One member's 12th of May diary

One member's 12th of May diary

On 12 May 2016, anyone in the UK could record their diary and send it to the Mass Observation Archive, which is housed at The Keep in Brighton. The Mass Observation Archive specialises in material about everyday life in Britain and our members were asked to send their diaries in, not only to The Mass Observation Archive, but to NWR as well so that we could get a glimpse into a day in the life of our members.

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NWR Trentham travel back to 1916

NWR Trentham travel back to 1916

A film, a community event, a Facebook group, a great deal of research and a lot of fun.

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Liz Valette
Well done ladies, what a fascinating 'time travelling' journey. I'm sure those children will remember their experience for the res... Read More
Monday, 09 May 2016 16:34
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Being a BBC broadcaster for a day

Being a BBC broadcaster for a day

On Saturday 5 March, Thornbury North group had an interesting and enjoyable visit to the BBC Studios for radio and television in Bristol. A group of 16 of us were given a guided tour around the BBC Bristol complex, visiting radio and television studios, especially the Points West studio and also the roof garden from where the weather forecast is often broadcast.

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Year of the English Garden

Year of the English Garden

To mark the 300th anniversary of 'Capability' Brown and in celebration of England's many fabulous gardens, landscapes and events, VisitEngland is promoting 'Year of the English Garden' as a key PR theme for 2016.

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My difficult journey through Facial Palsy

My difficult journey through Facial Palsy

Last week was Facial Palsy Awareness Week and to highlight it, I wanted to share my personal story…

I thoroughly enjoyed my career in education and gave no indication of slowing down. However, one morning I awoke with severe vertigo. I tried to get out of bed but this just instigated a series of vomiting and seizures. The transfer to the ambulance was horrific because any movement exacerbated the vertigo, causing vomiting and further seizures.

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Literary lunch with Dominic Goodwin

Literary lunch with Dominic Goodwin

Having built up quite a surplus of cash in the group's bank account, thanks to a win in the Telephone Treasure Trail and the prize draw for new members at the National Conference in Glasgow last year, Pickering and District members decided to splash out on a lunch date with a local celebrity, actor/director Dominic Goodwin.

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Hilary Hiscox
A really interesting blog, and a great idea how to use funds to benefit members! I am cross that when I tapped to rate it 5 Stars,... Read More
Sunday, 28 February 2016 13:58
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The 'clink clink' of forks, plates and...prison keys

The 'clink clink' of forks, plates and...prison keys

As it was at my suggestion that a party of seven Dartford NWR ladies reserved a table at the ‘Clink’ restaurant in Brixton Prison, I was a little nervous concerning the success of the excursion. The information regarding security was daunting. Everyone remembered to bring some sort of identification but when I reminded them that we were not to have in excess of £50 in cash, a kerfuffle ensued as purses were turned out and bank notes locked away in cars.

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Marilyn Vigurs
We have been to the Secret Diner at HMP Sudbury open prison, which is more like a canteen with friendly service from the inmates a... Read More
Monday, 15 February 2016 19:37
Liz Valette
My goodness me, I didn't know these places existed. This is food for thought, pardon the pun, my curiosity is aroused and my appet... Read More
Monday, 15 February 2016 20:08
Susan Meadows
Have heard that the food and service at Styal is excellent!
Friday, 19 February 2016 21:17
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Salisbury sing to the tune of Elvis

Salisbury sing to the tune of Elvis

Salisbury NWR groups one and two joined together on 6 January 2015 for an Epiphany Party.

As well as consuming delicious nibbles, both savoury and sweet, we had exercised the little grey cells with a couple of anagram quizzes and a picture quiz on Salisbury below eye level that certainly separated the highly observant from those who who are too busy trying not to stumble on Salisbury’s uneven pavements!

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Guest — Vanessa
Good fun
Monday, 18 January 2016 14:23
Guest — Vanessa
Good fun but get an accompanist to keep you in tune!
Monday, 18 January 2016 14:24
Liz Valette
That's hilarious, well done ladies. I love the idea of the picture quiz below eye level.
Tuesday, 19 January 2016 09:01
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Christmas in the land of Oz

Christmas in the land of Oz

Christmas Day arrives usually in the presence of brilliant sunshine, tweeting birds and the sounds of excited children who have opened their presents from Santa much too early.

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Guest — Carole Aveley, Brisbane West
Beautiful Bev, well done. That is an excellent picture of the festivities in Australia. I am enjoying the season in Cape Town. Las... Read More
Monday, 21 December 2015 06:40
Super User
Terrific photos and insight into Christmas 'down under'. I think I could do with a bit of that sunshine, that's for sure! Thank yo... Read More
Sunday, 24 January 2016 17:35
Guest — Beverly Shaw
Well, it hardly seems possible that we are close to the end of January 2016. After focusing on Christmas in Oz, we are now to cel... Read More
Monday, 25 January 2016 02:03
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Feisty mothers and daughters dance and ululate the night away

Feisty mothers and daughters dance and ululate the night away

One of our members has a daughter in a Zazu tribal dance group, so it was suggested that, for a slightly different meeting, we could invite them to entertain us one evening.

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Liz Valette
Oh what fun!! These ladies look absolutely fabulous in their costumes. I'm one of those people who can't sit still when the music ... Read More
Wednesday, 09 December 2015 19:34
Guest — Josephine
Yes I would have joined in too! What lovely costumes too which must add fluidity to moves. I love to dance and there have been se... Read More
Wednesday, 09 December 2015 21:36
Marilyn Vigurs
This comment is a bit belated, but thank you for sharing and please invite the Trentham group along next time. It looks and sound... Read More
Monday, 21 March 2016 23:34
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Big Read 2015 book reviews

Big Read 2015 book reviews

The Big Read book list for 2015 was put forth by NWR's Grantham group in keeping with the 2015 theme of Democracy, Liberty and Human Rights. Here are the reviews from our members...

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Thank you letter to Gladstone's Library from our Short Story Competition winner

Thank you letter to Gladstone's Library from our Short Story Competition winner

Thank you for the wonderful prize of two nights' stay at Gladstone Library. I wasn't sure what to expect but it exceeded any expectations I might have had.

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Guest — Julie Berry
I want to stay there myself. .. even more now.
Monday, 23 November 2015 13:13
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From strangers to friends

From strangers to friends

It is nearly five years since my husband and I took the unusual step of inviting strangers into our home for a weekend of cultural exchange, and we’re glad we did. Through a small charity called HOST we have welcomed some delightful international students from across the world and had the unique opportunity to learn about other countries and cultures from the people who grew up in them.

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Liz Valette
I can imagine their excitement of visiting the National Trust's Blickling Hall. I visited for the first time this summer, staying ... Read More
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 13:54
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Accepting the 2015 Mary Stott Award

Accepting the 2015 Mary Stott Award

In June this year, I was delighted to receive the Mary Stott Award for my play writing. The plays are for all-female casts and are hired by NWR and other women’s groups.

It is wonderful to be able to combine my hobby of writing with raising money for two of my favourite charities. I’d like to thank the NWR groups around the country who hire the plays and keep them circulating by posting them on to each other.

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Julie Berry
The Deepings Group have enjoyed your Plays Linda - the Biscuit one sticks in my mind particularly. The plays make for a super, ent... Read More
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 13:06
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Ten steps to end loneliness

Ten steps to end loneliness

Talent, financial success, fame and adoration offer no protection from the subjective experience of loneliness. There is nothing inherently problematic about solitude itself. Loneliness isn’t about being alone, it’s about not feeling connected. There is nothing trivial, comical or poignantly romantic about loneliness.

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Liz Valette
There's nothing worse than admitting to loneliness, actually coming clean that you are 'Billy no mates'. When you meet people for ... Read More
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 14:17
Liz Valette
I've a friend that has bereaved twice losing both husbands to cancer. Even though she has an extensive warm and loving family the ... Read More
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 14:34
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Crazy about colouring

Crazy about colouring

Of the top 10 books sold by Amazon this year, four were colouring books for adults.

Forget the idea that colouring books are for children. In a time-short world dominated by digital screens, many adults are now embracing the concept of the soothing art of colouring. Chosen for their creativity and the quality of the illustrations and paper, colouring books for adults are of an exceptionally high quality. They are designed to help calm, destress and focus the mind in the belief that exploring colour and space occupies parts of the brain that might normally be involved in anxiety.

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Guest — Caroline Martin
What a clever idea for a competition! it is very topical and anything to relax the mind is welcome.
Friday, 13 November 2015 11:03
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A walk with a purpose

A walk with a purpose

At Rugeley we’re on the doorstep of Cannock Chase, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty boasting 26 square miles of mixed woodland with large areas of coniferous and heathland.

Its features made it ideal, throughout both wars, as an area for training the soldiers about to be sent overseas. We decided to walk a very small part of the Chase, one fine evening in August, to view a few of the historical sites that are still evident from the encampments of the First World War.

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Guest — Julie Berry
Thanks Rugely. My history interest is definitely piqued. Must tell you about Deepings history inspired visit to Lincoln's Magna C... Read More
Thursday, 22 October 2015 12:22
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The Yorkshire delights I got to see with my photo competition prize money

The Yorkshire delights I got to see with my photo competition prize money

I was so thrilled when Jeanette House, the Trustee responsible for organising the Photo Competition, rang me to say I had won! The prize of two nights in Yorkshire was another opportunity to add to my photo collection.

In late April my husband and I travelled up to The Steeton Hall Hotel in Keighley stopping at the fabulous Yorkshire Sculpture Park for lunch on the way – lots of lambs and Henry Moore sculptures and far too much to see in a quick visit.

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Guest — Jenny Lee
What a great trip, Lynn. Well done on winning the photo competition. I wonder if it could become an annual event ( even if the fir... Read More
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 17:05
Lynn Welsher
Thanks Jenny. Yes me too - I did ask if they could be available online but maybe it was too much work.
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 17:19
Liz Valette
It's a thoroughly deserved prize Lynn, you have a good eye for great photography.
Thursday, 01 October 2015 05:04
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A Japanese year for Trentham

A Japanese year for Trentham

Trentham NWR has been fortunate this year – with Japan as our themed country – to have had Chitose Ikawa from Tokyo as a member of our group while she was here studying at Keele. Nearing the end of Chitose’s year in the UK a few of us took her to Tatton Park to visit the famous Japanese Garden. Built by Japanese craftsmen in 1910 for the 3rd Lord Egerton it features acers, azaleas, water irises, a tea house and a Shinto shrine. Our guide walked us through explaining each item and its meaning, pointing out essential components such as the sacred fox Inari in his red bib, a turtle, water, bridges, stepping stones and zigzag paths to fool the devil.

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Liz Valette
I'm looking forward to receiving the Autumn magazine and reading Chitose's article.
Thursday, 01 October 2015 08:13
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Legs up, feet flexed – prepare for landing!

Legs up, feet flexed – prepare for landing!

My tandem skydiving experience was a present from my children for my 60th birthday last year. You can imagine my surprised look when I opened the envelope!

I booked the dive early in the year, timing it so that it came soon after my son's wedding so as not to leave me with too much time to dwell on it.

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Guest — Sarah Akhtar
Well done Linden, rather you than me!
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 20:43
Marilyn Vigurs
What next Linden?
Friday, 21 August 2015 22:03
Lynn Welsher
Well done - brave lady !! Parascending a few years ago was enough excitement for me!
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 17:03
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