BLAKEDOWN WI: The president welcomed Sally on her second visit to our group and Rosie who had joined in February. Mary Dodd was thanked for the lovely spring arrangement of yellow daffodils and roses for the Presidents table.

Our first event of the meeting was a happy one when we wished Eileen Smith happy birthday and presented her with flowers and a card expressing the best wishes of all the WI members for her special day. We won’t give the game away as to her age but we all want to know the secret of looking so young!

The Secretary, Chris Burt read out the minutes from the previous meeting and members were then given details of forthcoming courses and events they might wish to attend. Advance notice was given of Worcestershire Federations Denman weekend in March 2018 where a variety of courses will be on offer with a 5% discount if booked before August 2017. Members were again reminded of the forthcoming activities – lunch club on Tuesday 14th March at the Tap House Hartlebury but no walk before the meal this month; craft club on Friday 17th in the Parish Room and change of venue for the Friday afternoon book club for March. Hagley District, which we are now a member of, are holding their spring group meeting on April 24, 2-4pm in Hagley Community Centre so numbers were taken of those wishing to attend. Members were asked to refer to their Worcestershire WI news for details of all events and for many activities planned by Denman College and other WI’s.

The speaker, Graham Wren was then introduced. An Associate of the Royal Photographic Society he had extensively travelled the world photographing birds and wildlife. He used slides to take us back to his safari in Kenya and had a wonderful selection of slides mapping his journey through Kenya and the Masai Mara National Reserve. From the safety of the meeting we saw lions, cheetahs, hippos, elephants, giraffe, zebra and a spectacular range of wild animals and birds all beautifully photographed. Members did an animal quiz prepared by Jeanette while they had coffee; one animal for every letter of the alphabet with a clue for each! The winners scored 25 and were awarded chocolates. The evening finished with a power point produced by Jan Cook assisted by Terry her technical guru, showing us the delights in store next month when we are all looking forward to enjoying our food fest! Ladies please remember to bring two teaspoons with you; everything else is provided including a fantastic range of locally produced foods so keep some space when deciding what to eat before the meeting!