So, Thursday the 19th January was the new year return of the wonderful Seven Hills Women’s Institute meetings, and what a meeting it was!
After becoming fully booked for membership for 2012 even before the first meeting was held, we now have 101 members in total. I was a little apprehensive as to how we would all fit in the meeting hall, but as ladies gradually filtered in up to the start of the meeting, a lovely atmosphere of old friends catching up alongside new members plunging into a probably very scary but exciting organisation developed.
Several people (including myself) bought some fantastic looking baking; from Vicky’s ‘smores’, a lemon drizzle cake and my own Quality Street muffins (an attempt to use up the last of the Christmas chocolate) and people buzzed around the tea counter in anticipation for the speaker. All the baking was eaten – something that doesn’t happen that often- and we even ended up not having enough chairs for the amazing turn out! The bustling atmosphere meant that new members were able to feel much more included and join one of the already filled tables.
After a great catch up presentation by the committee (lots to go through, but this was necessary so everyone knows how we function!), there were lots of people wanting to get involved in the other subgroups such as supper club, knitting club and the walking group – this year should be fun filled and busy for all involved! The enthusiasm and excitement will also hopefully mean lots of opportunities to raise plenty of cash for our nominated charity who will be revealed next meeting, and the Food Festival will hopefully have plenty of baking and helping hands for it to be an even bigger success this year.
As we all sat down after the ‘interval’ we excitedly waited for the speaker to arrive – Janet Stain – who was to speak to us about the ‘history of briefs’. Everyone had been waiting to see exactly how she would approach such a niche subject but we needn’t have doubted her. The talk was ingenious, providing us with true history as well as some fantastically entertaining tales of Queen Victoria’s knicker collection, woollen pants of the 1940s, school pants complete with a pocket for your tissue and the emergence of the very sexy french knicker in the 1920s. The speaker herself had amassed an incredible collection of undergarments ranging from huge split bloomers to delicately laced wedding pants, some dating back to the Victorian age for us to ogle and laugh at. It was great to have someone with a bit of fire in her to relate to us all, and she certainly made us laugh (as well as telling me off for using my phone to take photos!).
What an incredible meeting to kick the year off – here is to a truly great 2012 for SHWI! Grace Tebbutt, SHWI Committee