Box W.I. - May 2019

In March we had a very interesting and informative talk by Geoff Baldero on all aspects of foot care. He was an excellent speaker and kept us entertained as well as informed!

Five members attended the Annual Council Meeting in March. Once the main business was over, Ann Jones, NFWI Vice Chairman gave an excellent speech on past resolutions debated at WIs. To mention just a few she referred to Equal Pay (1943); Keep Britain Tidy (1954); and HIV (1986). The afternoon speaker was Helen Pankhurst, great granddaughter of Emmeline. She reflected on the changes in women’s lives since the right to a parliamentary vote was first granted, to some women in 1918. At the time of the suffragettes, women’s work was restricted to the 5 C’s – Caring, Cleaning, Cooking, Children and Clerking – how times have changed! The Mayor of Cheltenham was at the meeting and he referred to the WI as “pillars of society”! Nice to know that someone appreciates us!

We do occasionally have special visitors. We were honoured to receive a visit from the Duchess of Malfoy at our March meeting. A delightful lady, if a little forceful! She recently married the King of Ruritania and we wish her every happiness in her new role as Queen! Yes, you’ve missed it! Box Players latest pantomime – Rumpelstiltskin.

Rumpel Duchess and King

At our April meeting we had a talk on Longford’s Mill by Ian McIntosh. The local textile industry dates back to the Middle Ages. By the 1600’s Longford’s Mill was a combined fulling and corn mill. It expanded and prospered and by 1820 was the largest supplier of cloth to the East India Company - £20,000 worth pa.

We were all very sorry to learn of the death of Agnes Hutchinson on 20th March, aged 99. We offer our sincere condolences to Betty, her long-time friend. Betty & Agnes first met when teaching at Uttoxeter and then moved to Minchinhampton. They both Joined Minchinhampton WI in 1982 and 5 years later join Box WI. They were both very active members taking up positions of Secretary and treasurer for many years – no mean task! They went on 20 different courses at Denman College, amongst which were Elizabethan and Regency Dancing, Photography and Stumpwork Embroidery. Agnes was very talented in embroidery and produced beautiful work. During her last years at Ilsom House, Agnes enjoyed joining in the varied activities the home offered. It is good to know she was well cared for in her final years.

Meetings at Box Village Hall are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 10am business, coffee at 10.30am followed by a speaker. Visitors are warmly welcomed at 10.30am - £3 including coffee.

Geraldine Ames, President.