TBBWI – May 2024 Meeting Minutes

WI for the Modern Woman

TBBWI – May 2024 Meeting Minutes

Record of the main Meeting held at South Weald Parish Hall at 8pm on 15th May, 2024

Speaker: Gary Matthews, volunteer at The Gardens of Easton Lodge

The President welcomed 78 members to the May meeting and explained how the Plant sale
would operate at break time. Housekeeping notices were given, and the record of the
previous meeting were taken as read and signed.

The President then introduced the
evening’s guest speaker, Gary Matthews. Gary gave a fascinating talk about the history of
the beautiful gardens of Easton Lodge which is near Great Dunmow. He explained how
volunteers, like himself, had played a large part in the restoration of the gardens. A visit to
the gardens may well be on the cards in the future.

At the break, members were able to buy or swap plants at the popular plant stall run by
Marion and her helpers. Funds raised will go towards refreshments and challenge cup prizes.

The darts team, the Arrow Belles were invited to show the fabulous shield they were given
for winning the Inter darts championship. Team members were applauded and Liz F. was
congratulated for organising the tournament.

Members were invited to decorate a hoop to be displayed on a tree at this year’s Art Trail.

Our speaker kindly selected his favourite three as Challenge cup winners as follows:

1 st Place – Debra S, 2nd Jan Donovan – 3 points and 3rd – Elizabeth R. 2 points. All other
entrants were awarded 1 point each.

Notices were given about lunch club and a forthcoming walking tour of Colchester. Marion
was thanked for organising the plant stall and the meeting closed at 10.00pm.

The Countess of Easton Lodge

Frances ‘Daisy’ Maynard, then aged 3, inherited Easton Lodge and its estate, following the death of her grandfather and father in quick succession. Disraeli encouraged Queen Victoria to support marriage between Daisy and Prince Leopold, her youngest son. But Daisy chose to marry one of the Prince’s closest friends, Lord Brooke, heir to the Warwick title and estate.

As the Countess of Warwick, Daisy became an iconic leader in society, not least because of her 9-year liaison with Edward, Prince of Wales. A halt was built on the trainline at Little Canfield for the Countess’ visitors to alight there, when they visited Easton Lodge.

The Countess also played an increasingly active role in the welfare of the local community, with particular emphasis on educational reform and employment skills, especially for women.

Information care of the Volunteers of Easton Lodge