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Women's Institutes

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 02, 2013

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Bodmin Gaolbirds

MEMBERS met on September 11. The president welcomed three visitors and potential new members: Kim, Abby and Natasha.

A warm welcome was given to Philip Rodda of Rodda's Cream. He started his presentation with a short film giving the outline of the Rodda's dynasty.

Rodda's cream was first made in the 1800s and to this day is still a family enterprise, but employs some 150 staff.

The milk used for the cream was originally from their own dairy herd, but in the 1960s the herd was sold; today, milk is bought from 150 farms within a 30-mile radius of the Scorrier factory.

Family members still live in the original farmhouse which was occupied in the 19th century by Ernie and Fanny Rodda, grandparents to the current company partners.

The new logo design was introduced to appeal to a new younger market and this saw sales increase everywhere – except Cornwall!

Mr Rodda kindly provided samples of merchandise for members to taste. He was thanked by the president, Sally.

Refreshments were served while Mr Rodda judged the competition which was a scone bake-off. Results were: sweet scones – 1, Natasha; 2, Sally; 3, Karen. Savoury – 1, Karen; 2, Shirley.

Members then enjoyed tasting the scones with home-made jam and, of course, Rodda's clotted cream.

A birthday posy was sent home for Kirsty. A financial report was given by Shirley, showing a healthy bank balance.

Members were asked to bring any designs to the January meeting for the banner competition. The winning design would be sewn by Denise in time for The Royal Cornwall Show.

The Christmas meal which is replacing the December meeting, will be at The Westberry Hotel, Bodmin, on December 11. Secret Santa gifts will be given; Karen suggested a maximum of £5 and gifts must be bought from a charity shop thus benefiting other charities.

Julie is arranging a trip to Denman College for the Christmas craft event; any members are asked to contact Julie or Shirley. Transport would be by minibus with an overnight stay.

Raffle prizes, given by Anna, were won by Sue, Shirley, Karen, Margaret, Diane and Sally.

This month's meeting will feature a quiz involving other local WIs.

Carclaze and St Austell

IT TURNED cold and wet, but that didn't deter members, who turned out in force for the September meeting.

The empty table at the front of the hall rapidly filled up with harvest offerings, with fruit and veg piling up.

Betty, president, welcomed members and also friends from Cuddra.

The meeting started with a few minutes' silence in memory of Joan and Pam, who will be sadly missed.

After business there was a short celebration of harvest with hymns and some poems, read by Rosemary and Shirley.

Betty and Shirley then auctioned off all the produce, with a great deal of hilarity among members.

Everyone stopped for a while to eat lovely, hot pasties. Proceeds from this year's harvest auction will go to the Merlin Centre.

Birthday flowers were presented to Doreen and Shirley, and a plant to Liliana for a special birthday.

Competition winners this month were – 1, Pearl; 2, Stella; 3, Carrie.

Flower Of The Month was won by Diedre.

The institute's next meeting will be on October 11.


VALERY WATSON was the speaker at the September meeting. Her subject was decorative or barge painting.

This was a fascinating talk and demonstration in which she showed how one could paint and decorate almost anything using acrylic paints.

Members were shown the technique she used; anyone can master this with a little bit of practice. She certainly made it look easy.

Valery brought along some samples of her work, including trays, children's toy boxes, Christmas tree decorations, plant pots, watering cans; in fact it is possible to paint and decorate most things.

She leads classes; perhaps this could be an idea for a future workshop?

Evelyn Dwelly gave the vote of thanks and said how much she had enjoyed the talk and demonstration and that she had done some decorative barge painting on her barge in the past.

During business, Frances Tucker, president, reported that all those who went on the St Neot WI evening walk had a lovely evening.

She gave thanks to all those who organised the stall at the Gala Day and to Jean for organising the visits to Sterts this season.

Members were asked for ideas for a book title for the entry in Liskeard Fat Stock show; it has to be said that not all the ideas were suitable! Normer Brice has agreed to organise an evening or day Christmas trip. More details next month.

Diary dates: the Sew, Knit and Natter group meet at Millennium House on the last Tuesday of the month. On Wednesday, October, 9, there will be a 1940s' and 1950s' music event with Carl Attwood, Lanlivery Church; on October 16, a Craft Day at Menheniot, and at 7.15pm on Friday, October 18, a bring and share harvest supper and sale of produce at Millennium House; all welcome.

Competition winners this month: Artwork – 1, Jenny Thomas; 2, Normer Brice; 3, Verna Dawe. Flower Of The Month – 1, Jill Pascoe; 2, Jackie Burrel; 3, Normer Brice.

At the next meeting, at 7.15pm on Wednesday, October 9, at Millennium House, Carol Horsington will give a talk on, and demonstrate, basketry. Visitors and new members would be welcome. For any enquiries ring Frances on 01579 363718 or Jean, 01579 362531.

St Breward

THE SEPTEMBER meeting saw members back in the superbly renovated Memorial Hall.

They welcomed Jan Dodd, who had gone to a great deal of trouble to prepare materials for everyone to have a go at making a patchwork block which, at the end of the session, it was agreed they would like to sew together to make a quilt for the children's hospice.

The usual delights of a delicious lunch and magazine swap were much enjoyed and as a special extra, Christine Woolf read out her poem for which she will be presented with the Blaikely Salver at the annual council meeting at the Hall for Cornwall.

The October meeting will be an excursion to the cheese factory at Davidstow, after meeting at Kathy Hoskin's for lunch; please bring your own lunch this time though Kathy will very kindly provide beverages.

Husbands and friends will also be welcome this time though if the bus is too full then they will be asked to drive their own vehicles, but it should be a most interesting day.

Make a note of the date: Tuesday, October 8.

St Columb Minor

ST COLUMB MINOR WI reconvened on Wednesday, September 11. Members were welcomed back by the president, Gerry Bonne.

Gerry also introduced two visitors, Brenda, and Shirley, Joan's daughter. Shirley was demonstrator for the evening. On display was a selection of her handmade cards. Jackie also showed her 'stitched' cards, which were very intricate.

Gerry thanked them for a lovely demonstration.

Rita and Val were among the guests at Lane WI's cheese and wine evening. Members were also invited to their coffee morning at The Griffin.

Members enjoyed a coffee morning at Val Gardner's house in August.

Members will be holding the institute's anniversary celebrations at Lakeside at 6.30pm for 7pm on Wednesday, November 13; something to look forward to on a dark, but hopefully not too cold evening.

Rosemary, secretary, announced that the harvest meeting in October will include an appeal for the Fish and Chip babies of South Africa. Members were asked to bring along small items of cotton clothing including socks, vests and pants. Also appreciated would be soap and toothpaste.

As well as members' own harvest table, there will be a supper. The competition, for a pudding to taste, will be judged by members.

The winner of this month's competition, for a handmade item, was Margaret Wiles, with a huge knitted clown, which she is donating to the children's hospice. Flower Of The Month was won by Jean Higgs.

A make-do raffle, as the raffle lady was not present, in which four prizes managed to appear, was won by Gerry, Rosemary, Jackie and Joyce.

The meeting closed with a cheeky poem, read by Annie Jose. Everyone went home with a smile.

St Dominick

MEMBERS were back in the village hall for the September meeting, after an August away day to STERTS for a performance of Calendar Girls.

Needless to say, those who couldn't attend were told what a good night they had missed.

The speakers for the evening only had to travel about half a mile from Trehill Farm to the hall.

Jeremy and Carolynne Daw came to tell members about farming yesterday and today. They also gave a short history of the Daw family who, before the Second World War, were ironmongers, making mangles, at Faraday Mill, in Plymouth.

It was interesting to hear how farming has changed since the war and the problems they have had to encounter, with milk quotas, TB, BSE and animal passports, to name but a few.

Jeremy got involved on the farm after leaving school in 1979 and has witnessed first-hand the ups and downs of his profession.

In 2003 he set up the meat business and what a superb addition this is to St Dominick, enabling villagers to buy fresh beef, pork, sausages and eggs on their own doorstep.

The family also have a stall at the monthly Crocadon Farm produce market, opposite St Mellion Golf Club.

Carolynne had kindly prepared a wide selection of sausages and a joint of silverside for members to sample; local produce at its very best.

On Friday, October 18, with the help of Debenhams, in Plymouth, the institute will be hosting a charity fashion show with all proceeds going to Callington Memory Café. It will start at 7.15pm and tickets are £5 at the door; refreshments are included.

The institute's next meeting is on Wednesday, October 9, at which Michael Grundy will be giving a talk entitled Putting Your Legal Affairs In Order.

Visitors are very welcome; the charge is £4.

St Stephen-in-Brannel

ANGELA HYLAND came to the September meeting armed with a beautiful selection of flowers for her demonstration, entitled All Things Bright And Beautiful.

She began by reading a poem, which although in the spirit of the hymn, lamented the difficulties of keeping your garden beautiful when everything in it is prey to slugs and diseases.

That said, she did in fact have quite a lot of flowers from her own lovely garden.

Her containers too were also home-made: one Angela had created by melting candlewax over a bowl to form one half of an egg which she then used to fill with lillies, etc, to form an arrangement which was inspired by the hens and hen-house that her son James had given to her and her husband for Christmas.

Another container was made from old copies of the Cornish Guardian, would you believe. Some time ago Angela and a group of friends were lucky enough to be shown the skill by the daughter-in-law of a friend who originates from Thailand.

It is amazing to see how colourful and attractive they look after being rolled and woven in what is in fact a very easy skill to acquire.

Angela actually completed four different arrangements and added to these displays two further arrangements that she "had done earlier" in true Blue Peter fashion, so in all there were six arrangements to raffle to members.

Those lucky enough to win a display were delighted.

Proceedings were rounded off by Angela judging Flower Of The Month: first was Cheryl Vercoe, with some amazing dahlias; second was Lorraine Masters, and third, Pam Grigg.

Continuing the floral theme, birthday posies were presented to Zoe Hooper, Daphne Venning, Christine Allen, Margaret Stone and Liz Payne.

Congratulations to all those that did well in Treviscoe Show and thanks to all family and friends who worked so hard for the institute's carnival float.

There was one sad note to proceedings as the meeting started by remembering former member Lorraine Bilkey, who has sadly died.

Members are reminded to bring their harvest produce to the next meeting, not forgetting dishes and spoons!


THE SEPTEMBER meeting was held on Thursday 12 at the village hall. Members welcomed three visitors: Glennys, Elaine, and Di. It is hoped they enjoyed the afternoon, and members hope to see them again.

The institute held a successful cream tea on August 17, despite the weather. Many thanks to all who supported the event.

The first prize in the raffle was once again kindly donated by Tywardreath Butchers.

Members also assisted at the village fête and flower show on the two preceding Saturdays, so it was a busy month.

The speaker was Malcolm Gould, from Wheal Martyn Museum.

The figures at the entrance are a mine captain, two chaps who worked in the pit, one with a special one sided pick-axe known as a dubber, also a kettle boy and a woman wearing a bonnet known as a gook and holding a scraping which was used to clean up the clay blocks.

He told of how the clay was first worked in the early days just in shallow pits and how it was all manual labour and then gradually mechanised with the use of water wheels, steam engines.

The café has recently been refurbished, with an exciting new menu.

The competition this month, to tie in with the clay industry, was a china cup and saucer. The winner was Jean Gadd; second was Elaine Pearce and third, Joyce Pearce.

Flower Of The Month was won by Stevie McCarthy, with a fucshia; second was Monica Heaton and third, Dorothy Miller.

The meeting at noon on October 10 will be a harvest lunch and auction, for members and invited guests only.

Visitors will be welcome at forthcoming meetings; events to look forward to include a demonstration on making Christmas wreaths from material scraps. The December meeting will include an afternoon with Joyce Grenfell!

For further information contact Barbara on 01726 814286, or Phyll on 01726 814668.

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