Antiques expert is guest at WI gathering in March

The Isle of Ely had its Evening Federation at the Neale Wade Academy. Guest speaker for the evening

The Isle of Ely had its Evening Federation at the Neale Wade Academy. Guest speaker for the evening is Eric Knowles from the Antiques Roadshow. Left: Margeret Sparrow, Val Ware, Eric Knowles and Beryl Brooks. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

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Antiques were the theme of a talk enjoyed by members of the Isle of Ely Federation of the WI at their first annual meeting of the year.

The gathering at the Neale-Wade Academy included members from across the district and included the talk by Eric Knowles an expert from the BBC’s hit Antiques Roadshow, who spoke about his life and how he first became interested in antiques.

March Mayor Kit Owen welcomed all the members to the meeting which was also attended by school principal Jason Wing and Conservative Parliamentary candidate Steve Barclay.

Chairman Valerie Ware opened the meeting and gave a report of the activities enjoyed during the past six months, one of the highlights was receiving the WI’s centenary baton from Hunts and Peterborough Federation as it did its journey around the Isle visiting members at their villages.


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The federation choir entered the national federation’s centenary choir competition and although they didn’t win, put on a very good performance and members will get a chance to hear them later in the year at a concert of music from the last 100 years.

Reports from the Treasurer and Sub Committees followed.

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Barbara Harpham, from Heart Research UK was the first speaker and spoke about how funds are raised by collecting unwanted or broken jewellery. Funds received from the sale of any jewellery that is collected by the WI will go to Papworth hospital.

Members and visitors had a chance to look at an exhibition of panels showing Celebrating 100 Years of Isle of Ely Women which ties in with the centenary of the founding of the WI in 1915.

This project was made possible after receiving a Heritage Lottery Grant. The panels will be on display at Wisbech Museum for everyone to see during the month of May.

Rosemary Green gave the vote of thanks to Eric Knowles.

The draw followed and then there was a general vote of thanks and thanks to Valerie Ware for all her hard work. The date of the next federation meeting was announced

The meeting concluded with the singing of the National Anthem

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