LaSER Counties chair reports November 2016
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LaSER Counties chair reports November 2016

Croydon-Carole Simpson
  •  30 members of our guilds attended the LaSER A.G.M at Margate; we enjoyed the day very much. The county subsidised a coach, and this proved well worth while, giving more members the opportunity to go.
  • Croydon guilds have all been very active over the past few months, holding BBQ’s, traditional cook outs, going on meals out, together with many guilds holding creamed teas with the Queen’s Birthday theme.
  • Outings have included visits to the WW1 exhibition at Whitgift School, Croydon, the Houses of Parliament, with a private tour by local MP, a guided walk around Kensington, The Poppy Factory at Richmond, Open Air Theatre to see  A Midsummer Night’s Dream and to Nyman’s NT property. Also, a few members were able spend a weekend at a member’s caravan on the south coast.
  • Various activities have been undertaken: these include traverse wall climbing, archery, rifle shooting, tenpin bowling, pottery painting, Nordic walking, making quilts for a baby unit, bowls, TOPAZ challenge and “Growing Up Wild”.
  • Guilds have enjoyed talks on many different subjects, some of these being, community policing, ‘Grandma Flew Spitfires’,  a power point presentation on Israel and one about the history of Croydon by the Bourne Association. Fundraising events have been held for St Christopher’s Hospice, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, & Queen Elizabeth Foundation.
  • Members have also enjoyed crafts, quiz and shared memory evenings. Also many members have helped at Rainbow, Brownie and Guide meetings and district events.
  • We are also very pleased to report that two members have recently received awards for their service to Guiding and the community. Sue Lockyer received the Region Chief Commissioner’s Award, and Jennifer Long The Laurel Award.
  • We plan to welcome the New Year together on Saturday the 15th January 2017 with an afternoon entitled ‘Let there be Light’. This will be held at the Radcliffe Hall, Croydon, with craft, refreshments, singing, & glitzy clothes to be worn!                            link to Croydon Page
Greater London Kent-Susan Jenkins
  • Our thirteen Trefoil Guilds have been busy this Autumn!
  • We had 47 members attending the LaSER Annual Review in Margate in September. It was a fantastic day out, good friends, old and new, and wonderful speakers. The highlight of the day was the amazing Trolley Dollies from Kent East Trefoil Guild who were amazing.
  • Guilds have been ten pin bowling, visited a local church, the Walkie Talkie Tower, Hampton Court, Greenwich, Eltham Palace, The Crime Museum, the Great Fire of London Exhibition at the Museum of London and there have been two Blue Plaque walks in London led by a member who is working on her Gold Voyage Award.
  • Twenty five fiddlemuffs were delivered to a local care home by one Guild. Crafts this Autumn have a Christmas theme, Christmas cards, lavender bags for gifts, while our newest Guild held a craft evening making Christmas cards, baubles, trees, puddings and learnt how to do iris folding. (I had to look this up to find out what it was!)
  • There have been a number of interesting talks on a wide variety of topics: a Butcher’s Tale of Woe, a Policeman’s Progress, the Music Hall, and A Century of Changing Decorative Styles, which included 10 beautiful miniature room boxes! Other talks:  a local journalist who had found letters written home during World War One, the experience of a waterway trip in Russia, a Trefoil Guild member’s adventures in Africa supporting a small village mission, breast awareness and becoming a Dementia Friend.
  • The inventiveness of Trefoil Guild members never ceases to amaze me. One Guild held a pickle and chutney survey, with the most popular one being the cheapest. Another Guild held a meeting which revolved around apples. Some Guilds have been working for their Lord Mayor’s Show Badge from Girlguiding too.  Later this month I am looking forward to visiting a Guild for an evening of Scottish Dancing - although I’m not sure if we will be watching or dancing!
  • Individual Guilds continue to use their legacy money in a variety of ways: a river journey, a trip to the seaside, theatre visits, afternoon tea, a Christmas meal and one group are planning a Segway session!
  • December will find our members celebrating with Christmas parties, a Christmas Miscellany, pantomime trips, Christmas lunches and one Guild will be visiting the local Garden Centre to view the decorations
  • Our Trefoil Guild members have supported Girlguiding in large scale activities across the County: delivering refreshments and running activities at both a Rainbow and a Brownie event at Cudham and providing support for delegates at GLK Girlguiding’s County Day as well as promoting Trefoil Guild during the lunch break. Three Young Leaders visited one Guild to talk about their recent trip to Sangam which the Guild had sponsored. Many of our Trefoil members are active in Girlguiding and support units on a regular basis as part of unit teams.
  • Link to Greater London Kent Page
Greater London West-Sylvia Wood
  • The Autumn term started with the trip to Margate Winter Gardens. We had lunch at the Winter Gardens before The Trefoil Guild Annual Meeting started. It was a very good day.
  • During September and October,  the Guilds of Greater London West took part in many activities:  Quiz nights,  a trip to St Albans to see the Cathedral, Lunches, Harvest Supper and speakers and also meetings at  members’ houses and of course more food.
  • The activities arranged to the end of the year include: a harpist playing seasonal music, Christmas Fairs, an evening of Christmas Crafts and a member teaching dancing to her Guild as well as Christmas Dinners.  9 members are working for their gold Voyage Award and 5 members are starting their Bronze.
  • link to Greater London West page
 Kent East-Maggie Field
  • The Trolley Dollies having put away their trollies after the Region Meeting brought them out again last weekend for a performance for County Day which was much enjoyed by the Leaders!
  • Trefoil were to the fore for County Day as we provided lunches for VIPs and Trainers, Refreshments all day for everyone and ran most of the stalls. At the end of the afternoon the Chief Guide came and spoke about her past and the future of Girlguiding which was very interesting and encouraging. County provided an IT session for Trefoil which entitled them to join another session of their choice.
  • The Chief Guide also visited Deal Trefoil in October as the Chairman of that Guild was Brown Owl to her daughters. Other Guilds were invited to attend and it was a very good evening – the second big event in a matter of weeks as Deal has just celebrated their 40th birthday.
  • Sittingbourne Trefoil enjoyed a 50th birthday celebration and their Chairman was interviewed on local radio. They are a Guild which keeps recruiting so we hope that anyone who heard the interview will also join.
  • We have a good number coming to our County Trefoil Craft Day this month on the Romney Marsh: looking forward to a good social event.
  • We are planning our annual lunch for Chairmen in the New Year when the Christmas parties have all finished and everyone has sorted out their programme for a new year.
  • Link to Kent East page
Kent Weald-Pat Drewett
  • Since attending the region review, Kent Weald has been busy.
  • An 8kg parcel of knitted items for ‘Life for African mothers’ has been parcelled up and sent from the County, with every guild donating to the project.
  • Tunbridge Wells Guild celebrated their 60th Anniversary enjoying good company, food and the cutting of a cake.
  • Two members of Tunbridge Wells went to the Thanksgiving Service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate long service in the Scout and Guide movement.
  • Hawkhurst Guild is a member of the Friends of the World Centre and in October members went to Pax Lodge for their annual meeting which celebrated 50 years of Sangam; following this visit, the guild met for lunch in a local Indian Restaurant.
  • Allington Guild were invited to Robertsbridge TG in East Sussex to their open meeting which was a presentation on Hearing Dogs for the Deaf.
  • Other meetings in the county have included a Spinning Demonstration, Games and Gossip, knitting poppies from patterns provided by British Legion for Remembrance Sunday with a donation to British Legion from the sale of the patterns.  Allington Guild found out about the rules of table tennis and the different forms of the game.
  • Christmas meals are planned. Mid Kent,  instead of a ‘Secret Santa’ present, will collect a £2 coin from  all their members to set up a fund SOS – ‘Santa Open Support ‘ which will help towards funding of special trips and projects undertaken by guides in their district .
  • Boughton Vale, North Downs and Allington are planning a gathering for a combined Christmas Coffee morning.
  • Link Kent Weald
Kent West-Jan Higgins
  • Following our last County meeting and the Guilds giving their individual reports, it’s amazing how much variety their meetings have taken and the opportunities made available for their members: from helping out with different sections in units with showing Brownies how to knit,  to Division events making the tea for more Queen’s birthday celebrations; Theatre visits to see ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’ at Medway Theatre,  to ‘Old Time Music Hall’ at Criterion theatre Sheerness; Coach trips to the Cotswolds and to Bletchley Park, which brought lots of memories to some members; Fund raising events at Restoration House in Rochester raising £775; and at the Gatehouse in Otford raising £75 for Bloodrunners,  a charity in Kent to supplement the NHS transporting blood and items around by motorbike. Also a hilarious time had by all at a ‘Frog Race’ raising £150 for NSPCC.
  • After the Brownies had been taught knitting they produced 60 blankets for the local premature baby unit, which was a great boost to those Guild members who had helped to teach them.  Members have also been busy knitting, with items for different organisations including the Queen Elizabeth Clothing Fund.
  • There have been quite a lot of afternoon teas through the Autumn and we are now looking forward to our Christmas meals and making decorations and cards with coming together for Christmas.
  • Link to Kent West
London North East-  Sarah Smith
  • Tower Hamlets Guild hosted an evening with William Edwards, Curator of the Gordon Museum at Guy’s Hospital, at which he gave a talk entitled “40 Years of Murder: the Life and Times of Keith Simpson”. This covered some of the cases of this famed Home Office pathologist, such as the acid bath murders, and was very interesting and not too ghoulish. It was good to have members from all three guilds attend.
  • The walking group continue to meet and have recently enjoyed a walk through Hyde Park admiring the autumn foliage, lunch by the Serpentine and renewing their promises at Speaker’s Corner. In December, they hope to go South Kensington and see the exhibition Opus Anglicanum at the Victoria & Albert Museum. If anyone would like further details of upcoming events, please contact Eileen Longstaff at
  • Stoke Newington Guild held a cultural evening at which members shared customs and traditions, as well as food and music from India and West Africa.
  • Janette Goss from Central Guild was presented with her Bronze Voyage Award at her Rainbow meeting and the girls were very proud to see their leader accept her award.
  • Our members have been busy visiting Brownie and Guide units to lead singing sessions which the girls love and have also been helping the Brownies learn about Guiding traditions. Our Guilds are now preparing for Christmas with card making and other crafts. Glitter and glue brings pleasure at any age!
  • Link to London North East
London North West- Catherine Nadkarni  
  • September 10th was a good start to get-together at Margate when members from Westminster & Hampstead travelled down to the Regional Meeting. We still talk about it for being such a fun occasion with the 'Trolley Dollies performance and the amusing side of fashion 1900's.
  • Two of LNW. were able to attend 'Teams Day' and found the talk of promoting ourselves, using all the materials available from Trefoil website, how to place the Trefoil Lozenge etc. very thought provoking and something we really needed. Working with other members in groups to make suggestions of what we would like included in the 2017 & 2018 celebrations was interesting, and hopefully we will all be able to see and enjoy many of the ideas put forward. We found it a useful day.
  • On the home-front everyone has been circulated with Notes from Region & National, and received feed-back of the 'Teams Day.
  • Meeting places for our Groups have been changed over these months for various reasons, however, Westminster enjoyed talking about their visits to the World Centres, and Hampstead moved their meeting to a members home and enjoyed celebrating Diwali with many candles lit and enjoyed Diwali sweets. We looked at photographs of life in India and members dressed up in saris and enjoyed a fun evening.
  • On 2nd November Westminster held a business meeting, coupled with a lunch and celebratory cake as they celebrated their 67th year as a Trefoil Guild. They will have a Christmas Party in December with a Secret Santa. They are having Christmas Craft evenings, as Hampstead also planned. Hampstead members have been invited to my home for a Christmas Lunch on the 10th December, followed with games, time permitting.
  • The Guild will be joining Hampstead Girl Guiding for an AGM, when we promote the TG with a slide show of our year’s photos and talk about our year.
  • Link to London North West
London over the Border-Jean Pinner
  • Following our summer break our county is back in the routine of our monthly informal lunches. December will be sharing ‘Carols and Mince pies’ with the Friends of Chigwell Row.
  • Our Royal Correspondent Linda Bowley has been sharing her experiences at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party and the Patron’s Lunch in the Mall. We have heard reports from participants in Guiding trips with County and Region.
  • We had a stall at Redbridge Council’s Volunteering Fair where we were able to give out information to quite a few ladies and hope we might gain a member or two! We also made contacts who may be future speakers.
  • We are looking forward to our Christmas festivities and are beginning to plan our February Thinking Day Lunch.
  • Link to London Over the Border
London South East-Yvonne Westwood
  • As usual all Guilds have a busy programme, especially with Christmas to look forward to at the end of this term!
  • At the beginning of November members from other Guilds in the County joined with our Disabled Guild for Christmas crafts and sparklers (it was November 5th!). Those who came had an enjoyable afternoon, and everyone went home clutching things they had made.
  • In October our Disabled Unit asked to do Love in a Box again this year. These boxes go to Orphanages in Moldovia where the children would not get Christmas presents if they weren’t sent from overseas. We filled 12 boxes with the items allowed.
  • Food has featured in all programmes, from cream teas in the summer to Christmas lunches later this year. Crafts, hand bells and visits to Museums both locally and slightly further afield have also featured.
  • Sadly, two Guilds have had funerals to attend this term.
  • Next term new year activities and International activities will occupy the beginning of 2017.
  • Link to London South East
London South West-Joan Taylor
  • Since September all Guilds have been active in their own way. We had a very happy County International Day in October, all Guilds were represented but with so many other things on and various “bugs” around, we were not as many as anticipated. Each Guild will hold its own Christmas celebration and we are now making plans for our County Christmas/World Thinking Day lunch.
  • Link to London South West
Middlesex East-Angela Weston
  • As summer moved to autumn and winter some hardy guilds still had outdoor meetings but many guilds have by now moved inside for their meetings.
  • Visits out included Canary Wharf Gardens – a small but peaceful haven in the busy city - and The Horniman Museum, a complete contrast with animal enclosure, formal gardens, tennis courts, good views and  an 18th century glass house tea room.  A picnic at a local campsite gave opportunities for flower identification as well as “chair activities” for less able members.  A visit to Bentley Priory, headquarters of Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain, proved so interesting that a second visit is being considered.  Walking to the Geffreye Museum, taking in the London skyline - very modern buildings mixed with the old – led to enjoyable hours seeing all the rooms set up in the style for the different periods in history for one guild.  They also found the pleasant garden to wander round and, of course, a meal at a local eatery!
  • The annual weekend away at Bromham in Bedfordshire for one guild gave opportunity to visit Milton Keynes Museum, the local water mill, and a trip to Box End, Kempston, a large water ski-ing centre.   Another guild met up with Uckfield Trefoil in Brighton and went round Brighton Pavilion and had lunch with them there.
  • Indoor meetings included a visit to the cinema and the theatre, talks on visits to Laycock Abbey, Cardiff Castle and Llandaff Cathedral, a Theatre Talk on screen actors and music hall entertainers through the ages.  Talks by members on interesting holiday destinations included Cambodia and China.
  • Board games, a Christmas themed meeting making hats and decorations, quizzes, handcraft skills, "Armchair Exercises", Adult colouring and Christmas crafts have also been enjoyed.
  • One member spoke about Hospital Chaplaincy and the role of Chaplains and chaplaincy visitors: how she became a visitor and her experiences and the changes she had seen over the last 20 years ago. And one guild celebrated the 60th Anniversary of one member’s, Sister Barbara, Profession. It was a special occasion with a celebratory Mass and lunch afterwards for all her guests.
  • Charitable activities included raising £150 for the Sturge Weber Syndrome Charity, supporting the RNLI and carol singing in the local shopping mall.  Supporting the Poppy Appeal has involved one member in delivering poppy wreaths to various outlets for the Poppy Appeal organiser and working on the Poppy Appeal Stall in a shopping centre for two weeks.  Guilds have also been helping with Brownies Packs and planting spring bulbs for the enjoyment of others next year.
  • Sadly we lost some members recently, notable amongst them was Jean Howliston, one-time editor of Talking Trefoil.
  • Many members had an enjoyable time at the Region Annual Meeting in Margate with “a good speaker and entertainment”.  Several members also took the opportunity to wander along the coast taking in the sea air.
  • Christmas lunches and carol singing will complete the year for most guilds
  • Many guilds are now busy planning next year’s activities and from what I’ve heard already more fun and exciting times are coming next year!
  • Link to Middlesex East
Middlesex North West-Janet Brock Middlesex South West- Bev Tremayne
  • The Guilds in MSW have had an interesting term with a variety of speakers.  This has included learning about Hampton Court and also The Royal British Legion Poppy appeal. 
  • Among the fun meetings that have been held there has been a Games evening and a Beetle Drive.  Several groups will also join together for a Bag Beetle Event during November.
  • On a personal level one guild celebrated the 95th birthday of one of their members and another had a party to say “Goodbye” to a member moving to Derby.
  • There have been several craft evenings including card & gift making, Christmas wreaths, decoupage and glass painting.
  • With Christmas on the horizon there are plans for an evening of Carol Singing with a visiting pianist and, of course, the usual meals out, parties and fun nibbles evenings.
  • Link to Middlesex South West
Surrey East-Janet Wheeler
  • Members enjoyed the Annual Review at Margate in September, particularly the entertainment & lunch. 
  • We held an indoor campfire at the new Banstead Guide HQ which was ably led by one of Caterham Guild.  It was good to sing the old songs as well as learning some new ones.  It is hoped to hold an outdoor campfire next summer.
  • On 15 October, Surrey East & Surrey West Rainbows, Brownies & Guides came together at Norbury Park, near Leatherhead to enjoy Growing Up Wild.  Many outdoor activities had been organised by The Surrey Wildlife Trust & Guiding.  Seventeen Trefoil Guild members helped with registration, activities & making teas & coffees.
  • Voyage Award – 2 bronze awards have been presented and several members are working on their silver and gold awards.
  • Guild activities – Reigate Guild held a successful Quiz & Supper.  Bookham held a ploughman’s lunch & they are also having a coffee morning.
  • The County Tai Chi & table tennis group and the walking group continue to be well supported.
  • We were pleased to welcome Jenie Dore back home, following her participation in TOPAZ to Russia.  We look forward to hearing about her travels.
  • Link to Surrey East
Surrey West-Pam Bedder
  • Over 50 members from Surrey West travelled together in a coach to the Region Annual meeting in Margate in September.   It was a long day for us all as being a large County we had two pickup points which lengthened the journey for some.
  • We all thoroughly enjoyed the day and were able to have some time before the meeting to have lunch in Margate and we all agreed that it was one of the best Annual Meetings we had been to.
  • Our Chairs meeting was held for the first time in September at Paxmead – Surrey West’s riverside boating activity centre – which meant that several Guilds did not have so far to travel.
  • Tillingbourne Guild held a Beatrix Potter Tea party afternoon in aid of Macmillan and the refreshments were truly amazing along with several very interesting games and quizzes.
  • Although I was not able to be there, many Guild members attended Surrey West Girlguiding’s County Day in Weybridge where our speaker told stories and showed very professional slides of his travels which was enjoyed by all.   During the afternoon there was a dip in and out craft session which was provided by a couple of members and the daughter of one of our members.
  • Link to Surrey West
Sussex Central-Jane Brown  
  • The autumn months are now here and Guilds are enjoying various meetings.
  • Sussex Central Trefoil members were delighted to celebrate with family and Guiding friends of Janet Samuel, who was presented by Pip McKerrow with the Laurel Award.
  • A memorable evening was held with Burgess Hill Guild celebrating their 21st Birthday on the 4th November.  Guild members and guests enjoyed a delicious supper with lots of chatter and catching up.  Kay Wright, who was the first Chair of the Guild, and her husband, travelled from Norfolk and were delighted to meet up with original members – there were six – and Guiding/Trefoil friends.  Kay also had been a District Commissioner and Guider within Burgess Hill Division.
  • County held a very well supported and enjoyable “CRAFT  DAY” in October with many beautiful items made.  Thanks to Guiding members who helped at this event with their various craft skills. 
  • Sadly, three Trefoil members have passed away and our thoughts are with the Guilds and their members.
  • link to Sussex Central
Sussex East_Margaret Garrad
  • Trefoil members rose to the challenge as they always do, this time to help at Girlguiding Sussex East County’s ‘Wings and Wellies’ event for Rainbows and Brownies at Sheffield Park on 17th September.  They prepared lunches and teas for all the leaders, helped to run zones and did craft preparation work ahead of the event.  Their praises have been sung throughout the County, they helped enormously towards the success of the day.
  • Members have been busy knitting comfort rabbits and beanie hats for the project – ‘Gambian Children’, also knitting squares which are then formed into the rabbits.  Knitting still goes on for African Mothers.  Bras are still collected for African girls and women and we are now asked to collect pants.  To explain the latter – young ladies of school age have to miss a week of schooling every month through lack of adequate protection. 
  • At home, members are busy making post mastectomy pillows and we are so fortunate that on many occasions when we hand over the next batch, at Eastbourne District General Hospital a photograph is published in the local Eastbourne newspaper.  Twiddle bands/muffs are again are well received at Care Homes and the Conquest Hospital in Hastings.
  • Trefoil members have been involved in Growing Guiding by helping their District/Divisions in talking to potential new leaders including University students who need 50 hours of service on a community project; these students may not be with us for long, however, all help is appreciated and it may well lead them on to being Leaders in Guiding in the future.
  • Interesting talks have taken place: to name two, The History of Piers and the Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service which is based in East Sussex.
  • As we approach the end of another busy year Guilds are making Christmas door wreaths and Advent calendars in readiness for the festive season.
  • Link to SussexEast
Sussex West- Margaret Goodyer
  • Worthing Cissbury Guild has embarked upon a project to install a window on Worthing Pier.  There are many windows on the Pier, commemorating various events and displaying different societies and clubs, so it was thought that with the coming National Annual meeting in Brighton next year the Trefoil Guild should be up there among the Great and the Good as it were showing the flag or in their case “The Badge”.  It will probably be in place next Spring.
  • The Friendship Service was held in Steyning Church on 23rd October and attended by about 85 members and guests, it was a beautiful sunny day, the trees surrounding the church magnificent in all their autumn glory.  Afternoon tea in the Steyning Centre was enjoyed by all.
  • We have just enjoyed the Trefoil Guild County holiday, 16 members travelled  by coach to Great Hautbois, the guide house belonging to Anglia Region and spending five days there exploring the area near Norwich.  There were trips to Sandringham, Taverham craft centre and to the city of Norwich itself.
  • Our competition for the Ann Suter Rose Bowl will take place at the Chairman’s meeting and lunch in December, this is to design a badge for the Trefoil Guild’s 75th anniversary in 2018, also plans are well in hand for our County celebration for the 75th anniversary “Fun Fest 75” when it is hoped the guide leaders will be making the tea!!
  • Link to Sussex West

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