Rural Ladies’ half term report card

L-r, Linda Riddell, Berwickshire Federation Chair, presenting the Swinton Trophy to Mary MacFarlane from winning institute Abbey St Bathans
L-r, Linda Riddell, Berwickshire Federation Chair, presenting the Swinton Trophy to Mary MacFarlane from winning institute Abbey St Bathans

LEITHOLM village hall was the venue for rural members from all over the Borders, representing 13 institutes, who gathered for Berwickshire Federation SWRI’s half yearly meeting.

Chairman Linda Riddell opened the meeting, welcomed all present and thanked the ladies from Leitholm Institute for such a warm welcome and lovely refreshments.

Acting treasurer Mrs Linda Riddell gave an account of the present bank balance and details of membership numbers. Although membership numbers are down (this is a countrywide issue and not just in Berwickshire) it was agreed that everyone is doing their best to attract and encourage new members.

The meeting was also reminded that technically ‘men’ can join or attend rural meetings so come on ladies let’s see some results on that! It was also suggested that monthly posters be displayed in villages to promote rural meetings.

There has been much debate regards the Anne Wallace Sugar Sifter Trophy – Border Tart (small); Linda has sought clarification as to the definition of ‘small’ and can report the following: 10/11 cm or approx. 4inch, NO larger but it can be smaller, fluted edges or not WILL be accepted.

It also looks likely that the Levy paid to HQ will continue to increase each year.

There was a question regarding how the ‘Pennies for Friendship’ are used by or allocated by HQ, Linda agreed to take this forward for clarification.

Mary MacFarlane reported on Housewives and Handcrafts; feedback from meetings suggests that once again the chosen subjects are popular.

There will be a two day school on appliqué, details from Cathie Allman and possibly around the end of April 2012 there will be a cookery demonstration to be held at Cockburnspath; details will follow in the Federation Newsletter.

Joan Stewart, secretary, made an appeal for fundraising ideas that could take place next year to raise money to celebrate Berwickshire Federation’s 90th Birthday in 2013. Ideas are also being sought on ways to celebrate the occasion.

The annual Carol Concert will take place at Gavinton Church on Sunday, December 11, at 2pm all welcome to attend.

Carpet bowling competition will take place in Westruther village hall on Sunday, March 4, 2012; Federation AGM to be held in Coldingham Village Hall on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 2pm.

The Enid Elphinston Trophy competition will be the Anne Wallace Sugar Sifter Trophy (Border Tart) and the winner of this competition will go forward to the National Conference to be held in the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh on September 5-6, 2012.

Rural Olympics will take place on October 6, 2012 and plans are underway to host local play-offs.

The Mrs Reid (Swinton Trophy), competition, a Christmas wall hanging took place with ten institutes entering. Thanks went to Joan Duncan who judged the competition resulting in: 1 Abbey St Bathans with 9.5 points; 2 Birgham with 9 points; 3 Reston with 8.5 points.

Linda Riddell once again thanked everyone for attending and reminded all to collect a Federation Show schedule (date of next show will be October 19-20, 2012) as there are plenty projects ideas for the winter months ahead.