Posted by Josanne Peet at 07/09/2015 10:19:33
This scrapbook dating between 1953 and 1980 contains historical notes about Shelford on the origins of the village name, the Church of St Peter and St Paul, the clergy, the churchyard, the burial of Sir Thomas Stanhope, Shelford during the Civil War, the Priory of Shelford, the Stanhope Charity, the Shelford Feast, the Methodist Church, Rod Peeling, schools, the War Memorial, Stoke Ferry, Gunthorpe Bridge, Newton Mill, the blacksmith's shop, Plough Monday, games, local families and the Women's Institute; it also includes photographs, postcards, newspaper cuttings and rubbings taken from local gravestones; the volume is covered in linen and embroidered with a picture of the Church inside a shield and the words 'Shelford' and 'FEM' (Florence E Mee)
This month the Women's Institute celebrates its Centenary. Amongst the Women's Institute records held by Nottinghamshire Archives is this book in which Florence E Mee, a member of Shelford Women’s Institute during World War II, recalls an out of the ordinary jam making session.
“Another war time undertaking was fruit preservation.
Some of the members met each week during the fruit season in the old cheese room at Beech Farm.
They provided the fruit from their own gardens for which they were paid the minimum price and a weekly allowance of sugar was granted. The jam was passed by an official of the Ministry of Food, and sold to the shops to be rationed out.
I look back with amusement to one of these preserving sessions.
The day had been very hot and tiring and things hadn’t gone quite so smoothly as usual. Toward the end of the afternoon the inspector came along and suggested that one special boiling (rhubarb and fig) should be re-boiled to set it. All the jars had to be emptied into the pan for re-boiling, and then washed in readiness for re-filling. At that moment a swarm of bees invaded the room and settled everywhere.- in the pan, on the towels and dishcloth – everywhere.
I remember frantically shutting the window and allowing the bees to gather there, and then flinging it open to propel the bees outside. How many bees became part of the jam – I tremble to think.
Did the purchasers think they were strange figs?”
For more documents relating to Shelford and Women's Institutes see our online catalogue.