WI Meeting Report 24th April 2019

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After warmly welcoming members and visitors, President Margaret Matthews invited Heather, who came dressed for the occasion, to present the National Sweepstake prizes to Jenny Moult, Margaret Matthews and Francis Woollam. Heather surprised everyone when she presented a 'silver' cardboard cut-out winners' cup much to Jenny's delight.

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On a cold and blustery day a small group of us set off for Liverpool for a tour of Old Liverpool Dock as reported by Marion. Arriving at The Royal Albert Dock there was sufficient time available to warm up and have coffee in the Maritime Museum. Shortly afterwards we met our witty tour guide, Yazz, who was really informative and passionate about what he does. He started the tour by telling us the history of the old Thomas Steers' dock being the world's first commercial wet dock built on the River Mersey. He talked about when it was built in 1710 and completed in 1716 and what it meant for the prosperity of the city of Liverpool. He then guided us in the direction of the old dock whilst pointing out areas of historical interest that people pass every day, possibly unaware of the historical significance. We arrived below the streets of Liverpool One to a blocked off portion of the original 3.1/2 acre dock. We learned that in the early 19C with the growing number of ships using the port the old dock became too small for its purpose. The quays were too narrow and the city's sewage polluted the dock's waters. In 1826 the dock was closed and filled in until it was discovered during excavations in 2001. It was a fascinating experience to go below the Liverpool One streets and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. After lunch, we visited the Walker Art Gallery to see the Leonard de Vinci exhibition.

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Lorna, who volunteers at the West Cheshire Food Bank, gave a comprehensive explanation of the important support provided by the food bank. The people using it are referred by various sources and are given 3 vouchers in a 6 month's period. Suggestion for our WI to start a collection of long life foods was eagerly received by all. A helpful list of examples of food was made available. It was a very interesting and informative talk.

This month's speaker was Malcolm Hodgson with his talk 'Another Use For Your Handbag' as reported by Maureen We were all curious to find out what this talk was to be about! First Malcolm shared his early history so as to explain the stages that lead to his becoming an EasyJet pilot in 2011. His memories of his first solo flight, his first take off and more especially his first landing were all recounted in an entertaining manner. Despite his fear of heights he assured us that air travel is safe. The auto pilot flies the plane apart from take-off and landing. His stories of incidents of danger were many, so much so that engine failure when it happened was the least perilous of all! His interesting information, especially to an audience of ladies, was the introduction of the Amy Johnson scheme to promote girl pilots. £120 million for training grants. What was in the handbag? That would be telling! Alison gave the vote of thanks.

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Margaret thanked Heather for providing us with a red and white flag cake to celebrate St. George's Day which was much enjoyed with Tea and Coffee at the social part of the evening.

The meeting was closed by Margaret wishing everyone a safe journey home . She reminded everyone that May's Meeting on the two Resolutions for 2019 will start at the earlier time of 7.00 pm on Wednesday 29th May in the Edna Rose Room at the Tarvin Community Centre. Stuart Exell will also give a talk on The Woodland Trust.

If you wish to join us as a visitor please come along and you will be assured of a very warm welcome.