Hexhamshire WI Centenary birthday celebrations

It can’t really be necessary to explain the cacophony of noise generated by a room full of WI members, friendly chatter interspersed with great peals of laughter everywhere.  It was truly wonderful to hear….. Where?

At Hexhamshire WI’s 100th Birthday Party

which was held in the Parish Hall, Whitley Chapel, on 3rd April.

Committee members had decorated the Parish Hall creating a ‘wow’ look. For weeks prior, members had been busy making some beautiful banners which now festooned the walls. Other decorations hung up high, between the drapes, put there by a helpful Lewis Short. There were three other key men, Dave, Austin and Duncan who manned the bar.

Everything ready, tables beautifully set with a party bag at each place, the nearly 70 members and guests started arriving, were greeted and shown to their tables.  President Marge Rastall welcomed everyone and a rousing rendition of Jerusalem started the night.  Crudités were served by three kind hardworking members from Whitfield WI.

Jason Arnup provided the entertainment for the evening.  He went down a storm and before long he had members singing along and dancing in the aisles.

The delicious main course, cooked for us by the Travellers’ Rest, was followed by puds including trifle, fruit salads and pavlova, all made by members and all to’ die for’.

Next came the cutting of the beautifully iced birthday cake by our oldest member Barbara Parker aged 93. Unfortunately our other ‘senior’ member Shirley Nixon was unable to attend, but Barbara remembered her in her speech and reminisced about being a member of one of the happiest groups to grow out of the ’Shire Institute – ‘Shirley’s Girls’. The singers met every week at Stotsfold Farm and often performed at many local institutes, and other venues.

Barbara then, to everyone’s surprise and delight, gave a Joyce Grenfell monologue called The Committee Meeting.

Jason’s second session wasn’t underway long until tables were pushed back and the dance floor filled with happy jiving WI members, including County President Marj Reed. And so ended a wonderful 100th celebration.  It had been an evening that will long be remembered, showcasing all that is good in the WI and boding well for the future of Hexhamshire WI.

For more information about Hexhamshire WI contact Marge Rastall. (01434 673547) New members are always welcome

Jillian Rutherford

Barbara 100th