The regular monthly meeting took place on Wednesday July 5th. Heather Stratford welcomed everyone including guests and reminded the assembled group that further volunteers were needed to help at the Furry Dance (5th August) and the Church Flower Festival (8th– 11th September).

2018 WI calendars and diaries are now available

Ladies were treated to an illustrated talk and quotations by Penelope Townsend, appropriately dressed in an empire line muslin gown, entitled Jane Austen Stepping Westward. The Austen family, while living in Bath, holidayed in Regency Devon and Dorset; they had a special affection for Dawlish before the railway. Penelope explained a number of connections with West Country locations embraced in Austen novels.

The Area delegate from Magnolia WI kindly gave a report on the WI National Annual Meeting in Liverpool in June. One of the interesting points was that the WI membership count is on the increase.

Our president Heather Stratford pointed out that unfortunately a solution to the parking problem for our members during the work in the car park has not been found yet.

Possible interesting outings for the autumn were put forward and discussed. One of them could be a visit to the Royal Mail sorting office. Members were also invited to put their name down for the DFWI Autumn Showcase on Tuesday 26 September.

The previous visit to Cottlestone Manor was generally described as ‘brilliant’ and ‘best ever’, so there is no doubt that that outing was a great success. Diana de la Rue was thanked for the organisation of this event.

More ladies had come forward to help with the furry dance catering and the flower festival in September. There was an additional request from Suki Commin to provide some cakes to sell during the open garden days in July (15th and 16th).

Everybody was reminded that traditionally there is no meeting in August. The next meeting will be held on the 6th of September. The speaker will be Raymond Budd and the intriguing subject will be ‘Reminiscences of a Black and White Minstrel’.

For more information about joining our WI you can look on the village website or you will be made very welcome at our meetings on the first Wednesday of the month at the Methodist Hall.

Elly Cordwell