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Eaton Bray W.I.

This article was published in April 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Women's InstituteA welcome was extended to the members at the March meeting.

There was a birthday card for Celia White and congratulations were given to Barbara Ilic and her husband Tony on the occasion of their Diamond Wedding.The card from the Queen was looked at by everyone (especially the code on the back). Loving thoughts were expressed to Dorothy and her daughter June, whose husband Bill had died suddenly. A newsletter was distributed giving all the forthcoming details of events and outings planned for the Summer.

Deirdrea introduced the speaker Jean Yates who spoke on Bedfordshire's Secret War.

Organisations such as the Special Operation Executive and others, conducted their secret operations from various parts of Bedfordshire.

The Met Office Central Forecasting unit was in a nissen hut camou fl aged as a haystack on top of the Downs, in Isle of Wight Lane. Another hut was involved in experimental radar, this too was camoufl aged by hay. Twenty miles of chicken wire was erected on the Downs at 400ft above sea level. Hockliffe had a secret radio station run by the Czechoslovakians who were communicating with their president and government.

Chicksands was an RAF 'Y' station, at one time it had 200 receivers intercepting the German Air Force strategic wireless network. Paris House at Woburn was used as an interim safe house for the Royal Family if Britain was invaded.

Jean showed slides with so much information written down. Most details could be found in her book entitled Dunstable at War, written by herself and Sue King. (Copies available from Focus editor.)

Jean was thanked by Sue for a most informative talk. Social time followed and the raffle was won by Barbara Collier and Megan Hall.

Next month's speakers on Monday 2nd April are Mandy and Justin James of Redbournbury Mill and Bakery. They will be bringing samples to taste.

Why not join us?

Source: Focus, April 2012

Eaton Bray WI

This article was published in December 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Women's InstituteThe 90th Birthday buffet was held in the Methodist Chapel hall,which was decorated for the occasion and a beautiful array of food greeted the members. Only one member was unable to attend as she was on holiday, but sent a lovely card. Deirdrea welcomed everyone and past members and their valuable contributions were remembered. Various 90th Birthday cards were read out.

Gladys Deamer was given a card and good wishes for her birthday and good wishes were expressed to Helen Wilkinson, for the occasion of her daughter's forthcoming wedding.

Sheila's son Jeff prepared an excellent music quiz, which kept everyone trying to hum the tunes and guess the names of the singers. He really had chosen some very different and difficult tunes for us. Then the buffet began with everyone tasting a little of everything and pronouncing it excellent. Susan's quiz really challenged the brains and it was quite difficult to have all the answers when the alloted time was up. It was much harder than Mastermind. The quiz winners were given prizes and Susan and Jeff given a thank you gift.

A Birthday raffle was drawn with some very special prizes for the lucky recipients. The cake was cut and teas and coffees served. To continue the 90th Birthday celebrations, a meal will be enjoyed at the White Horse.

Two large boxes full of gifts for children, which would be delivered to, and distributed by the Dunstable Salvation Army, were collected.

The next meeting will be on Monday 5th December, when members of the Group WI's will be guests, for a Christmas celebration. The speaker will be Jenny, the Captain of the Salvation Army, who will speak about the Canal Path Patrol. Envelopes will be given out at that meeting in preparation for payment of the 2012 subscriptions, in January 2012. Visitors are always welcome.

Source: Focus, December 2011

Eaton Bray W.I.

This article was published in September 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Women's InstituteDeirdrea welcomed the members back after the Summer break and also wecomed Roz who joined us that evening.

Everyone agreed that the outing to Sulgrave Manor, the home of George Washington's ancestors, was a great success. From the moment that the coach arrived until its departure, we were looked after. Everything was done to make sure that we had the best possible time, with attention to every detail. The house tour visiting the Great Hall, kitchen and bedchambers among the furniture and artifacts of the period, plus the other rooms depicting the era of George Washington, were made so interesting by Simon a most informative guide (quite a charmer too). The two hour tour just fl ew by and when Simon referred to the "shapely legs" in each room, he looked at Dorothy not the furniture! Walking through the village which was friendly, picturesque and so peaceful. Entering the small church there, the feeling of calm and peacefulness was so welcoming.

The September meeting saw Paul Hancock as the speaker (who stepped in at the last minute), showing slides on the National Trust and specifi cally the Chiltern Gateway Centre at Dunstable Downs. The area around the centre offers so much, the views, wildlife, various types of orchids, red kites as well as the fresh air activities of kite fl ying and gliding. The centre itself offers many facilities, with a National Trust shop, selections of food to buy, an excellent cafe, gifts, jewellry etc. It also runs many events during the year.

It was with great regret that the members said goodbye to Gladys Ruffet, a most loyal and supportive member and the longest serving member of Eaton Bray WI, who is moving away at the end of the month. She was presented with a London carriage clock and cards which the members had signed, plus cards for her new home. She will be greatly missed, especially as a person who always said thank you for everything that was done.

Helen was thanked for hosting the coffee morning which raised £150, a great result and grateful thanks go to all those who supported it. Next months meeting is on Monday 3rd October at 7.30pm at the Eaton Bray Methodist Hall,when the speaker will be Tony Woodhouse on 'Ghosts'. New members are always welcome. Why not come and try.

Source: Focus, October 2011

Eaton Bray W I

This article was published in April 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Women's InstituteThe Coffee Morning held on Thursday 7th April raised £200. Thanks go to the members who gave goods and all those who came and suported it.

The monthly meeting began with a welcome to all the members, which was followed by the business affairs for the month.

The speaker was Jean Yates who showed slides and explained about the Royal Family's exile to Albania in World War 2. LEKA-CROWN PRINCE OF ALBANIA. King Zog 1 and Queen Geraldine had to flee Albania when Italy invaded the country just two days after their son Leka's birth.This traumatic start was only the beginning of what had been an unsettled life. The royal family lived for a time at the Ritz hotel in London, before moving in 1941 to Sunninghill, Berkshire then to Parmoor near Frieth in Buckinghamshire.

After the Second World War Leka's parents moved to Egypt but left Leka in Britain for his education. After passing out of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, he joined the British Army. He later became a successful commodities trader.

After his father's death in 1961, 22year old Leka was proclaimed king by an Albanian government in exile. He set up home in Spain with his wife Susan, an Australian, but was on his way to start a new life in Rhodesia when his plane was surrounded by troops during a refuelling stop. It transpired that the Albanian government had hired the Africans to abduct him.

Now 72, Leka has returned to Albania since the fall of communism and now lives in Tirana.

Jean was a superb speaker whose enthusiasm and attention to so much detail, left everyone wanting more. She gave a complete life history of King Zog 1 and the Queen Geraldine and their families accompanied by her slides and answered many questions. Next months meeting will be on Monday 9th May at 7.30pm and will involve discussing and voting on the two resolutions to be presented at the National AGM in June. There will be a Beetle Drive, with savoury refreshments to follow.

There will be a raffle and bring and buy stall.

Source: Focus, May 2011

Eaton Bray WI

This article was published in April 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Women's InstituteThe meeting held on Monday 7th March was held at the new venue, Eaton Bray Methodist Hall, where members and one visitor were welcomed by Deirdrea.

The members were thanked for giving back the questionnaire and sharing ideas for future meetings, speakers and outings. Suggestions were invited to select a charity for the year.

The guest speaker and demonstrator was Keith Lilley, a florist and owner of Greycourt Florists in Kempston. Keith creates many floral and plant displays in various venues and events in and around London, as well as advising clients, brides for wedding flowers, plus funeral tributes, Mother's Day posies and Easter flowers, plus working in the shop on the practical side.

Four beautiful arrangements were demonstrated making the most of colour, design and texture. Keith's easy going manner and friendly chat whilst demonstrating, contributed to a very relaxed and most enjoyable evening.

Two of the arrangements were raffled and were won by Sheila Beal and Anne Salmon.

Details of the annual outing to Sulgrave Manor in August were given out.

The next meeting is on Monday 4th April at 7.30pm, when the speaker will be Jean Yates, speaking about the Albanian Royal Family's exile in WW2 in the Chilterns.

There will be a Bring and Buy and raffle.


Source: Focus, April 2011

WI Inspiring Women

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Women's InstituteThe Women's Institute has been ‘rebranded’ in a bid to modernise its image, hoping to attract new and younger members. The change began about Jan 2010 when a new revamped logo stated “WI Inspiring Women”.

Encouraging women to participate in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.

The reason many women joined in the first place was to get out and meet people.

Another key theme which cropped up was the friendship found within each group. “Its binding for the community”.

Eaton Bray was founded in 1921 and the stalwarts laid the foundations that still continue today. The strength of each WI lies in the contribution of its members. The more you put in-the more you get out-the WI is what you make it. With enthusiastic support from members, almost anything can be achieved. The WI is for all women, of all ages and interests,there is something for everyone.

Meetings. The main part of the monthly meeting is a talk or demonstration (the members take a hand in forwarding ideas for the programme), preceded by some brief WI business. There are outings arranged to various places of interest, meals out and other celebrations as well as joining in the activities of the other group WI’s.

We are always looking to strengthen our numbers and welcome new members to share in our activities. Subscriptions are £30 this year which includes copies of WI Life, delivered to your door during the year.

Meetings are held on the first Monday of the month. Next months meeting is on Monday 7th March at 7.30pm, at the new venue for all future meetings, Eaton Bray Methodist Hall. The speaker will be Keith Lillie, who will demonstrate the art of floristry.

Interested in joining us? Please phone the Secretary Barbara Collier on 01525 221401.