At last the summer temperatures have arrived. Jane Clarkson writes about the problems caused by the wet season; grass too damp to be stored as silage and sheep with fleeces so sodden that they could not be sheared. Other farmers write of a mad dash to get in their hay during hot, dry snaps between thunder storms.
John Lea tells me that returning house martins spent days cleaning out the bird boxes which had been used by house sparrows the previous year and left in a mess by their untidy occupants. The house martins did not attempt to clean out some of his nest boxes that had been taken over by wasps. He was appalled when the pest controller told him that some of his customers had called him out to destroy bumblebee colonies, but much relieved when assured that these requests had been firmly refused. John avers, and I am sure that all our readers agree, that bumble bees are precious and should be protected by law.
Listening to the farming programmes on the BBC I was surprised to hear how much of our food is imported; John says it is over almost half. As one of the generation who remembers the Second World War and the shortages which followed, this seems a worrying statistic. Perhaps we should think harder about food sustainability in this troubled world.
On a personal note, could I thank all those people who sent greeting to Norman and to me on our diamond wedding anniversary. It was heart warming to receive all your kind thoughts.
GAWSWORTH W.I. MEETING – TUESDAY 5th JULY 2016
Well, what a fantastic meeting we had at Audrey Wheelton’s house on the 5th July which was members’ night; we were plied with Pimm’s and strawberries and cream as well as some very delicious cakes. Thank you very much to Audrey for hosting our meeting; all the funds raised from the raffle went to Breast Cancer Care. Sue Davenport regaled us with her trip to Brighton with the WI and had us in stitches with her tales of her fellow delegates. She did go on to say that despite her reservations about going she did thoroughly enjoy herself.
On Wednesday 22nd June twenty of our members enjoyed a trip to Roberts Bakery and they all came away with a goody bag and commented on how close they were to the actual production processes in the factory. The day before on the 21st June Linda Robson and Ros Price were stewards in the WI tent at the Cheshire Show, which they thoroughly enjoyed and on Monday 20th Jayne Leyland, as well as taking her exhibits and those of another member, attended the show and was a Judges’ Steward, which was very interesting. Not wanting to blow our own trumpet, congratulations to Ros Price who came joint first with her Swiss roll in the novice class. A toe in the water, she has won for Gawsworth WI the Sybil Norcott Cup which was won by Jayne Leyland last in, which was the inaugural year for this class. We share the cup with Anne Hitchen from Lower Withington WI. As well as Ros' success Jayne Leyland came 2nd in class 2 - Tempting Treats - with her Scandinavian cake, Toscacaka - which had the judge guessing until she tasted it; the cake is a sponge base with a caralamised almond topping. In the art class Anne Benson gained a commended award for her painting of Wildboarclough. Well done ladies, we now need someone to carry us forward the next year!
Our August meeting is somewhat different as we are having a mystery trip arranged by Ros Price, whose lips have been very firmly sealed as to the trip’s whereabouts! All will be revealed to those who go on the 2nd August.
The walking group’s next walk is Tuesday 12th August in and around the Macclesfield canal area and also in August we shall be joining up with Sutton WI for a walk around Macclesfield Forest, with teas and coffees being provided afterwards by Sutton WI.
Our September is once again at the Parish Hall at 7.30 when we shall be having a talk about bee keeping from Gordon Royle. Please feel free to come along and join as at any of our meetings which are held in the Parish Hall on the first Tuesday of the month at 7.30; you will be made most welcome.