Monday, 15 June 2009

LADIES HAVING FUN ON THE BEACH

The title of this blog may encourage some unwanted hits from Google but as you read on you'll see that it very much sums up today's experience.

My father and I are having a few days up in Northumberland, staying with old friend of mine. He told us that today we should witness something unusual and interesting on Bamburgh beach. So we got down their late morning to see a hive of activity. Most of my photos of Bamburgh beach comprise the castle, the dunes and beach together with a wind swept couple and their dog. But today the beach was quite crowded...

On closer inspection the hive of activity was a crowd of ladies from the Women's Institute (WI) making sand sculptures. In all there were 13 groups from various parts of Northumberland. The local Bamburgh ladies can be seen here...

Their industrious approach with spades and buckets of water put the nation's children to shame. Working labouriously on their hands and knees, spades furiously digging, hands gently caressing the sand, buckets of water making just the correct texture of sand. Then out of mounds of sand there slowly arose elephants, turtles, lions, seals, hares and rabbits. Oh, and of course an armadillo. Following a brief soujourn to the pavilion for fish and chips (the WI not us) it was time for the judging. The winning entry was this excellent elephant.

Another sculpture was this rather dashing hare.

Then after tea and cakes the WI ladies assembled for a group photo on the cricket pitch and a local celebrity (aka my old friend) drew the winning raffle ticket.

23 comments:

Ladybird World Mother said...

Ahhh! Sweet! Particularly like the elephant. Am rather dab hand at making 'cars' and 'boats' out of sand. However, they are nothing like the WIs attempts. Will have to return to a beach very soon and practise like mad.
Word verification...adewiyst... can just see a little WI tucked in there!x

Troy said...

LWM - I look forward to seeing photos of your sand sculptures.
Your word verification is amazing - Ade Wiyst was my best friend at school! (if you believe that....)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

So beautiful. My late mother-in-law was a member of the WI and would have known some of those ladies no doubt.

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow xx

DJ Kirkby said...

Wow, that elephant and hare are very good! I used to be a Townswomen Guild member but we never did anything like that (probably becuase we have no sand down here!)

HelenMHunt said...

Brilliant. So clever!

Lane said...

Gosh those are good. The WI is definitely not all jam and Jerusalem is it:-)

Troy said...

CJ -we were very impressed with their sand sculpting ability. CU soon.

DJ - having sand available is most useful when making sand sculptures. It doesn't work as well with pebbles.

Helen - thank you! I thought the WI did well too.

Troy said...

Lane - you commented whilst I was responding to the others. There is more to the WI than just calendars.

Catharine Withenay said...

Those ladies know how to do things well! I love the elephant - a well deserved winner.

The Dotterel said...

I've never - ever - seen Bamburgh beach so crowded. Were they expecting sand sculptures of the Calendar Girls?

Troy said...

Catharine - they were very well organised and all the sculptures were of a high standard. Perhaps the WI should run the country.....

Dotterel - the ladies that didn't take part on the beach played croquet instead. Perhaps I should go back and do a Calendar Girls sculpture. If they are offended then at least the tide would quickly wash it away.

Debs said...

Wow. Impressive sand sculptures. Good for them having such fun, and the weather looked a bit grim too.

Troy said...

Debs - the weather was actually very pleasant. There's a hint of blue sky and there are some shadows on the beach in the pictures. We were lucky none of WI got sunstroke.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Love Northumberland, know it quite well. Might go there yet again next year, though not Easter this time, (Monday 5th April)

Troy said...

Ken - nice to see you here. I understand your cryptic comment regarding 5th April 2010 but I'm sure it will puzzle every other reader. Others are welcome guess.

cheshire wife said...

A sandcastle will never look the same again!

Troy said...

cheshire wife - the local paper, (reporting 2 days after Troy) describe the sculptures as "sand-tastic". I think next time the Troy family is on the beach we'll try to do the elephant rather than build a sandcastle. Troy Junior may take some persuading though.

Dave Pie-n-Mash said...

What an unusual sight! They look good.

Joe Stein said...

Bit late, Troy, but I saw your post with the great sand sculptures and sent a text saying “check out the WI sand sculptures” to my niece who I thought might enjoy them. Unfortunately, she seemed to think it was an interactive game of some sort. I must be older than I thought, when the WI is mistaken for a Nintendo...
(By the way, Author and Poet, Deborah Rey also had some fantastic sand sculptures on her blog a while ago.)

Troy said...

Hi Joe - better late than never! By the way, I really enjoyed reading your two Garron novels, especially the second one. Great books! I look forward to the next one.

Joe Stein said...

Ah, thank you, Troy, I think you’ve doubled my compliment ratio there. Yes, the 2nd is probably better paced. (It’s possible I’m actually getting better as I go at the damn writing thing as well.) The third is due in November, but in the world of small press publishing, you can never be sure...

Valerie said...

I had to look to see if there was anyone I knew.... the WI gets everywhere... and I should know, grins.

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