On Tuesday 13th December 2016, 36 members arrived at the Granary Restaurant for the PAWS Christmas meal. There was lots of laughter and chat. Everyone enjoyed the chance to relax and talk to other members in the festive atmosphere. The meal was appreciated by everyone, though most were beaten by the quantity. We all had a present from ‘Santa’s Sack’, which ranged from a Bell from Santa’s Sleigh to flying birds and jumping insects! After coffee and mince pies it was time to go home, all agreeing that it had been a most enjoyable evening.
Our next get together is on the 10th January, 2017 when our speaker will be Ian Frewer. His subject “My life in Spain as a Journalist”.
Membership is currently full but visitors are very welcome to attend at a cost of £5.00 which includes refreshments.
Details of all our meetings and speakers can be found on the diary of the home page of this website. If you would like further information about P.A.W.S please ring either of the following committee members: Alice Holmes 01206 735510 or Jane Anderson 01206 735505
10 years ago a decision was made to break away from the WI and become an independent ladies social group based in Peldon. We continued with monthly speakers with talks on a wide range of topics to include history, gardening, fashion and much more. So, no more Jam Continue reading
At the October meeting, our president, Jackie, welcomed Phil Lyons who had come along to talk about A Sailor’s Life.
Phil started with the fact that 21 men from Colchester and the surrounding villages had served at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21st October 1805. At that time Britain had the greatest navy in the world, with 108 ships but after the battle, they possessed 152 ships as they had captured those of the French and Spanish.
Boys as young as 7 served on board, often at sea for over 2 years before setting foot on terra firma. Crews were recruited by press gangs and quota men who rounded up paupers and criminals to serve in the navy. Interestingly 2 of the Colchester men joined voluntarily. Life on the ships was a mixture of boredom, terror and sheer hard work. It took 8 men to hold the wheel in calm weather and 12 men in a storm, then there was always a danger of catching the wheel and being thrown overboard.
Food was poor with maggots in the meat and weevils in the ship’s biscuits, but men did not complain as at least they were fed. To prevent scurvy, Nelson provided his sailors with onions not limes! The best part was the daily ration of grog, a mixture of half a pint of rum mixed with 4 parts of water, and a gallon of small beer served daily. This provided the men with 200 units of alcohol a week!
The sailors slept in hammocks, caught rats for fun and were flogged for any misdemeanour. 50% died from malaria, yellow fever or typhus and many were wounded in battle. Desertion, mutiny and cowardice were hanging offences!
So was a sailor’s life a merry life? I leave you to decide.
Our next meeting is our 10th anniversary celebration on the 22nd November, as such it will be closed to non-members. You can find details of all our meetings and speakers on the diary of the home page of this website. If you would like further information about P.A.W.S please ring either of the following committee members:
At the meeting on September 27th, Jackie introduced the speaker for the evening, Andrew Wiltshire from Danbury. Andrew has written a book entitled “Beatrix Potter’s Secret Code Breaker.”
He started his talk with a series of questions “How much they knew…:
He then explained that Beatrix eventually lived at Castle Cottage in the Lake District, after her marriage to William Heelis. However, she originally used the neighbouring Hill Top farm as her ‘writing room’ in which to write and illustrate her much loved children’s books. These two properties, with others and over 4,000 acres of Lake District countryside, were left to the National Trust in 1943.
Before moving there, Beatrix had written, for 15 years in a secret cipher-code of her own invention, a Journal describing observations on her family life in London, the politicians and artists that her parents knew, and many other fascinating details of her life in late Victorian times.
These documents were eventually found in Castle Cottage after Beatrix’s death. Andrew continued by telling us that he knew Leslie Linder, the code breaker. He first spent five years looking for a way into the code. He then spent a further eight to translate and bring to life the 200,000 words that Beatrix had written. These were in many exercise books, and on very many loose pages.
This quest became Leslie’s ambition so too, sharing what he found; he did this by publishing Beatrix’s journal 1966. During the 13 years of this work he amassed what has become the world’s largest collection of Beatrix’s art and writing. He eventually donated the collection to the Victoria & Albert Museum before his death in 1973.
Illustrations of the code and some humorous examples of what Beatrix had written were complemented by photographs of Leslie’s life and family background. Andrew presented a fascinating insight to someone whose past is now forgotten and a period of time, Beatrix’s early life, that is also, hardly remembered.
Several questions from members, as well as some of them also recollecting Buckhurst Hill, the town where Leslie lived, closed a very interesting talk.
PAWS’ next meeting is on 25th October and Philip Lyons will talk about “A Sailors Life”. Visitors can attend regular meetings at a cost of £5.00. You can find details of all meetings and speakers on the calendar on the home page of this website. If you would like further information about P.A.W.S please ring either of the following committee members: Alice Holmes 01206 735510 or Jane Anderson 01206 735505
Our meeting on 26th July, was our annual July Social, and was well attended with 44 members and 2 visitors. We first attended to business and then had a wonderful Fish and Chip Supper. After supper we were entertained by Bows “n” Belles, a Colchester Clog Dancing Group. Continue reading
Our recent meeting in June was well attended by 43 members and a number of visitors, when we welcomed back Chris South, to give us a talk on “Basic Garden Design”.
Chris explained the essentials of redesigning a garden by knowing the type of soil you have, which direction it is facing, Continue reading
39 members and 1 visitor attended our May meeting when Jenny Gibb, dressed in traditional Turkish dress, gave us a talk called “A Turkish Shirley Valentine”.
Jenny explained how in 1993, Continue reading
Mary-Anne Bartlett began her talk on April 26th by asking how many members owned a paint box. The result showed just how many of our group have an interest in this field. Mary-Anne started painting at her grandmothers’ knee Continue reading
34 members attended our recent AGM on the 22nd March and unanimously voted back in the current committee. Reports were read by Pam Foakes, our outgoing President and Jane Anderson, our Treasurer, before Jackie Manning was voted in as Continue reading
28 members attended our February meeting when Stacey Belbin gave us a talk on “Lady Grace”. Her dad was a commercial fisherman and ever since she can remember she helped her dad clean and mend nets and catch fish. When she left school she worked for a Bank. Her life was all about her career until she met her husband, then she realised life is for living and not for working all the time.
She met Scott at 18, his dad had brought him up in the angling world and hers had brought her up in the netting world. On their first date, Scott took her angling and since then, her dad lost his crew and they decided to buy their own boat, “Galloper”, to take people angling at weekends. They both had their day jobs, Scott as a carpenter and Stacey in the bank, but they used to spend weekends running the fishing trips.
As the business grew she decided it was time to get her own toy to play with. In March 2011 they bought “Lady Grace”, it took until the end of August to get her ship-shape for passengers and then she ran her at weekends and continued her weekday job. In 2012 she then worked “Lady Grace” during the May and October half terms and the full 6 weeks school holidays. After running “Lady Grace” for 6 weeks solid during the school holidays, in January 2013 she made the decision to give up the day job from the April and run Lady Grace 7 days a week 364 days a year.
The first year was testing, but rewarding. Stacey loves working on “Lady Grace”, which was evident by her passionate talk, and every day and every trip being a different one, meeting different people and a forever changing scenery with the tide coming in or going out and the different birdlife visiting through the year. She is also a photographer of all things beautiful on the water, whether it be a landscape, sunrise, sunset or wildlife.
You can follow Stacey and “Lady Grace” on Facebook.
Our next meeting is on the 22nd March and is our AGM and therefore a closed meeting. However visitors are welcome afterwards from 8.00pm, for a Quiz and Nibbles, at a cost of £5.00. Details of all our meetings and speakers can be found on the diary of the home page of the Winstred 100 website. If you would like further information about P.A.W.S please ring either of the following committee members: Alice Holmes 01206 735510 or Jane Anderson 01206 735505.