AS June’s Meeting is our Open Meeting it was agreed to keep business to a minimum in order to get to the main part of the evening which was our Speaker, Mr Phil Collins talking about the history of Punch and Judy with a short show included. President June Lloyd welcomed our guests from local WIs, new member Jan and our Speaker. Having sung Jerusalem June gave a very quick report on the Resolutions Meeting in Liverpool last week with a promise of a full report next month, reminded everyone to look at the boards on the stage and then introduced Mr Collins also known as Professor Collywobbles. Appropriately attired in an outfit befitting a Master of Ceremonies, Professor Collywobbles gave us a short history of Punch and Judy – originally Punchinello and Dame Joan, who was first recorded in Samuel Pepys’ diary in 1662. He started life as a string puppet before graduating to a hand puppet where he eventually became a seaside attraction. We were advised that slapstick is named after the stick Mr Punch used to hit the other puppets with and a “swazzle” was a small metal devise held in the puppeteer’s mouth to make the loud pitched noise Mr Punch made. Audience participation was encouraged with one of our members playing a penny whistle and a small hand drum before going around the room as “The Bottler” – someone who collects money in a bottle. Members gave generously and the contributions were to be given to a charity supported by our Speaker. The Vote of Thanks was given by Jean Bayliss.

Supper was served although people were slow to get their food as everyone was busy discussing the evening which was a great success. The competition “A Finger Puppet” was won by June Lloyd with a crocheted lady who had a bad hair day – it had taken her fifteen minutes to make.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday, July 11, 7pm. for 7.30pm. when our speaker, Alan Roger will give a talk entitled “A Policeman’s Lot. For further information contact June Lloyd on 01386 830844. See also