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Raynes Park Afternoon Townwomen's Guild - July 2014

On Thursday 17th April, at a well attended meeting, Carol Harris talked to us about wartime fashions.  Dressed in an authentic 1940s outfit comprising a two piece utility ensemble and a perky little hat, Mrs Harris illustrated her talk with items of clothing which she had brought with her in a large suitcase.  These included a complete Land Army Girls Uniform, which although not glamorous was probably very practical and hard wearing.  With the references to uniforms, shortages of materials, ration books, coupons, make and mend, and utility fabrics and designs, the talk occasioned some interesting interjections and recollections from the floor from some of our older members, which fascinated our speaker as much as we enjoyed the talk.  Mrs M Wright gave the vote of thanks.

Two groups went to Wimbledon Theatre at the beginning of May, to enjoy matinee productions of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical CATS.  Meanwhile another group took lunch at the ‘Kiss Me Hardy’ commenting on the surprisingly spacious interior and a good value meal. 

On Wednesday 14th May, the visit was to Southside House in Wimbledon.  Arriving when the house gate was opened on Wednesday at 1.40, the members explored the gardens in the sunlight before being called back to the house by Mr Pat Donald, the Tour Guide.   An excellent orator and raconteur with an amazing knowledge of the house and Pennington/Mellor/Munthe family history, as well as pointing out the most interesting of the numerous valuable art works, Mr Donald told us many stories to bring this rather eccentric, charmingly quirky and atmospheric house to life.  As many rooms have been deliberately left in a more or less original state, the house is often used by film companies for period dramas.  We enjoyed this visit, taking refreshments afterwards in the ‘Hand in Hand’ Pub opposite! before catching the 200 bus home. 

At our regular meeting on Thursday, 15th May, Andrea Cameron, a Freeman of the City of London gave a talk about how she became a Freeman and later Liveryman of the City of London and a Freeman of the Stationers & Newspaper Printers Livery Company, one of the 109 livery companies of the City of London.   She illustrated her talk with personal slides, with some interesting interior and exterior shots of the Stationers Company L shaped building.  Freemen of the City of London are permitted to drive their sheep over London Bridge.  We were amused by shots of Andrea and the Lord Mayor (dressed as shepherds) leading their sheep over the bridge, as part of a Sheep over London Bridge Relay to raise £40,000 for Barnados. 

Two successful trips out were arranged in the warmer weather at the beginning of June.  The first took us to the Cap in Hand at Hook for lunch and the second up to town to visit The Globe Theatre for the Exhibition and Theatre Tour.  Obviously an actor himself, our amusing guide painted a colourful picture of what it would have been like to attend a production at the original theatre and life in Southwark at the time.  In the theatre, we briefly watched a rehearsal of The Last Days of Troy which was opening the next day, a production which has transferred from another theatre.  They were checking the timing of exits and entrances and prop movements on the different stage.  The Exhibition is extensive and comprehensive covering many aspects of the theatre like costume, printing and language, as well as the history of the area and the reconstruction itself.  Returning to the sunlight, we then took a leisurely walk over the Millennium Bridge to St. Paul’s before returning to Raynes Park.  

To continue enjoying the better weather, on 1st July we propose to take a River Trip from Westminster Pier to Hampton Court, and the following week on the 8th a trip to Dorking by bus.

The monthly meeting on Thursday, 17th July at St Saviour’s Church Hall at 1.30 will feature a talk entitled Canine Partners.  

Looking further ahead, we are planning a coach trip to WORTHING on Thursday, 21st August. The coach fare will be £15 including the driver’s tip, leaving Raynes Park Library at 10 am and returning from Worthing at 4.30 pm.   To fill the coach, as well as husbands, friends and family, the TWG is inviting members of the Rendezvous Club and the Pavilion Social Club and any other local persons who would like to join us on this trip to get in touch.   Should there be enough people living on the Motspur Park side wishing to come along, a second pick up can be arranged opposite The Earl Beatty.    I look forward to hearing from you. 


For more information about any of our activities, or to book a place for Worthing, please telephone Dorothy Raymond, 020 8395 9489.

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