I thoroughly enjoyed Lori Anderson’s slightly tongue in cheek Perspective Extra (25 July) about the English WI and also about the Scottish WI, founded on 26 June, 1917 here in Longniddry and, of course, we members are revving up for our centenary, two years after the English/Welsh Institute was founded in Anglesey, but not connected at all.
I must comment that Lori referred, correctly, to Madge Watt being invited from London to be at the inaugural meeting but she makes no mention of our real founder, the redoubtable Catherine Blair, a farmer’s wife from nearby Hoprig Mains, a suffragette and creator of the now collectable Mak Merry pottery, which was also for the benefit of the isolated women in farming communities who gained some income from hand painting the objects. Lori refers to the “Oot and Aboot” tour of Orkney. She’s most welcome to join us to hear about it all since one of our members will be speaking about it at our November meeting.
I smiled at her reference to the English/Welsh singing of Jerusalem because I remember when I joined, in my 20s, our song was The Watchword’s Home and Country to the tune of Ho Ro My Nut Brown Maiden.
I think we youngsters were reprimanded for a little mirth by our stern ex-headmistress president at the time.
Recently one of our younger members requested wind farms as a topic for our syllabus which will be happening on 9 September at 7:30pm in Longniddry Church Hall.
Do come and join us. You really will be made most welcome – and you might just get a cup of tea!
Longniddry, East Lothian