ANNE Barnard, chairman, welcomed everyone after the summer break and presented a member with her New Members Pack.
She thanked Lynda McGregor for opening her garden to raise funds for our charity. There were tea and cakes and entertainment from the Guild choir on a lovely sunny afternoon, which raised £178. Our sub-sections are thriving. Social Studies had an extremely informative presentation by Paul Thomas on some community projects co-ordinated by local churches and volunteers supported by the local statutory organisations. They all work together to offer support and help to people living in the area who have fallen on hard times, some through little fault of their own. We heard in particular about the Foodbank and The Furniture Project.
The Badminton group are in full swing and would welcome new players.
The Out and About Group are off to see the poppies at the Tower of London and explore the area of St Katherine’s Dock.
The Mah Jong group continue to meet weekly and new members are welcome.
The Ramblers are off for a three-mile walk around Hughendon, followed by lunch and the Choir resumes in October.
Social coffee mornings are held monthly, as is the Book Club.
Our meeting ended with an interesting presentation by Wendy Hermon, from Swan Life Line, a charity that looks after sick or injured swans in the Thames Valley area.
Wendy told us about the care offered on Cuckoo Weir Island, Eton, where they have pens in which to keep injured birds safe from predators. They have many volunteers to assist them and also a few boys from Eton College on their community service once a week.
She organises training sessions for them as well as the police and firemen, to teach them how to handle and catch them safely.
She had many stories of the types of injuries the swans suffered and their successful rehabilitation, as she has worked for the charity for 18 years.
Our next meeting is on October 21 at 8pm, at the British Legion Hall, in Woodside Road, Amersham. Ray Spillar will give a talk entitled Comedian Plus. Visitors are welcome to join us.
HEATH PRESIDENT Jayne Faversham welcomed everyone back after the summer break, during which 43 members and partners enjoyed a delicious barbecue. This raised £269.50 towards the charity, Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance.
Grateful thanks were made to everyone who very kindly helped to make it such a success and especially to Margaret Dunn for the use of her garden.
Thanks were also given to Barbara Aris for organising the August walk, and to Gillian O’Flynn for last Friday’s, from the Pink and Lily pub near Lacey Green.
October’s walk will be on 23rd – details to be announced at the next meeting.
The Autumn Beechwood Group meeting will be at 7.45pm on October 15 at St Leonard’s Parish Hall. The speaker is Bill Hamilton, a former BBC journalist.
Pam Ruff has offered to host a coffee morning at her home between 10am and noon on October 24. Donations of cakes and raffle prizes would be appreciated.
In September 2015, it will be the centenary of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, when each group will hold a celebration. Volunteers were invited to form a sub-committee to organise this event.
It was agreed that Sue Flint, who socialises puppies for Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, would be welcome to bring hers to the meetings.
The evening’s visitor was George Davis, who spoke about Wild Game Direct. His family have been gamekeepers for five generations in the Hampden area and he is trying to get more people interested in eating game.
He was certainly doing a great job with the members, as the enticing smell of his sister’s cooking wafted through from the kitchen, and was enjoyed later!
George has taken a number of courses on the preparation of varieties of game, which is an excellent source of protein without the saturated fat of other meats, nor any additives.
Fallow deer, pheasant, hare and rabbits were hunted by the Romans, and William the Conqueror planted the woodlands in the New Forest for this purpose. Hunting has continued through the centuries.
In Victorian times, gamekeepers took to wearing hard bowler hats as protection from being hit on the head by poachers! They were the most important staff member on any estate. They were also invaluable during the Boer War, when they were used as scouts.
The next meeting is at 8pm on October 9, when Mrs Deakin will speak about the Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand.
The competition will be New Zealand memorabilia.