The Women’s Institute 2017/2018

Committee Report for the Annual General MeetingWI logo

Once again Burton Leonard WI is not standing still. We have seen changes in our membership some sad departures and some glad new beginnings.

I would like to thank all of the Committee for their hard work and dedication as without them Burton Leonard WI would be much poorer. All of you without exception has played a significant part in taking Burton Leonard forward.

What we have all been up to over the past twelve months. Last March ten members attended the Spring Council Meeting at the Pavilions in Harrogate. We were extremely proud to see Dorothy Hymas and Mavis Hammond awarded their certificates for a commendable over-fifty years’ membership.

Five of us travelled to Haworth on Charlotte Bronte’s birthday, the centenary of which was commemorated there in style. The presentation about her life, which was especially given to WI members by the Museum’s Curator, was both fascinating and revealing as was the impressive exhibition which is always well worth a visit – we eventually managed to drag Kathleen away!

In May we were lucky enough to meet Gyles Brandreth’s teddies when those members who like to sew offered to dress seven of them as Olympic sprinters and wedding party guests for the Newby Hall exhibition which opened at the end of the month. Many of us spent a super, sunny day there in July, taking full advantage of the reduced entry-fee to the house as a reward for all our hard but enjoyable work.

Gardeners among us delighted in the RHS Harlow Carr Flower Show in June while Liz, Pat Scott and Kate travelled further afield for the 2016 AGM in Brighton (back to her roots for Pat).

The Great Yorkshire Show took place as usual in July and half-a-dozen of our members helped out with catering and stewardship. Denise became our star by winning a prize for her beautiful ‘Geisha’ flower arrangement. Let’s hope that our ‘botanicals’ garland will be as well-received this year!

A great adventure was had by the ten of us who learned how to play Petanque (French bowls) in Harrogate – our games becoming more and more competitive as the beautiful summer evening wore on!

Lesley very kindly hosted our third Garden Party in August (yes, sunshine again!) where a wonderfully sociable afternoon was thoroughly enjoyed by us all.

Our amazingly clever team of six won the first round of the very challenging Federation Quiz in September, going on to finish in a very respectable third place in the October final.

Five members went to Bedale for the Autumn Extravaganza and were treated to a most informative presentation by Julie Milligan, North Yorkshire’s Police Commissioner, followed by an extremely entertaining talk by television’s Nicki Chapman, an in-depth insight into her career.

In November four members enjoyed Festive Food and Flowers at Skipton Town Hall where Hellen did very well in the raffle I seem to remember. She was thrilled with her prize of a beautiful but huge flower arrangement which amusingly had to be dismantled to fit into the car for the homeward journey. They had great fun and made a really good job of reconstructing it back in Burton Leonard – fresh talent emerging perhaps?! – and Kris has the photographic evidence!

On the last Monday of the month our new social sewing afternoons began and we have made a great joint effort in putting together, with the invaluable contribution and guidance of Carole and Pat Stansfield, our ‘botanicals’ garland and ‘Climate Change’ bunting. It has also been so pleasing to see the names of current members appearing freshly embroidered in orange silk on our tablecloth.

Harrogate Harmony Barbershop Singers tunefully entertained us at our Christmas gathering. Suppertime was buzzing as always – festive food enjoyed with firm friends.

At our 2017 meetings so far we have decided which resolution most touches our hearts and heard all about the work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance from the Regional Fundraising Manager.

We have eaten out together (just for a change!) with a fabulous thirty-four members devouring a sumptuous meal at the Guy Fawkes Inn, Scotton – what sociable occasions we’re fortunate to share!

At the International Day in Littlethorpe last Wednesday five of us discovered a great deal about Scandanavia, partaking of some delicious authentic cuisine and soaking up a breathtakingly beautiful recital of Finnish choral music.

So we have come full circle to the Spring Council Meeting again, this year to be held at Tennants in Leyburn on Saturday 1st April. Gyles Brandreth will appropriately be appearing as the Speaker and a most entertaining one I’m sure he’ll be!

The forming of new friendship is just one of the joys of the WI with endless opportunities to increase our knowledge and extend our skills also available for the taking.

I sincerely encourage you to get yourselves out there to experience the great variety of what’s on offer!!  

Our Programme for 2017/2018 can be found here: WI Programme 2017/2018
Our Community Walks for 2017/2018 can be found here: WI Community Walks 2017/2018