IT WAS lovely to be back in the Chapel for our July meeting after our enjoyable visit to Wincle Brewery in June. Glenys welcomed all, with a special welcome to Joan & Jean from Meerbrook WI and our speaker Mr Lewis and his wife.
Thanks were given to all members who had supported the Baton Relay at Rudyard Lake. What a lively atmosphere there had been with members enjoying a train ride, the baton relay and a delicious cream tea at Rudyard Chapel. Final arrangements were made for Leek Show.
As there was no mailing from County correspondence included an invitation from the Cloud Group of WIs to a talk in September by Pollyanna Pickering entitled "Land of the Thunder Dragon". Members were asked to make a decision on the venue for our Christmas Party and voted for Sheila's at Intakes Farm.
We then heard from Joan Whilock about her visit, as our delegate, to the WI AGM in Leeds.
Joan had a great time from start to finish, despite the inclement weather in Leeds. The resolution concerning organ transplants was carried; speakers had been excellent and as ever the singing lifted the roof.
We wonder whose turn it will be for next year's AGM at the Albert Hall. Glenys introduced Alan Lewis who the entertained & educated us for the next hour. The entertainment was a "B" movie entitled "Signs", a very funny compilation of amusing signs seen around the country. We were in a good mood when we were taken historically through the origin of the pub sign "The Royal Oak".
Alan, aided by his projectionist wife began with the Civil War in 1630 between Charles's Royalist army and Cromwell's New Model Army.
Following the Battle of Worcester in 1651 when Charles was defeated he fled with Lord Derby to seek shelter at the safe houses of White Ladies Priory & Boscobel House. The king & William Carlis hid in a pollarded oak tree in the woodlands surrounding Boscobel House as Parliamentary soldiers searched for him.
Charles eventually escaped the region posing as a servant of Jane Lane. Hence the Royal Oak, remembered every year – Oak Apple Day – which was the first public holiday.
The tree that now stands in the field adjacent to Boscobel House is a descendant of the Royal Oak and is known as "Son of the Royal Oak".
In commemoration of the tree's significance in British history a number of places and things have been named after the Royal Oak including eight Royal Navy warships and the Royal Oak pub sign, the third most popular pub name in Britain. Alan was thanked by Chris Moores.
Rushton WI had success in the mini-display category at the Leek Show with their entry entitled "Summer".
It had been a trial at times to summon up the enthusiasm but all the hard work and dedication of members was rewarded with an overall 1st place.
Rushton also won 1st with their staging of the display and won a new trophy donated by Paddy Hardingham in memory of our dear friend Eileen Goodfellow who passed away earlier this year. It was an emotional moment when Pam collected the trophy for Rushton WI.
Glenys also won a 1st for her finger puppets which scored highest marks in the craft.
A big thank you to everyone for supporting us, entering the competitions and visiting us on the day.