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Spa Sweethearts at the Great Yorkshire Show 2017

The Great Yorkshire Show is one of the federation’s biggest events of the year and Spa Sweethearts were keen to play an active role this year. The work started weeks before the show with our crafty sweethearts meeting and organising entries for the group and individual competitions. A few weeks before the show the entries in the craft competitions were delivered to Alma House in Ripon by Felicity and her mum. This year’s theme was Botanicals. We had 3 entries in the floral garland category and 1 each in the brooch and lavender bag sections.

On the day before the show Felicity and Heather collected the various parts of our group entry and delivered it to the WI pavilion at the showground. The group entry had to contain 5 items on the theme of ‘Floral Fantasy’. We submitted a spray of sugar crafted sweet peas (Amanda), a floral arrangement and crocheted square (Felicity), a pot of felted geraniums (Heather) and 2 handmade soaps (Jayne). As we set up our entry we had a sneaky peak at our rivals and were happy to be proud of our efforts this year.

We were also excited to see that Heather’s garland had won Best in Class and the other entries had done well too. Several members also entered the baking category of the show and we were thrilled that Sue’s rhubarb and gin cake also won Best in Class in the Showstopper group.

Well done to all who entered the competitions. The pavilion looked truly amazing and it was great to see so many skills shown off to promote the 21st century Women’s Institute.

Many of our members also helped in the catering part of the pavilion. There was lots of fun to be had measuring out the ingredients for gorgeous fresh scones and serving traditional tea and cake to the public. Over the tree days several sweetheart also worked as stewards. Promoting the WI and encouraging people to vote for the group entries. It was fascinating to chat to the public and clear up misconceptions about what the modern WI is all about. It was also a chance to meet members of other Yorkshire WIs and see what they have been up to this year.

The last day of the show coincided with our monthly meeting so we took the craft entries for the wider group to admire. The cakes were not fit to eat after 4 days in a hot tent but were recycled to feed some very lucky chickens! The show was very successful for both the federation and Spa Sweethearts. Now it’s time to start planning for next year…..

Felicity Jennings 2017

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