9 Jan East Croydon U3A
This was Meryl’s first talk of the year and the members were treated to a taste of Marmalade Spice Cake, made with the marmalade Meryl had made the previous week and topped with warming ginger. They said it was a perfect afternoon out despite the blustery weather.
16 Nov Inner Wheel Kingston upon Thames
Meryl was delighted to be invited as Guest speaker at the group’s Christmas Fayre which raises funds for 6 local charities. Valerie writes : ‘I thought your talk on Christmas Baking Traditions was quite outstanding and so full of information yet delivered in such a relaxed and unauthoritative manner…. I have had lots of lovely comments back.’
15 Nov Aston Clinton U3A
Meryl braved a very wet afternoon in Aylesbury to deliver her History of Afternoon Tea talk to a large and very appreciative audience. They were holding an afternoon tea event a couple of weeks hence so learnt all about the rules and regulations including how to stir their tea! Colin writes : ‘Many thanks for a great afternoon which our members all enjoyed.’
4 May Ashford WI
What excitement for the Vinegar Cake competition and so hard to judge! Ashford WI showed off their baking skills making this 1942 cake to complement my talk on Baking and Rationing in WW2.
It was a lovely Zoom audience who joined me ‘On the Net Online Talk’ about ‘The History of Afternoon Tea’ with lots of interesting questions, including the intriguing difference between ‘tif’ and ‘mif’ and a memory from the past.
2 Feb West London Oddfellows
A rainy afternoon in Hammersmith but a warm welcome from the group for Meryl’s talk on the History of Afternoon Tea. Meryl took a homemade Victoria Sandwich to go with the scrumptious afternoon tea they had prepared. Fantastic to be talking ‘live’!
17 Jan Thames Ditton WI
Fantastic to be talking ‘live’ to this group. The lovely members gave me a very warm welcome. Diane writes : ‘It was fascinating and the amount of information you have acquired was impressive. We also enjoyed the vinegar cake!’
2 Nov Nether Edge WI
Sarah writes : 'Many thanks for joining us to share your encyclopaedic knowledge of Christmas Baking traditions ….It was fascinating and we now feel inspired to follow your grandmother’s example and get baking in preparation for the festive season. I look forward to having a go at the Christmas wreath, which sounds delicious.'
16 Sept Pontefract Family History Society
Meryl caught up with the group on Zoom and talked about Baking and Rationing in World War 2. There were lots of questions and interesting shared experiences. Brenda writes : ‘It was a very enjoyable talk. Thank you.’
13 Sept Ashtead WI
5 Jul Barming WI
Meryl had a fantastic evening delivering her talk about the History of Afternoon Tea to members via Zoom. The group asked some intriguing questions, including ‘who invented doilies?’ In fact, the name originated from a 17 th century London draper called ‘Doily’. His firm made fabric fringed napkins. It then became the name given to a napkin used for cakes and desserts.
14 Jun Barming History Society
Meryl enjoyed delivering her talk about the History of Afternoon Tea via Zoom to members of the group. We’re all finding ways to celebrate this quintessential event during the pandemic.
11 Jun Derby Primary St James Junior
Meryl took part in an Inspiring the Future/Primary Futures virtual activity called ‘What’s My Line?’ with students in year 6. Darren writes : ‘… the workshop went really well and your support added great value to the session.’
9 Jun Bushmead WI
Jo writes : 'Thank you so much for a fascinating talk this evening. We all thoroughly enjoyed it.'
24 May Edlington Victoria Primary School
Meryl took part in the Inspiring the Future/Primary Futures project with Y5/6 pupils. Willow writes : ‘Thank you so much for joining our virtual session. It was a pleasure to have you as a volunteer and we enjoyed hearing about your work. I think the children were very engaged and it was fantastic that you could introduce them to your role as a cookery writer and presenter, share your enthusiasm for your work and the excellent advice about being passionate about what you do and having fun.’
13 April Thurlow WI
Karen writes : Thank you so much for joining us last night. Your talk on the History Of Afternoon Tea was really enjoyed by all of our ladies and it was a pleasure to meet you.
12 April Kingdown & Ringwould WI
Meryl was very happy to pay a virtual return visit to the group. Sue writes : Once again thank you for your informative talk on WW2 baking this afternoon. The Ladies carried on talking all through the tea break!
31 Mar Eden Valley Museum, Edenbridge
Meryl was delighted to do a live streamed event for the Museum about Baking in World Wars 1 and 2. She stirred up lots of memories including those of relatives growing food on allotments. Lots of great feedback. Thank you!
16 Mar Bread & Roses WI
Meryl had a (virtual) return visit to the group to talk about the History of Afternoon Tea. Fatima writes : ‘Thank you Meryl for an excellent presentation and entertaining evening….It made us all long for an Afternoon Tea!’
10 Feb Bardsey cum Rigton WI
There were over 25 attendees at Meryl’s talk about her Grandma on Zoom and lots of interesting questions and lovely comments. Caroline writes : We really enjoyed your talk last night but such a shame we couldn’t sample some of your baking! Meryl also learnt all about Black Bun from 2 Scottish ladies – it’s doused with whisky and eaten around New Year.
14 Jan Roundhay WI
Meryl finally caught up on Zoom with this group she was meant to visit last June. She had a great time talking about the History of Afternoon tea and hope it won’t be too long before we can all enjoy this great tradition. In the meantime, we decided it’s a good excuse to get that 3 tiered cake stand out!
13 Jan Wickersley WI
Meryl enjoyed talking about her Grandma on Zoom with the group. The host, Ann writes : I would just like to thank you for your talk last night. It was really enjoyable and I've had several emails from members saying how much they enjoyed it. Whilst sat in my sewing room watching the cars trying to get up our road in the snow, I glanced up to the book shelf and the old cookery books I acquired after my Great Aunts died and my Gran. Of course, you inspired me to get them down and have a look. They go back 100+ years and are fascinating. Thank you.
18 Dec MHA Communities South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw
Meryl paid a return visit to the group, this time via Zoom to talk to the members about Christmas Baking Traditions. They shared their own family traditions including putting coins in Christmas puddings.
14 Dec West Sussex Federation of WIs
Meryl was delighted to share her Grandma’s Christmas recipes on Zoom with the federation of WIs in the West Sussex area. They were impressed by Hannah Glasse’s recipe for Yorkshire Christmas Pie. It was a whopper!
14 Dec Droitwich U3A
Meryl discovered another part of the country via Zoom to meet the members of this lovely group. They were well informed about the historical aspects and found the talk entertaining and very enjoyable.
9 Nov Kingsdown & Ringwold WI, Kent
Meryl had a lovely afternoon on Zoom with this group in a part of the country she didn’t know at all. They were intrigued by the Christmas recipes from different cultures and took a keen interest in the Yorkshire recipes!
7 Oct Ridgeway WI, Sheffield
Delighted to talk to Ridgeway WI about Christmas Baking Traditions on Zoom. They enjoyed it very much but said that you wished they could try the Christmas baking at the same time!
20 Jul Bexleyheath & Crayford Waterside WI
Hurrah for Zoom! Meryl did her first virtual talk to this group on ‘The history of Afternoon tea’. They so enjoyed it and it was a real privilege to support their group meeting. Stay safe and stay together!
Meryl’s Christmas talk and baking samples made a great addition to the fizz which the gardening club members enjoyed. Nutmeg Cake was a big hit!
Meryl talked to the group about rationing in WW2 and some of the members could remember Woolton pie. They especially enjoyed the Beetroot cake and Anzac Biscuits afterwards but were a bit unsure about trying the not so temptingly named Vinegar Cake. It’s actually OK!
Meryl took a tray of Yorkshire Parkin as a prize for the raffle – and it was the first to be chosen! A lovely evening with a very warm welcome.
Meryl enjoyed talking to this group about Afternoon Tea. One member talked about her experiences of afternoon tea in New Zealand in the 1960s which apparently was done in great style.
Meryl had a lovely time with this friendly group talking about Afternoon Tea. She met Carol who had been to Tea at Reids in Madeira – what an experience!
Meryl had a warm welcome back in Worsborough to talk about the History of Afternoon Tea. Some members had taken tea at the Ritz and couldn’t wait to go back to stir their tea properly. Any excuse…!
3 Oct St Lawrence Church
This group had lots of stories to tell about their family members who had been in service – and I met a school class mate from the past.
15 April Carcroft Local History Group
Meryl's return visit to the Clifton Park and Museum Friends was to tell them the story of Afternoon tea. The group knew all about Boston Castle in Rotherham and were holding an Afternoon tea event there later that month.
Meryl had fantastic support from Lucy, Emma and Martin over the 2 days she spent baking recipes from the World World 1 era as part of Doncaster 1914-18 project. The recipes were based on letters sent home from soldiers at the front about what they liked best.
This group had much to say about their own family members who had been in service - some had travelled long distances on foot to start work.
15 Jul Emmanuel Church Barnsley
There was't a crumb left when Meryl served out Grandma's tasty cakes. One member said she had a recipe for 'courting cake' which sounds intriguing!
14 Jul Harlington & Barnburgh Mothers Union
Meryl really enjoyed meeting members of this group, some of whom remembered Grandma's sister, Edith and her son, Cedric and daughter in law, Louisa who lived in the village. One member actually lived next door!
1 Jul Chapeltown Ladies
This group enjoyed Grandma's cakes and her story on this lovely summer's evening.
8 Jun Sprotbrough Bake–Off
Clifton Park Museum Rotherham