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Meeting Reports

October Meeting:  Ancient and Modern Lamps and Lights. Our speaker for the October meeting was Cliff Harris who is a lay reader at St. Paul's Church in Bedford. The talk was about lamps and light. Cliff brought with him his collection of ancient lamps. The oldest is a genuine 3000-year-old clay lamp shaped just like a scallop shell. Slowly over hundreds of years the shape of the lamps changed so they could hold more oil and have more wicks. A rectangular Roman lamp was a fine example of this change, having slots for five wicks and a much larger container for the oil. Another beautiful lamp was 1600 years old and came from North Africa and was a much lighter colour because of the sandy clay. There were more lamps spanning the years for us to see and `very, very' carefully pass round the group. In between the history and special features of each lamp, Cliff read a few appropriate verses from the Bible about light. September meeting:  The gardens of Costa Rica: Our speaker this month was Jill Thomson, Editor of the MU Magazine Nezvsline, who gave us a very interesting talk on Costa Rica where she and her husband had visited on a guided tour. Jill showed us many photographs of this surprisingly beautiful tropical island situated in Central America where there is a great wealth of flora and fauna, protected within about 1909 reserves, national parks and wildlife refuges. The majority of people are descendants of Spanish settlers living in remote reserves. The country declared neutrality in 1949 and has no army or air force. Due to the variety in the climate, the tour travelled through 12 distinct `life zones' with many different species of plants, animals and butterflies, and visited botanical gardens where there are 2000 different plants from around the world, as well as private and commercial gardens. The whole ethos of the country is based on conservation, and everything is done to preserve wildlife and plant life. Jill's stunning pictures showed how plants we grow as houseplants can a few indigenous people can grow to tree height in the tropical climate. The country also has an Earth University near the Caribbean coast. This was created about 25 years ago by William Kellogg with a four-year course for students from the tropics - designed to take their learning back for the benefit of their countries. The course included eco-friendly projects for urban gardens. I can't help feeling that we in this country could also benefit, perhaps on a smaller scale, from many of their eco-friendly ideas. The tour also climbed almost to the top of two volcanoes, one of which last erupted in 1068 when people and many animals were killed. The party then headed south to the Pacific coast and to Villa Vanilla, a spice plantation, to see the only edible vanilla orchid in the world, where the plants are pollinated one by one. The tour ended that evening when they headed back to San Jose to catch the plane home. Our next meeting will be on the 12th October when the subject will be `Lamps and Light' with Cliff Harris. Everyone is welcome,   Contacting the Mothers' Union The Ouse Valley Deanery Group of the Mothers' Union extends a warm welcome to members and non- members alike. If you would like information about joining the group or future meetings, please contact Hazel Scott on 01234 781 559 or Jackie Biggs on 01234 782 517.
Ouse Valley Motherís Union Sharnbrook Deanery Group The United Benefice of Sharnbrook, Felmersham and Knotting with Souldrop This page last updated: 01/11/2017					comments / feedback please contact webmaster.