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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.