WE started our March meeting with a minute’s silence to remember Pat Wade, who had been a long-standing member.

President Doreen Kelly announced that the recent collection in Aveley Village had raised £261 for the Marie Curie charity, and that we have received invitations to Chadwell WI's cream tea in July, and Bulphan WI's birthday party.

Our July birthday party will have a patriotic red, white and blue theme to reflect the Queen's Jubilee, British food for the buffet and an accordion band for entertainment. Arrangements were made for our visit to the Spring Group meeting next month.

Our speaker was Ian Kirby, who became a City of London Blue Badge Guide after his retirement and is now deeply involved both in giving talks about the Olympics and running tours of the Olympic Stratford site.

His illustrated talk was interesting and comprehensive, covering the history of the Olympics and how the modern Olympics started.

The stadia and infrastructure for the 2012 Games has been very well thought out, and some parts will be developed into housing.

Ann Blakemore gave the vote of thanks. Jackie Garwood won the competition for a sporting achievement and Vera Adams had the flower of the month.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday, April 10, at 7.30pm in Aveley Band Hall.