Showing our age singing to ukuleles

The Stokes Bay Strummers
The Stokes Bay Strummers
Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at  The Southsea Village holding a ping-pongathon to get people in the fundraising spirit fo Children in Need. Picture : Habibur Rahman

Schools and business across Portsmouth show support for Pudsey

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The ladies of Stokes Bay WI certainly know how to warm up a wet and windy February.

The meeting had a love-is-in-the-air cake competition theme.

Interpretations varied but were predominantly of a romantic nature, and Jackie’s mini heart-shaped sponges, suitably decorated and presented in a red heart-shaped container, caught everyone’s eye – including the judge’s.

Consuming the contributions, however, with a hot cup of tea/coffee, was even better than looking at them.

Seeing three good-sized boxes fill up with tins, jars, packets and toiletries for the food bank was also heart-warming.

Furthermore, such was the generosity of all concerned, that the surplus of cakes was sold off to raise £30. On delivering this and the boxes, I learnt that the food bank also welcomes warm coats, serviceable shoes, clean/new socks and even sleeping bags and tents, so I can see that cash donations may help provide items not so readily identified with the name of this sadly essential organisation.

The best bit of the meeting, however, was singing – and even dancing – along to Gosport’s fabulous ukulele band, raising money this year for the Oakley Waterman Foundation, a charity which supports the families of children with life-threatening illnesses.

Sixteen of the Strummers – men, women and a boy – played popular classics and medleys. If we couldn’t quite remember all the words, we knew the tunes and the choruses.

I guess we gave away our age, but who cares. The meeting finished with a roof- raising version of Delilah, complete with ‘ha-ha-ha’.

This week’s beetle drive provided us with more fun and laughter as we returned to such childhood delights as getting that essential six to start or calling ‘beetle’ on drawing all body-parts.

We overcame the confusion of moving clockwise and anti-clockwise, totted up our scores and we awarded both best and booby prizes. The president provided buck’s fizz.

We had an impromptu but welcome visit from Keith Thomas, chair of GAFIRS, and we were spoilt for choice with cakes – orange and ginger, coffee and walnut, chocolate, Victoria, butterfly, lemon drizzle, tea-breads – all beautifully laid out and labelled.

Still noisily chatting having had a thoroughly good time, we left especially happy in the knowledge that all proceeds will go to GAFIRS, our charity for 2016. Well done, ladies.