New Barkby W.I.

President Shirley Franklin welcomed members to the June meeting when the speaker for the evening was Mr Malcolm Britton, who spoke of his career at Brooksby Agricultural College and the history of Brooksby and the families who had resided there, with a slide show presentation.

Along the Wreake Valley, there had been Danish settlements and a ditch at Brooksby was originally part of the old road.

Of the families who had lived at  Brooksby Hall were Villiers, the most notoriuos was George, who was the father of many children. One of his descendants was Barbara Villiers who became Lady Castlemaine, and through her line we have had at least two Prime Ministers.

The second well known family being Beatty, David Beatty was the first Earl British Admiral in World War I. Their coats of arms can be viewed in the Church.

In 1870, Brooksby Hall became a hunting lodge and eventually the Hall was bought by Leicestershire County Council in 1945 and now it is a thriving agricultural college with parts of the old hall available for various functions.

The vote of thanks was given by Mrs M Gamble, who also won the competition for the letter ‘B’, a scarf with the Brooksby logo on it.

Mrs L Linney won the raffle prize and Mrs R Foster and Mrs J Oliver were the tea hostesses.

As this was the week of Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, Jerusalem was sung at the beginning of the meeting and then a toast was raised to Her Majesty and to HRH Prince Philip, who is unwell at present.

Members sang the National Anthem in recognition of their lengthy service and wore hats of red, white and blue, in respect of their hard work during the past sixty years.

The July meeting will be on Wednesday 4th July when Pamela Lenthall will talk on the benefits of Aloe Vera and will be at Syston Community Centre at 7.30pm.

The competition will be for an item beginning with the letter ‘A’. Visitors are always welcome.