Tattingstone and Wherstead WI
This month our members and visitors were transported back over fifty years to life on a tea plantation in northern India. Our speaker was Andrea Mendel, a local Tattingstonian, who at 9 weeks old travelled out to Darjeeling by package boat, with her parents, to live on a tea plantation. The talk was accompanied by wonderful, old cine-film footage, taken by her father, of her childhood.
Life seemed idyllic for young Andrea and her older brother but she told of a frenzied attack by wild dogs while they were out for a ride. The children were only just rescued in time but one of the ponies was injured so badly it had to be shot. She also told of a visit to the Rajah’s palace, where she crept off to explore and was found hours later fast asleep between black satin sheets in the Rajah’s bedroom beside a large stuffed bear!
We learnt about the area around Darjeeling which is bordered by Tibet and Nepal. The views from the family garden showed a panorama of the distant Himalayas. Darjeeling once a summer resort for the British Raj before Partition, remains the terminus of the narrow gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or ’Toy Train’
After the talk we all enjoyed home baked cake accompanied by the distinctive black Dajeeling tea grown on the local plantations.
Next month we will be trying on hats as we welcome Oggi Welden from Cappelli De Oggi with a fantastic collection of headgear for every occasion. Maybe I will even find one for a forthcoming family wedding.
Several members are off to Shotley for a group meeting where there will be a fashion show by the Edinburgh Woollen Mill. Our little photographic group will be off snapping again on 1st March. Several members will also be visiting the National WI Fair at Ally Pally. As you can se we are a busy lot with something to interest everyone.
If you would like more information about this or how you can join the WI please give me a ring on 327865.