AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER REPORT
Our W.I. does not hold a meeting in August but we usually arrange an outing for those who are not on holiday. In fact we had two opportunities to go out together. On the 12th we visited the Felixstowe Seafarers Centre which is the modern equivalent of the Missions to Seamen. This is situated on the docks and we had a good view of all the land reclamation that is going on down there. We were shown round by Mr Jeff Moore who last year gave us a talk about the work that they do. The centre provides vital support for seafarers who are often away from home for months at a time. We also met Len Lanigan, well known in Kirton, who is one of the volunteers who ferries men to the centre. Some of our members took along woolly hats, two of which were modelled by some very pleasant Philippino gentlemen from one of the ships. The place seemed very welcoming with various facilities to make the men feel at home. The only criticism I would make is that although there is a Christian chapel, there does not seem to be much provision for those of other faiths. Also the fact that there is a bar selling alcohol would probably deter strict Muslims.
On the 26th we travelled by coach Carter’s Vineyard near Colchester in Essex. After some difficulty in reaching the place we were surprised to find they have neither mains water nor electricity. In fact their water comes from an old Tudor well which may partly account for the excellence of the wine. We tasted several of their products and were greatly impressed. Their vintages deserve to be better known and more widely sold.
On 7th of September five of us went on a very enjoyable two and a half mile walk at Newbourne Springs to boost our mileage for the W.I. triathlon. We spent the time trying to identify the numerous species of tree that we passed. Most of them we knew but there was one with clusters of red berries, not a mountain ash, that foxed us. Since coming home and consulting our tree books we have discovered that it was a white beam.
For our September meeting two of our members, Maddy Rhodes and Wendy Taylor, gave us a talk about the Citizens Advice Bureau for which they are both unpaid volunteers. We were surprised to hear that advisors require a year’s training followed by a probationary period. The aims of the service as set out in the annual report are as follows – ‘To provide the advice people need for the problems they face. To improve the polices and practices that affect people’s lives.’ The principles take this form – ‘The service provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. It values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination.’ The C. A. B. was originally set up at the beginning of the Second World War and although we may never have had reason to consult it is a comfort to know that it is there ready to give wise and sensible advice if we should need it.
V. E. Bines