April 2009 – World of Shells

APRIL MEETING REPORT

In the last few weeks we have been lucky enough to acquire five new members. I hope they are all going to enjoy their time with us and spread the word through the village about the many opportunities that the W.I. presents.

We were very sad to hear of the death of Mrs Vera Allen who was a member of Kirton and Falkenham W.I. until quite recently. Vera always brought enthusiasm to our meetings and to many other village activities. She served on the committee and went as delegate to various functions. She never seemed to loose her joie de vie despite becoming increasingly frail. We will miss her.

Several interesting events are in the offing besides our normal monthly meetings. On April 28th a number of us are going to the Annual Group 3 Meeting at the Trades and Labour club Trimley. This is a get-together of five local W.I.s. The speaker will be Louise Reid on the first woman doctor, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who was local to this area. Kirton and Falkenham will be providing the food. On May 14th we will be having a fish and chip lunch at the village hall and then on the 3rd of June the National AGM will take place at the Royal Albert Hall. Although we are not sending a delegate this year we will look forward to hearing an account of the proceedings which will include such guest speakers as Maureen Lipman and Richard Stilgoe. In August we are planning a coach outing to Bury St Edmunds.

Mrs Howlett was the speaker at our April meeting. She came to talk to us about the World of Shells and brought a fine selection from her extensive collection to show us. She and her husband Derek started their hobby about 40 years ago when she was doing a teaching project on the sea and she went to the North Norfolk Coast to bring back some shells to show her pupils. Soon she was learning their Latin names and extending her sphere of knowledge from the common cockles, mussels, winkles and whelks to cowries, abalones, conches and tritons (the sort you can put to your lips and blow like a trumpet). Sea shells have been enormously useful to human kind, supplying us with food, jewelry, buttons and medicines. They deserve to be protected so that future generations can enjoy their beauty.

V.E.Bines