TRUNCH FRIENDS ARCHIVE
This month we were treated to Tea with Betsy, alias Elizabeth Fry. (We won’t mention that her tea was laced with laudanum). The year was 1845 when Elizabeth was 65 and she came dressed in her plain grey and white Quaker costume. In a clear loud voice she answered questions as if they came from the audience. We learnt that she was born in Norwich into the Gurney banking family and that she married Joseph Fry whose family were also bankers as well as chocolate makers.
The range of her philanthropic work was all the more amazing considering that she had 11 children and several spells of ill-health. As well as being a well-known prison reformer, she also founded schools, provided quilt kits for women being transported to Australia, soup for the homeless, libraries for coastguards and took part in the anti-slavery campaign. Quite a woman!
Once again we had an excellent lunch at the Old Rectory with good food, service and company and excellent organisation by Judith.
A good attendance of 34 members and visitors were welcomed to the meeting, when they were given an entertaining talk by Caroline Williams on “Wedding Traditions and Superstitions”. Input was encouraged from the audience and some interesting facts emerged such as the bride putting a sixpence in her shoe, to her embellishing her bouquet with herbs to offset the smell of the guests! Ruth Gotts won the competition by bringing not only her actual wedding dress but also the receipts for her wedding outfit from 1961.
A memorable AGM. The meeting heard that the finances of the group were in good heart and Jeannie Jones and Christine Yarnold were thanked for their years of service on the committee and presented with flowers. Luckily two other members have offered to take their places.
However just as we were nearing the end of our Beetle Drive a loud siren stopped proceedings. After a search confirmed that there wasn’t a fire we sent for help and had a cup of tea, only to find out that it was someone’s personal alarm!
Once again we had an enjoyable Christmas Party with cake, mince pies, sausage rolls and chocolates. The Village Hall looked very festive with the Christmas tree, decorations, crackers and flower arrangements. Judith produced a very good Christmas Quiz and our card and mystery presents game caused lots of laughter.
This month was the actual 25th. Anniversary of the formation of Trunch Friends and it was lovely to have Barbara Simmins with us who had been present at that first meeting in November 1993. We celebrated with an excellent talk from Charlotte Philcox about the Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe. She gave us horticultural tips along with stories and superstitions about the plants.
A decorated anniversary cake made by Paula Adams went down very well with the tea and there was an unusual poppy-themed raffle. The competition for Christmas memorabilia attracted 6 very interesting items but the prize was won by Jeannie Jones for her 70 year old tiny snow baby cake decoration.
Who would have thought that a talk about sewage could be amusing as well as informative? Well Eddie Anderson managed both. He told us about the history of the upper reach of the River Mun which flows through his property in Northrepps. With some fascinating slides he then went on to explain how a lake on the estate had become polluted and how the building of 3 holding ponds planted with water plants had managed to filter the water from the Northrepps sewage plant so that phosphate free water could be returned to the river.
Stephanie Davis gave us an interesting and educational talk about Seal and Shore Watch. She explained how the charity started in Mundesley, described the life cycles of the Harbour and Grey seals and convinced us to give them a wide berth if we saw them on the beach. Her case studies were sometimes funny and occasionally sad but they left many members wanting to contribute in some way to the work of the charity. In fact several members had come to the meeting with old newspapers and towels, which the charity needs and the Trunch Knitting and Stitching Group had made some toy seals which are sold for fund raising.
Thirty members and an invited guest enjoyed a lovely strawberry tea prepared and served by the committee. The tables were decorated with a silver theme as part of our 25th. Anniversary celebrations and members were presented with silver and black commemorative pens. We were pleased to have several of the founding members present including Daphne Medcraft who started the club in 1993 after the Womens’ Institute in Trunch folded.
Members were able to reminisce over a collection of photos, a list of past members and a record of meetings and outings. Th competition for a strawberry themed item attracted gardening books, a spoon, home-made jam and a tea towel but the prize went to Katharine Greenland for an arrangement of wild strawberries which were picked in Trunch.
Although it was a shame that our visit to Thursford could not go ahead we had an enjoyable afternoon. Jackie Hudson stepped up to give us an illustrated talk about Tom Hickathrift, the Wisbech giant. At first is sounded like a fairy story but there was some truth behind the legend. Tom Hickathrift is buried in Tilney All Saints and is depicted on their village sign. So thanks to Jackie for a story that left many of us wanting to find out more.
We heard some truly horrible tales all expertly told by Neil Storey with many local references. Tales of drunkenness, theft, murder and witchcraft and the awful punishments that went with them. The talk was illustrated with some frightening props – a scold’s bridle, hobbles, fetters, a branding iron, a thumb screw, a hangman’s noose and a reproduction executioner’s axe. How glad we were that we didn’t live in those harsh times. Neil concluded his talk with a ghost story which made us all ……JUMP!
As Roy Haynes was in hospital, Jackie Hudson, at very short notice, pulled together an “observation around Trunch” quiz which was very well received and made us all realise that we don’t look up often enough when we are walking around the village.
The competition was won by Ruth for her very imaginative “pondlife plate”.
31 members and guests enjoyed a splendid lunch at the Old Rectory, Crostwick. The setting, food and service were all excellent. There was a lovely atmosphere and it was a good start to our 25th. Anniversary celebrations
It was lovely to welcome so many visitors for the return of Happisburgh Owls; the children especially. This year Sandra brought along 3 new owls – the naughty Aztec, a rare Mexican Stripe Owl, Timber, a Russian Tawny Owl and an adorable tiny Little Owl. Other favourites were also there including a Barn Owl. They all sat patiently (for the most part) on the stage while Sandra talked about her life with the owls and then the highlight of the afternoon for many people came when they were able to hold the owls.
Once again several members missed this meeting through illness and we wished them all a speedy recovery. The AGM reported that the group was in good heart, with sound finances and a hard-working committee. Pat Needs is stepping down from the committee this year due to other commitments and she was thanked in her absence for her hard work over many years. Following the AGM members joined in the usual enjoyable Beetle Drive.
Another successful Christmas party, even though sadly, a number of members were unable to attend because of illnesses or medical appointments. Tables were decorated with crackers and attractive centre pieces made by Christine, which were given to lucky members at the end of the party.
The card and present game was as much fun as usual and was enriched by the large number of secret presents that members had brought along. Entertainment was provided by the marvellous Marsham Belles and after tea they played carols that we could all join in with.
Tea was much appreciated, with a selection of sandwiches made by committee members, sausage rolls, Christine’s famous mince pies and Christmas cake, made by Jackie and decorated by Paula. The tea table had 2 beautiful arrangements made by Jackie and these were raffled off with other Christmas items. Kate expressed the thanks of members for the good work of the committee.
This month a very large audience learnt all about the North Walsham and Dilham Canal. With very informative maps and slides, Ivan Cane explained how and why it was built and used for cargoes and tourism before being abandoned because it could not compete with the railways. Since 2008 a Trust has been working with landowners to restore the canal and make it available for many different community activities. The before and after photographs were particularly striking.
The competition of boats and barges attracted 10 entries of boats large and small but the prize went to Christine Yarnold for her painting of a Norfolk Wherry.
This month we had a very informative talk about fire safety in the home from Kenny Reynolds. With some horrific examples from his own experience of working in the Fire Service, he convinced us to take care with all of our electrical equipment, to have and check smoke alarms and to be very careful with candles. With an array of visual aids, he showed us how to handle a chip fire and how to use sockets safely. But perhaps his most important message was for us to remember to dial 999 at the first sign of fire and not to put any of our belongings before our own safety. He also gave us a number that you can ring for a free home fire safety check – 0800 9178137
James Begley from the First Responders spoke about ” Every Second Counts” describing the signs and symptoms of strokes and heart attacks and the simple measures that can save lives. He also demostrated how to do CPR and what to expect if we ever had to use the defibrillator which is kept at the Village Shop.
Our strawberry tea went ahead successfully after we had sourced some late varieties of strawberries. Before the tea, we were entertained by four of our members. David made us laugh with his true stories; Ruth amused us with her diary of a holiday in Ireland; Judith told us about her work in London, Jamaica and Poland and Jackie amazed us by relating how she took up karate at 57 and became an instructor and a black belt.
It is always a success when you visit a place for the first time and realise that you would like to return and that’s how many of us felt about the visit to Fairhaven Water Gardens. As usual we were blessed with perfect weather for our annual outing and members and friends enjoyed the garden walks, a boat trip on the Broad, and bird-spotting as well as cups of tea and cake! Thanks to Pat and Judith for making the arrangements.
Tony and Miriam Ireland gave us a very enjoyable afternoon of song. Their nostalgic stage and film songs weree very well chosen so that we could sing along.
28 members, 16 visitors and several children enjoyed the presentation by Sandra Dalzell of Happisburgh Owls. She explained how she began caring for and rearing owls and how they were used to help people with medical conditions and learning difficulties. She had 5 owls with her, all of different types and after her talk members of the audience held and stroked the owls.
Thirty members and two guests thoroughly enjoyed a performance by Marsham Belles. Six players, with two bells each, rang a selection of well known tunes from England, Wales, Scotland and France and members were able to sing or hum along. Many people were surprised at the complex and attractive melodies that they made; undoubtedly the result of much practice. The competition for a bell included several cow bells, some pretty small bells, a bell from Jamaica and one full of whiskey. The prize went to Val Dagley for her old wooden cow bell from Austria, seen in the back of the photo below.
At our AGM Jean Garland retired as treasurer after many years service. Thanks were expressed to her and her husband, Ernie, who has acted as auditor. Carole Owers has kindly agreed to take over as treasurer. The meeting agreed to increase the yearly subscription from £10 to £12.
The committee was re-elected en-bloc.
Marilyn Nevil – Chairman, Carole Owers – Treasurer, Val Dagley-Secretary, Jackie Hudson – programme secretary, Pat Needs – outing and annual meal, Jeannie Jones – Competitions, Paula Adams – tea rota and supplies, raffle and Village Hall representative, Christine Yarnold – strawberry tea and Christmas party food oversight.
The Chairman asked for more volunteers for the Committee, and Sue Lock volunteered and was elected unanimously. Later on Judith Terry also volunteered and was co-opted onto the Committee.
The AGM business was followed with a lively and enjoyable Beetle Drive.
What a good party we had. An amusing Christmas quiz, the popular card and pinching presents game (you have to be there to appreciate it) and a splendid tea of sandwiches, sausage rolls, mince pies and Christmas cake, all made by members (and in one case a husband). 37 members and visitors attended with several people making a considerable effort to get there. The afternoon was completed with a distribution of presents to members and a sing along with Colin on the organ.
This month we had a splendid talk by Eddie Anderson about his home, Templewood, in Northrepps. Samuel Hoare had the house built in the 1930s from an original idea of a shooting box. After much research into various house styles he plumped for an Italian Palladian design. One of the architects was Hoare’s nephew, who eventually married the widowed writer, Verily Anderson, which is how the house came into the Anderson family. It was wonderful to see the original plans and many photographs of the house and grounds, some of them comparing past and present. Eddie’s humorous delivery made for an entertaining as well as informative talk.
Charlotte Philcox entertained us with a talk about knitting and patterns. After a short history of knitting and some of her family memories she showed us slides of a small selection of her patterns from the 1920s to 1970s. Some of the models were drama school students who later became famous such as Roger Moore and Joanna Lumley. Some of the pictures were very amusing. There was a lot of laughter as well as reminiscing.
23 members attended our meeting to listen to a talk by James Begley, who is the co-ordinator of Overstrand and Cromer Community First Responders. James stepped in at the last minute as our previously booked speaker could not make it. He reminded us of the importance of making sure that our homes are easily identifiable to the emergency services if we should be unfortunate enough to require them to call.
He told us about a scheme started and run by Lions Club International, whereby we can keep a custom made plastic bottle in the door of the fridge containing information about medical issues, repeat prescriptions, people to contact in an emergency etc. All the emergency services are aware of these white containers with their distinctive green crosses on and the stickers that go inside your main entrance to show that you have a “Message in a bottle”.
Strawberry Tea – the committee arrived early to hull strawberries, whip cream, lay tables and get everything ship shape. 26 members and 13 visitors enjoyed a wonderful rendition from our own Jo Oxborough, who was accompanied brilliantly by Matthew. Among the songs she sang were “Autumn Leaves”, “Send in the Clowns” and finishing with “Rule Britannia”, assisted by the audience joining in with the chorus and frantically waving our Union flags. We then settled down for a delicious strawberry tea and a good natter. The competition for a show or music item was won by Sue Locke.
Outdoor activities in Britain are always a bit of a leap of faith but once again we were very lucky with the weather for our trip to Wroxham. In spite of dire predictions of heavy rain we were able to sit outside to have our lunches and the sun was shining as we travelled along the River Bure. Our driver and guide was a local lad (well a lot younger than most of us) who had read ecology at university and so was able to give a very informative commentary. We saw several things of interest but perhaps the highlight was the crested grebe carrying her chicks on her back.
There were more questions about the life of moles than I can ever remember at Trunch Friends. Maybe it was because they live most of their lives underground and are rarely seen. With 50 years experience of working with moles, Ivan Woodrow was certainly very knowledgeable and could answer all of our queries. He illustrated his talk with various items which are used for the deterrence and trapping of moles and, although not everyone agreed with the trapping of moles, we all found his talk most interesting.
A large audience were captivated by Bill Drayton’s video and commentary on local wildlife. Who knew that there were tawny owls in Brewery Road, badgers on Mundesley Golf Course, Marsh Harriers in Pigneys Wood and so many different birds in Bill’s garden. We all do now, as well as how to identify various local birds, flowers, dragon flies, butterflies and mammals. Bill’s patience and willingness to rise early produced some fabulous images and the closing shots of sun-rises and sunsets were spectacular.
Simon Partridge talked about the How Hill Study Centre, which was previously the home of Christopher Boardman, an Olympic Gold medallist in sailing.
AGM & Beetle Drive
The Village Hall looked very festive for our Christmas Party with some decorations and a tree already in place and our tables decorated with crackers and Christmas foliage arrangements. Christmas music provided a cheerful background.
Members and visitors played a noisy card game with mystery presents, did a Christmas Quiz, which was not as easy as it seemed and listened to two amusing poems.
The committee provided a tea of homemade mince pies and sausage rolls and very indulgent chocolate cakes. On behalf of those present, Kate Drayton expressed thanks to the committee for a very enjoyable afternoon and everyone went home with a small Christmas present even if they had not been successful in the games or raffle.
This month Bob Warnes and Sheena brought along a range of old objects that they use to help jog the memories of dementia patients. It was interesting to hear that they are now training some NHS workers in the same technique. Some of the items were Victorian, which most of us had never seen before, but others such as the old pegs and soaps were familiar to some from their childhoods in the early 20th Century. Perhaps most amusing were the vintage clothes, including corsets and liberty bodices.
This month there were many members of the audience who had never heard of the old Anglia TV programme “Bygones” so there was a lot of interest when Eddie Anderson explained how it started with farmer Dick Joice talking about old or odd objects that he had come across. Eddie was a researcher on the early programmes and when it was re-launched he presented it with Wendy Hurrell. He illustrated his talk with a range of intriguing objects from oxen shoes to flint knapper’s goggles. After the talk Jackie Hudson read her poem “Remembering Those Days” which rounded it off nicely.
After the talk “Workers, Wellingtons and Wheelbarrows” by Charlotte Philcox we all felt well entertained and informed. The talk was full of interesting facts and was illustrated with excellent slides. Over tea several members looked at the miniature garden items that Charlotte has collected and we were all impressed by her passion for everything to do with gardening.
We were all very shocked by the sudden illness of our Chairman, Marilyn Neville, but members were delighted to hear that she was recovering well. The strawberry tea, with local strawberries and scones was greatly enjoyed by members and visitors. Max Prasser, one of our members gave a very interesting talk about the time when he and Kate were caretakers of Stansgate in Essex, the holiday home of Tony Benn and his family. There was a competition for a childhood toy or book which attracted several entries of old teddies, dolls, farm animals, toys and books. The winner was Edna Taylor for her charming old teddy bear.
In spite of all the modern media available to us, there is still something special about
a live performance. This month 11 members of the Broadbeat Choir, led by their
brilliant conductor, Sandra Edwards, entertained us with a selection from their
repertoire. They sang songs with many different parts, and some actions, and we
joined in with “You Make Me Feel so Young” and “Summertime”. As well as the high
quality of the singing, the obvious enjoyment of the performers was infectious and
we all went home happy.
This month 8 visitors joined 30 members for the Beekeeping talk by Teresa Caves,
which proved fascinating to us all. She explained why honey bees are so important
and amazed most of us with the details of their life cycle. The talk was illustrated
with very clear slides and a display of books and items made of beeswax, as well as
pots of honey, which soon sold out