Highly Suspect Murder Mystery

by Marie Dixon

Happy New Year to all members! On a cold January evening a full house of members – current and new – plus several guests, arrived for a special evening of entertainment, with a most professional group of actors named – Highly Suspect – travelling from Carlisle. We were advised that we would need our pool of memory resources to discover the guilty party.

All members were totally involved as the players developed the theme and story of the plot offering intriguing clues. During this the members in groups created individual titles plus a limerick – most humorous at times – In fact it could be said – ‘somewhat risque’!

Then work sheets were given – hoping to discover the result. Throughout all of this, the actors ‘ played the room’ addressing each table as they did so- always in character and voice and dress. Each table was invited to suggest the guilty party and they did. The evening was a huge success – most appropriate for the first meeting of the New Year- and discovering that Highly Suspect has a varied list of performances – no doubt they will be returning in the future!!!

The meeting was full of news from the committee and the cakes were – scrumptious as always. New sub groups are now developing the most recent being the Theatre Club organised by Leila – all interested members keep in touch. The Willows WI Musicians is afoot organised by Julie, again if interested keep in touch.

Here’s to our next meeting in February- Best Wishes to all


A history of regional accents

The April social evening for the Willows WI Sale was again buzzing with energy – greeting new members, and a warm welcome for guests on the night. The speaker was Rob Drummond a linguist, specialising in accents and regions – who introduced us to the varying tones and styles of the English language and how areas alter the speech patterns accordingly.

He discussed the North /South divide and with the aid of videos he highlighted how in American films, the hero was usually American and the baddie was usually white  English! This even transcends to Disney films such as in the Lion King, where Mufasa has a deep heroic American accent, but his evil brother Scar is voiced by a very English Jeremy Irons! We also learned how the vowel sounds in areas completely alter the understanding of the word and also the shape of it.

Rob has strong interests in youth/urban speakers explaining that their sounds are the sounds of today and will be the sounds of the future resulting in a form of speech that would regard the current accents  as very unusual – he explained that it was fascinating to know that the young urban speaker can quite easily apply their speech to cover interviews and other areas.

It was a fascinating and humorous presentation. Rob had an easy relaxed manner and was well received by all present.

Committee members Julie, Tracy and Kerry with Rob Drummond

Once again refreshments baked by the members were very much appreciated – the raffle was successful and groups are quietly forming – with future visits to the Cheshire Show and Calendar Girls at the Lowry, and with a Tapas Evening at  Charley’s Corner Café to look forward to in May – a good night was had by All!!!

Marie Dixon