Like many WIs across the county our WI organised a coach to take us to the WI Craft Fair at the Alexandra Palace today. This was the second day of the exhibition and after a marvellous run up to London we arrived just as it opened so it was easy to walk around and find a coffee before getting down to the business of the day---buying craft items and looking for inspiration. Actually, it never became crowded which was a bit worrying. There was a good variety of stalls selling clothes, food and drink and promotional stands for travel firms offering holidays and outings. In the centre was the official WI area where we could talk to the members of the National Board of Trustees. There were also workshops and presentations on craft and cookery. However, I was not the only person who would have liked more stalls selling craft equipment and supplies. Very few were selling wools and fabrics, no skirt lengths nor frames nor patterns to inspire projects ---not even the WI knitting wools were on offer. We enjoyed our day and the weather helped us to appreciate the London skyline. Judging by the bags being loaded onto the bus for the return home we obviously spent money even if not quite how we had intended.
Four members from our WI attended the presentation afternoon to learn more about the resolutions that are going up to the NFWI Annual General Meeting in June at Liverpool. These were introduced to the audience so that they would be able to take the information back to their WIs to help decide on how to instruct their delegates to vote. Thelma Sackman introduced the Loneliness resolution and Graham White, the Bucks County Council Communicating Links Officer told us what was happening in our own area. We are fortunate locally on what is being done to alleviate loneliness but certainly there are many places where the inner cities are hardly covered at all: the smaller the community, the more chance there is of this problem coming to light but the prospect of financial cuts hangs over us all. This is a resolution on which WI members can work.
The resolution on the pollution of the seas by microfibres was presented by Hilary Haworth who will be taking it to Liverpool. It is a global problem and therefore the WI can only educate the public about it and pressurise the politicians and industrialists into doing something to reduce the damage already done and what is being done every day as we wash our synthetic clothes. We watched a very American cartoon presentation explaining the problem and Hilary concluded by singing an alternative version of the Gloria Gaynor hit song “I will survive” which would make a great battle cry for the WI.
Members from both the WIs in Winslow spent the day helping to serve drinks at the NHS blood donors’ session in the town today. In the evening, we were together again at the Chase Group Meeting when the talk was given by an auctioneer who told us tales about his experiences in antique salerooms. He had brought along various items for us to examine and talked about some of the extraordinary things he had had to value and sell in his showrooms. He also answered questions on how to approach the task of deciding how to bequeath our belongings. The reports from the WIs were entertaining as always and the meeting was well attended.
It is always a great relief when something that has been in the planning for months actually happens and is a success. Those were certainly the sentiments of the WI committee at the Murder Mystery Evening tonight. This was the return visit of the Lacey Green Players and the mood in the hall was very good but there proved to be very few gifted detectives among the audience. Maybe the fact that they had brought their own liquid refreshments clouded their thinking powers. We hope that the event made a good profit which is going to two local hospices, the Florence Nightingale and Willen.
One of the local WI members held another jigsaw coffee morning in aid of Adoption UK which the members supported well. Apparently, there is a surge of interest nationally in doing puzzles which is leading to a rise in sales in the shops and at charity shops too. The exercise is being promoted as a way of avoiding dementia and enjoying an evening’s entertainment fairly cheaply---what could be nicer than a warm room, a good light and a glass of wine and to find the one piece you have been searching for ages?