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September Meeting – Chicken Wire Birds!

An entertaining and fun evening, with William Ashley-Norman teaching us how to make sculptures out of chicken wire. He brought along an amazing sample of sculptures he’d made previously and told us about his journey, turning a hobby into a profession which takes him around the country, instructing people of all ages.

It was definitely challenging and we had to concentrate, but William was a down-to-earth and patient teacher, encouraging us all and helping the less-artistic/crafty amongst us to create a little bird to take home. He did such a great job, his kits sold like hot cakes!

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Little Shelford Fun Day – Sept 9th

Thank you to everyone who donated such a wonderful variety of bottles (over 80!) and to those who volunteered at our stand during the afternoon. The bottle tombola was a big hit with all ages and helped us raise £136!

We were also delighted to see our WI baby … sorry WI little girl, Isla – look how much she’s grown!

August Trip to Chilford Hall Winery

The weather was kind for our visit to Chilford Hall Vineyard.  We had a very enthusiastic, informative guide called Ged, who  is, coincidentally, Mary’s brother.   In the vineyards, we saw some of the 17,000 vines which produce 20,000 bottles of wine a year.  These are carefully pruned by hand, usually from December until February, to maximise grape production.  Ged explained that an unusual moving frost on April 28th this year destroyed 90% of the shoots.  Fortunately, Chilford Hall has a cellar with a 3 year reserve of wine.  He said that they are likely to harvest only 7 tons of grapes this year, as compared to the usual 20 tons.  Surprisingly, local deer eat around 2 tons of grapes a year!

In the winery itself, the entire wine-making process was explained, including fermentation, blending and bottling.  At the end of the tour, we sampled five Chilford Hall wines and Ged explained the subtle differences between them.  We even got to smell a ‘corked’ wine (caused by a chemical from a fungus which sometimes lives on the cork). I now feel more knowledgeable about a corked wine if ever asked by the sommelier to try the wine in a posh restaurant!  (I always thought it was to see if I liked it more than anything else!).

Overall, a very pleasant and fun way to spend the afternoon!

Summer Party!

The rain held off and we enjoyed another fun, chatty evening in the lovely garden at The Vicarage for our summer party. Many thanks to Mary for hosting us again, and to everyone who was able to bring the delicious eats and drinks.