The Bulphan WI meeting was held at an unusual and unique venue in August: the award-winning eco-friendly and innovative visitor centre at Rainham Marshes nature reserve. Roz (bat expert) and Fiona (eloquent advocate for looking after our environment) gave a presentation on the site and the opportunities available. We then felt the exhilaration of the big skies and fresh air as we explored the nature trail and boardwalk, examined the finds from the pond-dipping discovery zone and used bat-detectors. All of us, from pre-school to over 80’s, found it all very interesting. Entry to the nature trails, visitor centre and shop is free to all Thurrock (and Havering) residents, so we will definitely be going back there.
Nine of our members visited Millwood WI, in Woodham Ferrers, to hear about the Olympic site and 2 of our members visited Chafford WI to learn more about card-making and scrap-booking. We were made most welcome and learned a lot on both occasions. 6 of our members and 4 Orsett members manned the WI stall in the Hobbies and Handicrafts tent at the Orsett Show – there was lot of interest shown, and nationally WI membership is soaring.
There are 2 new institutes which plan to open locally in October: Brentwood Belles will meet on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at South Weald Parish Hall, London Road, Brentwood, and a new institute will be formed in Barking or Dagenham – details to be confirmed.
We are still working hard on our Triathlon: walking in all sorts of places, a memorable swim in the dark, in the rain, outdoors, in Tonbridge! And cycling – on Boris bike in London and on the children’s centre bikes in Purfleet and Rainham Marshes. (To see some of our photos, visit www.bulphanwi.weebly.com)
June Wells, the storyteller, kept us enthralled in September: we were spell-bound by her thought-provoking stories from around the world. On October 13th, Brian Carline will give a humorous talk on teaching in a secondary school, and, as the schoolchildren couldn’t attend in September to dance for us, we are hoping they will be there as well. We are collecting “goodies” suitable for Christmas bags for the women in Thurrock Women’s Refuge and a cash collection to be used to buy toys for the children who find themselves in the Refuge at Christmas.