Stuart Tulloch spoke about Firstsite at our first meeting of 2018. He explained that Firstsite is a contemporary Art Gallery in Colchester which opened in 2011. Shaped in a spectacular golden crescent it is a work of art in its own right. It houses not only a gallery but also has an auditorium and meeting rooms which can be hired out for a variety of uses.
New Year Dinner
On Wednesday 17th January thirty-five members met at the Blue Anchor in Feering for our annual New Year dinner. The group decided some years ago that it was a better idea to have the dinner in January, rather than in December, which is a very busy month for most people. This is the fourth year we have held the event at the Blue Anchor and again we were delighted with the service and with our meals.
Angela and all the staff were helpful with the organisation of the event and attentive during the evening. We had the Garden Room to ourselves - it was warm and comfortable, the room and tables were beautifully decorated and it was clear that everyone enjoyed themselves.
We hope to carry on this tradition in future years and we thank Betty and Lynne for all they did to make sure that our New Year dinner was a success.
Marion Pettit visited us in February to tell us about the Chelmsford Ballet Company. Founded in 1949 by Joan Weston it is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.
Members come from far and wide, not just from Essex. They will be performing The Snow Queen at the Civic Theatre in Chelmsford from 21st to 24th March.
What a relaxing evening we had this month. Zoe's calming voice had us all spellbound as she introduced us to Chair Yoga. We stretched, relaxed and breathed deeply. Yoga can reduce stress and anxiety, relieve muscle tension and promote healing. It can also improve posture and strength.
Members enjoyed a quiz together with cheese and biscuits for the first part of the evening. Then it was down to the serious business of choosing a new committee. Congratulations to Jean W. who was elected as President.
This month Vivienne Wiggins from Beacon House Ministries for the Homeless visited us. Beacon House, in Colchester, offers a drop-in service for homeless people and those living in temporary or insecure housing.
The National Federation Resolution, regarding Mental Health, was also discussed and voted on.
Jeanette Bright from East Anglian Stitch Textiles visited us this month. She told us about her two interests which she has managed to combine together. They are her love of history and her textile work. The Foundling Museum in London has been an inspiration for her hand stitch work, especially the tokens left with children placed in the Foundling Hospital.
Last year our Croquet Evening was postponed due to torrential rain. But the evening of Wednesday 20th June was fine and bright and great fun was had by those taking part. It was worth waiting for!
Attendance was down for the July meeting possibly due to the fact that England were playing in the World Cup semifinal.
Jo Wray gave a very good talk about the changes and extentions at Abberton Reservoir. She spoke about the various building works, the challenges of relocating a family of water voles three times and the discovery of great crested newts. Photographs showed how the nature reserve is changing; previously concreted reservoir margins are becoming wildlife friendly marshland.
With walking routes, bird hides and delicious cake in the visitor centre surely Abberton Reservoir deserves a visit.
August Garden Get Together
Members enjoyed a social evening in Elizabeth's garden in August. It was a lovely evening with plenty of food, drink and conversation.
Anne Hardy entertained us this month with a talk entitled The Queen's Dressmaker. There were plenty of entries in the Something Royal competition including one member's MBE.
Our speaker this month was Kate Fuller who was so enthusiastic about her hobby of making hats that she turned it into a business. She explained about the materials milliners use and the way hats are constructed. All her creations are hand stitched and made to order.
Members enjoyed trying on different styles during the refreshment break.
This month Jenny Gibbs enthralled us with her unusual and humorous tales of rural life in a Turkish village. How a holiday resulted in life-changing adventures and finding the man of her dreams.
Christmas Tree Festival
Members have been busy creating stars out of all sorts of different materials this year.
This meeting was organised by some of the members instead of the committee. We played games, tried to answer all the questions in the quiz and watched a Cinderella pantomime. What fun we had with plenty of food and drink. Then, before we went home Santa arrived with gifts for us all. A very enjoyable evening.