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November 2015

Our speaker this month was Claire Turner, who studied Art at college before moving to Newmarket, where she took up Arts and Crafts classes at Foley House. After her kids were grown and she finally had a workroom to herself,  she focused on developing her skills using modern embroidery and silk painting.

Claire demonstrated various ways of painting on silk and how to create barriers with stitching or Gutta to keep the colours from bleeding into each other. She also demonstrated how salt can be used to change the texture and stipple the paint.

Claire stunned us with the beauty of her creations, bringing in a selection of scarves and cards she had personally designed and painted. The dragon scarf (her final project for the City & Guilds qualification) was a real show stopper!

Other events this month included the Gazeley Village Hall Coffee Morning; a walk in Long Melford; afternoon tea at Beryl’s house; and the Barrow quiz (alas, both of our two teams placed somewhere in the middle). Juliet and Beryl attended the Autumn Council meeting.

This month’s book club selection was Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne. Put forward by Lori (who had been trying to sway the ladies to read something in the horror genre from the very beginning of book club), this ghost story was a surprise to everyone and well reviewed by most.  

October 2015

The meeting hall smelled fabulous this month when Cheryl Brighty brought in an array of delectable delicacies from her shop, Artistry in Cocoa (Sun Lane, Newmarket). She explained the process of making chocolate from cocoa beans and her experiments in chocolate for diabetics, gluten free and other special dietary requirements. All the time she was speaking, Cheryl was busily demonstrating her technique, filling chocolate moulds with Tia Maria. YUM!

Other events this month included a walk around Lavenham; afternoon tea at Maggie’s house, which raised £40 for the ACWW; and a Gredley bus outing to Freeport at Braintree.

This month’s book club selection was Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford. Comparisons were invariably made to Downtown Abbey, which hit the airwaves long before the book was written. It was definitely an interesting story but a number of the ladies found it implausible that an aristocratic family would be so open and trusting with their servants. 

September 2015

We were lucky to welcome back Rod Blackmore, who was originally scheduled to give a talk in February but was cancelled due to snow warnings. Rod’s hilarious presentation covered his career as a vet from the time he qualified at the Royal Veterinary College in December 1967. He shared stories about the outbreak of Foot & Mouth disease in Cheshire, which brought veterinarians from all over the world.  He also told of calving in the wee hours of a bitter winter morning, being thrown into a dung pile by a sow who was not well pleased with an injection, and a psychologically disturbed goldfish who swam on its side.

It was our turn this year to host the Gallops Group Meeting at Dalham. The guest speaker and refreshments were a great success!

Other events this month included a walk in The Botanical Gardens, Cambridge; afternoon tea at Maureen’s house, which raised £40 for Macmillan Nurses; and the WI banner parade at the Thanksgiving Service at St Mary’s Church in Bury St Edmunds (at which event Maggie discovered that our banner dates back to 1939).  

August 2015


Trish from Fish Burwell Ltd treated us to a cooking lesson showcasing some of her favourite quick fish recipes. Trish and her husband own Fish Burwell Ltd, which began trading in 2010 from a mobile unit at Manchetts Budgens in Burwell. Their business proved a success and they soon expanded to a storefront at The Guineas Centre in Newmarket.

Trish prepared three fish dishes, including Scottish salmon wrapped in foil with vegetables and herbs and baked in the oven (thanks, Maggie, for assisting in the kitchen); Megrin (a type of sole, which she described as flavoursome and less expensive than other sole varieties) cooked in a skillet on her hob with chives and herbs; and smoked haddock pached in water with samphire and poached egg. All three dishes were devoured to the last morsel – an absolutely DELICIOUS evening! Other events this month included afternoon tea at Margaret’s house, which raised £41 for charity.

July 2015

Our annual summer bring-and-share supper was a huge success. Beryl and Juliet shared their stories of Royal events they attended in June. Nostalgic memories filled our minds as we perused photos of each of us as small children as part of the “Guess Who” entertainment. Unfortunately, we were all so busy having fun that we forgot to take any photos of the event!

The book club selection was To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee. The discussion afterwards focused primarily on prejudice both in the time of the book and in modern society.

Other events this month included afternoon tea at Gay’s house. 

June 2015

Ruth Miller gave a truly inspirational and fascinating talk about The Foundling Hospital. We listened to her heart-wrenching but inspiring story of children and babies abandoned at birth or dropped off by mothers who could not afford to care for them at home. These abandoned children were cared for and later educated in the care of The Foundling Hospital. Having spent 10 years in their care herself, Ruth was able to bring the whole subject to life talking of her own experiences.

Although daily life was regimented, Mrs Miller considers herself lucky compared to others during World War Two. The hospital provided a decent education in an environment with excellent facilities, including 40 acres of land and a swimming pool.

Beryl caught the chance of a lifetime when the membership voted her to represent us at the WI Centenary Garden Party at Buckingham Palace with The Queen and The Duchess of Cornwall. All of the ladies looked resplendent in their Sunday best, complete with hats and fascinators.

Another of our members, Juliet, attended the NFWI Annual Meeting at the Royal Albert Hall. Guests included The Queen, HRH The Princess Royal, and HRH The Countess of Wessex.

Other activities this month included afternoon tea at Joan McManus‘s house, the Action Research strawberry tea at Juliet's, a walk at Fuller's Mill (including lunch at Three Kings at Fornham All Saints), and a Gredley bus trip to Hyde Hall.  

May 2015

At our annual AGM meeting, outgoing President Lynne Francis reported a current membership of 27, with 8 of them living outside the village. Lynne thanked all of the willing volunteers at Dalham & Gazeley who serve on the committee year after year, enabling our local group to thrive.

The book club selection was A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. 

April 2015

Michael Brown kept all of us on our toes working through his Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan workshop, which he explained differs from other forms of tai chi in that it emphasize small, compact movements over large and medium-sized ones. Whether you want to use it for your health, fitness, well being or self-defense, the slow, measured and purposeful movements are sure to give you a workout!  

The Gredley Bus outing took us to Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, where we all took in the Homage to Édouard Manet exhibition before settling down for a spot of lunch in the café. 

There was no tea party this month but Lynne noted in the minutes that our previous tea parties had raised £192.50 so far this year! 

March 2015

This month we welcomed Kaddy Benyon (Barbara’s daughter), who grew up in Gazeley and is now an award-winning writer and poet. Her talk, “The Snow Queen Retold,” was a re-telling of her favourite children’s story was filled with special memories and about what inspired her to become a writer. Kaddy has written over seventy television scripts for Hollyoaks and Grange Hill, as well as three tie-in novels. In 2012, Kaddy won the Crashaw Prize with the manuscript for her debut collection Milk Fever (Salt Publishing, 2012). It is also a Granta New Poet and an Agenda Chosen Young Poet. Her poems have appeared in various literary magazines, on websites and in anthologies and her poem ‘Firekeepers’ won third prize in the Mslexia Poetry Competition 2012. Kaddy is now working on her second collection, Call Her Alaska.

Barbara hosted the afternoon tea party this month, raising £50 for the British Heart Foundation. The walking group took a lovely stroll (baby and all) around Nowton Park, and Bobbie hosted the book club, whose reading of The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton kept all of the ladies wondered exactly who the unseen master of miniatures could be! 

February 2015

We were due to welcome local vet Rod Blackmore back to the WI this month but with snow on the ground and more forecast, it was decided to cancel the February meeting and invite Rod back later in the year.

The walking group meandered around the snow drops at Anglesey Abbey with lunch in the restaurant afterwards.

Juliet hosted this month’s tea party, raising £60 for EACH (East Anglia Children’s Hospice). With gift aid, the total came to £75 for this worthy cause.

Beryl was the hostess with the mostest, when the book club took on the rather busy world of The Bees by Laline Paul. Although it was difficult for some of the ladies to get their heads around a book about bees, we had a great discussion about societal norms and caste systems. 

January 2015

We kept things close to home at the start of the New Year by welcoming speakers with a direct link to Gazeley. In January, our very own Debbie Saldana demonstrated the art of reducing stress through Reflexology and Indian Head Massage, aided by her glamourous assistant, Lori Scharpf, who certainly looked very relaxed at the end of the demonstration.

The first book club meeting for 2015 was hosted by Barbara, who kept the nibbles and wine flowing as we discussed At Risk  by Stella Rimington. The consensus was that it took a while to get going and then when it did, it was a bit ‘neh’ for the most part. However, this led us on to discussions regarding world affairs, and of course more nibbles and lashings of wine (or coffee, as the case may be).

The Gredley bus outing proved a lovely day despite the threat of snow. Morning coffee was taken in front of a roaring fire in The Bull in Long Melford, followed by a spot of  retail therapy in the village and a very enjoyable lunch at The Swan in Monks Eleigh. 

December 2014

Our December bring and share supper was a huge success, with a variety of rather tasty nibbles and tantalising treats on offer to satisfy even the most discerning of palettes. Angela took charge of the evening’s entertainment, delighting everyone with her crazy race car game, leaving all of us rooting loudly for our favourites!  

Our annual Christmas dinner was at The Golden Boar Inn in Freckenham. The evening was enjoyed by all, thanks in no small part to Gazeley United Charities, who covered the cost of the mini-bus for the evening.

Another highlight of our holiday season was an evening stroll at Anglesey Abbey to see their Winter Lights display. Their artfully crafted fusions of nature and light resulted in stunning displays everywhere you looked. Who could forget the enchanting silver birch grove floodlit against the night sky and reflected back along the Riverside Walk near the mill? Top it off with live music, strolling performers, mulled wine and hot chocolate – a perfect night all around!

Maggie hosted the afternoon tea. The book club selection for November was Sea and Sardinia by D.H. Lawrence. 

November 2014

Margaret Brackenbury gave a hands-on workshop on how to make felt poppies, with each of us taking away our very own finished poppy to proudly wear on Remembrance Sunday.

Other events this month included a walk at Milton Country Park, afternoon tea at Beryl’s house (which raised £45 for charity), working the WI stall at Bury St Edmunds Market, and the Baton Relay Sausage Sizzle Supper in Wickhambrook.

The book club selection for November was Sea and Sardinia by by D.H. Lawrence. 

October 2014

Members were very pleased to welcome Celia Stevens to the October meeting to hear all about her life as a woman racing driving. Celia has raced in the Le Mans Classic twice, racing in a 1958 Peerless in 2006 and in the Legends race supporting the main Le Mans 24-hour event in 2007. Celia currently races in a Warwick GT 350, winning her class in the last race of the 2009 season. She is a qualified racing instructor and shows people how to drive performance cars on circuit. Celia’s enthusiasm is infectious and she gave us a breath-taking commentary on one of her races, leaving us all exhausted as we almost felt that we’d been watching the race ourselves.

Not a lot of people know this, but her other day job is driving coffins around England – she says it’s surprising how fast they go!

Other events this month included the WI guided tour at Lavenham, the Centenary Exhibition (100 years of the WI), afternoon tea at Maggie’s house, and a walk at Wicken Fen.

This month’s book club selection was Wideacre by Philippa Gregory – a tale of lust, debauchery, incest, passion, murder and mayhem in the 18th century.  Ooh er Missus!


September 2014

September’s guest speaker left us all dreaming of a day at the spa after seeing the facial demonstration and sampling the products for sale brought to us by Hazel Knox-Johnston of The Spa at Ickworth Hotel, Horringer.

Other local events included afternoon tea at Maureen’s house and serving tea at the annual Grow & Show at the Village Hall. A number of members also attended the annual Gallops meeting, which was hosted by Cowlinge (at Wickhambrook) with guest speaker Lyn Mortimer of the East Anglian Daily Times ("The Life and Laughs of a Local Journalist"). This month’s book club selection was (Heartbreak Hotel by Deborah Moggach.


August 2014

Our guest speaker this month was Graham Higgins, whose “Tales from the Bench” included historical perspectives on crime and punishment through the ages and the duties of a local magistrate. Graham recounted a number of amusing incidents and anecdotes and gave members the chance to act as judge in the case of Miss J Bad. Members had differing views on how to deal with the accused, leaving all of us to ponder the nuances of justice in today’s society.

Other events this month included the third meeting of the book club (readingSea and Sardinia by D.H. Lawrence), and afternoon tea at Joan’s house. This was also the month when Maggie launched her fundraising initiative: Eat Smarties for the ACWW (Associated Country Women of the World) – an international charity supported by the WI to support women in rural areas all over the world.


July 2014

Our annual summer social was a huge success this year, with a delicious array of foods to delight our tastebuds and a hilarious presentation, “Nothing Like A Dame,” by guest speakers Horry & Susan Parsons. With all of the usual panto jokes and outrageous costumes, Horry and Susan had us all laughing out loud and harkening back to the days of our youth for the family trek to the annual pantomime.

Other events this month included the second meeting of the WI book club (reading Life After Life by Kate Akinson), afternoon tea at Kate’s house, a group visit to Hampton Court Palace, and a Gredley bus trip to Beth Chatto’s gardens.


June 2014

Louise Webber was our speaker this month and gave a wonderful demonstration of the art of Felting. A very creative art, Felting enables you to build up an image using different types of raw spun wool to create either landscapes or abstract pictures. The method is very basic where you use a base of plain wool and then add layer upon layer of different coloured wool to create your desired image. She gave a full demonstration using her method and then handed round the finished product. It especially appeals to children as it is very hands on and a felt image can be produced in minutes. Not only can you produce pictures but the same method can be used to create bags and clothing. We ended our evening feeling truly inspired. 

April 2014


A warm welcome this month to a most entertaining speaker Horrie Parsons who talked about his role as the Construction Team Leader of the building of the Millennium Tower at St. Edmundsbury Cathedral. Horrie had already retired but was offered this project and took it on as a 'swan song' much to the horror of his wife who had lots of jobs at home for him to do! Not deterred, Horrie took on the project with great gusto and didn't look back. He first took us through all the aspects of the project explaining the different types of stone used and the attention to detail involved between the design teams to the specialist stone masons. He particulary enjoyed the regular royal visits from Prince Charles and Camilla as the project was drawing to an end culminating in an official unveiling. His mimicry of Prince Charles was very entertaining and very believable. A very enjoyable evening. 

March 2014

As Karen Finch, the founder of The Hearing Care Centre, was unwell, Simon Myhill came to talk to us on our hearing and hearing loss. Simon was very thorough in explaining how the ear works and how together, with the brain, it processes sounds. Simon also explained the most common causes of hearing loss and what people should look out for. He also took time to describe and talk about Tinnitus and how debilitating it can be to sufferers. Simon demonstrated the different appliances on the market at the present time for hearing loss and took lots of questions from the audience . After the talk  he admitted that this was the first talk he had given to an audience and how nervous he had been. We assured him that it was not noticeable and had given a very interesting and informative talk. We were all given “goody bags” to take home.


February 2014


Our February meeting was very well attended for “An Evening with Joyce Grenfell” with Gillian Grinham. Gillian explained her fascination with Joyce Grenfell and using just a few props, Gillian soon had her audience laughing at her accent and re-creation of many of Joyce’s well known sketches and recordings. After reading extracts from her books Gillian completed her talk with a wonderful rendition of “Old Country Dancing” i.e., Stately Like a Galleon we glide across the know the rest! There were many Joyce Grenfell fans in the room and it bought back many happy memories of a wonderful performer who made us laugh at simple everyday things.

January 2014

We started the New Year with our January meeting having a Scrapbook Workshop with Lori Scharpf assisted by Debbie Saldana, members of our WI. It was very well received and great fun. Lori had bought several samples of her scrapbooks that she had been working on for many years and members felt inspired by her artistic displays. Lori provided lots of material to work with from cards to full sized pages suitable for photos, letters or other items of interest. Also there were plenty of tools, stamps, border papers, various lettering and pictures and sticky back tape to name just a few! Our ladies were so impressed that they want a full day workshop to be arranged as soon as feasible which Lori and Debbie are agreeable to do. Our very grateful thanks go to these two ladies who provided us with an inspiring and impressive evening’s enjoyment.


December 2013


At the December meeting we had our annual Bring & Share Supper and once again our members and visitors produced a magnificent spread of mouth-watering savouries and deserts. After supper Lynne Francis had organised a very clever game where we were split into teams of four and given a set of questions with only the Second Line of a song and we had to write down the First Line, Name of the Song and the Singer. This had many of us racking our brains and there was lots of humming and “la la la” going on. Margaret Walsh, Barbara Benyon, Juliet Thomason and Pam Rudge were the winning team. To round off the evening we had a hilarious game of Motor Racing organised by Angela Ellis. Thank you Lynne and Angela for a most entertaining evening. On Wednesday evening we are having our Christmas dinner at Ravenwood Hall at Rougham.


November 2013

Our November meeting was very well attended with three guests from Woodditton & Saxon Street WI and four potential members. The speaker was Margaret Brackenbury, who gave a workshop on making Christmas Trees. We had lots of fun with this task and in fact it was very simple and yet very effective as you can see from our photo. Everyone was happy taking home their efforts which we mean to show at next year’s Group Meeting. Our afternoon tea party was very successful at Barbara’s house and £57 was donated to funds. We also had an outing to Saffron Walden for some retail therapy and lunch at The Cricketers, Clavering. Unfortunately the restaurant had been a victim of the storms and was on minimum power levels. We had to wait rather a long time for our lunch but it was excellent as ever when it eventually came. 

October 2013


Rachel Thomas was our speaker for our October meeting when she shared her experiences as a Games Makes at last year’s Olympic Games. Rachel and her husband were very keen to apply and were impatient to hear whether or not they had been accepted. Rachel heard first that she had been given a job in the Accreditation Department which meant that every person who worked on the Olympic park had to pass through the hands of the Accreditation Team. Here Rachel met many of the dignitaries including Lord Coe. Although extremely busy before the Games got underway, she was able to find time and get tickets for several of the events. She bought along the uniform she had to wear and how it was quickly transformed for the Paralympic Games. Rachel’s enthusiasm was infectious and soon we were all sharing our own memories of a very special summer.  

September 2013


The speaker for our meeting in September was Mary Bradley who displayed her beautiful pressed flower articles, including cards, pictures and many other objects that could be decorated with dried flowers. Mary explained the process of drying flowers, the best times to pick them, how to prepare them once picked how they should be dried and the various arrangements that can be made. It was a very interesting talk revealing the wealth of Mary’s experience and the ladies were keen to ask questions and to buy her beautiful items. 


August 2013

For our August meeting members invited their husbands, partners and friends to a BBQ. Clive Sperrink and John Walsh brilliantly cooked steak burgers, sausages and chicken drumsticks with a variety of colourful salads and delicious deserts supplied by the members. We were able to enjoy the Village Hall garden in the sunshine and had a really delightful evening. 
Eleven of us thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Kensington Palace, especially as the young Prince George was born on that day. Thank you to whoever arranged this trip – please can we have more? The following afternoon we had a tea party at Joan’s house when the talk was all about the baby prince and our lovely day in Kensington.  

July 2013

Several members from Barrow and Chevington joined us at our July meeting to hear Jan Munt, Education Officer for Ely Cathedral, give a very interesting talk on the building of the Cathedral. Called “A Model Cathedral” Jan bought with her beautifully carved wooden blocks that fitted together like jigsaw pieces of the cathedral. We were each given one or two blocks and asked to put them into place as the cathedral rose (and fell down) during its very long history. It was enthralling to see the cathedral take shape along with Jan’s interesting and amusing commentary.   
We had a lovely day visiting The Manor House at Hemingford Grey which was the home of Lucy Boston, the author of The Children of Green Knowe. The house is a Norman manor house, one of only a very few that is still lived in, and kept in the 1940’s style of Lucy’s ownership. 

June 2013

Members, ex members and invited guests celebrated our 80th Birthday on 4th June. Gazeley & Dalham WI were formed in May 1933. The first committee meeting was on 8th June and the President was Lady Ethel Philips and Vice President was Mrs Kidd. Sometime later, the WI split into two individual groups, one based in Dalham and the other in Gazeley. In January 1956 they reformed as Dalham & Gazeley WI due to Dalham having the larger membership! Unfortunately, we do not have any members from Dalham now. Hilda Jackson and Carla Auger as well as representatives from the Gallops Group WIs joined us for a very entertaining and happy occasion. The delicious tea was organised by Joan McManus and a wonderful birthday cake made by Margaret Walsh. Elna Brunning set up a slide show of the old photos in our albums. An excellent afternoon enjoyed by all. 

April 2013


We invited Rod Blackmore to come and talk to us about growing up in our village of Gazeley. Rod still lives in the same house in which he was born and that his parents and grandparents lived in. He was so amusing, recalling his father’s days in the Home Guard and their exploits! There was a vigorous “Black Market” during the war and the trick was to fool the local Constable into thinking that there was only one pig being walked through the village to the slaughter house when in fact it was two! Rod told us about the two young ladies whose clothes were left in the American soldier’s jeep when they sped back to barracks leaving the girls to walk home naked! Rod had many amusing stories about the characters that used to live in the village and happily answered questions from the audience. 


March 2013


Fancy Nordic Walking? Oliver Gynn was our speaker at our March meeting when he described the different types of poles that are used and the posture necessary to use them. Oliver explained that they were never called “sticks” but always “poles”. The benefits or Nordic Walking are many as heart rate, oxygen consumption and calorie expenditure are increased, it releases pain and muscle tension and can improve flexibility. They are ideal for people with bad backs or knees as the poles and shoulders support your body weight. Oliver was a very amusing speaker and what some might think would be a boring and dull subject was changed into one of enjoyment and laughter. We asked various questions and we were all very keen to “have a go” and try out the various poles and walk around the hall to acquire a new skill. 


February 2013

February’s speakers, Richard and Jan Rigby were brilliant! They arrived in Victorian costume and had various Magic Lantern projectors and lighting as well as a large number of slides. We were shown some very early slides, slides that had moving parts, slides that told a story or a nursery rhyme, etc. Jan read the stories whilst Richard operated the projector. Richard described some of the lights that were used before electricity and how they worked. For the finale, we were given various objects, bells, crackle paper, coconut shells in order to participate in the next slide show which was a story of how two people met and married. We were told to follow the script carefully and join in with cheering, clapping, rustling of paper, ringing of bells and horses hoofs etc. It was all great fun and D & G WI participated to the full!

January 2013

Our speaker, Rodney Tibbs spoke most amusingly on restoring a cottage garden at his house in neighbouring village, Cheveley. It was a concrete jungle when they moved in twenty years ago and the transformation was delightful! He was charming, amusing and interesting. One of the questions Rodney answered was “Will you come and do mine” from Angela but, amid the laughter, sadly Rodney declined. We are all looking forward to 2013 and have arranged an afternoon tea party, a walk in Ely and a visit to the theatre for January. In June we are preparing something special as there has been a WI in Gazeley for 80 years. The original WI was called Gazeley & Dalham and has gone through several changes in the last 80 years! We feel it is worth celebrating!

December 2012


Our December meeting was a lot of fun! It was a Bring & Share supper and we started our meeting with Pass the Parcel prepared by June K. Then we tucked in to a delicious supper. We played a very exciting game prepared by Angela. We had five teams and we bet on cars to see who was going to win! A very friendly evening soon passed as we went home wishing each other a "Merry Christmas".

November 2012

November was our Annual General Meeting and there was no shortage of people prepared to serve on the various committees. Unfortunately, Lynne decided to stand down and Beryl thanked her most sincerely for all the work she has put into the WI over many years.

We spoke of forthcoming events, 80th Birthday Party in June, the Grow & Show event in September and the Entertainment for the Gallops Group Meeting in late September. The Tea Parties have been very popular and well attended. Beryl thanked all the hostesses who have opened their homes for us. Many people have taken advantage of the theatre group and have enjoyed the chance to go to the theatre with like-minded friends. We are a thriving WI and look forward to the challenges of next year!

October 2012

It had been raining the day our Walking Group visited Lackford Lakes but was due to clear up. We had arranged to meet at 11 am by which time the sun was shining and there was a light breeze. We met our guide who had a free standing telescope and we were given powerful binoculars and off we went to the first of our many look out points. The telescope was so useful as when it was trained on a certain bird or group of birds/ducks we were able to take turns to observe it whilst the guide described its lifestyle and habitat. Some ladies were quick enough to catch the blue flash of a kingfisher and we were all lucky enough not only to observe buzzards but also a hobby. Our guide had a fabulous wealth of knowledge and we spent two very happy hours wandering around the reserve. 

September 2012


Two new members joined our Institute at the September meeting, making six new members this year! Lori Scharpf joined to get some tips and first hand experience as she is playing the part of the "President" in Calendar Girls at the King’s Theatre in Newmarket later this month. Our speaker, Mark Bryant, talked about SULSAR - Suffolk Lowland Search & Rescue. Formed in April 1998 they are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in all weathers. Normally called out by Suffolk Constabulary, they also respond to calls from other search teams in neighbouring counties. They mainly search for vulnerable missing persons (known as mispers) and children. Search duration can vary considerably, ranging from a couple of hours to several days. Mark’s talk was very interesting on something we knew very little about!


August 2012

At our August meeting we welcomed six members of Woodditton and Saxon Street WI, which is in the Cambridge Federation, to our meeting. We also had several other visitors including a lady from Denmark. We also welcomed a new member. Our speaker was Gillian Beckett talking on De-Cluttering Your Home with some excellent tips on how to recycle or sell our unwanted articles. She encouraged us to think of what we really needed and what we didn’t use but kept! Our tea hostesses provided some yummy cakes to go with our coffee in honour of our visitors. It was a most enjoyable evening with lots of interaction between members and guests. 

We had a very successful tea party at Lynne's house and as it was such a lovely day we were able to sit in Lynne's very pretty garden. Thank you Lynne for your hospitality. Our monthly walk was in Burwell walking along the river banks towards Wicken. It was threatening rain and when we had just passed the point of no return, the heavens decided to open! We got very, very wet but we all enjoyed our walk despite the rain.


July 2012


Our July meeting was a social night and we asked the members to invite a friend, partner, husband or lover to a barbeque. As the weather was so unsettled, we laid up the tables in the village hall instead of in the garden but we were able to cook outside under the covered terrace. Members provided a wonderful selection of assorted salads and mouth-watering deserts. A non-alcoholic punch and also jugs of Pimms were available. Our guests were asked to take their drinks and nibbles out on to the terrace whilst we had a quick business meeting. Our thanks go to the two excellent cooks, Ivan and Clive. The lovely smells from the terrace soon had our mouths watering! It was a really good evening, enjoyed by all.

Then on 11th July a small group took advantage of touring the Theatre Royal at Bury St. Edmunds. This included all the front of the theatre as well as the stage, dressing rooms, Greene Room and the orchestra pits. To our surprise there was a very deep well found in this area during the last renovation in 2005 which has been screened and lit to great effect. Built in 1819 the Theatre Royal is the only surviving example of a Regency playhouse and one of only eight Grade 1 theatre buildings in this country. We completed the afternoon by having an Edwardian Tea in the restaurant.