Minchinhampton W.I. - February 2016

Despite it being very close to New Year when people are likely to have other engagements there was a good attendance at our first meeting of 2016. That might have been because we had to address the issue of a choice of campaign resolution for this year (one of the main concerns of the organisation since its inception in 1915. The listing, explanation of, and voting on, the 8 proposals occupied the opening minutes of our session. But with that concluded and the usual notices given out (a host of extra activities on offer) we were able to proceed with the main attraction, something that had had to be previously postponed, a talk about two isles of the Bristol channel, Flatholm and Steepholm.

Our speaker was Mr. Brian Bailey, a longtime member of the Flatholm society, who surprised us with all there was to learn about these islets no more than 600yards across. Brian explained the geological history.....why one is flat and one has steep rugged cliffs; their military history from Napoleonic times to the end of WW2, and the features that classify Flatholm in particular as an SSS. He went on to tell amusing anecdote about the times of the lighthouse and foghorn keepers (quite different roles ) to give us some mysteries to ponder such as the origin of the presence of Soay sheep, and the thinking behind the bizarre monument to Marconi’s cable trial and finally to enlighten us about the current educational use of the islets.

It was a most illuminating talk and the next time we go to Weston S M we can gaze across the water knowingly. Our next meeting is the first Wednesday of February when Sophie Buckley will give a demonstration of needle felting. Do join us 2pm on 3rd Feb at the library near the surgery and school,GL6 9BP