The Cumbria-Westmorland Federation of WI’s were joined at their recent autumn fundraising lunch at the Castle Green Hotel, Kendal, by a rather special guest, none other than former MP and Government Minister Edwina Currie.
Over 70 members attended the afternoon’s proceedings, during which Edwina spent time talking to the assembled guests about her meteoric political career, rise firstly as City Councillor for Birmingham City, and then her fifteen-year stint as MP for South Derbyshire.
Regaling the audience with tales of working alongside some of the biggest names in British politics during the 1980’s; including her time spent as an aide to Sir Keith Joseph at the Department of Education and Science, and infamously as a government minister at the Department of Health and Social Science… until her resignation in 1988… following an investigation into the health risks of salmonella in eggs.
She talked about her life after politics and as a successful published author. As well as her more recent experiences as something of a broadcaster; hosting a variety of radio and TV shows. Including making appearances in a number of high-profile shows, such as Strictly and I’m A Celebrity and even on occasion treading the boards on stage, playing the role of the Wicked Queen in Snow White (letting slip that her character’s inspiration came from none other than The Iron Lady).
As one of the WI’s close supporters Maria Whitehead was invited to attend in the afternoon, showcase her new recipe book, a selection of Hawkshead Relish’s products, meet Edwina and help mark plans to celebrate the achievements of business women across the county, as the Federation approaches its centenary year in 2020.
Karen Hanks, Chairman, of Cumbria-Westmorland Federation of WI’s, commented: ‘’There’s no doubt that Edwina Currie has been an inspirational figure in British politics for many years. It was a real pleasure to share the afternoon with her and a fitting way to round off a memorable year, especially as we set out to celebrate what will be our centenary year in 2020 as we mark the important role businesswomen linked to the Federation have played and continue to play in Cumbria’s economy.’’
Maria Whitehead, co-owner and director of Hawkshead Relish, said: ‘’It was a great pleasure to have the opportunity to spend time with the Cumbria-Westmorland Federation of WI’s. To showcase my recipe book ‘Embellish With Relish’ and some of our award-winning products, and to have the opportunity to meet Edwina Currie. To hear about her time in government, career as an author and her insight into the world of broadcasting, both on the radio and on TV – a fascinating afternoon.’’