The last year has been pretty busy for Shireoaks WI with many outside events, good speakers and a lot of fundraising events for the restoration of the Village Hall, to which the group contributed over £2,500. The highlights were the annual duck race which was well supported and from which several local charities benefited, and the WI group meeting which Shireoaks WI hosted in the Masonic Hall when they were entertained by one of their favourite ladies, Lesley Smith, curator of Tutbury Castle, playing the part of Margaret Thatcher. She also made a return visit in October as Peggy Knight MBE and played to a full house in St Luke’s Church.
Members were highly entertained in November by Michael Davison Paine who had been butler to several royals at Buckingham Palace, including the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, and then in America to a billionaire where he experienced a totally different lifestyle before returning to England where he worked for several Ambassadors and Lords before retiring back home to Chesterfield. Although he didn’t divulge any ‘understairs gossip’, his life had been fascinating and his talk left everyone wanting more.
The group had a meal in Sheffield, which was presented by catering students of Granville College, and they ate in style and were most impressed by the standard of service and food. This was a pre-Christmas warm up and then they celebrated at their WI party on 20th December.
The January meeting will be held on 17th at Shireoaks Sports and Social Club and will be a social and games night. Subscriptions will be due and will be £42.00 for 2019/20, and members should make sure that they bring their payments to that meeting. Visitors and new members will be welcome and should just turn up at 7.00pm to see what the group does and hopefully join them. When the Village Hall refurbishment is completed, they will be returning there for regular meetings (in either April or May). Shireoaks WI is on Facebook and you can contact either Diana on 01909 472189 or Dawn on 07817 681778 for more information.