ASTLEY WI: The WI met on June 7 and once the pretty rose posy had been presented for a June birthday, the ladies who made the teas, provided the beautiful arrangement of garden flowers and raffle prize were thanked.

As usual, there is much to choose from for entertainment and/or learning over the coming months. There are far too many to mention but the choices include a Worcestershire Federation lunch in September with speaker Giles Brandreth, a WI Facebook and Twitter training session in October and in November, there is a half day Christmas craft class which will teach willow weaving in time for the Festive Season. In the WI we can be entertained, we can try new things and be bang up to date as well!

News of Lunch Club was given and an update on the quilt being made by attendees at Craft Club. Some of the work that has been produced was shown and from what was seen, it will be beautiful.

Speaker Jim Pearman was then introduced. It was a change from the scheduled programme but what a super talk he gave! He was Kidderminster’s Town Crier for 11 years, and he spoke about the history of the role. We are all familiar with heralds and bearers of news as far back as the Old Testament and Mr. Pearman explained how the important news such as the death of a monarch was delivered in this country and how it could take a long time for news to reach people. He outlined some of the other responsibilities holders of the office have had over the centuries. He showed us some lovely coats and he came dressed in buckled shoes, hose, plus twos (which are short trousers, shorter than plus fours), a waistcoat, a lace jabot round his neck and tricorn hat which derived from a parsons hat with the sides pinned up. It was a very enjoyable talk – as well as being informative, it was most entertaining as well.

The next meeting will be on July 5 at 7.30pm at Astley Village Hall when letters from a submariner will be the theme of Margaret Roy’s talk. Visitors will be made most welcome.