There are some images of Hamsterley W.I. members on the W.I. Gallery page.
The National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) website is at NFWI.
Ann Richards writes:
Hamsterley W.I. was founded in December 1925 and this year (2010) we will celebrate our 85th Anniversary – we are looking forward to our Centenary and hope we are still going strong in 2025!
We have a very active committee headed by:
• Ann Richards – President – 01833 638072.
• Pat Welch – Vice President.
• Anne Walshaw – Secretary – 01388 488318.
• Shirley Wood – Treasurer.
Other committee members are: Sue Davies, Janet Embleton, Hilary Jenkins and Angela Watson.
Our members have many and varied interests – including crewing a ‘Tall Ship’ (see below), involvement in music and drama, painting, making jewellery, climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge and white water rafting in their spare time! We also enjoy a ‘Knit & Knatter!’ session monthly. We also like making jam and singing ‘Jerusalem’!
Our meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday in the month at 7pm.
We are a dynamic and friendly W.I. and welcome new members in fellowship (and fun!). Please contact me for more information. We hope to see you at one of our meetings.
We recently bade a sad farewell to Anne Welford who has moved to Wiltshire to be near her family – Anne was our President for almost 30 years. We wish her health and happiness in her new home. Many, many thanks to Betty Jackson and Mary Bradley – retiring committee members – for all their hard work and dedication over the year.
(Just click on the image to enlarge it.)
An article by Kaye Jemmeson of the Teesdale Mercury on Tuesday September 28th 2010 reports:
A week of adventure on the high seas may not be every great grandmother’s birthday wish but for one Teesdale woman it was the perfect way to celebrate. As part on a Tall Ships adventure, Ann Richards, from Barnard Castle, opted to spend her 70th birthday on board the Stavros Niarchos, swabbing the decks and steering the 493 tonne vessel.
She said: “I’d been on one eight years ago with three friends and I’d always wanted to go back again and it was my 70th birthday so I decided to have a go again.”
Used to more sedate cruises, Mrs Richards, who is the chair of Hamsterley Women’s Institute, said the Tall ship’s crew show no mercy when it comes to work.
“I’ve been going on cruises for 20 years and when you’re on them you’re ‘don’t be late with those gin and tonics’ but here you’re told not to be late with the mop and buckets, it’s very different. You do everything when you’re on board. They tell you it’s ‘happy hour’ and come up with big buckets and have you scrubbing the deck and cleaning the toilets. It’s physically demanding and everyone on the team does their share,” said Mrs Richards.
The septogenarian shared her duties with paid crew and other volunteers, men and women, whose ages range from 18 to 75-years-old. But despite being one of the older volunteers on board the brig, Mrs Richards did her bit.
“They shine a light in your face at 2am and you have to get up and start your four hour shift on board. You’re taught how to steer, how to take a bearing and of course when you’re doing it, you’re responsible for the ship. It’s good because you don’t feel any age discrimination.” she said.
Mrs Richards said one of her most memorable nights on deck was at about 4am. She said: “It was really dark and you could just see a blanket of stars above you, which you never really get to see anymore because of light pollution. Then we watched the sun come up, it was just amazing.”