Events Reports 2019

Bure Valley Railay - 2 December. Several of us, together with members from Dersingham and Snettisham, set off on a bright sunny Monday bound for Wroxham to meet a quaint Steam Train. We arrived in time for a hot drink, loo stop and a look around the little shop come bookstore. Each little carriage could fit 4 in comfortably as we set off along the narrow track with the engine puffing steam as we went. Approximately 40 minutes later we pulled into Aylsham and made our way to the railway café/restaurant for lunch. They could not have made us more welcome, tables all decorated, waitress service with a full Christmas lunch and pudding followed by tea/coffee and mince pies and a gift from Father Christmas. With time to spare, some wandered into Aylsham, others just meandered around the station browsing the two little shops.  Then around half 3 we boarded the coach for our journey home. A truly lovely day, thank you Carole.

Tea and Chat – 30 November.  We saw fewer visitors than normal but it was no less enjoyable. Thank you to everyone who came to help, with a few extra pairs of hands it made setting up and clearing up much easier and quicker. Always a welcome treat.

Wells to Holkham Walk – 12 November. Five intrepid travellers set out, on the bus, in the dry for a walk from Holkham to Wells. Unfortunately the weather changed to the usual torrential rain by Hunstanton. We all readily agreed to go straight to Wells and have brunch and reverse the walk. We went to Bang and enjoyed drinks, food, warm log fire and lots of chatter. The walk was in the dry- good decision- we saw a pair of buzzards, a deer, lots of pink footed geese landing at Holkham and we had a look around the new visitor centre at. It started to rain again while we were waiting for the bus. A very enjoyable day.

Federation Meeting – 28 October. Seven of us (Jean, Carole, Sandie, Lesley, Audrey and Sylvia) attended the Autumn Federation meeting on 28th October. The day started off in usual WI style. Carole's car wouldn't start and we went to the wrong venue. But never mind we got there on time and after coffee took our seats for the opening brief from Margaret Collingwood followed by brief updates from the Federation Sub Committees. Then the first of our speakers began, talking about the Norfolk Resilience Forum set up to help the emergency services warn and inform communities about emergencies. From this we moved on to hearing from three female members of the Armed Forces; Navy, Air Force and Army talking about how Diversity is now accepted and how women are very much a part of our Armed Services. Our last Speaker for the day was Helen Wright, from The Seahorse studio, talking about her creativity in making pieces of glass into decorative jewellery.

Autumn Fayre – 26 October. Despite a very wet day and being in competition with the Rugby our Autumn Fayre made a profit of £743, £300 of which we have decided to donate to the Church Hall Fund to help with refurbishing the hall. Thank you to the merry band of helpers both on the day and those who beavered away months beforehand making and producing things to sell.

Holkham Deer Walk – 16 October. Our good luck with the weather for walks seems to be running a bit thin at the moment as yet again we walked in the rain at Holkham.  It was fine as we left Ingoldisthorpe, but just before we got off the bus we noticed the windscreen wipers were in action, and by the time we had walked up the drive to Holkham House, we were decidedly wet! However, we were all suitably clad and joined fellow walkers for a guided Deer Walk.  Holkham is home to between three and four hundred fallow deer (they sold the herd of red deer last year) and we were very fortunate to see so many fawns, prickets (young males) and bucks; their camouflage is amazing and we really had to look carefully to be sure if that was a branch or the antlers of a buck resting in the long grass or standing behind the trees.  They are obviously used to visitors as we were able to pass really close by and the rain was to our advantage as many of the deer were in groups just within the tree line.  The walk took us towards the Monument, down to the lake and finished at the amazing ice house.  Of course we had to have some refreshments before walking back down to the bus stop, passing underneath some of the Halloween ghostly decorations up in the trees. Needless to say the sun shone all the way home!!

Thornham Walk - 1 October. 'High chance of precipitation'... that forecast should have given us a clue as to what the weather would be like on our walk. Undeterred, six stalwart WI walkers gathered at the bus stop braving the heavy rain (Audrey was already sitting in the dry on the bus from Dersingham - lucky thing) and we headed to Thornham for a coastal walk. The road was closed near Orchard Drove so the bus was diverted along narrow minor roads, enduring similar conditions I imagine as those experienced in World Ralley Championships! From Thornham village we walked alongside fields to the raised walkway which runs through the marshes and meadows by the sea, We met several dog walkers but everyone was smiling despite the rain. We arrived back at Thornham Deli in time for a hot lunch and then caught the bus home again. En-route I did a little research on walking in the rain. It seeems that the air is scientifically proven to be cleaner and fresher, the smell of rain has a calming effect, walking in rainy weather burns more calories (brilliant) and best of all - it feels rebellious!

Harvest Lunch – 28 September. Our Harvest Lunch was a great success (as usual), enjoyed by all and we made a profit if £162.67. As always, the success of this and all our ‘events’ is down to those of you who offer to make cakes, pies, quiches etc. Those who shop for supplies, launder tablecloths and devote your time on the day, before, during and after to ensure that all goes well. Thank you.

Trip to Wiveton Hall on Thursday 3 September. It was a beautiful day as nine of us met at the Church Hall for our day out at Wiveton Hall between Blakney and Cley. We had a beautiful journey through the narrow lanes and by-ways of Norfolk, met only by the odd car, bicycle or tractor. On arrival we boosted ourselves for the fray with coffee and a seat at the loo with a view across the North Sea. We could see for miles, but thankfully not be seen.

We were escorted by Mr ‘Normal for Norfolk’ himself, who was a very jolly entertaining fellow with a great enthusiasm for the history of the house and those who had lived there before him. He also had the ability to get this across to those listening. The hall itself was charming with none of the bells and whistles of some of the more formal historic buildings, but instead was the essence of someone’s home which happened to be an historic building. The walled garden was lovely with lots to see and plenty of variety. We finished our tour with a delicious lunch in the restaurant and a browse around the little shop before making our way home…… A lovely leisurely day out enjoyed by all. (Carole Casey).

Congham Walk on 20 August. The annual World Snail Racing Championships started in Congham in the 1960’s. It’s a little slower than horse racing and the winner receives a silver tankard stuffed with lettuce leaves as a reward.

At this point I have to highlight the importance of food as an incentive, especially for Ingoldisthorpe WI walkers and today was no exception. Hazel led Jean, Cath, Audrey, Barbara and Di on a walk around the village and surrounding area. Much of the local wildlife had gone to ground but we trekked on undeterred through farmland and dense undergrowth, scaled fallen trees and even encountered another ‘Bull in Field’ warning notice (Hazel, do you plan these scary moments to make sure we don’t dawdle?). As usual we ended our walk with a meal (not a snail or lettuce filled tankard in sight!). This time we ate at The Anvil in Congham. I would definitely recommend this pub. Excellent customer service, really good affordable food (2 meals for £12 Tuesday to Thursday lunchtimes) and a great group of friends to enjoy it with.  (Di Abraham).

August Meal at The Hourglass on Thursday 15 August. Fifteen hungry souls gathered together once again for our usual August meal. With no WI meeting this month it’s a great way to keep in touch with everyone. Thank you to Carole Casey for organising this for us. As always we were made to feel very welcome and the meal was up to its usual high standard.

Norfolk Day on Saturday 27 July. Despite the wind and the rain, several of us made our way to Sandie’s to celebrate Norfolk Day. The weather was lousy but with a lovely buffet, plenty to drink and great company we had a lovely evening. Thank you to Sandie, Emma and Carole for all your hard work.

Strawberry Tea and Chat on Saturday 6 July - The Strawberry Tea and Chat held on the first Saturday of July was an unqualified success. It just seems to get better and better each year. There were approximately sixty people present and the room was buzzing with conversation and laughter. Although it was busy, all the helpers had time to sit and enjoy a tea with our visitors as well as topping up teapots and providing second helpings of cake. By the time the tea was over all the cake and strawberries had been sold and people went off smiling with their little bags of goodies. We then began the task of clearing and washing up. Happily we all went home satisfied that a job had been well done. (Carole Casey).

Thank you to all those who helped to make the afternoon a success.

Pentney Abbey walk – 25 June - Hazel, Jean, Audrey, Barbara, Cath and Di (taking the photo) outside the Gatehouse. Fortunately you can’t see our damp clothes and muddy boots, but we are all smiling for the camera. After all, we’d survived heavy rain showers during our five mile treck across the countryside and bravely crossed a field marked ‘Beware of the Bull’. (We sent Hazel in first to check as she wasn’t wearing red!). Most of the wildlife sensibly stayed in the dry with the exception of butterflies, black dragonflies and an enormous number of large snails which we did our best to avoid as we walked along the flood bank of the River Nar.

Following the walk we headed to West Acre Garden Centre, meeting other WI members who had driven there to join us for lunch (which was exceptionally good by the way, especially the merangue with red berries and crème fraishe!). En route we came across a lady who’s car had been in a minor accident, she wasn’t injured but was visibly shaken. She did have help from local farmers but we stopped to make sure she was alright. Jean gave her a hug, suggesting that she joined us for a cup of tea and, as the lady was heading for West Acre anyway to pick up some plants, Cath offered to travel with her in her car for support. She didn’t join us for tea but did come to say thank you before she left. I think that helping this person today sums up beautifully how the WI works at it’s best – providing that comfort blanket when someone needs it most.

Fairhaven Gardens on Friday 24 May - Great day, beautiful place and good company

WI Walk at Reffley Wood on Tuesday 7 May - I think that it’s very fitting to start this particular WI walk review with feedback. We all wholeheartedly agreed with Audrey when she said ‘this was probably the best walk so far, it was a goodun’ and it really was. Reffley Wood is a Woodland Trust wood hidden away behind a housing estate in South Wootton. It’s a lovely semi-natural ancient broadleaf woodland interspersed with planted areas of Scot’s pine and other conifer species. It’s also been designated as a County Wildlife Site due to the wider variety of species which make their home there. Seven of us set out on the walk on a bright sunny day. On entering the wood we met an Under 5’s Out and About Group. This is a group run by volunteers and they’d set up an Old Macdonald’s Song Trail for the little ones which looked really exciting. Following the woodland trails we saw beds of bluebells and wild garlic and, when we reached a pond known locally as the ‘reservoir’, we were thoroughly entertained by a family of ducks who were obviously used to being around people; and quietly watched a pair of swans who were nesting on the water. After three miles we all agreed that we needed refreshments and we made our way to our regular watering hole, Knights Hill. Any thoughts of summer dieting were quickly pushed away when Hazel produced a food voucher and once again we all ate heartily for half price. Thank you Hazel for this and for organising another very successful day out. (Di Abraham)

Come and Sing afternoon on Friday 26 April - A big thank you to Margaret Dring for her 'Come and Sing' afternoon at the Church Hall. This was a great success and enjoyed by all.

Tea and Chat on Saturday 13 April in the Church Hall - As usual there was a lovely selection of cakes thanks to our talented bakers and lots of tea and chatter. Although not as many people as last time joined us, a most enjoyable time was had by all. A good number of helpers turned up on the day and this made a big difference to setting up before the event and clearing up afterwards. Many thanks to them all.

Centenary Thanksgiving Service at Norwich Cathedral on Friday 12 April - Carole Casey and Sandie went along to the Centenary ThanksgivingService as representatives of our WI. They reported back that they received a warm welcome from members of the Federation, it was a lovely service and it also gave them the opportunity to meet up again with familiar faces.

Centenary Salva Competition on 6 and 7 April - Our WI prepared an entry for the Novice Class of the Centenary Salva Competition. We didn’t expect to win, it was just a fun thing to do and good experience. However, win we did! Huge congratulations to Carole, Maureen Dennis, Sandie, Liz, Sue Pearson and Sylvia Pratt for their time, talent and dedication.

Fish and Chip lunch on Friday 29 March - Once again we met at the Church Hall for a Fish and Chip lunch. 26 people really enjoyed a piping hot meal and a cup of tea or coffee. For those who haven’t been before, it’s open to all, not just WI members. You can be assured that there will be a very warm welcome, enjoyable food and good conversation. And you won’t even have to wash up.

WI walk at Bawsey Country Park on Tuesday 26 March - It looks absolutely idyllic doesn’t it? But when you walk around the lakes and see how high the cliffs are or how far down the ground is when you are walking through the trees, you begin to appreciate the dangers hidden within this disused quarry. Swimming is strictly prohibited but it must be very hard to resist the sandy beach and the blue water on a hot summer’s day. However, this is still a great place to walk and seven of us trekked enthusiastically through the trees, often climbing steep slopes to follow well-trodden paths. Trees and bushes were just starting to bud and there was a cacophony of bird song in the air. We also saw several horse shoe fungus en route which many of us hadn’t seen before. We easily completed the two mile circular route, which Hazel navigated magnificently, and headed to Knights Hill for lunch.  We were a hungry bunch and chose jacket potatoes or baguettes. These tasted even better when a fellow diner came over and offered us a food voucher which gave us a 50% discount. Happy days! (Di Abraham)

Soup and Sandwich Lunch on Saturday 16 February - On Saturday 16 February we held our first event as part of the Agnes Biggs Charity Fund which is administered by the Ingoldisthorpe Parish Council. We decided to hold a soup and sandwich lunch for retired parishioners of the village. Approximately 50 people came and it was well received. Thank you to all those who helped on the day and with the preparation beforehand.

Group walk at Heacham on Tuesday 12 February - February's walk proved yet again what a wonderful area we live in. The local bus took seven of us to Lamsey Lane, Heacham from where we walked the muddy tracks, alongside the hedgerows and on top of the banks towards South Beach. We took our time and we were lucky enough to see a Barn Owl enjoying the morning sun and a hare racing to goodness knows where. We were all the first ones 'to see the sea'. This was an area most of us only knew from the roadside, so many thanks yet again to Hazel for the suggestion, reccy and making sure we got on the right bus! ('lite bites' at the local PH are highly recommended). (Jean Mitchell)

Ten Pin Bowling on Tuesday 22 January - Congratuations to Carol Hodges who is holding on to being our ten pin bowling champion. Do come and join us if you fancy having a go.

Group walk at Sandringham on Tuesday 8 January - Imagine yourself joining a group of slightly wacky and definitely friendly women ambling along country pathways in the early afternoon, with the promise of tea and cake when you get to wherever it is your aiming for. Now that must surely be sufficient incentive to persuade even the most unenthusiastic walkers amongst Ingoldisthorpe Village WI to don walking shoes and come and join us. This month we met up in Sandringham’s woodland and six WI members enjoyed a 2.5 mile walk exploring routes through the trees. Not everyone was able to maintain an Olympic pace and we tailored the route to ensure everyone enjoyed themselves. As promised there was tea and cake and an opportunity to sit and chat in what we’d like to call ‘Royal’ surroundings in the Visitor Centre restaurant at the end of the afternoon. The only thing missing was a Royal presence ..... maybe next time. (Di Abraham)