Before the Christmas festivities got in to full swing erpingham with Calthorpe WI committee received notification of the subject for the 2018 Norfolk WI Salver Competition which this year had the theme of Gilbert and Sullivan. The clarion call went out and some of those who were interested in participating got together at Yvonne’s for a brain storming session to decide what we were going to attempt. There was much lively discussion and debate and the consensus was the Mikado would be the best operetta to allow our imaginations to run riot.
And then all went quiet!
The bustle and excitement of Christmas took over and the Salver Competition was gently pushed to one side.
It was after everyone was back into their old routines that the realisation that the Competition was only a few months away hit home. The first of many meetings was called and the final decisions on the subject matter and the choice of the 5 items was made. It was then that the crafty women swung into action. Beading sessions were held and bravely Lynn tried to explain her vision of a waterfall lamp to us. Several sessions were held with many ladies diligently threading hundreds of tiny beads onto cotton thread; we were still unsure as to where we were going with all these beads but persevered nonetheless.
Yvonne took on the task of making papier mache figures in the guise of Nanki Poo and Yum Yum. Countless egg boxes were delivered to her house and each time Yvonne came to a meeting the figures could be seen emerging from around plastic bottles. We understand that at times in the Moore household things became a little tense!
As time was marching on a group of four ladies took away the seeds of an idea for the crazy patchwork and set up another little group to get on with that. Countless pieces of fabric were draped across the table and slowly the idea of a Japanese garden with Mount Fuji in the background started to emerge. The sewn patches were brought along to a meeting for other people to take away and embroider and decorate as they saw fit. During these meetings Diane would arrive with small fancy cakes for us to try and decide upon flavour and decoration.
And still the beading continued, endless countless strings of beads, but the vision was beginning to be seen by others as well.
More meetings to discuss the flower arrangement, what form it would take, what flowers to use, tall or short, the choices were seemingly infinite.
More meetings were held to choose what plate the cakes should sit on, what container the flowers should go in, the colours on the back board and the base, the size and style of the font, never ending decisions to be made.
And still the beading continued!
The time for submitting the items that were to be judged prior to the actual completion date loomed large. The crazy patchwork wall hanging was finished, the papier mache figures were revealed in all their full glory and both items were good to go.
And still the beading went on!
At the eleventh hour the beading was completed, and the magnificent table lamp was ready to be dispatched too.
The day of the competition dawned, and Mavis and Diane set off with the rest of the items to set up and arrange our entry. There was nothing more we could do now but wait.
The results were revealed, and we discovered we had come fourth but only 2 and a half points separated us from the winners. Sadly, we could have come first but for an oversight. We had been so absorbed with the items we were making and as they were quite large and took up a good portion of the board no one had given a second thought to accessories for which we could have earned another 6 points. But no matter we did not disgrace ourselves and to our great delight we then discovered we had won The People’s Choice, in a way an even greater accolade.
Today the whole event culminated with some of the ladies who had taken part going into Aylsham to celebrate with coffee and cake.
But we think the best a greatest reward is not the winning of any prize but the companionship, the pleasure of creating, the sharing of ideas and last, but by no means least, the eating of cake with friends!