Autumn arrived in spectacular fashion for the Swallowtail WI, as we welcomed a gaggle of witches to our October meeting. As ever, our committee embraced the chance to warm to a theme - and got decked out in their Halloween finery to mark the occasion.
We were treated to a brilliant talk by local journalist and author Ian White, who wrote the book Witchcraft & Black Magic in British Cult Cinema. He kicked off the evening by explaining that in times gone by, a group of women meeting as we do every month would be flagged as deeply suspicious and would likely be targeted by those looking for witches amongst their local communities.
As he used to be an actor, Ian was an incredibly engaging and entertaining speaker. He took us through the history of witchcraft, explaining how the persecution of women and nefarious politics condemned so many people to death. It was truly heartbreaking to hear stories of women singled out and murdered on the flimsiest of evidence, and the suffering metered out by the ‘Witchfinders’, in particular the infamous Matthew Hopkins.
After Ian’s talk, we enjoyed Halloween treats on the buffet table and the Swallowtails book group met to discuss ‘The Night Manager’ and ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ - with the latter book enjoying rave reviews from all readers.
The evening ended with a fond farewell to one of our founding members. Roisin, our beloved VP, is moving to London so we took the chance to thank her for all her hard work over the years, and to wish her every success in the future. We are delighted that Roisin will remain a Swallowtail, and pop in to see us when she’s back in Norfolk. She’s a shining example of all the best things about joining the WI: finding friendship, giving back to the community and having fun.
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