Looking back at the Summer Activities of the Littleport W.I.

Despite all the heat, roadworks and holidays, our activities have all gone ahead as planned.

Towards the end of April, our members visited the Mushroom Farm at Little Ouse. After being suitably gowned in white protective overalls and hats, we were taken on a guided tour of the factory, through the stages of growth, to the end product in a container that was ready for sale. It was explained how the spores are kept at different temperatures and lighting to obtain maximum output. Vast staging of them were kept in sections through the factory ending with the packing and sorting and distribution records.

We never realised how interesting a mushroom could be!

In May, a group of members visited the Houses of Parliament going on a guided tour of the departments and enjoying a lunch in the café. All part of our celebrating 100 years of Votes for Women.

The May meeting welcomed our speaker E. Johnson and other members from Soham Heritage & Tourism about the English Civil War. She demonstrated how they were dressed, displaying all types of clothing through the times and also what remedies and herbal medicines they used to help illness and recovery.

Later in May some members had a trip to ‘Behind the scenes at Thursford’ showing how they get ready for their Christmas performances and the work involved. This was followed by a visit to Langham Glass to see the work of the glass blowers and watch how they melted and formed their products. This was organised by the Isle of Ely Group.

Our June meeting held in the tennis season was very appropriate as M.Goodman came to show us how she strung the rackets for all the top players, not just at Wimbledon but all over the world where the famous players were competing. We were given the chance to use her equipment and try for ourselves to thread and tighten the strings.

Hard on the fingers to keep a grip, one racket was enough.

In July we persuaded the popular local Ely farmer John Bedford, to come and tell us his life of running a busy agricultural farm that has been in his family for many years. Now semi-retired, he enjoys helping out with many tasks and showed us relics and artefacts he had found on the land over the years including stone age axes, flints and old coins.

We also were invited to Ely Northwold WI meeting to hear their speaker Jason Middleton talk about ‘Pearls and their origins’. He showed us many different types of beautiful necklaces and shells explaining how they formed and were collected.

A busy summer, interesting and educational.

Autumn is now here.

In October, we have Malcolm Burby talking about ‘Cambridge Folk Tales’ and our AGM is in November.

If you’re interested, please contact our President, Pat Ollive: 01353 854830 or our Secretary Linda Whytock: 01353 863761.

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