Bolney Horticultural Society/Gardening Club: reminder AGM in the Rawson Hall on Friday November 23 at 8pm.

Batchelors Field Cafe: is holding Christmas lunches (3 courses for £12.50) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between December 5 and 21. There are just a few spaces left. Bookings must be made in advance by either visiting the cafe or telephone 01444 848667. £5.00 per person deposit required.

BOLNEY WI: The speaker at our November meeting was Jan Thompson whose special interest is reflected in the title of her talk ie ‘What’s in the basket?’

It would appear that baskets probably pre-date pottery and fabrics and imprints of baskets have been found inside ancient pots

Over the years Jan has visited many exotic places eg Bali and brought back hand-made samples of the craft typical of the area.

Different vegetation means of course different materials with which to work eg in Europe,specifically Portugal sliced chestnut branches are used; traditional Zulu baskets are made from the goodness from palm leaves. Birch bark, rattan leaves,coconut/palm leaves,bamboo and rattan leaves are some of the other raw materials. And in Africa,the stalks and leaves of water hyacinths are used which is a double bonus as these plants are a menace- clogging up streams. (I wonder what we could make with Japanese Knot weed!)

For some of us, the fact that some of these beautiful handmade artifacts sell for large sums of money made us wonder what the native makers were paid. As with many products, there is frequently a downside for the workers, in this case damaged hands from sharp leaves and the tension required to keep the work even.

Jan finished on a sombre note. How many of you know the derivation of the term ‘basket case’? It’s not good.

Our next meeting is our Christmas lunch , but we will meet again in the small Rawson Hall at 2.45 on Thursday January 10th to hear Emily give us some fresh ideas on cooking.

Meanwhile a very happy Christmas and a good New Year to you all from the ladies of Bolney WI.