County Centenary Meeting March 2017
Our area organised a coach and several of us set off for the 100th Essex Centenary Annual meeting of the WI at Crowne Plaza in Maldon. We were looking forward to hearing the main guest speaker Anton Du Beke.
The venue is a large hotel complex with conference facilities but it was very busy with many WI’s in Essex so it took some time to park. Despite a very large hall we found the seating was very squashed together! However it was worth it for the very interesting speakers and entertainment showing the history of Essex WIs. Then we were hugely entertained actor Alex Jennings and by Anton, whose talk was absolutely hilarious and greatly enjoyed by everyone. All in all, apart from long toilet queues, it was a very good day.
Scarecrow Making in June.
Our June meeting was a craft evening making scarecrows for the Essex County Show at Hatfield Peverel in July.
This was a fun evening with two teams allocated to creating a scarecrow ‘sailor and his tart’!! Members had donated a good supply of materials and we soon managed to create two scarecrows we were happy with. These were to be taken to Hatfield Peverel by our president Pauline. They ended up with a ‘highly commended’ in the show for our efforts.
A TRIP TO GREEN ISLAND.
At the end of June some of us went by local bus to Green Island , a nearby gardens. The weather was good and it was a very enjoyable afternoon wandering round this beautiful site. Our entry price included a ticket for tea and cake with a choice of delicious home made cakes. I think we will be doing a return visit next year!
Summer Garden Party 2017
In July member Mary Johnson kindly held our Essex WI 100th Anniversary Garden Party in her home. Mary has a large beautiful garden and it was a lovely sunny day. We had a really delicious afternoon tea made by the wonderful Mary, supported by her husband Roderick (he’s a star!). Lots of sandwiches, cakes and scones were soon eaten. Our secretary Rose made a cake for the occasion and we had prosecco bought with money donated by our headquarters. After tea were played games and did a quiz. It was a very enjoyable afternoon.
Walton-On-The-Naze Carnival, Saturday 12th August
For August we decided we should have a float in our local carnival to raise money for local charities and give out leaflets. We met at Mary Johnson’s house on the Thursday to decorate Roderick’s trailer and turn it into a boat. Pauline had collected our scarecrows from Hatfield Peverel and we had decided to use these on our float. Despite occasional showers and a very windy day we managed a boat of sorts! Denise had made a lovely sail and painted cardboard to form our boat sides. We had paper flowers made earlier and donated by Holland Haven WI.
On the day we assembled on The Naze at 4pm ready to do the walk down through Walton and along the seafront into town and back to the Bath House meadow. Denise had to climb into the trailer to hold the sail to stop it flapping about! We were very surprised but pleased when the mayor awarded us a trophy for the best small float!
Wearing our lilac t-shirts we walked alongside the sterling Roderick who towed our ‘boat’ with his car, shaking our buckets to collect money from the many locals and holiday makers who had turned out to watch the procession.
We all collected lots of coins for charity and distributed 150 leaflets to hopefully get some new members for our small WI.
Backwaters Seal Trip
On Monday 14th August 12 members assembled at the Naze Marina ready to board the boat Katrina for an exciting trip out to see the seals and other wildlife that live on our Walton Backwaters. The skipper, Tony Haggis, is a great naturalist and very informative. It was a lovely sunny day and we were soon enjoying the beautiful scenery all around and looking out for the many birds and any seals. Tony would stop occasionally to talk about what we could see. After a good distance we finally began to spot seals. They have an unusual orange fur due to the iron deposits in the soil of the river banks. It was exciting when we saw large numbers sunbathing on the shore and frolicking in the water. A very enjoyable 2 hours later Tony sailed us back to the marina. Definitely a trip recommended to anyone!