This month we celebrated our WIs 80th Birthday with sparkling wine and a birthday cake. The cake, made by our member Angela Tomes, was an exact replica of our green official tablecloth together with every President`s signature dating back to 1933. The only memory we have of the cake are the photos because we have eaten it! Judith Walker our current President and secretary Sylvia Morlidge went on to remind us of various County events and also of the Anniversary dinner on April 27th and the Arts and Crafts Exhibition on September 1st.
Intriguingly, the speaker for the evening, Gwen Zanzottera, was to tell us about why she goes topless around Stratford!
When she retired from her secretarial job at the age of 61 Gwen was looking forward to indulging in her hobbies of sewing, knitting, reading and gardening. However, much as she enjoyed these pursuits, they were all home based and Gwen wanted to get out and meet people. Also it would be quite handy if she were able to earn some extra pennies. A friend suggested she become a guide for the Guide Friday Bus tours around Stratford. She would be working on an open top bus hence the "topless "part of the title. Gwen qualified after 6 weeks vigorous training which included learning a depth of detail about Shakespeare and medieaval England not to mention genning up on details of the 5 Shakespeare connections in Stratford. Eventually she did the one hour guided tour of Stratford which she enjoyed immensely meeting many interesting people including one little Japanese lady who was apparently stone deaf but had learned to lip read in English. The worst part of the tour was coming back down the Birmingham road where there is not much of historical interest so this was where the her fund of background knowledge was useful. Gwen went on to become a Blue Badge Guide covering an area from Stoke-on-Trent to Cheltenham entailing a three hour written exam and knowledge of five cathedrals. Twenty years on and Gwen now trains other guides. Did you know that the expression "a frog in the throat " comes from ancient times when a frogs saliva was used to treat a sore throat. Modern research has found antibiotic properties in the saliva. Gwens talk was very entertaining and amusing.
The next meeting will be Wednesday 10th April when the speaker will be Lorraine Mansfield who will talk on "Extra Care Management ". Business Care Development Manager for Orbit Housing.