There were 50 members and one visitor at our first meeting of 2010.

Before the meeting started, Peggy Hodges informed members of the sad news that Beryl Linforth has passed away.

Beryl had been a member of the guild since 2003 and during all that time had worked very hard supervising the kitchen making sure that members got their refreshments.

A few moments of silence were held in her memory.

Elsie Weatherhogg took the chair but before the business of the meeting started the monthly free raffle was held and prizes of boxed soaps were won by Helen Plowman, Hazel Waite and Beryl Rogers.

Arrangements for the outings in 2010 have still to be finalised but the first strolling group’s meeting will be in May and will be to Warley Woods.

The charity table was well supported and Elsie Weatherhogg thanked everyone for their donations.

There was a particular abundance of postage stamps, no doubt due to the festive season.

Our speaker was Patricia Boyd who was making a return visit.

This time she gave us insight into ‘What the butler saw’.

She took us back to Victorian/Edwardian times and related some very amusing stories.

She illustrated her talk with photographs.

It was obviously very important that the higher classes had a butler to show how wealthy they were.

It was also an opportunity for the lower classes to work in the big houses thus escaping the squalor that many livd in.

At the end of her talk, Patricia did make it clear that the butler saw a whole lot more than those at the end of the pier would have us believe.

Our next meeting will be on February 24 at 10.30am, when our speaker will be Madeline Stride and she will give is ‘Grandma’s secrets’.

All our meetings are held at Moose Hall, Beeches Road, Blackheath. Visitors are always very welcome.