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This week, a return to Reports from Everywhere’ this time from September 1965. There were so many stories included in this issue of the bulletin, I found it hard to cut down so you have an ‘extended’ selection this week.
Straight to the point
The District Organiser for Lewisham received a letter from a 10-year-old boy in a local primary school. He explained that he was writing an essay about the social work being done in the Borough and he would like to know about WVS. The Organiser invited him to see some of the work if the school would give him permission- WVS was very surprised one morning when the boy arrived with 24 other pupils and his teacher. It proved a very enjoyable morning and the children seemed to ask hundreds of questions and promised they would ask their Mums to help and also to send any cast-off clothing. One small boy asked ‘Do you take ladies who are bored?’
Layettes from Salvage
During the past five years Finchley (a district of the London Borough of Barnet) Centre have made 564 nightdresses, 473 vests and 416 dresses for the Refugee Layette Scheme. This has been accomplished by using the good parts of worn garments destined for the Salvage sack. Shirts and sheets are used to make the nightdresses and vests, summer dresses and underclothes for the little dresses. Hand-made jumpers are undone, washed and re-knitted into shawls; 395 of these have been sent.
Members and friends, most of the latter being elderly, some being disabled and with failing sight, are tireless in sewing and knitting - Their policy is: ‘We are sending a present to these babies, so let us make it as attractive as possible’.
Not once but many times
When we see the students are enjoying themselves at their annual romp and they rattle the collecting boxes before our face, we sometimes forget the enormous amount of good the money will do when they have shared it out among the many local needs.
Money from the Aberdeen students’ campaign and the Welsh Caird trustees took 58 elderly people from Stonehaven on a bus run inland to some of the loveliest villages in Scotland. In a year when the broom and gorse was a mass of blooms they saw whole hillsides covered in golden yellow. Memory pictures to cherish through the dark days of the year.
From unwanted to wanted
One of our ‘Make and Mend’ members in Herne Bay has made about 550 babies’ day and night dresses out of unwanted cotton frocks and skirts in the five years she has been working for WVS; at 82 years of age an excellent record.
A word in time
A member working with the Bath Meals on Wheels service had been delivering meals to the elderly occupants of a very old house. The smell of the house had for some time been slowly getting worse, and when she went one week it was so dreadful that she felt something should be done about it, so she telephoned the Gas Board and asked that someone should be sent along to investigate.
They thought she had made a mistake and should have telephoned for the Sanitary Inspector, but said they would send an engineer along forthwith.
When the gas installations were inspected it was found that all the leads or pipes going into the meter were completely adrift. When they telephoned our member to inform her of this they said that had it not been for her prompt action, undoubtedly all the occupants of this apartment house would have been gassed.
Music in Braille
A blind woman living at Putney, who is being taken care of by a Wimbledon WVS member, is getting on well. Our member is taking great interest in her welfare, and is making every effort to get her some music written in Braille. She is teaching herself the piano and is very keen on music which is one of her greatest joys. She is so happy with her visitor and evidently appreciates this interest in her wellbeing very much indeed.
Posted by Matthew McMurray, Royal Voluntary Service Archivist at 09:00
Monday, 28 September 2015.
Meals on Wheels,
Make do and mend,
BARNET U.D. We were really thrilled to have a personal visit from Corporal W Kane of Stoke Newington who is just back from Korea. He came to express the grateful thanks of all who enjoyed the contents of our parcels. As a token of his appreciation he presented the Centre Organiser with a pair of Korean chopsticks, a spoon and a festive eating bowl. It was quite exciting to hear first-hand news of all the boys and girls who write to us, and we really felt we knew them personally.
BECKENHAM U.D. Flashback to the early nineteen hundreds. A member of one of our Darby and Joan Clubs, having been business manager to Leslie Henson in his early days, wrote reminding him of the past and asked him if he could supply any entertainment for the members of her club. To the great surprise of the leader of the club she was hailed as “Miss Beckenham” although 83 years of age and invited with 90 of her friends and colleagues to witness a performance of his latest play “Relations Are Best Apart”. From the footlights Mr Henson paid a wonderful tribute to this little lady who is gradually losing her sight. He welcomed the members of the club with great gusto.
ERITH B. Sitters-in are still supplied and the job is particularly popular in Metropolitan Kent. Recently a centre received an unusual request - the mother of a small girl asked for a sitter-in whom the child could call Granny as she hadn’t a grandmother and most of her friends had! A Darby and Joan member aged 60, who is a widow and lives alone, has taken on this job and it has given her a great deal of pleasure. She said: “God bless the W.V.S. I feel as if I had been given a new lease of life.”
FULHAM B. Mrs Emma Weekes of Fulham, has just been enrolled. This lady will be 103 years old next May. She is knitting squares in coloured wool to keep the sailors’ “tootsies warm”. Is this a record, please ?
Posted by Matthew McMurray at 15:00
Monday, 12 January 2015.
darby and Joan Club,
Sitters in ,
Knitted Squares ,
Relations are Best Apart,