By Carolyn Wilde - 26th March 2009 8:03am
Carolyn Wilde reports: "Burleydam and District WI members met on 3rd March after the February meeting on safe driving had been cancelled because of the dangerous conditions on the lanes caused by the snow and ice!
"They heard speaker, Idris Evans, talk about growing up in the Vale of Llangollen and reminiscing about the very bad winter of 1962/3. However it was not all about extreme weather. Idris had fascinating stories to tell of life on the family farm in the 50's and 60's interspersed with information about the history of Llangollen and the mountains around. The coming of the Shropshire Union Canal led to much industrial activity and Llangollen manufactured and exported flannel. The flannel was also mixed with lead and dipped in liquid sugar to seal Thomas Telford's awe inspiring Pontcysyllte aquaduct.
"As well as wool the countryside around provided many other useful materials. The elder tree known for its flowers (as in cordial ) or berries (as in wine ) also provided wood to make dog whistles, clogs, necklaces and the forerunner of the thermos flask. Its roots could be used to dye hair black and the tree was grown near privies to keep flies away. Altogether a most interesting talk enjoyed by all.
"The competition for an animal ornament was won by Liz Gentil. Elaine Walton was second and Sheila Beeston was third. Tea and cakes were provided by Angela Lightfoot and Sarah Lunt.
"The speaker at the next meeting on 7 April will be Christine Cooper talking about the Ray of Hope charity. Members were given a knitting pattern for a hat for a premature baby. The competition winner will be the one judged to have knitted the best hat. All entries will be donated to Leighton Hospital's Premature baby unit."
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