A few mistakes need sorting on this page but I will do it after Christmas!!!
Report Rydal WI  2015/2016 - Secretary
Jill Attenborough


Another busy year, we thought it would be less eventful
than last year but many things happened.   The year has been very sad with the loss of
Celia Brocklebank, a much loved and active member, and also the ill health of
several members has caused concern, Julie Hartley sold her business and is
happily living away but returning to Ambleside but only to work and she
sensibly decided to leave our group. I am happy to report that Jan Hutley joined
us as a dual member and recently Enid Harper also joined. We welcome them both
and hope they enjoy their evenings with us.

Meetings- At the AGM in November 2015 Pat Lester
rejoined the  committee, and Joan
Worthington joined.  After all the formal
part of the business we played our favourite game of Rummikub.

The accounts showed we were financially secure and
Treasurer, President and Secretary are happy to continue with their roles.

December –
our Christmas Party was a big success. Hurricane Desmond had arrived at the
weekend causing flooding but we decided to carry on as normal.   We
even managed to Vote on the AGM Motions and a quiz while we enjoyed our supper.
The Military Whist always has us in a spin, with Fiona keeping us in

January- We
had already decided to attend the Pantomime at Troutbeck Bridge this year
instead of our usual trip to Keswick, This was a lively show with a meal at The
YHA on the way (The road to Keswick was blocked by the storm of December and
not reopened until April.)

February – Dorothy  Smith
the Managing Director of Zeffirellis gave us a detailed history of the business
and how they had grown from 1 cinema that her brother Derek Hook began to the 5
screens, Live-links, 2 restaurants and a new Bed and Breakfast they now have.
Her friendly enthusiasm and obvious love of her growing family business showed
throughout her talk.  A very enjoyable


March – Our
Founder member Margaret Fuller is  90
this month, so proud to be a month older than the Queen. Brenda Austin talked on The History
of Tins. She started collecting when her son showed her that the tin they
bought for Grandma for Christmas was rude and being withdrawn/recalled. She
kept hers, did not give it to Grandma and started her passion for collecting
tins. She has over 200 now and bought her house to store and display them. We
spotted tins from our childhood this provoked lots of discussion, our memories
flooding back.

Judith gave us her talk – “Remembering Joyce Grenfell”

explained about Joyce Grenfell’s life, privileged but not rich, mixing with the
Astor’s of Cliveden and their many famous guests. In between the talk Judith
gave us 3 monologues, a young girl approaching her first tennis dance, a lady
and her raffle prize and the most famous one set in a nursery class, with the
famous line , “Sidney, don’t do that”. A very enjoyable talk, taking us back to
memories of Joyce in films and TV.

– Ravi
Voruganti our local pharmacist, (He and his wife
bought Thomas Bell’s Chemist)gave us a very interesting power point
presentation that began with a photo of Bruce and Play Your Cards Right, all
was to be revealed at the end!!!! He explained about his history, family, and
the move to Ambleside. From Alder Hey Hospital Liverpool to a traditional
chemist in a small town. We heard what he is able to help us with, what
training is undertaken by all the staff, the private rooms for confidential
advice and much more.

June - We held a games night
at Ambleside Cricket Club, we played croquet and Rummikub with a light supper.


July-  Peter
Rimmer “The Tides are the very
Devil” Peter gave a
very interesting slide show of his photography , telling about his research he
has undertaken while doing his Masters at Bolton University. His views from a
hot–air balloon were so revealing, the hidden quarry and water gullies that are
not visible from the ground.  His
friendship with the cockle fisherman allowed him time watching and filming and
the photos he collected from their private archive were very stimulating

August- A trip to Keswick Theatre
to see “The Rivals” This was enjoyed by everyone


September – Our Member’s Meeting- Pam
Coates talked about her childhood growing up in Rydal, the freedom and fun she
had. Pat Green talked about her Volunteering in Africa and Margaret Wilson her
adventures while getting lost on walks.


October – Sylvia welcomed a rather flustered Julia
Beeden (Parking was a problem tonight) and her talk on Pub Signs.  She went through all the categories of signs,
the religious, the agricultural etc, reminding us of our local ones, and
engaging in discussion of what they meant. Livy had been a good help in finding
Julia a parking space and getting her to the meeting.

November 2015
 AGM and Rummikub

A big thank you to Sylvia who organises all our speakers.
She retires from this role as Livy has agreed to take on this duty. Livy has
already attended a speaker afternoon in Kendal to hear more speakers.   Thanks to everyone who makes the tea and
Joan’s coffee and all the selections of biscuits. Not forgetting the committee
who turn up early and arrange the room. Also a big thankyou to Ros for all her
calm counting of money and keeping us straight.

Our  WI Outings , This year we have
attended many events organized by the Federation. Christmas Carols in Kendal, A
coach from Ambleside to see the “Girls”, (new musical about the Calendar Girls).
a trip to see “Wind in the Willows” in Manchester,  Fun in Panto Land was enjoyed with a meal at
the Gateway. A coach trip to the Pankhurst Museum and Art Gallery.   Two Council Meetings in Kendal Town Hall, a
fascinating talk from the Dame Sue Ion about “Keeping the Lights on”, a
Federation walk at Orton in Spring and the Quiz is always popular with 3 teams
going this year. Margaret Glaister enjoyed the Federation holiday to Ireland. Pat
Baker also entered the Lady Denman Cup,

I even managed to take our daughter Caroline and family
to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden for a special WI performance of The
Nutcracker, such a thrill for us all.

We have as usual organised our own little events, closer
to home, to keep our brains and bodies working!!!

Croquet - This year we have played
on Monday afternoons with 5/6/7 members enjoying games on sunny afternoons in a
stunning location. This proved most enjoyable. Quite a good season and Gwen
kindly offered her front room for Rummikub if wet.  Thanks to Kath and Gwen for organising these
Monday afternoons.

Rummikub – Joan
agreed to take on the organisation of Rummikub. 
We have been able to fit in games of Rummikub in members’ houses most
winter  months, thanks to Kath, Marylou
and Pat B. Members also enjoy travelling to Local WI’s and playing and
reporting back on the different rules that apply! They are always very
enjoyable events. With adding a lunch at Hayes on the way it makes a very
pleasant day.

Shoe Box Appeal - Last
November we took our 50 covered boxes and lots of knitted hats etc. We stayed
for the afternoon, helping Judith sort out all the donations. Our group works
hard at making things for the boxes.

Marylou organised a trip to Staveley to watch the G and S Rudigore , with a
meal at Ings. A fascinating evening with a show lots of us had never seen
before. Much planning had gone into the proposed outdoor performance of Rudigore
in the park in Ambleside but it was cancelled through lack of sales, but it was
a very rainy night so we were pleased!!

Community Christmas Lights “Switch-On Day” . An
amazing day, the only decent day in November with clear skies and snow on the
fells. We ran our usual stall and raised   £225.
All our members supplied us with cakes, jams and items to sell and we took it
in turn to “Man” the stall.  


Nancy and Ros Faulkner attended the Troutbeck Christmas
Party and Joan and Christine the Windermere Christmas Party and Gwen and Kath  the Bowness Party.


  This year we
formed a small group who produced our fantastic Scrapbook of the Centenary
Year. Many thanks must go to Janet Earle who hosted meetings, discussed what to
do next and then she did it!!! Emails, photos flew around the internet, pieces
written but most difficult item to display was Julie’s wedding material. We
completed the scrapbook in good time for the display in Kendal which many
members were able to attend and see the other scrapbooks.

.Again June was to
be a very special time for us.

The Queen’s
90th Birthday, we planned a party at Gail’s Farm in the
Langdale Valley, a stunning location , perfect weather, delicious food, we
played games, sat and chatted, held a hat competition. A local singer
entertained us with songs, holding a bucket collection for Flood Relief Fund. Many
thanks to Gail and Mike for all their hard work. (We held 3 raffles during the
spring to help pay for the portaloo we hired) We also had a photo taken on the
bridge on the farm used in the film “Brief Encounter” with Trevor Howard and
Celia Johnson.

Queen’s 90th Gal Dinner- Christine Riley and her
husband Nigel attended this Gala Event and had a very stimulating and enjoyable

Denman In October
Christine also went with our Federation to Denman College to learn the ukulele,
she will be playing to us at the Christmas Party and telling us all about it.

and About Day, In August we repeated our day out using bus
passes. Bus to Lancaster, canal trip with cream tea after visiting the Brief
Encounter Railway Museum at Carnforth station. A very enjoyable day


The Group Meeting-(TroutBeck
hosting) Last month
13 of us enjoyed an evening of fun with the Brice Street Strummers (A ukeleli
group based in Burneside) Super food, and a hard Royal Quiz!!!

Memoirs Group continues to meet, Julie, Margaret W., Fiona,
Christine and Margaret B. (ex Ambleside WI member)  The last meeting was at Julie’s new home.

Website is working well this year, and I still enjoy adding to it
on wet afternoons. We have a Rydal WI Facebook page, the Local Federation one
is finally being used but I am enjoying 
the unofficial WI Facebook page, reading about all the new groups being
formed around the country,  things they
are planning, help they need. As volunteer organisations say jealously, “WI is
the only group that the membership is growing in number”.


Players Our friendship with Gaynor Rhodes and the Grasmere Players
(the loan of costumes for our photo shoot) gave some of us another activity.
Helping with teas in the intervals, helping to sort costumes flooded by Hurricane
Desmond and our new member Gail joining both Ambleside and Grasmere players and
performing brilliantly in their productions. Both very enjoyable shows. Gail
was excellent.

Road Show Christine and Janet took the opportunity of  filming at Holker Hall to volunteer to help,
Wearing boaters and sashes they helped the public find the right queue. We look
forward to watching their show and trying to spot them.

Island Discs -We were interested to listen to Dame Sue
Ion on Radio 4 Desert Island Discs (she is a neighbour to one of our members)

Cutlery A
big Thankyou goes to our newest member on the committee Joan has been
collecting extra cutlery from charity shops, so now we have plenty for our

Encounter This month Sylvia will be screening Brief Encounter in
her home cinema and this will complete our theme of the year.

Other members continue to help at Evergreens, the Oxfam
Shop, helping at Ambleside Sports, Parish council work and other local groups.

From reading/hearing this you will understand that Rydal
WI is in good heart and is thriving as an Institute. Different members love
different things and all enjoy getting together and sharing news. This year the
weather was terrible, the flooding of businesses and homes very worrying. But tourists
are back, Love Ambleside did a great job in saying we are open for business.

But I will finish with

challenge – The Local Federation sent every President a £10 note
and asked how we could make it grow, giving half to them and keeping half for
our funds. When the letter arrived we were horrified but then the idea of a
quiz seemed like an easy way to make the money grow. Pat B, Sylvia, Ros and I
worked on questions, only Notable Women,
local, nationwide, worldwide, sporty, scientific, arty, historic and modern.
Sponsors were approached and we thank Hayes Garden World, Zeffs and the
Salutation Hotel for supporting us. A few mistakes on the first print but now
we have corrected them they are selling well. Our MP has one, Dame Sue Ion has
one, who else? Winners will be picked at our Party, half the money for us, half
to Kendal.


We are looking forward to next year, what will we plan???
Already Livy has a new varied programme planned, a theatre trip to Keswick is booked
and 2 young at heart members celebrate a big birthday in early Spring!!!

November 11th 2016  


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