Sharing The Duchess Of Cornwall’s Bench


According to Wikipedia: ‘The WI [Women’s Institute] movement began at Stoney Creek, Ontario in Canada in 1897 when Adelaide Hoodless addressed a meeting for the wives of members of the Farmers’ Institute.’

‘Born in 1915 out of the ashes of the First World War, the WI was initially sponsored by the government with a mission to help boost food supplies and energise rural areas. But the gatherings proved so popular, it soon took on a life of its own and its members set about righting wrongs, mounting surprising and enlightened campaigns, many of which were light years ahead of their time.’ This is an extract from Emma Barnett’s excellent 24th May 2015 article in the Daily Telegraph.

This year Milford on Sea is celebrating its own centenary in a witty exhibition of art and craft. We visited it this morning.

Most stationery objects around the village green have been adorned with the results of loving labour involving lanate thread and knitting needles. (See the contentedcrafter comment below – also crochet hooks)

Benches and bollards are bestrewn;

bunting bedecks trees and railings.

There are two lighthouses, one bearing a bird.

A gull, reflected in The Village Coffee Pot window, perches atop the pillar box.

Other birds, woodland creatures, insects, a lizard, flowers, vegetables, an octopus, starfish and seashells, cling in abundance to the bollards.


Noddy, Rupert Bear, an elf, a guardsman, a little boy, and an elderly couple occupy the benches.

Just when I thought I had covered everything, a woman asked me if I’d seen the spiders in the tree by the car park. I hadn’t, so I wandered down to put that right. There was also a blue tit in residence.

I engaged in conversation with a gentleman resting his backpack on a bench while he studied his Ordnance Survey map. He was from Leicester and, as part of his aim to walk around the coast of England, was undertaking the stretch from here to Mudeford today. The Duchess of Cornwall seemed quite happy to allow him to share her bench.

Paul and Margery came for a visit this afternoon. We enjoyed our conversation as usual.

This evening we dined on roast belly of pork, Yorkshire pudding, crinkly kale, crunchy carrots and new potatoes. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Médoc.




  1. I’m as interested in your dinners, Derrick, as I am in the rest of your posts. Someone at your house seems to spend a great deal of time cooking!
    It was a very quirky exhibition you went to see.

        1. Jackie says you could use either of those methods, but it needs a long time because it’s quite tough. She boiled hers and it was certainly tender to eat

          1. I almost never boil anything. Maybe I should try it more often. It probably is better for “tenderizing” certain foods.

  2. Great idea to decorate a village like that. Thanks, Derrick, for bringing this event to life in your photographs. (I hadn’t heard of lanate thread before).

  3. I noticed there was much plying of crochet hooks too Derrick. The WI members are obviously qualified in at least two branches of yarny skills. I particularly admired the birds for their quirky contribution.

    1. That insider knowledge is valuable, Pauline. I hadn’t thought of that, but see it now. I’m adding an alert to your comment. Thanks very much.

  4. Love this! Such imaginative displays and all in good fun. Lanate thread is likely just yarn…? or some version thereof? I’m an not a knitter…but appreciate the efforts on view here. Our neighborhood does this occasionally, as well, but not to such a great extent.

  5. Oh wow, all displays were superb, and I particularly adored, the spiders in the tree by the car park. especially after my two days of crawling around a house, trying to be friendly with all my fellow under-house spiders

  6. This brought a huge smile to my face! And I hope it had the same effect on the town’s residents and visitors; we need things like this to remind us of the joy and fun in life. Wonderful yarn skills in Milford on Sea! I’m also enjoying a little image of the ladies creeping about under cover of darkness, settling their creations in situ ready for the townsfolk to wake up to. (Though I doubt that was really what happened, it’s keeping me chortling…)

  7. Fantastic local community effort Derrick, so different and entertaining, tourists must enjoy wandering around that village and photographing that superb examples of craft.
    Great post.

  8. What a fascinating legacy! The neighbourhood has come alive with the knitted beauties — Benches and bollards are bestrewn; buntings bedeck trees and railings— your poetic diction has bestowed an aura of its own. Thanks for the treat.

  9. Yes, what fun! And the things I learn from blogging friends—Rupert Bear, the history of the WI, the word “chuffed”… On and an on the list goes

  10. This dinner of roast pork belly really got my stomach growling, please let Jackie know it sounds particularly delicious! ?
    I loved, loved the crocheted lighthouses and birds! I also enjoyed the array of other thread and yarn crafted items! Like a rainbow of joy spread across town, Derrick. ?

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