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Coleshill members ran the WI tombola stall in the Town Hall at the turning on of the Christmas lights ceremony. At our  December meeting the following week we enjoyed a visit from ‘Father Christmas’ in mufti, Pat Saunders from Stretton-on-Dunsmore near Coventry, who for nearly 40 years has taken the role, entertaining hundreds of children each Christmas. After his much-loved loved wife died several years ago, Pat began giving talks on life as Father Christmas, ‘The View from the Other Side of the Beard’, with the proceeds going to Myton Hospice where his wife was cared for during her final illness. Pat originally hoped to be an actor but was told he was “too big for the scenery” so instead he took on the mantle of Father Christmas in a splendid costume his wife made for him. He has proved a great hit with youngsters, even giving them advice, telling them that Father Christmas won’t deliver presents if they don’t tidy their bedrooms.

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Members enjoyed festive snacks and mulled wine then played a riotous game of indoor curling, The meeting finished with carol singing, accompanied by Mavis Gordon on the piano.

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Several members attended the Group Carol Service at Curdworth Church, shared with the Wishaw and Curdworth WIs. Former President Christine Jones read the third lesson from Matthew. New President Elaine Partridge delivered a comic parody, “The Puppies’ Night Before Christmas” which began:

“’Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
The puppies were squeaking
An old rubber mouse

The wreath which had cheerfully
Been hung on the door
Was scattered in pieces
All over the floor…”

Everyone enjoyed mince pies and mulled wine at the get-together in the church hall afterwards.

At the next meeting on January 10th at the Town Hall, the talk will be on old-fashioned entertainments including music hall and conjuring.  Visitors welcome as always.

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