The WI members and guests had taken great pains to dress in floral clothes, predominantly pink, to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday as if it was a lovely summer’s day---Barbara Cartland would have been proud of us. Fortunately, we were all under cover. There was much chatter and rueful laughter in the foyer of the Community Centre in Amersham as people shook themselves dry after crossing the car park. However once inside, everything was lovely: a traditional strawberry tea plus cakes and sandwiches accompanied by pink drinks. Many guests had made tiaras which they wore with style. A nonagenarian was installed as the Queen of proceedings and wore a very impressive full crown. In the course of the afternoon there was a royal quiz and an entertainment put on by members of the Board of Trustees and WI advisers. The finale of synchronised swimming was very well received. If you are wondering how this was achieved, I will just say that we were in Drake’s Hall and there had been a lot of rain that afternoon. If you don’t believe me, you should have attended this event put on by the BFWI for our entertainment to see for yourself.
The local WI’s Discussion Group met in a member’s house this evening to talk about “Engineering”. Some of us had been at a bit of a loss wondering how we could discuss such a huge topic so we started by defining engineering as the application of science for the control and use of power, especially by means of machinery. This made things a little easier when trying to separate science and technology. We discussed the rise of female engineers in spite of parental and social prejudice against young girls taking up what is still considered a career path more suited to males. Of course the inequality of rates of pay between the sexes was also mentioned. There is also a tendency for the public to imagine that the UK is no longer a big player in the field of industry. The evening’s discussion included other forms of engineering such as genetic, social engineering and even political manipulation which was a rather topical subject this month. We concluded by planning to ask the BFWI Education and Current Affairs sub-committee to consider inviting a high-power female engineer to talk at one of its science days.