November Meeting

 

What a great November meeting as we all got shimmying and shaking our  hips with Egyptian dance teacher, Carmen Creary who introduced to Raqs Sharqi.  It was an excellent workout and really good fun. Carmen kindly brought along some of her wonderful performance scarfs for us to use which helped us all shimmy our way around the Crypt.  If anyone is interested in doing more we will be getting some information about the local classes Carmen runs and posting this on our social media pages.

 

 

 

 

Raqs Sharqi literally means “Dance of the Orient”. The origins of the dance are uncertain but are known to be very ancient. It was not until during the 19th century when travelling artists and writers started to visit the Middle East that it was discovered by the rest of the world.

Raqs Sharqi is an art form enjoyed by young and old alike and an integral part of the Middle Eastern culture. In Egypt, no marriage or celebration would be complete without a Raqs Sharqi performance. Almost all Egyptian women can dance, having learnt as children, not in dance classes but at home and at family gatherings.

 

Plus tea and cake was enjoyed along with the odd glass of wine.

We collected our usual donations for the women and children staying at Solace Women’s Aid refuges. Any toiletries, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste etc and also thinking about this years Christmas donations for Solace. 752 women and children were helped by a place in one of their refuges last year .

 

Dates For the Diary

November 23rd and 24th Following the hugely informative and enjoyable history walks last month around Canonbury and Islington, led by our very own expert Lesley, we are really excited  to announce that she has been busy planning a follow up of a ‘watery’ walk around Angel. Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th, there will be two time slots on each day to choose from. £5 charge per person. Sign up sheets at the next meeting.
November 30th is the De Beauvoir Association’s Christmas Fair, we have a stall and have been busy making jams and preserves but are really in need of some Christmas Crafting ideas, if you would like to get involved in some Christmas crafting, or have some ideas for gifts we might make, either individually or as a group do let in touch at the usual address. We will also be looking for volunteers to help run the stall on the day. It has always been a great success for us in the past and enables us to continue getting in great speakers, donating to charity and most importantly having fun crafting together.

What we have been up to…
October 22nd Book group met to discuss Jonathan Coe’s Middle England for a lively evening of literary chat.

October 23rd We had a thrilling (and chilling) trip to Sutton House for a Ghost And Prosecco Tour. For those of you who are not familiar with Sutton House, it is the oldest domestic residence in Hackney and is also alleged to be haunted, with, among others – ghostly Lurchers; a small child running away from the angry next door neighbour and a mother who died in childbirth desperately seeking to be reunited with her twins.. Not to mention the ethereal piano playing from behind closed doors….

October Meeting

We certain got crafty at October’s meeting when we learnt all about the art of macramé and made some very impressive pot holders and all had a huge amount of fun knotting and twisting. Macramé is a form of textile produced using knotting (rather than weaving or knitting) techniques. We learnt some basic knots and how to put them together to create a holder. A huge thanks to Lilly for coming along and teaching us all. And thanks to our technical members who got the live feed going so we could all see what we were meant to be doing!

Plus tea and cake, of course.
We are continuing to collect toiletries for Solace Women’s Aid – so bring any shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste etc for the collection. If you have any miniature bottles left over from holiday then do bring these along as they are incredibly useful for those women who are currently homeless having fled violent relationships. They all go into a basket at Solace HQ where women arriving for appointments can grab what they need to take away.

 

 

Coming up…

September 28th: It’s the end of our BST Walking Group and as ever we will be taking one final long walk this year. This year we are going to go to Rickmansworth, and will be walking about the gravel pits and along the River Colne and a canal. It was Irene’s idea and it is one of her wild swimming walks. There are no plans to swim. If you would like to see some of the treats in store our valiant walking group leaders, Nichola and Debby did a dry run and have posted some beautiful pictures on our Facebook page. We will be leaving together from Moorgate station but do email us if you would like to join us and are not on the list.

October 22nd Book group will be meeting to discuss Jonathan Coe’s Middle England. 8pm at the De Beauvoir Arms but you do need to have read the book.

October 23rd We have a planned outing to Sutton House for a Ghost And Prosecco Tour. For those of you who are not familiar with Sutton House, it is the oldest domestic residence in Hackney and is also alleged to be haunted. The cost for the tour is £12 and we will be taking names and cash at the October meeting so if you would like to join us bring the necessary cash. If you can’t attend October’s meeting and would like to come along then email us at the usual address.

 

And finally…. thanks to all who helped out, baked and made jam for the Flower & Produce show this month. We sold a staggering 187 jars of jam – who knew De Beauvoir could eat that much jam. And our Blackcurrant Jam won first prize in the hotly contested Jam category in the show itself. We won the group prize for Domestic Delights as our chutney and pickles were also marked first prize. Congratulations as well to all our individual members who won in the competition.

 

September Meeting

October’s meeting and it’s all about Macramé…..

Rachel Kolsky, author of among others, Women’s London, joined us at our September meeting to talk about the many and varied stories behind the Votes For Women campaign including the contributions of many local Hackney women.

Before embarking on a highly successful career as a Guide And Lecturer, Rachel worked in the financial services industry for 25 years. A degree in Politics and Modern History and love of research, particularly social history, led her to train as a guide, firstly as a City of London Guide, then as a Clerkenwell & Islington Guide and in 2004 Rachel gained the Blue Badge for London. In 2005, together with a colleague she launched Go East London to encourage people to venture east of the City . Now known as Go London Rachel leads tours all over London and beyond focusing on the ‘human stories’ behind the buildings.

Rachel gave us all an incredibly informative and interesting talk covering the many groups that were influential in the campaign for the vote, from the suffragettes, to suffragists, those who refused to pay their tax as a protest and many more. It was a great meeting, thank you Rachel.

“Rachel Kolsky’s Women’s London is a literary lap of honour for the female pioneers who fought gender prejudice to leave their mark on the capital.” Ham & High, 8th February 2018

 

This month’s collection for Solace Women’s Aid will be general toiletries, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, shower wash, sanitary towels etc

 

Dates for your Diary
19th August – knitting group is meeting, if you would like to join us email us at the usual address. If you want to learn how to knit, do come along. We are continuing to add to the plastic pollution yarn bomb which will be out and about in September

20th August – book group will be discussing A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles in the De Beauvoir Arms at 8pm

30th August – BST walking group will be striding out along the canal to Limehouse, and then onto Canary Wharf, catching the Thames Clipper back to London Bridge or Tower Bridge. £6.50 on the Oyster. Meeting at seven o’clock at the Crown, Grove Road, which is on the 277 route.

There are also two history walks taking place this month, on the evening of the 20th and on Sunday 25th August. Led by our very own expert, Lesley, who is a qualified member of the Clerkenwell and Islington Guides Association. She will be guiding us around Canonbury and Central Islington. Highlights: Highbury Corner to Islington Green, winding either side of Upper Street and exploring a 16C manor house, a 17C water course, theatres, two churches, agriculture, pretty Georgian terraces and squares, an art gallery, a few romances and more…. If you have signed up for this you should have already received a confirmation email. If you are interested in this, and haven’t signed up do email us – there may be spaces. There is a £5 charge per person for this walk payable in advance

SAVE THE DATES
11th SEPTEMBER
Stone Rangers are hosting the Middlesex Federation East London WI group meeting and we are all invited to a 50s themed evening of rock ‘n’ roll and jive. There will be a dance class (tailored to all abilities), 50s themed food and other 50s themed activities. This will take place from 7.30pm in the private function room at The Plough & Harrow Pub, 419 High Road, Leytonstone, E11 4JU. We have a sign up sheet if people would like to go along together – 50s dress optional. It’s a quick bus ride from Stratford Station.

15th SEPTEMBER
De Beauvoir Gardeners Flower & Produce Show is on 15th September, we will be running a WI stall at this event selling jams and preserves plus cakes and bakes. The infamous De Beauvoir Dog Show will no doubt be the highlight of the day, but check out the competition categories if you fancy baking, or crafting and entering the competition, you can find information about all the categories here. We are looking for bakers and also people willing to help out on the stall during the afternoon – do get in touch if you fancy either or both at the usual email address

28th SEPTEMBER
As ever we end our summer walking group with a day trip, this year we are heading out to Enfield and a circular walk around the countryside taking in gravel pits, wild water swimming spaces and more…

 

 

 

October Meeting

Next meeting on November 1st is line dancing

 

 

Hackney: Portrait Of A Community 1967 – 2017

We had a wonderfully information meeting with Laurie Elks from the Hackney Society. Some of us were fortunate to meet Laurie when he gave us a guided tour of St Augustine’s Tower last month and in October he joined us to discuss Hackney: Portrait Of A Community 1967 – 2017 the book The Hackney Society published last year to commemorate the 50 extraordinary years of Hackney’s recent history since the society was established back in 1967.  With 50 separate chapters from 50 different authors, the book catalogues the changing face of our borough, from ‘murder mile’ and gang violence to the rebirth of Woodberry Down and Broadway Market, from the closing of Clapton Dog track to the opening of Chats Palace, maternity services, regeneration,  the Arcola, the An Viet Foundation, Rock Against Racism and much, much more .

 

“Of all the outskirts of London, the borough of Hackney is to me, the most interesting, and the least considered”

Sir John Betjeman 1979

 

Plus a chance to catch up with old friends, make new ones and drink tea and eat cake.

 

Dates for your diary

Saturday 29th September will be our last walking group this year.  Following on from our trip to Eastbourne and our day walking from Birling Gap to Beachy Head (with a lovely pub lunch together) last year, we will be taking a trip out of London for a day long amble in the Essex countryside.  Full details will be on the website but initial meeting point will be Fenchurch Street Station.

Monday 15th October – knitting group venue tbc

Tuesday 23rd October – book group will be meeting at Bavo to discuss Jagua Nana by Cyprion Ekwensi

Monday 22nd October is the big group meeting which this year is hosted by N1 Women’s Institute. The venue is St James Hall on Packington Street, N1, 7 – 9pm.  It looks to be a very interesting meeting as Dr Hollie Price will be showing some Ministry Of Information films that were originally screened for WI groups during WWII plus a great chance to meet with other WI members from North and East London. We will be sending out more information on this in due course.

 

 

 

 

Pick Of The Crop

September meeting

As the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness descended upon us, we had a fascinating September meeting as Sarah Calcutt, Operations Director of English Apples And Pears joined us to talk about farming and marketing the glorious apple and pear produce produced in the  UK. We learnt about the astonishing advances in fruit farming over the past years, how a new variety of apple comes into being, and even got a sneak preview of three new apple varieties that are in progress, one of which might well be finding its way onto our supermarket shelves in 7 or 8 years time.  She was a hugely informative speaker, passionate about her subject and we had some interesting debates about packaging (without current packaging around 40% of produce would end up being wasted through bruising etc although there are major developments around decreasing use of plastic that are ongoing) and the use of specialised equipment to analyse the soil in order to target fertilizer use more economically and ecologically.

 

 

 

 

Summer social

It was lovely to see a lot of new faces and old friends at our August get together at the Scolt Head.  It was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to catch up with members.

 

Forthcoming dates for your diaries…

Knitting group – 20th August – this will also take place at the Scolt Head – do come along if you would like to learn to knit or hone existing skills

We have a trip up St Augustine’s Tower on 5th September

Our next stint at the community café in The Crypt is on Friday 7th September, if you would like to help out or fancy cooking something do email in.  The community café offers a low cost hot meal between 12 and 2.30pm. All profits currently go to the Hackney Playbus scheme.  It’s a chance for local people to meet up and enjoy some home cooked food with friends in a lovely atmosphere.

all details of the groups and events are on the relevant pages on the website

We also have some jam making workshops scheduled over the next month – email in if you would like to join us

We will be running a Domestic Delights stall at the De Beauvoir Gardeners Flower & Produce show on September 16th outside St Peter’s Church on Northchurch Terrace selling jams and preserves and cakes and bakes. If you would like to bake something or make something or help out do let us know at the usual email address.

If you are interested in entering the various categories of the competition you can find all the details here

 

 

Throwing Pots

We had a fantastic hands on craft meeting in July when De Beauvoir artist, Marie Claire Porter  brought her potter’s wheel to our meeting.  Marie Claire began making ceramics in 2014.  Trained as a medical doctor and working in the field of neurology, she is drawn to making pieces that not only have form, but function, fulfilling the need to create something that was both practical and artistic.  She talked about her journey from neurology to potters wheel and demonstrated the art of throwing a pot.  A number of very brave members got to experiment with throwing their own pots and we all took up the opportunity to make a coil pot. Marie Claire kindly offered to fire our pots and we clearly have a number of budding potters amongst our members looking at the array of items to be taken away to the oven.