Stanhoe Pit



Parish Council Minutes

Parish Council Minutes for the 9th March 2017.


Glorious food

A globetrotting chef entertains the WI.


Gillian Beckett

New obituary highights Gillian’s botanical fame.


Slow site

Recent website slowness seems to be fixed for now.


Parish Council Meeting

Parish Council Meeting - 9th March 2017.


Fire safety

WI members get advice from King’s Lynn firefighters.


Parish Council Minutes

Parish Council minutes for the 12th January 2017.


Tide times

Hunstanton 30 Mar
03:31 low (0.54m)
08:39 high (7.54m)
15:43 low (0.71m)
20:52 high (7.91m)

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Stanhoe & Barwick WI news archive


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5 March 2017

Glorious food

A globetrotting chef entertains the WI.

The room was really packed when Stanhoe and Barwick WI and visitors from neighbouring villages were privileged to have Robert MacNaughtan speak on the theme of “My life as a chef”.

From an inauspicious start with part-time work on a Romford market stall, selling fabrics from an East End warehouse and washing up in his uncle’s restaurant, Robert was offered a place on a course at Westminster College. This prestigious training led to work as a chef at the Grosvenor Hotel, the Post Office Tower revolving restaurant, many London restaurants, and catering for many famous private clients, before moving into management.

photo: Rosemary Brown

These jobs were interspersed with travels to 44 different countries worldwide, working casually in all to explore the foods, and ending up with a liking for Japanese and Asian foods.

Whilst speaking, and entertaining us with funny tales of his days working with food, he quickly created a beautiful Seafood and Asparagus Summer Pudding, making it look so easy.

We all had a most enjoyable afternoon and were happy to collect donations to a local kidney charity on his behalf.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 5 March 2017

8 February 2017

Fire safety

WI members get advice from King’s Lynn firefighters.

A very chatty ex-Marine from Texas, courtesy of Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, kept Stanhoe and Barwick WI members busy at their February meeting with hints and tips on keeping safe from fires in the home.

Did you know that you need a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector correctly positioned on all levels of your home, and that you need to test them once a week?

It will take a fire engine and four crew members 20 minutes to travel to Stanhoe, so make sure that you have door and window keys accessible upstairs as well as downstairs, and that you exit rapidly, feet first, from the nearest window if necessary.

Never shout “Help”, but shout “Fire” to alert people, and try to have a phone available on all levels too for emergency use.

But above all keep all doors closed, as a closed door will hold back fire for 20 minutes. And never go back in once you have escaped.

Tea lights are one of the greatest hazards in the home for causing fires, we were warned. A set of them was prominent on our sales table, and no one took them home!

Well, we live and learn at the WI.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 8 February 2017

9 January 2017

Helping paws

WI members learn about life with a guide dog.

In January members of Stanhoe and Barwick WI heard that Ruby, Ben, Sadie, Brian and Jasmine have all been wonderful companions, and saviours, for Gill Southgate for over 40 years.

A petite lady, keen to keep on living life to the full, Gill lost her sight in a road accident at the age of 18. A white stick proved to be a disadvantage, so a lucky meeting with Ruby, a trained Guide Dog for the Blind, acquired for just 50p, allowed for continuation of a remarkable lifestyle, with marriage, two small boys, and a job in the real world as an audio typist for the next 35 years.

photo: Rosemary Brown

Gill Southgate with her guide dog

Gill Southgate with her guide dog

The ups and downs of getting and living with a guide dog had us laughing, but also full of admiration for the pair of them.

We finished with a stern warning; “Guide dogs should never be fed by the public, and never be stroked or spoken to when in harness. They are at work and must not be distracted.” “But always offer assistance if it looks necessary as it is always gratefully received.”

It was a heart-warming afternoon, and further admiration came along when we tried to interpret Braille as used for notes and in a children’s story book.

So we were in good form when the WI business followed and Julia Walton talked us through the six Resolutions put forward by the NFWI for the 2017 AGM, to find our final choice. And our president suggested a range of options for events for safer driving in the coming year.

You never know what opportunities will be put forward at a WI meeting.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 9 January 2017

5 December 2016

A bit of glitter

WI members try a new crafting technique at their Christmas meeting.

What an industrious gathering there was at Stanhoe and Barwick WI’s December meeting. Equipped with a reel of fine silver or gold wire, a packet of 80 colourful beads, and a rope of brightly coloured wire, we each threaded, twisted, squeezed, and squashed, encouraged by Mandy Seales our speaker, until a range of delicate filigree bowls emerged.

photo: Pamela Austin

Filigree bowls and baskets

They were of many shapes and sizes but each one glimmered in the light and looked like bejewelled sculptures. Maybe helped along by gluhwein and Christmas cake, we all had a laughter filled time, and went home with a treasure. We left looking forward to another happy year ahead in 2017.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 5 December 2016

13 November 2016

Popular bunch

The WI’s AGM attracts four potential new members.

Stanhoe and Barwick WI members had a very happy time at their November AGM. The word must have spread that we are a friendly bunch as we welcomed four potential new members from neighbouring villages.

Our president Pamela Austin was unanimously voted in for another year, and once more came up with lots of ideas to please us; the secretary and the treasurer gave full reports; and all were thanked for their hard work.

But it was after tea that the fun happened. Members, sitting in the usual circle, were asked to introduce themselves by name and give a short chat about themselves mentioning something that no one probably knew about them. This brought to light motorcycling pasts, an avid football supporter, a rugby fanatic, and a holiday at a naturists’ camp, amongst more usual revelations.

We all got to know one another even better!

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 13 November 2016

8 October 2016

George, don‘t do that!

WI members enjoy an afternoon with Joyce Grenfell.

Stanhoe & Barwick WI had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Joyce Grenfell at their October meeting.

photo: Pamela Austin

Pat Knights in character as the American socialite

Pat Knights in character as “the American socialite”

Our speaker, Pat Knights, a talented interpreter of Joyce’s monologues, told us a little of Joyce’s life, in particular how she would practice making different faces in the mirror to obtain the voices required for these. Pat then went on to re-enact a take of a WI meeting that Joyce had seen at the home of her aunt Nancy Astor. Several others followed with appropriate voice and items of costume. Joyce Grenfell died in 1979 and a memorial service was held in Westminster Abbey attended by over 2000 people. Much enjoyment and laughter greeted each item. We never did find out what ‘George’ was doing!!

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 8 October 2016

1 September 2016

Horse sense

Stanhoe & Barwick WI members learn about the valuable work of the Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

Stanhoe and Barwick WI members had a memorable September meeting when Andrea Vilela gave an illustrated talk on the work of Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

Redwings has ten centres in Britain, funded totally by charitable donations, where horses, mules, and donkeys which have had a poor life experience or are feral, are cared for and brought back to full health, and are then lent out to families who can care for them and enjoy their company.

The “five freedoms” are followed to ensure that the two hundred horses who are taken into care each year become happy horses, made so by Redwings staff and their procedures.

It was also a busy meeting as we launched our “fundraising with a Smarties tube” scheme, set up two garden centre “Tea and Talks” visits, and took bookings for a lunch and an afternoon tea and two workshops. Such a lot of opportunity for members of a small WI.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 1 September 2016

29 August 2016

RIP Gillian

Stanhoe historian, botanist and WI stalwart Gillian Beckett has died.

Gillian in 2008

Gillian in 2008

We are sad to report Gillian’s death after a long illness.

Gillian had many talents. She had a deep knowledge of local history, which she shared with villagers through talks in the Reading Room on behalf of Stanhoe Archive. She was an expert botanist and co-author of A Flora of Norfolk.

She was also a fine craftsperson with a needle, an expert photographer in the pre-digital age, a talented pianist, and a good cook.

Gillian lectured widely throughout the county, gave slide shows to WIs, ran embroidery sessions, and inaugurated the Stanhoe Flower Show.

Gillian will be especially missed by members of Stanhoe & Barwick WI. She was a WI member for over 50 years, and president for many of these. When Stanhoe & Barwick celebrates its centenary in 2019 it will be in no small part thanks to Gillian’s hard work over the decades.

She was born Gillian Tuck in Bromley, Kent, in 1935. She came to Stanhoe with her parents in 1948, as you can hear in a series of recordings on this website. Until she moved to a nursing home, Gillian lived with her botanist husband Ken at Bramley Cottage.

The funeral will be in All Saints’ church, Stanhoe, at 1 pm on Friday 9 September, followed by burial in the churchyard.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 29 August 2016

4 August 2016

A Norwich gem

The WI learns about the history and restoration of the Plantation Garden.

photo © the Plantation Garden

A view of the garden with its gothic fountain

The Plantation Garden

As one of the visitors to Stanhoe and Barwick WI’s August meeting said “What a wonderful afternoon we have had here today.”

Our speaker Lesley Kant-Cuneen gave an enthralling illustrated talk, with witty asides, on the Plantation Garden in Norwich.

Created from 1856 onwards within an old lime and flint pit, just outside the city walls, through the inspiration of Henry Trevor a Victorian cabinet maker and businessman, the Plantation Garden had all the “must have” features: a summerhouse, a palm house, walkways and steps, an Italianate terrace, a fernery, trees, a gothic fountain, and ribbon and carpet bedding. And it was shared with the public (the gentry), and was used for exhibitions and events.

Of course in the 20th century it fell into disrepair and became overgrown, but since the 1980s, when it was rediscovered, a group of hard working volunteers has worked tirelessly to restore its original features and to plant it up each year for visitors to enjoy. Fundraising musical events and Sunday afternoon teas are popular, and the garden is now an integral part of Norwich in Bloom as a community enterprise, and the prestigious Britain in Bloom too.

Lesley was so enthusiastic that I am sure we shall all be walking up St Giles to see this exciting garden before too long.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 4 August 2016

7 July 2016

Garden meeting

WI members enjoy relaxed talk and tea in the open air.

Stanhoe and Barwick WI members, although a small group, had a delightful afternoon for their July meeting.

Sitting under a large garden sunshade in the very pretty garden belonging to member Lizzie Mullin, members happily discussed a range of proposed visits for the coming months, starting with a tour of Mannington Hall, followed by a garden visit, and then an “Invitation to View” afternoon, and several workshops with tea to follow.

photo: Rosemary Brown

WI members and tea table

“A sumptuous feast”

This relaxing time was followed by being offered a sumptuous feast of trifle, two different cakes, and scones and jam and drinks.

Members set off home in a very happy mood after a splendid afternoon, but also with a tinge of sadness as we were also saying goodbye to our long-time secretary Geraldine Butcher who is moving from the village. Our good wishes go to her and her husband in their new home.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 7 July 2016

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