President Val Evans welcomed not only members but Crumble and Drissie, two beautifully behaved Guide Dogs for the Blind, accompanied by Mr and Mrs Brian Lawrence at the July meeting.

Mr Lawrence outlined the history of the guide dogs association, explaining the training of puppies. He brought the audience up to date, showing slides of the new training centre in Leamington Spa. After the First World War, German Alsatians were used as ambulance dogs and, as a result, dogs began to be used to help blind people in Switzerland.

In the late 1920s, ‘The Seeing Eye’ association was started in America and two years later, in Wallasey, Guide Dogs for the Blind began.

Mr and Mrs Lawrence have acted as puppy walkers for many years and Crumble has been a brood bitch, having had two litters. Drissie was on ‘holiday’ that night, as his owner was taking his own holiday in Canada but was unable to take his guide dog with him.

Around £12,000 is needed to train one dog and £53million is required each year, with the association dependant on donations.

On Monday, August 5, members will celebrate the Institute’s 95th year with a birthday party at Kates Hill, Bewdley, 3.30 pm for 4pm. Any members not at the July meeting should let Pauline Blumer know if they wish to attend the party.

The next meeting at Mamble Village Hall will be on Monday, September 9, starting at 7.30 pm. Robert Swift will talk about ‘Swift’s Bread and Breadmaking’.

The competition is a September-related item.