Clubs and Community: From the Townswomen’s Guild to the Inner Wheel

Mike Penning MP paid a visit to 1st Gadebridge Beavers and Cubs to talk about his work in parliament and to help invest the groups' newest recruits

Mike Penning MP paid a visit to 1st Gadebridge Beavers and Cubs to talk about his work in parliament and to help invest the groups' newest recruits

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The latest clubs and community news from across Dacorum.

Latest from the Adeyfield Townswomen’s Guild

Members braved some very cold weather to attend February’s meeting.Chairman Mrs Gwynneth Wood welcomed members and after the business section of the meeting, introduced the speaker for the evening, Mr Ken Brazier and his wife June.

Mr Brazier has spoken to members in the past about the work of Mercy Ships and his endeavours to raise funds for the cause. This time his topic was Santiago de Compostela - the way of St James.

The way first became a pilgramage route in the 12th century, but became less used over time. In 1989 only around 2,000 pilgrims walked the route, but by 2010 the number had risen to 250,000, 70% of whom are Spanish. In order to claim a certificate at the end, a pilgrim must stay in hostels along the way and have their pilgrim passport stamped. They also have to walk more than 100km. All pilgrims wear a scallop shell with a cross painted on it.

Members heard that some of the experiences of getting to Santiago from Stansted airport with a bicycle were more arduous than doing the actual pilgrimage! Members enjoyed the talk and pictures and hope Mr Brazier will return again next year. The evening concluded with tea and biscuits, and a raffle with many prizes.

Members were reminded that the next meeting will be the AGM on March 4 at 7.45pm in the Adeyfield Community Centre when there will be a sales table. Everyone is invited to attend a coffee morning on Wednesday March 18 at 10.15am in the tea room in the community centre. Call 01442 247391 for further details.

Hemel Hempstead Lions Club

The winning Peace Poster contest entry is now on display in the Lions bookshop in the Marlowes Centre. The poster, by a 13 year old student at Astley Cooper School, won first prize at district level and first prize at multi-district (national) level, and is now at Lions International HQ in the USA awaiting the final stage of judging. The winner will be announced on March 7. This is the first time the Hemel club has had an entry in the contest, and members are all very excited by the success.

The club desperately needs large print books for sale in its bookshop - if anyone has this type of book that they would like to donate to the shop, please contact Gren on 07905 623776 or bring them into the shop, which is open every day during normal centre shopping hours.

Rennie Grove Blue Cross sale

If you want to grab a bargain, head to one of Iain Rennie at Home’s charity shops, where a one off Blue Cross sale is being held until February 28. Items in the sale will be reduced by 50% and include winter coats and clothes. There are four hospice shops in Hemel Hempstead and two in Tring.For further details visit your local shop or email shops@renniegrove.org

Sunnyside Rural Trust

There’s a chance to get ready for summer by joining in hanging basket sessions with the trust, who will show you how to get the best out of your hanging basket and how to plant it up to enjoy throughout the summer months. Two sessions on Saturday March 21 will be led by Basil Timmermans, horticultural coordinator at Hemel Food Garden.

Mr Timmermans is passionate about growing and encourages everyone to have a go. He said: “Planting up your own basket is so rewarding. You can choose what colours of plants you want and where they are positioned so it is just to your liking. We will look after your basket once it’s planted until it is time for you to collect it and put it outside.”

Participants can choose from a 10am-11.30am session or 12.30pm-2pm. Prices are £20 for a 12” basket and £25 for a 16” basket.

To book, go to www.sunnysideruraltrust.org.uk/events, email publicity@sunnysideruraltrust.org.uk or ring 01442 863364.

MP visits 1st Gadebridge Beavers and Cubs

Mike Penning MP visited the group to talk to them about life as a Member of Parliament and to help invest the newest recruits.

During their time in scouting, young people are encouraged to broaden their horizons by working towards various badges. Both the Beavers friendship badge and the Cubs community badge require them to meet someone who serves in the community. Mr Penning delighted the young members by telling them about life in parliament and invited them to ask questions and to come up with ideas for new laws that they would like to see brought in - abolition of school uniform proved to be very popular!

The children were keen to learn about Mr Penning’s previous jobs, especially his time as a firefighter, and were surprised to discover that fire engines don’t actually travel very quickly. During his visit Mr Penning assisted the leaders with the very important investiture ceremony when five Beavers and one Cub made their pledge to the Scout Association.

If you want to join the adventure of scouting, either as a youth member, a leader, an adult helper, or even if you can spare only a few hours here and there to help with admin, Hemel Hemsptead District Scouts would welcome you. Call 07860 848603 or email join@hemel-scouts.co.uk for more information.

Inner Wheel Club of Berkhamsted Bulbourne

After a delicious meal everyone enjoyed hearing the speaker, author Jane Robinson.

Ms Robinson was born in Edinburgh and lived for many years in North Yorkshire. She read English at Somerville College, Oxford, after which she became an antiquarian book dealer and subsequently pursued a writing career.

Ms Robinson explained the title of her talk, Bluestockings (also the name of her seventh book), was inspired by the naturalist and writer Benjamin Stillingfleet who became a member of a fashionably learned group who met together during the latter half of the 18th century to cultivate the art of intellectual conversation. One evening in 1756 Stillingfleet arrived wearing knitted blue stockings which led to the group being known as the ‘blue stocking philisophers’. At this time academic study was considered more suitable for men, with women’s value seen as in the home, looking after children and being decorative. Despite this, a small number of women persevered and went to university. Ms Robinson spoke eloquently of the brave women who fought for an education.