STOKE FERRY & DISTRICT LADIES GROUP

Minutes of the meeting held on May 2nd
Mrs Armsby welcomed 11 members.
APOLOGIES were received from Carol Thulbourne, Gillian Smith, Hazel Hearne, Ann Prodromou & Janet Cooper.
Minutes of the last meeting were read & signed.
Birthday cards were given to 4 members whose birthdays are in May.
Mrs Elsey said that an order list & menu for the fish & chip shop will be circulated during refreshments, & asked members to make their choice & pay in advance if possible. Several people offered to supply condiments, & Valerie Kirchen said that her daughter will deliver the order to the hall at 7.45pm.
Gillian Smith sent a message to say that she is willing to book another Harrod’s mystery tour for the August outing if members wanted one. Everyone agreed.
ROTAS for June
Door & raffle Jenny Elsey & Janet Burns.
There will be 2 birthdays.
Mrs Armsby then introduced Peter Thorpe, who had started work as a farmhand on the Stradsett Estate, & recently retired from there as Farm manager. He told us that following a family tragedy, his son Keith had become unsettled, until he met his partner Zoe. She had returned from Bulgaria to sell a smallholding that she owned there, but together they decided to move back & start a new life over there. The village consisted of several small family holdings, each of about 4 acres. The aim was self-sufficiency, so everyone kept a few animals for meat & milk, and grew their own fruit & vegetables. These were preserved to help them through the harsh winter, when temperatures can drop to -30c. Electricity & water could be off for days, & machinery was almost non-existent, so work was hard but satisfying.
However times are changing. With EU money, Corporations are coming in with big machinery, & growing large areas of wheat & sunflowers. Young people don’t want their parents’ old lifestyle, & smallholdings are being sold as holiday homes. This has given Keith an extra job of managing these properties when the owners are away. Despite the hard work Keith & Zoe are truly living “the good life”. Peter was thanked by Doris Armsby.
The raffle was won by Doris Armsby & Jenny Elsey.
The meeting ended at 9.45pm.
Claire Lankfer (secretary)

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