Having welcomed members and our speaker, Alan Thornton, to our March meeting we were invited to join in the signing of Jerusalem. The minutes of last month’s meeting were read and signed and then President June Lloyd reminded us that we are holding two fund raising events in the near future; a Craft Morning at Littletons Village Hall on 16th May to include box making, marzipan fruit making, patchwork, hand tied posy, cake decorating and egg decorating; and what has now become an annual event with June and Jean opening their gardens for an afternoon on 5th June. June also advised us that the Schedule for the Annual Council Meeting competition in October is now to hand if anyone would like to enter. She referred to last month’s meeting when we had the opportunity to see many of the items made over the years by members and now stored in our Federations Archives. This had been extremely popular and some members are to contribute some of their own items again many made thirty or forty years ago. Outings and events itemised on various clipboards on the stage were discussed including an invitation from Toddington WI with whom we formed a friendship just over twenty years ago and have continued to meet nearly every year since.

Our speaker for the evening, Alan Thornton, was then introduced. His talk was on “A Day in the Life of a Seaside Hotelier” although he covered a lot more time than just one day. He told us of his experiences of growing up living next to a power station and visiting Weymouth in Dorset for a holiday which decided him that running a Bed and Breakfast establishment was so easy that this was the life for him. He set about selling his home for which he found a buyer within days and then looking for a property on the south coast. There were obviously many pitfalls along the way to establishing his own business but with the help of the local publican and tradespeople (some on whom turned out to be a bit suspect) he managed to update a local B&B to his satisfaction. He eventually decided he would like to try to run a business on a more regular basis i.e. one or two week lets to coach parties and he was lucky enough to find one looking for new owners not far away when he set about setting it up to his liking. Along the way he described the hiccups he had to deal with such as power cut, flooding and leaking roofs but he overcame every eventuality (including retiring before his wife which he decided was not a good idea – even more work for him - before finally retiring back to the Midlands where unfortunately more of his old friends had either passed away or moved on and this came as a bit of a shock. It was a very good evening – pure entertainment – and I feel enjoyed by all. Our competition was won by Pauline with a collection of items from her holiday in Jersey.

The date of our next meeting is Tuesday, April 10 at 7.30pm at Littletons Village Hall when Andy Pedrick with talk to us on Propagating from Cuttings. The Competition is a flower from your garden. Guests and new members are welcome. For further information including fund raising events contact June Lloyd on 01386 830844 or view our website on www.littletonswi.moonfruit.com