Bulphan Women’s Institute: September report

By Janet McCheyne

40 LADIES armed with fold-up chairs made their way to the home of President Janet McCheyne for the August meeting. After Jerusalem and WI business in the garden watched by the sheep and bantams, members were divided into 4 teams and sent to different parts of the house for 4 challenges: finding items in their handbags (won by the scullery team); questions on their Essex WI News magazine (won by the front room team); Dingbats (won by the music room team); and “Name that tune” (won by the kitchen team with full marks!)

Between games, a couple of team members had to move on (the youngest/oldest, the tallest/shortest and the member who had travelled the least and most distance to attend). So quite an interactive meeting.

Members relaxed by perusing and buying Tanya’s jewellery, chatting and mingling and enjoying a nice cup of tea. Delicious refreshments had been provided by the committee, and Craig ensured everyone got safely back to their car in the farmyard when it was time to go home.

At our September meeting, we were joined by a young man: local boy Gareth Jones told us about his project to volunteer in South Tanzania, and explained that we could help by donating old clothes, shoes, soft furnishing, bags or soft toys. We also heard from Sally about the outings she had arranged: we will be following the Gruffalo Trail in Thorndon Park North on Tuesday 24th September, attending a cookery demo (with plenty of tasting opportunities) at Waitrose in Shoeburyness on Tuesday 19th November at 1pm (let Sally know on 01268 542129 if you want to go – you don’t have to be a member) and there are still tickets available for the Brick Lane Pantomime with afternoon tea and includes coach from Bulphan Village Hall: that will be on Tuesday 28th January 2014, tickets £30, coach £10 if we can fill it – contact Sally – all welcome.

Bulphan WI members had again won lots of prizes and a cup at the Orsett Show Handicraft classes: congratulations to Iris Aedy, Pat Flavell and Jo Seymour. Other members were kept busy answering queries about joining the WI – thank you Jan, Jo, Chris and Teresa.

Speaker Brian Billins told us about the history of smuggling in Essex: we did know a few of the many interesting facts he told us (e.g. Essex has the longest coastline in the UK – 400 miles). But much of his subject matter was new to us: for example, 10 pounds of tea was known as a dollop and Paglesham was the Essex top smuggling district.

Next month,. Join us at 7.30pm in Bulphan Village Hall if you would like to spend the evening with a friendly bunch of ladies and learn something at the same time: Brian Carline will be giving a talk called “Soil, Sweat and Tears”. Don’t forget your donations for Gareth’s project!

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