‘A Remembrance’ Instead of our August monthly meeting we always have an outing which, this year, was to the Na-tional Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Lichfield. The site which covers 150 acres was first opened in 2001. It is the UK’s year round centre of re-membrance and contains more than 300 memorials for military and civilian organisations and asso-ciations, together with tributes for individuals. While still a young arboretum there are more than 30,000 trees in the grounds including all the native species as well as a number of specimen and foreign varieties, symbolically chosen to link with individual memorials. We arrived in time to attend the short memorial service which is held in the Millennium Chapel at 11am and 2pm each day. There followed a 50 minute land-train tour with audio commentary. After that we were free to spend the rest of the day as we wished. There were walks to follow varying in distance and a few of our members hired mobility scooters which in some cases put the pedestrians at risk! Although the weather was dull we were all prepared with our waterproofs and ‘sensible’ shoes, fortunately it didn’t rain and the sun did show it’s face later in the afternoon. It was a most enjoyable yet poignant day and many thanks to Sue and Ann for their brilliant organisation.
What a stalwart bunch we WI members are. On the hottest day since 1976, thirty members from various local Institutes, plus eight of our own ladies all turned up, full of enthusiasm, ready for the evening ram-ble. The walk was hosted by Caynham Ashford and it was a planned three and a half mile route. The group was split into two with leaders and back pacers and at 6pm, full of enthusiasm, off they set. They walked round the outside of Ludlow Castle, down over Dinham Bridge, along the road towards Plymouth Estates to Priors Halton, turned left to Woodcock Covert, back to Dinham Bridge and then along the Breadwalk. By the time they reached The Charlton Arms I think a few of the intrepid walkers would have liked to have nipped in for a ‘swift half’ before the pull up Broad Street, through the Broadgate and up the hill to the Methodist Church where there were most welcome drinks and refresh-ments waiting for them. A very big thank you to Chris King for planning the route and to Chris Hewetson, who with her merry band of helpers was in charge of the refreshments, and most of all congratulations and well done to all the walkers who all arrived back in one piece be it a little red faced.
Thankfully the weather was fine for our Treasure Hunt and we all met at the Salway Car park at 4.30pm. Unfortunately there were only 13 of us in 3 cars, The Robins, The Swifts and The Bluebirds and after being given our route we all set off enthusiastically at 10 minute intervals. Theoretically it was meant to be the navigator and driver in the front seats and the clue collectors in the back but it soon turned into a free for all and everybody leaping out of the car to find the clues. As we sped past a gentleman cyclist in his lycra shorts it provoked a conversation, about mountains and molehills……the least said about that the better! It really was quite a long route, 32 miles, and I’m sure we all discovered facts about the locality that we didn’t know. The drivers did really well and certainly didn’t waste any time zipping through the lanes. It took about two hours to complete the course and our sheets were duly handed in for marking, the results to be declared later on at our meeting. At 7.30 we had our usual meeting in Caynham. Our summer outing to the Arboretum, and the Devon Trip were discussed, also our entries to both the Burwarton Show and Shrewsbury Flower Show decided upon. Marina, although not at the meeting, wanted numbers and menu choices for The Group Supper at The Peacock. The Group Meeting in September has had a change of speaker, it is now Colin Richards who we have seen on the television numerous times undertaking conservation projects, he is speaking on Conserving the Saxon villages of Transylvania. We ended the meeting with Cava, strawberries and cream and of course the results of the Treasure Hunt. First place were The Robins, Second, The Swifts and coming up the rear, in third place, The Bluebirds although we were going to demand a stewards enquiry as we were held up at the Onibury crossing! Our next meeting is 13th September when Michael Theobalds will speak on Napoleon and Me. The competition is Something Napoleonic.