WOMEN'S INSTITUTE REPORTS - 2010

DECEMBER 2010

It was party time at the December meeting of Acklington Women’s Institute.
The uncertainty of weather conditions meant that we had to cancel the party food from Pottergate Pantry and members provided the buffet which we all enjoyed.
The evening continued with in-house entertainment which included poetry reading and a spin on the round robin that some of us receive at Christmastime.
The competition for a Christmas napkin was won by – 1st Margaret Hammond: 2nd Linda Aston and 3rd Margaret Howie.

Flora Steele

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NOVEMBER 2010

Our President, Barbara Cock, welcomed members to the November meeting of Acklington Women’s Institute. apologies were received from 3 members unable to attend. June Pirie, Secretary, read the minutes of the Annual Meeting and they were approved and signed.
The Newsletter was discussed, lots to get involved in including Federation Writer in Residence competition; Christmas at Creswell House; Researcher Helen Kendell of Newcastle University would like to go through a questionnaire with anyone who is interested in food and there is an album featuring the WI singing group ‘Harmonies’, which includes Jerusalem and other new pop songs, plus lots more.
Dates for the diary include – Carpet Bowls at Stamfordham on 3rd March when 2 teams will be entered. An invitation has been received from Warkworth WI to their Christmas Fair in Warkworth on Wed 24th November.
After the business meeting Graham Cock took us on a Greek Odyssey and what better way to spend a cold, wet, wintry evening than being basked in sunshine and take a trip through beautiful Greek countryside. The photography was stunning and the commentary very informative and highly entertaining. We travelled through the beautiful Island of Corfu, saw a little old lady selling matches, colourful bazaars selling everything you could wish for and never seem to close and the imposing fortress – the Castle of St. George – and the lovely Harbour. We travelled on to Cephalonia, an island which suffered a devastating earthquake in 1953 lasting 17 seconds and causing widespread damage. The scenery was breath taking; we saw beautiful old buildings covered in Bougainvillea with its vibrant colour, olive groves and very colourful fishing boats in the harbour. Our final destination was Athens. The splendour of the Parthenon and Hadrian’s Library were two of the many fascinating historic buildings we saw, many still under restoration but nevertheless wonderful and awe inspiring. Graham did point out that Hadrian did at least build us a wall!!
At the conclusion, Margaret Howie proposed the vote of thanks for a truly interesting Odyssey.
Afterwards, we all enjoyed a lovely supper. The competition for a favourite piece of pottery was won by – 1st Margaret Hammond – 2nd Flora Steele and 3rd Moira Peden.
The December meeting is ‘Party Time’ – venue Village Hall, Acklington, time 7.15pm – catering will be by Pottergate Pantry of Alnwick.
The darts team hosted Shilbottle in the next round and what an exciting evenly matched game it was with Shilbottle just pipping us to the post.

Flora Steele

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October 2010

The 89th Annual Meeting was a very colourful affair—all members wearing a hat—the range of colours and styles was amazing. Barbara Cock, our President, opened the meeting and apologies were received from members unable to attend.
The October Newsletter was read—a team will be entered for the Reading Aloud Competition and it was noted that Acklington received a special mention due to June Barras being Ordained at St. Nicholas Church, Newcastle in July.
As this was a Business meeting, Olive Foster, the treasurer, produced the financial report and was thanked by Barbara. The secretary, June Pirie, read the Annual Report and Barbara Cock reported on a busy and enjoyable year and thanked everyone for their support to her and the committee.
Barbara then introduced Brenda Houlison, our Women’s Institute Adviser, who brought us up to date with what is going on in the Northumberland Federation. She brought with her a tea towel and modelled a kitchen apron which are being marketed by the WI. Brenda gave us an overview of WI groups in Northumberland and ended her talk with a poem entitled “Dust if you must” which was very funny.
Barbara King gave a vote of thanks to the committee and members voted for the President. Barbara Cock was re-elected.
The annual competition winners were announced and were:-
1st Wilma Nicoll—2nd Moira Peden, 3rd Barbara King
Over supper we enjoyed a Cryptic Quiz which made for lots of laughter and scratching of heads. This month’s competition—wear a hat—was won by:-
1st June Barras—2nd Wilma Nicoll—3rd Barbara Cock
On the 9th November our speaker will be Graham Cock, who will take us on a Greek Odyssey. The meeting starts at 7.15pm and if you would like some sunshine, please come along. All visitors are made very welcome.
The darts team (Barbara Cock, Olive Foster, Margaret Hammond & Barbara King) won their match against Eglingham and will now meet either Roddam or Shilbottle in the next round.

Flora Steele

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September 2010

Our President, Barbara Cock, welcomed members to the September meeting. Apologies were received from 8 members.
After completing the business section, Barbara introduced Samantha Lomas who gave a very interesting talk and demonstration on felt making and the history. She brought along some beautiful samples of her work together with skeins of sheep wool from which the felt is made and samples after felting. They included Norwegian, Shetland, Welsh Black, Texel, Ronaldsay, Cheviot, Blue Faced, Leicester and Herdwick. The demonstration was fascinating and Samantha produced a beautiful piece of felt.
As she demonstrated the art of felt making it was obvious what hard work is involved to produce the felt, before going on to dye and make it up into the finished article.
Barbara thanked Samantha for a very interesting talk and demonstration.
This month’s competition was for an article made from felt. Samantha was the judge and the winners were: - 1st Moira Peden; 2nd Wilma Nicol and 3rd Margaret Hammond.
The Annual Meeting will be held on October 12th at 7.15pm in Acklington village Hall. Visitors will be made very welcome.

Flora Steele


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21st August 2010

Congratulations to Margaret Hammond for winning the Acklington WI Crystal Bowl at the Warkworth Show with her Bakewell Tart.  Other entries were submitted by - Barbara Cock, Olive Foster, Barbara King and June Pirie (2nd).

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August 2010

Three committee members showed us how to quickly and simply make a pudding. June Pirie started off with her very easy rich Tiramisu followed by Wilma Nicoll with her cold Danish Rice Pudding, served with hot cherries and finally Barbara Cock, with the help of her grand-daughter Lucy, demonstrated her own version of Eton Mess. All were available for tasting and didn’t last long.
The competition for a kitchen utensil beginning with ‘C’ was—1st with a Cherry Pipper, Margaret Hammond—2nd with her special Champagne Corker (lets the gas escape first), Wilma Nicoll and 3rd Moira Peden with a wonderful coffee grinder.
The usual super supper followed by the raffle ended another interesting meeting.
The next meeting will be held on 14th September in Acklington Village Hall at 7.15pm and is a demonstration and talk on feltmaking with Samantha Lomas.
All visitors are welcome.

Barbara King


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July 2010

Mrs Margaret Hammond, Vice President, welcomed members to the July meeting.  Apologies were received from Jean Shaw.  The minutes of the previous meetings were read and approved.
There were many items discussed in the business meeting, including orders of diaries and calendars for 2010, Darts & Dominoes competition dates and various events which are to take place in the area, this included an invitation by Brizlee WI of Alnwick to their July meeting – 3 members are to attend.
After the business meeting Margaret Hammond welcomed Patricia Gatherum who gave a very graphic talk on Human Trafficking and the tragic circumstances in which desperately poor people find themselves as they try to improve their lives and the lives of their families on false promises made to them by the perpetrators of this terrible trade.  Wilma Nicoll proposed the vote of thanks.  After Patricia had concluded her talk a very good discussion took place on the various points brought to our attention.
We all enjoyed a lovely supper.  The hostesses were Olive Foster and Barbara Staniforth.
The competition for a topical limerick was won by – Wilma Nicoll with Moira Peden 2nd and Linda Aston 3rd.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday August 10th in the Village Hall, Acklington – the topic is Summer Puddings.

Flora Steele

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June 2010

On a damp, cool June evening 13 members visited the beautiful gardens at Whalton Manor. We entered the gardens through a small side door; itself a beautiful example of architectural design, and what a treat in store. The walls of the house were covered in Wisteria, and rose beds were formally arranged in the lawns.
The garden had been designed by Gertrude Jekyll in 1908 and, although altered over time, the essence of her work is still very apparent. The herbaceous borders were stunning. Our guide, the owner, was so enthusiastic about her garden and she took us on a tour where we did not miss any of the lovely plants and beautiful features the garden offers, including the Irises – stunning, the miniature lilac with its amazing perfume and a host of roses just coming in to bloom, to name just a few. The Laburnum trees provided a huge yellow dome as we walked under them, truly spectacular.
We saw lovely summer houses and pergolas on our tour and a beautiful paved court yard, all the work of Edward Lutyens.
We all enjoyed the lovely home made refreshments followed by a visit to the plant stalls area where many of us purchased some beautiful and very healthy plants.
It was a lovely evening which we all enjoyed and our President, Barbara Cock, thanked our host for the very interesting tour.
Our next meeting will be held in Acklington Village Hall on Tuesday 13th July at 7.15pm. The subject – Human Trafficking. Visitors are always welcome.


Flora Steele

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May 2010


Members were welcomed by President Mrs Barbara Cock to the May meeting. Apologies were given on behalf of June Barras and Gladys Williamson. The minutes of the March meeting were read and items from the Northumberland News discussed.
There was a unanimous show of hands for The Resolution – Mandatory Labelling of Food with Country of Origin.
Janet Bell distributed the updated list of members. A list was also circulated for 2011 diaries and calendar, and names were taken for the Darts & Dominoes competitions.
Barbara Cock informed the meeting that Olive Foster and Janet Bell had raised £34.25 net after expenses at the Table Top Sale held in the Village Hall. June Pirie had made some small drawstring bags and embroidered them with initials – they were very popular.
After the business part of the meeting was concluded and we were joined by other members of the community, Barbara King took us on Part Two of her wonderful World Tour with John Davison in charge of visual effects.
Barbara left Tokyo for Australia, stopping off at Cairns, Brisbane and Melbourne before arriving at Adelaide for a reunion with her Aunt & Uncle – suitcase lost! She was driven firstly to Mawson Lake’s for a two day stay with her Cousin – suitcase delivered – before a 4 hour drive to Port Augusta, located in the red desert in the Outback, a meeting place for the Aborigine people and knows as The Cross Roads of Australia. The scenery from her relative’s house was stunning with Salt Pans, Spencer’s Gulf (named after Princess Diana’s Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather) and the Flinders Ranges, named after Captain Matthew Flinders RN who was born in Donnington, Lincolnshire in 1774 who navigated and chartered much of the Australian coast. Barbara took a cruise up and down the Spencer Gulf and saw huge mangrove swamps and dolphins close up as they swam by the side of the boat.
Visits to Orroroo, Quorn with its colonial architecture and the beautiful Warren Gorge were all very memorable. She saw some of Australia’s unusual wildlife including the Lorikeet, Blue Tongued Lizard (Sleepies) and the Bearded Lizard made stunning pictures.
From Adelaide Barbara travelled to Dookie, Victoria to stay with her ex-neighbours from Acklington, Barbara & Roger Turnbull, who had gained another dog called Toby. By contrast, this was a very green area and lovely little town of 250 people – it had its own sports stadium and university among many other facilities and where she saw the beautiful and enchanting Koala Bears.
Onto Auckland, New Zealand where she visited the Queen Street shopping area, went up the 328m Sky Tower, Mount Eden Volcano with its beautiful gardens and stunning Lilies and saw some of the craters left by long dead volcanoes.
From Auckland she flew to Los Angeles – travelled on the Christopher Columbus Highway, visited Beverley Hills, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood and the Walk of Fame.
Onto Toronto and the Niagara Falls – spectacular. The Maid of the Mist tours closed for the season but Barbara went under the Falls instead – very wet!
From there back to Acklington via Heathrow & Newcastle – what a wonderful tour.
Barbara Cock thanked Barbara for sharing her whistle stop tour, a trip of a lifetime, with us and presented her with a gift token in appreciation and to thank John for his help, a bottle of sherry.
This month’s competition for a Sprig of Spring Flowers was 1st Linda Aston, 2nd Olive Foster, and 3rd Flora Steele.
Next month there is a visit to Whalton Manor Gardens.

Flora Steele

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April 2010

Dubai, Cape Town and Tokyo were the destinations for the Open Evening of Acklington WI held on Tuesday 13th April.
WI member, Barbara King, took us on the first part of her Round the World in 40 Days Tour by
aeroplane (Part Two will be shown on Tuesday 11th May at 8pm) stopping firstly at Dubai—a very opulent resort where she stayed in a luxurious hotel overlooking the Arabian Sea—known locally as ‘The Creek’. Obviously a memorable visit from the breathtaking architecture to the bazaars selling gold and spices and, amongst the many things she did (and possibly the most memorable) was the Desert Safari by 4 x 4 jeep scaling the heights and depths of the desert dunes, quite hair raising followed by a visit to the Bedouin Camp at sunset which looked spectacular where she enjoyed a typical delicious Arabic meal.
Her next visit was to Cape Town—the photography was stunning, Table Mountain looked magnificent and Barbara was lucky to get to the top before the cloud cover (known locally as ‘The Blanket’) came in and the cable car stopped. The views were breath-taking. Albert & Victoria Waterfront Bay looked beautiful with the foam topped waves rolling in. She also told us that many of the main roads in Cape Town bear the names of our Royal Family.
She also related her most frightening experience of losing her passport just before starting the next leg of her journey to Tokyo.
Here she saw the Bullet train, visited Ginza (Silver) Street—expensive & exclusive; got lost!! and enjoyed a City Tour plus lots more.
Our President, Mrs Barbara Cock, proposed the vote of thanks and we all shared our appreciation to Barbara for her narrative of the tour, which was very interesting along with the stunning photography. She was ably accompanied by John Davison who was in charge of ensuring he put the correct slide upto coincide with what Barbara was saying.
After the film show we all enjoyed a lovely supper.
The competition for a holiday photograph was judged by one of our visitors and was won by 1st Olive Foster; 2nd Barbara Cock and 3rd Gladys Williamson.
We had a very short business meeting.
The next meeting will be held in Acklington Village Hall on Tuesday 11th May at 7.15pm. The final
session of Barbara’s Round the World Tour will start at 8pm. Please come along and enjoy the evening and that includes Men.

Flora Steele

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March 2010

20 members, including 1 new member, enjoyed a lovely meal at The Railway Inn, Acklington to celebrate their 88th birthday and afterwards exchanged gifts.
On Monday 22nd February four members attended a workshop at South Gosforth to learn about Sashiko Quilting. Our instructor was Mary Clementson who explained the history of Sashiko work – basically a type of stitch the Japanese workers would use to repair their dark navy workwear. She explained also that each family had their own design in a similar way to the Guernsey designs that are used by fishermen and are familiar to us by the distinctive ribbed patterns used across the shoulder.
We worked the designs in white thread on a navy blue background and the results were stunning. The end product from the workshop was a small bag, designed on the style of the bags the Japanese use when they go to collect their Sushi.
On Wednesday 13th March, 2 teams from Acklington played Carpet Bowls in the Annual Competition at St. James’ Alnwick and, although we didn’t win, we all had a very enjoyable day.
Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 13th April in Acklington Village Hall when Barbara King will give the first part of her slide show entitled “Around the World in 40 Days”, which she undertook in 2008. Part one begins at 7.15pm and is open to all. Please see page 13 of the March edition of the Pelican for further details. A small buffet will be available after the show.

Flora Steele

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February 2010

Our President, Mrs Barbara Cock, welcomed members to the first meeting of 2010 and wished everyone a Happy New Year. Apologies were received from Rosemary Patterson.
The guest speaker this month was Louise Frederique of Cabosse Fine Chocolates & Patisserie of Dial Place, Warkworth. She gave us a very interesting insight into the world of chocolate from its beginning on the Cacao tree and the many processes it goes through before we enjoy its tantalizing taste.
Louise had brought with her a pod containing the cocoa bean, which was passed around for all to see. She explained that the pods develop on the trunk and not the branches of the Cacao tree and that they only grow in the equatorial region. She also brought some of the tools of her trade and explained how she melts the chocolate then pours it onto a granite slab and works very quickly with the liquid to make the chocolate ready to coat the insides of the moulds before filling with one of the many delectable ganaches that she also makes. It was fascinating listening to her and all the members thoroughly enjoyed her talk. She brought us some of her lovely chocolates, which we all appreciated.
After Louise had given her talk we then turned to the business section of the meeting and we read and discussed items from the January & February Northumberland Newsletter.
Hopefully, 6 members will attend the Sashiko Japanese Quilting day to be held at Gosforth on 22nd February. The Carpet Bowls competition will be held at St. James’ entre, Alnwick on Wednesday 3rd March – we have entered 2 teams. It was proposed that we look at the possibility of holding a craft class in the village hall for interested members under the guidance of June Pirie, to start March/April, to be discussed further. Janet Bell, Programme Secretary, circulated the menu for our 88th Birthday party to be held at The Railway Inn, Acklington on Tuesday 9th march.
Our entry for the Warkworth Show this year will be a Bakewell Tart from the Bero Book. The April/May meetings will include a slide show of Barbara King’s World Tour. More information will be published in The Pelican.
The competition this month was 3 chocolate biscuits. There were eleven entries. 1st – Audrey Thurgood; 2nd Margaret Hammond; 3rd June Pirie.

Flora Steele

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January 2010

Meeting cancelled due to inclement weather.