What a week! Royalty, Newsnight and Albert Hall!

If you missed it last night De Beauvoir WI were featured on Newsnight’s piece about the WI Centenary celebrations and the AGM today at the Albert Hall. There are short interviews with Amanda, Victoria and Susan and lots of clips of our members enjoying Monday’s private tour of De Beauvoir Gardens (see below). Catch it here (towards the end): http://bbc.in/1FvGj5v

On an overcast evening on the first day of June, 17 of us assembled outside a house in De Beauvoir to start what was to turn out to be an enchanting couple of hours. The National Open Gardens Scheme who raises money for various charities, while showcasing some of the best gardens in the area had invited us to an exclusive preview of their amazing creations. We visited 4 gardens, all of which where breathtaking and all unique, we where able to met the owners, get ideas and inspiration, chat and enjoy the various spaces. We spent time in the last garden, wandering around or relaxing under the pergola with a glass of wine and nibbles, wonderfully organised by Nancy, the owner of the garden. We also had a BBC camera crew in tow but that’s another story. By Jacqui James.

I had my gold edged invitation & posh frock. Together with Jamila from Shoreditch Sisters I set off to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
All the approach roads were thronged with excited women, hanging onto their hats & fascinators in the wind all heading for the queues snaking round the palace.
We  crossed the front court yard, through that famous archway & into the palace. The sun shone as we came out onto the steps leading down to the gardens. All you could see were WI women – 8000 of us. All shapes & sizes, floral, patterns & plains. We drank tea & ate dainty cucumber sandwiches & of course chatted to other lovely friendly WI women from all over the country. Jamila & I teamed up with Alison from up North! Two military bands played. The Royal party arrived, flanked by Yeoman of the Guard. The Duchess of Cornwall & Countess of Wessex chatted as they walked through the crowd to the Royal tea tent.
What went on in that tent remained a mystery as there was no public address system. Us commoners wandered around outside, enjoying the vast gardens, the food & the chat. We bumped into our neighbours from Gothic Valley & N1. I’m not ashamed to say I networked & picked up a couple of speaker recommendations for future meetings.
After the royal party departed we all filled out through the main Buckingham palace gates, past the waiting lines of Japanese tourists snapping away.
It was a real experience & privilege to be part of this WI centenary event. I felt a warm glow of sisterhood. By Amanda Lovegrove.

Is all about felting and a great opportunity to get some more squares made for our banner. DBWI member Leslie is at the Albert Hall celebrations today and is voting on our behalf. Lets give her a big thank you tonight! Guests welcome – £5.

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