SPEAKER Graeme Bendall gave an interesting talk on being a gamekeeper. He was a forester at the start of his working life, just like his dad.

When he began his gamekeeping career he had to start as an underkeeper which he did for ten years. During his talk he told us about the preparations leading up to the shooting season.

The Pat Howes Cup, awarded to the member with the highest number of points gained over the year for flower of the month, was won by Gwen Gray. This month the flower of the month, a hellebore, was won by Eileen Bevan.

At the social afternoon the ladies discussed dream locations they would like to move to.

The 95th County Annual Meeting took place at the Cliffs Pavilion in Westcliff.

Guest speakers were Ruth Bond, National Federation Womens’ Institute chairman, George Courtald, chairman of EWAG (Essex Women’s Advice Group) and Tessa Sanderson CBE, who spoke on her athletics career.

April 4 sees the Spring Group meeting at Orsett Village Hall. On April 10, speaker Dudley Chignall talks on Beatrix Potter and on May 22 we have a day trip to Canterbury.