As lockdown continues Papworth WI members continue to give support to one another by way of emails, telephone calls, etc. particularly in respect of our members who are vulnerable and live alone. We have been sent uplifting words and a yoga class which is most calming and uplifting at this time. Weekly ‘brain teaser’ quizes sent round to all the members with the occasional joke to keep the grey cells working. Weekly Zoom meetings of the choir so that we can continue to rehearse and get a chance of a brief face-to-face chat. Wonderful birthday cards made by one of our members who is sending beautiful hand-made cards to those who are vulnerable and live alone with a ‘thinking’ of you message. We are holding our THIRD Zoom Committee Meeting on Tuesday to enable us to discuss ways of continuing to help members and the community at this time. Many other members continue knitting, crocheting etc to help the community.
To celebrate VE Day many of us organised afternoon and evening ‘picnics’ on their front gardens so that they could chat across the 2 metres or so to their neighbours. This was a most enjoyable afternoon to commemorate the end of the 2nd World War. The photographs show celebrations of VE Day and a lovely photograph of our eldest member Ruth, now in her 92nd year enjoying a celebration drink and chat – gin and tonic being her favourite tipple!! with two of our members who continue to ensure she is not alone.
We started February with our usual monthly lunch, this time at The Three Horseshoes in Graveley. Our lunches are a great way of getting together giving us a chance to chat, catch up and get to know each other more with many a laugh and joke!
Our speaker this month was Helen Tilley who is a bespoke self-taught milliner. Helen brought along an amazing selection of hats that she has made all by hand at her home. Helen explained how she started out after she purchased a hat from a store which started to fall apart! She decided to make her own and found she really enjoyed it. She went on to purchase the wooden hat makers moulds for the crown of the hat, she described the various materials that can be used to make the hats ranging from very expensive to a more reasonable price and how she goes about making and decorating the hats. She has attended various courses both locally and in London and currently makes around 300 hats per year. Helen makes all the silk flowers by hand and also dyes feathers and fabric to decorate the hats. Helen also offers a service to update existing hats adding her own hand-made flowers, or home-dyed feathers and various ribbons and beads. No two hats made by Helen are the same. Following such an interesting talk, Helen invited the ladies up to try on different hats – all shapes and sizes – there was a hat to suit everyone and lots of laughs to go with them. Helen works closely with Cream Rose in Fenstanton who sell special occasion wear.
Here are some of the hats worn by our ladies and Helen of course:
Many of us are looking forward to a theatre trip on 7th March to the Milton Keynes Theatre to see The King and I preceded of course by a spot of lunch!
Our March meeting will be our Annual General Meeting for members.
It was good to see all our friends again at our January meeting following the Christmas break. Our speaker, Dr Andrew Bladon, gave an excellent, informative and enthusiastic talk on 5 Ways to Protect Wildlife in our gardens, and the community, from hedgehogs, birds and bees to plants and wildflowers.
Andrew who is a Postdoctoral Research Associate based in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge is passionate about wildlife and encouraged all of us to do our best to protect it at a time when road building, and house building generally is seeing wildlife habitats destroyed at an alarming rate. Andrew suggested a good way for us all to get involved is to join our local Wildlife Trust and support them in the work they do to preserve our native species of wildlife and who can bring pressure to bear on governing bodies to ensure everything possible is done to protect our wildlife. Andrew went on to talk about ways forward in helping towards the rapidly increasing global warming by ways of recycling, eating more plant based foods etc. He is also strongly opposed to the proposed HS2 project which will see an enormous amount of wildlife across the countryside lost.
Our lunch this month was held at the ever popular Wheatsheaf at Perry – enjoyed by all as always.
We would love to see new faces and members at our meetings which are held every third Wednesday throughout the year at The Studio, apart from August. Please do come along and give it a try – we are a great fun group of ladies and you can be assured of a very warm welcome.
Marian Leaper lead us into a fantasy world when she told magical and mysterious stories, inspired by her late Mother’s stories when she was a child, including fairies,colours and ”the cat in the kitchen’. Marian puts her amazing storytelling skills down to her past teaching profession, but mostly memories of her Mother’s most wonderful stories.
Remembrance Sunday To commemorate the centenary of the First World War wreaths were laid at Peter’s Church in Papworth including a wreath on behalf of Papworth Everard WI laid by our member Jenny Wilson. This was followed with a parade down to the Village Hall for the 11 o’clock for a very moving memorial service.
It is hoped that a Remembrance Parade will take place each year in the future.
This month lunch was enjoyed by many at the Waresley Garden Centre in Waresley,followed by a little early xmas shopping!
Julia Payne was an English/Russian translator during the Cold War years and for our May meeting she gave a fascinating talk on her work and experiences. She clarified how the Cold War started and with the aid of excellent visual aids and interesting anecdotes we learnt how the various sectors apportioned out the City of Berlin and the affect this had locally and politically. Despite this, Julia feels that it in some ways it was a safer climate then as the countries involved played to “certain rules” whilst today things are very different.