Harlow Women's Institute

Member of the Federation of Essex Women's Institutes
Charity Registration Number 228992

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Canine October

The speaker at today's meeting, Helen Beard, brought her two Labradors along to assist with her talk entitled "Pets as Therapy".  The older dog, thirteen and a half and, like many of us, a little arthritic was happy to add a vocal chorus.  The younger one, Sapphire, who is only two and a half, was quieter and rather more timid.

Helen explained how dogs can assist in many situations by giving undemanding and uncritical affection, which can help people of all ages to relax and be less stressed and intimidated by the situations they find themselves in.  Pet dogs - and also pet cats and pet reptiles - are taken into care homes, hospital wards, schools, prisons, family courts, and many other situations where the surroundings and atmosphere might prove difficult for people.  Many people have owned animals during their lives and can relate and relax in the presence of one.  People suffering with mental health issues may well find that they can be more open with an unthreatening canine presence.  Of course, the animals have to be checked over to ensure that they are able to behave in a calm and controlled way, and not jump up at people.  Breed is less important than the nature of the dog.  There are various precautions taken to ensure that a visiting animal doesn't import any infection which could cause real problems to a vulnerable person.

This is Sapphire, wearing her Pets as Therapy identity tag, and waiting hopefully for a titbit.

It was a very interesting and inspiring talk, covering much information and food for thought.  Helen was warmly thanked by Joy Beaumont.

The competition was for a dog ornament or item and there were many entries - lots of ornaments and photographs.  Helen eventually chose as the winner a photograph belonging to Jean McGauran of her daughter's two dogs.  

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

"East End to Essex"

This was the title of a thoroughly entertaining talk given by Mrs Sharon Gould today.  She is a first-class speaker with a natural flow and an easy manner, who managed not to be at all fazed when her technology refused to co-operate for the first five or ten minutes.  However, it eventually sprang into life and we were able to see pictures of the area in which she grew up.  Born in Hackney Hospital, she lived in Clevedon Passage just off Stoke Newington High Street and attended Fleetwood school.  As a child, she played in Clissold Park, which is still there but the area has rather come up in the world now, as reflected by local property prices. 

The family moved to Essex after Sharon's father won some money on a bet and they could afford a house.  Several more moves took place.

Sharon married at seventeen, had three children, and worked at a variety of jobs over the years - about twenty different ones - including butchery, catering, bank work, and finally helping young people with disabilities find meaningful paid employment, something of which she is very proud.  At the end of her talk she was very warmly applauded and thanked.  She invited members to have a look at her collection of household artefacts and products from the mid-twentieth century, and members were offered samples of rollmops and Virol (sadly no pie and eels).  We hope to hear more of Mrs Gould's talks in the future.

The competition this month was for a memento from the Essex seaside.  There were only five entries for this (see picture):  Linda Mitchell's entry (no.4) was selected as the winner.

Forthcoming Events

Saturday 15 September 10 am until noon, informal "coffee & chat" in the WI Hall

Thursday 20 September 2 pm Play-reading Group in the WI Hall

Friday 28 September from 11 am until 4 pm the Craft Group meets in the Hall

Every Monday, there are darts and table games from 1.30 until 3.30 pm, also in the Hall

All members are welcome to attend; the "coffee & chat" and the Craft Group are open to everyone.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

The Strawberry Tea

Some thirty members and guests enjoyed the annual Strawberry Tea on 18 July.  As well as strawberries, cream and scones, a glass of Pimms was on offer for anyone who wished (with lemonade for those who didn't).  A picture quiz rounded off the afternoon.

The guests were representatives from the Harlow Chocolate Run which was the organisation chosen to be the recipient of the proceeds from the Charity Coffee Morning in May. We have received a very kind letter of thanks from them and a photograph, shown below.

"Our sincere thanks to all the lovely ladies of the Women’s Institute (Harlow) who recently invited us along to their Summer Strawberry Tea to present us with such a generous donation raised at their Annual Charity Coffee Morning which we also attended.. you are very special, thank you!"

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Whatever happened to June?

Somehow, June managed to escape me.  I forgot to take photographs of the entries to the competition (which was for a trinket box) thus missing the opportunity for some very varied and attractive pictures.  Then I forgot the report ........... 

June was a busy month with the Summer Lunch and the second drop-in Coffee Morning, and July is shaping up to be busy too.  As well as today's meeting, there is the Strawberry Tea on the 18th, and another drop-in Coffee Morning on Saturday 21st. 

The speaker at today's meeting was Jackie Marshall Ward who had brought a friend along to share the presentation entitled "My Granny had one of those".  This took the form of a quiz involving all the members working in teams of six or seven.  Twelve objects were passed around for the teams to examine and discuss, after which they had to write a brief description of each one, with its purpose, its likely period of origin, and anything else they could find to say about it.  The objects were extremely varied, ranging from a button stick to Victorian cylindrical rulers, and from a pouncet box to a left-handed moustache cup.  Some members were very good, displaying unexpected knowledge in rather specialised fields!  This was a thoroughly entertaining and informative afternoon. 

The competition was for an item from Granny's day, and attracted a good number of entries. 


The eventual winner was this collection of old
kitchen gadgetry