“Is it True, Miss?”
‘My Mum doesn’t work. She’s a teacher.’ was one of many anecdotes that the Rev Canon Carole Marsden quoted when she visited Asby WI to give her talk ‘Is it true, Miss?’.
The previous month Mrs Marsden had had to cancel her visit at the last minute because of flooded roads. However, members, knowing how entertaining a speaker she is, were delighted that she was able to stand in at short notice when another’s booking fell through. In her talk Carole described her time as a Primary School teacher in less affluent parts of Lancashire. Her talk was interspersed with short poems about the characters and events involved in the school year: people such as the dinner lady and the caretaker. Events highlighted by anecdotes were parents’ evenings, school assemblies, children choosing team members, parents’ letters, and the visits of Nitty Nora! Children’s news books were also a source of entertainment.
The speaker’s first love was, and still is, working with children and encouraging the development of their imagination and creativity. On first being ordained as an Anglican priest she continued working half time in school but eventually found school holiday times coincided with the busiest times of the church year. So, reluctantly, she stopped working in school as a class teacher and concentrated on full time ministry in the church where she has continued to be a regular visitor in local primary schools.
Mrs Marsden is a brilliant raconteuse and her talk was not only informative, reminding her listeners of their own school days, but also hilarious! Rachel Forrest’s vote of thanks was full of enthusiasm for a really entertaining evening. The speaker judged the competition (which had been planned with the original speaker in mind) for a theatre programme: first, Pat Bevan; second Helen Cooper. Rachel Forrest and Pat Bevan were the evening’s hostesses; Susan Renshaw the raffle winner.