Nearer to home I learn that despite gloomy predictions of possible closure because of lack of nominees for next year’s officers, the local WI found the necessary volunteers so we are set for another year. I didn’t think we would allow ourselves to fall by the wayside as we approach our centenary. But what is it about modern women that they think they are too busy to take on an office in the WI but are quite happy to undertake most of the jobs necessary for the running of the WI?
The local WI had a stall at the Farmers’ Market on the 5th November which was very successful raising over £200 for funds. There was no shortage of volunteers to donate prizes, to man the stall nor people to buy tickets for the wrapped tombola. We were very fortunate to have a bright dry day which encouraged the public to stand around and chat.
The Happy Stitchers met on Monday afternoon and on Wednesday evening the WI Discussion Group talked about robots in the workplace. Most present had done a bit of homework on the topic so it was quite an informative session. We went back to the attitudes of the Luddites to automation in the textile industry and on to the modern robots working in huge warehouses at trade distribution centres, drones and even (dare I say?) life-size sex toys. We are all involved and benefitting from programmed machines but fear for the loss of jobs for those unqualified to execute anything but the routine manual activities. However, in some instances increased and feared automation had resulted in more employment rather than the fall predicted eg. automated telephone exchanges. The face to face human interaction social tasks will not disappear---in fact they will become more and more important---so the youngsters need training here. We also thought that there should be more recognition of apprenticeships to educate people to take an active part in the world away from the virtual reality of the screens.