Around the societies: February 2018

January 31 2018
Around the societies: February 2018

The latest news from local organisations.


STEWART Sheppard – aka The Skip Man – eased us into 2018 with a wonderfully entertaining evening, skilfully weaving together a talk, music and a quiz.

He told us about his lifelong addiction to scavenging, and showed us the beautiful violin in a case he had spotted poking out of some rubble in a skip, and a 1920s cigarette tin he rescued from a dump that turned out to be full of interesting coins, including a valuable Georgian silver shilling. While Stewart told us stories, we passed around a couple of mystery objects he invited us to identify – a small brass clip, and a cast iron tool with a ring at the end. *

Stewart has been doing discos around the Bath area for long enough to have experienced crazes from Teddy Boys through Mods and Rockers to Hippies and Skinheads. These days, when doing the music for an event at a golf club, he told us he often recognises among the mature and respectable members the very young men he remembers causing havoc in their youth. 

The quiz covered many decades, and included lots of music questions, such as how many number ones the Beatles had (more than we thought), and guess the year and entry price of the first Glastonbury Festival (1970, £1 and all the milk you can drink). All the laughs and music certainly helped banish any lingering post-Christmas blues.

* The first mystery object turned out be a clip used by ladies to lift long skirts clear of mud in the streets; and the second the implement that enabled his dairy farming grandmother to lead a bull by the nose.

We discussed the shortlist of five potential WI campaigns for 2018: Positive Body Image in a Digital Age; Stop Female Genital Mutilation; End Human Slavery in the UK; Mental Health Matters and Healthier Mouth, Healthier Body. Members each voted for the one they would most like to see go forward to the next stage, and we wait to hear which one got most votes nationally. There was a small stall at which members brought along some of their less successful Christmas gifts for swapping and recycling.

Over 30 members enjoyed a New Year dinner at the Cheese Yard Café in West Horrington, got competitive over napkin folding and table decorations, and received gifts from an African Chief.

Among the things to look forward to this year are talks about growing flowers; auctions; sugar craft and recycling. More details are on our Facebook page

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 6, at 7.30pm at the Wells and Mendip Museum when Judith Derbyshire, solicitor, will be talking all things wills, trusts and probate.

New women are always welcome and can attend as a guest before deciding to join.

Veronica Howe


ARE you new to the area? Would you like to meet new people? Do you have time on your hands? Would you like some new interests? We are a warm friendly group and we meet during the daytime. There is just one rule. You do need to be a woman!

Who are we? We are a group of lively ladies who belong to Wookey Hole WI. We meet on the first Monday of the month at 2.30pm at the Wookey Hole Community Hall. We also have a monthly coffee morning in a local restaurant.

Come along and you will find the hand of friendship, interesting speakers and activities, a cup of tea, cake and a chance to chat.

Ring Jill on 01749 675477 for further details. Come along as a visitor if you so wish. You will be most welcome.

Jill Deane


WELLS Civic Society’s next evening meeting is on Wednesday, February 14, at 7.30pm at Wells Museum.

The speaker is Andy Webb who led the bid for Wells to be the City of Culture, a bid which was not successful, but the work for which has led on to some positive ideas and outcomes for the future.