It is very hard to believe that I am writing the last message for this year and the first one for 2020 already although the weather has certainly brought out the winter coats, gloves and scarves for many of us. I just hope the snow doesn’t put in an appearance in the near future. If you have started your Christmas shopping, well done. I have just realised how many Secret Santa gifts I need so I had better get a move on.

Norma Birch and I went to The National Council Meeting at the very end of October and the four words you will be hearing a lot of next year are; BOLD; GROWING; INCLUSIVE and FLEXIBLE as this is part of the vision for the future. We enjoyed a good weekend, discussing various topics and of course picking the brains of other Federation Chairmen and Treasurers. Unfortunately no one from our Federation was a winner in the National Raffle but the good news is that as a result of the number of tickets sold in Northumberland we received a refund of £807.31, so keep up the good work next year ladies and who knows we may get a winner.

I was at the International Day at the beginning of November where I learned about Rington’s tea, Indian festivals and clothing and had a wonderful lunch. I had to leave after lunch and as I came away ladies were on their feet enjoying some Bangra dancing.

I have been told very recently that the “expert Scottish Scribbler and award winning illustrator” (possibly his own words, I don’t know) Jonny Hannah will be working with the four museums that make up Museums Northumberland on a project about Northumberland folk and folklore next year and may be looking for information. So watch out in the next Newsletter in February for any further information.

Out and about in the last few weeks has seen me visit Wylam WI’s Centenary lunch, Cullercoats 25th Anniversary where I was given a lovely badge to commemorate the event and Nedderton and Bedlington WI’s afternoon tea to celebrate their 90th birthday. They had an auction and I was lucky enough to bid for and come away with a beautiful Chanel scarf. Thank you to you all for your very kind invitations and wonderful hospitality.

As we approach all the fun and expectation that Christmas and New Year bring I would ask you all to reflect on those less fortunate than ourselves and those that we have sadly lost this year. Here I have to inform members that Joan Brammer has died. Joan was a member of Bygate WI and a Vice Chairman of the former Tyneside Federation and will be remembered fondly by all who knew her.

Finally, the members of the Board of Trustees, Nancy and myself wish you, your families and friends a very joyous Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2020.

Northumberland WI

t: 0191 217 0808

11/12 Brenkley Way
Blezard Business Park, Seaton Burn
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE13 6DS