Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Q & A: Kathleen Hardcastle - Board of Trustees & Member of Cookridge Crumpets WI

Q. Where were you born?
A. I was born on May 15th 1945 in Bond Street Maternity Hospital, Leicester. I spent the first 19 years of my life in a Leicester that is totally different from that of today.

Q. What is your earliest memory?
A. When I was very young and my father had just returned from the war, we shared a house with a very old lady called Emily. I can actually recall Emily as a shadowy figure in the background but mostly I also remember Mr and Mrs Farrer who had a small sweet shop next door. Mr Farrer used to yodel which scared me to death. Another thing is the fact that I was convinced at a very early age that I could swim in the river Soar if only my mother would let me try! She had to give in when I was five and let this water baby have lessons

Q. When did you get involved with the WI?
A. Way back in 1986 a friend and I wanted something more to do. We had tried various women’s groups to no avail and one day she approached me with the idea of setting up a Horsforth WI. A few weeks later, with the help of Maureen Burrell,  we were up and running and we never looked back.

Q. What made you join the WI?
A. WI offered me many new experiences and opportunities as it still does for women in the            multicultural world of today. I always felt encouraged to “Have a go!” and didn’t need to be an expert before I started.

Q. What roles have you held in the WI?
A. I have been president three times, vice president and programme secretary. I’m new to the Board of Trustees and I hope to learn a great deal more about what the W.I can offer modern women.
 Q. Tell us about your career.
A. My father didn’t believe in further reducation for girls and would have liked me to join the firm he worked for to train as a secretary before job I got married!! Not for me I’m afraid, so after leaving school at 16 I went straight into an N.N.E.B training course, was consequently offered a temporary job as an unqualified teacher before completing my studies at Margaret McMillan College of Education. I later studied with the O.U. I spent many happy years teaching in the Manningham area of Bradford and the last 17
years of my career as a Headteacher in two Leeds schools.