Don't be scammed

Our third Annual Meeting* concluded with an informative talk by Caroline Gray, from NatWest Bank. Her role as Community Banker includes awareness raising of the various scams criminals use to extract a cool £5-6 billion pounds per year from the public. Only 5% of these get reported to the authorities because victims are embarrassed about what happened. Her role is part of the Friends Against Scams initiative, which aims to raise awareness, increase the percentage of crimes reported and ultimately reduce the amount of money taken. Caroline took us through a number of different scams so we're better equipped to spot them. You'll find a similar Scam Alert list on the Friends Against Scams web

Competition Time

A small but perfectly formed writing group met on Wednesday with tons of enthusiasm for stories written and those yet to come. Wendy shared some notes on shaping characters. These are especially useful for longer stories, but will still be helpful for shorter ones. Fiona and Wendy shared their stories based on the 3.35pm racing card at Ludlow, and Wendy shared two other tales, including the intriguing Waiting Room. It was interesting to see how the intriguing names on the race card led to some googling for further information which in turn led to inspiration for the stories. Michelle was sidetracked by the #SpringNatureDiary the Arts and Humanities Council ran to mark the Spring Equino

You say Mac-ra-may, I say Mac-rar-may

Macrame was the latest craft tackled by the Crafty Crew this month, who had a giggle over the different ways this craft is pronounced on the YouTube videos viewed before the meeting. New group member Steph was a complete star as we quickly found the rough jute string Michelle brought along was quite difficult to work with, whereas Steph's smoother eBay purchase was much better. Diane demonstrated the knots she'd learned; the initial binding knot which starts and finishes the work, then the square knot used for the decorative pieces. This knot is worked in two stages and we quickly got used to Diane's comparison with the shape of a pretzel to guide us to producing the correct knot. A comp

March Book Club: Five Rivers Met

The Book Club has read a fair number of debut novels in its time, and March's choice was no exception with Barney Norris's critically acclaimed Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain. It's always good to find a story set in our home county, with the towering spire of Salisbury Cathedral and the five rivers that meet there (Wylye, Nadder, Ebble, Bourne, and Avon) forming the backdrop to the five character driven story. Critically acclaimed it might be, but our members thought differently. Some people struggled to get into this one, but those that persevered scored it 4.5 out of 10. The characters were very unappealing but we liked the way the author wove the plot line together. Our next read i

Chippenham, Pewsham and Our Belles

Last night's main meeting was a chance for everyone to find out what the Our Town group got up to last year! Michelle's presentation took us swiftly through how Chippenham has changed in the last 100 years; followed by a brief look at Pewsham's early years; then the contrasting lives of ourselves and our ancestors. Then everyone had the chance to get to know each other better using the Chippenham related prompts designed to get the conversation going. Judging by the constant chatter and laughter, this was successful! Lastly the groups compiled a list each of Chippenham's attractions (and some beyond) they'd recommend to visitors. These lists will be used by the Our Town group for April's

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