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Diana's Story

Hello, W.I. Friends,

Beginning to feel rather like Rapunzal -stuck up a tower with rapidly growing hair, and still waiting for my Prince to arrive!

Learning to live on one’s own is not new for me, but being isolated from those you love and wish to be with is certainly a very new venture.

Thank goodness for kind people, the telephone, emails and for an intrinsically deep rooted love of laughter and a sense of humour.

I am also grateful to have a garden, and have been lucky enough to be able to buy seed potatoes, bean seeds and perennial plants. I had a holly tree removed in the Winter and have made a new flower bed.


I have spent many hours making cards, finding new techniques and using some of the wonderful tools given to me by Jenny. Although yeast seems to be like gold dust, I used my precious last sachet to make currant teacakes, scrumptious but with far too much butter!

   On VE day I made a display to 

 honour my father who served all through the war on HMS London as CPO Cook and did not come home for good till 1952. 

In the village we put up bunting and sang in the street, and had a wonderful game of Street Bingo, everyone partaking sitting socially distanced outside their houses. I won one of the games and £20.00 in prize money! I decided I would like to be a redhead and so was daft enough to christen the wig I had bought to wear in the Wensleydale Tournament { sadly cancelled for this year }, for my Music Hall Song. 

I have sorted all the music for both the East Witton Male Voice Choir, Askrigg Ladies Sing for Pleasure, and my own personal music, thousands of sheets of music in total. 

I miss this aspect of my life so much but am blessed with CD’s, tapes, radio and television, and nothing can take away the music I have loved stored in memory.

My first two weeks were spent being involved with writing greetings for the Group Hug Goody Bags, which were engendered by one of my East Witton men, and arranging with Kath and Jo in Askrigg for their delivery. Up to date over 1,800 bags have been delivered across the Dales. I notoriously got to appear on Look North for singing out of my bedroom window, even though the whole song was cut to one line!


 Every Friday evening I dress up smart, put on some make up, do my hair { have even resorted to putting curlers in! ] set a clean tablecloth and flowers and have a date night with Bill. He is also in isolation 15 miles away and we have not seen each other since 23rd March, but it is the best we can do at the moment. Although I do Messenger video chats to my daughters, this is not his bag, so I drink a toast instead!

 My daughters are well, Jenny is a key worker in the flu industry and Hazel has been reorganising her shop magnificently for when she can reopen. She rings me every day and I speak weekly to Jenny. 

Both have been busy in their gardens too.

I have read both our Book Club books and more and have rediscovered old films I have enjoyed.

I send greetings to you all and my hope for the coming days is that you all stay well and safe. May we meet again in friendship once again soon.

With love and good wishes.


It is fortunate that before the corona virus outbreak I moved into Sycamore Hall and feel very settled here. I am on oxygen twenty four hours a day and am in at least twelve weeks of lockdown due to my vulnerable condition.
I am able to do some cooking and generally look after myself, but I get very tired. I was sat on a stool washing up one day and I thought I heard a telephone ring in another flat, but it was mine, I had gone to sleep !
I have sold my car to Rita's family as I am now not able to drive. I dropped the  spare key from the window, as I have done with many other things. It is surprising what we have to do during lockdown.
People have been very kind in telephoning me and I have been able to talk to family and friends through the window. Joan Clarkson, who moved into Sycamore last year has been very good to me, getting my paper every day and organising shopping etc. I am very grateful to everyone who has helped me.
I hope you are all well

Red and White Flags

Dear All

I am writing this in the garden on a seat (& table ) that my brother and his large family gave me for my 80th birthday( 3years ago ) This sunshine is a real tonic- although William wants rain- the meadows are burning up.

Doing my usual chores seems to take all day- so unlike many people off work- I find no extra time. However in the evening I am Knitting- but this is aggravating my rheumatism.

I try to walk around the farm every day and feel so grateful to have this wonderful dale as my home. On Sundays I walk up to the Roman Fort on Brough Hill

When my mother-in-law (Amy Scarr) was in her nineties she wrote many memoirs of life in the 20th century. I thought the enclosed copy of her memory of Bainbridge WI " making do and mend" during the War- may be of interest to present members. The last WI Life had tales of wartime ingenuity. Mrs Margaret Hopper( the estate agency's family) was a member of Bainbridge WI and my mother remembered her teaching members to can and bottle fruit.

We celebrated VE day with a bonfire ( beacon ) on the top of Brough Hill- it was a lovely evening and the view was stunning

Keep Well

Best Wishes from

Mary Scarr


                   Amy Scarr's Memories  - WI

                             ( Mason's Mother )

I came to live at Cravenholme by the river at Bainbridge in February 1944.

My WI membership was transferred from Askrigg WI.

We met in the Friends Meeting House because the Village Hall had been commandeered by the military.

As Christmas time came around it was agreed that it would be a pity to have to abandon the party. Some farmer's wives (  from Rayalside) volunteered to procure rabbits. Some lovely pies made from home rendered lard were produced. They were served with potatoes and mushy peas. Hence the well-known quality of Bainbridge hospitality was preserved

Life in lockdown: Testimonials
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