THIS month’s meeting was held on February 10 in the village hall at 7.30pm.

There were two more new members and President Frances Stretton welcomed everyone to the meeting which began with the singing of Jerusalem. The ladies were in good voice.

The minutes of the last meeting held on January 13 were read, approved and signed. WI information was dealt with, the Walking group has not started yet this year, the Book club meets regularly and there have been proposals for future book titles to be read and discussed, the Lunch Club meets on the third Tuesday of the month when they sample the menus of pubs in the locality. Val Davies is in the process of writing the history on the Littleton’s WI.

John Dixon was the speaker and his wife Jan operated the projector. A question appeared on the screen, How did you obtain your first pair of nylons? Obviously not every lady could answer that question for one reason or another but John was about to tell us the possible answer as the evening progressed.

He remarked on the number of names of local people on the memorial board who had fought in the wars, many of them not returning. The name Ballard is included and can also be found on the memorial at Loos. When Jan’s father left and was away for seven years, her Mother was a secretary and when he came back she was a fully fledged munitions worker. There was a short fall of men who were engaged in fighting, and women were employed to do the highly skilled work in the factories. Jan actually has the cone which fits on the nose of a torpedo. She passed it round for all to see and hold. It was very heavy and very intricate.

There were German and Italian Prisoners of War some of whom worked on the land and lived with the local families. In 1948 they were allowed to go home but some of them stayed over here. John knew one particular German who stayed here. He became a teacher of English and History. He was “lucky in love” and was married for 60 years. John also knew of a lady called Nora. How did she get her first pair of nylons? Not by a supposedly obvious way. In fact if you tried to guess I don’t think you would find the right answer. How? She was better at Poker. At 80 odd and she still played.

Operation Spamalot. The troops were short of varieties of food but there was a very clever chef who devised 42 different meals with only SPAM as an ingredient, spiced spam, spam pie, cottage spam etc. The amazing thing was, he hated SPAM.

We saw a five-cycle on the screen which the soldiers used to go into the nearest town. Children would steal it and sell it to the GIs who would then give it back.

Black and white GIs had different treatment. The black were not allowed to mix with white girls and they never got permission to marry them.

Ashchurch Camp had a motto, “Keep ‘em Rollin’ Written by memorials was “Is it nothing to you who pass by?”

John and Jane were thanked for their extremely interesting evening. John said he had learnt a lot about this area during the war.

The competition of a black/white family photo was judged by John and Jane and after much deliberation, 1 Marion Brighton. 2 Carol Duce. 3 Annette Brown.

The next meeting will be on March 10 in the village hall and the subject is Film Dogs. The competition will be a Dog Ornament. Visitors are very welcome at a charge of £3.