‘WI Talk’ by Sheila Goldsworthy

Get out, explore Cornwall’s bridges and enter the June Eddy Photography Competition!

Sheila Goldsworthy writes a wonderful monthly WI column for The Cornishman. Here is Sheila’s April column:

Although restrictions are easing, WI members are still not meeting as normal. However, in good WI tradition, the WI does not encourage members to be idle. There are several schemes on hand encouraging members to use “those little grey cells”. This year, there is a Creative Writing Competition for members to enter. With its title Walk upon England’s Mountains Green, members are asked to interpret their vision of these words. We certainly have plenty of scope in our unrivalled scenic county, and further appreciation has been heightened in these last months when we have donned our wellies and ventured into the countryside for that reviving breath of fresh air. Comprising no more than 1,000 words, entries may be sent to the Office or by e-mail along with the entry form which is available on line to cfwi@btconnect.com. There is no entry fee. Closing date is Friday 27 August.

A further incentive to get out and about and use our initiative is to enter the Photography Competition on the subject of Bridges. Again there is no entry fee for this June Eddy competition. Many of us will remember June, enthusiastically travelling all over Cornwall with her trusty camera, snapping away at events from the Annual Council Meeting to WI events in her search to record notable occasions. There are several terms and conditions which can be obtained by contacting the Office or Helen Kestle. Closing date 26 August.

Most members either have a camera or a phone tucked in their handbag, so when visiting the legendary Respryn Bridge or perhaps one of the historic Clapper bridges on their walks, they will be prepared to take a winning photo. Judging will take place during September and the June Eddy Cup will be presented on 20 October at the Annual Council Meeting.

Find an ‘Enchanting Pathway’, either literal or metaphorical, and write a poem for this year’s Blaikley Salver Competition!

And there’s more homework for WI members to tackle! The Blaikley Salver poetry competition has a title this year also embracing our enviable countryside, which is entitled Enchanting Pathways. The Environment and Public Affairs sub-committee have decided that in illustrating the bigger picture, there are so many pathways of change, help and renewal; and we need to make sure we’re treading lightly, helping nature’s habitats, using less, recycling and mending more and buying local; therefore doing what is best for our planet. They are asking for members’ aspirations, findings and hopes.

Most WI members would like to see one basic improvement introduced, which would surely be to take home their own rubbish after a rally, protest march or even the humble picnic! Recent pictures in the press of rubbish left behind has appalled everyone. Further information from Felicity Pennycard. Cost of the poem entry is £5. This competition has always been held in high regard; several enterprising WIs have collected the winning entries over the years and read them to members in their social time at their WI meetings, giving members an opportunity to hear these expressive poems.

In the April issue of County News, this committee is reminding members to discuss and vote on the 2021 resolution which is “A call to increase awareness of the subtle signs of ovarian cancer”. The deadline for sending votes in is 9 July. WIs’ resolution meetings are usually held in May, but this year June and early July are now options. All WIs have been sent briefing notes, and CFWI Resolutions Adviser Pat Paxton has created a helpful explanatory video which members can find on the CFWI website.

Members are also being brought up to date on the progress with the most recent resolutions, such as “No more violence against women”, “Cervical screening”, “Make time for mental health”, and “SOS for honeybees.” Only the WI could present such a diverse and important range of topics deserving attention which members diligently continue to work for. It is hoped that the 2021 resolution attracts as much publicity.

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