Thursday 9th February 2018 at 2pm
The Annual Meeting
Followed by tea and cakes, and games if there is time.
Thursday 8th March 2018
A chance for members to have a go at organising the meeting with speaker/entertainment, refreshment, competition and raffle.
Some Reports of Our Meetings:
Max Simpson would love to come rooting around in your old shed…give him a pile of old iron and he’s happy for hours, and what’s more he is keen to share his happy finds with WI members!
Max delivers a talk called “Tools to Amuse and Confuse”, which he brought to Marshgate for the WI’s January meeting in Otterham & St Juliot Hall, and he certainly brightened up a cold afternoon with his weird implements.
He and his lovely assistant, wife Suzanne, arrived with a huge box of old iron. Each piece he drew out was a cutting-edge device from bygone days...in some cases Max himself didn't know what they were. But each item kept the members guessing and provoked lots of interested comment.
Max finds his raw material in old farm sheds and industrial premises, often rescuing historic artefacts from going to the dump because their owners don’t know what they are. Then he cares for them tenderly and researches to find out what they are…not always successfully, though his knowledge is extensive.
And we all learned a lot, including how to tell a front horseshoe from a rear one!
Brilliant scarlet, soft teal, glorious golden yellows….which colours do you like to wear? Are you a classic navy girl, or do you just love black? According to expert Clare Greenwood, we are naturally drawn to the colours that suit our complexions, hair and eye colour, but may also need a little help.
Clare is a colour analyst based in Truro, and started her business 30 years ago, defying an unsympathetic bank manager who laughed her out of his office saying, “That’s not a thing!” when she told him she wanted to work with colour.
Clare had the last laugh, however, for now she travels all over the South West as a consultant and speaker, showing blondes, brunettes and red-heads, pale ladies and black ladies how to make the most of their looks by choosing the right shades to wear.
She managed to spend a little time with every lady at Marshgate WI’s June meeting in Tresparrett Methodist Hall, using scarves and swatches of bright fabrics to demonstrate which colours they suit best.
Marshgate WI were also celebrating winning 93.5 marks for their co-operative exhibit in the WI marquee at the Royal Cornwall Show, which had opened that day. The beautiful entry, themed on “Home Sweet Home”, included a stunning textile backdrop with embroidery details, a floral arrangement in a teapot, a loaf and an imaginative sampler made up from Art Trading Cards – small cards commonly used by crafters at shows to demonstrate their techniques. The ATCs had been contributed by many different people, and included cross stitch, lace, tatting, painting, knitting, beadwork, dried flowers and pyrography.
“I’m so proud of you all,” commented President Jo Symon, as she announced the result to the meeting.
Marshgate WI is all set for an exciting year under a new president after their annual meeting held in February at Otterham & St Juliot Hall. Jo Symon, who lives near Bude, is a former president of Camelford WI and has also worked on the county organisation Cornwall Federation of WIs. Jo joined Marshgate several years ago as a dual member – belonging to Camelford and having Marshgate as her second WI. But this year she chose to join Marshgate as her primary institute and was nominated for the presidency. She replaces last year’s president June Smyth, who has served four years altogether.
Members can look forward to a vivid and varying programme of events in the coming year, including Tai Chi, a visit from an artisan baker, a Mad Hatter’s tea party, a trip to an animal sanctuary and talks on osteoporosis and silk scarves. Finances are very healthy and several new members have joined in recent months.
She’s nutty and naughty but nice, and when she came along to spend an evening with Marshgate WI members and guests were hooting with laughter at her antics. Val Bugden-Cawsey is a one-woman phenomenon that has taken the south-west by storm with her hilarious talks and larger-than-life personality, not to mention her crazy wardrobe…see the picture above of her Union Jack frock.
Actually, she also gave us a peek at what goes underneath, and her views on underwear, male and female, sexy and definitely not, were also high spots of her show.
Val, from Launceston, was booked for the open meeting in Otterham & St Juliot Hall, which is held as an annual fund raiser for the institute, and attracted around two dozen guests from neighbouring WIs, though no husbands or boyfriends were brave enough to turn up.
Jo Symon has done more than rub shoulders with the great and good…in many cases she has seen them in their smalls – or less! During her career as a lingerie fitter she helped pinch in and prop up some fairly famous figures by making sure they had the correct support, as she told Marshgate WI members at their October meeting.
Jo started work as a teenager working for Harrods and D H Evans, and learned the ins and outs of bras, pants and corsets…did you know you should be measured annually for a bra by a professional to ensure you have exactly the right fit? And that 85 per cent of women are wearing the wrong size bra!
Famous clients who came to her included the Beverley Sisters, members of the Royal family and the heads of wealthy Arabs’ harems, who would arrive with taxis and buy a huge range of underwear for their harem-mates. And there were some surprises, as Jo told the meeting in Otterham & St Juliot Hall…like the perfectly coiffed and made-up customer who undressed and was revealed to be a man!
And men also commonly wore corsets in the past to make their sagging figures seem more attractive, while many customers also needed corsets for medical reasons, for example to support their spines.
Jo showed some examples of underwear old and new, from items that might have been worn by our grandmothers and mothers to pretty scanties young women today might choose for that special date.
Clive Blake is well-versed, if you’ll excuse the pun, in keeping an audience in the palm of his hand. Armed with stuffed toys, silly hats, goggles, flippers and other items from his “dressing-up box” he makes his poetry into a three-dimensional art form.
When he arrived at Otterham & St Juliot Hall, Marshgate WI members were well primed for an evening of fun and rhymes, as they have seen performance poet Clive strut his stuff before, and he did not disappoint them. Helped by his wife Stephanie he delivered a number of his works in his own inimitable style to a rapt audience.
Clive takes simple subjects: a sleeping child, wildlife, a deceased uncle, his own reflection in the mirror, and brings his own unique viewpoint and sense of humour to them. It is easy to make the comparison with nationally known poetess Pam Ayres, as they have the same ability to make art from everyday situations and deliver it with a delicious local accent. His illustrated book Points and Points of View was also on sale afterwards.
Marshgate WI members were keeping a weather eye on the climate as their August meeting approached, and it was a gloomy eye. They had planned a garden tea party in the lovely gardens of a member…with the chance to eyeball all her design and planting ideas…but the forecast promised rain so the idea had to be abandoned.
Members still got some yummy cakes, provided by the committee, but the meeting was moved back to their usual stamping ground at Otterham & St Juliot Hall, where the tea party was turned into a games and social evening. Far more chatting got done than game playing, but it was thoroughly enjoyed by the members and by three visitors who came along.
Once upon a time there was a small but perfectly formed WI in North Cornwall and they invited a very special lady to go along to their July meeting and keep them entertained as they had heard very interesting tales of her skills. Her name was Jill Lamede, and she is better known as the Tintagel storyteller, and she duly turned up at Otterham & St Juliot Hall with a basket of strange things and two small dogs, wearing a multi-coloured coat that can only be described as epic and a fascinating dragon brooch.
Now this lady had her own way of doing things, and this was to go around the room and select a Marshgate WI member at random, asking her to choose an item from the basket, which was filled with toys, flowers, ornaments and all sorts. Whatever the member chose, Jill proceeded to tell a story. Some were funny and some were silly, but none were really sad and the members had a great evening and smiled and clapped an awful lot.
Sadly the evening had to come to an end, and the members thanked Jill warmly and wished her the best as she gathered up her dogs and basket and left to seek her fortune. And I’m sure lived happily ever after with her cute little dogs and her dragon brooch.
Give a gal a sparkly necklace or bracelet and you can guarantee that her eyes will light up – it’s a fact that most ladies love their bit of bling! So when jeweller Helene Llewellyn arrived at Marshgate WI’s June meeting with her boxes of glittery goodies, she was welcomed wholeheartedly.
Helene, of Kharaz Jewellery, uses the famous Murano glass made on an island in Venice to make stunning bead jewellery, and she visits the beautiful City of Canals around twice a year to stock up. She also makes her own Murano-style beads. She gave the members at Otterham & St Juliot Hall a brief history of the glass, which has been manufactured there for centuries and is coveted everywhere as jewellery, paperweights and figurines. Then there was a general stampede as the members rushed to the display to examine and purchase the gorgeous items.
Members also heard at the meeting that their WI co-operative exhibit themed on recycling had won a major trophy at the Royal Cornwall Show at Whitecross, Wadebridge during judging the previous day. The Yvonne Toms Trophy for the best piece of craft in show was awarded to a workbox lining made by president June Smyth.
“Roll up! Roll up! All the fun of the Fair!”
If these phrases evoke feelings of nostalgia then the place for you to be is Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre, home to the National Fairground Collection.
This treasure of scenes from a bygone age was enjoyed by members of Marshgate WI and their menfolk celebrating their 65th birthday this year.
It was no surprise to discover that the 1 penny slot machines (now 2 new pence but well worth it!) gave us the most fun! These are housed in the aptly named Pinball Parlour, which was full of opportunities to feed the machines and feel the years slip away. How is it that the challenge of winning even a small amount does not lose its excitement as the years progress? I think it is the sound of those pennies jingle-jangling down to be scooped up by eager fingers!
The wide variety of fairground memories from a by-gone age are brilliantly displayed to do them justice . Beautiful Vintage “Gypsy Caravans,” homes to fairground families who travelled from town to town, have been so lovingly restored . Climbing the few steps to peep in the doors almost felt like we were intruding on their family life and we could easily imagine the lives which these families enjoyed. The quality of the interiors has to be seen to be appreciated with family treasures beautifully displayed on hand carved wooden dressers and sideboards, with handstitched and beautifully crafted bedcovers and cushions .
Vintage rides appropriately played vintage tunes on their organs and we sang along as memories came flooding back. The roundabouts provided more thrills with ever increasing speeds much to the delight or horror of those brave enough to venture ....well someone had to take the photos, didn’t they ?
“Super Dodgems” the largest in England, was challenge for the brave few and the “Original Hall of Mirrors” was hysterically funny and scary at the same time.
This truly was a memorable day out and our sincere thanks go to Val for organising such a fun Birthday treat for us all.
hear the one about the late flight and the young bride left at the airport in
case of trench foot I have ever seen”. Not, as you would be forgiven for
thinking, an eyewitness report from the trenches of the First War, but a
statement made by Corinna Langford, Community Relations Manager for St Petroc’s
speaking of a rough sleeper in
The fascination of small things seems to be a very human trait! This was proved true when Colin Wadey took a small selection of his bonsai trees to Marshgate WI together with a shrub bought from the “buy me before I’m compost” shelf in a garden centre. By the time Colin finished his talk he had pruned a lot of the shrub away to reveal the potential tree hidden within. He also talked about root pruning and the importance of pots in achieving a stylish finish to a bonsai tree. There were several questions especially on the hardiness of the plants. Colin explained that, as the majority of his collection is British natives they spent all their time in the garden, with only a few tropical trees inside. Wendy thanked him with the advice to watch none of the trees he had brought went missing - WI ladies being renowned for their large handbags.
odd adverts appear and you wonder who would answer that? Well at the last
coming up sunflowers for the members of
Val Bugden-Cawsey lives life to the full, laughs at bad luck and when old age comes
she means to meet it with fists of steel and a dreadful hat. Bellows of laughter and the sound of slapping
of knees resounded from Otterham & St Juliot Hall as Val, president of St
Her barn-storming performance made the July meeting a night to remember as she spouted hilarious anecdotes, scandalous reminiscences and jokes a lot older than herself, also encouraging members to stand up for themselves and not be ignored just because they are of maturer years.
How often do we throw away the crusts off a sliced loaf –
never even getting them out of the bag
The business part of the meeting started with the exciting news that Marshgate’s entry at the Royal Cornwall Show had been placed 2nd, with the floral exhibit done by June Smyth had won the newly presented Nan Collier Salver for the best entry. Valerie Elam gave a brief report on the AGM at the Albert Hall in the presence of HM Queen, Kaye Wadey spoke of her day out to the Centenary Buckingham Palace Garden Party, and June Smyth reported how well the celebration at Bude had gone. June has been a very busy month, and with a Strawberry Supper in aid of the Air Ambulance on the 19th there was hardly time to think about Valerie Bugden-Cawsey coming next month to tell us about “Growing Old Disgracefully”!
Centre”, nr. St Austell was born out of an idea in 2001 when a local Doctor’s
relative visited with MS and it was seen there was nowhere in
The members took a short social break before getting down to the business of such diverse activities as arranging the entry for RCS, looking at extracurricular meeting like Knit & Natter and Sunday lunch, reviewing the financial position and looking forward to a Tea Party on National WI Day on 16th September. We are looking forward to celebrating the birthday meeting at the Gild House Poundstock on the 9th of April. Those who came to the Music Quiz night with Alan Trevennor as the question master had a really good evening, even if some of the questions did fool them!
the Otterham & St Juliot Hall with its lovely facilities there was an
encouraging start to the WI year with only one apology at the Annual Meeting.
There was plenty of forward planning and quiet anticipation of the events
during this Centenary Year for WI nationally. We are looking forward to
greeting the National Baton Relay when it arrives at
come a long way since children learned Shakespeare sonnets at school. Clive
Blake a performance poet living in Newquay gave reign to his inner being and
made the poems he has written come alive for
have been busy knitting [and nattering] and now have a good stock of hats for
St Petroc’s. There were also thanks expressed for the organising of a visit to
Cothele to see the famous
Ding dong merrily on high, the members of Marshgate WI got a double whammy when they arrived for their December meeting….not only did they enjoy a Christmas party with all the trimmings, but also got to explore their brand new village hall, opened only a couple of weeks earlier.
The two dozen ladies, including guests from the area, enjoyed party games, a sketch, crackers and presents with a good tea and Christmas cake, all finished off with carols round the organ. The warm surroundings of the new Otterham & St Juliot Hall, with its underfloor heating and shiny new décor, made the guests almost reluctant to leave at the end. The competition for the best wrapped parcel, won by Pauline, meant there was a Secret Santa gift for all those attending. On wishing everyone a Happy Christmas the President took the opportunity to thank Brian and Cherry Whitehead for bringing the musical accompaniment for the carols and for judging the competition.
Jane Hanscombe filled the hall with exotic flavours and stories when she
2014. We are all aware of the growing number of people who are
unable to make contact with people other than delivery staff and health
workers. At our September meeting Janie Comber was able to give us a good
insight to the organisation she helps to run which brings small groups of
single over 75’s together once a month to enjoy chat and a cup of tea in a
hosts home. Volunteer drivers make sure the guests get to and from the venue.
This small contact can have a real impact on those who live very solitary
lives. The meeting was left with much food for thought. After a cup of tea the business was looked at
with time spent on the Four Corner Day and several
August 2014 Members had arranged to meet at Carol Horsington’s Willow Farm on the edge of Bodmin Moor at 6pm. The evening was bright and sunny and the views from the parking area were breath-taking. Led by Carol’s partner, members walked around the in by to see the orchard, willow plantation, working ponies, woodland and Dexter cattle with calves at foot. The walk was not without incident as a sudden downpour caused us all to shelter under a robust hedge. We then returned to the workshop for a warm drink and cake. Some members indulged in some retail therapy, while our hosts told us more about the setting up and running of their environmentally sustainable farm. Wendy thanked them warmly and the members disbursed in the various cars
be the food of love, then Alice Brown left
Using recordings of Willard White, Jose Carreras, Kathleen Ferrier, Caruso and other opera stars past and present, she demonstrated the use of the human voice as an instrument at Otterham and St Juliot Hall last week. As music from her carefully chosen recordings filled the hall members relaxed in blissful enjoyment.
June 2014 Blue Badge
Guide Jill Anstey made the journey from Newquay to Otterham and St.Juliot Hall
to transport us much further away in imagination to
It’s not polite to talk with your
mouth full, so some had to quickly eat up their choice of the puddings on offer
to read the poem they had brought along.
The display of puds could have graced any banquet, giving members’ food
for thought along with the offered verses. Before that could happen there was a
lively meeting of