The June meeting in the Village Hall began with a talk about the 'Herring Girls' by Chris Unsworth who gave a detailed history of the east coast herring industry which ended in the 1950s. The girls would be employed for the season and follow the herring fleets from the Hebridean Islands to Yarmouth. Working on the quayside in all weathers, the girls had a tough life, working conditions were primitive and the long hours gruelling. Working in teams of three the girls would gut and pack the herring into barrels of salt for the export market to eastern Europe. The pay was by the barrel so they worked speedily, two girls gutting and one packing. At the end of the season they returned to remote coastal villages in Scotland after some retail therapy in Yarmouth.
After tea there was a report from our local delegate to the Annual WI Meeting held at the Albert Hall. Pauline Chamberlain, of Attleborough WI, outlined the events including the attendance of the Queen, Princess Anne and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
Three of the Old Buckenham members had attended the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and gave a brief report of this most memorable 'once in a lifetime’ event.
Old Buckenham’s own WI Garden Party, held in a member’s garden and with delicate sandwiches and homemade cakes, was also a great success and raised welcome income for funds.