Taking this week’s 20 Questions is Shirley Cummings of the WI, who was thrilled when she met the Queen.

Shirley Cummings ps1205-27b'Queens Maundy Money For Shirley'Shirley Cummings
Shirley Cummings ps1205-27b'Queens Maundy Money For Shirley'Shirley Cummings

1.Describe yourself in three words.

Patient, kind and tolerant.

2. What is your greatest achievement?

Giving birth to my three fantastic children

3. What would you say to your younger self?

Stop being a booby, stand up for yourself!

4. What are your ambitions and aims?

To remain in good health and happy for the rest of my days.

5. What’s your favourite colour and why?

Aqua through to Jade. As an enthusiastic crafter I love colour especially the bright colours, but aqua always makes me feel relaxed and happy.

6. What is your first childhood memory?

Going with my parents to Littlehampton on holiday. I was four. I remember going into a funfair and the roller coaster was above us in the roof and my Mother saying ‘Wave to Daddy’ and I had no idea where he was. I was also taken to a private garden and they had a children’s small house and I could stand upright in it, but my parents had to bend down. The same house had a rockery and they had a model of Snow White at the top of the rockery waving ‘Goodbye’ to the seven dwarfs who were further down the rockery.

7. What do you like best about the Bridlington area?

I love Bridlington, it is situated in the most beautiful countryside and we are beside the sea. I would hate to return to the noise, dirt and hustle and bustle of London.

8. Describe your perfect day?

My perfect day is one in which I meet my friends, perhaps have lunch, and then return to the peace and quiet of my own home to continue with my crafts.

9. Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party?

Shami Chakrabarti, Brendan O’Connell, and John Sentamu

10. Who would you like to play you in a film of your life?

Marilyn Monroe. She would be woefully miscast!

11. Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

Bridlington as I have no wish to live anywhere else.

12. What is your favourite book and why?

Anything written by Bill Bryson. He is interesting and he makes me laugh.

13. Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?

The Women’s Institute (The W.I.) as I have done lots of things with them I would not have done without them, such as Pole Dancing and Gliding. I also appeared on Radio Humberside for many years and loved it. The motto of the WI is ‘Inspiring Women’ and they certainly inspired me.

14. What is your favourite TV 
programme and why?

I love documentaries and could listen to them every evening.

15. If you won a million pounds, what would you spend it on?

I would give a tenth of it to the Priory to help modernise some if its facilities and the rest I would divide among myself and my children.

16. If you could change one thing tomorrow about Bridlington, what would it be?

I would open up all the closed shops in town to make it into a thriving bustling area

17. What three things would you take with you to a desert island?

A huge supply of double knitting wool, knitting needles and crochet hooks.

18. Cats or dogs ... what pets do you prefer and why?

Dogs, although I have both. They are both rescued animals and I love them equally, a dog is more demanding but gives you a lot more loving attention. They are both excellent companions.

19. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

At my age I don’t give a damn, but when I was younger I would have liked to have been prettier.

20. What was your favourite year and why?

2012 as that was the year I was chosen to receive the Maundy Money and to meet the Queen. I took my two daughters to York Minster and it was the most memorable service and it was a great thrill to meet the Queen. We were told to say ‘Thank you your Majesty’ when the Queen gave us the Maundy Money and I watched as she came along the line and most people were completely overawed and could barely mumble ‘Thank you’, but I thought ‘Hm, the WI does it properly’ so when I received the Maundy Money I said ‘Thank you your Majesty’ and the Queen stopped, looked me in the eye for a couple of seconds and then bowed her head to me and moved on. I think she is marvellous and has done a fantastic job for the country over many years.