We are now up to Lockdown Letter number 4 and although there has been some easing of restrictions the issue of meetings and opening of some venues still seems to be quite distant especially for those WIs with larger membership numbers.

I know that some WIs are holding committee and members’ meetings via Zoom and further on in this Newsletter I have written a short article about Zoom and the legality under the WI constitution which should put minds at ease – so please do read this piece.

As you can see this is a full four-page Newsletter and has been distributed in pre lockdown numbers. Each WI will organise the distribution to their own members who normally receive a copy at meetings. It will of course also be on our website.  I am hoping with all my heart that when you receive the August Newsletter the future will be certainly brighter for everyone.

I am very appreciative of the work all Presidents and their committees are doing for their own members and communities and I think at the moment every opportunity for interaction in some way or other is to be encouraged. In light of that I wonder how many of you now produce your own Newsletter as Thropton do, and you can see a little of it on the back page of this Newsletter. I did tell Chris Butterworth, secretary of Thropton WI, that I had now resorted to hair rollers and she did ask if I would send her a picture. All I can say is that I have done a before and after shot but still haven’t pressed the send button so keep watching! If your WI has started your own newsletter due to Covid 19 please let us know at the Office or better still send a copy to put into our “Archive for 2020, a most unusual year.”

In this Newsletter you will see that we are progressing well with next year’s Annual Meeting at the Royal Albert Hall. As soon as we have further information, we will pass it on. However, I can say that we have booked our transport and accommodation.

Now here is something for you to do during the next few weeks. Remember for our Centenary in 2018 we had a 500-word writing competition which was won by Stevie Glover of Horsley WI? Well Karen Coleman, one of the Vice Chairmen had an idea whilst out walking her beloved dogs. Suffice to say, she is now getting like Sue Malloy who used to have ideas when driving down from Doddington to Board meetings and Karen is having ideas when giving “the boys” long walks. She has suggested a 500-word piece entitled – ‘Advice I would have given to my pre lockdown self.’ A list including get more flour, buzz cut for hair, more wine and excessive amounts of loo rolls should not be given priority in your work but acquiring plenty of make-up and nail varnish is fine! Entries to Cresswell House by the end of August please, this should make entertaining reading, I think.

As you know in our Federation we have many members who work on the front line or are key workers in all the other areas that are so well known to us and I would like to once again say how proud I and all of the Federation are of these people who have kept everything going for the rest of us. Please remember them in your thoughts.

Finally, in the February issue of the Newsletter and before lockdown the photograph of me had been taken at a wedding over twenty years ago and Dave volunteered a bottle of wine (of a colour suitable to the winner) to be given to the first name out of the hat to spot the venue. Now you may blame lockdown but there were no takers, so the venue was Langley Castle and I have drunk the wine… lovely.

Keep safe, keep smiling and keep in touch.

Marj x

Northumberland WI

t: 0191 217 0808


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