Tea and Tinsel at Chy Noweth

Seven of us had a wonderful time yesterday afternoon at Chy Noweth at ‘Tea & Tinsel’.



There was a Christmas-themed quiz and some delicious refreshments. After we were all full, there was some hysterically funny entertainment involving some dodgy elf ears.

Sue, Mary and Val were very serious about their quiz.
Sue, Mary and Val were very serious about their quiz.

And, to top it all off, we had a visit from Father Christmas himself, who brought a present for each of us. He seemed to take a real shine to County Chair Barbara Corbett!


It was such a jolly afternoon and put us all in the mood for Christmas! Thanks to the Board of Trustees for entertaining us all so well.

A day out to Bodmin Plant & Herb Nursery

On Friday, Charlotte, Gail, Pam R and Julie set off for a CFWI day out to Bodmin Plant and Herb Nursery.

They were welcomed by the owners Karen and Mark and served lovely fresh coffee and homemade biscuits. They then split into two groups and went to the potting shed where there was a beautiful display of herbs with which Karen and Claire (the young woman in charge of the herbs section) described a variety of potting options, explaining the herbs’ uses and how to keep them at their best.


Off to lunch now where they were served homemade soup and homemade cake!


Along the way, the ladies made a gorgeous new friend!


The afternoon was spent on a tour of the operation explaining how they water, propagate and care for the plants from beginning to sale.


It was a fabulous day with some super discounted shopping – it looks as though the ladies came home with a boot full of goodies!


Thanks to Gail for the report and fab photos!


A CFWI Photography Day Out

Crowlas & Ludgvan WI member Ruth Airey recently attended a CFWI session on ‘Close-Up Photography’ led by photographer David Chapman at Marsh Villas Gardens in Par. She has kindly written about it so she can share her experience of the day. (I have included some samples of the lovely photos Ruth took on the day.)

We set out early wondering quite what was going to happen as the weather wasn’t looking good.  It was raining and very, very, grey indeed with not a glimmer of bright sky anywhere, although it was very hot.

When we arrived at Marsh Villas Gardens in Par, the rain had stopped although the sun had not yet appeared. We were told that conditions were perfect for our photography. We all met in a small building for coffee where we were introduced to David Chapman.

David gave an excellent talk on the general composition of photographs and other techniques, tips and tricks. He also talked about the different styles of cameras – compact, bridge and SLR. Within the group all these were present.

Then the fun started!!!

With cameras (and tripods) at the ready we ventured out to find the weather just kept on improving. We didn’t have to move far to find subjects to practice with either as the gardens are amazing!

After a few teething problems with various different cameras (no two were alike) the gardens were invaded by ladies on a mission. David was available to help with any problems and to advise us on how to improve “that one special” shot.

It was really lovely to have time to look at what we were taking photos of instead of pointing and clicking the camera. Even those with the compact cameras were thinking about how their final photograph would turn out instead of thinking “Oh, that’s nice” I must take a picture!”

Some of us were even to be found sitting or kneeling in the wet grass to get the photograph we wanted. The results were well worth it and we soon dried out!

My husband made friends with a tiny frog (there were literally hundreds hopping across the lawns). Not only that, but the owner of the gardens gave him some mementos of the day: some logs and slices of tree for his woodwork!

Overall it was a fantastic day and one that will be remembered for a long time.

If this has inspired any of you to have a play around with your camera, you may want to join our new Camera Club. See Helen for more information.

A CFWI Walking Tour and Boat Trip in Fowey

On Thursday, a group from Crowlas & Ludgvan WI joined in the County Trip to Fowey. The weather was mostly kind so ice creams were enjoyed by those who braved the seagulls!


The day started with a meander around this ancient town which, thanks to its deep harbour, is still a commercial port as well as a safe mooring for many yachts. Along the way we saw the homes of Daphne Du Maurier (where she wrote Rebecca) and Kenneth Grahame. The Wind in the Willows started as a series of letters sent to his children while he and his wife enjoyed an extended holiday in Fowey.


The narrow, steep streets wind around the grounds of Place House, home for many centuries to the Treffry family. Although very little of Tudor Fowey survives, there are many old buildings which give the town charm and character. Fishermen’s cottages (well, originally) line the riverbank with their own moorings running down to the water.

After a picnic lunch for some, and a pub lunch for others, off we went on our 45-minute boat trip up the river, down again to its mouth and then back to the harbour. The boatman’s commentary added to our pleasure, reinforcing what we had learned either during our walk or on the trip on the land train.


A few of us finished the day by having a rollicking good time scoffing scones and cream in a tea garden.

We all had a great day; Fowey has a laid-back atmosphere, lots of cafes and interesting shops, wonderful views and lots of history. Definitely a day out to be recommended, so thank you to Pat Gloyn for arranging this wonderful outing!

Click here to see some more of Ruth’s fantastic photos of the day.

A Day to Remember: The Royal Garden Party

Colleen, Helen, Julia and Kathy represented Crowlas & Ludgvan WI at the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, and what a day we had!

We left our end of Cornwall at the shocking hour of 5am, picking up excited ladies as we headed north. The atmosphere grew more and more festive the closer we got to London, particularly after our last comfort stop when we all changed out of our comfy clothes and into our garden party finery!

Kathy Reed and Barbara Corbett looking lovely in their hats
Kathy Reed and Barbara Corbett looking lovely in their hats

The weather was dreadful during our journey, but amazingly began to clear as we got to London. Though there was still no sunshine.

The weather didn't look promising!
The weather didn’t look promising!

Excitement reached a fever pitch as we approached the Mall!


Everywhere you looked were ladies in hats!


We queued up and were finally IN!




The gardens looked beautiful and we all had a quick wander around with a glass of lemon barley before forming ‘lanes’ for the royals. The Duchess of Cornwall, the Countess of Wessex, Princess Alexandra and the Duchess of Gloucester were all there – some of us were lucky enough to get a handshake and a few words!

And the sun shone!

After that, we headed to the tea tents where there were sandwiches, cakes and tea on offer.

Helen with Hayle WI President Margie Stockton




There was time for another look around the garden’s beautiful roses before heading back to the coach for our trip home, arriving back in Cornwall in the wee hours of the morning.

It was a long day but an amazing one; a true once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Apologies for the very few photos inside the Garden Party, but we were seriously law-abiding (for the most part) and followed the Palace’s No Photography rules quite closely until we realised that everyone else had their phones and cameras out!

2015 Spring Countdown … and TOILETS!

Those of us who attended the Cornwall Federation’s Spring Countdown on Tuesday had a full day!

In the afternoon, we heard a great talk by author and former nun Eleanor Stewart who spoke candidly and often humorously about her life. Sent first to France and later to Liverpool, Eleanor completed her nursing and midwifery training while a nun. However, her strong desire for children of her own led her to leave after eight years. She dispelled some of the myths we held about nuns and entertained us with stories about giggling with the other novices, drinking babycham and revealing her secret to her flatmates.

Anyone wanting to find out more about Eleanor can pick up her books, Kicking the Habit: From Convent to Casualty in 1960s Liverpool and New Habits: From Sisterhood to Motherhood.

The highlight of the day for Crowlas & Ludgvan members, however, was hearing our own Sue Badcock stand up in front of the audience and speak passionately about saving our public toilets. This was presented as a possible WI resolution and was passed by an overwhelming majority of the members present.

Hooray for Sue who did such a stellar job of representing us!

p01w654bAfter we returned from our lunch break, Cornwall Federation Chair Barbara Corbett revealed that she’d been on the phone with Radio Cornwall’s Laurence Reed and had told him about our resolution. You can listen to Barbara here. Her bit comes at about 01:42:00, so scroll forward until you find it.

It looks as though the fight is on! We’re looking for ideas of how we can ‘Save Our Loos’, so please put on your thinking caps!

Food, Glorious Food

As part of NFWI’s ongoing Great Food Debate, a full day was held recently at Chy Noweth on the subject of food waste. Titled ‘Food, Glorious Food’, it dealt with the issues of food production, sustainability and security.


Andrew Holden, Procurement Director at the Eden Project, gave a brilliant talk about Eden’s food story and food ethos – linking the plant to the plate. We could have listened to him all day!

Then Colin Olver, a regional manager with the Co-op, gave the supermarket perspective on food waste. He introduced Monica Price, a dynamic nutritionist and broadcaster who also demonstrates at the Royal Cornwall Show, and she introduced us to the “Love food, hate waste” campaign.

Esther O’Bearagh from Cornwall Council – a great speaker herself – gave us the scary facts and amusing anecdotes about household food waste, landfill and recycling.

Paul Sousek from Cottage Farm
Paul Sousek from Cottage Farm

Then Paul Sousek from Cottage Farm, a sustainable organic carbon neutral farm powered by renewable energy energy and producing organic beef and lamb, gave us his own local sustainable farming experience.

After that Gill Keeble (from the Environment and Public Affairs subcommittee) and Dot Rogers (from the Home Economics subcommittee) took the stage with their lively and entertaining cookery demonstrations on our theme “too good to waste”. They gave us lots of lovely simple innovative ways to use leftovers. And we finished the day with a feast of delicious tastings. A good day all round and we ended with lots of ideas to take forward!

Dot Rogers and Gill Keeble
Dot Rogers and Gill Keeble

Click here to find a few handy and easy recipes for using up leftovers and helping to fight food waste.

Annual Council Meeting – and accolades for one of our own!

A veritable herd of Crowlas & Ludgvan members descended on the Hall for Cornwall today for this year’s Annual Council Meeting.

CFWI Chairman Kathy Reed takes the helm at the Hall for Cornwall for the last time
CFWI Chairman Kathy Reed takes the helm at the Hall for Cornwall for the last time

Guest speaker was Mandy Hickson, a former RAF fighter pilot, who gave us a highly entertaining and inspirational talk.

Mandy Hickson
Mandy Hickson

But the highlight for us was seeing Alison Latham receive the West Briton Cup from NFWI Chair Janice Langley! The West Briton Cup is awarded annually to a first-year press officer – we’re all so proud of Alison for getting the recognition she deserves for her hard work and the brilliant press coverage we’ve received!

NFWI President Janice Langley presents Alison Latham with the West Briton Cup
NFWI Chair Janice Langley presents Alison Latham with the West Briton Cup

The winner of the centenary baton cushion competition was announced during the meeting and, sadly, Sue Knights’s cushion didn’t win. However, we all thought it was incredibly clever and we’d have been proud to see it chosen.

Have a look here at some of the cushions created by talented woman from all over Cornwall:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This was the last meeting led by outgoing CFWI Chair Kathy Reed, and she will be missed! She was given a big bouquet and a giant card signed by everyone at the meeting. It was also the last meeting for Treasurer (and Crowlas & Ludgvan WI member) Beth Marshall. We congratulate Beth on her years of hard work as Treasurer – those will be big shoes to fill!

You’ll be getting a full report about the Annual Council Meeting from delegate Hilary Elliff at our meeting on 20 October, so don’t miss it!