What a fabulous start to the year as we welcomed Nicola Whittaker from Fellows Auctioneers. Fellows is a family run firm and Nicola is a sixth generation member of her family to join the business and she began working in the auction house aged 16 in her school holidays. Fellows are based in Birmingham but have an office in Mayfair, London where Nicola now works. Specialising in jewellery and watches, she explained that unlike many other auction houses, they do not put a lower price limit on items they auction. Passionate and informative she took us through a whistlestop tour of the history of jewellery, how changes in society emerged in changing aesthetics, and how things changed further as exploration, excavation and gem cutting equipment developed. She was so generous with her time and her knowledge and spent a further hour with us looking at the treasures members had brought in and giving us information on origin , history and potential value. She also mentioned that that Fellows have open afternoons where anyone can go and peruse the items up for auction so we are thinking we may plan a trip there. If you are interested in coming along email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
From pretty in pink through the night before Christmas and all manner of festive fondant foliage inbetween, we rolled, crimped and decorated a whole host of Christmas cakes at our December meeting. Icing sugar flying while we indulged in a seasonal glass of wine and munched on mince pies, a wonderful array of completely individual cakes exited the building at the end of the night.
A huge thanks goes to our talented member, Lynn Brooks for guiding us through the art of working with fondant. Here are some pictures of just a handful of the creative concoctions that emerged throughout the meeting plus a lovely picture of Lynn showing us the ropes.
An additional thanks to all from our membership and our community who donated gift sets for the women at Solace Women’s Aid refuge – see above for just a portion of all the gifts that were delivered to Solace …
Debauchery in De Beauvoir? For our September meeting we enjoyed a hugely entertaining and informative talk from Eleanor Bloom about Georgian London and the culture of gin houses and the darker side of the East End. How the madness associated with gin was due to a blight on the grain and why they really wore those stupendous wigs. We also enjoyed some delicious gin cocktails and a lemon and cucumber cake with gin icing.
Plus Jessie from Solace Women’s Aid told us more about the work they do with women and children fleeing domestic violence and explained how our monthly donations are used in the welcome packs they give every family arriving at the refuges they run across London
We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at our Summer Social in August where we will meet in the Scolt Head instead of the Crypt. Come and find us in the back room from 7:30pm onwards.
A few photos from our last meeting making pretty posies to give to someone as an act of kindness.
For those who missed it see step-by-step guide here https://www.thewi.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/191204/Lonely-Bouquet-Step-by-Step-Guide.pdf
After meeting our Chair at the Party in the Park 2015, MP for Hackney South & Shoreditch Meg Hillier came to talk at one of our meetings about what its like to be an MP and a woman in parliament. More recently a few of us met her again on a tour of the Houses of Parliament. It was such a privilege to meet her there one evening and see what goes on behind the scenes in the beautiful Palace of Westminster.
To say thank you we took some of our Made in De Beauvoir goodies to Meg’s surgery for her to share with her staff:
We had great fun at the March meeting welcoming performer and teacher Yvette Cowles and hearing her inspirational story. We were pleased to welcome lots of new guests with a few of them signing up as members for the year!