September meeting: Community First Responder swings into action

We welcomed back Torquil MacInnes to September's group meeting, without his baldrick and bells this time! His new 'hat' on this occasion was to tell us about his role as an elected public governor for the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. That's quite a mouthful, so let's call it SWASFT from now on! In terms of area, SWASFT's services cover one a fifth of England over 5 counties, from the Isles of Scilly, through Cornwall and Devon across as far as Dorset, up to Gloucestershire and over to Wiltshire. The area covered is around 10,000 square miles with a resident population of over 5.5 million and seasonal visitors of up to 23 million each year. The area is a mix of rura

Tales of Milk, an Artist and a Library

The Our Town group had a delightful morning and early afternoon on Saturday exploring this year's Chippenham's Heritage Open Days organised by the Museum, having also wandered down to Pewsham Locks on the previous Saturday. This time we started with a relaxed coffee at Grounded followed by the 11am tour of the former Nestle factory. The aerial photograph above shows the site was more extensive than it is today. We were highly entertained by a fellow attendee and former worker who could pinpoint what was where and told us of her dislike of the ground floor tin lid and packing activities. "I only managed a couple of days down here." Her preference for upstairs in the attic where all the bo

A return to macrame

After learning the basic knots earlier this year, the Crafty Crew decided to make some macrame pot holders this month. Diane found a good video which used just 3 knots: binding, square and twisted. She was able to simplify the knotting process still further so that Crew members made a good start with their own makes. With just a little finishing off at home needed afterwards and some individual additions to the original design, these are the stylish results. Michelle found the equivalent size of planter, hanger and plant in an artists shop in Bristol for £35!

September Book Club: Becoming

The Book Club ladies had an enjoyable evening at our new venue, The Three Crowns. We discussed Becoming by Michelle Obama, another of the reading sets donated by the Chippenham Borough Lands. It was a fascinating and gracious insight into how a strong family background and education can help achieve the American Dream, against all the odds. Surprisingly Michelle Obama admits politics isn't really her thing and it took quite a lot of persuasion for her to agree to Barack Obama running for president. This was the the most popular book we've read in a long time. It scored 8.5 out of 10. Our next book is Old Baggage by Lissa Evans.

The Reading Challenge - the results!

August's Reading Challenge resulted in a wide variety of reads. Thanks to everyone who took part - their choices and comments follow... The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. Recommended by a friend. It's the story of Raynor and her husband Moth who through a series of unfortunate events end up losing everything and finding out that Moth has a serious, incurable illness. On impulse they decide that being homeless they might as well be homeless on the South West Way. What follows is a journey through grief, loss, the healing power of nature and the people they meet along the way. Miraculously Moth begins to feel better, against all the odds. This is nature writing at its best - 9 out of 10 NB A g

Netball News

Our very smart looking netball ladies - including 3 Pewsham Belles - have played in their first tournament! Carla Smith reports via Facebook: "The Chippenham WI hosted Walking Netball group played in the National Vintage Games yesterday at Bath University. Very proud of these ladies. So much fun, friendship and support. Next stop the South West Festival in Paignton in October." Good luck for October everyone! Perhaps we should look at a Pewsham Belles trip to the Games next year for team support and see what else is on offer on the day.

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