A member of the Littleport Women’s Institute writes:
We do sing the beautiful hymn Jerusalem, but make jam? No, I have not made jam in all the time I have been a member which is over 10 years.
Apart from our speakers, demonstrators, entertainment etc which we enjoy at our monthly meetings; we receive invitations to other Institutes. We make frequent visits to place of interest, or outings simply for entertainment, and often invite guests to come along with us.
One such visit was in September. We went to Turners of Soham accompanied by some guests, male and female. What a brilliant evening and a real eye opener for many of us, as many thought – as I had, that this company had a fleet of lorries that delivered all over the UK, and that was it. So we were surprised at the enormous scale of the site and the activity going on.
We were greeted by Stephen who was so friendly and accommodating. Once health and safety were out of the way and our high vis vest put on, hands washed etc., we were taken to the packing room where we saw personnel attending huge machines packing fruit. The large majority of this was destined for Tesco branches.
Grapes that had been picked 3 days previously, shipped across from Spain, collected from the port by a Turners lorry, were being inspected for quality etc., sealed, taken to the huge storage areas, before being loaded and delivered all within 2 days, meaning the fruit was on sale 5 days from vine to plate.
In another part of the packing room we saw citrus fruit being inspected, netted and packed ready for delivery. This fruit came from far and wide.
The warehouses were a real surprise, the height of the stacks really surprised most of us. I have never seen such tall stacks of produce or goods.
A visit to the freezer room was very chilly, so much so that staff work in there for just 20 minutes at a time, but this was very interesting to see.
We also visited the office which manages the dispatch of the lorries and saw how they were tracked and hours managed and so much more. The staff on duty were so patient with all the questions, and nothing was too much trouble to show us on the computer what was going on. There was so much to see and so very much more to the company than most of us realised. We were then taken back to the main block and treated to refreshments while many questions were answered.
Our other outings are trips to Cromer to see the End of Pier Show, Shopping trips to Downtown Boundary Mills, Jigsaw mornings, Fish and Chip Suppers, and much more. Lady Carnarvon will be the speaker at the next Federation meeting.
So the Women’s Institute is not just Jam and Jerusalem but much more. You are very welcome to give it a try. We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the month in the village hall at 7:15 pm