Our newsletter for September is a jam-packed round-up of what’s been happening in the Federation over the summer. Garden parties, flashmobs, croquet: we have it all!
Around The WIs
The Annual meeting at Cardiff was the first National event I had attended.
I was excited to be part of such a large gathering of WI members, and to be voting for a Resolution that really spoke to me personally. As a year-round swimmer and lover of wildlife, I feel passionate about the Environment, and our responsibility towards it.
The weather was perfect, and once arrived in Cardiff, I travelled with Debbie, Chris and Caroline to Penarth, to swim in the sea and sample local Welsh ice-cream on the beautiful Victorian pier. Walking back into Cardiff across the Barrage, with views of the freshwater lake and sea, we were reminded how important it is to look to the future and put plans in place to support wildlife and outdoor leisure pursuits. (Scroll down for info on Teddington’s river event in support of the resolution)
It was inspiring to see how Mermaid Quay (Cardiff’s waterfront precinct) supports this, with the Bay trail for cycles and walking, sailing, paddle boarding and swimming on offer, as well as a variety of wildlife, including the amazing Swift Nesting Tower, with its eerie calls ringing across the bay.
The Conference day itself was overwhelming, exciting and definitely inspirational. The hairs on the back of my neck prickled as thousands of voices sang Jerusalem together. I loved hearing the speakers talk about their personal journeys through life, following their dreams with passion and resilience.
I felt privileged to be part of such a huge group of women, working together to bring about change through education, campaigning and never giving up. I would go again in a heartbeat and am already looking forward to the event in London next year!
—Sian Cooley, President, Teddington WI
The Platinum Jubilee celebrations continued at Hanwell WI when we gathered together for a festive evening of fun and frivolity.
Keen gardeners amongst us planted a tub with a beautiful display of purple scabia and campanula which not only brightened up the area outside our hall but seemed to attract many bees too!
Next, we sat down to a splendid feast of homemade scones, clotted cream, jam and fresh strawberries along with a cup or two of tea.
A little later, Kim Broadbent, our President and one-time quizmaster tested our knowledge on all things royal. It’s amazing how much we found we didn’t know! Before too long, it was time to go home. We had had a most enjoyable and memorable evening!
On the afternoon of Saturday 21st May 2022, Sunbury Village and Sunbury on Thames WIs hosted a Platinum Jubilee Tea Party in partnership with Sunbury Neighbours for local elderly residents.
The event was held at St Mary’s Parish hall, volunteers from both WIs baked, dress tables, decorated the hall, made sandwiches, served the tables and chatted to the guests.
A huge thanks goes to Shelagh Bonnichon (Sunbury Village WI member) who was a total star planning and co-ordinating the whole event, including linking in with Sunbury Neighbours and all the volunteers.
Our WI meeting held on Thursday 2nd December at the GAA Club, McGovern Park, was our Christmas meeting. Many members wore Christmas jumpers and hats making the evening feel festive.
Dorothy and Lorraine provided various Christmas craft items, many of them recycled, for us to make a Christmas tree ornament and with advice and a demonstration to give us ideas we enjoyed making our own, while we chatted and had tea organised by Linda. Cheese, biscuits, chocolates, and mince pies were enjoyed by all.
Lesley made and donated a delicious Christmas cake for us to guess the weight – won by Hazel. A book swop was also available.
The second part of our evening organised by Lorna was a presentation from Helen Astrid, who runs a singing academy in Twickenham, on the history of Christmas carols. Carols date back to the 2nd century AD, and many of our favourite carols were mentioned together with their history.
Singing carols became popular in the Victorian times. Christmas carols, as opposed to Christmas songs, usually have a religious basis. Each of the items mentioned in the 12 days of Christmas was a metaphor for a bible story, the tree being God’s true love and the partridge, Jesus.
Helen had hoped to join us in person but still managed to join us on Zoom while we sung carols, Once in Royal David’s City, Silent Night, and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing: a lovely start to the Christmas Season. We finished the evening with member-donated gifts for a raffle.
Many thanks to Lorna who organised our Christmas meal at the Ascott in Eastcote where we had a very good meal and very pleasant evening with friends; it was so nice to be able to have a little normality in these difficult times.
REWI wishes everyone a happy & healthy 2022.
Father Christmas once again heard about our Christmas party and came along to hand out the Secret Santa gifts. We enjoyed sharing the food on our buffet table and had time for a good old chat before heading home.
Our Christmas meal was organised by Chris. Thankfully Covid was kind and we went to the St. Giles Hotel in Feltham and enjoyed their Christmas set menu.
Our first meeting of the year was an enjoyable and informative talk by Russell Bowes, a garden historian, entitled Say it with Poison in which he described, very theatrically, many plants which we may have in our gardens which can be used for dubious purposes.
Laleham WI had a great turnout for their first meeting of 2022. Members enjoyed catching up with each other over tea and biscuits and President, Helen Hurst brought everyone up to speed on news and events to come.
Membership also voted on the WI 2022 Resolutions.
The highlight of the evening was delivered by member June Barnard, who gave a lively and entertaining talk about her long experience as an event and trip organiser.
We enjoyed some amusing stories as well as learning a lot about what goes into making successful trips. Don’t know how you do it June… but please don’t stop!
Here’s Judy McFarlane presiding over her Raffle prizes for the evening.
Stanwell WI was sad to hear of the passing of one of their long-term members, Valerie Turner. She had served as our president for several years over three separate occasions and had served on the committee until fairly recently. Valerie was also an active member of the local community and served on several local committees including Stanwell Village Hall and Spelthorne In Bloom. She was very community-minded and the WI was a massive part of her life. She will be sadly missed.
After a warm welcome from the new President, members attending December’s meeting were given a Christmas table quiz, on Christmas carols.
Homemade mince pies were amongst the treats to have with our wine and fruit juice. A table was adorned with a selection of handmade items skilfully made by the craft group. Santa socks, Christmas puds, angels, tree decorations and an assortment of various gifts and tags. We then played a round of Handbag Bingo, which bought lots of laughter as everyone emptied their handbags.
On leaving, all members were given a Christmas goody bag from our President and we wished a Merry Christmas to one and all.
January’s meeting was in a different hall as the one we normally use is undergoing refurbishment.
A minute’s silence was held in memory of our dear member Bobby Loveday, who passed away on 3 January 2022 aged 102: lovely lady who will be sorely missed.
Our speaker was Sandra Ebbetts from The House of Colour. She spoke about being adventurous with colours, styles and accessories. Having your skin tone analysed opens up a whole new world of style and colour. Sandra was friendly and her presentation was good. Members were impressed. Tea and coffee followed and there was lots of chatter as the raffle was drawn. A good start to the new year!
Upcycling and recycling was the theme of our December meeting as we enjoyed making Christmas decorations, gift bags and cards with excellent guidance from Leila Khasal (pictured).
Here’s a selection of those made in person at Mind (our venue) and also by those following from home via Zoom. It was our first time trying to livestream a craft activity rather than a talk.
We were so happy to be back with our cake stall at the Crouch End Christmas Fair—our thanks to organiser Patsy for the opportunity.
Wonderful to see everyone who stopped by and hopefully there will be other opportunities this year, so do look out for us! Grateful thanks to all our members for their time and efforts spent organising, baking and helping on the day.