ILLNESS and the cold wet weather had meant that there were fewer than normal members able to attend the first meeting of the year, of Brown Edge WI, but nevertheless the St Anne's School Hall resounded with cheery greetings as befits the first coming together since the Christmas break.
President Barbara Corden, wished everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year, and after Hilary had dealt with the previous minutes the meeting was underway.
It was announced that The Caldon Valley Group Meeting will take place on Thursday, 17th April, 7.30pm in Endon Village Hall.
It will be a "Pie and Pea" supper followed by a "Flower Demonstration", entitled "Every Picture Tells a Story" presented by Mr Don Billington.
Members were asked to enter the competitions, which are Craft - a "Button Picture", not to exceed 12 inches and the Cookery which will be for a "Sausage Plait."
Our speaker for the evening was Mr Roger Warrilow, who was speaking on the "Foxlowe Arts Centre", a subject dear to his heart. Foxlowe House, built in the 18th century on the old Great Abbey site, was owned by "the Curso family, a very "Elegant Mansion House", built facing the "Town Square".
Mr Warrilow went on to describe the beautiful rooms and large kitchen with its gleaming copper pans, the butlers, maids and footmen all elegantly attired.
During the later years, Mrs Curso, a very bounteous lady, became known as the Queen of Leek as she helped the sick and poor people in the area. Mrs Cruso died in 1893 leaving no heirs.
The house stood empty for many years and subsequently became a Hospital.
It was later put on the market and eventually was bought for a quarter of a million pounds, by a millionaire, now it is on sale for one million.
With the help of many volunteers and generous donations, the Foxlowe Trust is hoping to buy the house within the next few months.
They have managed to acquire a Charity Status which has helped considerably with their fund-raising.
The Foxlowe was opened as an "Arts Centre" by Mr Roy Poole in 2013, and has many events taking place in 2014.
Ruth gave the vote of thanks to Mr Warrilow.