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Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GETTING TOGETHER -

HOLMER GREEN EVENING WI

June cel­e­bra­tions be­gan with our birth­day party meet­ing, which in­cluded din­ner, desserts and wine.

While set­ting the ta­bles, our speaker, Wil­liam French, couldn’t re­sist fold­ing the nap­kins for us in a fleur-de-lys de­sign, a skill he learnt while work­ing as a but­ler both to mem­bers of the Royal Fam­ily and film celebri­ties. Af­ter en­joy­ing our food, he spoke to us of his ca­reer, start­ing in the Navy, where he served in the Falk­lands con­flict, later join­ing the Royal Yacht Bri­tan­nia.

His talk was funny and cheeky, with tit­bits of gos­sip about his var­i­ous fa­mous em­ploy­ers. Ar­riv­ing just in time for the din­ner, were mem­bers Jean Cas­son and Betty Furner, dressed in hats and el­e­gant out­fits, hav­ing come straight from a WI Cen­te­nary Gar­den Party at Buck­ing­ham Palace.

Later that week we met with other WIs at the High Wy­combe cin­ema to watch a live stream­ing of the WI Cen­te­nary AGM, held at the Al­bert Hall, and at­tended by HM the Queen, Princess Anne and So­phie, Countess of Wes­sex.

Cen­te­nary fes­tiv­i­ties con­tin­ued two weeks later at a grand party held at Wad­des­don Manor, where mem­bers could en­joy var­i­ous stalls, mu­sic and ac­tiv­i­ties in the won­der­ful grounds.

We will be hold­ing a Flower Fes­ti­val at Holmer Green Bap­tist Church this week­end (July 11 and 12). There will be sev­eral flo­ral dis­plays to the theme of Jerusalem, and the fa­mous WI re­fresh­ments will be served.

CHAL­FONTS U3A

Chal­fonts U3A had a very suc­cess­ful first out­ing on June 25 to the Maple­durham Es­tate near Read­ing.

It was a day full of va­ri­ety – 51 mem­bers boarded the coach in Chal­font St Peter and the first stop was a visit to The Herb Farm in Son­ning Com­mon, which had a won­der­ful se­lec­tion of herbs and flow­ers for sale and served cof­fee in their charm­ing cafe and rose gar­den.

Next stop was Caversham Lock where we boarded the Caversham Princess for our 45 min cruise up river to Maple­durham – a charm­ing Tu­dor manor house on the edge of the Thames be­long­ing to the same fam­ily for 500 years – where soup & sand­wiches were wait­ing for us on ar­rival.

Later fol­lowed a very in­ter­est­ing tour of Maple­durham Mill, the only sur­viv­ing work­ing mill on the Thames – Cory the miller gave a lively talk on the pro­duc­tion of var­i­ous flours and also of elec­tric­ity us­ing a new Archimedes-style tur­bine – the first to be in­stalled in the coun­try! Cream teas were served in the old Manor Hall be­fore re­turn­ing home.

CHE­SHAM TOWNSWOM­ENS GUILD

In spite of the fact that Che­sham Townswom­ens Guild had in­ad­ver­tently cho­sen the hottest day of the year for their July meet­ing, there was quite a re­spectable gath­er­ing of mem­bers. Pauline Bax­ter was in the chair and she wel­comed ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing Ron White who had kindly stepped in as speaker at the last minute as the orig­i­nal speaker was un­able to at­tend due to her hus­band’s ill­ness.

Dur­ing the birth­day an­nounce­ments spe­cial con­grat­u­la­tions went to Joan Ed­monds who cel­e­brates her 90th birth­day this month.

Pat Se­mon gave the Fed­er­a­tion re­port in­clud­ing de­tails of the Pic­nic in the Park event in Au­gust, and as Chiltern & Castle are the hosts she ex­pressed the hope that some Che­sham mem­bers will at­tend. They are col­lect­ing un­wanted sewing ma­te­ri­als or house­hold tools at this event, and these may be brought to the Au­gust meet­ing. Pat Jeffrey said that more num­bers are needed for the Fed­er­a­tion hol­i­day at East­bourne in Septem­ber.

In men­tion­ing the Press Of­fi­cer’s re­port, Pauline thanked Pat Se­mon for stand­ing in for her dur­ing the months of May and June, when she her­self was un­able to at­tend the meet­ings.

It was then time to in­tro­duce Ron White, an old friend of the guild, who was to give a talk on his years with the Che­sham Light Opera Com­pany from 1950 to 1979, although of course he is still a mem­ber.

How­ever he be­gan with the early history of the com­pany, which started life in 1937 at the Em­bassy Cin­ema, now alas long gone. It was orig­i­nally called Che­sham Am­a­teur Op­er­atic So­ci­ety – CAOS for short, although there was surely no pun in­tended! They had sev­eral dif­fer­ent homes in­clud­ing the Church Rooms and the old Co-op Hall be­fiore fi­nally end­ing up at the El­giva; and en­ter­tained au­di­ences with per­for­mances of Gil­bert & Sul­li­van op­erettas and mu­si­cals such as Show Boat, Tom Jones and light op­eras by Strauss.

Ron showed many slides of these shows, and as he sang parts in most of them we watched his progress over the years from a young man to a more ma­ture one. He kept his au­di­ence highly amused with his many anec­dotes, and Pauline thanked him for be­ing such an en­ter­tain­ing and in­for­ma­tive speaker.

The next meet­ing on Au­gust 5 is as usual in the Lown­des Room of Che­sham Town Hall at 2.30pm and will be Mem­bers Own.

This will be an af­ter­noon of quizzes and games, with a com­pe­ti­tion for your favourite hol­i­day sou­venir. Visi­tors will be most welcome.

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