‘How did he do that?’

Douglas Maddy astounded MHWI members with his magic tricks at the annual meeting last night leaving them saying, ‘ How did he do that?’

Whether it was swallowing a balloon, or cutting or joining lengths of rope, we couldn’t work how it was done.  Douglas did explain one trick though when Patsy Tracey helped him with his toilet paper trick.  Apparently it all depends on getting someone to focus on one thing, taking their attention away from what is actually happening elsewhere around them.

While this was taking place, members shared nibbles and drinks with others on their tables.  Well done, Douglas: a fun end to an eventful annual meeting.

Magician, Douglas Maddy swallowing a balloon

Magician, Douglas Maddy swallowing a balloon

Carmen Wilson assists Douglas with his toilet paper trick

Carmen Wilson assists Douglas with his toilet paper trick

 

Thank you Clare, welcome Vicky

Another memorable annual meeting, celebrating MHWI’s fifth, successful year.  Clare reminded us of everything we achieved since September 2015, Treasurer, Val, bringing us up to date with our financial position.  Clare thanked all Committee members for their support, especially so to Patsy Tracey who has been our Membership Secretary since MHWI was set up.

Clare has been a brilliant President, leading us in her own inimitable way before she reluctantly stepped down last night.  It all became a little eleventh hourish with no one stepping up.  However, we are delighted to welcome Vicky Watts on board as our new President.

Clare Farquhar, outgoing President, receiving flowers from Carmen Wilson, Secretarial Support and Vice President

Clare Farquhar, outgoing President, receiving flowers from Carmen Wilson, Secretarial Support and Vice President

Patsy Tracey, outoing Membership Secretary for the past 5 years, with her thank you flowers

Patsy Tracey, outoing Membership Secretary for the past 5 years, with her thank you flowers

Vicky Watts, incoming President

Vicky Watts (centre), incoming President

Happy 4th birthday MHWI!

Packed hall for our 4th Annual Meeting

Packed hall for our 4th Annual Meeting

We celebrated our 4th birthday yesterday at our Annual Meeting.  A full hall, a homemade raffle, Dutch supper and Beetle Drive, all created a happy, fun evening; people just having a good time.

Clare Farquhar, set the scene, describing her ‘incredible year’ as President.  Her vision

for members of ‘unlocking doors and achieving our full potential’ has certainly been achieved with amazing results: the diverse range of visiting speakers at monthly meetings, a craft evening arranged at  a moment’s notice when the speaker

Clare Farquhar, President and the Delicious Dutch Supper

Clare Farquhar, President and the Delicious Dutch Supper

pulled out on the day, local and national social events (notably 2 wine and gin distillery visits (!?) and the WI Centenary AGM in London), our first ever float winning the Market Harborough Carnival (thanks again to Gemma for her design input),Tea and Tents (yellow bricks knitted by members will shortly be part of a travelling display in Cambridge and then archived for all times sake), hearing Frances Quinn speak about the background to winning ‘Bake Off,’ and the county wide acclaim for the touring ‘Raising Agents’ show that performed for us (thanks to Fiona Thompson for organising this event).

 

Laura and Vicky - designers of our Top Tips booklet

Laura and Vicky – designers of our Top Tips booklet

Big thanks went to Laura and Vicky for their help in organising and designing our Centenary Top Tips booklet as part of our Centenary celebrations.  Similarly, thanks to outgoing Committee members Fiona Thompson, Lynda Meadows, Claire Salisbury and Chela Grainge for all their help.  Welcome to Isabel Aldrich and Yvonne Conroy who are stepping up.

 

Some of the homemade raffle prizes

Some of the homemade raffle prizes

Enjoying the Beetle Drive

Enjoying the Beetle Drive

Reminders for Wednesday’s monthly meeting

It’s the Annual Meeting at 7.30 pm in the Congregational Church, Bowden Lane.  There’ll also be some games and don’t forget to bring some nibbles to share for our Dutch supper.  Bring a bottle and glasses if you want to share a drink.

Homemade raffle – remember to bring something you have made (or someone else has).  Everyone will get a prize this month!

Frances Quinn’s fascinating story of the Bake Off

Frances Quinn t (4)-w500-h500Frances Quinn, Market Harborough’s 2013 Bake Off winner, gave WI members a fascinating insight into how she took up baking through to being selected for and taking part in the Bake Off.

It took a year to get from completing the entry (colleagues at Joules kept leaving entry forms on her desk) to becoming overall winner.   The selection process included phone interviews, 2 trips to London, one carrying sample cakes on the train, cooking for Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry and screenshot before getting that long awaited phone call.

Frances humorously took us through the weekly filming process.  Again, very demanding, travelling to Bristol each Friday night and being in the Bake Off tent for filming for up to 12 hours a day.  Then back to a full time job and fitting in practice baking each evening.  Her weekly fridge was often full of 2 kg of butter and cream for ganache!

Frances concluded her talk by demonstrating orange blossom almond paste, using thisFrances Quinn t (3)-w500-h500 to make decorated mice (see picture opposite).

Her book Quinntessential Cooking is being published in late August 2015.

Frances’ talk was part of the Welland WI Group annual meeting, ably organised this year by Great Bowden WI.  Well done, too, to the Great Bowden WI choir who entertained us with several songs.

Frances Quinn t (2)-w500-h500

Pages from Frances’ sketch book that she used to plan her bakes for the Bake Off

 

Diary date Saturday 7 March 2015

How about going along to the Leicestershire and Rutland Federation of WI’s Annual Meeting at the Grammar School, Great Glen?  Speakers include Angela Rippon, reported to be ‘excellent’.  Tickets £10 and opportunities for lift sharing.

Market Harborough WI member Vicky (not committee member Vicky) is entering the cooking competition.  Gemma Underwood’s embroidered Centenary brick will also be on display.  There will be activities, too, for visitors to join in.  Contact a Committee Member at the February meeting to buy your ticket.