A Review of 2016

A Review of 2016

12th December   Hog’s Back Brewery

This was a fun way to start the Christmas season!  Mel Reece from Hog’s Back Brewery brought a range of beers for us to sample; interesting even for non beer drinkers.   Mel has been a tour guide at the Brewery for over 12 years and, despite his sore throat, had many stories and anecdotes to share with us.  A magnificent raffle was the icing on the Christmas cake!

14th November    Annual meeting and Just Jhoom

Camberley Diamond enthusiastically enjoyed an evening of Bollywood dance at their November meeting. Annabel, the excellent instructor demonstrated the basic movement of hand and feet and soon members were swaying to the beat and shaking their ‘booty’! As the music got faster the laughter increased and some confusion set in.  However, at the end of thirty minutes all were able to perform an impressive routine. As one member said, the only ingredient missing from the thoroughly enjoyable evening was an Indian take-away.
bollywood-4     bollywood-2
The second part of the evening saw a visit from the representative of the Alzheimer’s Cafe and The HART foundation, both of whom wished to thank members for there generous support and donations. Members were delighted and pleased that their support had been well received and had made a difference.

Finally, members were delighted to unanimously return Amanda Webster-Robbins as President for another year. A huge vote of thanks and appreciation was given to Amanda for her sterling work over the last year. Some changes were made to the committee and members looked forward to another successful year.

10th October     Passionate about Fish!

Monday’s presentation was by Sue Lucas from The Fish Shop in Camberley. Sue really has a passion for fish which started when she was a young child. In 1979 her father ran a local fish shop, where Sue worked as a Saturday girl – the first shop was near Boots and another, later shop opposite the BHS site. By the 1990’s the business had expanded to include the supply of all fish for Waitrose new ‘Entertaining’ section.
When the business was sold, Sue moved with the new owners, Macrae Foods, and quickly became a Product Developer for the Waitrose Entertaining side of the
business. Her expertise in Product Development was renowned and so she took on that role when Youngs took over the business later and she was responsible for the development of all fish dishes for Sainsburys.  Eventually Sainsburys ‘poached’ Sue and she enjoyed a role at this company for some time.
However, Sue had always wanted to run her own wet fish shop and so, after hunting for the right premises, she set up The Fish Shop in the Frimley Road a couple of years ago. The business has blossomed, with 4 full time staff – one of these being Sue’s daughter (now a third generation fishmonger). Sue sells approximately one and a half tons of fish per week to up to 1000 customers per week. The shop specialises in selling wild capture, great quality, British fish. The Fish Shop has four main suppliers, all from the South West of England which has the largest diversity of fish landed. The Newlyn Fish Company sells exclusively to the Fish Shop and Sue has developed excellent relationships with local fishermen who provide her with mainly lobster and crab. More unusual fish are sourced from La Mer. All the fish that Sue sells is sent directly from where it is landed. Some fish is farmed, such as Atlantic salmon sourced from the Wester Ross fish farm. We learned that farming offish is good for the fish industry and is sustainable as well as keeping prices low.
Sue produced 3 fish – none of which she could claim were ‘fresh’ as she told us there is no such thing as fresh fish on a Monday, due to no fish being landed on Sundays. She made it look easy as she filleted a mackerel, a farmed salmon and a brill. Many of us will go away more knowledgeable, and certainly more confident, in the purchase and preparation of fish.

12 September  Inside Broadmoor

Jill Ashley, our speaker, was a nurse at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital.  She worked there for 16 years and retired 7 years ago.  She explained that her talk was based on her time there.  Since then Broadmoor has been rebuilt and there are no longer any female patients.  Jill gave a brief history of Broadmoor and explained the characteristics of the different mental health disorders.  She then went on to talk about what the inside of Broadmoor was like and the procedures for managing and helping the patients there. Then she discussed some of the persons of interest who had been patients and their stories, being careful not to share any knowledge which was not already in the public domain. The members were fascinated by her account and several asked questions.

11TH July      Another Opening; Another Show

Linda Watts – soprano and star of BBC’s Friday Night is Music Night – treated the audience to a‘Celebration of Music and Melodies’, where she sang songs that related to, and reflected, her long career and love of music. Linda trained at the Guildhall School of Music in London and went on to sing at the Royal Festival Hall and with the BBC Concert Orchestra, amongst others. She spent time working on cruise ships travelling the world and this is where she met her husband, who was then a naval officer. Many of her songs took us down memory lane to songs we have enjoyed as adults and as children. The planned speaker, Simon Gilbert, was unable to attend for personal reasons and Linda very kindly stepped in at the last minute.


13th June    ‘How to be your own Financial Planner’

On Monday, 13 June, Camberley Diamond WI welcomed Nick Bamford, a Chartered Financial Planner from ‘Informed Choices’ in Cranleigh to the meeting. Members found the presentation very interesting and Nick was both charming and good humoured. Far from telling the audience to stock pile and save their money, the main message of Nick’s presentation was ‘Enjoy spending your money having first put in place an intelligent Financial Plan.’

The services of a Financial Planner were not essential – in fact Nick assured the meeting that everyone can do their own basic planning by carrying out the following steps:

  1. Look at your Income v. Expenditure and look at how you can cut costs so that Income exceeds Expenditure.
  2. Calculate your Net Worth – this is the sum of your Assets minus your Liabilities. Check that you have enough to cover future Gifting to relations and Care for yourself.
  3. Always check your Tax Codes!
  4. Make sure you have an Emergency Fund to cover Bills, Future Care and Death/Funeral Expenses.
  5. As far as Investment is concerned, NEVER invest if you cannot cope with volatility or loss!
  6. Once you have made your Financial Plan, spend your money on enjoyment and experiences.

A final piece of advice from Nick was to update your Will and if necessary complete a Lasting Power of Attorney. These two documents can ensure that your financial wishes are carried out and taken care of when necessary.

Nick suggested it was good idea of fill a Document Box with:

  1. A List of Contacts (relatives, doctor, solicitor, etc)
  2. A record of any requests you wish to make on your death
  3. Any relevant records regarding financial matters.
  4. A Copy of Will and Lasting Power of Attorney.
  5. Any Policies or Certificates.
  6. Records of Utilities and Bills.

And make sure that you inform the relevant people where this Box is kept!

Thanks to Nick for a most informative and fun presentation.

The second part of the evening saw members enjoying a traditional Cream Tea in celebration of the Queen’s 90th Birthday. This was most enjoyable and thanks go to everyone who contributed to the preparation and serving of the delicious scones and cream. A special note of appreciation goes to the members who dressed accordingly for this event in royal colours, tiaras and crowns! A fantastic effort all round!

9th May   Resolutions, Games and Chat

The CDWI had a social evening and circulated with other members and guests over refreshments and had a good old fashioned chinwag.

Business matters were dealt with and members were asked to make decisions including voting on the two resolutions which were about avoiding food waste and appropriate care in hospitals for people with dementia.  These votes would be passed onto the National WI Federation and the most popular would be supported through various national forums.

Members put forward a number of charities that the CDWI could support in the local community. Two were chosen Heart and Alzheimer’s Café and these would be contacted to ask how we could help them.

The evening ended with a light hearted quiz which everyone enjoyed. All together a fun evening.

11th April   Introduction to Family History

The April meeting was entertained by Thora Ray who took members on a trip through her family history and gave guidance on how members could go about researching their own ancestry.  It was fascinating to see photographs, documents and certificates from the past bringing Thora’s family back to life from hundreds of years ago and linking them all with the present day.  It was remarkable to notice how characteristics and mannerisms can run through the years and still be present today and how past events can affect later generations of the same family.

However, before rushing off to do their own research, members were warned:

Do not expect to find yourself with ‘Blue Blood’!  The majority of people come from very ordinary stock and ordinary folk years ago led quite hard and poor lives.

Be prepared for shocks and sadness!  There will be unexpected discoveries that may come as unwelcome surprises or events or deaths that may sadden you.

Be prepared for discomfort!  There may be events in your family history that your relatives would prefer not to know and that have been ‘swept under the carpet’.

On the other hand, there are wonderful stories of human interest to discover and you may even find some new relations.

Researching your family history can certainly prove to be a fascinating, fulfilling and long term hobby.  It can place your existence in the huge jigsaw of life and can help you to understand the history that preceded you.

14th March   Craft Evening

The annual craft evening again proved to be a popular attraction for our members and visitors alike.  It was difficult to choose just two crafts to enjoy having a go at.  There was floristry, water colours, felting, box making, bracelet making and quilting.

The hall was full of excitement and creativity as we moved from one table to another. With experts to guide us in our chosen craft, it was a fantastic evening learning something different and taking home the finished items to show to family and friends.

Altogether a successful evening and one that no doubt will be back in 2017 by popular demand.

8 February  Policing in the Sixties – Brian Robbins

Members attending the February meeting of Camberley Diamond WI were entertained by ‘520 Bins’, alias Brian Robbins, who regaled us with stories of his experiences and adventures in the Police Force during the sixties. This was the time when Police roamed the beat on foot and were equipped with only a wooden truncheon for defence. However, ‘Bins’ recalled it as a marvellous time full of fun and adventure; he remembered how young officers would use their helmets to conceal and store hot meat pies on their way back to the Station, and how there was no radio contact with each other or base – just a regular call in to a Police Box, where you could be greeted with all sorts of unexpected and surprising activity!

During his service ‘Bins’ had encountered many famous people and told us how he had regularly been charged with the duty of collecting a very drunken Tommy Cooper from the Cambridge Arms and delivering him home safely to the bosom of his family. On another occasion he had helped certain members of the Royal Family break into their own home (Kensington Palace) when they had forgotten the key! ‘Bins’ had also crossed paths with Winston Churchill (a real gentleman), Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice Davies (lovely ladies), the Beatles (a nice group of boys) and the Rolling Stones. It was particularly interesting to hear that right from the start ‘Bins’ and his colleagues had not taken to one ‘star’ who they used to refer to as S.A.Vile! (No prizes for guessing his real name.) It would seem that not everyone was blinded by his ‘star quality’.

Brian began his career as a young police officer in the Metropolitan Police in Hammersmith in 1960. He went on to become a Sergeant posted in Feltham, after which he was posted to the Training School at Hendon where he helped to train the first black Officer. Following this Brian was posted to Southall where he remained for eleven years. Brian’s posting in Southall was his favourite; he had made many friends and learnt to speak Punjabi. Finally Brian became an Inspector and was posted to Chiswick.

Many thanks to Brian for sharing his lively and interesting memories with us.

11th January   Line Dancing. WI Resolutions

Camberley Diamond got the New Year off to a healthy start by enjoying an active session of Line Dancing at its January meeting.  For the second year running Eve Williams from ‘Evenlines’ Line Dancing visited the group to encourage members to take up this lively, friendly and fun style of  dance. Line dancing has been around in one form or another since recorded time, but today’s dances have evolved from those popular in New England in the early 1800s, and the form of Line Dancing we know today was born in the 1970s from Country and Western Style dance.

Eve encouraged members to ‘Dance like no-one is watching’ even though at times heads did not coordinate with feet and some were left a little confused and facing the wrong way!  It is surprising how many people discovered they had two left feet!  Line Dancing is pacey, lively and great fun and equally important is a low impact aerobic exercise that can improve memory, coordination, flexibility and your social life! 

Everyone had a great time, but after an hour’s concentrated work-out and a lot of laughter, were all gasping for respite and a cup of tea. 

Many thanks go to Eve Williams who gave members a great start to the New Year.  We would recommend all WIs to give Line Dancing a go.

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