Saturday, 25 October 2008

Fighting talk at WI

Women’s Institute
The October meeting had an historical theme provided by the speaker, Mike Wabe. He arrived with theatrical costume baskets in tow and then retired to change. He returned dressed in a long black woollen robe with a red cross. Mike had travelled back through time and emerged as a twelfth century sergeant templar, a fighting monk.
He regaled members with tales of his life including an explanation of the terrible scars on his body (too terrible to show) gained during battle in the Crusades. Mike came with his full body armour which included a padded stab jacket, chain mail and helmets. The audience were invited to lift the armour, which was surprisingly heavy, and everyone concluded that movement on the battlefield would have been extremely difficult.
Along with the armour came the weapons. Shields, spears, swords and the infamous long bow with its deadly arrows were also on display. The speaker explained their development, their manufacture and how armies were raised at the time.
Alongside tales of war and weaponry Mike explained what mediaeval life in England was like for the peasantry and the huge role the Church played at that time. He was then thanked for his amusing and informative talk by Doris Monkhouse.
During the tea break everyone enjoyed a 21st century birthday celebration for Old Buckenham WI, now 41 years old, with a glass of sherry and a slice of decorated cake (specially made for the occasion by one of the members).
Members were reminded of future events – a visit to Thursford to see the Christmas Show, a trip to the Theatre Royal to see West Side Story and a Christmas lunch in December. As next month’s meeting is the AGM, nominations were taken during the evening for the Committee for 2009. The November meeting will be on Thursday 27 November and the competition is for a decorated branch for Christmas.

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