CHESHAM TOWNSWOMENS GUILD
Guild chairman, Pat Semon, opened the February meeting of Chesham Townswomens Guild with a welcome for everyone and announced that the speaker, Margaret Deakin, would be giving her talk on the Andes, the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands first.
Although she has spoken to the guild before it was apparently 11 years since her last talk, so it was nice to see her again.
She began by explaining that the Galapagos Islands belong to Ecuador, which, although a small country in South America, is important for all that.
Originally under the rule of the Incas, Civil War between Cuzco and Quito gave the Spanish Conquistadors a chance to take it in 1532, and it wasn’t until 1809 that independence was finally achieved by Simon Bolivar.
Peace has now prevailed since the 20th Century. The capital, Quito, is in the Amazon Rain Forest and is the second highest in the world. Tourists are offered coca tea to counter altitude sickness.
The country is a large exporter of bananas and shrimps, and is the most bio-diverse in the world with 25,000 different species of plants. The Equator runs though the capital, hence the name of the country.
The Galapagos Islands are 600 miles off the coast, and with the aid of slides Margaret took us on a guided tour which showed that each island had its own climate, having been formed at different times. They also have different animals and plants.
The scenery was sometimes beautiful, and sometimes awe inspiring, with volcanos, which fortunately were not inclined to erupt. This is also where the giant tortoise was found - namely ‘Lonesome George’, called so becuase he was the last of his kind. There is huge variety of birds, animal and flowers, all differing with each island’
Pauline Baxter thanked Margaret for a talk which had been so very interesting and informative.
Before continuing with guild business, Pat Semon gave the sad news that former guild member Yvonne Wilmott had died recently. Yvonne was a much valued member filling the role of drama chairman for many years, and achieving some very successful productions in her time.
Pat reminded members of the forthcoming Federation games afternoon at Bourne End, and also the annual Federation lunch in April and the President’s coffee morning in May.
She then went on to ask for someone to volunteer for the position of programme planner, which has now become vacant. This is a most necessary job as it provides the speakers.
The next meeting is on Wednesday, March 4 at 2.30pm in the Lowndes Room of the town hall and will be the AGM. Visitors are always welcome to our meetings. BBOWT CHILTERNS
Deep within the heart of Berkshire lurk two rare untameable small predators-a pair of Scottish wildcats.
Luckily, they are not roaming wild in the hills, but are part of Berkshire College of Agriculture’s British and exotic wildlife collection. With perhaps only 400 left in the wild, the aim is to study this elusive creature with a view to saving it from extinction.
Nick Shelley from BCA gave us not only some insights into their history and behaviour, but also entertained us with beautiful photos of the cats as well as of other animals both in the collection and free in the surrounding estate.
If this talk has whetted your appetite for learning more about wildlife, why not come to our next evening meeting ? This will be on Tuesday, February 17, starting at 7.45pm.
Barry Oxley will talk about Otmoor, the RSPB’s flagship wetland reserve in Oxfordshire. Barry was closely involved with its creation, and will guide us through the reserve’s past, present and future.
Talks take place at Great Missenden’s comfortable Memorial Centre, where all are welcome whether members or not. Admission is £3, which includes refreshments.
If fresh air and exercise are your thing, why not try out a spot of conservation work in one of BBOWT’s reserves, or go on a
guided walk? There is a work party taster day at Aston Clinton Ragpits on 28th February starting at 10am, and a guided walk around Weston Turville Reservoir on 21st February starting at 10.30am.
For details of these and other events, including many imaginative ideas for children and families to try out, go to www. bbowt.org.uk/whats-on. LITTLE CHALFONT
Members were greeted with wine and sparkling elderflower cordial to brighten a dull February evening, and there was plenty of news of events to look forward to. Tickets for the February games night were selling well, and lots of members will be joining our March walk followed by a pub lunch.
We are also hoping to organise a guided tour of the Little Chalfont Nature Park in May, and a visit to Kelmscott later in the year.
Our craft groups have been busy as usual, and the latest StorySack, just completed, was on display and will shortly be going to St George’s School to help the young pupils there with their reading.
We will start another StorySack in April. There are lots of Centenary events being organised through the year by our county and national headquarters to it looks like being a busy and exciting year.
Our speakers for the evening cancelled at the last minute, so we delved into the darkest recesses of the Oxford English Dictionary and had a riotous game of Call My Bluff –words from boblet to quodlibertarian came to light.
Who would have thought a boblet was a two man bobsleigh and not a baby bobcat?
Little Chalfont Evening WI members have just completed creating a storysack which will be donated to a school