The History of Hackney & De Beauvoir Town

We have a packed meeting coming up on 1st February. We are very excited to be welcoming Hackney Archives who will be giving an illustrated talk about the history of Hackney and De Beauvoir town, using some of the many books, documents, maps and photographs they hold at the Archives. We will learn about the grand plans for the area by William Rhodes and also how we might access the archives to follow our own interests in the history of our borough.

It’s resolution voting time so we will be voting on which of the resolutions put forward for 2019 we want to see adopted by the National Federation. Information about the resolutions is on pages 24 – 26 of the most recent issue of WI Life along with the voting form to cut out and bring which is on page 27. The resolutions are also on here on the website under the campaigns page.

If you didn’t make the January meeting, it’s time to renew your WI membership, subscription for the year is £41 which gives you access to all our monthly meetings and subgroups such as the book group, knitting group, walking group and all other De Beauvoir WI activities like our jam and preserving workshops and trips.

And we start our collections for Solace Women’s Aid in February with donations of pillow cases. These need to be new and will be given to the women as they leave the refuge to establish themselves in their new homes.

 

 

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What’s it worth?

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 debeauvoirwi@gmail.com 

 

 

 

 

Decorate A Christmas Cake

 

 

 

 

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 …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wise Birds Quiz Night

What a great night of general knowledge quizzing at our Wise Bird’s Quiz Night. Congratulations to the winning team the Purple Pansies who shot through in the last round and proved themselves to be the wisest birds in the room. We also put our heads together on the upcoming Plastic Soup resolution and came up with some great ideas for taking the campaign forward into next year.

Thanks to all the fabulous bakers who provided a feast of goodies and a huge thanks to Nichola and Victoria for all their hard work putting the quiz together. Who knew tube station emoji’s could be so elusive.

The Working Artist

At our October meeting we enjoyed a fascinating talk by David Buckman on the work of the East London Group – a group of artists who developed from an art club at the Bethnal Green Men’s Institute and who achieved critical acclaim in the early half of the 20th century.  Their drawings and paintings show buildings, streets and ways of life that no longer exist.

There are 2 exhibitions currently taking place showing various works from the East London Group
At the Nunnery gallery in Bow until 17th December, and at Southampton City Art Gallery until early January 2018.

Gin and Vice in Georgian London

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

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