‘WI Talk’ by Sheila Goldsworthy

Former CFWI Chairman and current Assistant Media Officer Sheila Goldsworthy writes a wonderful monthly WI column for The Cornishman. Here is Sheila’s July column:

Good speakers will always attract an audience, so we have much to look forward to this autumn. There is an excellent piece of news for members when we learn that an inaugural Literary Lunch is being held in the auspicious Budock Vean Hotel, the home of previous very successful WI events. Many will be familiar with the author Sarah Pearse, who gives us the chance to hear a question and answer sofa session. She has a most interesting background, having studied English and Creative Writing at Warwick University and worked in brand PR before following her passion for writing. Her experiences living in the Swiss Alps gave inspiration for her first novel. More success followed. Now living with her family by the sea in South Devon, we have the opportunity to enjoy a two-course lunch and hear a successful author in exemplary surroundings . What could be better? Date: Thursday 28 September. Time: 12 for 12.30pm. Cost: £35.

We are also in for another literary treat with the afternoon speaker at our Annual Council Meeting in October. Some of our members were fortunate enough to attend an event at Chy Noweth back in the spring when we were regally entertained by Lesley Smith, the curator of Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire, who gave a mesmerising presentation as Mary Queen of Scots. Dressed in full queenly regalia, we were invited to feel the quality of her royal attire. We all felt drawn back to that calamitous era. It was a first class and very entertaining presentation, so we are in for another polished performance when she takes on the role of Queen Elizabeth I. As well as having a mega personality, it helps that Lesley Smith is a very attractive lady! In the morning we have our own Cornish royalty when the speaker will be Colonel Edward Bolitho, Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, who will tell us about his role in the County.

WI members are proficient at many things, but they are at their greatest strength when they are meeting together enjoying each others company. This was very evident when members gathered at Chy Noweth to celebrate its 20th Anniversary. The CFWI Chair Helen Kestle welcomed everyone to a full house with tea, coffee and delicious jam and cream scones, and later cut a very impressive celebration cake (made by Dot Rogers) with former County Chairman, Sheila Goldsworthy. All of the former County Chairmen present then all joined in for a group ceremonial cake-cutting, and jolly photo session. Helen and her Board members worked tirelessly to make sure we were all well fed and happy, which of course we were, because we were all chatting. Former Chairman Liz Anderson gave a brief resume of that momentous day, 20 years ago, when Princess Anne came to officially open our new County headquarters. Over the 20 years in the WI we might have seen a change in hair colour and a slight change in the measurements of our vital statistics but the key ethos of the WI was just the same. It was a wonderful afternoon, in true WI style, and all free!

However all successful organizations look ahead and there are plenty of new ideas in this months edition of the County News, with an update on the Cybercats Virtual WI going strong and plenty of information on how to be part of this innovative component of the WI in Cornwall.

Following the successful digital training courses run earlier this year, these are to be continued in conjunction with the Cornwall Rural Community Charity to hold a further series on 9, 16, 23 and 30 October. What a marvellous opportunity to get to grips with being on line, and it’s free!

Noone could be more friendly that a Cornish WI member, so this is the ideal time to take on board an appealing piece of information in this month’s County News. This year sees the launch of the new WI Supporter Options; all WIs have received this information from NFWI. With its raised profile nationally, this could mean you welcome extra visitors and guests to the monthly meetings who may then become prospective members. It is up to each WI to charge a fee or not. There is plenty of advice in County News and of course with any member of the Membership Support team. The WI is renowned for welcoming any visitors, which may in turn lead on to further involvement in the WI.

Can there be a better occupation than walking through Lanhydrock woods? For those of us fortunate enough to be familiar with these woods, it can be assured that members will be captivated with their estimable surroundings, because the walk of two miles and taken by the Rangers will be centred around the parklands. We shall hear about the trees and their role in nature as well as their importance to the flora and fauna of the area. We shall also be informed about its history, maintenance and future plans. Finishing at Lanhydrock House the walk will take about one and a half hours. No dogs are allowed and sensible clothing is essential. Date: Tuesday 12 September. Time: 10.30am. Cost: £10.


Posted in Uncategorized.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *