JUNE 2018


Brampton Bryan WI is celebrating its Centenary in style this year.  Our first celebration was a memorable educational visit to The Hall at Brampton Bryan, by kind permission of Edward and Victoria Harley.  We are so lucky to have such an historic estate in our village.  The Hall is rarely available to visit, so we felt exceptionally lucky to be afforded access to it.  Everything had been specially arranged on the day of our tour, so that many interesting and historic artefacts were on display.   We were welcomed by the family and whilst enjoying coffee and home-made biscuits, were given a brief history of the property and the family and the opportunity to ask questions.  The amount and range of items on display is absolutely astounding, and we were given a running commentary whilst seeing many rooms of the home.  Having a member of the family which has inhabited this magnificent home was brought to life by their intimate knowledge and interesting anecdotes of the lives of their forebears.  Items ranged from an old photograph showing Herefordshire Federation of the WI holding a picnic in the grounds, taken some 80 years prior to our visit!  Fashions have changed immensely during that time, hats were worn by everyone, and long skirts or dresses were the order of the day.  The historical documents are real treasures and the paintings and artefacts tell an intriguing story of the life of the estate and its occupants.  We were even shown a scold’s mask - could this possibly be a hint to we chattering ladies, who were so captivated by all we saw,  we couldn’t stop talking about it?

This wonderful morning was rounded off by a superb lunch kindly hosted by Susan Harley in her home.  We all managed to sit cosily around one table, so that we could be together.  For once we were not on duty, so to speak, as we had organised professional caterers to provide us with a memorable meal.  Thus we could just sit back and enjoy ourselves whilst being served.  It was wonderful.  We are so used to catering for many events ourselves to raise funds to enable our WI to continue and afford speakers to come and visit that this made the lunch all the more special for us. What a perfect start to our celebrations!

President, Gill Harnett, was our representative at The Annual Council Meeting held at the Three Counties Hotel in May.  Gill was looking forward to collecting the special Certificate which Herefordshire Federation presents to WIs celebrating special events.  Imagine her surprise when, not only did she receive the aforementioned certificate, but also an engraved glass plaque, which will take the place of honour at all of our meetings.

Our next celebration was a suggestion by one of our members, Doris Irving.  A tea party would be held and we would invite members of the community to attend.  Numbers would have to be restricted because of the size of the hall.  Our members, as usual, would provide all the refreshments, at which they excel.  There was much discussion as to how we could reach out to different people in the area.  We wanted to try and involve the WI Resolution about loneliness, so approached a local Care Agency and a local Mums and Toddlers group.  Both groups were extremely helpful and keen about our idea and kindly presented the invitations to their members.

Transport would be provided for those who required it.  Our members were also given invites so that they could choose people they knew and perhaps felt would benefit from an outing. We decorated the tables with flowers and balloons with lots of pretty coloured ribbons.  Colourful bunting was also hung, and we had a small selection of toys and books for the toddlers to enjoy.   We invited our Federation Chairman and our W.I. Advisor.  Here they are doing the honours by cutting the cake!