Clubs and Community {Including one group who are mad as hatters)

Hat-maker Philip Ian Wright visited the Inner Wheel Club of Berkhamsted Bulbourne
Hat-maker Philip Ian Wright visited the Inner Wheel Club of Berkhamsted Bulbourne

The latest news from clubs and community groups in your area.

Mad as hatters! Inner Wheel welcomes guest speaker

Mike Penning, Nicky Merriman and friend and supporter, Christine, JFK headteacher Paul Nevesand  CRY Elite Sports Screening Manager and Physiologist Rebecca Osborne

Mike Penning, Nicky Merriman and friend and supporter, Christine, JFK headteacher Paul Nevesand CRY Elite Sports Screening Manager and Physiologist Rebecca Osborne

The Inner Wheel Club of Berkhamsted Bulbourne recently held its fellowship night in Ashley Green village hall.

We were delighted to be joined by many members of other Inner Wheel clubs in the area along with members of Tangent.

Our speaker was Philip Ian Wright, a member of the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers Livery and a Freeman of the City of London.

He has been running the family business, Walter Wright Hats , for over fifteen years.

Ian gave us a very lively and interesting talk on the hat-making industry in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire based initially in Dunstable but eventually in Luton. Those attending the meeting were encouraged to wear hats and following the talk Ian awarded a prize to Vivienne Gibbs, one of our guests, for wearing the most beautiful hat.

Coincidentally, Vivienne’s mother had been a milliner.

One of the highlights of the evening was when Ian invited the ladies present to try on the many hats he had brought with him. There was some very enthusiastic trying on and looking in mirrors!

Everyone enjoyed the interesting and entertaining evening.

Just like a night at the opera for U3A Dacorum

The University of the Third Age Dacorum welcomed our guest speaker international opera singer, Patricia Purcell, who told us about her experiences both on stage and off it.

Patricia began her singing career as a child when she joined a Scottish junior choir that sang for the BBC. At age 11 she was signed up for BBC’s Children’s Hour and also made her first stage appearance at Covent Garden as one of the children in a scene from La Boheme.

In her early twenties Patricia joined the Sadlers Wells Opera Company, at first in the chorus and later as a principal singer.

She sang all over the world and had many amusing stories to tell about life behind the scenes, and also some of the unexpected happenings on stage. Besides meeting such personalities as Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo, she also attended a party given by Frank Sinatra. On another memorable occasion she watched from the wings as Princess Diana danced with Wayne Sleep.

Our next meeting is the AGM, which will take place at 10am on August 4 at Boxmoor Playhouse in Hemel Hempstead and will be followed by a talk by Michael Stanyon. He will be telling us about paper making in Hertfordshire, starting from the late 14th century when paper was made by hand, up to the time when John Dickinson’s factory at Apsley was an important part of our local industry.

For further information regarding U3A please contact our Membership Secretary, Judy Baldwin, on 01442 211289.

Heart screening could save lives like Richard’s

A simple and quick ECG test could save the lives of the 12 apparently fit and healthy young people that die each week in the UK from undiagnosed heart conditions that’s the message from the leading heart charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young.

The expert screening team from CRY came to Hemel Hempstead to hold a session for 103 young people aged between 14 and 35.

Donations were made in memory of Richard Merriman, who tragically collapsed and died from a previously undiagnosed heart condition while playing football on July 25 2012.

Richard, who his family described as “an energetic, fun loving and active young man who enjoyed playing sport” died eight weeks before he was due to get married .He was aged just 27.

Richard’s dad Paul said: “After losing our son so suddenly, to a terrible heart condition, we decided we had to help prevent tragedies happening to another family like ours.

“We found details of CRY’s website and decided to raise money for them by setting up a memorial fund in Richard’s name. It took us 18 months to get enough money to hold a local heart screening event at Richard’s former school, John F Kennedy Catholic School school in Hemel Hempstead.

“We sold raffle tickets and cakes to raise money towards our next heart screening event which will hopefully be next year. A big thank you to Rebecca, CRY’s elite sports screening manager and physiologist and who also comes from Hemel Hempsteadteam who made it run so smoothly.”

Mr Paul Neves, headteacher at JFK School, added: “I was delighted to offer our facilities to Mrs Merriman for the heart screening event in memory of her son, ex-JFK student Richard. I was a member of staff here when Richard was a student and remember him as portrayed in his school photo on show in the waiting room last weekend. I am really pleased that so many of our current students registered for the screening – it must have been extremely rewarding for Mr and Mrs Merriman to see the impact of their fundraising. I wish them well for their continued support for CRY.”

An ECG (electrocardiogram) test is a simple way to identify most of these abnormalities. The test is quick and painless. If necessary a further ultrasound scan of the heart can be taken on the same day to provide further clarity.