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Burleydam WI hears about the drovers

28th June 2008 @ 7:07am – by Audlem Webteam
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Carolyn Wilde reports on the June meeting of Burleydam and District WI: "In three hundred years time, will stories be told of the cattle trucks that drove up and down the motorways of Britain delivering farm animals to market? Somehow I doubt it. Only a Jeremy Clarkson could conjure romance from such journeys.

"Before the era of trucks, though, it was a lot more complicated. Idris Evans captivated members of Burleydam and District WI with his tales of the drovers' routes of Wales. For hundreds of years animals and birds were driven to the markets of the Midlands and London on foot or more correctly on hoof. Hooves and trotters were protected with special shoes. Stopping places were identified and still today can be recognised on the main trunk roads of Cheshire by a solitary Scots pine tree next to an old farm. "Alternatives to money were devised which led in time to the development of the banking system we have today. It was a fascinating talk and one of many which Idris Evans offers. In keeping with the talk the competition was an old tool. Mary Stevenson was the winner,Gladys Burrough was second and Liz Gentil third.

"The day after the June meeting the National AGM was held in Liverpool reminding us of the importance of campaigning to the WI movement. When it started up it was because women wanted to make a difference to their lives and their neighbours' lives in rural areas. Today there are so many pressure groups, charities and other campaigning opportunities.

"The WI still has national prominence and the resolutions that are passed the AGM can still lead to a change of heart from governments or a change of behaviour from WI members. We can still a make a difference."

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