Archive | June, 2015

Grow Your Own

Tuesday 30th June 2015

Grow Your Own

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The decade being explored this month was 1960’s and early 70’s an era synonymus with the  Hippy movement and being green, growing your own and  being self sufficient just like in The Good Life. We decided to put our own Valley Girls spin on this concept and explore how growing your own produce can be used to start up your own business. Two of our own members have done that very thing.

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Beth along with her husband Carlton run Geufron Hall, a five-star country house B&B with stunning views of the Vale of Llangollen. http://www.geufronhall.co.uk/Beth and Carlton provide an outstanding array of their own produce to guests at their boutique B&B from home grown fruit and veg to fresh eggs from their chickens and pigs which make some of the finest sausages in the Dee Valley! The couple love to keep seasonal so depending at what time of the year you visit you’ll be spoilt with delights of the season from their garden, the summer brings fresh strawberries and homemade Pimms whilst in the Autumn you can expect to sample their own pressed apple juice.

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It was lovely being hosted in this idyllic location on a beautiful summer’s evening we thought the meeting couldn’t get any better…..then we  welcomed Sarah Hughes (another Valley Girls member) to tell us about her business she started up in 2010, Eat My Flowers.  http://www.eatmyflowers.co.uk/

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Sarah  used to work as a business advisor helping people out of work start their own businesses. In 2010 she took some of her own advice and looked for a business that fitted around family life as well as using her skills in horticulture and marketing.

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Sarah grows her own edible flowers, such as violas and primroses on the family farm again situated in the beautiful Dee Valley near Corwen. The flowers are crystalised using as pasturised egg white solution and caster sugar. Whilst the process as described sounds fairly staright forward painstaking attention to detail is required but it’s worth it as the finished product is stunning!

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Sarah kindly produced a cake stand of cupcakes each individually decorated with one of her own flowers or petals. Cake decoration is one of Sarah’s main market areas with many of her flowers being used on vintage style wedding cakes. Her edible flower lolipos have become something of a trade mark too being snapped up by both Harrods and Fortnum and Mason no less!!

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As well as hints and tips on growing produce and using your own produce, we also got some excellent business and marketing advice from both of our Valley Girls – thank you ladies we didn’t realsie there is so muchexpertise within our own numbers…..home grown talent…..pardon the pun!!

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Since our meeting we are so pleased to hear that Sarah has won a Good Taste award…with three stars!!! And Geufron Hall has been awarded a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence – Well Done you both!

Next meeting…..Tuesday 1st September

Royal Icing….cup cake decorating at Vintage Rose Tea Room

Annual Meeting – Royal Albert Hall

Thursday 4th June 2015

Annual Meeting, Royal Albert Hall

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On Thursday 4th June Gail and Mary attended the Annual meeting in the Royal Albert Hall.

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Five thousand members of the WI, from around the country joined together to sing Jerusalem, listen to some amazing speakers and enjoy a rendition from a WI brass band known as the Brassy Tarts!!

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As this was the centenary meeting HM The Queen was in attendance (she is a member….in fact President of Sandringham WI) along with the Princess Royal and Countess of Wessex. The Queen delivered an inspiring speech to those gathered saying that “the opportunities for women to give something of value to society are greater than ever”.

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For further reading on this historical event see the following two links http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33002176 and  http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/04/womens-institute-wi-100-pleasingly-bolshie They are both worth a read.

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As is was the Centenary year the meeting was streamed live across the internet and the whole meeting is now available on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVuoLzrydks however if you haven’t got a full 6hrs to spare (!) then I have kindly picked out the highlights.

The following timings are approximate, could be a minute either way.
1hr – The Queen and Royal Party arrive
1.19 – First singing of Jerusalem
1.43 – talk by Lucy Worsely (highly recommend you watch this)
2.17 – the resolution discussion begins
3.08 – the resolution is thrown out (wait for the seconder of the objection Anna Kidd….truly inspiring lady!!)
5.06 – Tani Grey-Thompson (really entertaining)
5.47 – Helena Morrissey (business woman – inspiring….the way forward speaking up for working women)
…..finally 6.45 Jerusalem (again) and Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (goosebump moment!)

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Gail felt very honored to represent Valley Girls WI  at the Centenary Annual Meeting.

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And was also very amused to spot herself in the crowd listening to Lucy Worseley making her speech!

 

 

Rock and Roll

Tuesday 2nd June (evening)

Rock and Roll

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One, two, three o’clock four o’clock Rock! We’ve reached the decade 1955-1965 in our walk through the WI’s 100 yr history, and what better way to explore this decade than by having some fun with music and dancing from this era. Karen and her team from NEW Dance http://www.newdance.org.uk/ put us through our paces teaching us some key steps of the jive and bop.

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We started off in lines trying to master the steps.

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And then paired off and added in a few twirls and twists.

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The NEW Dance team showed us a couple of routines giving us novice dancers something to aspire to.

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Once again ther was lots of period dressing to reflect the era with circle skirts, neck scarves cropped trousers, bobby socks and of course polka dots.

Thanks so much to Karen and her team for a really fun and active evening, a workout without even thinking about it! We ended the session with a group line dance to an Olly Murs track in a Rock and Roll style mixing old and new…..what the centenary year is all about!

Next Meeting ……Tuesday 30th June – Grow Your Own

Royal Garden Party

Tuesday 2nd June 2015

Royal Garden Party

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In celebration of the WI  centenary The Duchess of Cornwall, joined by The Countess of Wessex, The Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra hosted a Garden Party for 8,000 WI members at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 2nd June 2015.

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Representing Valley Girls WI were Jane Berry and Karen Maurice, who both looked the part in their finery. Both ladies reported back that it was a lovely day and a memorable experience.

To read more about the event follow this link

http://www.thewi.org.uk/centenary/buckingham-palace-garden-party

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