Charles Dickens’ Society speaker at WI meeting

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The highlight of the November meeting of Pocklington W.I. was the visit of Linda McCarthy, a speaker for the Charles Dickens (Malton) Society.

She told of the close links Charles Dickens had with Malton often visiting the area during the summer to avoid the bad smells prevailing in London. He was never idle gaining and picking up ideas like a sponge from his experiences. He often stayed with his friend Smithson, a solicitor he had known for many years, and based his depiction of Ebenezer Scrooge in ‘A Christmas Carol’ on him.

It is thought that this was his favourite book, a protest about education and poverty at the time, and it is said that this book has never been out of print since it was first published. He had a strong social conscience and, after visiting “schools in the north”, a cheap boarding school, he was inspired to write ‘Nicholas Nickelby’ who becomes a tutor at Dothebys Hall. This again is a reference to a house he visited whilst at Malton.

Linda McCarthy illustrated her talk with excerpts from some of Dickens’ books. She was thanked with acclaim by Barbara Ball.

The flower arrangement on the President’s table provided by Christine Dyer was won by Linda Tremaine, and the delegate for the Annual Meeting to be held in London next year will be Ann Wilson. Items in the Federation Newsletter were highlighted with special reference to the carol service being held in Beverley on 13 December. The Fourth Friday Coffee morning will be tomorrow (28 November) at the Feathers Hotel. The craft group will also be meeting there and hope to make children’s dresses out of pillowcases. The competition for an old book was won by Jan Mitchell with Barbara Vine and Molly Gilks in second and third places. The next meeting will be the Christmas supper and members were urged to purchase their tickets that evening.