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As the sun rose on Saturday May 19th it promised to be the start of a perfect day for the big event, our day conference, the first that Leighton Buzzard group had ever held. It had been a long while in the planning, and although we were fully booked at an early stage there were last-minute nerves as we anticipated the arrival of our guests for the day.
There was another big event on the same day, which we thought might affect attendance, but in fact it didn’t seem to matter, and of course those who were so inclined could record it all and watch it at leisure later in the day.
Our first speaker, Susan Brooke, is a freelance art historian and guide at Waddesdon Manor. She explained how the Rothschilds built their wealth and financial expertise on the basis of being trustworthy and reliable guardians of their clients’ wealth, and as they rose through the ranks of society they were keen to impress, building magnificent houses and filling them with the most opulent treasures they could find. Contrary to other families who had amassed great wealth, they were careful not to squander it so as to pass the baton to the next generation.
The second speaker, Catherine Taylor, is head archivist at Waddesdon Manor, and gave us a fascinating history of the different Rothschild homes in our area, together with entertaining stories of some of the occupants. She also emphasised the considerable philanthropic work undertaken by the family, together with the various trusts and foundations which were set up over the years.
After a delicious and very varied bring and share lunch, attendees had the opportunity to visit Ascott House, a Rothschild home just half a mile from where our event was held in Wing Village Hall, either exploring the treasures displayed in the house or enjoying the beautiful and extensive gardens. Others opted for a walk round the village. Tea and cakes were offered on their return to the hall before setting off on the journey home.
We received some lovely comments during the day, including “Just a note to say all three of us from North Beds. Villages enjoyed Saturday very much. Interesting speakers and we were very impressed with Ascott House and the lovely gardens", and, “Thank you and your NWR colleagues for giving us all such a good day.
It was all so well organised and you had made the venue look so inviting. Ascott House is delightful and the gardens and wonderful - mind you such good weather helped! Many thanks.” Thame NWR
We went home tired, but relieved it had all gone well and that everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves. Who knows, we might even organize another event one day!
We had a very interesting evening, having researched a member of the family who was good, bad or surprising. In most cases we discovered that there had been some scandalous ancestors, which made for an entertaining discussion. We wondered if such things would have been kept secret for so long had social media been around then. Probably not, but perhaps they wouldn't seem so bad now.
Annual quiz for all group meeting in the village was held on Friday 27 April in St Luke's Church.
In a close contest, needing a tie break question, the Sway NWR team were declared the winners.
Well done to all the teams who entered to make this a memorable win.
We are delighted to be able to release a few tickets for our national conference 'Nature versus Human Innovation' to non-members. Why not bring a friend to find out more about NWR and enjoy a day of fascinating talks, stimulating discussion and engaging workshops. The main conference takes place in Chester on Saturday 23rd June, with optional events on the Friday and Sunday as well, so why not make a weekend of it?
Tickets for the Saturday conference are just £65 for non-members and all the details can be found on our booking site here
Tickets for NWR members are also still available, please do book soon as many of the workshops and wrap-around events have limited spaces and some are already booked up!
See you in Chester in June we hope!
New General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws mean that we need your permission to stay in touch for any reason beyond basic membership functions, even if you’ve given us permission before.
Staying in touch is the best way to get the most from your membership. Whether you want to find out about nearby events, theme related information and activities, the national conference, or sign up to the TTT, we’ll keep you up to date. What’s more, you can hear first-hand about all the exciting developments of NWR - including activities for our 60th anniversary in 2020.
There are always new opportunities to get involved, so whatever matters to you, don’t miss out. Visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NWR_GDPR by the 31st May and update your preferences to allow us to stay in touch.
You can change your preferences at any time by contacting the office.
PROCESSIONS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in a mass participation artwork to celebrate one hundred years of votes for women.
In 1918, the Representation of the People Act gave the first British women the right to vote and stand for public office. One hundred years on women and girls across the UK are invited to come and mark this historic moment as part of a living portrait of women in the 21st century.
On Sunday 10th of June, women and girls in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London will walk together as part of this celebratory mass participation artwork. Wearing green, white or violet, the colours of the suffragette movement, the PROCESSIONS will appear as a flowing river of colour through the city streets.
One hundred women artists are being commissioned to work with organisations and communities across the UK to create one hundred centenary banners for PROCESSIONS as part of an extensive public programme of creative workshops. Community banner-making will also take place up and down the country – why not make an NWR banner to display?
More details and how to register can be found here.
Great photo of our Chair of Trustees, Josephine, at local radio station Forest FM, just before she was interviewed live on air about a new NWR group she is helping to set up. Great publicity for us and I hear she was a natural on air!
Ivybridge group organised another successful Area Lunch on Saturday 24 March at the Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre in Devon. 93 members from all over the South West and as far afield as Solihull attended and it is always great to catch up with members you have met before.
First on the programme was a welcome from Brother Christopher and a humorous description of day in the life of a monk including questions such as 'Are you a monk?' and 'Where are the nuns?'! Then we were treated to a fascinating presentation by the Abbey beekeeper Clare Densley. Clare
explained the changing role of the bee colonies at Buckfast from honey production to a focus on education about bees and bee keeping courses. She showed us different beehives, went through the lifecycle of the bee and finally recommended plants to grow for bees including dandelions, Vipers Bugloss and forget-me-knots.
After a superb two course lunch in the light and spacious Refectory complete with complimentary fudge, the Devon author Marcia Willett joined us. Marcia's writing career started aged 50 and she has now written 29 books including short stories under her pseudonym Willa Marsh. Landscape is always the first 'character ' in her books and then other characters evolve and the plot. Her research always includes lots of visits to the setting of the stories which are often places in Devon.
The formal sessions concluded with a brief explanation on the duties of a trustee, by trustee Josephine Burt and exciting news from Natalie Punter, NWR National Organiser about the 2019 national conference. The Joint Area Organiser, Glenda Cooper concluded with huge thanks to the Ivybridge Group, led by Anne Brooks and Marilyn Coles, for organising such a stimulating and enjoyable day.
Despite the wet weather some members made the most of their visit with a guided tour of the Abbey gardens and a visit to the bee barn.
The planning for the 2019 Area conference in Tavistock on Saturday 23 March is well under way so what better excuse for a short break in Devon!
Josephne Burt, Trustee
Have you responded to the member's survey yet?
Please do send in your responses before the 29th March when the survey will close, we have already had some great feedback via the survey.
Member feedback is important to us so that we can understand your needs and what you value most about belonging to NWR. It will also help with planning for the next 3 years - including planning for our 60th anniversary in 2020!
Many of the questions are the same as the ones we asked in 2016, this is so that we can compare the data to see how we are doing. A summary report will be available to all members later in the year. Thanks for your help on this!
If you still haven't taken part please use this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SC3TSR8
We were fortunate enough to have an article published in our local newpaper last year about our group and how our membership has increased.
If you'd like to view the article please use the link below.
Grantham NWR's Romanian evening, where we reviewed the history, culture and traditions of the country. Romanian cuisine was interesting and enjoyable. It was an enlightening and engaging evening.
International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women's Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first March 8 IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom's Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women equality. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific. Make IWD your day - everyday!
The 2018 conference - Nature versus Human Innovation - will take place between the 22nd and 24th June in Chester.
Come and join us for stimulating talks and discussion, exciting wraparound events and lively workshops.
The Conference is for all members of NWR: women from all over the country will be joining us in the beautiful city of Chester; why not stay an extra few days and explore the area?
Please go to www.eventstop.co.uk/event/892/nwrconf2018 to find out more about the conference agenda and to book your tickets.
What better way to start the New Year than with a party!
Grantham members enjoyed good food and good company. Thank you to our hostess for letting us use her home.
Thanks also to our retiring LO who was sparkling as usual!
We know that many NWR members are very creative, with many of you writing peoms, short stories and even novels. Here, NWR member Sally Krykant offers some advice on getting your work self published...
I have been writing for many years on and off. I began when my children were small and used to enter short story competitions. When I realised I wasn’t getting anywhere, I did an Open College of the Arts Creative writing course and improved, getting a few short story anthologies to take my work. However, I then changed direction completely and became a psychodynamic counsellor. During that time I hardly read a novel. My attention was concentrated on theory books and papers but I always knew I would return to writing.
Thinking psychodynamically has helped me enormously with writing, helping me to empathise with characters and think on many different levels about plot and developing story lines.
It is very difficult to get taken on by publishers. One absolutely needs an agent these days and so I knocked a few doors with negative response. Curtis Brown Associates in London gave me some encouragement when I sent them my manuscript for Seeds of Doubt, telling me it was a lot better than many they received and to keep on with the project. I joined a couple of writing groups and met people who had self published their work. At that time I was almost tempted to go with a vanity publisher but was warned off by many writers I spoke to on the Suffolk Writers website. There is a long article in the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook which warns writers not to go the vanity route – too expensive, those handling you do not necessarily have a publishing background or interest and also your work can be pulped if it doesn’t sell.
Self publishing has been an easy and inexpensive way of getting my book onto the shelves. Createspace is a part of Amazon. Firstly, you need someone you trust to proofread your manuscript. A fellow writer read mine. Next, you need to have it set out in the way it will be laid out. Createspace list all you need to know on their webpage. Finally, you need a book cover. You can either choose one from their examples or commission one yourself. I chose to have a young artist, who I found on Suffolk Writers, design mine. When you feel everything is in place you then need to send it across on a pdf file. It is then displayed for you on the account page which you will have set up. You will see your book in animated form on your computer and turn the pages, checking for layout errors. An ISBN number is automatically assigned. They will send you a paper copy for the last proof read.
As soon as you give the go ahead you can start ordering books to sell yourself, and your book is immediately for sale on Amazon Books. You can either do all of this yourself for very little or pay Createspace for services as you go along, but I would simply advise anyone to do it this way. You are in complete control. I felt I was collaborating with people rather than being taken over.