“Ne'er cast a clout till May be out'”. Research shows that the earliest recorded quotation of this was in 1732, but probably existed in word-of-mouth form well before that. The word 'clout', is archaic. Since at least the early 15th century the meaning has included 'a fragment of cloth, or clothing'. So, 'ne'er cast a clout...' simply means 'never discard your [warm winter] clothing until May is out.’ But what does May mean? Is it the month or is it May blossom of late March and early May? ‘April showers bring forth May flowers ‘is not ambiguous in referring to the month. ‘Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May’ from Shakespeare seem to indicate the May blossom. All in all, although the May blossom interpretation seems appealing, the 'May' in this proverb, in my view, is most likely to be the month of May. If I am wrong, I can only say that I never make the same mistake twice; I make it five or six times , you know, just to make sure.
What is not in doubt is the popularity of our local camera club. Our website, www.fordingbridgecameraclub.org.uk has our programme. We meet at Avonway Community Centre at 7.30pm most Wednesdays of the season. It is a mixture of talks by visiting top photographers coupled with opportunities to show your work and have it commented on by experienced photographic judges. Visitors are always welcome for a small fee. In addition to our regular meetings we are devoting many evenings for those who want, as a group, to set themselves new challenges and then to review the results collectively. These additional sessions have proven to be very popular but are only open to club members.
Our Club year finishes in mid-June but we will be at many of the local country shows throughout the summer; Sandal Heath 17th June, St Mary’s Church Festival 1st and 2nd July, the Fordingbridge Festival on Saturday 15th July, Frogham Fair on Saturday July 29th. . Ellingham Show follows on Saturday August the 12th. Call in and see us, we are not as bad as you may think, although sometimes I question my sanity - but then the unicorn in the kitchen tells me I am OK.