After welcoming us back after the summer break President Judith Walker informed us of future events to include a group meeting at Hatton ; Ann Farr is to resume her sewing group and also the book group is to meet at Judith`s house.Coach trips to the Olympic site have been arranged for the Autumn and next year the WI are holding their own Olympics with events such as short mat bowls, crocquet and rummycub !.

The speaker for the evening, Lucy Reid, was unable to be with us being still on maternity leave after the birth of her baby. However Joanne Davenport came in her place. Joanne is a "visitor`s experience, Community and Volunteer manager " and is responsible for looking after 3 properties, as well as Coughton ,Baddesley Clinton and Packwood House are now grouped together. Joanne gave a brief outline of each house`s history. Coughton Court has been the home of the Throckmorton family for 600 years. The family were leaders in a dangerous age helping to bring about Catholic emancipation in the 19thC. There are many family portraits and Catholic relics to be seen around the house. As well as being the seat of the Gunpowder plot Sir Robert Throckmorton was the first Catholic MP.!
Baddesley Clinton dates from the 15C and was the home of the Ferrers family for 500 years. It`s heyday was during the Elizabethan period when it was a haven for persecuted Catholics-there are 3 priest holes.
Packwood House is originally 16thC but it`s interiors were extensively restored between the two world wars by Graham Baron Ash and this house also contains a fine collection of 16thC textiles and furniture. It`s gardens have renowned herbacious borders and a famous collection of yews.
Joanne and her team are responsible for making these properties even more visitor friendly. They wish to bring to life the people as well as the objects. At Packwood they have created a welly walk for the children`s benefit. At Baddesley there is a new entrance and a new room to view, whilst outside there is also a new walk. At Coughton Mrs Clare McClaren`s daughter has redesigned the garden which won a prize at Chelsea. Joanne was warmly thanked for her very interesting talk and laptop display by Ann Farr.
The next meeting will be October 12th when Cat MacFadyan will "Colour me beautiful"