COMMENT: Lyn of Littleport by Lyn Guest de Swarte

WI Littleport

WI Littleport - Credit: Archant

If Littleport’s Fun Day had happened in March – weather not withstanding – the WI tea and cake stand would have been festooned with bras – and a couple of braskets.

If Littleport’s Fun Day had happened in March – weather not withstanding – the WI tea and cake stand would have been festooned with bras – and a couple of braskets.

That’s hanging bras filled with compost and flowering plants to you and me. Sadly it wasn’t. The WI’s ‘Underwear for Africa’ Campaign closed at the end of March with 10,748 pairs of knickers and 4,630 bras collected from WI branches around the country.

These were then sent on to ‘Smalls for All’, the charity that supplies underwear for women and girls in Third World countries, mostly in Africa, where the need is great. As June Bird, President of Littleport WI told me when I stood chatting; slurping and munching as happy Fun Day revellers queued to get their refreshments last Sunday. “This helps women and girls who are often raped and assaulted because of their lack of undergarments; women in hospitals who are suffering from fistula (unfortunately and perhaps inevitably also a common complaint) and the girls who, if they are lucky enough to go to school, have to stay off for a week every month…”

But you can donate still if you wish:

Meanwhile, the women of Littleport are invited to join the WI, as June says: “All women of all ages are very welcome.” The next meeting is at 7.15pm on Tuesday June 14 in the village hall.

Littleport women are also in the vanguard of a resurgence of business in the village centre. Rima’s shop, specialising in Polish food as well as some other comestibles, and bunches of flowers, has expanded into the old Lloyd’s chemist premises that was situated next door to her first corner shop.

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Lisa and Emma Malkin have just moved into the old Coleby’s shop with a major refurbishment. Their ‘Ness & Ems Unisex Salon’ has just opened in Granby Street opposite Phil Malkin’s YPL Café, bicycle shop and second hand shop. By the way, Phil has just launched a free cinema club for the children there too.

Then a few prayers were answered and the village has got another owner of – The Plough and Harrow! The pub of that name was closed a few years ago - and I regularly got calls for them asking to speak to the Manager when I was given their old phone number; and me a teetotaller!

The ghosts of drinkers past may have had something to do with the subsequent series of owners of eateries deciding to give up, allowing new owners, Carol and Patrick Creek, to resurrect the old hostelry complete with the old fascia,

“We want to make this a traditional English pub and restaurant”, said Patrick, who hopes all the work on it will be finished by their scheduled July opening.

The Crown Inn always has something to offer if it’s ‘only’ a nice place to have a drink and a chat in, but mine host Rob ensures there’s weekend entertainments, and this Saturday at 8.30pm Iron Fist will rock you for sure. Showers are forecast for 3pm on Sunday – so you could plan to take shelter in the Crown with ‘Greg!’.

The Ex-Servicemen’s Club welcomes new members of all ages and is also happy to hire its main hall for special occasion functions – like the wonderful gay wedding reception last Saturday. Congratulations to the happy young couple. If not hosting a private do, the Club provides class bands of a Saturday where you can take to the dance floor or just sit and take in the happy atmosphere.

The Swan is open as usual with perhaps a more sedate ambience for food and drink, and on Wednesday June 15 the popular Ivan Garford trio play at the Wednesday Night Club jazz evening in the function room with bar. It’s also an open mic for singers.

Me? I used to sing rock n roll down the 2 I’s in London’s swinging 60’s, so don’t think I’ll be doing that – but whatever floats your boat, there’s something for you in Littleport!

Celebrating the Queen’s birthday should be great fun on Saturday (June 11), with events planned by the ‘You Are Not Alone’ group, the project run by Jane King, Elaine Law, Susan Green and Kathryn Buck.

There are various competitions culminating in a tea party with free tombola and a singalong.

The village hall will open at 10am to noon for competition entries to be handed in.

It will be closed for judging from 12 until 1.45pm and reopens at 2pm for the Fancy Dress competition. Judging of that and results from the morning will be at 2.15pm.

Competitions include the best decorated homes and shopfronts and these will be shortlisted today (Thursday) and final judging for both categories will take place on Saturday too.