ARELEY KINGS WI: The speaker this month was David Chatterley, an avid collector. David gave a talk on the history of Brass Needle cases and displayed some of his collection which dates back to the mid 1800’s when Brass Needle Cases were manufactured in Redditch. Drapers Shops offered the Needle Cases for sale, the cost then was 11 shillings or more (55p), affordable only for the more affluent customers. Brass Needle Cases soon became very fashionable within Victorian Society, particularly among Victorian Sewing Groups where they could flaunt their Needle Cases. David’s wonderful display of his collection combined with examples of Victorian needle packets complete with some of their original needles was fascinating. Brass Needle cases designed as a Wheelbarrow, Queens Footstool, Artists Easel and Shell were just a few, all of which were so uniquely detailed with intricate workings and ornate designs, these remain highly collectable today.

Notable makers of Brass Needle Cases to look out for are Avery, Lewis and Mappin and Webb. Examples of Victorian Needle packets made in Redditch can be found in Kensington Palace in the Dressmakers Room. The vote of thanks was given by Jacki Clark.

The competition this month was a decorative pin cushion, the winners were, first: Dallas Henderson, second: Kate Reid, third: Margaret Cook.

The next meeting will be on May 9 7.30pm. Entertainment will be members contributions, ‘Who am I’ and the competition will be a flower display in a Jam Jar or Milk Bottle. Visitors and new members are always welcome.