MAMBLE CUM BAYTON W I: President Val Evans welcomed everyone, including several new members and two visitors, to the January meeting, the first in the Institute's 98th year.

Thanks were expressed to the Committee and especially Carol Marsh and Pauline Blumer for arranging the excellent Christmas lunch and entertainment held at the beautifully decorated Kateshill in Bewdley.

Details were given of various Workshops to be held at WI House in Worcester over the next few months and the proposed County visit to the National Space Centre in Leicester in the Spring.

Our speaker was Sylvia Perkins from Rock, who was accompanied by her grand-daughter visiting from Australia. She began her talk, for the benefit of our new members, by explaining how the Womens' Institute organisation was founded in 1897 in Canada, to help women in house craft and childcare skills. In 1915, Mrs Alfred Watt came to the UK to spread the news and the first Institute was founded in Anglesey.

Sylvia then spoke about her mother, who, in later life, benefitted from the Wyre Forest Talking Newspaper, due to failing eyesight. One edition asked listeners to contact them to give their memories of childhood games, which Winifred, Sylvia's mother, did. As a result, Mike Dicken from the local BBC visited her and Winifred made 32 short programmes which were broadcast on Mike George's programmes on BBC Hereford and Worcester. Aged 91, she was thrilled that she was sharing her memories with the listeners. Sylvia played us the first tape Winifred made, talking about her childhood in Kings Heath, followed by her brother Ted making a Cat's whisker radio and Winifred and Ted experiencing the first moving pictures at the local picture house. We look forward to inviting Sylvia back in the near future so we can hear more of Winifred's memories.

The next meeting of the Institute will be held on February 8 at Mamble Village Hall, starting at 2pm. Mr Hoskins will talk about his "Sahara Marathon", and the competition is an item beginning with "U".