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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Woodend & District WI

OPENING the October meeting with the singing of Jerusalem, vice president Barbara Corkam welcomed members and guests Penny Mell and Doreen Pirie.

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talk: Pam Telford gave a fascinating talk on the history of coalmining in the area

Lesley Rutherford reported on the autumn council meeting, which had been attended by five members. Four members had really appreciated the Fashion Show at Greenhill. Information for the January birthday meal has been gathered and will be discussed next meeting when more members will be present.

Jean Dickinson reported on the Cleator coffee evening, which had been enjoyable.

Some members brought Christmas Child boxes; all boxes will need to be in by the next meeting.

The County News informed us of the federation Christmas lunch in Carlisle on November 18. The venue of the carol service has been changed to Christ Church in Cockermouth, December 3 at 2pm.

Barbara introduced Pamela Telford, manager of Haig Pit Museum. Pamela gave a hugely entertaining and informative resume of the history of coal mining in Whitehaven. We had not appreciated the historical importance of the local mines in testing such inventions as the Davey lamp.

The conditions in the 18th and 19th centuries were harsh, with young children and women working below ground for long hours.

These horrors had been outlawed by the beginning of the 20th century but dangerous conditions resulted in several horrific disasters in the early years of the century. The museum records the local mining history and displays many artefacts from that time. It is hoped that Lottery funding may be allocated to upgrade the museum; unfortunately if it is not given the museum will close. Christine Stubbings thanked Pamela for her interesting talk.

During refreshments members enjoyed a large raffle, and the tea ladies were thanked for ministrations.

Mrs Eleanor Graham welcomed members to our September meeting, especially guest Penny Mell.

Business proceeded with a discussion of the coffee evening; it was very enjoyable and gave a boost to the funds.

A £40 donation was sent to Denman House who thanked us, saying the money would go towards refurbishing the dining area.

The trip to Linda Frazer’s garden in Brampton was hugely appreciated. We had a scenic drive there, a beautiful garden tour and flower-arranging demonstration, followed by a visit to Dobbies garden centre.

We gained first prize for the Gosforth Show WI competition; Eleanor presented flowers to the participants, with our thanks.

Eleanor began our members’ night by telling us of her holiday in Sydney, Australia. Ruth Banks told us of her holidays with the Ramblers’ Association; Kathleen Holland gave a vivid account of her grandson’s village wedding in Broughton-in-Furness; and Penny Mell described her holiday in Southeast Asia. Margaret Bold then topped them all with her account of looking after her grandson during a 6.8 force earthquake in Japan!

We had a really enjoyable evening.

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