Business items and correspondence included looking for ideas for an outing; volunteers for cakes and helpers at Cropthorne Walkabout (May 6 and 7); Newspaper article regarding WI funding; making a Christmas bauble for the tree in Worcester Cathedral; visits to Kew Gardens 19 July; Lunch and speaker 25 June (Dr Peter Nardone Music Director at Worcester Cathedral) and most important Annual Meeting 1 May.

Our visitors for the evening were Mike and Pat Ledbury, Morning Dew, with their Tunes of the British Isles, though we did venture further afield. Mike playing his melodeon accompanied by Pat on a drum made to the specifications of a Napoleonic battle drum began with a Cotswold piece, followed by a processional item from Derbyshire with strains reminiscent of The Floral Dance from Cornwall. Mike explained folk music traditions, nothing was originally written down so there were interpretations and of course music travelled through the counties and countries. We continued from Cornwall to Staffordshire then a piece developed in Victorian times which involved audience participation. Mike then explained the workings of the melodeon with his poker melodeon, a smaller instrument, often used to accompany Morris, clog dancing and sword/rapper sides. A medley of tunes followed and we tried to pick out separate melodies. Mike’s explanations of the origins of tunes are fascinating and we moved next to America, the origins of the word ‘gringo’, then to Australia and how tunes were taken there by the convicts and others transported to the colonies. Of course you can’t go to Australia without mention of Banjo Paterson and the words for Waltzing Matilda the tune was The Craigielee March. We all know the song as and unofficial Aussie anthem but it does have a fascinating history. Back to the British Isles and the larger melodeon, a Corona for our last four pieces ending with a hornpipe. Real lively folk music narrated by an outstanding musician with a wide knowledge of his craft. Super night.

Next meeting Tuesday, 1 May, Annual Meeting with an unwanted gift stall, book stall and a quiz. Cropthorne and Charlton Village Hall 7.30pm

The June Meeting will be a garden visit to Columbary House, Kennel Bank, Cropthorne at 6.30pm Tuesday 12 June.