31 May 2018

The WI

Last night I attended The Federation of Essex Women's Institute's group meeting.  There are many branches within the Essex WI, and many groups within each branch. Each group takes it in turn to host a social evening once a year. Six or seven groups attended last night.

The evening started with the singing of Jerusalem. There is a ton of history surrounding this hymn. You might be interested to know that when the suffragettes were imprisoned they would sing it to let others know where they were, and that each one was not alone. And this year is the 100th anniversary of women finally getting the right to vote here in the UK.

That was followed by constitutional matters and then onto the speaker - Steve Scruton from BBC Essex. He was very entertaining. He talked about his early days as a boy listening to the home service on the Bakelite radio, and knowing then that he wanted to work in radio when he grew up. 


His assistant Ian Wyatt played some theme tunes from well know radio shows of the 50's, 60's and 70's. Almost all of us recognised all of them but couldn't remember all the shows. Steve spoke about the pirate radio stations, his early days at the BBC filling in for the regular DJ's, his work with hospital radio and then eventually being offered his own show. He has had a very interesting career culminating with meeting HM Queen Elizabeth, who actually spoke to him. 

We then had a light meal of sandwiches and cake, tea and coffee followed by the raffle. 

As well as a lovely social evening it is also a fund raiser for the host's chosen charity,  which this year was local charity Sanctus Cafe, a small charity established in 2011. Volunteers run the cafe which offers free breakfasts, hot and cold drinks snacks and homemade lunches to homeless, hungry and vulnerable individuals.  They also have a book club, music club and an allotment project.


This beautiful bouquet made by my groups secretary was presented to the charity's representative.  
A good time was had by all.


~Be warm and well ~

Polly x


14 comments:

  1. Sounds like a fun occasion. I didn't know about the suffragettes singing Jerusalem to contact each other - very ingenious. I remember all those old radio shows from the sixties and seventies as well. Do you remember Tony Hancock - The Blood Donor?

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    1. Oh yes I do, I loved the Tony Hancock half hour.

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  2. It may surprise you to learn that I was unofficially an honorary member of the local WI! This happened when I stepped into the breach when speakers let them down occasionally. I'm sure I was nowhere near as professional as your speaker!

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    1. Oh well done John, I bet you were very good.

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  3. Sounds like a very entertaining evening and a very needy charity will benefit greatly from your efforts.

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    1. It is a very good charity, doing excellent work.

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  4. Sounds an excellent evening.
    I'm sure the charity will be so pleased for the support.

    All the best Jan

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    1. The lady who represented the charity was very touched by the support, and donations that people had bought with them.

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  5. I'm always interested when you tell us about the WI. What a historical organization. I know all you do will be so deeply appreciated.

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    1. It is a wonderful organisation, I'm very glad I joined. Ours is a small village group and we all get on very well.

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