In November the Kirton and Falkenham W.I. holds its Annual General Meeting. This part of the afternoon did not take long as there were no changes either to the officers or the committee members. The secretary and treasurer gave their reports and everybody was thanked for the sterling work they had put in in tackling their various roles. Iris Hitchen, our president, then closed the AGM and began the normal monthly business.

Cups were awarded to those who came top overall in the various competitions held during the past year. Tied for third place were Wendy Taylor, Pauline Swift and Brenda Redditt; Ann King came second and Edna Stuckey first. Those who brought food to the birthday meeting and cakes to the Arts and Crafts fair were thanked; we made £89 on our stall. Then the results of the W.I. Triathlon were announced. Thirteen of our members took part, sharing the walking, cycling and swimming between them. Our goal was to walk 50 miles, cycle 25 miles and swim 5 miles. In fact we exceeded these distances by a very long margin. Between us we managed to swim 13.24 miles, cycle 134.305 miles and walk 558.707 miles!

We then sat back to enjoy a talk by Mrs Joan Cone on her Memories of Kirton. Besides our usual members we had several visitors with us who were interested in hearing what she had to say. She started by telling us that when May Copping asked in August whether she would speak on November 11th she realized that this would be her 66th wedding anniversary. She said ‘I will’ on both occasions. She remembered that she bought a hat for two guineas in which to get married. This scandalized her father who thought she could have saved money by making one.

She was born in 1921 just before our W.I. started and her mother was a founder member. She wonders whether she was brought to the meetings as a baby. As a young girl she first lived in ‘the Hollies’ and then moved to ‘Fernside’ in which one of our members, Gillian Hague, has recently taken up residence. She remembers playing with tops and whips and hoops in the street outside and also such games as hop-scotch and fivestones.

In those days the village had two pubs, three shops, (the post office has been a shop for more than 200 years), a cobbler and a harness maker. There were two doctor’s surgeries and four greengrocers took produce to Felixstowe by horse and cart each week. A man on a bike selling shrimps used to come round, also a man selling Walls ice-cream. Dances were held in the Village Hall, originally known as the Reading Room, with a six piece local band and people used to come from Felixstowe in taxis or on bikes.

During the war PC Goddard was billeted with her mother. She remembers a day when he stopped her as she bicycled round the village to ask her for her identity card despite the fact that he had been having breakfast with her that very morning.

Joan’s talk was so interesting that we urged her to put her memories in writing. I am sure that every resident of Kirton would be keen to acquire a copy.

V E Bines


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