THE meeting started with the singing of 'Jerusalem' aided with music and a video of beautiful Britain with its green and pleasant land.

Sincere thanks go to Whitley Village Hall Committee for providing the village with the wonderful technology which can enhance any meeting.

General business of finance and a presentation of the year's activities were shown to members The retiring president, Pat Sharp then addressed the members.

Pat has just completed three years as the President, which is the maximum any Whitley President is allowed to do.

This is to enable many members to get the opportunity to lead this wonderful organisation, bringing with them their own personality and ideas, to ensure the continuing progression of the WI.

Pat said that she had just completed a lifetime goal to lead a WI, an ambition she had had 40 years. She was proud of her members, committee and all that had been achieved in her three years of office.

The meeting then moved to election of our next president. Independent Tellers from Antrobus ran this part. Members balloted their choice of president. Tension filled the air, there was an excited silence.

Our new president, Joan Blackshaw, accepted the result and was warmly welcomed.

Joan is a popular local lady, born at Brookside Farm on the A49, who farmed at Greenbank Farm as well as Walnut Tree Farm, Lower Stretton.

Joan knows lots of people, having been a WI member at Antrobus and Dutton WIs as well as Whitley.

This experience will be invaluable to both her and the new ideas she, and her exciting new committee, will bring.

All members wish Joan (pictured when out with the WI walking group) a very happy time as our President.

December sees the WI Christmas party, and the 2016 programme starts on Thursday, January 7 where we will welcome Yasmin Limbert who will talk about competing in 'The Great British Bake-Off'.

If you would like to find out more about Whitley WI, please contact Pat Sharp (now secretary)