LaSER Counties chair reports September 2016
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LaSER Counties chair reports September 2016

LaSER County Reports:  Sept. 2016
Croydon - Carole Simpson
  • Croydon guilds have continued to meet throughout the summer months.
  • Taking advantage of the light evenings guilds have been on walking treasures hunts around their local area. Croydon South had a private tour of Shirley windmill, which was very interesting.
  • Shirley Guild visited the Museum of the Mind at Bethlem Royal Hospital (which was founded in 1247 for the care of the mentally ill) this museum being opened in 2015 and also has a gallery of former patients art work. All very thought provoking!
  • A number of guilds helped at the Rainbow and Brownie Fun Day at Our Local Guide Centre, running the craft section and generally being involved on the day.
  • Many of Croydon Guides have been celebrating the Queens 90th Birthday, with Red, White and Blue tea parties etc.
  • Addiscombe Guild have been on their annual outing to play skittles, all good fun.
  • We are pleased that Catherine Mayes was able to visit Bramble Hill guild at their annual holiday at Sayers Croft, and it was here that she was finally given her Silver Brooch. Croydon County have continued to support Bramley Hill Guild which is for members with special needs, by helping at meetings, and also by a grant of £200.00 to help with Holiday expenses. 
Greater London Kent - Susan Jenkins
  • So, another busy Summer for GLK Trefoil! There have been a number of Guild lunches during the past few months, celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday, as well as our annual Trefoil Day, held at Cudham. We were delighted to welcome the “Queen” and the “Duke of Edinburgh” when they made an appearance after lunch and the unplanned Spitfire flying past!
  • The GLK Girlguiding Thank You event was well supported by Trefoil members. Many Guilds have been spending the money from a past member’s legacy over the summer and a number of outings have taken place with more planned for the Autumn.
  • Our Voyage Award members have been going from strength to strength. Nine people are currently working on their Bronze award and 5 are working on their Silver, some of these are planning on completing their Silver Award this Autumn. One member is cracking on with her Gold. This is due in part to the termly get together with our Voyage Award Adviser to discuss their progress and share their work so far.
  • Having completed my first year as chairman I am beginning to feel as though I am beginning to have a grip on things! Our 2017 County holiday is booked! We are going to Stratford Upon Avon in May. So, just the planning team meeting to organise the outings and activities to go. The speaker we wanted for our next Annual Review has agreed to come. This was always going to be a difficult task as this year’s entertainment, Cockney Pride, was fantastic and would be a difficult act to follow.
  • Many thanks to the members of the Trefoil County team, without whom all this would not be possible.
Greater London West - Sylvia Wood
  • The lead up to the summer term was filled with a few activities out and about, with visits to Painshill Park, Osterley House, The Royal Hospital at Chelsea and evenings where members played a variety of games in small groups. These included: Drafts, Dominoes, Snakes & Ladders and Yahzee!, wwith the evening being rounded off with tea, cake, strawberries and cream.
  • Many of the activities that have taken place in GLW:
  • The annual weekend away to The Pleasantry took place with a good turn out. Those who were able to make it enjoyed craft and hand bells.
  • Afternoon tea at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park.
  • Many speakers including, The Rev’d Ann Nickson, Rector of St Mary’s Mortlake gave a talk about her sabbatical in Israel; a talk about Crisis at Christmas;  "A Butcher's Tale of Woe."
  • Meals out being still very popular; flower demonstration of flower arranging, a cook out and B.B.Q's.  Members also joined West Surrey for their garden lunch.  Three members enjoyed a trip to the National AGM.
  • Greater London West are supporting a number of charities, e.g. Silver Line; One step at a time (a children's charity). 
  • Jenny Powell gave a great talk to GLW on The Voyage Award and it was much appreciated by all present.
  • The Guilds are looking forward to the Autumn term.
  • News of the sad death of a Guild Member, Evelyn Taylor aged 98, also reached us. 
Kent East - Maggie Field
  • We have all enjoyed the summer months: tea parties, outings to a variety of places, walks, visits to the campsite and helping out at Guiding events and holidays/camps. I joined a Guild for a croquet evening on Ramsgate front, another Guild had a crazy golf afternoon and a visit to Nyman’s House and Garden was enjoyed by another group.
  • Some of our members helped out on the Trefoil stand at the Kent County Show in July.
  • We are all gearing up for the Region AGM in Margate and are praying for a sunny day!
  • We have two Guilds celebrating 40th and 50th Birthdays this coming term, one of which is Deal who invited the new Chief Guide as she lives in the area but unfortunately she is away so is visiting them in October instead.
  • A County Craft Day is booked for the beginning of November and we hope it will be well supported.
  • Trefoil have been booked for County Day in November providing lunches, tea/coffee and manning stalls. We are also given a session or two of our own which is wonderful.
Kent Weald - Pat Drewett
  • Our summer has been a busy one. Members attended the National Meeting in Harrogate, The Isle of Wight Region holiday and Lorne in Ireland. Three Maidstone Guilds held a combined visit to a local Goat Sanctuary followed by afternoon tea including fundraising for the sanctuary.
  • Many Guilds held Strawberry Teas and one guild raised money for Breast Cancer Care.
  • North Downs and Pembury raised money for their local Guide Unit and a Scout/Guide HQ. The county organised a successful Trefoil BBQ at Pembury Scout/Guide HQ.
  • Guilds visited the Royal British Legion, had a talk on Olive Growing – tree to table, Animals at War, a quiz was set by Allington to walk round Maidstone to get to know their county town a little better and a guild went travelling on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway.
  • Members continue to work towards the Voyage Award.  A consignment of knitting has been sent to Life for African Mothers.
  • As I write this 27 members are looking forward to meeting tTefoil friends at the Region Annual Review in Margate.
Kent West - Jan Higgins
  • Kent West’s main event this summer was our County Dabble Day held in July at Paxwood Girl guiding camp site, Wilmington, near Dartford.    It was based on the Queen’s 90th birthday and the first event by our new job share Programme Advisors.    Each Division was tasked with a challenge to pass on in a round robin so everyone had a chance to try all these items. These ranged from decorating cupcakes, making hats with feathers for Royal Ascot, making a natural collage of the Tower of London, quizzes, Royal family tree, Highland games with a difference and a trail around the site picking up ‘jewellery’ to make a crown.   We also used the sites geocashing equipment to demonstrate this modern GPS mapping.    All this was rounded off with a camp fire.   The weather was good to us and the ladies are already planning next year’s event.
  • Nine members of Kent West travelled up to Harrogate by minibus for the weekend to attend the Trefoil National Review.  Friday evening, we spent in the Victorian Winter Gardens which is now a Wetherspoon’s and a beautiful building.  Saturday we attended the Review with a very interesting speaker and Saturday evening a show put on by the local Region.   On Sunday Harrogate town had a 40’s themed fete in the local park which was amazing with lots of local people dressed in 40’s style, classic cars, and army camp with jeeps and tents, and men dressed up, one in  Home Guard style as Capt. Mainwaring.   There were plenty of stalls with some selling tea and cake.  It was difficult to come away for the long journey home.
  • Members of the Medway Guild and the outgoing County Commissioner were challenged to climb across the O2 Dome at Greenwich and they all completed it with great satisfaction.
  • One Guild had a ‘sausage sizzle’ to raise funds for another of our camp sites, Kays Garden and several Queen’s birthday events around the County with cream teas and quizzes were held.
  • There have been visits to Garden Centres, bowling alleys and one Guild visiting Bletchley Park by Coach and one  a day trip to the Cotswolds.    Another Guild visiting their local Fire Station with a guided tour by a Fireman! 
London North East - Eileen Longstaff (retiring Chair) and Sarah Smith (Chair from 1/9/16)
  •  All three Guilds have been out and about – some to Waltham Abbey, others continuing the William Shakespeare trail round the City of London and Southwark, and yet others enjoying the Edinburgh Fringe.
  • London NE Girlguiding again kindly provided our AGM’s Chairman and Secretary. Stoke Newington, the hosts, gave us all a warm welcome and delightful refreshments.  Maintaining our neighbourly link with London over the Border, we were delighted to have ex-County Chairman Carole Clarke in attendance.
  • It was a great pleasure to congratulate Janette Goss, County Girlguiding Commissioner and a member of Central Guild, on achieving a Bronze Voyage Award.  We had to content ourselves with a traditional handshake, as Janette had already asked for the Award to be presented at one of her Rainbow meetings.
  • Our speaker, the Revd. Chris Morgan, told us - with his usual mixture of humour and fervour - about his life-long dedication to his daytime profession of embalmer as well as his unexpected journey into non-stipendiary ministry in the Church of England.
London North West - Catherine Nadkarni
  • The Queen's Birthday was celebrated in Westminster & Hampstead with glasses raised in honour of her Majesty's  90th birthday.  
  • On the 11th June Westminster GG organised a PAW'’s Outdoor Activity Day coupled with a Queen's Tea Party.  Trefoil Guild were present to lend a hand and were involved with escorting groups of Brownies & Guides on walks centered around the Regent Canal, as well as preparing sandwiches, laying up the Party tables and serving the young people returning from their Out-of Doors expeditions.  It was a great day and many photos were taken with the cardboard cut out of Her Majesty the Queen, who was present to join the party.
  • I travelled up to Harrogate for my first National AGM - a bit daunting going on your own.  However, Trefoil people are very friendly so from the minute I arrived members were evident with scarves/ red or yellow shirts, and I joined groups as we sorted out our way to the hall.  I met up with LaSER members and made new acquaintances with lots of stories to tell.  The stalls were very tempting and I acquired a new neckerchief and an embroidery kit (perhaps for Voyager use!).  A worthwhile visit, and listening to the speaker, who I knew of from reading one of his books, was a joy: Gervase Phinn had our enormous gathering in fits of laughter from start to finish. I would recommend attending a Nation
  • al Meeting - it gives a good feel to being part of a large organisation.
  • Westminster Trefoil held their Annual Garden Party and continued to raise funds for improvements to their premises at the campsite at Sarratt.
  • Hampstead enjoyed another visit to the Royal Mews, viewing the Queen's Carriages, the leather saddles and decorative harnesses etc.  Lead by Mr. Oates who is responsible for the up-keep and turn-out of the Queen's Cavalry. Afterwards we enjoyed a delicious supper with Mr. Oates and his wife Vivienne our Trefoil member.  This occasion was our last before members meet up for our journey to Margate.
  • Trefoil members have also helped at Brownie Meetings this term. 
London over the Border - Jean Pinner
  • Our County has had a right Royal summer term. Like the Queen we celebrated her birthday twice. 17 members enjoyed excellent weather, accommodation and company on the LaSER holiday to the Isle of Wight. Whilst there, we were able to attend the beacon lighting at Yarmouth on 21st April. Then on 11th June we put on our posh frocks and joined our own two 90 year olds to celebrate with a strawberry tea. For Linda Bowley this was a prelude to her Lunch on the Mall the next day. We are looking forward to hearing her account of this and her earlier Buckingham Palace Garden Party.
  • Several members thoroughly enjoyed the National AGM in Harrogate. It was interesting that the TG made an impression on Gervase Phinn, I wonder if we will appear in one of his books?!
  • 8 of us completed CHQ’s Royal Parks Challenge, an interesting walk we heartily recommend and of course the cream tea at the end!
  • Members continue to support Guiding locally as well supporting The Friends of Chigwell Row and giving active support at the Campsite Shop and Brownie Day
  • We have several members working on the Discovery Challenge, Maria Pond has started on her Gold Award.
  • We are looking forward to the Region AGM at Margate and have booked ahead to Brighton!
London South East - Yvonne Westwood
  • During the summer all our Guilds have been busy both indoors and out of doors. One Guild went to Hall Place to see wildlife photographs taken by Trefoil Guild members. Another Guild had a “share a hobby” meeting, which included a talk on fostering homeless cats, bat detecting, and a talk on a holiday to Oman. Several Guilds attended the Trefoil Day at Cudham.
  • Our disabled Guild spent a day at Cudham in July where chocolate was a prominent theme! They enjoyed cooking their own BBQ lunch, as well as tie-dying tee-shirts, making chocolate Cornflake/Rice Krispie cakes, making kites, and making the most of a chocolate machine for dessert at lunchtime!
  • Remaining on the food theme, one Guild had lunch at The Clarendon Hotel on Blackheath, and one Guild had a Strawberry Cream tea to raise funds which was well attended by members of all Guilds in the County. Another Guild had a Strawberry Tea to raise funds for “Goats for Ghana”.
  • Flower arranging has been on the programme for at least 2 Guilds; American Independence Day has been celebrated, and In August a group went to the Heritage Centre for a Picnic. One Guild also had a talk on Religious resources in Bexley Schools.
  • As Guilds start to plan for the Autumn Term the programme will continue to be varied, with celebrations, service and fun being part of every Guild’s programme. 
London South West - Joan Taylor
  • All 4 Guilds have been enjoying the summer weather in various ways and are busy making plans for their Autumn programme. East Wandsworth Guild held a Garden Party for all the Guilds, sadly only one other Guild came to enjoy a cream tea in the sunshine in the grounds of a local Scout Headquarters.
  • We have plans for a County International Day in October and are looking for a venue for our Annual County Christmas/World Thinking Day event in February – “The Clink” dining experience at Brixton Prison is an idea we are exploring but, even though we are a small County, it may be too small to accommodate us. 
Middlesex East - Angela Weston
  • Summer is the time for outings and cream teas and so it was for many of  the County’s Guilds.
  • Outings included trips to the historic house and beautiful gardens of Chenies Manor near Rickmansworth; to Theobalds Farm Gardens at Crews Hill, Cuffley, where the owner Alison Green gives personal guided tours of the grounds and tells the history of how she developed it from fields to a series of beautiful gardens over 17 years;  to Myddelton House, Enfield exploring the gardens that Edward Augustus Bowles transformed whilst living there 1865 – 1954 and to Ham House.
  • Two guilds visited Forty Hall, Enfield where a new interpretive exhibition explores the life and times of Sir Nicholas Rainton, life in the seventeenth century and the story of Forty Hall & Estate; and to Oakmere House restaurant in Potters Bar overlooking the pleasant grounds of Oakmere Park.
  • Lunch at Grims Dyke, the home of W.S. Gilbert of G & S fame was enjoyed by one Guild. Another visited Lee Valley White Water Rafting Centre, Waltham Cross, Herts, where a tour of the centre brought back fond memories of water activities to members who were one-time Sea Rangers.
  • Many visits ended with a cream tea or lunch at a local hostelry or garden centre; while other guilds just enjoyed a cream tea with friends or members from other guilds.  Members also took advantage of the fine weather with BBQs and sausage sizzles.  Some Guilds ventured further afield with visits to Ramsgate and Herne Bay.  One guild went to Mudeford, and enjoyed a fish and chip lunch followed by – guess what – a cream tea!
  • In amongst the happy times the needs of others was not forgotten with guilds raising funds for their local campsite, the RNLI, the local Children’s Hospice, the local Animal Shelter, and Special Olympics, G.B.
  • Talks included 'The women I have married' by a Registrar which included the history of marriage over the centuries; a talk and film on the work of the RNLI; a speaker on the ‘street and sewage’ children in South America; a trip to Sweden.
  • Other activities included the current craze for adult colouring; quizzes for wet days; and helping at the County’s campsite.
  • The County Bring and Share Picnic - a celebration for the Queen’s 90th Birthday – was enjoyed by all and Her Majesty attended in the form of a life-size cut-out picture!
Middlesex North West - Janet Brock
  • Acorn Guild (for members with disabilities) have continued working on their Voyage Award and have been teaching members of another guild Makalon sign language.
  • We had sad news from Belmont Guild that Betty Enticott, their secretary, passed away during August.  She was a very long standing member of Guiding and will be sadly missed.
  • Centenary are responsible for the Tranquil Garden at our Willow Tree Centre and have been carrying out pruning and general maintenance as well as walking in Langley Park. Heathrow have been ten pin bowling and enjoyed an Italian evening. Pinner had a visit from Bill Hamilton, retired news commentator. 
  • Some members have made a wonderful banner which is being donated to the new Heath Robinson Museum shortly opening in Pinner.  Every member has been given a commemorative mug, printed with the Guild’s name, to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.
  • Ruislip-Northwood had a talk by a member from another guild about the Mysotis Charity who have built and maintained a medical centre in Romania. A walk around Perivale Nature Reserve had to be cancelled due to heavy rain.
  • Willow Tree enjoyed a cake icing demonstration, followed later in the week with afternoon cream tea at a teashop in Ruislip Manor. A party of members and husbands/partners  had a very interesting visit to Frogmore Paper Mill  in Apsley including a fish and chip lunch.
  • The July meeting took place at Ruislip Lido with a photographic treasure hunt which tested everyone’s observational skills.
Middlesex South West - Bev Tremayne
  • The Speaker organised for Greenford’s May meeting had to cancel - the subject would have been Brickyards in Greenford.  Instead they had a talk on Family Trees and each member was given a tree to complete of their personal family.
  • July’s meeting was a BBQ held in one member’s garden.
  • The Greenford Guild have now settled into their new venue at the British Legion.
  • The Hanwell Guild hosted a Senior Moments evening for the other Guilds in the County.  It was an evening of memories and there was much discussion as well as the usual tea/coffee and biscuits.
  • A group from several of our guilds spent a most enjoyable weekend at the National Meeting in Harrogate in June.
  • A quieter evening of relaxing colouring for laminating to make coasters and/or placemats was held in July.  August saw us meeting at Ruislip Lido for an afternoon  stroll and more coffee and biscuits !
  • Another Guild went to a local Garden Centre and enjoyed cream teas and also had a visit to Savile Gardens in Windsor.
  • Others Guilds have also enjoyed various get-togethers and talks. 
Surrey East - Janet Wheeler
  • Nine members attended the National Annual Meeting at Harrogate in June. They enjoyed listening to the speaker, Gervase Phinn.  It was also good to meet up with old and new friends.  On the same weekend a few members attended Discover at Greenwich, they commented on the girls’ excellent behaviour
  • We held a Quiet Day in July at Wychcroft (Southwark’s Diocesan Centre).  Everyone enjoyed time for themselves but also reflective time together.
  • The Guilds have enjoyed various summer activities including a canal boat trip, BBQ and cream teams, to name but a few.  Banstead Guild celebrated the opening of their new Guide Hall.  Kingswood Guild celebrated their 25th Anniversary by having a cream tea at a local hotel.  Also the SETG Associates celebrated their 10 year anniversary by enjoying lunch at Bletchingley Golf Club.
  • Barbara Wing (late President) has been awarded the Mayor of Reigate & Banstead Volunteer Award 2016 in recognition of her services to Trefoil Guild & Guiding.
  • All in all it has been a time for celebrating and enjoying life.
Surrey West - Pam Bedder
  • Over 60 members from around the Surrey West County came together in May this year for our Annual Meeting at our County Camp site, Herons Wey,  near Farnham
  • The weather was not kind to us but it did not dampen our spirits and after the business side of the day we enjoyed a sumptuous buffet lunch followed by many activities.  We had a couple of drumming sessions, corsage making, origami and pot making all of which we managed to fit inside the building using every available space.   The theme of our day along with many others was the Queen’s 90 Birthday celebrations and we ended the day by cutting a most beautiful cake made and decorated by one of our members, Jill Ward.   The first cut was made by two of our ladies present who are 90 this year.  The proceeds from the raffle were given to a local Trefoil member, Toro Shand, who was completing a cycle ride for charity.
  • I was invited to Emberbrook Guild’s summer lunch party in August and they were blessed with beautiful weather.    It is held in a member’s garden and to cover all eventualities they had erected several gazebos which were useful for shade on the day. A wonderful lunch was served by the members and there was plenty of chat and catching up being done.   We were given quiz sheets which were thought provoking and the inevitable cries of “ooh and aah I knew that really” were heard throughout the garden when the answers were given.   Although the finish time was given as 3 o’clock no-one really wanted to leave.
Sussex Central - Jane Brown
  • The summer months have been glorious and Guilds have had outings if not an official August meeting.
  • Services to celebrate the lives of Sylvia Smith, Sussex Central President and Eileen Burbidge, Sussex Central Vice President, were held in June and July, attended by Region and County representatives as well as Trefoil Members. 
  • The Annual Review was held on a very HOT day in the beautiful garden setting of Hurstpierpoint Guide Hall.  Members welcomed Region Chair, Sarah Little, to an afternoon of “getting to know members”; the usual business; presentation of Voyage Awards and, of course, a delicious TEA prepared by the members. 
  • Guild members went to see a performance of Half a Sixpence at Chichester Festival Theatre – 15 went in the minibus and others by car.  Everyone agreed that it was amazing and brilliant.  It is going to the West End so perhaps Guilds in the London area might like to go and see it.
  • As a County we had a very hot visit to Nymans, National Trust, playing croquet
  • Trefoil members celebrated with Janet Samuel, a Beacon Trefoil Guild member, who was presented with Guiding’s prestigious Laurel Award on Sept. 3rd by former LaSER Chief Commissioner, Pip McKerrow.
  • With September here already Guilds are looking forward to lots of interesting and varied monthly meetings, the Region Review at Margate, and many more forthcoming events.
Sussex East - Margaret Garrad
  • It is with great pleasure I report that our hard working and dedicated County Secretary, Ruth Fisher, was presented with the Trefoil Brooch by our County President, Phoebe Caffyn, at the Executive meeting on the 4th June.  Ruth has held many appointments, including Region Secretary.  As well as currently being our County Secretary, Ruth also co-ordinates Talking Trefoil for the County.
  • It has been that time of year again when Guilds hope for good weather to hold outdoor meetings which have included, cream teas, BBQs, Garden Parties and sausage sizzles.
  • I was delighted to attend Wadhurst Guild’s afternoon garden party and witness a new member making her promise.  I was able to join Wadhurst Guild when they visited my home town of Hastings for a Fish & Chip lunch, I was able to point them to the very best place to eat: they were not disappointed.
  • Girlguiding Sussex East County held their Annual Review, which I attended, in the beautiful setting of Sheffield Park.
  • Girlguiding LaSER Discover Greenwich Event was a most enjoyable event.  Pip had asked me to co-ordinate the Trefoil volunteer marshals; this I did alongside the Lead on Logistics.  Trefoil members were fewer than hoped for, nevertheless, the numbers were sufficient and all did a sterling job.
  • Our County held what has become an annual craft dabble day; these are tremendous fun and a new craft is always available to have a go at,  this time cake decorating flowers from moulding icing and a cat made from a pair of socks!
  • The Voyage Award is still very popular and at the craft dabble day, Ruth Fisher was presented with her Silver Award.
  • We have one member, to the best of my knowledge, who has applied for the TOPAZ 2017 trip.
  • Guilds have taken up the TOPAZ 2016 challenge and will be embarking, in the autumn, on the challenges to earn the superb Russian doll style badge.
Sussex West - Margaret Goodyer
  • These past few weeks have been the season of garden parties and by and large the weather has been favourable, except for East Preston Guild where we played boules and only managed one round before the rain came in, however, the tea was delicious, so all was well.
  • We have held a county fun day (venue had to be hastily changed to the local Scout hall), however, this proved to be an ideal venue and might be used next year.  Some craft, a Bring & Buy, a walk, a cream tea and a campfire made the day enjoyable.
  • Rustington Guild held their annual Soup & Bread Pudding evening; the weather was fine and a campfire was enjoyed by about 60 members from different Guilds.
  • The annual county outing was this year to Amberley Museum, where we were treated royally (special entrance price), had fantastic weather and a very interesting day visiting the various exhibits.
  • Another county effort was a sponsored walk for the Queen Mother’s Clothing Guild; this took the form of a Tree Walk in two separate venues, Chichester City Trail or Littlehampton’s Mewsbrook Park.  One Guild were so engrossed in looking at the trees they never quite finished the walk!
  • Manhood Guild have been fund raising for our TOPAZ candidate, Faith Dexter, and we hope she will soon reach her target.  County have also helped with fund raising
  • Four members attended the National meeting in Harrogate and enjoyed the experience but missed the tea!
  • Plans are well in hand for our county celebration of the 75th anniversary of the start of the Trefoil Guild, at least two of the Guilds have roots firmly at the very beginning of the Trefoil Guild according to log books and photographs.
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