It was a cold November Thursday evening and I made my way to St. Matthews Hall eagerly anticipating a night of swishing action. For the un-initiated, ‘swishing’ is basically a great big clothes swap. Guests were invited to bring along up to five items (either clothes or shoes) and were given a ticket to swap them for an equal number of items. It was first come, first served – so those who got there on the dot of 7.30pm were in the enviable position of having first dibs of the goodies laid out at the back of the hall.
We hit upon a small obstacle early on when we realised that St. Matthews was locked and the key bearer delayed. Those of us waiting to get in momentarily considered hanging the items from the church railings and commencing swishing al fresco, but were rescued from having to implement that rubbish plan by a kindly old gent named Norman who let us in just in time for the meeting to start.
Myself and Mrs Spataro were responsible for handing out the tickets and resisted the urge to secretly bag the particularly desirable items. We both lusted after an AMAZE Cath Kidston print 50s style dress, handmade by the lovely Angela – I’ve yet to establish why she was prepared to give that little beaut up! At the end of the night, there were a few items that hadn’t managed to find themselves a new home. These were taken by SHWI member Becky Chauhan to a charity shop .
The evening wasn’t just about pretty clothes and an eco approach to fashion, it was also our Annual Meeting in which the committee report back on the year to members. We were all pleased to hear that our finances are in the red, thanks to some nifty number crunching by Treasurer, Vicky Porteous. Secretary extraordinaire, Kim Whelan had also prepared a presentation detailing some of the group’s highlights from the past year, including taking part in the Sheffield Food Festival and subsequently raising much needed funds for local charity, Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service.
The best bit of the evening for me was singing Jerusalem. Whilst most WIs sing this rousing hymn every month, our members voted to only sing it at the Annual Meeting. Beautifully led by Ruth of Music a la Carte (who volunteered her voice for free), we belted it out as best we could. Whilst not quite managing to reach those high notes, I gave it my all and was left with a mini tear in my eye as I was reminded why I love being part of SHWI.
See you next month for some festive fun!
Ruth, Vice President