Duchess Camilla Parker-Bowles does WI with Boston ladies

Camilla Parker Bowles visiting Lincs South WI members at Great Hale village hall.
Camilla Parker Bowles visiting Lincs South WI members at Great Hale village hall.

MEMBERS of WIs in the Boston area had the chance to rub shoulders with royalty when they met HRH Camilla Parker-Bowles at a charity event.

Women from WIs at Sibsey, Frampton, Wyberton Church End and Burton Corner were selected to go along to the special visit, where they spent time chatting and demonstrating crafts for the royal.

The Ducess of Cornwall, who is a member of the Tetbury Evening WI in Gloucestershire, even got a bit creative herself, as she joined fellow members in making Christmas decorations.

Brenda Cockerham, a member of Sibsey WI and part of the executive committee for the Lincolnshire South Federation of WIs, which organised the event, told The Standard: “It was very good. I was quite impressed. She met a lot of the members. She was quite pleasant.

“It was a very enjoyable day. Everyone said how much they enjoyed it.”

Brenda was one of around 100 people who went along for the visit last Tuesday. Around 25 of the 70 WIs in the federation were represented.

The committee had known about the duchess’ visit for several months, after the group was selected for a visit at an event to raise money for Denman College – the headquarters of creativity and learning for the organisation. But they had kept the event a secret from the groups, so it would be a surprise when they revealed the special guest who would be sharing their light lunch and meeting at Great Hale Magna Village Hall, near Sleaford.

Weeks of organisation went towards ensuring the event ran smoothly, according to federation chairman Debbie Venn, but things went well in the end. Right up until the last minute, the hall was swarming with police checking underneath every chair and table and in every nook and cranny the hall had to offer.

She added: “It went perfectly to plan. We were hoping nothing would go wrong and it didn’t. The duchess was very interested in flower arranging – she does all her own – and she was chatting to the members about it, saying she couldn’t do this or that, or she didn’t have her glasses so she couldn’t see something.

“They all thought it was fantastic. It was a privilege to be chosen. She’s such a lovely lady.”

The duchess was presented with several gifts from the federation and she was made an honorary member of the group – meaning she can head back to the meetings whenever she likes.