Northshore Meeting Friday 4th October

This month, members from the five WIs that make up the Northshore group met in Wootton. The ‘Welcome’ was given Dorothy Maskell, a member of Creekside WI and convenor of the Northshore group this year. Following a short business meeting, Dorothy then introduced the speaker, Andrew Negus from Hampshire.
Portsmouth Harlots Dung and Glory Part 2 1780-1860. Portsmouth helps create a superpower. Anyone who thought this was going to be a dry subject was in for a huge surprise; from the first word we were in for an interesting, humorous and lively afternoon. We heard how the small town of Portsea was created so that The Norman kings could pop across the channel for frequent visits to Normandy and by 1760 the greatest factory complex in the world had been created building and servicing ships which were sailing to foreign parts to claim new lands that became The Empire. Even though there was a rapidly growing wealth, Portsmouth was known as one of the filthiest, squalid and diseased ridden towns in Europe.
Andrew also gave us a glimpse of some of the interesting characters born in the city such as James Aidkins who ended up ‘ hung from the yardarm’ in Gosport until his body had completely rotted, the bones falling out of the chains to be sold. When one of the town’s harlots caused a gunpowder explosion the powder was moved to Gosport providing work for thousands of people. Henry Ayers another Portsmouth man gave his name to Ayers Rock, John Pounds started the Ragged Schools. Other famous names were Charles Dickens, Isambard Brunell and Ellen Terry, a descendent being Sir John Guilgood. The first fleet sailed to Australia from Portsmouth with 800 convicts. Phillip Sidney, one of the Captains is well remembered in Perth.
Suddenly it was all over and members were heard to say ‘What a lovely afternoon!’ and ‘Can we come back for Part 3 next year?’
The ‘Thanks’ was given by Dorothy Maskell.
Next year East Cowes WI will organise the Northshore Meeting.

Creekside Members visit a Gin Distillery

‘Bottoms up!’ Off we went to the Mermaid Bar at the Wishing Well, the home of the Isle of Wight distillery. This distillery is the first and only distillery producing Award Winning. Gins and Vodka. We sat next to the still to hear how the business started and grew from the sale of 6 bottles a week to thousands, supplying prestigious stores and hotels. We found the process very interesting; the Gins contain 10 Botanicals, some of which we were able to smell or taste. They give the Gins their unique flavours which we could taste if we wanted to…and we did!

There is a strong Isle of Wight focus the combination of blended flavours achieved through locally foraged Rock Samphire and Elderflower, Boadicea Hops and Island Chalk-Fed Spring Water. The unique bottles containing Mermaid and Mermaid pink Gin, produced by the Murano glass factory are completely recyclable with a small amount of money on return for washing and using again.

What’s next? Island Whiskey and possibly a return visit!

IoW Young Carers

We  are delighted to have raised £123.00 for IoW Young Carers, which will help towards support and recreational respite for the young people who help their families, when we  had  Afternoon Tea at our President, Ann Parker’s, home

Delicious homemade  scones, with cream and jam and cakes aplenty, served with very welcome hot tea and coffee.  We had imaged  relaxing in the garden on a warm and sunny day with cold drinks,  but there was still a warm relaxed atmosphere amongst the members as  we chatted in front of the fire on a wet an windy summer afternoon. We all agreed it was a very worthwhile and enjoyable event despite the weather.

Cheryl Howell

Creekside WI at Wootton Methodist Church Fair

We aren’t just pretty faces…OH NO, we can cater for unknown numbers as well. We rallied the troups for delicious cake and scone contributions and were ready by 9.00am to set up and prepare, making sure that the ‘cafe’ looked welcoming and the refreshments were irresistible. Pat prepared the sandwiches as they were ordered, no sitting around in cardboard and plastic for her! Well done to Susan and helpers for providing all the tea and coffee and of course the ladies who manned the cake and cold drink areas. There was a steady flow of requests and a steady flow of washing up. In the evening those of us who returned, were lucky enough to enjoy an unexpected musical concert before the tea break. It was a great day meeting lovely people. Thanks to everyone who contributed in some way.

Creekside WI Knit to the Challenge

Creekside’s craft group set a challenge to all members in February to knit 100 hats for babies born at St Mary’s Newport, before our annual craft competition in May. We had checked that they were needed….. ‘They certainly are’ we were told with joy ‘we have over 1000 births every year.

With no further ado the pattern to use was decided upon and the needles were clicking with members using their imagination as to interpretation of the design.

Each hat different, white or muted colours of the rainbow, some assorted colours, stripes thick and thin with a pompom on the top, they were fun to knit, the result being that the target was reached, we had knitted 120 hats. Well done ladies.

We are very pleased to be making this much needed presentation to the hospital.

Cheryl Howell

Anyone for Tea?

Did you think Creekside ladies would say ‘no thanks.’

You are right. Members had a very enjoyable afternoon tea served on the lawns of Wootton Methodist Church in perfect weather. Sandwiches, jelly custard cream and strawberries, cheese scones, scones with jam and cream followed by a selection of delicious cakes were served, all made by members.

There were stalls to browse, books, plants and cakes to buy and of course a raffle with excellent prizes donated by members.

Everyone agreed it was a very successful and relaxed afternoon, (relaxed – I think the committee agreed, we love doing all our events.)

Cheryl Howell