Gilesgate Evening TG: THE chairman Jennie O'Hare welcomed everyone to the April meeting, especially new secretary Mabel Henderson and new treasurer Mrs. Judith Stephenson.

The guild anthem was sung, apologies were taken and last month's minutes and financial reports read, along with the federation report. Flowers were to be taken to Lily Wilmot, who has been in hospital.

There was no speaker booked as the future of the guild was unsure earlier in the year. The chairman would welcome any ideas from members for possible future speakers.

Future events were discussed, including the Federation AGM on May 20 in St Aiden's Church Hall, Hartlepool, at 2pm. The 50th Federation Anniversary and Chairman's At Home is on June 1, in the Staincliffe Hotel, Hartlepool. Bus to leave Allans at noon. There is to be a regional meeting in the Bangladeshi Centre in Sunderland, on June 29, cost £5. The Twin Guild, Fairfield Manor, is to visit on June 13.

Pauline Myers, co-ordinator for region 1 had been delighted that the guild was going to carry on.

Raffle winners were Betty Collins, Jennie O'Hare, Torfreida Swain, Jean Tilly and Evelyn Mobbs. The chairman gave a presentation cheque from the members to the retired treasurer Sandra Mitchelson for her forthcoming wedding. She was delighted with the surprise.

Instead of a May meeting members are having a trip to Barnard Castle and Bowes Museum.

Belmont WI

PAMELA Wright from Bolton, Lancashire, gave an interesting talk on fresh flower preservation at the April meeting.

Pam preserves wedding bouquets and buttonholes, as well as making flower arrangements that can be taken abroad for a wedding. Memory boxes are also made to include flowers, verse and special mementoes for various occasions. Jean Morgan gave the vote of thanks.

The president welcomed new member Marjorie Hawley.

Belmont B team reached the final of the darts competition. The competition, a fresh flower buttonhole, was won by Pauline Glaister, Ella Curry and Ann Wilkinson. Raffle winners were Marjorie Hawley, Shirley Tindale, Ruth Brown and Florence Edwards. Muriel Patterson was the birthday girl.

The next meeting is on May 9, when Mrs A Cheeseman speaks on powder compacts.

Newton Hall

AT the AGM Dorothy welcomed everyone and introduced Freda Weatherspoon from county office, who gave us an account of how she joined the WI, which is 90-years-old this year, plus some of her amusing experiences.

Gwen read the minutes of the last meeting and Laura read the yearly accounts. Dorothy was voted to be president for another year and gladly accepted. She also has the honour of wearing the new president's brooch. The door prize was won by Joan Foxall and the raffle by Linda Hall.

At the last meeting in March members were treated to an excellent concert by Snug (Special Needs Unity Group) whose song and dance routines were very well received. Members are looking forward to the birthday party at Bowburn Hall.

Next month the WI has Jill Kettlewell giving a talk entitled Making Friends through Gardening. The competition is a pretty plant pot holder.

Merry Oaks WI

THE president Margaret Thornhill welcomed members to the April meeting and assisted by Edith Hall dealt with routine business. Two quiz teams will enter the annual event and a celebratory party to mark 90 years of WI will be held on the June 28.

The meeting continued with a Dutch theme. The speaker, Jeanette Bygate, shared with members her memories of growing up in her native Holland during and after the war. The competition, a Dutch souvenir, was won by Agnes Hall.

Social time followed with a successful fund-raising Dutch Auction thanks to the auctioneering skills of Valerie Richardson.

The next coffee morning is to be held on April 26 and the walks commence on May 4. Edith Hall won the Limerick competition and Joyce Cooper the raffle.

At the next meeting David Simpson will speak on dialect and place names.

Coxhoe Ladies Club

JEAN Holmes welcomed members to the Easter party. A minute's silence was held in memory of Heather Richardson, a founder member of the club, who died recently.

A letter thanking the club for its donation of £125 to the Village Hall Association was read. The date and venue for the day out in June were arranged. Everyone then enjoyed a delicious meal provided by members and each received a chocolate egg.

George Hetherington enthralled everyone with his presentation, The life and songs of Cole Porter. He was thanked by Carol Sanderon. Competition winner was Mary Simpson.