Eighteen members and one visitor attended the November meeting, when details of the Christmas Lunch were finalised. After a short business meeting, President Geraldine Baldwin introduced guest speakers Gail Inglis and Sarah Edwards, who spoke about their work as magistrates. They cover West Allerdale, Keswick and the Whitehaven area.
They explained that the office is voluntary, and it is possible for anyone between the ages of eighteen and seventy to apply to serve.
It was explained that this arrangement for the execution of justice dates back to statutes of 1361.
West Cumbria has 250 voluntary magistrates, who always sit in threes on the bench.
All arrests come through the Magistrates Court system, with only 5% being referred to the Crown Courts.
The Magistrates have the power to commit to prison for up to six months. Fines awarded are subject to an offender's income.
Magistrates sit on Family Court matters as well as Youth Courts, adoption and domestic violence.
It is always attempted to place offenders on courses designed to help them avoid re-offending.
A vote of thanks was given by Geraldine Baldwin and everyone agreed that this was a very enlightening talk.
The Competition - a fountain pen was won by Pat Harper.
The Raffle was won by Nancy Fearon.
Dovenby WI is always glad to welcome new members or visitors. Meetings are normally held on the second Thursday of the month at 7:30pm at Bridekirk Dovenby School.