. The raffle was then drawn before
everyone went home.
13 JANUARY 2015
Tamsin Greig gave a
very lively and entertaining talk in January about her grit and
determination to become a Kayak World Champion meeting and making many
good friends from parts of the world she had never dreamed of going to
and wouldn’t have done except for her passion for kayaking. She told us
that it was by chance she became World Champion in 2008 after she
entered the British Championships a couple of years earlier, not
expecting to get very far, and ended up coming 2nd which
automatically gave her admission to the World Championships. If you
ever saw one or two blue or pink figures out in boats around Druridge
Bay at any time of the year, including the harsh cold winter months, it
would have been Tamsin and her husband practising. She said that after
that kayaking on sun-drenched beaches was a doddle. Tamsin answered the
question about how to surf and how to judge the waves and she gave a
very illustrated show of pictures on her laptop showing how to ride the
waves. She also went on to say she had ridden waves as high as 20ft.
Pink is the most visible colour out at sea and she always wore that
colour in the event of any difficulty. Tamsin showed us one of her old
carbon fibre kayaks and explained the various parts and what they were
for along with the oars with the special surfing wax for grip. Barbara
King gave Tamsin a well-deserved appreciation on behalf of all the
Sylvia then opened
the business part of the meeting welcoming 1 new member and a visitor,
who subsequently joined as a member. Sylvia explained that due to
personal circumstances June would be unable to continue as secretary for
several months and thanked Barbara King for stepping and temporarily
taking over. Sylvia said that Janet Leonard had agreed to be co-opted
onto the committee and asked if anyone else was also willing to join the
committee and a new member, Sue Francis, said she would. Northumberland
News was quickly gone through and correspondence revealed one item that
was carried over to the next meeting. The treasurer gave her report.
Everyone agreed that they had enjoyed the Christmas meal and it was
suggested this could be repeated sometime in the year, possibly May. It
was agreed that The Old Storehouse in Amble be booked again for our
Birthday meal in March. Competition winners for a sea scene of any
medium was won by Mary Guy with Barbara Cock second and Sylvia Linnet
third. Tea, biscuits and chat followed.
Our next meeting is
on Feb 10th with a talk being given by Tessa Sayers on
Children’s Homes in India.
9 DECEMBER 2014
The Guyzance room
made for a very cosy environment for our annual Christmas party. The
tables were set out in a ‘U’ shape and very Christmassy decorated. The
buffet and drinks, supplied by the committee, were ready for the first
members to arrive. There was no need for any activities as the room was
alive with chatter.
Everyone was asked to
bring their own place mat and Mary found it extremely difficult to judge
the best three from the hand-made to the bought ones. In the end she
awarded 1st to Margaret Hammond; 2nd Jean
McDougall and 3rd Barbara King. Sue Straughan asked for a
member to pick out a raffle ticket for the wonderful poppy cushion that
our late member, Isabella (Izzy) Telford had made. The winner was
someone that Sue knew. Sue announced that a total of £112 had been made
and, in accordance with the wishes of Izzy, the proceeds will be given
to The Royal British Legion.
Margaret Howie then
read out a well-known Christmas poem ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ which
was enjoyed by all.
11 NOVEMBER 2014
There were 12 members and one visitor
present at the Acklington WI November meeting which began with the topic
for the month, “Introduction to Patchwork”, presented by Margaret
Hammond and Flora Steele. This proved to be both informative and
entertaining, as Margaret described how she first took up patchwork
quilting, encouraged by a tutor at Denman College. She went on to tell
us of her visit to an Amish community in Pennsylvania, their lifestyle
and particularly their tradition of quilt-making. Everyone admired the
impressive examples of quilts which she had made, but also some smaller
items: a patchwork teddy bear, some handbags and Christmas decorations.
Flora took up the theme by describing how her dream of patchwork
quilting had only been realised when she came to live in Acklington.
She also brought some beautiful examples of her work, although most of
what she made had been given away. Mary spoke for us all as she thanked
them both for a very enjoyable presentation.
The evening continued with the usual
business agenda. Sylvia thanked everyone involved in the staging of our
Scarecrow “Lady Rees-Ayekeld Duchess of Downturn” at Heighley Gate.
The darts team had taken on Shilbottle in the first round of the annual
competition. Though losing the match, we felt we played remarkably
well, considering that we practise so regularly – once a year! Amidst
cries of “Where’s the 6?” we enjoyed some good fun and camaraderie,
topped with a nice afternoon tea.
A delegate to attend the AGM in June 2015
will need to be ascertained at the December meeting. The possibility of
forming a group with some of our neighbouring Institutes has been mooted
and this is to be further investigated.
A ‘proggy poppy’ cushion made by our
sadly missed member. Isabella Telford was the basis of the raffle, the
proceeds of which is to go to the Royal British Legion, as Isabella had
The competition for a piece of handiwork
was won by Mary, with Moira second and Wilma third.
The next meeting will be our members’
Christmas celebration on Tuesday 9th December, with catering
provided by the Committee at a cost of £5 per head.
The Northumberland Federation of Women's Institutes held a scarecrow
competition with all scarecrows being exhibited in Heighley Gate Garden
Centre from 23rd October to 3rd November 2014. Judging will be
decided by ballot from the public and the winning entry announced soon
after 3rd November. LADY REES-AYEKELD, DUCHESS OF DOWNTURN is the
entry for Acklington (with thanks to the art group for their help)
14TH OCTOBER 2014
welcomed members and Jo Dickson, WIA, to our Annual Meeting
A minutes silence was
held for Isabella Telford, a very pro-active raffles member and a great,
fun-loving, helpful member of our institute who will be very sadly
The minutes of the
last annual and monthly meetings were read. Arising from these was the
cost of each Institute to the Centenary WI AGM on 4th June in
London. President, Sylvia Linnett, had written to NFWI outlining a
fairer proportion for each Institute that would benefit the very small
and very large Institutes. She had received a reply to say this had
been discussed by the Board of Governors and a decision reached that the
current system will remain. Fortunately, one of our members has very
kindly donated the whole cost for our Institute.
Definite names were
taken for the darts match against Shilbottle to be held in November.
Names were also taken for the Brazil International Day event.
Barbara Cock, gave a resume of the annual accounts, which were agreed,
and proposed that we keep our current accountant which was also agreed.
The WIA congratulated us on our fund-raising over the past year.
competition winners were announced with 1st Moira Peden; 2nd
Linda Aston and 3rd Mary Guy. Barbara Cock 1st
and June Barras 2nd were congratulated for the Institute
competition at the Warkworth Show for their Plum & Apple Jam along with
individual winners from the Institute for various crafts.
A programme change
for November will now be Margaret Hammond with An Introduction to
Patchwork. Human & Canine Therapy will now be in April.
Sylvia gave her
President’s report congratulating all committee members for their hard
work throughout the year. She also said she had enjoyed her first year
as President stating that if members wished her to continue she would
Sylvia then handed
over to Jo Dickson who also gave her views on the cost to each Institute
for the AGM. She also showed us various WI items that were available
for sale. Jo gave a round-up of proposed events to be held at Cresswell
House for the following year and then recited a humorous verse on food
comparison of years gone by.
The new committee was
elected and Sylvia accepted a second term as President after an
overwhelming majority vote
The competition for a
kitchen utensil beginning with G were 1st Linda Aston; 2nd
Sylvia Linnett; 3rd Barbara King.
The meeting closed
after tea/biscuits and chat.
9TH SEPTEMBER 2014
Holiday month so no
12TH AUGUST 2014
Sylvia welcomed a
small number of members, many being on holiday or were unwell. She then
introduced our speaker Martyn Tuckwell who spoke to us and gave a slide
show about PLAN Supporting Girls Education. Martyn was talking about 66
million girls in 3rd world countries who, because they are
girls, were not being educated with 1 in 3 denied education due to
poverty, being a carer and safety. In Pakistan 67% of girls never go to
school and were sent out to work earning just 10% of the average world
wage. Many are married at a very early age then contract HIV or die in
pregnancy. Shockingly some of these girls were just 5 years old.
Martyn’s talk and slide show was quite an eye opener to many of us who
thought they knew what was going on but his statistics told us
otherwise. Sylvia Linnett gave the vote of appreciation.
The business part of
the meeting was then started whilst having a cup of tea and biscuits.
Sylvia presided and Mary Guy took over as secretary. Acklington are now
part of a ‘Linked Group’ and a letter had gone round to all Institutes
regarding the date, number of people who could attend and cost for the
Centenary AGM to be held in the Royal Albert Hall, London. It was
unanimously agreed that we should enter the Federation Jolly Scarecrow
competition. 4 members were interested in attending the ‘Murder Mystery
Night’ at Stannington on 17th November. Members were
reminded to put their names on the list if they wished to purchase a 100
Martyn judged the
competition for a school photo and the winning picture was of Barbara
Cock, 2nd Moira Peden and 3rd Sylvia Linnett. The
raffle then took place.
At the Warkworth Show the Acklington Rose Bowl for Plum & Apple jam was
won by Barbara Cock with June Barras 2nd. The table was also
decorated appropriately as a WWI theme by Sylvia Linnett. Other members
who entered independently also did well with their entries including
Isabella Telford and Sylvia Linnett.
The next meeting will
be Introduction to Patchwork with Mary Guy (a change to the programme)
on 9th September.
8TH JULY 2014
Sylvia welcomed 9
members and received 9 apologies. She then introduced our speaker, Lynn
Sellick, who set the mood for the evening with relaxing music. Lynn is
a well-trained Holistic Masseur and explained something about the
various treatments, including Neuromuscular Deep Tissue Massage, Indian
Head Massage and Reflexology. While she was explaining these treatments
Margaret Hammond was the lucky recipient of a back & shoulder massage.
Lynn found some knots of tension in Margaret’s back which she explained
Lynn is able to use
her expertise in hospitals and centres to bring relief to both muscular
and skeletal problems.
A vote of thanks was
given by Barbara Cock and Lynn judged the competition for a hand mirror
which was won by Moira Peden, 2nd Sylvia Linnett and 3rd
A record of the June
meeting was read by Barbara Cock who was acting secretary for the
evening. Barbara confirmed that a team had been entered for the Darts
The Newsletter was
then scanned through and 4 members said they would like to accept the
invitation to Warkworth WI meeting on 2nd Sep and 7 members
and visitors would like to attend the History Walk and Tea in Warkworth
on 5th August.
Members were asked to
bring their entries for the Warkworth Show to the August meeting.
The meeting closed
with the raffle and tea & cake provided by Mary.
The next meeting on
12th August will be “PLAN Supporting Girls Education” by
Martyn Tuckwell and the competition is for A School Photo.
9TH JUNE 2014
Sylvia welcomed 12
members and then introduced Carol Gorman from the Send a Cow charity.
Carol gave a very
informative talk about the early days of the idea to send cows to
Africa, which actually involved sending 15 pregnant cows by air! This
has developed into a tried and tested system of helping groups of men
and women to form co-operatives, monitored over a period of 5 years to
own cows, goats and chickens for the good of the whole group. They are
taught simple agricultural ideas using bags and very little soil to grow
food to feed themselves and to sell any surplus.
A vote of thanks was
given by Wilma Nicoll and Carol judged our competition for a milk jug
which was won by Moira Peden; 2nd Isabella Telford and 3rd
Mary Guy. A record of the last meeting was read by stand-in Secretary,
Barbara Cock. Thanks were extended to all members who contributed to
our Savoury Stall at the recent Table Top Sale when £106 was made for
was dealt with as listed by June Barras and the Northumberland News was
It was decided to
enter a team in the forthcoming Darts Competition but not the dominoes.
Two members showed an interest in the Pop-Up Coffee shop in Glanton on 5th
July. Sylvia mentioned that invites had been sent to local WI’s for our
ABC event on 27th September. Copies of the recipe for our
entry in Warkworth Show were distributed.
reported that our financial standing is now on firm ground following
various fund-raising activities.
The meeting closed
with the raffle followed by a welcome cup of tea and biscuit.
Next meeting is on 8th
July when the speaker will be Lynn Sellik talking on Holistic Beauty.
The competition is for a hand-mirror.
13th MAY 2014
Wright gave us all an illuminating and humorous presentation on the
making of hanging baskets. There are a number of unusual
baskets/containers that can hold a large variety of plants and Doreen
brought several of them along to show us. These included the usual
round baskets but also flower pouches; boots; cans; drawers and trays.
She also displayed many types of liners that can retain water. Several
of us were not aware that sphagnum moss is actually a medicinal plant
with penicillin properties.
Doreen showed us the easiest way to plant our hangars to ensure that
they stayed firm in the holder/container and give a good display. The
use of variegated foliage amongst plants tended to give depth to a
display. It is amazing how many plants can actually fit in any
container. Of course, she said that although the majority of people
used flowers they could also contain strawberries and trailing tomatoes
along with herbs pointing out that some vegetables can also be planted
up alongside flowers in ground containers.
There followed a short questions and answer session before the
appreciation was given by Barbara King.
The business part of the meeting followed with a welcome cup of tea and
biscuits. The Northumberland News was gone through listing the various
activities that may be of interest to members.
The resolution of ‘Organ Donation’ was discussed and carried
Sylvia Linnett, President, suggested an outing in July to Lilburn Towers
and mentioned that the Warkworth Village Choir was putting on a concert
on 2nd June in Warkworth Memorial Hall.
June Barras, Secretary, reminded members about the savoury food table we
are doing at the coming ACT Table Top Sale on 24th June and
passed a list round asking if they could indicate what they would be
bringing and bring them along at 9.30am on the day.
Sylvia congratulated the quiz team in coming out 4th of 13
teams at the recent finals. We were also told that a ballot had had to
be held for the Car Treasure Hunt as it had been oversubscribed and
unfortunately we were not successful.
Doreen judged the competition of a sprig of flowers and Wilma Nicoll
came first followed by Isabella Telford and then Mary Guy.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 10th June in the village
hall at 7.15pm with a talk about the charity ‘Send a Cow’
8TH APRIL 2014
speaker for the April meeting was Ailsa Standring talking all about
nearly everyone’s favourite subject and at an appropriate time of year
“Chocoholics”. Ailsa had brought along an amazing array of white, milk
& dark chocolates for children, ladies and gentlemen, all very
appealing. Ailsa has been a distributor for a family run business,
‘Chocolates for Chocoholics’, which is based in Reading for 2 years.
She visits many trade fairs including Europe.
To tease us all she
sent round an assortment of chocolates; salted caramel, Mississippi Mud
Pie, chocolate cupcakes and white chocolate covered strawberry whilst
showing us youngsters chocolates shaped in rabbits, footballs and
stars. The adult’s chocolates were half chocolate shells containing
various chocolates. Ailsa also catered for other special occasions like
Christmas, Mother’s and Father’s Days. We were all then handed round a
blank piece of paper and a pen and told to close our eyes and draw what
she told us to. The end results caused a lot of laughter at our mish-mash
attempts. Then we had a quiz followed by a ‘Snatch’ raffle of chocolate
duckling, chocolate football star and a box of jellies. The eventual
winners were Jean McDougall, Doreen Colbourne and Kath Gregor. Margaret
Hammond gave the appreciation which was followed by Ailsa letting
everyone have a good look at what she does and taking some orders.
The business part of
the meeting followed tea and chocolate cake donated by Moira Peden.
There is a lot going on at Cresswell House which is mentioned in the
Northumberland News and a printed out list. Our own Institute discussed
the entries for Warkworth Show (Plum & Apple Jam
made to a given recipe), participation in Felton’s Car Treasure Hunt on
16th May, visit to Shilbottle WI for the subject of
‘Butchery’ and an invitation to local WI’s in September.
Congratulations were given to the quiz team (Barbara Cock, Wilma Nicoll,
Moira Peden & Sylvia Linnett) who won the Federation Regional Quiz Heat
and now go on to the Finals at Stannington on 1st May. The
Bowls Club (June Barras, Janet Bell, Barbara Cock & Margaret Hammond)
were also congratulated on coming second to Stamfordham by a whisker in
the Federation’s Bowls competition finals.
The winners of the
‘decorated egg’ competition, judged by Ailsa, were Isabella Telford,
Mary Guy and Sylvia Linnett.
Our next meeting on
13th May will be a resolutions discussion followed by a
demonstration of making Hanging Baskets.
11TH MARCH 2014
There was no business
meeting this month as the Institute celebrated their 92nd
Birthday with a meal out at The Old Storehouse at Amble. The majority
of members were able to attend and The Old Storehouse really excelled
with their layout of the tables, hospitality and food. As usual, there
was a lot of chatting going on and the members certainly enjoyed
After everyone had
finished their meals it was time for the distribution of mystery
birthday presents each member had purchased and wrapped beautifully.
Considering the maximum anyone was advised to pay was £4 there were some
really nice gifts. The Secretary and President ensured that no-one
received the gift they had brought with them.
It was a really happy
Institute that left that evening, still chatting away.
The next meeting is
on Tuesday 8th April at 7.15pm in Acklington Village Hall and
the speaker will be Ailsa Standring talking about ‘Chocoholics’. The
competition is for a Decorated Egg.
11TH FEBRUARY 2014
Robert (Rob) Colgrave
gave an extremely interesting talk and short slide shows about The Great
North Air ambulance Service. He explained that he was one of many
people involved with fund-raising for this wonderful and indispensable
charity. In 2010 the GNAAS added 3 of their own new helicopters; they
reach speeds of 200mph, to the fleet which is currently based at Durham
Tees Valley Airport and Cumbria. It takes approximately £1,000,000 each
year to keep these helicopters equipped and in the air. Rob showed
several very short DVD’s with survivors stories; how fund-raising is
run; previous backgrounds of all helicopter staff and what their
particular role is. Rob is certainly a good advocate for the GNAAS and
several members expressed their interest in joining the GNAAS Lottery.
There followed a question & answer session and Rob was then warmly
thanked by Sue Straughan.
Sylvia Linnett had
previously opened the meeting by quickly going through the Newsletter.
Sylvia gave an overview of the menu for The Old Store House restaurant
in Amble and asked if members were agreeable to her making a booking for
next month for 7.30pm. Everyone agreed. June Barras then went through
the correspondence and highlighted various events and invitations.
The competition for a
First Aid Tip was judged by Rob with 1st Moira Peden; 2nd
Barbara Cock and 3rd Barbara King.
14th JANUARY 2014
The meeting started
off with a review of the Christmas Party by The President (Sylvia
Linnett). Everyone agreed that the buffet supplied by The Running Fox
was lovely and substantial. The Linden Singers were appreciated by
all. Sylvia said that the gift of a Bud Vase for June Pirie in
recognition of her continuous 25 years as secretary had been given to a
very surprised June. The events list was gone through made easier with
the printed list our secretary (June Barras) had given to all members.
A reminder was given that annual subs, including payment for the WI
Northumberland Newsletter, were due this month and can be given to
Barbara Cock. The secretary had enquired with Creswell House about the
Reading Aloud competition but no information was yet available. A
quarterly accounts statement was given by the treasurer. Members were
informed that the committee had suggested a Soup & Sarnie fund raising
event, date and venue to be confirmed, and asked if everyone agreed,
which they did. Enquiries had been made about having our Birthday
Dinner in March at The Northumberland Arms in Felton, no definite
decision had yet been made but members were asked to consider this
introduced Valerie Tyler who told us all about Being a Councillor. It
was obvious that Valerie thoroughly enjoyed being a councillor and to
that end put in very long days to achieve her aims for her
constituency. Being a busy lady, Valerie also said she looked after her
6 grandchildren and also ran a playgroup in Bedlington. Valerie said
she meets some amazing people (including Robson Greene and Colin Firth)
during her days particularly as her main forte is families and children
although she has a diverse range of other involvements within the
community including prison and mobile libraries. Sylvia gave the
appreciation commenting she felt exhausted just listening to her hectic
daily schedule. Although Valerie had to be at a meeting for 0845 the
next morning she made time to sit with us all for a cuppa & biscuit and
chatted away quite happily with everyone.
The competition for a
Christmas card was won by Sylvia with Linda Aston 2nd and
Moira Peden 3rd.
The Great North Air
Ambulance Service will give us a talk at our next meeting at 7.15pm in
Acklington Village Hall where visitors and potential new members will be
made very welcome.
10TH DECEMBER 2013
The welcoming drinks as members came in heralded
the start of our Christmas Party Night being entertained by The Linden
Singers. For 5 singers and one organist they filled our large hall with
repertoires from Musicals, Christmas Songs finishing with traditional
Christmas Carols. Members could be seen swaying to the well-known songs
and some even quietly joining in. Everybody was encouraged to sing
along to the carols, which they did. Sylvia Linnett (President) gave a
very deserving appreciation for the wonderful night of music and song.
This was followed by a very substantial, varied and
enjoyable buffet which had been provided by The Running Fox in Felton.
After everybody had had their fill there was plenty left for ‘doggy
Sue Straughan had made up a magnificent large
hamper of a large variety of Christmas goodies which she raffled for WI
funds raising a grand total of £145 which will certainly help to pay for
some of our speakers.
The Linden Singers judged the competition for a
Party Hat. They were displayed on tables so the singers didn’t know who
had made which hat. The result was first Sylvia Linnett; 2nd
Sue Straughan and 3rd Barbara Cock.
The next meeting will be at 7.15pm in Acklington
Village Hall on Tuesday 14th January 2014 when the talk will
be by Valerie Tyler on ‘Being a Councillor’. We welcome potential new
members and guests.
12TH NOVEMBER 2013
President Sylvia Linnett welcomed everyone to the meeting, making
special mention of new members Mary Guy, Sue Straughan, Janet Leonard
and two guests. It was held for the first time in the Guyzance Room,
the new extension to the Village Hall.
The roles and responsibilities of the new committee were outlined to
members and plans for future fundraisers were covered, these include a
special raffle, a cheese and wine event in February, and a Soup &
Sandwich Lunch later in 2014.
After the business meeting, Sylvia welcomed back Kathleen and Harry
Gilbert, whose topic was entitled “Awesome in New Zealand”. Their
presentation certainly lived up to its title, as they proceeded to take
us on a tour through this antipodean country by means of stunning
photographs enhanced by a congenial musical accompaniment. Kathleen
provided the narration, giving a fascinating account of their travels
there. Their talk evoked memories for many members who had travelled to
this beautiful and diverse country. Sylvia gave the vote of thanks,
expressing the appreciation of us all.
The competition for a “A Holiday Souvenir” was won by Mary Guy, 2nd
Wilma Nicoll, and 3rd Moira Peden.
The next meeting is our Christmas Party on 10th December,
with catering by The Running Fox and seasonal music from The Linden
Singers. The competition is for a Homemade Christmas Party Hat.
The evening ended with light refreshments.
Sylvia Linnett and June Barras
8TH OCTOBER 2013
Two new members joined the meeting, Mary Guy and Janet. President,
Flora Steele, opened the meeting by welcoming all members and Women’s
Institute Advisor, Alison Strong.
The record of the last meeting was read and members perused the
Northumberland News. After a review of correspondence the Financial
Report was agreed and an auditor appointed for 2014.
The Annual Report was read, followed by Flora’s President’s Address.
Flora thanked each committee member for their contribution over the
previous year then stated her intention to stand down from the
committee. June Pirie expressed her intention to stand down as
Secretary after 25 years of continuous service in this role.
Alison thanked Flora for her year as President and June Pirie for her
remarkably long service as Secretary, and complimented Barbara Cock on
the high standard of the Financial Report. The low level of funds was
of particular concern. However, Alison advised the Institute to make a
concerted effort to raise funds in the coming year. The recruitment of
new members should be a priority.
June Barras, Barbara Cock, Barbara King (in absentia), Moira Peden and
Sylvia Linnett had expressed willingness to serve on the committee and
were appointed. The ballot for a new President was conducted by Alison
and Sylvia Linnett was elected. June Barras was appointed Secretary and
Barbara Cock agreed to continue as Treasurer. New member Mary was
co-opted into the committee.
Janet Bell awarded prizes for the most points over the last year from
monthly competitions as follows: 1st Barbara Cock, 2nd
Linda Aston and 3rd Moira Peden.
Alison Strong judged the October competition for an ‘Autumnal
Photograph’ and awarded 1st Mary Guy, 2nd Janet
Bell and 3rd Moira Peden.
Members were reminded that the speakers at our next meeting in
Acklington Village Hall on 12th November at 7.15pm are Mr &
Mrs Gilbert, presenting “Awesome in New Zealand”, at which guests are
most welcome. The competition is A Holiday Souvenir.
Following the business of the meeting, light refreshments were served.
Visit to Spurrelli's
Ice Cream Parlour in Amble
13th AUGUST 2013
Flora Steele welcomed
everyone and particularly two potential new members and one visitor.
There was a very short business meeting in August. Items raised were
fund raising and this had already started with a book stall and
greetings cards/wrapping paper for sale. Two other suggestions were
made – give everyone an envelope and ask them to put as much as they
could in (anonymously) and use speakers within the Institute to save on
fees. Where no fee is asked for by a speaker it was thought appropriate
to give a small token gift. A draw was made for the two lucky members
to attend the Warkworth Open Evening on 1st October and they
are Sylvia Linnett and Janet Bell.
June Pirie had thoughtfully made up a list of
forthcoming events and everyone was given a copy.
imaginative and beautiful glass hangings that seven members had made on
1st August were on display for all to see. From left to
right they were made by – Sylvia Linnett; Margaret Hammond; Janet Bell;
Isabella Telford; Barbara Cock; Flora Steele and Audrey Thurgood.
then started her demonstration on Papercraft. She had done all the hard
preparatory work for us in making and decorating small pizza type boxes
and all we had to do was assemble them – easier said than done. It was
a thoroughly enjoyable evening and the end results were amazing with
every box completely different. June Pirie gave the appreciation on
behalf of all those present. Margaret judged the winners as Sue
Straughan; June Smailes and June Pirie.
Our next meeting will
be on 10th September with a visit to Spurreli’s Ice Cream
Parlour in Amble.
9TH JULY 2013
Isn’t amazing what
you can do with so called ‘rubbish’ found on our beaches? Diane
Stewartson certainly had her entrepreneurial head on when she spotted
some lovely pieces of smooth glass
amongst the stones and sand on the North East beaches. Collecting what
she found she decided to make some unique jewellery, just to see what it
looked like. Her friends liked it that she made more and more and was
soon selling to other people. It took her 3 years but Diane is now
fully self-employed with her own business called ‘Seaglass Jewellery’.
Each piece is unique
as Diane makes everything by hand. She will also make bespoke pieces
i.e. tiaras and cufflinks, usually for weddings and birthdays. She only
selects smooth pieces of glass and had to work out how to keep the glass
in the wire. Spiralling was to be her answer and now each piece has a
small spiral somewhere on her jewellery. She then went on to teach
herself how to drill holes through the fine pieces of glass and to make
ridges around the edges, by holding it underwater, to wire glass
firmly. She then went on to using Sterling Silver holders, ear wires
and catches using different gauges of silver. There was a very good
selection for us all to see and, if we wished, to purchase.
The glass comes from
debris thrown into the sea and can take well over a hundred years for
the glass to be worn so smoothly. Diane went on to explain how each
piece of coloured glass could be dated and from what it may originally
have been used for from the closure of industries along the North East
Coast, the public or thrown overboard. Glass can come from perfume
bottles, drinks bottle, medicines, toy marbles, cod marbles and
Victorian rolling pins.
Moira Peden gave the
appreciation for an extremely interesting talk and thanked Diane for
bringing so many pieces along for us all to see.
Prior to Diane’s
talk, there were no matters arising when Flora Steele asked if anybody
had anything to raise as there was no newsletter this month. June Pirie
said the only piece of correspondence was an invite for 2 people to
attend their meeting on 1st October. The Acklington entry
for the Warkworth Show would be the boxes made at the next meeting on 13th
The competition for A
Seasonal Flower was won by Sylvia Linnett for her double pink rose; 2nd
Flora Steele’s white delphinium and 3rd Barbara Cock for her very red
11th JUNE 2013
Flora Steele opened
the meeting and went through the Newsletter. Hilary Robson (Federation
Chairman) threw out a request to all Institutes asking if they could
suggest a challenge for her this year. After several topics it was
decided to challenge Hilary to learn to ‘Sign’, a suggestion made by
invited anyone who would like to attend their meeting on 18th
July and Brizlee invited 4-5 to their meeting on 16th July.
Both have very interesting speakers. A lengthy debate ensued on how we
could raise money to boost our funds. A lot of suggestions were made
and these will be looked at in more detail at the next committee
meeting. The secretary will send round a list during supper for those
who would like to take advantage of the many opportunities available.
Peter Weighell (Firefighter)
had everyone roaring with laughter as he spoke to us about his life as a
firefighter. A far cry from the expected fire safety talk we expected,
although that did come at the end. His first question was “Why are fire
engines red?” He then related a string of anecdotes ranging from how
many persons were on board ending up with Russians. You will have to
listen to his talk to hear the mind boggling saga. He told us about
the many jokes played on colleagues, mainly to the new ones, including
himself and some of the tricky situations he had to deal with and
humorous incidents attended to. Peter certainly intended to give us the
lighter side of the life of a fire fighter, which he did exceptionally
well. I don’t think many of us had laughed so much for a long time. He
is definitely worth inviting to give a talk to any meeting. Barbara
Cock gave a very well deserved appreciation.
The competition for a
kitchen utensil beginning with ‘F’ was won by Moira Peden, followed by
Wilma Nicoll and Margaret Hammond.
Our next meeting is
on Tuesday 9th July at 7.15pm when Diane Stewartson will tell
us all bout Seaglass Jewellery. The competition will be for ‘One
Seasonal Fresh Flower’. All visitors and potential new members are
welcome to join us.
14 MAY 2013
There was no speaker at the May meeting as it was Resolutions Night.
There was a lot of discussion regarding the proposal of ‘The Decline of
our High Streets’. Living in a rural village we looked at and discussed
the High Streets/Shopping facilities in Amble, Alnwick, Morpeth,
Ashington and Newcastle. The conclusion was that, the majority of
members tended to visit Morpeth and Newcastle if they wanted to look at
furniture, electrical and shoes/clothing along with these areas also
being pedestrianised. All other areas had a good variety of food shops
but sometimes this was not enough. It was also noted that there seemed
to be a growing number of empty shops. High rents along with
responsibility by Councils, Landlords and the public could be a
report on the Spring Council meeting at Alnwick Playhouse was given by
Flora Steele (President) who said it was a very informative, enjoyable
and humorous day and well attended by many Institutes. 2 Bursaries for
£250 were on offer within the Northumberland Federation in remembrance
of Heather Abrahams and Margaret Clemenson which could be used for
Denman College or anywhere within the UK.
Tyne River Cruise from the Quayside to the Countryside was the most
popular choice and it was suggested that this could also be opened to
Partners and other Institutes locally.
few had put their names down for the Helen Grierson Working with Glass
workshop and a date was to be decided for a Saturday between June and
Barbara Cock informed us about the recent Archives days she had been to
at Woodhorn and Cresswell House and how all members could assist with
providing material, particularly from many years ago, and, if possible,
to include names of people on photographs. Barbara was very keen that
we should let her have any material we have.
The Reading Aloud Team gave a competition style performance of their
readings for the forthcoming finals. The finals were held at
Stannington Village Hall on 16 May and both the Spoken Word Group and
the Choral Team were placed second, which is an excellent result.
The team were June Barras, Sylvia Linnett, Doreen Colbourne, Wilma
Nicoll, Moira Peden and Barbara King.
The competition for a poem about the Decline of High Streets was won by
Linda Aston with Barbara Cock second and Moira Peden third.
The subject for next months meeting on Tuesday 11 June is ‘Amazing
stories on the Fire Service’ presented by Peter Weighill. The meeting
starts at 7.15pm in the main hall and all visitors, potential members
are very welcome to come along.
9 APRIL 2013
accompanied by her Mother Tricia Sainsbury, put on a really colourful
display of their wonderful and exciting items, including many types of
bags, scarves, mirror compacts and more, made from various types of
Anya explained that
this was a local enterprise, growing family business going back
generations and gave us a brief insight into the history of silk.
Surprisingly, there were many different types of silks not all made by
the Mulberry Silk Worm. Some are from insects i.e. spiders and some
from natural protein. It was first discovered in hair in around 1070BC
in the hair of an Egyptian Mummy found in China and produced secretly.
Anya told us that silk was extremely warm and has insulating properties
making it keep us cool in summer and warm in winter. Silk is also
exported via the Fairtrade network has a very strict route to go
Silks has its own on-line shop
also provides various items to Doxford Hall, Linden Hall, Matfen Hall,
Redworth Hall, The Sage and other strategic places open to the public.
Anya finished her talk with a short poem she had written herself.
Appreciation was given by Margaret Hammond.
Flora very warmly
thanked all those who had organized the Birthday Meal at the Widdrington
Arms in March. The business meeting talked about various events planned
and items from the Newsletter and the WI Life Magazine including the
poetry competition. The entry for the Warkworth Show on 17th
August will be boxes made at the August meeting.
The competition for a
pretty bag was won by Margaret Hammond, 2nd June Pirie and 3rd
The next meeting will
be the Resolutions on Tuesday 7th May at 7.15pm in Acklington
Village Hall and the competition is a poem about the resolutions. The
Reading Aloud Team will give a full dress rehearsal of their entries for
the finals to be held in Stannington Village on 9th May.
Some of the members said they would like to come along to support the
team on 9th May at Stannington.
12 MARCH 2013
An exceptional meal was held at The Widdrington
Arms on March 11th for the 91st Birthday
anniversary of the Institute. The majority of members were able to
attend so there was lots of chatting and giggling coming from the dining
room. The evening concluded with exchange of gifts with some very
imaginative and beautifully wrapped presents. There was no business
meeting this month.
The Institutes Reading Aloud groups came through
the heats at Brunton Park and now go in to the finals to be held at
Stannington on 16 May. There was the three person team consisting of
Wilma Nicoll reading the poem set by the Federation (Letter in November
by Sylvia Plath); Barbara King reading her own choice poem (Always Have
Your Head In The Clouds by Margaret A Mattinson) and June Barras
reciting a previously unseen piece from ‘The Doll’s House’ by Katherine
Mansfield and the Choral Group of the above three plus Moira Peden;
Sylvia Linnett and Doreen Colbourne performing ‘The Three Little Pigs’
by Roald Dahl. It was a great and delightful surprise to hear that both
groups had made it to the final.
12 FEBRUARY 2013
After welcoming us
all, our President Flora Steele highlighted the most relevant points of
our Northumberland News.
Forthcoming events in
which members plan to participate are the heats for the Federation Quiz
and the Reading Aloud events, the Spring Council Meeting, Carpet Bowls
and, ‘Down Your Way – Flodden 500’ (guests welcome).
The 2013 WI
Membership Booklets were distributed, including our membership cards and
a host of money-saving vouchers.
Having conducted the
business fairly briskly we were able to move on to our guest speaker for
In a relaxed,
informal style, Helen Grierson told us that she had been a ‘straight As’
art student throughout school and university. Helen taught at Primary
level in London when she qualified, where she met her husband and
started a family. Throughout her teaching years she maintained her
involvement in practical art through evening classes. When she moved to
the North-East as a supply teacher, Helen joined the Artists’ Network,
which is part of The Art Tour. After sharing studio space in Allendale
and The Biscuit Factory, Helen began to receive commissions for her
A1 Glass Studio
Workshops at Eshott Heugh
www.a1glassstudio.co.uk is where Helen is now based. She explained
the differences between working with cold glass (such as stained glass),
warm glass (moulding and combining) and hot glass (blowing). Helen
works with the first two types and brought along some beautiful examples
of both in various shapes and sizes. Her presentation showed us
numerous beautiful examples of commissions, many of which had a local
theme or were specific requests. Restoration work, bespoke door panels,
coasters, garden screens, and even scenic windows to screen unsightly
views were all included. Several of our members were so inspired that
they have expressed an interest in taking part in one of Helen’s
Moira Peden expressed
our appreciation to Helen on behalf of the membership for a most
enjoyable and informative talk.
competition was for a ‘Decorative Piece of Glass’, which Helen was kind
enough to judge. 1st prize went to Barbara Cock, 2nd
was Doreen Colbourne, and 3rd Linda Aston, then Helen joined
us as our guest for a most enjoyable pooled supper.
The March meeting is
our 91st Birthday Celebration
Dinner at The Widdrington Arms. Members are to meet there at 6:30 for
7p.m.on Tuesday 12th March. The April meeting will be back
in Acklington Village Hall on 9th April, and all visitors are
welcome. The guest speaker is Trisha from ‘Satins and Silks’.
8TH JANUARY 2013
Neville Tulip, local resident and speaker for the evening, is the baker
and co-owner at The Running Fox (previously The Cheviot café) in
Felton. He started by giving us a brief history of his life. From a
very young age he watched and helped his mother who was a great pastry
cook but never made bread. It gave him the passion to cook and says, as
far as he can remember, he always wanted to be baker. After 5 years in
college he mainly worked in the Cumbria region until he found a
lucrative position at the Dorchester in London. However, that didn’t
last long as there was no scope for his passion of artisan breads but
was a superb place to hone his bakery skills in other departments. He
found a position in Switzerland and went on to learn more about his
speciality of sour dough (natural) breads. These breads are good for
people who have some
intolerances i.e. gluten and the process can take anything from 12 to 48
hours. One day, out of the blue, he got a ‘phone call from Chris, a lady
he knew but hadn’t spoken to in a very long time, asking if he was
interested in opening a café with her. They both took over what was
then called the Cheviot Café in Felton and, after listening to the local
population, returned it to The Running Fox. After long hard hours they
finally opened and The Running Fox is a very successful café today. He
spoke of plans to extend and improve the range for which planning
application has already been made. Ingrid March gave the appreciation
and then several of us tried some of the breads he had brought, along
with cheeses supplied by Sylvia Linnett, making the pooled supper
was very little business to go through as no newsletter and Cresswell
House closed for modernisation. The secretary had drawn up a list of
events and asked those interested to put their name down during the
The competition for 3 savoury scones was judged by Neville and he placed
Moira Peden first; Barbara King second; Barbara Cock third.
The next meeting is on Tuesday 12th February at 7.15pm when
the speaker will be Helen Grierson talking about Glass Craft.
All visitors welcome.
11th DECEMBER 2012
Tonight was Christmas Party Night.
The committee arrived early and set up the Village Hall ready
for the other members who began to arrive and were immediately served
with a pre-dinner aperitif. The hall had previously been decorated
by members of the community and gave a real Christmassy atmosphere.
Members placed their hand-made Christmas crackers around the tables
which helped to dress the tables even further.
Pride of place was taken with the wonderful WI Christmas Tree which was
decorated with hand-made items from several of the members and then
Sylvia Linnet, assisted by Isabella Telford, had dressed the tree
magnificently. The WI tree had also gained first place in the
recent Village's Christmas Tree Festival. Flora gave thanks on
behalf of the Institute for their imaginative work.
The spread, both savoury and sweet, was provided by the committee and
what a sumptuous gastronomic delight it was. Many of the dishes
were home-made and looked, and even more, tasted delightful. Most
were groaning "I'll be glad when I've had enough!"
Wilma Nicoll stood up and thanked the committee for all their hard work
and wonderful spread for the supper.
The judging for the best Christmas cracker was no easy feat as a lot of
hard work and imagination had gone into them. However, the winners
were declared as June Pirie; Linda Aston and Flora Steele.
13th NOVEMBER 2012
Malcolm and Sue
Craven (Northumberland Pipers) gave us a very interesting evening with
the history of the Northumberland Pipes, including exhibits of various
pipes from earlier days. Their music varied from the 1300’s to the
present day with both local and various variations from other localities
outside Northumberland. It was interesting to learn that the pipes only
actually play with 8 notes. A very worthy and heart-warming
appreciation was given by Sylvia Linnett who herself is very musical
belong to the Beaconsfield Choral Society in Blyth.
Flora Steele opened
her very first meeting as President and briefly went through business
matters including a Beetle Drive; Capet Bowls; Christmas Craft Fair at
Heighley Gate on 7 & 8 Dec and the forthcoming Reading Aloud competition
which we hope to enter a full team for. Flora will be going to the
Warkworth 90th Birthday Celebrations. Replies had been
received from both Sir Alan Beith and 2 from Morrison’s regarding the
current debate on the price of milk. Correspondence included a survey we had to complete regarding suggested
requirements for Denman College and how money could be saved. Members
were informed of how the committees responsibilities are now allocated.
followed regarding the Institutes Christmas Party on 11 Dec and it was
decided that the committee would do a soup and cold buffet/sweet and all
agreed to contribute £5 each with any surplus going into WI Funds. A
selection of old time board games would be brought along by members
reminiscent of our child hood days. The competition will be a home-made
Christmas cracker made by each member which would be used as table
decorations. Barbara Cock asked that our Institute took part in the
forthcoming ACT Christmas Tree Festival to be held on 9 Dec. This was
greeted with enthusiasm and Sylvia Linnett volunteered to be the
The winners of the
competition for a kitchen item beginning with ‘E’ were Barbara King;
Jean Shaw and Moira Peden.
9 OCTOBER 2012
Barbara Cock, President, welcomed members to the annual meeting of
Apologies were received from those unable to attend, and June Pirie,
Secretary gave a record of the previous meeting.
After the Newsletter had been read, and correspondence dealt with and
the financial report given, June Pirie gave the Annual Report – a good
time to reflect on all we had done in the last twelve months, and how
enjoyable it had all been, especially our 90th birthday
celebrations, when past members joined us for a lovely evening of
reminiscing, and with entertainment from Beaconsfield Operatic Society.
Barbara then introduced Brenda Houliston who is our W.I. Advisor.
Brenda gave a very informative talk, all of which was very interesting,
and she congratulated us on our website, and Barbara King was thanked
for her work in this regard.
A ballot of members was taken to appoint a new President, and Flora
Steele was chosen.
The competition – a Jar of Chutney - was judged by Brenda Houliston, and
the winners were: 1st - Barbara King; 2nd - Wilma
Nicoll; 3rd - Ingrid March
Our next meeting will be held on 13th November in Acklington
Village Hall with Susan Craven and the Northumberland Small Pipers
providing the entertainment for the evening. The meeting commences at
7.15pm and anyone wishing to come along will be made very welcome
11th SEPTEMBER 2012
President Acklington WI, welcomed members and 1 visitor to the September
During the business
meeting the Northumberland Newsletter was read, items of interest
discussed, and general correspondence dealt with.
introduced Laura Wilkinson of Rainbow Pottery Painting who had come
along to ‘draw out’ our artistic talents.
Laura gave us a brief
introduction to her art, she had brought along some items of pottery
which she had painted. They were absolutely stunning. Laura then went
on to demonstrate how to prepare the item to be painted, select the
appropriate type of brush, choose the colour and most importantly how to
put the brush- loaded with paint- on to the item to be painted. Laura’s
instructions were- with a splat, drag and flick- the results were
amazing. We were all daunted by the idea of having a go but it was great
fun, everyone really enjoyed the ‘hands on’ and some very stylish pieces
were created with the help of Laura and her assistant who answered our
many questions as we worked on our pots.
Laura kindly judged
our work, and awarded-
Laura gave a special
mention to Christine Boulby who used ‘the wheel’ to create her design.
We all enjoyed a
lovely supper, during which time an interesting discussion took place.
Next month is the
18th AUGUST 2013
Many congratulations to Doreen McTeer for
being awarded the top prize for a jar of home-made strawberry jam at the
Warkworth Show. The runner up was Isabella Telford. There
were quite a few entries so the judges must have had a very difficult,
but enjoyable, task.
14 AUGUST 2012
Barbara Cock, President of Acklington W I welcomed members to the
A very short business meeting was held –
Warkworth W I have kindly invited us to their September meeting, and
three of our members will attend.
Barbara then introduced Mrs Liz Finch who
is a volunteer with the National Trust and is based at Seaton Delaval, a
property which she obviously cares passionately about. Her talk,
assisted by slides was extremely interesting, giving very detailed
information about its chequered history.
The property came into the custody of the
National Trust in 2009, and was opened to the public in 2010.
There is an ongoing restoration programme
in place, and it is a very popular visitor attraction in this area.
Wilma Nicoll thanked Liz for her very
This was followed by a pooled supper which
we all enjoyed.
Liz kindly judged the competition, which
this month was for Your Oldest Item, and the winners were:-
1st Margaret Howie
2nd Margaret Hammond
3rd Linda Aston
The next meeting will be held in the
village hall on September 11th, beginning at 7.15pm, when we
will be doing Rainbow Pottery Painting with Laura Wilkinson. If you
would like to paint a pot, come along, buy a pot and paint it.
10 JULY 2012
On 27 June 14 members
visited Woodhorn Museum. After a lovely lunch in the Woodhorn café we
were taken ‘behind the scenes’ by Reg who gave us a very interesting
insight into the archive system. Although limited in space it is well
used with the latest sliding rack and file system housing all sorts from
magazines to banners and even carpets. These have all been donated by
various organisations, not necessarily to do with the mining community.
Everything is strictly controlled and all rooms are kept at various
heating and humidity depending upon what they contain. Everything is
brought in by one door and is then sorted through by a nominated
person. Every so often the displays in the museum are changed. If any
organisation, having donated their archives, wishes to look at anything
or add something to their collection it is easily arranged. The tour
lasted just over one hour and was extremely informative and interesting.
President of Acklington WI, welcomed members and visitors to the summer
meeting. During the business meeting a varied programme of interesting
events was discussed.
Our speaker for the
evening was Hazel Stephenson. The subject - ‘How I Wrote a Book’.
Hazel gave a very interesting and humorous account of how she got her
book into print. She gave a very descriptive account of how Land Girls
(n which her book is based) were treated by their employers and the
often primitive conditions in which they lived and worked. She was very
interesting and her talk was enjoyed by all. Barbara Cock gave the vote
During supper Barbara
Cock commented on the visit to Woodhorn and added that she would see
about having our own archives put into the care of Woodhorn Museum.
Barbara also added that she was compiling a portfolio of our 90th
Birthday and asked if anyone had any photos would they be willing to
donate them to be included in the portfolio.
The competition – an
Olympic Limerick was won by 1st Barbara Cock; 2nd
Wilma Nicoll and 3rd Moira Peden. Everyone who had entered
then shared their limericks with us.
The next meeting will
be held on Tuesday 14th August. The speaker will be Mrs Liz
Finch from Seaton Delaval Hall. If you would like to come along, the
meeting begins at 7.15 pm. All visitors are made very welcome.
12 JUNE 2012
CAKE MADE BY JUNE PIRIE
On Tuesday 12th June Acklington Women’s Institute celebrated their 90th
It was a lovely evening, present members welcoming past members and
guests from local Institutes with lots of memories being exchanged, all
made for a very happy occasion.
Everyone enjoyed a lovely buffet supper (supplied by Pottergate pantry)
followed by entertainment provided by Beaconsfield Operatic Society who
sang songs from musicals, James Bond themes plus many more finishing
with Jerusalem, Land of Hope & Glory, Rule Britannia and the National
Anthem with everyone joining in. It was a fitting end to a momentous
Moira Howie (past member) proposed a vote of thanks to Acklington WI and
thanked us on behalf of past members and present guests. Barbara Cock
thanked all who attended.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 10th July at 7.15pm. The
subject ‘How I wrote a book’ presented by Hazel Stephenson. Please come
along for an interesting evening, you will be made most welcome.
8 May 2012
President, Barbara Cock,
welcomed members to the May meting.
Felton WI invited us to
their June meeting and up to 6 members will attend. The forthcoming
visit to the Woodhorn Archives also proved very popular with many
members wishing to go.
Next month will be our 90th
Birthday Party with a buffet and entertainment.
The discussion of
resolution—More Midwives—proved to be a very interesting item. Two of
our members, who have family working as midwives, read out statements
from them highlighting the many facets and responsibilities they
face—both statements were very thought provoking and a unanimous YES
vote will be forwarded to Shilbottle WI, who will represent us at the
Our speaker for the evening
was Dawn who gave an extremely interesting talk about keeping bees. How
she started after visiting Warkworth Show among many others, and
attending courses with the Alnwick Bee Keeping Society. A very humorous
account on buying equipment, which ranges from protective suits to hives
and transport needed to take the hives to suitable locations followed.
Dawn spoke about the many different characteristics of the bees, their
behaviour and swarming patterns. Their first season brought in a bumper
crop of honey, which obviously gave great encouragement.
presentation it was obvious that she loves her bees and we all enjoyed
her talk enormously.
The next meeting on June
12th will be our 90th Birthday Celebrations, 6.30 p.m. for 7.00 p.m.
6 March & 10 April
March saw the majority of members enjoying
a wonderful meal at Amble’s Harbour Inn Guest House to celebrate the
Institute’s 90th Birthday. The meal was superb and the hospitality
second to none. Gifts were exchanged among participating members with a
few surprises at some of the imaginative and lovely gifts that were
bought. The highlight, and great surprise, of the evening was the hotel
staff parading in to the dining room with a beautifully decorated sponge
cake complete with a flaming beacon in the centre all singing Happy
Birthday to the members. A wonderful way to celebrate the Institute
reaching the grand age of 90.
The April meeting of Acklington W I was held in the village hall.
Apologises were received from Jean Shaw. There was a lengthy business
meeting covering many items from the Newsletter and various
correspondence received. President Barbara Cock reported back from the
Annual Spring Conference meeting held at the Playhouse in Whitely Bay.
During this meeting Acklington W I was presented with a framed
certificate to acknowledge our 90th birthday. Margaret Hammond, Moira
Peden and Wilma Nichol accompanied Barbara to the event.
The speaker for the evening was Sylvia Linnett, a member of our
Institute, who gave an excellent presentation and very interesting talk
about the charity ‘Sight Savers’ and the work that is being done in
parts of Asia, Africa, India and Bangladesh to eradicate cataracts,
river blindness and trachoma; all of which are easily treated at a very
small cost. Sylvia used the aid of a DVD and power point presentation to
demonstrate the amazing differences that could be made to children and
families affected by these terrible diseases. Barbara King gave the vote
The competition this month was for a spring flower posy. The winners
were 1st- Flora Steele/ 2nd- Janet Bell/ 3rd- Linda Aston.
In May, we will have the Resolution meeting.
14 FEBRUARY 2012
Our President, Barbara Cock, welcomed members to the
February meeting of Acklington Women’s Institute. Apologies were
received from June Barras, Barbara King, Audrey Thurgood, Jean Shaw and
There was a short business meeting during which the Newsletter was read
and various items discussed. Barbara Cock will be delegate at the
Annual Council meeting.
Our speakers for the evening were Mr & Mrs Gilbert who took us on a
magical tour of the Tamil Nadu region of Southern India – an area of
great contrasts – colourful, vibrant, noisy, tranquil and, in many
places, very poor. With the aid of a wonderful PowerPoint presentation,
they took us on a trip through this lovely landscape – wonderful
temples, many beautifully painted; the Oxen and Elephants transported us
to a different world, but a very interesting one.
At the end of the talk, Mrs Gilbert demonstrated the art of putting on a
Sari with the aid of a beautiful one she had purchased. The result was
After a short question and answer session, Moira Peden gave the vote of
thanks and we then enjoyed a lovely supper.
The competition for a holiday souvenir was won by – 1st
Barbara Cock; 2nd Ingrid March and 3rd Flora
Next month is our 90th Birthday Dinner where gifts will be
10 JANUARY 2012
Our first meeting of 2012 was opened by the President welcoming
members and eight guests, including five gentlemen, who had joined us to
hear a talk given by Dr. Paul Morrison RSPB warden for the Coquet
Island. Paul started by giving some of the history of the island which
is still owned by The Duke of Northumberland and leased to RSPB, with
slides showing the remains of a Monastery and cottages once occupied by
the families of the lighthouse keepers. This must have been a very hard
life as there is no fresh water on the island and even today it has to
be taken by boat from Amble. The lighthouse is now fully automated and
the only residents are RSPB wardens, volunteers and thousands of birds
during the nesting season. Slides showing the hard work needed to keep
the island in good shape for the birds, many extremely rare, and of
course the pictures of the birds themselves, gave some of us the
inspiration to brave the boat trip from Amble to view the manmade
terraces of puffin nest boxes for ourselves. A vote of thanks was given
by Isabella Telford.
This had followed the business part of the meeting when names were taken
for teams to the Indoor Bowls and The Federation Quiz both in March.
Following a delicious pooled supper Paul judged the competition for a
bird photo awarding 1st to Wilma Nicoll 2nd Moira Peden and 3rd Linda
The February meeting will be ‘Beyond Belief’ with Mr & Mrs Gilbert.
Visitors will be most welcome
18 MARCH 2011
ACTIVITIES ENJOYED BY MEMBERS.....
OCTOBER 2010 - WEAR A
HAT ANNUAL MEETING
JUNE 2010 - VISIT TO WHALTON MANOR
DECEMBER 2009 - WI PANTOMIME PUT
ON BY THE COMMITTEE
WRITTEN BY GRAHAM COCK WIFE OF OUR PRESIDENT BARBARA COCK
NOVEMBER 2009 - SUGAR CRAFT WITH INSTITUTE MEMBER MARGARET HAMMOND
TUESDAY 6TH OCTOBER 2009
"ACKLINGTON WOMEN'S INSTITUTE VISIT TO THE RNLI IN AMBLE
AUGUST 2009 - THE FINISHED 'IRIS-FOLDING' CARDS
Flora Steele won
the Iris Folding Card competition (middle card on front row) at the
RNLI AMBLE JULY 2009
wearing the full
offshore life jacket
2009 - Visit to
'Kaleidoscope', Paint Your Own Pottery, Morpeth
Pottery before glazing
Pottery after glazing
Visit to Sanofi Aventis on 10 February 2009 - Members and Researchers in