When and where we meet:

Every 2nd Monday of the month at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall, Leigh on Mendip

Visitors welcome!

For more details contact Mary Mears

or leave a comment here on our blog


Leigh on Mendip Community Coffee Mornings.

1st Monday of the month in the Memorial Hall from 9.45 to 10.45am.

Come along for a coffee and a chat! Everyone welcome.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Big Walk Little Splash

A letter arrived today from Liz Murdoch, our County Co-ordinator for Sport and Leisure, to say thank you for our entry.
In our category, Rodney Stoke and Draycott had a higher percentage of members taking part, so our entry has not qualified for submission to National.

It was good fun making the attempt, 'though! Liz encouraged us to keep up the activity, even without the incentive of a competition! I guess we'll all be walking to the pub on 2 November! Unless anyone would care to organise a walk for us? I'm sure there will be people interested to join in!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Wyke Farms Visit - you missed a real treat!

Click on the photo above and enlarge it! You will see that it says:
"Prize Winning Cheddar Starts here"
and my goodness me, it does! We were given a very warm welcome by Richard Clothier, managing director of Wyke Farms Cheese. His grandparents began farming here at Wyke Champflower in 1902, and his Grandmother started makng cheese. The family has continued to farm in the area, and the cheese making has developed into an international business, selling family made, locally produced Cheddar cheese to 153 countries. (China being the fastest growing market). One of their unique approches is to take the cheese to shows across the country so that people can talk to them and taste the product. This way, many more customers buy Wyke Farms cheese when they see it in the supermarket.
The tour around  the factory was fascinating, from seeing a tanker delivering milk to the tanks in the photo above, we watched the journey taken by the milk into cheese or butter, by products: whey and lactose is dried and sent for use in the food industry, cream is made here and skimmed milk is condensed to send to Yeo Valley for their yoghurt, and anything remaining is either purified and used for machinery cleansing or to feed the pigs on the farm below the factory.
Couldn't resist getting a photo of this sign! Wallace and Grommit where are you?

The complete dedication and passion about the whole process was evident from everyone who spoke to us, it was very interesting, especially when we began discussing fair prices for milk producers and the profit margins made by the supermarkets.
As we drove home, Sue, Val and I decided that we can easily make a difference to our supermarkets and what goes on. each time we can't find something we want on the shelves, or if we want to know whether they are paying a fair price to their producers -  we need to ask! Go to the customer services desk and ask a question! They really do take notice, so let's start doing it! Individually and collectively, we can make a difference!

We were also awarded a very generous discount in the shop on our way out! We were first there, and when we realised the extent of the discount, we each bought more! I bet once every member of the WI group had gone through, the shelves would have been empty! My 'Crunchy Extra Mature Cheddar' has already been well and truly sampled!
I'm thinking we should have a cheese tasting session at one of our meetings.......

Group Meeting in Kilmersdon

Last evening 5 of us from Leigh went along to hear the talk on the history of the Kennet and Avon Canal, which included a little detour around the Somerset Coal Canal! It was very interesting! The speaker had a fascinating technique of showing us an old photograph or painting, describing the features which have now disappeared (I was a bit horrified to learn just how many canal side buildings have burnt down!) and then juxtaposing on screen the same view taken recently. This way we could really see the developments (or destructions!) which have taken place. It was interesting, too, to learn how many times  bureaucracy has thwarted the authentic restoration of the canal. (What patience and determination has been shown by the stalwarts of  the restoration).

The competition painted flowerpots in the canal art style were quite spectacular, it must have been a hard job making a judgment on them all.

Next Group meeting will be in Leigh on Mendip in January for the business meeting and the actual meeting is in March. We shall have to plan some good refreshments (the bar has been set high!) and an entertainment to follow the speaker. (There is an idea or two floating around, for a spot of fun....! ) the competition is to produce an A4 sheet depicting 'What I love about Frome' -  any ideas?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

When is the next trip to Montacute House?

What an excellent evening! Our speaker, Sonia Powell, the Collections Manager from Montacute House gave us a very entertaining and interesting picture of what happens behind the scenes. She was very knowledgeable and clearly passionate about her work, which always makes the evening enthralling. Between April and October a massive 72,000 people visit Montacute House! We saw a picture of the huge pile of dust which was swept from the coir door mat! We learned of the painstaking methods used to clean, care for and document every item contained in the house - and picked up a tip for anyone looking for a new career: in restoring old fabrics! Apparently there are few  people able to do this, and it is very expensive! Sonia also told us about how she had been able to reclaim a portrait of the owner, Phelips, which had been presented to him by James I. The family had sold it several years ago for £34,000, a price which put it out of reach of the National Trust. However, it was put up for sale again recently at Sotheby's and thanks to a bequest from one of the volunteers at Montacute they were able to bid successfully - £195,000! - to return to to its original home.

Ater a brief break for refreshments, we watched the film of our Frome Group Olympic Warm Up! It was great fun, and really good to see just how many people had taken part (& a very active part, too!)

We are looking forward very much to next month's meeting, our AGM; a time to reflect on the past year and look forward to 2013. It will also be an opportunity for any member to join the committee; I can highly recommend it! Later, we will welcome Westfield Ladies Choir. They are going to sing to us and then allow us to join in! Someone asked if Gareth Malone will be there...... You'll just have to come along and find out!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

October lunch at The Bell

A small group of 4 members met at The Bell yesterday for lunch. We enjoyed our meals and the lively conversation including catching up with summer holiday excitements.

Next time will be Friday 2 November, we look forward to seeing you there!