A socially-distanced walk around West Stow country park - an example of how we have got around all the COVID restrictions.
Where there's a will.... there's a coffee at the end!
A socially-distanced walk around West Stow country park - an example of how we have got around all the COVID restrictions.
Thank you to Sandra for your great efforts. My sunflower, despite being ravaged by slugs, appears to be the most resilient.
The Dorking Group have been busy compiling a book list, one published in each year in the last sixty years. Not only that, they have set about reading them all and putting together a table of notes about the books which you can read 60 Year Booklist
Well done Dorking!
Romiley members social distancing!
When lockdown started we were all at a loss what to do. All our meetings were cancelled and so we started a weekly Would I Lie To You email with one member of our group of 15 contacting one other member, who had to email a lie while the others emailed a truth about themselves. Later in the week we had to guess who was lying and that person secretly asked another to be the next liar and so it went on. We did not question each other, as in the TV programme but we found out some very interesting facts about each other in the course of the time we did it.
We also revived an idea from a meeting we held several years ago when we chose six words and wrote a story, poem or dialogue including the six words and then emailed them to the group. It was great to read the different ideas we came up with.
As lockdown eased we had meetings in each other’s gardens with a maximum of 6 in each. It was great to get together and see each other face to face and talk about our lockdown experiences and find out about each other’s truths! It was a welcome change from reading emails.
We then decided on a socially distanced walk and picnic, in which 12 of our members took part. We picnicked on a bench and the photo is of us all socially distancing while picnicking. Again it was good to see each other face to face and chat.
We’ve recently started writing Haiku poems with the theme of An Emotional Snapshot of Lockdown and have read many interesting and poignant ones.
As I write this towards the end of July, who knows how our meetings will continue. We’ve enjoyed the outside meet ups and walks and cannot even think of how long it will be before 15 people can be inside in one room again. We’ll just have to get used to being wrapped up while sitting in a member’s garden or walking together.
Sandra's wonderful sunflowers...
The Chandler's Ford Group, like all of us, are having to find different ways of communicating, and they decided at a recent meeting to discuss their favouite walk, because at least it is something we can all do in this time of Lockdown. they have 20 members in their group out of which 12 participated in an online ZOOM meeting. Three others sent their contributions before the meeting. the list of walks was compiled and then emailed to all members... which is something that other groups might like to try!
TO READ ABOUT THEIR WALKS CLICK HERE
See their article here Wimborne-article-in-Viewpoint-May-2020
or read below.
Maryanne Pike, local organiser for the Wimborne National Women’s Register, gives readers some insight into the organisation and how it is coping during the Covid-19 pandemic. She writes:
Yes, it was definitely the pill! It had been a lively discussion topic, ‘The Most Influential Thing to Come out Of the Sixties’, so many contenders: fashion, music, free love (possibly due to the aforementioned medical advance?) to name but a few. However, the new opportunity for women to control their own fertility was certainly the majority favourite.
It was also the decade that started NWR, the National Women’s Register, formerly National Housewives Register, and it was the members of the Wimborne group of NWR that had been debating the topic as part of NWR’s Sixtieth Jubilee this spring. All over the country members were celebrating the week when Maureen Nichols, the founding member, wrote a letter, with a brilliant suggestion, to a newspaper.
Maureen had been moving around the country with her young family following her husband’s job moves. This was the era when greater mobility of the workforce was becoming more usual. She thought how wonderful it would be to have a group of like-minded women, a register she called it, who would be readymade friends wherever you went.
The need for such an organisation was shown by the overwhelming response to her letter and NWR was born.
So there we were, 60 years later, and looking forward to our spring programme of discussions, visits, trips and talks, (not to forget the odd party). Then something shook the world and all our activities were put on hold.
It took a couple of weeks to come to terms with the situation and our disappointments. Then, like so many people and organisations, we decided we were not going to be beaten and we took a dive into the virtual world.
Our fortnightly meetings usually take place in each other’s homes but now we meet in a virtual room and, instead of twice a month, it’s twice a week. We have a weekly coffee morning (bring your own coffee), and a weekly evening get together (bring your own…whatever you fancy, most often it’s in a glass).
Of course it’s very different and there’s been a lot to learn, not least the etiquette of this new social contact. Many of us have also learnt that we are not as bad at technology as we thought. Each meeting has a topic, the discussion mentioned at the start of this article was at one of our evening meetings, sometimes we need to give it a bit of thought beforehand and, most importantly, it is giving everyone an opportunity to stay in touch.
We are very grateful to the National Organising Group too. They have stepped up to provide access for all members to the Digital Theatre resources and have organised webinars with interesting and entertaining speakers and quizzes for any members throughout the country that would like to take part. Their regular newsletters with useful links and ideas help us to feel less alone.
So, this remains a difficult and challenging time for us all but, being a member of NWR is helping to make it more bearable.
The Durham Group have already started having all their meetings online, starting with a Planning Meeting and then their first Discussion Group on the subject of "What is Nuclear Medicine?".
Enid Hoseason the Local Organiser writes "It worked quite well and instead of going around the room and asking members to contribute, we just went around the screen, and like a normal meeting, those members who did not want to contribute, just listened.
Members are using different devices, from iphones to iPads and lap tops so those using phones have to swipe the screen to see everyone in the group as they only see four at a time. it is also useful to use the CHAT button on the bottom of the screen if someone cannot hear very well.
Each week we have had emails from each other, from members who have walked around their gardens and taken photos of their lovely flowers and shared them online - just little things to keep us in touch with each other. I know that tonight, some members have watched the live theatre on the television and others are taking part in the events NWR Head Office are organising.
This is a photo of us enjoying a VE Celebration tea and cake together."
Initiated by the 60th Anniversary of NWR, Buckhurst Hill & Woodford Green reunited some "old timers" as we call ourselves (going back forty years in some cases) and, having arranged a date in early March, we were pleased to be able to go ahead with our plans before the full restrictions were put in place. Most had moved away, but travelled to London for a very enjoyable lunch. In the event, twelve were able to attend (some travelling long distances), and for those who couldn't make it, it was good to have been in touch again. It inspired us to try and make this an annual event!
Here are some photos of our group’s Celebration Afternoon Tea at Lytham Hall on Diamond Day. The local press came, took photos and wrote two articles about us. We each had a goody bag containing a special memento which consisted of a tea light holder with our own commemorative transfers affixed. We proposed a toast to Maureen Nicol and a good time was had by all.
As our National Organisation celebrates the 60th Anniversary of our creation, we the members of the Boscombe East Group celebrated our 40th Anniversary in February.
The members decided to mark the occasion with an afternoon tea at the Listen Hotel, Boscombe. We invited some past members who had moved away from our area and were very pleased that they could join us.
To mark the occasion members wore red for the ruby anniversary and all looked splendid.
Over the years our members have been involved with the Southampton National Conference, organizing two local conferences and attending many national and local conferences. One member was a trustee for a period of time.
It was lucky that I found the copy of the original letter sent to all members in February 1980 when the group became too big for most homes to accommodate. As one of the present LOs along with my colleague we decided to split the group by geographical location. It has worked well ever since and we have welcomed many new members over the years.
Here’s to the next 40 years!!
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- Old Baggage by Lissa Evans
- A Single Thread by Tracey Chevalier
- Big Sky by Kate Atkinson
Also recommended The Five by Hallie Rubenhold
The next Book Group meeting will be on Tuesday 21st April
Some of Perth's members enjoying their monthly daytime event. In March 2020 they visited the Signet Library, Edinburgh where they had a tour and a meal which was arranged by one of the group members, herself a designated Writer to the Signet.
They coincidentally had member celebrating her birthday so she was presented with a wee cake
The Society of Writers to Her Majesty's Signet is the oldest legal society in the world. It is a private society of Scottish solicitors. The Society dates back to 1594 and is part of the College of Justice. Writers to the Signet originally had special privileges in relation to the drawing up of documents which required to be signeted, but these have disappeared and the Society is now an independent, non-regulatory association of solicitors, most of whom are based in Edinburgh.
The Signet Library is situated in the very heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, is the epitome of prestigious, Georgian elegance. Steeped in history, the building, with its Lower and Upper Libraries, was completed in 1822 in time for the celebrated visit to Edinburgh of King George IV, who described the Upper Library as “the finest drawing room in Europe”.
On Wednesday 26th February 2020, members from Carlisle, Egremont and Kendal branches celebrated 60 years of the NWR. This iconic event was held at Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle. We celebrated with a delicious afternoon tea and at 2 pm we took part in the live streaming of speeches across the country and joined the national toast with a glass of Prosecco.
Claire Sleightholm, the Tullie House Curator delivered a presentation on "Women in the 1960's," which was fascinating and had everyone reminiscing with stories of their own. We then had the opportunity to look round Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery. During the afternoon members were also interviewed by Radio Cumbria and That's TV Cumbria.
Celebrating 60 Years of NWR
On Wednesday, our Bury St Edmunds group hosted an event at the Athenaeum to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the NWR, in tandem with around a dozen other events across the UK. What a lovely, memorable day we had!
130 members attended, representing 21 different groups in the Eastern Region.
Starting the morning with tea & coffee, we then moved into the ballroom to listen to very interesting talks from two entertaining speakers - Paul Stancliffe from the BTO and Catherine Buchanan from the Guildhall.
The three-course lunch was enjoyed hugely, and was followed by a successful (phew) live link to Birmingham for a recorded interview with Maureen Nichol and a sparkling toast to the NWR. Hooray!!
In the afternoon many members elected to go on organised tours of the Cathedral, Guildhall and Greene King Brewery, or to stay at the Athenaeum and take part in activities such as botanical art, attracting wildlife to your garden, spinning & weaving, and a talk on the women of Bury St Edmunds.
It took a lot of organising, and the committee probably collapsed on their respective sofas when they got home, but it really was worth it!!