December 2008

We celebrated Christmas with our meal/party, held in our village hall. We were entertained at the start by Gill Hambleton, Artistic Director of the Northumberland Touring Theatre Company, and a very talented lady she was. We all sat enthralled as she talked and acted her way through her presentation. Alnwick are very fortunate to have such a talent in their midst. We then had a super buffet provided by the Pottergate Pantry and what a delight that was. It was accompanied by a glass of wine or soft drinks. The competition for the prettiest wrapped parcel was won by Barbara Cock; Flora second; and Roma third. Mrs June Pirie had made every member a pretty gift of tea bags in a decorated card chest. All in all, a very lovely evening.
A Happy New Year to you all.

Mary Sammons

January 2009

Barbara Cock extended a Happy New Year to all members. Birthday gifts were given to the January birthday girls. Members were asked to vote in priority their selections for this years resolutions. The usual business matters were gone through and then we all sat back for a slide show of ‘Wild in Botswana’ by Mr & Mrs Gilbert, who have shown us several extremely interesting slide shows of their travels in the past. Sadly, the speaker refused to work, despite several attempts and one member dashing back to her house to retrieve a small screwdriver. All was not lost though as Mr & Mrs Gilbert, quite off the top of their heads, told us some interesting and often hilarious stories of their adventures. Both Mr & Mrs Gilbert were totally in tune with each other and when one stopped the other carried on as though it was the most natural thing for them to do. We were totally captivated by their wonderful tales and Moira Peden gave them a well deserved appreciation which was echoed by us all. Mr & Mrs Gilbert hope to return in March, when the speaker is fixed, to show us the film, which we all eagerly look forward to now that we have had a taster.
Mr & Mrs Gilbert judged the competition for the funniest Christmas card which was won by Janet Bell.
Next month is the trip to Sanofi Avensis and arrangements were made for transportation.

Barbara King

February 2009

Starting with a slide show explaining that Sanofi Aventis Alnwick is just one of 100 world wide centres and explaining all the processes that go into the research of vaccines, and drugs which can take about 12 yrs before production we had a thoroughly interesting and informative visit following a meticulously planned programme. We were taken round many of the departments where researchers gave us an insight into the work they do. This was followed by a specially prepared supper and very welcome tea/coffee.
A very short WI meeting took place arranging details for the Institutes birthday next month, which will be a hot supper at £5 per head and slide show of Wild In Botswana deferred from January. It was decided that a team of 3 will enter the Reading Aloud competition this year.
Birthday gifts were given to Margaret Hammond, Ingrid March, Winefride Noble and Flora Steele.
Before leaving we were all given a goodie bag with literature, pen, mints and lanyard.
An excellent evening.
We welcome any visitors to our held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7.15pm in Acklington
Village Hall.

Barbara King

March 2009

We began the March meeting by raising our glasses to toast Acklington Women’s Institutes 87th birthday.  The toast was proposed by our President, Mrs Barbara Cock.
A delicious buffet, supplied by Pottergate pantry of Alnwick was enjoyed by everyone, followed by the exchange of presents, which was great fun.
After the lovely meal and exchange of presents, we were entertained by Mr & Mrs Gilbert with an excellent film of their visit to Namibia and Botswana.  The photography was truly outstanding of the very varied wild life, as was Mrs Gilbert’s vivid description of the trip.  The background music, so evocative of Africa transported us through their journey which was absolutely magical.
The Northumbrian Newsletter, together with a schedule of forthcoming events was circulated to all members.
Our next meeting will be held in Acklington Village Hall on Tuesday 14th April commencing at 7.15pm.  All visitors will be made very welcome.

Flora Steele 

April 2009

Our President, Barbara Cock, welcomed all members of Acklington Women's Institute to the April meeting.
The minutes of previous meetings were read by the secretary June Pirie and were approved.
Three members - Margaret Howie, Barbara King and Wilma Nicoll - recently took part in the Reading Aloud competition held at Belford.  They were thanked by the President.
The Northumbrian Newsletter was distributed, together with the Resolution briefing - SOS for Honey Bees.
A birthday gift was presented to Moira Peden.
A limerick entitled 'There was a young man called Gerry' was this month's competition.  The entries were very amusing, and the winners were - 1st Margaret Howie, 2nd Barbara Cock, 3rd Moira Peden.
The guest speaker for the evening was Mr Gerry Evans - the topic - What's in a name,  His talk was very informative, beginning with Biblical names, progressing through the ages to present time.  We all found it very interesting and entertaining.  Margaret Howie thanked Mr Evans on behalf of everyone.
We all enjoyed a lovely supper, and to conclude the evening Wilma Nicoll and Barbara King entertained us to a repeat of their performance at the Reading Aloud competition.
The next meting will be held in Acklington Village Hall at 7.15pm on Tuesday 12th May.  All visitors will be made very welcome.

Flora Steele

May 2009

At the May meeting the President, Mrs Barbara Cock, welcomed everyone.  Mrs June Pirie read the minutes of the previous meeting and they were approved.  The Northumberland Newsletter was read and members discussed various items of interest.
The birthday girls were June Pirie, Jean McDougal and Barbara Stanforth.  They were each presented with a gift.
The Resolution this year is ‘SOS for the Honey Bees’.  We enjoyed a bee awareness talk given by Mr B Ripley, Vice chairman of Alnwick & District Bee Keeping Association, which was fascinating, interesting and very informative.
From the Resolution briefing we had already received informing us of what is being done at present, how we can help, and what the various agencies concerned are doing, Mr Ripley brought all this information into sharp focus during his explanation of what is happening to the bee population.
He told us that there is great concern regarding the health of the Honey Bee worldwide and research into the ‘Varroa Mite’ (which comes from Asia) and how to overcome it and other blood diseases that are already reducing bee colonies is crucial to the bee populations survival.  Mrs Barbara Cock thanked Mr Ripley for his very interesting presentation.
The competition—a house plant—was won by Barbara King—2nds Flora Steele—3rd Margaret Howie.
To conclude the evening a very tasty super was enjoyed by all.
For our June meeting we are visiting Kaleidoscope Pottery, Morpeth where we will paint a pot.

Flora Steele

June 2009

On Tuesday 9th June we all arrived at Kaleidoscope wondering what we letting ourselves in for.
Alison welcomed members and firstly explained what exactly we would be doing.  Each member then chose a piece of pottery to paint.  With much laughter and concentration the pots and plates were finished.  Alison then had the hard task of judging them.  Congratulating us all on our attempts she awarded first place to June Pirie, second Mary Sammons and joint third to Barbara Cock and Margaret Hammond.  Barbara Cock thanked Alison on behalf of everyone for a very enjoyable evening.  Margaret Hammond  volunteered to collect all the pottery once it had been glazed.
The correspondence was dealt with and teams would be entered for the darts and domino competitions.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 14th July at 7.15pm in Acklington Village Hall

June Pirie

July 2009

President, Barbara Cock, welcomed members of Acklington WI to the July meeting. A record of the May and June meetings were read and correspondence dealt with.
Barbara King then spoke about the voluntary work she does for Age Concern called ‘The Rural Access Project’.
Our speakers for the evening were John Young and Rodney Budge from the Amble RNLI. They gave us a talk about the history of the RNLI and showed films of them in action. Ingrid Marsh was then volunteered to don the All Weather Gear and Barbara Cock the in-shore life jacket.
The monthly competition was won by Barbara Cock for a kitchen utensil beginning with B.
The next meeting will be held at Acklington Village Hall on Tuesday 11th August at 7.15pm. All visitors will be made very welcome.

June Pirie

August 2009

The President, Mrs Barbara Cock, welcomed members and three guests from North Broomhill to the August meeting.
Barbara said that a letter of thanks had been sent to Winefride Noble thanking her for all her many years of hard work on the WI committee.  Although still a member, Winefride has had to resign from the committee due to the ill health of her husband.  We all wish them well for the future.  Barbara Stanforth (a new member) has kindly offered to stand in until the AGM in October.
The minutes of the July meeting were read by the Secretary, Mrs June Pirie, and approved. The Northumberland Newsletter was read and various items discussed.
Birthday gifts were presented to Janet Bell, Barbara King and Jean Shaw.
We then turned our attention to the task of ‘Iris-Folding’. Joyce Woodcock and Heather Young of Cornhill WI had come to show us how to create a greetings card using this fascinating craft. They had brought along a large selection of coloured card strips from which we chose our colour scheme and then, following a pattern, we created the most beautiful cards finishing them off with gold and/or silver embellishments. Joyce and Heather’s guidance kept us on the right track and we were all pleased with the results. Quite a number of the cards are being entered in the craft section at Warkworth Show on 22nd August. It will be interesting to see if they choose the same winning cards as Joyce and Heather did.  They chose 1st Linda Aston; 2nd Flora Steele and 3rd Karen Parker. The winner at the Warkworth Show was Flora Steele. See picture on main WI page.
The evening concluded with an enjoyable supper and the raffle was drawn.
The next meeting will be held in Acklington Village Hall on Tuesday 8th September at 7.15pm. Visitors are always welcome.

Flora Steele

September 2009

Our President, Mrs Barbara Cock, welcomed members to the September meeting. The minutes of the August meeting were read and approved.
The Northumberland Newsletter was read and items discussed. Our President informed us that this will be the last Newsletter until January 2010 due to the amalgamation of the Federations. We will, however, receive a shortened version until then.
Our speaker was Mr Jack Herdman and the topic—Turkish Delight—not the confectionary but a slide show of a holiday he had taken in Turkey. The wonderful sights of the ancient city of Ephesus, the bustling port of Kusadasi and the resort of Pamakkall were all very interesting and the photography was beautiful.
The competition for the most interesting holiday souvenir was won by Gladys Williamson, 2nd Olive Foster and 3rd Moira Peden.
After supper we had a very full discussion on the forthcoming Open Afternoon on Sunday 4th October in Acklington Village Hall. We hope our invitations to this event will be widely accepted.
Our current members are working hard to make sue that the afternoon will be successful and enjoyable, giving the WI an opportunity to show the wide range of interests and activities that are regularly enjoyed by our members.
Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 13th October in Acklington Village Hall at 7.15pm.

Flora Steele

October 2009 - Visit to  RNLI Amble

Following a talk by the RNLI at Acklington Institute in July we were invited to pay them a visit so on Tue 6 Oct 09 several members and some of their guests paid a visit to the RNLI in Amble. A talk and slide show was given showing the RNLI in action, how they are trained, where they are based and the area that is covered. We were then split into two groups and taken round the 'Four Boys' All Weather lifeboat, the Inshore lifeboat and the operations/dressing room.
It was certainly an enlightening visit as none of us realised just how much the boats contained or how many actual people they can take on board. The Four Boys can travel virtually anywhere and can take around 60 people, although there is only seating for 9 crammed together down in the depths of the boat, all others standing on top holding onto the safety rails. The In-shore boat can take upto 6 but is limited to where it can actually go mainly staying nearer to the shore.
All life guards clothing is set out in separate compartments for each individual person and made ready to put on immediately they are summoned to a rescue. It all looked very neat and regimental which will save a lot of time instead of scrambling around for clothing that fits.
The RNLI welcome anyone to go and have a look around and especially parties of people, but it is better to contact them first so they can have everything ready and people available."

Barbara King

October 2009

October is the month for the Annual Meeting and Prudence Marks, the Women’s Institute Adviser, was in attendance. The formalities of the AM were gone through and the treasurer gave a written report of the current finances. The secretary gave her report on what had happened each month and the President gave their annual reports of how the Institute had faired throughout the year and hoped that next year could be even better and maybe recruit some younger members. Prudence gave some very helpful tips on fund raising of which the Institute will adopt some of them. The current committee were stood down and immediately re-elected. Barbara Cock, once again, agreed to be the President for another year. June Pirie stays as secretary and Olive Foster agreed to continue as treasurer.
The trophy winner for the overall annual competitions was Barbara Cock followed by joint second places of Linda Aston and Wilma Nicoll with Olive Foster third. All were given small prizes for their achievements.
During supper the WIA chose the first, second and third places in the competition for a favourite necklace won by Moira Peden, second Barbara King and third Gladys Williamson.
Their were several raffle prizes this month so this took some time and several lucky winners went home with an extra gift.
The next meeting, on Tuesday 9th November at 7.15pm in Acklington Village Hall will be Sugar Craft as demonstrated by one of our members Margaret Hammond. There is sure to be a lot of sticky fingers that night and some very interesting creations! All visitors are extremely welcome.

Barbara King

November 2009

Our President, Mrs Barbara Cock, welcomed members and four visitors to the November meeting held in Acklington Village Hall. The minutes of the 88th Annual Meeting held in October were read and approved.
Various items from the Northumbrian Newssheet were discussed, in particular the 2011 calendar – ‘Gardens in Northumberland’; the invitation to enjoy a mince pie and mulled wine at Boundary Mill; to take part in the National Trust Wildlife Habitats 2009 Garden Birds Survey and an opportunity to enjoy a day Quilting the Japanese Way
Janet Bell, programme secretary, has compiled the 2010 programme which includes a very wide range of subjects of interest and it has been printed by the Secretary, June Pirie.
We then went on to have very enjoyable ‘hands on’ evening learning about Sugar Craft, demonstrated by our Vice-President, Mrs Margaret Hammond. Margaret had made and iced a cake, which she subsequently used to show us how to do free form icing using a forcing bag. She then went on to show us how to make roses, daisies, small flowers and leaves using fondant icing. As she demonstrated the craft the cake was gradually transformed as she decorated it with the lovely flowers and leaves she had made. The final result was stunning.
We then tried to replicate what she had taught us and the results were truly outstanding. It was a very enjoyable evening. Our efforts were judged for the monthly competition and the winners were – 1st Barbara King, 2nd Doreen Colbourne and 3rd Olive Foster. The cake was raffled and won by Flora Steele.
Our next meeting - Tuesday 8th December will be the Christmas Party. Pottergate Pantry will supply the buffet and there will be ‘In House’ entertainment!!

Flora Steele

25th November 2009
Unfortunately for us, Hepple beat us in the next round.  Never mind, there is always next year!

18th November 2009

After a disastrous start, the team of Barbara Cock, Olive Foster, Margaret Hammond and Barbara King got their act together and went on to win the first round of the annual Northumberland WI Darts League against Cresswell Women’s Institute and will now go on to play Hepple at Rothbury on Wednesday 25th November.

December 2009

Our President, Mrs Barbara Cock, welcomed 19 members to the Christmas Party held in Acklington Village Hall on Tuesday 8th December.
The competition this month was for a Christmas Table Decoration. The 13 entries were used to enhance the dining and buffet tables, making a lovely Christmas atmosphere. There were little treats of chocolate and perfume provided by Janet Bell. June Pirie presented everyone with a hand made small black velvet bag containing tea bags, by Taylors Tea, which she had beautifully decorated in cross stitch in the Christmas theme of Robins, Holly and Mistletoe and personalised for each member with their initials, well done June.
We had a lovely buffet, supplied by Pottergate Pantry of Alnwick. It was delicious and most members had seconds!
The entertainment for the evening was a pantomime entitled ‘Jack and the Beanstalk Got It Wrong’. Barbara King was the narrator and Wilma Nicoll prompted audience participation. There were three mimers (Barbara Cock, Olive Foster and Janet Bell) plus Rosebud the cow played by Margaret Hammond at the front and Flora Steele at the back in a costume which was hired from The Alnwick Playhouse. The pantomime lasted 20 minutes and was videoed so the players could see themselves afterwards. It was terrific fun and all players and audience had a really happy evening.
The competition winners were – 1st June Pirie, 2nd Wilma Nicoll and 3rd Audrey Thurgood.
Our next meeting will be held in Acklington Village Hall on Tuesday 12th January 2010 at 7.15pm.
All visitors will be made very welcome.

Flora Steele