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Watch this space for reports on Eydon Ladies activities in 2011. But why wait until it's all over? Take a look at the diary for details of our planned events and come along.

Annual General Meeting

Eydon Ladies held their AGM and Social Evening on Wednesday 19 January, during which an interesting and varied Programme for 2011 was unveiled.
Sue Russell (Chairman), Gwen Bishop and Sue McRoberts stood down from the Committee, and all were thanked for their hard work and ongoing support to the Group.
Angie Simmons and Wendy Nicholls were voted onto the Committee.
After the formal business of the evening, amidst animated conversation and laughter, the ladies 'tried their hand' at whist.

My Life in the Police Force and other stories : Bob Taylor

Eydon Ladies had a very enjoyable brush with the law on February 16th when their speaker, Bob Taylor, shared some of his interesting and humorous experiences of life in the drug/vice/traffic squads of the Police Force and BTP will remain a secret with all those who attended.

Eydon Ladies next meeting, on March 16th, will see Lizzie Coulter leading an art workshop. Members are asked to bring scissors and Pritt stick if they have them.

An Art Taster Workshop : Liz Coulter

There is one thing guaranteed when Eydon Ladies get together and that is lots of laughter and plenty of good conversation. We had an abundance of both when our very own Liz Coulter agreed to give an art class on 16th March. There is no doubt that quite a few were very worried at the prospect of painting, but there was not a paint brush in sight on this occasion, just lots of colourful tissue paper, glue and scissors, plenty of apples, oranges, courgettes, peppers, carrots and the odd aubergine. Without too much tuition from Liz she asked us to observe the colour and shape of the fruits and vegetables and to use the tissue paper to create our very own work of art. Initially we all sat and looked at each other, convinced ourselves that we couldn't possibly create anything, but miracles do happen and before very long we had achieved the impossible, produced pictures that did look like fruits and vegetables which amazed us all. Liz was very complimentary and I am sure there are a few Eydon Ladies who now consider themselves "good at art" thanks to Liz's patience and guidance.

Our next meeting is on 20th April when Meriel Gardner will give us a talk on her life as a professional singer.

The Life of a Professional Singer : Meriel Gardner

At their April meeting, Eydon Ladies were given a fascinating insight into the life of a professional singer, when our own Meriel Gardner described her career as a classical mezzo soprano.
Meriel studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music and spent a further three years studying and working in Vienna.
There followed a varied 35 years, singing classical music, musical theatre and even backing The Who on one occasion.
Members greatly enjoyed stories of the many interesting people Meriel had worked with and hearing recordings of her wonderful voice.

At our next meeting, on 18 May, Alison Rocket will be speaking on Women's Jewellery Making in Africa.

Women's Jewellery Making in Africa : Alison Rocket

Alison Rocket joined us for our May meeting to tell us about the handmade African beads that she sells on behalf of a group of women who live in a small village in Malawi. Their daytime job is breaking up rocks in a quarry for just a few pence a week. They make beads from thin strips of paper as a side line which helps to educate their children. What a treat for us to have dozens and dozens of inexpensive necklaces and bracelets to choose from. We all went home with a small parcel of jewellery.

Our next meeting is our Annual Challenge on 15 June on the sports field, followed by a barbeque.

Eydon Ladies Annual Challenge

June is traditionally Eydon Ladies' challenge month when members have the opportunity to have their name inscribed on the coveted Eydon Ladies Shield.

The challenge this year was a treasure hunt with the theme of kitchen utensils concealed around the sports field.

Not too onerous you would think, but it proved to be quite a test for some members, who resorted to adding a dead rabbit to their list of 'finds'.

Congratulations to this year's winners, Sally Stretton and Sue McRoberts.

Undeterred by heavy rain, the evening was rounded of with a barbeque in the garden of our generous host, Gwen Bishop. Our grateful thanks also go to Bob Taylor, Todd Butler and Peter Unsworth for their expert cooking over a hot grill, together with Barry McRoberts and Richard Forsyth, and to John and Anne Parsons for their loan of tables, chairs and gazebo.

The next meeting on 20 July will be another outdoor event when we will be metal detecting in a local field. Meet in the Royal Oak car park at 7.30pm.

Metal Detecting

Eydon Ladies were introduced to the fascinating world of metal detecting on 20 July by members of the Northamptonshire Artefacts Recovery Club.

Armed with metal detectors and spades, the ladies searched Bufton, courtesy of John Grindlay. The first coin found was Elizabethan - unfortunately from the reign of Elizabeth II.

A buckle, a button, a lead weight and several mysterious pieces of metal were unearthed, but it was decided that the true find of the evening was a musket ball, unearthed by Gill Keenan and Margaret Hussey - well, you would expect a golfer to find a ball, wouldn't you?

Eydon Ladies Committee runs for its life

Eydon Ladies Committee took part in the 5km Race For Life in July, held at Broughton Castle, near Banbury.

It was an amazing experience looking at more than 1,000 women and girls, all wearing the brightest shades of pink, running, jogging and walking across the countryside.

The warm and friendly atmosphere was helped by the 15-minute warm-up exercises to the energetic music of Zumba. It is amazing how quickly you can forget your left from your right, although we all managed to throw our arms up in the air and shuffle from side to side, but not necessarily in time to the music! By the time this was over we were almost exhausted, but Sally Stretton managed to finish the course in just 35 minutes, followed by Gillian Keenan, Angie Simmons, Wendy Nicholls and me reaching the finishing line in just under an hour.

Barbara Butler and our driver, Bob Taylor volunteered to be course marshals and our other driver, Geoff Stretton, cheered us on. We all appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed our 'after race' picnic when we had a celebratory toast on taking part.

We would like to thank all those who generously sponsored us.

Corsets and Smells

In a change of programme, Eydon Ladies enjoyed a quiz at their meeting on 17 August. Their little grey cells were fuelled by one or two glasses of wine.

Between rounds, excerpts were read from The Brides Book - a comprehensive guide for brides-to-be, published in 1936. Eydon Ladies now know what to keep in the kitchen store cupboard, the importance of a good corset and the weekly use of deodorant powder.

At the next meeting on 21 September, the Rev. Viv Baldwin will be talking about her work with the National Association of Chaplains to the Police.

The Highs and Lows of a Motorway Patrol: Rev. Viv Baldwin

It is always a pleasure to sit and listen to the Rev. Viv Baldwin and to hear about her work as Chaplain to the Police. Viv works mainly with West Midlands Police Traffic Unit, often going out with a crew during a night shift.

She has observed the highs and lows of patrolling our motorways and she talks about their work with grace, humour and respect.

It was a shame when our evening came to a close as we all agreeed that we didn't want Viv's talk to come to an end.

October 19 is Eydon Ladies' Harvest Supper - an event not to be missed! Tickets can be bought from Pam Taylor or Barbara Butler. Members £6.00 and guests £7.50.

Harvest Supper

Once again Eydon Ladies' harvest supper was an excellent event. After the delicious chicken casserole (or vegetarian option) and apple crumble supper, Robin Brown did a terrific job auctioning donated produce, skilfully separating people from their cash. The money raised - a splendid £480 - will this year be given to the Air Ambulance Service.

Bert Manton's display of country crafts and produce was truly magnificent.

Chairman Pam Taylor thanked all who gave their produce, time and talents to make the harvest supper such a successful and enjoyable event.

Our next meeting will be on 16 November, when the speaker will be from the Northamptonshire Artefacts Recovery Club. This is an open meeting and non-members will be most welcome.

Artefacts Re-discovered

Non-members joined Eydon Ladies on 16 November to hear Alan Standish, of the Northamptonshire Artefacts Recovery Club, give an illustrated talk on the wide range of artefacts discovered by the club. These included a Bronze Age axe, coins from the reign of Elizabeth I and a First Century brooch, complete with pin.

Alan brought with him the club's travelling museum, which gave members the opportunity o see and hold some of these fascinating items.

He stressed the importance of recording finds so that they could be entered on the national database. Unfortunately, when Eydon Ladies tried their hand at metal detecting in July, there were no exciting discoveries.

Our Christmas Dinner will be held at the Royal Oak, Eydon on Friday 9 December. Meet at 7.30pm for 8.00pm.

Christmas Meal

The Royal Oak hosted our annual Christmas Meal, thoroughly enjoyed by Chairman, Pam Taylor and her merry band. Santa and his helper made their traditional appearance, distributing wonderful secret Santa gifts to all those gathered.

Many thanks to all the staff at the Royal Oak, and to Santa and his helper for making the evening such a success.

Happy New Year to you all.

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