Thursday 1st October saw over 60 WI members and guests attend the Horsham Weald WI Group

Autumn Meeting. With Mannings Heath taking their turn to host the event, the village hall was made ready for members not only from Mannings Heath, but also from Handcross, Bolney and Horsham Normandy, all of whom make up the Weald Group. Guests included Yvonne Bee from the WI Board of Trustees, Brenda Adlam - WI Adviser, and many ladies from other WI Groups within the area.

Chris Hurd, Mannings Heath’s Vice President and Dilys Dunkin Group Chairman got the meeting off to a start by offering a warm welcome to all, and inviting everyone to join in singing Jerusalem. Yvonne and Brenda updated members of forthcoming WI events in West Sussex, before handing back to Dilys to introduce the afternoon’s entertainment. With 2015 being an important year for the WI, the Mannings Heath WI Poetry and Reading Group gave a presentation touching on the history of how the WI was started in Canada, to the formation of Singleton and East Dean WI one hundred years ago. The presentation was interposed with reminders of other milestones during 1915, and included readings from poems by Robert Graves, Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen plus a short Jeeves & Wooster skit. Extracts from a 1939 Mannings Heath WI minutes book caused some amusement and this very enjoyable programme was brought to an end with Hilda Gent, a long serving member and a very sprightly 96, recalling her early memories of the Horsham WI Market.

Tea, cake and raffle followed, bringing a very different and most enjoyable afternoon to a close, leaving us looking forward to the Weald Group Meetings in 2016.

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