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!

Some lovely old W.I. photos from around the country

Queen Elizabeth visiting the WI canning unit at ReadingAt last Wednesday’s Spring Countdown, we were treated to a talk by author Julie Summers who has written Jambusters: The Story of the Women’s Institute in the Second World War.

Julie mentioned one source of W.I. photos which she encountered while researching her book, the Mary Evans Picture Library. Mary Evans, an avid collector of old books and photographs, established the library in the 1960s and now, in the digital age, many of the library’s collections are available online, including a great assortment of photos of the W.I.

Because the library licenses images for commercial purposes, all of the images are watermarked to prevent illegal usage. However, you can still have a browse and look at the collection. I’m particularly partial to the photo of the 1950s basket-making class. Plus ça change!

Spring Countdown

A record 18 (!) members of Crowlas & Ludgvan WI attended today’s CFWI Spring Countdown at the Hall for Cornwall in Truro.

We were all thrilled when Julie Summers, author of Jambusters, revealed that the book is going to be made into a six-part drama series for television. It’ll air in the spring of 2015 on ITV. Exciting news indeed!

Wend Allen stands proudly in front of the CFWI photo competition entries
Wendy Allen stands proudly in front of the CFWI photo competition entries

But the high point of the day was seeing the display of prize-winning photographs from institutes across the county. Our own Wendy Allen was awarded five prizes – first prize in the Novice class, second in the Architecture and Landscape classes, third in the Favourites class and a highly commended in the Flora and Fauna class. Helen Kestle also won second prize in the Favourites class and highly commended in the Novice and Architecture classes. Well done to Wendy and Helen!