By Patricia Henry
FOR our first meeting of 2013 and despite an extremely bitterly cold night, our President, Janet King welcomed 26 members and one new visitor. Our Membership Secretary was kept very busy collecting subscriptions for the coming year and we were pleased to welcome some new members.
Whilst waiting for our guest speaker to arrive, Janet covered the agenda items and ladies were asked to make their votes in support of this year’s annual resolutions which are “Decline of our high streets and town centres” and “Resolving to keep young people suicide-safe online”. Final outcome of all WI’s votes will be announced at this year’s AGM. Members were reminded of our forthcoming outing in February to see the Benington Lordship Snowdrops in Aylesbury. Run in conjunction with the RHS this is a most popular event when the gardens are carpeted in a spectacular display of snowdrops around the remains of the Norman Castle and surrounding moat.
Our guest speaker for the evening was Jonathan Catton, Curator of the Thurrock Heritage Museum. Jonathan gave a very interesting talk and slideshow covering the ancient history of Grays and the surrounding areas. Many of our members have lived in the Grays area most of their lives and were able to relate to the many changes that have occurred over the years. It was interesting to learn about the past industry of the area including the cement works, brick works and gravel pits most of which have now given way to new housing developments and, of course, Chafford Hundred Nature Park.
Not to be beaten and despite the adverse weather conditions on Friday, January 18th, several of our ladies made a trip to the Creative Craft Show at Sandown Park. A great day was enjoyed by all, however, due to the weather rapidly closing in we were forced to leave at 2.30pm to make our way back to Grays. Well done to our coach driver!!
Our speaker for February will be Sue Schwar of the South Essex Wildlife Hospital. Members were asked to bring along any unwanted newspapers, towels and old blankets that could be utilised as much needed bedding for the rescued wildlife.
Our meetings are held on the second Thursday evening of each month at All Saints Church, Drake Road, Chafford Hundred. To find out more about our WI please contact me on 01375 480532.