'Howgate Rural'

SWRI meetings resume on Tuesday 9th January 2018

'The Rural' meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month in  Howgate Village Hall at 7.15 for 7.30pm. 

- visitors welcome -

President:   Mrs Pat Gordon, tel:  01968 674 415

 2018  Diary

January 9th 2pm        Lace Making Demonstration by Pat Gordon – Talk   (NB earlier time)

February 13th  1pm        Tray Bakes by Ann Baxter   - Talk   (NB earlier time)

March 13th          Bees by Bryden Ritchie  - Talk 

April 10th        Bethany Trust by Isobelle Alford - Talk

May 8th      Newbattle Abbey tour and supper at Sun Inn - Summer outing

June  (date TBA)        Visit to the Lost Garden, Penicuik Estate – Summer outing

Sept. 11th        Feather Crafts by Alison McManus - Presentation

October 9th          Royal Mile (tbc) - Talk

November 13th          AGM:  planning next year's Syllabus, plus entertainment

December 11th        Christmas Party and lunch (time TBA)

                               All talks begin at 7:30pm unless otherwise indicated.


‘If you know a good thing, pass it on’

Known affectionately as ‘Howgate Rural’, part of the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute, now part of a world wide organisation, began in 1932, was established to help women who had only just got the vote, many of whom were very clever but had never had a chance of further education. Some never even went out of their homes except to feed animals or help in the fields. The Rural met at the full moon so that the women could walk to the meetings.

They were encouraged from the start to govern themselves and to learn to take turns on the committee. The meetings were business like and friendly.

Diets were poor so participation in cooking and baking courses encouraged mothers to understand the use of healthy ingredients and improve meals for their families.

As well as child welfare, they learned to sew curtains, make rugs, clothes and gradually learned embroidery, crochet and lace making. The latter skills had been done previously by  aristrocrats and the educated.

The women were encouraged to sell their wares and small industries grew up in the countryside, while all the time, fighting for better housing.
These precious skills must not be lost now, when we have so much money that we buy everything we need.

We must pass on to our children and grandchildren, basics like knitting, baking, growing our own food, the beauty of flowers, art, tradition and citizenship, all necessary modern skills leading to healthy satisfying lives.
You can learn just about anything from scratch at the Rural, laughing not crying. Come and try, or discuss with one of our members, what you would like to learn, or just come to enjoy the meetings.

One of our members decried the competitions, until one year when gathering plants together for a show, she was persuaded to bring some along. She won a prize, was thrilled and now competes regularly. Competitions are all about improving skills and gaining confidence.

Then ‘When you learn a good thing, you can pass it on’