Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

February 2009

This months News



Women's Institute

When Sonia Beesley auditioned to be a reporter for the BBC she was sent to interview ‘Dan the saddleman’ at Cheltenham racecourse.  She had no experience put plenty of nerve, having phoned the producer only the day before to ask for a job!

‘I didn’t even know what a saddleman was,’ she admitted to WI members at their January meeting, ‘so I thought I’d just ask him, and let him do the talking.’

Little did she know that the lessons learned then would stand her in good stead for the future, when she went on to interview the likes of Margaret Thatcher, and worked on flagship radio programmes such as Woman’s Hour and Today.

‘Back then, in the 1960s, if you wanted to be a journalist there was no training – you just got on with the job and either you could do it or you couldn’t’, explained Sonia.

Luckily, she had an instinctive feel for what questions to ask and a natural ability to get on with people and put them at ease.  “Some people just want someone who will listen to them”, she said.

Even Margaret Thatcher confided in her, revealing that she insisted on sorting all Denis’ socks and shirts herself even though it was often a struggle to find the time!

Sonia (now Lady Hornby), had more tales to tell from the time she secretly interviewed Rosalynn Carter, then First Lady of the USA, in a room no bigger than a cupboard to meeting Richard Burton in a pub in Oxford.

After a career made out of listening to others, luckily for WI members, at their January meeting, it was Sonia doing the talking for a change.

WI meetings are held on the first Wednesday in each month at 7.30 p.m. in Tysoe Village Hall.  They are a great way to catch up with friends and meet new ones.  Visitors will be given a warm welcome so if you like the sound of any of the following talks do feel free to come and join us.

Wed 4th February - ‘Anecdotes’ by the Rev Bill Rolfe

Wed 4th March - ‘The life and works of Chopin’ by Neville Tarratt

Wed 1st April - ‘Understanding the bird of prey’ by Geoff Dalton

Julie Smart

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Last modified: February 03, 2009