14 members attended a lunch at The Barge Inn, Seend. It was a lovely meal, but service was slow. Seems like everyone decided to eat at the Barge on Saturday as the weather was so nice - a very hot and sunny day.
Tonight we welcomed John Pemberton who enthralled us with his talk about life as a Chelsea Pensioner living at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. A fascinating talk with lots of pictures to illustrate the facts told to us. The hospital is a facility for non-commissioned pensioners from the army who find themselves without family and living a lonely life if 'civvie' street.
John described entering the hospital as 're-enlisting' and he enjoyed the life and companionship that was offered. Pensioners have many days out and holidays and just like a serving member of the forces has to put in for leave, just so they know who is resident at any one time.
The Chelsea Pensioners get invited to many social events and you will always see their 'scarlet dress' at functions such as Wimbledon.
Within the hospital is the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary which provides for any medical needs of the pensioners and on the top floor is a dedicated Dementia facility.
A fun and informative talk and would highly recommend a visit to The Royal Hospital Chelsea if you are in London and looking for something to do...
Our May meeting saw us celebrate our 35th Birthday. We brought food to share and toasted the occasion with fizz whilst being entertained by Melksham's own 'One Voice Community Choir'. A really fun and social evening was had by all who attended.
Thank you to everyone that contributed to the evening and to the Community Choir.
30 plus members attended last nights meeting, where Scrapstore took us through various craft items that we could make from scraps of card, old wall paper, paper etc to end up with a useful item. Items made included Easter Cards, paper baskets of various shapes and sizes to hold Easter eggs or other small gifts, assorted paper flowers and hanging mobiles. There was much laughter and socialising as we tackled our various activities. We are all looking forward to next months meeting when we take part in a Table Top Rally...
February is our Annual General Meeting as well as a social night. Our retiring president Ann Finch opened the meeting and guided us through the formal part of the AGM. Ann stood down as our President as she has now completed her three year tenure, she is also stepping down from the committee. Janey Cox was duly elected as our new President and we welcomed 3 new committee members. The AGM was followed by a quiz night that was hosted by Ali who together with Jo Stoddart provided a challenging and fun evening.
We had a really interesting talk this evening given by Shaun McCormack into the history and traditions of the Yeoman of the Guard (the sovereigns own personal body guards). The Yeoman were created by Henry VII in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth in recognition of this history they still wear the red and gold uniforms of Tudor style. There are 60 Yeoman of the Guard plus 6 officers drawn from retired members of the British Army, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force but traditionally not the Royal Navy. there role today is purely ceremonial and they accompany the Queen at various occasions such as the annual maundy day service, investitures, garden parties at Buckingham Palace and other state functions. It was a very entertaining talk, and we got to see and handle the uniform which is surprising heavy and cumbersome to wear.
This morning we held a coffee morning at the United Reform Church in Melksham. We offered free tea/coffee and a slice of cake to our many visitors as part of World Kindness Day. Which was very welcome on a cold wet November morning, There was also an opportunity to purchase greetings cards and cookery books. For those who wished to make a contribution for the hot drink and cake they received there was a Donation box and all proceeds received were split equally between The Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Melksham Christmas Lights. A total of £100 was raised and distributed the these very worthy causes.
We welcomed Wafaa Powell to our September meeting - where she talked to us about the food and culture of Lebanon which was illustrated with many posters of different regions and foods. All of which was really interesting and showed a very green and lush landscape, with mountains, valleys and coastal areas.
Wafaa then got us chopping vegetables and salad crops to prepare two dishes - Fattoush an authentic traditional Lebanese salad and a Dfeen a simple tasty, hearty quick meal of chick peas and bulgar wheat.
Once the dishes were prepared we all tucked into the resulting food - delicious....
What a fun day we had today at the Melksham Food and River Festival where we had our own stall selling a large selection of homemade cakes together with a cup of tea or coffee.
Thankfully for us all, the weather was kind to us and there was a great atmosphere around the site. The chilli tasting competition was just along from us and was very well supported. It was great meeting a number of prospective new members and we hope to see you at a future meeting.
Melksham WI ladies earlier today manning the WI Cake stall at the Lacock at War event in the local village of Lacock. We were one of four WI's that provided cakes for the Naafi/WI tent at the Military Vehicles Lacock at War event. Dispite the weather the event was well attended and all the cakes provided by the WI's across the weekend was sold out by 3pm on the Sunday.
The next time you have a chance to taste Melksham WI's homemade cakes will be on Sunday 4th September at the Melksham Food and River Festival. If you can do take the opportunity to come along and say hello and taste our lovely cakes together with a cup of tea or coffee and join in the fun planned for the weekend both on and off the water.
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