Harlow Women's Institute

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

Wednesday 15 April 2015

March and April meetings

The last two meetings have been well-attended and successful.  In March, our speaker was Helen Baron who gave a fascinating talk and demonstration on the use of the potters wheel.  Under her skilful hands, lumps of brown clay turned into elegant bowls, jugs, pots and bottles.  A few members were able to have a go for themselves and managed to produce very respectable pots.  The audience would have happily listened to and watched a much more extended demonstration, but an hour was all we had time for.  The competition that day was for a favourite piece of pottery and was won by Jennifer Quinn.

April brought a complete contrast.  Mr Gordon Bailey talked about the treasures beneath the earth which can be found by use of a metal detector.  He has been unearthing interesting artefacts - some intrinsically valuable, some historic - since the nineteen sixties.  At that time, the detector was a much more cumbersome thing than the modern streamlined implement.  These days, the searcher usually pays a fee to the farmer or landowner whose land he wishes to check out.  Remarkable finds are still brought to light, sometimes by novices in places where a professional might have decided there was nothing doing.  Mr Bailey had a broad selection of finds to show his audience, ranging from the relatively recent to the frequently lost spoon or knife from some four hundred years ago.  As the talk was entitled Treasures Beneath Your Feet the subject of the competition was an interesting pair of shoes.  Jean Mallett entered a small pair of beautifully made moccasins and duly won.

Next month brings the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 14 May and the Charity Coffee Morning on Saturday 16 May.  As well as the opportunity to elect a new committee and find out how the treasurer has been looking after the funds, the AGM will bring a report on the past year's work and an opportunity for members to have a say about anything they consider important.  There will also be two brief talks; one on keeping safe, and the other will be from a representative of the charity Caring for Harlow Carers which is our chosen charity for the Coffee Morning on the 16th. 

The Coffee Morning lasts just two hours - from 10am to noon - but during that time we aim to raise as much money as possible for the charity.  There will be the usual stalls - cakes, gifts, bric-à-brac, raffle, tombola, books, etc - and the entrance price will be £1 which includes tea or coffee and biscuits.   We hope all members will support this event either by attending or contributing merchandise, and by publicising it. 

On the day of the AGM, the competition will be for an original 'odd ode' (à la Cyril Fletcher) and we will also be creating a line of pennies for ACWW.  Last year, the line of pennies (see left)amounted to £11.10, and we hope to top that this year.