The Ladies of Blandford Evening WI provided a quiet corner of calm, on a beautiful Spring day, forthe visitors to the Blandford Georgian Fayre in their Cosy Cafe which was set up in the Parish Centre.Dressed in their mop caps and aprons, “Les Girls” served plates of scrumptious home made cakes, gallons of good strong tea and lots of reviving coffee.
Although situated at the edge of the Fayre, word soon got around how good the cakes were and that we had proper cups! So there was a steady flow of customers all day.
A number of annual regular customers were sorry that there was no live music this year from MrChord. Note has been taken for next time.
A very tired but pleased team wended their way home at the end of the day.
It was all aboard at a civilized time for Les Girls of Blandford Evening WI for their Spring Outing to Highclere Castle, famous as the home of Lord Cearnarvon and co founder of Tutenkharmoun's Tombbut much more readily recognized as the grand setting for the series “Downton Abbey”.
There was a quick stop at Andover Garden Centre which included a detailed discussion on where ina garden it was best to place a full size replica of a Silverback Gorilla or if a similar model of a lion would protect our President's chickens. Our Treasurer decided she did not have room for one on her allotment.
Arriving at midday in dry if rather dull weather, there was an hour to look around the extensive gardens before the allocated time to view the house. Our token male guest managed two flower beds then wandered off to find the Tea rooms for the obligatory cup of tea and a slice of cake.
The house itself was magnificent and as opulent as it looks in the TV series but it had a real homely feel of cosiness mixed in with the luxury. Everyone wandered around at their own pace, the stewards in each room answering all questions thoroughly and pointed out items of interest if they thought you had missed something. Although there was no restriction on taking photos on the outside of the house, no photography or filming of any kind was allowed inside.
A good time was had by all but it was decided that they really did not fancy having to do the dusting.
The meeting began with general business and then continued with Marilyn who presented the two Resolutions chosen for the year. Both were unanimously agreed and our delegate will be informed.
Our Treasurer gave a resume of financial affairs which have been audited and are in good order. Copies of the accounts were available for members.
Our Secretary, Jane, gave the annual report . Our President,Simone, thanked the committee and all our members for the excellent support received throughout the year.
We then proceeded with a secret ballot to choose a President for the next year. Simone agreed to be nominated and was duly elected. Sheila agreed to be our Treasurer and Jane our Secretary .Several other members were appointed to the committee and the non committee roles and these were approved and ratified..
Our speaker this month Alec, AKA The Ginger Viking is a bar tender and cocktail aficionado who has won National and International cocktail competitions. Members were fascinated as he prepared cocktails both traditional and some of his own invention explaining
the intricacies of producing the Perfect Cocktail and how the balance and quality of ingredients are imperative to achieving this.
His beautiful creations were passed round for us to sniff and admire with shots to follow as tasters. It has to be said that some members succumbed to temptation and had a secret slurp. Needless to say after a couple of shots we were all
a very happy bunch and ready to celebrate our 6th birthday.This we did with cake and candles,which were blown out by our three founder members, followed by a rather dubious rendition of Happy Birthday Blandford W.I.The cocktails may have proved too
much for some of us.
We are holding our August meeting at Alec's bar as he has been tasked with inventing an exclusive Blandford Evening W.I. cocktail for us to taste test.
We had several guests attending including members of the Air Ambulance to receive a donation of £150 which was raised by our Barn Dance and the Forum Focus editor took photos so our group will benefit from some publicity in next month's
edition. A very happy meeting was enjoyed by all.
Marilyn Flowers gave an excellent presentation of the 2019 W.I. Resolutions but the general feeling was that this year's resolutions did not have the scope as in previous years.
1. Improving Plant Bio-security in the U.K.
2. Trees - improving the Natural Landscape
3. Pelvic floor Education
4. Suffering in Silence-why we need to end the taboo around menstrual health
5. A call against the decline in local bus services
6. Don't Fear the Smear
A vote was taken and all 22 members present voted for Resolution 6. Following on with this theme discussion indicated that the BEWI should consider it's own resolution by way of expanding this into Portable Well-Being Buses for women covering
all aspects of women's intimate health (similar to portable mammogram cabins)