Reports from 2012 - 13 meetings
On this page you will find the reports from our meetings and guest speaker talks.
On Thursday 3rd. of May 2012 we debated the National AGM Resolution, chosen by 80 000 members,…’calls on the Government to increase the investment in the training, employment and retention of midwives’.. Our delegate at the AGM in London will be Mrs; Margaret Rousell. Whilst enjoying wine and nibbles provided by the committee groups of Boxlea members discussed the issues involved and voted to support the Resolution.
Why do Sport? This was the question posed for us at our April meeting by Para Olympic athlete Ben Rushgrove. A lively and humorous debate followed looking at both the positive and negative aspects of sport. Ben feels that sport is a reflection of society, but that there is some wonderful entertainment to be had by watching sports people such as Usain Bolt and Lewis Hamilton.
Ben won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics, this was passed round along with two other medals he had won previously, they were much larger and heavier than we had imagined.
Currently Ben is involved with intensive training for this year’s Olympics. He is hoping to be selected for both the 100m. and 200m. and many of us will be trying to catch a glimpse of him on TV. His talk was entitled ‘Inspire’ it was certainly inspiring!….
June meeting report:
Upcycling and its meaning became very clear at our June meeting. Our speaker Steve Weekes of Textworks came to explain, bringing her sewing machine and a variety of upcycled items including handbags, lampshades and clothes.
Steve started her recycling of textiles business with Beaubags, using ‘unloved’ handbag she recovered them and sometimes replaced the innards and sold the ‘up to date one off’ products. The business went well for two to three years, she actually had a stall at Box Revels.
The recession affected sales and wanting to make use of her workshop Steve decided to diversify, experimenting with notice boards, lampshades, and clothes using recycled fabrics.
Steve demonstrated some of her techniques with an unused cardigan. She cut ,reshaped, decorated, and finished it to produce an entirely different garment attractive and ‘up to date’. We were impressed!
Steve runs courses in her workshop helping people to upcycle items into clothing for today. Members took the opportunity during refreshments to browse .the clothes and bags on display. Ann Narraway thanked Steve for her interesting and motivating talk.
Our business section included reports from Margaret Rousell and Diane Yemen about the National AGM in London and the Grace Methuen Group meeting in Corsham.
The next meeting on the 5th July will be our Garden Meeting in the Vicarage garden by kind permission of Rev Dr Janet Anderson-MacKenzie.
You will not be surprised to read that our Garden Meeting venue had to be changed. We were fortunate in being able to use the marquee at The Queen’s Head, many thanks to them. On such occasions each member contributes a plate of food,savoury or sweet, and as usual the ‘spread’ looked delicious.
We had invited guests from Box Gloucestershire and Box afternoon WI groups and they came bearing gifts and cards for our 40th. birthday in September.
An unusual departure this month was an exhibition produced by our art group who meet once a month under the leadership of Kathryn Barstow. Their work was very impressive and we look forward to seeing more.
Our raffle was run in aid of Box Rocks perhaps to help with maintenance.
Our next meeting on Thursday 2nd of August in the Pavilion promises to be very interesting, the speaker will be Jennie Nokes who is a Street Pastor.
Report for August:
Would you like to work outside as a volunteer on a Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m to 4 a.m. throughout the year and in all weathers? Jennie Nokes , speaker at our August meeting does, she is a Street Pastor working in Bath. She told us a little about the background to the organisation.
Street Pastors is an inter denominational Church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and help. It was pioneered in London in 2003 and has seen some remarkable results including drops in crime where teams have been working. There are now some 9000 volunteers in abut 250 teams around the U.K. Working in groups of four, in clearly identifiable uniforms, they work in partnership with the Police, N.H.S.and Community workers. Jennie related many moving and amusing incidents , a most ‘uplifting’ talk.
In the business section of the meeting we heard of the success of some of our members at the recent Box Annual Amateur Flower Show. Led by Brenda Parry a team of five won the Group entry on the theme of Celebration. Ann Narraway, Kathryn Barstow and Jill Finney won trophies and it was good to see that six other members also had their names on place certificates.
Our next meeting on September 6th will be at Cumberwell Golf Club, where we will celebrate our 40th birthday, one of the guests will be Trish Cole County Chairman.
Report for September:
We celebrated our 40th. birthday at Cumberwell Golf Club just outside Bradford On Avon.
In her opening remarks President Kate Bullock welcomed members and introduced the WI County Chairman Trish Cole and ex Boxlea President Sally Hare. We sang to one of our members who had a rather special birthday.
There was a raffle with many prizes, and Patty Baldwin had put together albums of photographs taken over the years for members to reminisce and enjoy. Members enjoyed a hot buffet with exciting desserts to follow.
In her address Trish Cole recalled her first visit to Jill Banks the then County Chairman. She remembered feeling very nervous herself but Jill was so friendly and welcoming despite her great status!
Margaret Rousell our first President in 1972,explained the history of the name Boxlea and said that over the years Boxlea continued to be a very friendly and innovative group. A great evening enjoyed by all.
At the beginning of our meeting on the 4th. of October Alan Clench asked us to complete questionnaires in connection with the Village Survey and Plan.
Business items included reports from various internal groups/clubs and included a reminder that there would be a skittles social on the evening of Saturday 20th. October. Members were also asked to sign up for the Christmas Meal and for a visit to Slimbridge in January!
Report for October:
Our speaker Gordon Brockman from Chippenham Auctioneers had stepped in at the last minute as Waitrose were not able to fulfil their commitment. Gordon had started as a full time Auctioneer (antiques and collectors items) in 2004. Prior to this whilst convalescing from a back injury he had become fascinated by T.V. programmes such as ‘Cash In The Attic’.He also visited Charity shops and antique sales.
He worked alongside Chippenham Auctioneers with no pay for three years learning all the time, eventually being taken on as a Porter and then Head Porter eventually becoming trained as an Auctioneer and Valuer. He meets lots of people and enjoys the work very much and had many amusing stories to tell like the one about the gentleman who was ‘nodding off’ having all his nods counted as bids! Also the story about trying to get a four poster bed with one post still attached down the stairs of a cottage. There were surprises too , a Wedgewood bowl initially valued at £50-£80 selling for £1400 it being a particularly rare specimen.
Gordon had brought along several items for us to value and put in order of value. We were not very successful as three of the items were not genuine. A warning, take your time, look up the items in resource materials don’t rush.!
Gordon was thanked by Liz Millward and members were invited to look more closely at the items he had brought along.
We next meet on Thursday Nov1st.. at 7.30. p.m. at the Pavilion when we have Richard \broadhead telling us about ‘Missing Soldiers’. All welcome.
Report for November
In the business section of our meeting on Nov. 1st. we heard from Diane Yeman about the Autumn Council meeting which she and others from Boxlea had attended in Devizes. Also in October there had been a Boxlea Skittles Social evening which had been most enjoyable for members and their guests. Jill Finney was thanked for organising the event. So far the skittles team have won one ,drawn one, and lost one, other matches against local WIs are to be played in November.
The title of our talk was ‘Missing Soldiers’, an appropriate subject so close to Remembrance Day.The Speaker was Richard Broadhead who has been researching the Great War for twelve years and written several books on the subject of missing soldiers. He has looked at local men and was able to tell us something of their families and show us photographs form the Archives. He passed round empty shell cases and talked about the various gases that were used. Richard’s aim along with colleagues is that every soldier will be commemorated ,there are many who still lie in unrecognised graves. An interesting and thought provoking talk.
Our next meetingis to be held at Selwwyn Hall on Dec.6th.where we will hold our Christmas Party . Members will contribute to the feast and the evening will have a Scottish theme .
Report for December:
Over sixty members and two guests from Box afternoon group attended our annual Christmas Party at Selwyn Hall on Thursday 6th. December . The cubs who use the hall until 7p.m. kindly helped us to set up tables. Thank you cubs.
The food was delicious and after a suitable pause, during which each table completed and marked a quiz whose theme was Scotland, Kate Bullock led us in some Scottish Country Dancing. There was plenty of enthusiasm and laughter both from participants and audience!
Members had brought along a wrapped gift for the Doorway Project in Chippenham, Mary Chippendale won the prize for the most effective wrapping and the gifts were later boxed and taken to Chippenham by Val McCarthy-Finch.
With the aid of Gill Culley on the piano we sang some carols and after the special Christmas raffle Jill Banks thanked the committee for organising a most enjoyable evening.
Our next meeting is on the 3rd January at the Pavilion when Alan Mildren will talk about Marine Conservation.
Report for January (2013)
A dark January night was enlivened by our speaker Alan Mildren from the Marine Conservation Society who showed excellent illustrations of the underwater world around the British coast. Clearly an expert with over 40 years experience in his field members heard how the Society try to work with the government, the fishing industry and other interested bodies to identify endangered marine environments and work towards protecting them. One aspect of their work includes recording all the rubbish deposited on beaches and reporting this so that the sources of pollution a can be identified. Many of the unusual and beautiful underwater creatures shown had been filmed or photographed by Alan on his dives. He explained how many of the apparently simple creatures had complex behaviours. Some had potential for further scientific research which could benefit society. More familiar and playful creatures such as the seals around Lundy were also studied. He also had produced a short film on the cuttlefish who regularly visit Babbacombe Bay. Very exotic creatures for a South Devon cove but threatened by too much pot fishing
The business meeting informed members about forthcoming events including a trip to Slimbridge and to the Calendar Girls production at The Pound Arts Centre. The family walk on the 28th December had been enjoyable but muddy and the next walk will be to Devizes. Copies of the new Village Guide produced by Boxlea WI were on sale.