Harlow Women's Institute

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

Sunday 14 September 2014


No, it's not an evening outing to Maldon on 17 September - the time should be 10am not 10pm.  Sorry!

September Meeting

Attendance at the September meeting on the 10th was slightly lower than usual, due to some members still away enjoying their holidays.  However, eight visitors were present, some of whom intend to join our Institute next month.

Marilyn Chappell played the (newly tuned and repaired) piano for Jerusalem in place of Brenda Roberts, before the business of the meeting was conducted by the President.  Members who had attended the informal fish & chip lunch in August had much enjoyed it.  Those members who had visited other WIs for various celebratory events during the month had been very impressed by the generous and warm hospitality.  Notes of thanks had been sent to the WIs concerned.

Our speaker for the day, Dr Robin Campbell, talked briefly about his academic background and his various published works.  In recent years, he has turned his attention to writing for children in order to both inform and encourage their reading skills.  One such book is Watching for Doodlebugs, which was the title of his talk.  Dr Campbell was a young boy during the war years, growing up in London, and - like many small boys - enjoyed exploring the craters left by bombing and acquiring mementoes such as shrapnel.  What he didn't enjoy was having to spend some nights in the family's Anderson shelter which was damp and cold.  His attendance at his school was a prelude to its being bombed, as happened at two subsequent schools.  The family briefly fled to relatives in Edinburgh only for their arrival to coincide with the bombing of Leith, so they returned to London after one night, preferring to be bombed at home rather than in distant places.  Dr Campbell talked about the interception of the doodlebugs (V1s) as they crossed the Channel, and used his wife, Ruby, to illustrate graphically the way a fighter aircraft would tackle the doodlebug.  Some of our members who were also resident in London had their own stories to tell.  One of those was Lilian Pedrick, who also gave the vote of thanks to Dr Campbell.

During the tea interval, Dr Campbell judged the competition which was for a wartime memento.  He commended all the entries but - unsurprisingly - chose a map of doodlebug sites in Kent as the winner.  This had been entered by Jennifer Quinn (picture below).

The President reminded members of the forthcoming Bazaar and appealed for help with stocking and running the stalls and attendance on the day.  Birthday flowers were presented, the raffle was drawn and the National Anthem was sung.  The meeting closed at 4pm.

Forthcoming Events

Wednesday 17 September - outing to Maldon (10pm from WI Hall)
Wednesday 1 October - walk (10am from WI Hall)
Wednesday 8 October - WI meeting (2pm, speaker Mr David Hewitt on Ageing with Attitude, competition 'bling')
Saturday 18 October - WI Bazaar (10am-noon, WI Hall)
Wednesday 22 October - Cobbins Group Meeting (2pm WI Hall)

Members are reminded that masks for the Group Meeting competition should be brought to the meeting on 8 October so that two can be selected for Harlow's entry.