WI ladies learn what life is really like on the inside

Ansdell and Fairhaven WI meeting. Pictured left to right: Catherine Rigby- member, Judith Scott  Speaker, Anne Butterworth  member
Ansdell and Fairhaven WI meeting. Pictured left to right: Catherine Rigby- member, Judith Scott  Speaker, Anne Butterworth  member

By Pauline Mason

Ansdell and Fairhaven WI

We all enjoyed the humorous antics of Fletcher in the 1970’s television series Porridge –but what is life really like on the inside?

The ladies of Ansdell and Fairhaven WI had a chance to find out.

Visiting speaker Judith Scott, from Southport, had us all enthralled as she recounted her experiences of prison – not as an inmate she hastily assured us, but as a former member of the Review Committee.

Julie Swift, from Lytham, introduced Judith and explained that she is an active member of the Withnell Fold WI and was, until recently, the treasurer of the Lancashire WI Federation.

She has served as a magistrate, been a volunteer for Citizens Advice, and in the 1980’s she played an active role as a member of the Prison Review Committee at Preston Prison.

Judith explained that Preston Prison is a category B prison meaning that the majority of its inmates are there for up to three years.

She provided a fascinating insight into ‘Life on the Inside’.

For example, on one occasion she had to visit a prisoner in the punishment wing – a scary place to be!

It suddenly became even scarier when the alarm sounded and she was hurriedly locked into one of the cells for her own safety.

She turned to find that she was locked in with one of the prisoners – a quiet mannered man who pulled up a chair for her and they chatted briefly.

His crime – he had murdered his wife.

Member Cathy Rigby said: “What a fascinating evening.

“I learned so much and admire what Judith has achieved.

“She obviously brought a lot of skill to her role.”

The next meeting is on Wednesday, April 10 and is entitled “Pinny’s Pots.”

Yvonne Pinder will demonstrate her plant pot decorating techniques.

Visitors are most welcome to join us at St Joseph’s Church Hall, Woodlands Road, Ansdell, FY8 4EP from 7.30pm. Contact Barbara Wood on (01253) 921524.