Parkham WI is a thriving and diverse group of around 43 members ranging in age from late 20s to over 90. Part of the Devon Federation of WIs, the rich and varied programme of speakers and events at Parkham provides a broad range of subjects to interest all. It’s an inclusive, friendly and sociable group and there is so much friendship and support for each other demonstrated whenever we meet. Plenty of opportunities to chat over tea and coffee with homemade cake and biscuits – always a lively and enjoyable time and there is an annual lunch where partners are also included.
Some notable meetings in recent times have included a highly interactive talk by Exmoor Zoo (all sorts of creatures came to visit!); croquet and cream tea at Tapely Park; an Indian cookery demonstration and tasting; a talk about the work of the North Devon Air Ambulance; an insight into the work of the wonderful ChemoHero charity with a bring and buy sale afterwards to support the charity; walking tours of Bideford learning about the fascinating history of our town… there have been too many special evenings to list them all, but the forthcoming programme is looking great too.
The weekly programme of ‘Walk and Talk’ caters for all abilities, with interesting local walks ranging from short and level so that walkers can turn back when they’ve had enough to day-long walks on Dartmoor and Exmoor for those with a bit more energy to burn! A fortnightly gathering of singers has proved most popular with regular requests for small performances locally. We have such fun singing together, laughing, drinking tea and chatting – we all agree that we leave feeling uplifted and happier. The monthly Craft Group meetings are very well-attended and open to non-WI members too. Many different crafts can be learned or practiced; the current programme can be found on the Craft Group page below (coming soon!).
It was difficult to call the meeting to order with everyone chatting about their exploits over the festive season, but once we were focused, everyone so enjoyed learning about Tai Chi. Not only did our speaker, Judy, give us some background and history to the ancient art, but she also led us in a shortened session of exercises and meditation. We could certainly see why so many people benefit so greatly from regular practice of Tai Chi, with the stretching, twisting and bending giving the body a good work out, and the meditative aspects also relaxing and energising the mind. Some ladies already attend the regular classes at Parkham or Woolsery, and I think it likely that more will join following our most enjoyable session – thank you Judy!
For our February meeting, our speaker will talk to us about the important subject of ‘Plastic Free Torridge’, certainly a goal we would all be delighted to work towards. The competition will be chocolate brownies, so we’ll all be looking forward to a February chocolate fix! We’ll meet as usual in the Allardice Hall at 7.30pm on the second Thursday of the month, in this case the 13th.
Craft Group in February is on Monday 17th, and the craft will be the making of a stitched and embroidered house, sounds so pretty. Walking Group is every Thursday afternoon, and for details of that and all things WI, please call Steph on 451272.