CAWG Zoom Meeting

CAWG Zoom meeting 18th June 2020

17 people joined in this first Zoom meeting. Edwina Neal, as host, welcomed everyone with apologies from Jennie Landsberg, Gill Samuels, Mildred Ryder and Krysia Yardley. Edwina explained that this is a trial run, to assess how we manage Zoom. We may need torun our monthly meetings in this way at least during the autumn. If we have to payspeakers fees, we will have to decide about meeting charges, and how to collect them.A provisional programme has been prepared for next year. All the speakers are prepared to deliver Zoom lectures. Details of the programme will be emailed to members with the Membership renewal forms at the end of August.

The Summer Lunch, scheduled for July 26th, at Janet Bentley’s, was mentioned in the following discussions, when Barbara suggested that perhaps we could have a picnic. Janet explained that the committee had given this careful consideration, but even a picnic format would present too many problems. Such an event would be dependent on the weather, and we would be widely scattered around the garden. At present we can only allow 6 people to meet anyway, but that could change.

If regulations permit, we may be able to hold one or more smaller events in the autumn.

Christel Moor updated us about some National concerns.

Jennie had participated in a Zoom meeting for LA presidents. The Worcester Association does not plan to continue as a member of BFWG, but Patrice Wellesley-Cole, (National President) hopes to visit them and discuss the problems.

Mary Beard, noted historian and broadcaster, has offered a free Q&A session for all members of BFWG on July 28th, from 4.30-6.00pm. Questions should be submitted to Carrie de Silva by July 21st. A letter explaining this has since been sent to all members of BFWG.

National AGM will be conducted by email. The reports are on the website. If you need a login, email to ‘’,

The Winchester Association has suggested a joint meeting/lunch with Canterbury when we can visit places, at a joint venue mutually convenient.  Later in the meeting, Aisha confirmed that the European meeting planned for Paris in September has been cancelled. Elections have been held over for 12 months.

Members were then asked in turn to share any “lock down experiences”

Geraldine Deas spoke about a television programme “Unprecedented”.

Dorothea Pragnell had spent all the time at home, getting a lot of gardening done She had also followed A television programme, “History of a House,” about Bristol property connected with the slave trade, which was particularly relevant at present. (I was born and brought up in Bristol, and my mother before me, so this programme was particularly interesting. I know the location of the house and was ashamed to realise how little I knew about the slave trade, other than the fact that much of the city’s wealth came from tobacco and chocolate. Bristol University had large endowments from these industries, and if I had done well enough in the 11+, I might have attended Colston Girls School! – Janet B)

Amal Garnham has not been out at all. Occupied herself with her garden, and television. She has also been doing online courses, one, upcoming, entitled ‘Out of Africa’ and another on the playwright and novelist Patrick Hamilton.

Barbara Jackson told us that her garden looks better than ever, but they miss the theatre and cinema. Barbara and Graham have been learning about on-line shopping, after the first attempt took 2 hours. Also engaged with the streaming services from St Stephens Church. The Evensong has been particularly successful, and now has 400-500 viewers.

Janet Bentley. Time has passed surprisingly quickly. A lot of clearing out projects have not been done, but we have done a lot in the garden, and are now picking some soft fruit and vegetables. We have made regular walks around Blean orchards and woods, which has been delightful, and have found places that we did not know existed, after 40 years living here. This week we ventured as far as Walmer for a picnic on the beach.

Ann Temple waiting for a pacemaker to be fitted, which she hopes will happen in about three weeks’ time, therefore she has not left her flat, and has relied on help from her family. She has been knitting for a local church charity, 17 hats, 9 children’s jumpers, and is delighted the wool shop opposite her flat is now open.

Aldwyth Garside, has been reading ” the Way we Live Now” by Trollop. Going for walks. Also had an eye test recently and was pleased to see all the health precautions taken by the opticians. They follow services from St Thomas church, on-line. She misses her choir but has been listening to streamed lunch time concerts from The Wigmore Hall.

Ann Chadwick. Also learning about on-line shopping, after a few mistakes. Active gardener, and is enjoying the fruit from their garden. Reading book about Rosalind Franklin, pioneer in DNA research.

Christianne Crabtree. Makes short trips out as a form of exercise, to local shops, but also to M and S and Waitrose, where the system is carefully regulated. Follows services from St Stephens, and the Cathedral. Takes part in a U3A group, which recently had a meeting in a garden. Finds there is plenty to do,

Rosemary Barford. Also finds plenty to do, with garden, walks, church services, and had cleared out the garage.

Janet Potter. They have stayed at home. Neighbours occasionally have coffee mornings outside their front gardens. Practised the piano each day, which has been useful. Missing contact with the family.

Mary Brown. Working three days a week at Christchurch University. Has had to adapt to on-line teaching. A student on placement at QEQM had died from Covid19

Sigi Martin. Has endured 12 weeks shielding but has been supported by her family.

Aisha Alshawaf. After three weeks off, has worked the rest of the time as a dentist, running emergency services, and also at a community clinic in Ashford.

Penny Hammond. Some work in the dental practice. Carried out a lot of creative gardening, and regular walks with her daughter. Also engaged in a big sort out of family photographs.

Christel Moor. Has been preparing the programme for next year. Done a lot of reading.

Thank you to everyone who joined us in this meeting. We hope to arrange a similar event next month.

CAWG Committee

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