Hat-Astrophe in District 9!

Some three weeks before District 9 Inner Wheel Rally, full of excitement at the prospect of welcoming our Association President Ann Acaster, we held a District Charity Tea with a wonderful speaker, Simon Meanwell-Ralph from Marvellous Millinery in Winchester. Ninety-four ladies from the District assembled to enjoy a very comprehensive talk and display. Each hat he talked about, he then placed on the head of a member, matching the colour to whatever she was wearing. The impact was amazing and each lady immediately looked ready for Ascot or even to meet the Queen!

I, as District Chairman, and Kate Williamson, PDC, each fell in love with a hat, which we purchased ready to wear at the Rally. Indeed, we both looked splendid in all the photographs wearing our new hats with pride. But I have short fine hair and struggled to keep mine on during the Rally. Kate was resplendent in her large picture hat and had no such problem. I rang Simon for advice to see if he could make it more suitable for my type of hair. I bought the brown paper to wrap it and post it off in its little hat box. All was prepared, the hat sitting in my bedroom ready to go – but I had to go out briefly - no more than 15 minutes at most.

I have a 5-year-old black Labrador and had my son’s Beagle staying with me. Imagine when, on opening the front door, I saw my black lab with the hat in his mouth, feathers everywhere and the beagle scampering as fast as she could back into the kitchen. A tug of war had taken place! The main part had tooth marks everywhere and the beautiful pink silk and velvet roses were decidedly chewed! I was shocked and speechless – this hat was very expensive, courtesy of my mother’s legacy and a special treat for me. I was so glad I had a picture of my granddaughter modelling the splendid creation!

However, the gentleman at the insurance company was utterly charming and agreed to pay for the hat. I then rang Simon who very kindly said he would make me another one. Only then did I start to see the funny side! At least I had been able to wear the hat at my Rally before disaster befell it!

Vicki Mountford - District 9 Chairman

From Dotty’s Desk!

A friend’s grandmother used to say that you should be able to read a letter at 5pm in natural light on the 15th of January. You can all be the judges of whether that works this January. Whether or not, as President Ann says in her letter, there is much to look forward to at this time of year.

What a variety of articles there seems to be this time, ranging from the serious and thought- provoking to the amusing anecdotes of Inner Wheel life. I hope you will take the opportunity to look carefully at the club’s copy of the Membership and Development plan and also find out what is being done regarding Period Poverty in your area.

Looking forward to the Conference in Cardiff, I am sure we will have a very informative and friendly couple of days. In the meantime, keep searching for that first snowdrop that heralds spring. I am looking forward to hearing about the activities to assist Jessie’s Fund and I am sure there will be many interesting ways of supporting our Association President’s charity.

My current screensaver is a statue of a rather large mouse reminding me of that famous poem by Robert Burns, “To a Mouse”. Teddie and I see it almost every day on one of our favourite walks. January is, after all, the season of haggis and Burns Suppers!

The deadline for material for the next magazine is 20th March for non-Conference material and as usual the email address is

Best wishes Dorothy

Inner Wheel Crossword 1 2 9 10 11 3 4 5 6 7 8 12 13 14 15 16 17






23 26 27 28






1 See 21 across 3 A high-profile member of the Inner Wheel Club of York Vikings, District 4 (3,7) 10 Relating to the mental action of gaining knowledge through thought (9) 11 A Japanese poem of 17 syllables, in three lines, of five, seven and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world (5) 12 A Japanese immigrant to North America (5) 13 Pithy sayings or remarks expressing an idea in a clever and amusing way (8) 15 A type of dessert drink produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine (3,4) 17 The time of day between about 6 pm until bedtime (7) 18 Make something clear by describing it in more detail and revealing relevant facts (7) 21 & 1 The charity being supported by 3 across (7,4) 23 Diminutive term for confectionery made from sugar (8) 24 Forename of the British businesswoman, human rights activist and environmental campaigner, best known as the founder of The Body Shop (5) 27 Surname of the IIW Officer featured at the top of p4 of issue 57 (Autumn) of the Association Magazine (5) 28 Women legally entitled to inherit property from a predecessor (9) 29 A person walking, or something lacking in inspiration or excitement (10) 30 A small knob, nail-head or rivet, slightly protruding from the surface, or a stallion (4)


1 Exact copies, especially of written material (10) 2 A royal title in the Ethiopian Semitic languages, or, at one time, the description of a hot drink of port, sugar, lemon and spice (5) 4 Innocence or unsophistication; lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement (7) 5 A NW Atlantic fish of the herring family that swims up rivers to spawn (7) 6 Tall woody plant fraxinus excelsior (3,4) 7 In ancient Rome, three public officers jointly responsible for overseeing any of the administrative departments (9) 8 A disorderly retreat of defeated troops (4) 9 City in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy and capital city of the Province of the same name (6) 14 A very long time elapsed (4,6) 16 Authorised; made stronger; allowed (9) 19 Rare, nocturnal Madagascan primates related to lemurs, having an elongated twig-like finger on each hand, with which they prise insects from bark (3-4) 20 Not one nor the other of two things (7) 21 … Fletcher; first name of writer and protagonist portrayed by actress Angela Lansbury on the American television series Murder, She Wrote (7) 22 The ocean floor (6) 25 A thing that is put in, or inserted (5) 26 A large transportable open-topped container for building and other refuse (4)

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