One of the founder members of Eglinton WI, Mattie Parkhill is as keen at competitions today as she was when she joined.
Despite her composed, ladylike exterior, there is a keen competition winner lurking beneath the surface, who delights in taking on all comers when it comes to jam-making and baking.
Although one of the oldest members of Eglinton WI, Mattie is very much the person to beat when it comes to the infamous MU competitions, and even at the Valentie’s Day bake off earlier this year, Mattie came out on top with a scrumptious chocolate cake topped with icing and strawberries, which she insists was “just an ordinary, plain sponge cake”.
Recalling her early years with the MU back in the post-war years of 1950, Mattie remembered how members with cars were helpful with lifts to and from meetings, and how as a young woman in her teens she was relied upon in the kitchen to make sure her family and the farmhands were well fed.
However, her baking skills really came to the fore after she got married: “I got married when I was 21 and I had to start and make for my husband and he liked all the home baking, and soda bread especially, and I have been doing that ever since,” she said.
Asked what she liked most about the WI, Mattie said: “I just like the company and I like the chats that we have and the outings.”
To watch a video with Mattie and the WI President Irene Boggs log onto www.londonderrysentinel.co.uk