We are extremely grateful to Jill Robinson who stepped in at the last minute to come and talk to us about the series of books she has written based on life in the Hebden Bridge area. She recounted some very amusing tales of real life events and read a few excerpts from her books. And her books were available to purchase at the end.
The meeting started with our President presenting a representive from Manorlands Home with a cheque from money raised at our Spring Market last month.
Our speaker, Robert Bolton, then held us enthralled as he told us all about pearls. He even brought some samples along for us to look at.
Our WI is going from strength to strength as we saw our membership go up to 43 at this month's meeting which is fantastic news. Astrid Hansen, as usual, gave us a really interesting and amusing talk entitled The Apothecary's Apprentice. I don't think many of us knew what to expect but it soon transpired that Astrid herself had been an "apothecary's" apprentice back in the 1950s and she told us many tales of her time working for Timothy Whites in Bradford as a pharmacist. It made us all realise what a long way medicine has come in the years since then.
I'm now back from my travels and firstly a big congratulations to our Quiz team who came second in the Federation Quiz last Friday evening.
I am told that last month's speaker, Cynthia Thewlis, talking about "From Sheep to Shawl" was very interesting and there were also two visitors who were themselves spinners who gave a short impromptu talk about their hobby and collection of socks. I'm really sorry I missed it all!
Harden WI is going from strength to strength as we now have 43 signed up members which is really encouraging - we must be doing something right!
February is always our 'Fun and Games' evening and we were delighted to see so many people come to our meeting last Monday, including some visitors trying us out! We started off by hearing all the entries for our poetry competition - our members had been challenged to write a poem about 'Life in the 1950s' and the winning entry would be put through to the Group Meeting competition in April. We do appreciate, of course, that not all of our members would remember life in the 1950's and apologies for those who felt excluded from the competition but I'm sure they enjoyed hearing about those times! There were some very good and amusing entries and the overall winner was chosen by a secret ballot.
After that we just had time to play a few rounds of Beetle - the winner and loser from each table moved to the next tables in opposite directions so it gave everyone a chance to chat with different people.
We kicked off our 50th year with a return visit by Pat Osborne to talk to us about Anne Lister and Shibden Hall. I think we had all forgotten what an excellent speaker she is. She kept us enthralled with her tales of the various owners of Shibden Hall near Halifax and in particular the colourful lifestyle led by the notorious Anne Lister who wrote and kept diaries throughout her life - parts of which were written in a secret code!
Margaret was one of our members who was on refreshment duty this time and as she loves baking she had made some scrumptious traybakes for us all to eat with our tea. This is not a requirement when on refreshment duty but none of us are complaining!!
We were also delighted to welcome another new member who joined us on her first visit so we must be doing something right! Our membership is now the highest it's been for many years!
I think all will agree that last Monday's meeting which was the Annual Report followed by "Seasonal Sherry, Sonnets and Snacks" was a huge success and we were really pleased to see such a big turnout as well in view of the very wet weather conditions. We had a hilarious time listening to the poems and jokes that some of our members had brought in. Dressing up wasn't compulsory but wearing a dandelion hat to say a poem about a dandelion really added to the fun!
The members of the Craft Club brought along some samples of their work over the past year (have a look at the photo in our gallery) so we are hoping more members will be inspired to come along and join them.
And may I take this opportunity to wish everyone who is reading this a Happy Christmas and New Year and thank you for looking at Harden WI's website. I am now going to start and publish next year's programme on the site so keep having a look - it is our 50th year in 2012 so we are hoping to make it an extra special year in the run up to our 50th birthday in January 2013.
Very sadly Mr John Luckett, the speaker we had booked for our November meeting, has passed away and our commiserations go out to his family at this very sad time.
However, we are most grateful to Mr Alan Mirfield for stepping in at such short notice to give us a talk entitled "Yesterday's News, Today's History". Mr Mirfield has spent many hours in the local libraries reading old newspapers from our area and he came along and regaled us with lots of amazing tales of events that happened around here in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
We are pleased to say that our membership is slowly growing and we enrolled our 40th member at tonight's meeting.
The year is gradually coming to an end and next year's programme is nearly completed and will soon be published on our website. As next year will be Harden WI's 50th year we have invited many of our favourite speakers back to talk to us again but there will be a few new ones there as well. We also have quite a few other things planned in way of celebration so keep checking our website ...........
After our Summer recess it's always nice to get back to our usual activities and catch up with friends we might not have seen over the Summer. And it was especially nice to have a really good talk and slide show as well!! Alan Wilson gave us a most entertaining talk about his visits to Spain - not the sun, sand and beach type of visit but into the mountains and other scenic areas. The talk was entitled "Spain and its Hidden Gems" and the hidden gems were the wild flowers that can be found, sometimes where you least expect them and some of them being quite rare.
Monday 11th July was a busy day for Harden WI as we had the Walking Group, Culture Club and monthly meeting all on the one day!! The Walking Group started the day with a bus trip from Harden to Bingley but from there we walked along the canal to East Riddlesden Hall. We then became the Culture Club where we were joined by others who had driven down and we were treated to a wonderfully informative tour of the Hall as a follow up to the talk we were given at our monthly meeting in April about the Murgatroyds of East Riddlesden Hall. We had lunch at the cafe there before returning to Harden - the walkers hitching lifts with those who had driven down. And I forgot to say that as always (well, nearly!) the weather was kind to us!
We just had a few hours to catch up before it was time for our monthly meeting - an excellent talk on Humour and Humanity in the Law by Mr Reginald Le Pla.
We do not have a monthly meeting or walking group in August but still have a couple of other events on our calendar - our regular annual August outing and a visit to Bardsey WI. Have a look at our Diary of Events page for more information.
Harden & District WI