‘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 September column:

WI members need have no worries on how to fill these autumn days, just open the September issue of County News where we can find a superabundance of educational and pleasurable events. Following the very symbolic pictures in the local press of the recent procession of the bards in their flowing blue bardic robes, attending the recent Gorsedh we shall have two of those bards all to ourselves on Friday 3 November at Chy Noweth an Conteth. Re-scheduled from earlier in the year we are promised an afternoon of Celtic history and culture through poetry, song, music and the spoken word from Bert and Pol who also supply laughter in profusion.

‘Speaking with Confidence’ is a one-day workshop designed to help members feel more confident when asked to speak in public, for instance, thanking a speaker, making an announcement, or reading aloud. The WI has always attached great importance to speaking clearly and attending a course at Denman was always a mandatory feature for trainee WI Advisers. Perhaps some of the television speakers we struggle to understand should join the WI! This promises to be a light-hearted day with fun exercises to get you speaking like a pro, and making your WI membership even more enjoyable. Date Friday 10 November, 10.30am-3.30pm.

The CFWI is urging members to enter the Cornish Winter Fair, celebrating Cornish food and farming, and held at the Royal Cornwall Events Centre at Wadebridge on 18 November, from 10am-4pm, with free parking. The event is entirely under cover within the Exhibition Halls. Why not make it a great day out, do some Christmas shopping and support a CFWI event – just like a mini Royal Cornwall Show! The collaborative class is entitled Harvest Home, to consist of the following five items:

  • Yeast cookery – a plaited loaf
  • Autumn fruit cake (recipe with your WI Secretary)
  • A floral arrangement in a jug
  • An item of handicraft using macramé
  • A handmade serviette

The following classes are for individual members:

  • Cookery – an individual savoury flan; and an apple dessert
  • Handicraft – a fabric wreath
  • Floral Art – a floral arrangement in a pair of Wellington boots
  • Photography – a photograph of an autumn scene

All the WIs have been sent an application form which can be downloaded here. Our multi-talented WI members are renowned at excelling in this type of competition, and it will be a great attraction to draw in the spectators.

Now is the right time to put Christmas events in our red diaries so we don’t miss out on a thing. Kicking the season off is the familiar Tea and Tinsel afternoon tea with entertainment at Chy Noweth on Friday 24 November. This is always such a popular and friendly event dispersing the dark and gloomy November day, with a jolly VIP visitor dressed in red.

It’s also posh frock time for our renowned Christmas County Lunches. The first is at the Hannafore Point Hotel in Looe, a firm favourite for members living in that area. The date is Friday 1 December. The second is on Friday 4 December at the Penventon Park Hotel in Redruth where members have enjoyed several very successful events recently.

Water is a subject that is never out of fashion and one which the WI feels is of great importance. The Clean Rivers for People and Wildlife WI resolution passed with an 84% majority at this year’s NFWI Annual Meeting in Cardiff. The new campaign urges members to take action by making and supporting applications for bathing waters status on appropriate stretches of rivers in their communities, which can be an incredibly powerful tool to drive the clean-up of our rivers. Delegates will have reported back to all the WIs they represented on this latest update from the Annual Meeting. It’s worth remembering, just how long the WI has been campaigning on this subject. The first resolution on the pollution of rivers and streams was brought to the Annual Meeting in 1936 by the Shropshire Federation. Further water resolutions have been put forward on a regular basis. This running commentary on water pollution is set to continue on the WI agenda for some time.


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