Thursday, 24 June 2021

WI Round-up



YVONNE WADLEY, our president, welcomed members to our 88th annual meeting on March 18.

WI business was dealt with followed by the presentation and adoption of the financial statement.

Jenny Grinham, our secretary, read out the committee’s annual report. The president gave her address and asked for the adoption of the report, which was granted.

We then had the result of the committee vote. Ruth Webb, our WI advisor and teller, gave the result of the secret ballot for the president â?? Yvonne Wadley. Yvonne then gave a vote of thanks.

Sandra Winterbone and Jill Farrow arranged two quizzes for the members.

One member, June, had provided the flower arrangement and refreshments were made and served by Val and Marion, who were all thanked by Yvonne.

The evening concluded with Yvonne wishing everyone a “Happy Easter” and saying she was looking forward to seeing everyone at the next meeting.

Tony King will be our speaker for the meeting on April 15 and his talk will be entitled “How things we can’t do without came about”.

Benson WI meets on the third Wednesday of the month at the village hall at 7.30pm. Visitors are always welcome. For more information, please call Lin Reader on (01491) 836800.


PRESIDENT Adrienne Rance welcomed members to the annual meeting on Wednesday, March 18.

Business matters were dealt with efficiently in order to nominate committee members. This matter was concluded quickly since all the current committee members were willing to stand for another term.

On behalf of the members, Maureen Rothery presented lovely bowls of spring flowers to the president, the secretary Barbara Lloyd and the treasurer Maureen Bunn â?? small tokens in recognition of all their hard work.

There was one small change as Diane Bush will take over the tea duties from Mary Lowe.

Mary was thanked for the many years she had given to ensure the members all enjoyed their WI teas.

Members then settled down into five teams in readiness for three quizzes, hosted by Adrienne.

The first was based on “Place names in the UK”. Some members happily scribbled away but, alas, my team really struggled!

An example was “Detectives need them”. The answer was Leeds; another was “A royal bird is older”. If you are as puzzled as I was, then the answer is at the bottom of my article.

The other quizzes was about history and general knowledge.

The winners of each quiz were presented with beautifully decorated mini Easter eggs. (As for our team, the less said the better!) We all agreed it had been great fun.

We then relaxed over a delicious tea, complete with more mini Easter eggs, served by new members, Carole and Hilary.

The next meeting will be held at Crazies Hill village hall on Wednesday, April 15 at 2.30pm, when Mr Way will entertain the members with a talk entitled “Wildlife on your doorstep”. There is also a competition for a wildlife photograph.

l The quiz answer was: Swanage


IT was a lovely sunny afternoon when we gathered for our annual meeting at Greys village hall.

We were welcomed by president Val Mundy.

Our secretary Janet Weaver gave a summary of the year’s happenings and Doreen Howells gave a statement about our finances, which are in order.

We thanked all members for their help and support over a difficult year where we had a lot of ilness and health problems among members.

Hopefully 2015 will be onwards and upwards.

Laura Gangersten from Greys Court attended the meeting and talked about plans for an exhibition about Lady Brunner.

She was able to show us a scrapbook on Lady Brunner and the WI.

It was with great excitement we found out there was going to be a garden party at Buckingham Palace to celebrate 100 years of the WI.

One member from each institute has been invited.

Our ballot was won by secretary Janet Weaver.

Merrill Roberts has started a Greys journal on the computer to keep all members informed about what is going on.

A competition for a bowl of bowls was won by Jennifer Poska with Val Mundy second. We meet on the third Wednesday of the month and would be delighted to welcome new members.


IN the absence of Frances Emmett, the March meeting was taken by Molly Carter, the vice-president, and she welcomed 42 members to Frieth village hall.

Shelagh Greene gave a brief update on new member’s packs.

A coffee morning will be held at Maureen Cleary’s house by the river on April 16. On April 23 there will be a bluebell walk from Parmoor Farm in aid of the Associated Country Women of the World. On April 23, there will be a bridge drive at Radnage village hall.

The IT workshops at Lane End have been well-patronised and it is hoped to continue them in April.

The speaker Peter Haigh was introduced by Molly and he gave a fascinating insight into West Wycombe Park and the Dashwood family, who have lived there since 1730.

Francis Dashwood built this Palladian-style mansion after his trip to Venice on the Grand Tour and the facade clearly showed this influence.

He was a bon viveur and had started the notorious Hellfire Club in Leadenhall Street in London.

This attracted the worst type of guest and it was some years later that they moved it to the caves below the Golden Ball at West Wycombe.

As these proved to be too damp and unpleasant, after a while the club became based at Medmenham Abbey. There were so many outrageous parties that local opposition forced the club to close in 1763.

Peter was a most entertaining speaker and was thanked by Louise Spiers.

Tea was served by Gaye Doggart, Inger Osborne and Helen Balkwell.


THE February meeting was held at Henley Golf Club where 28 members enjoyed a very tasteful lunch in comfortable surroundings with good parking available and with a very friendly staff in attendance.

At the conclusion of the meal, Mary Burton gave a brief monthly business report.

The March meeting was held at Harpsden village hall when birthday greetings were extended by Mary to Ruth Norman and Lindsay Watts and to herself.

Members were invited to sign up for diaries and calendars for 2016 and the bulb catalogue was distributed to those ladies wishing to make a colourful display in their gardens or on patios.

Thanks were given to Judith Young for organising the lunch at Henley Golf Club and she was asked to book it again for next year as it had been so successful.

Events in News & Views which were singled out were the evening with Isla St Clair at Didcot Civic Centre in May, Bowood House Gardens in Wiltshire in June and the WI Centennial Craft Show and Harrogate Holiday from September 3 to 6. It was noted that the topic for the 2017 Oxfordshire calendar will feature “Oxfordshire Windows”, so cameras should not be forgotten when venturing out and about during the summer months.

Several members will be taking the double-decker bus to Dorchester on April 20 for the baton celebration.

The following day there is an event at Greys Court to hand the baton over to the Buckinghamshire federation.

An invitation had been received from Cleeve-by- Goring WI for “coffee and cake” on April 21 at 10am, which precedes the event at Greys Court on the same day.

Shiplake WI has arranged an outing to Ramster Gardens, near Guildford, to an exhibition on “Embroidery and Textile Art” on April 28. The cost is £25 and the coach leaves Shiplake at 9am.

Our book club meets every other month, the next meeting being in May.

The business of the annual meeting then followed and the annual report was given by the secretary Pat Eades. She reported that there were now 36 members and that 2014-2015 had been a very successful and enjoyable year. The report was accepted.

President Mary Burton gave thanks to all her committee members for their support during the past year and also thanked the members, saying that without them the committee would not have had anything to do!

Suzannah Rose was elected to the committee, having been a co-opted member in the past year, and Valerie Moore also joined the committee.There was one nomination for president, Pat Eades, who now changes seats at the top table. Shirley Weyman will become minutes secretary.

Pam Hails had taken members through the accounts and it was mentioned that she had been congratulated by the auditor for her presentation of the figures. She will remain as treasurer for the coming year.

The remaining committee members are Peggy Burchell, Diana Painter, Jasmine Weaver and Judith Young.

The annual competition winners were Anne Thornton, Di Painter and Jean Pryke and they were presented with their prizes.

The judging of the competitions is carried out by members placing coins on their winning choice and the proceeds go to the Associated Country Women of the World.

It was therefore apt that the speaker was none other than the Oxfordshire WI representative for this organisation and she gave members an insight into how their pennies are spent.

The main objective of ACWW is to set up funds for producing projects that will help women in many parts of the world to live a better life.

One of the present projects is to help abused and battered women in Romania while in India women are being encouraged to create skills to provide an income and in Uganda support is being given to children in a remand home. Mrs Gregory was thanked for a very informative talk.

The competition winners for suggestions for future competitions were Judith Young, Shirley Weyman and Anne Thornton.


OUR annual meeting in March saw a new committee formed for 2015 with plenty of members coming forward as “committee trustees” and others forming sub-committees.

Judy Schurer was voted in as president, a very worthy and suitable candidate with many years of experience in the WI.

Anne Quick continued as our treasurer and a very capable Liz Ford was voted in as secretary.

Our long-serving, retiring president Penny Cox, who has moved to Somerset, was unable to attend and her yearly report was read out in her absence.

Penny worked tirelessly over the past few years and will be greatly missed. A round of applause followed in gratitude for her hard work.

The president’s report showed Pangbourne WI to be a very friendly and interesting WI with numerous trips and outings being organised throughout the year, all of which were well attended.

There was no speaker this month but a competition for a hand-made Easter card was held.

A beautiful selection was on display with the cards reflecting the diverse range of artistic abilities within the membership.

The winner was Morag Bowran who was presented with the Rosekilly Cup for her efforts. Marissa Bass retained the Durham Stokes Cup for the second successive year. Well done, ladies.

A bring and buy sale was held to raise funds for the Associated Country Women of the World, which raised more than £50. This was enjoyed by all, with many bargains to be had. Any items left over were recycled by donating them to a local charity.

Members were reminded to book their place for the Berkshire federation’s annual council meeting at the Hexagon in Reading on April 20. Non-members may attend with tickets available on the door.

New member Meg Doyle was very excited to win the centenary draw to attend the royal garden party being held at Buckingham Palace on June 2 hosted by the Duchess of Cornwall. We look forward to hearing her interesting follow-up report.

Meg is to be our new “welcoming hostess” and her experience as a National Trust guide combined with her winning smile is certain to make new visitors feel at ease.

Since the beginning of the year we have had a steady flow of new members of varying ages. If you or a friend are interested in joining and are aged 18 or over we would be delighted to see you at one of our meetings, which are held on the second Tuesday of the month at Pangbourne village hall at 2.30pm.

The national federation has instigated a pro-rata subscription for new members (i.e. (those who have never been to a WI meeting before), which is proving very popular. Dual membership is also proving a great attraction.

A new programme of events will be available soon but with so much going on this year the WI motto of “Be Inspired” will certainly be put into action. Find out more by joining Pangbourne WI, where you will be sure of a warm welcome.


OUR annual meeting opened with a reminder to members regarding the planned fund-raising sales table for the WI commemorative day in September.

Members are asked to bring a small article to sell each month from March to September.

The aim is to build a “rainbow” of gifts for the sale, with green being the colour for March and yellow for April.

After the general business, the by-laws for the club were read out.

Two tabled resolutions were discussed and a vote taken. It was decided that in future the monthly meeting would begin at 2pm to allow speakers more time without reducing the social interactions over our Peppard teas.

We also agreed to change our bank account to one that better meets our needs. Copies of the financial statement had been circulated and were explained by the treasurer. After questions the statement was adopted and seconded.

The annual report proved what a busy year we have had. This was followed by the president’s address with a stern reminder that effort put into Peppard WI equals enjoyment taken out.

Nominations for president from among the committee members were collected and sorted by the appointed teller. We are pleased to announce that Irene Lindsay has been chosen for her fifth and final year as president.

Silver trophies were presented to the three winners of the flower of the month competition.

This was followed by tea and cake, including the most delicious birthday cake marking the WI’s 100 years.

At the April meeting the speaker will be Edward Dixon on “Women on the home front”.


WE held our annual meeting this month. Thirty-four members attended along with two visitors and Ruth Webb, advisor for the Oxfordshire federation, who acted as the teller.

Our president welcomed everyone to the meeting and everyone sang Jerusalem.

The business included a centenary update on plans for Dorchester and the baton handover to Sonning Common and its onward journey to Stoke Row and eventually Greys Court.

A ballot of all members was held to select one member to attend a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace in the presence of the Duchess of Cornwall on June 29 to celebrate our centenary.

Margaret Pyle gave a report on her recent visit to Freeland village hall, near Witney.

The speakers were Philippa Bilton, who gave an interesting talk on the Suffragette movement and in particular the life of Emily Wilding Davison, and Wafaa Powell, who was born in Lebanon and now lives in the UK and gave a fascinating insight into life in Lebanon compared to here.

The formal business of the meeting began with the minutes of last year’s annual meeting being agreed and signed as a true record.

Our treasurer Anne Croxson gave her usual succinct and accurate record of our financial position. A copy of her annual accounts was given to each member.

It was recorded that we were starting off our new WI year in a healthy situation thanks to our members’ support and the fund-raising committee.

Jane Handley read out the annual report for 2014, which was a difficult year at times for the committee due to illness and the death of our secretary Jenifer Titchener.

True to WI spirit, members came forward and offered to take on the roles of the officers required in order for the committee to continue.

Despite this difficult start to the year, we thrived and membership grew.

The programme had delivered a year of education, entertainment, fun and friendship â?? true WI values.

A lovely summer outing to Dorchester Abbey was enjoyed, together with the fantastic tea party held in Sue Hedges’ wonderful garden on a beautiful summer’s day, the proceeds from which were sent to the Associated Country Women of the World.

The fund-raising team have worked hard on a programme of coffee mornings, table-top sales and games tables at the Binfield Heath Flower and Dog Show and members were thanked for their support and many donations of tombola items, cakes etc, which are so greatly appreciated.

The president’s address was given by Sue Frayling-Cork who thanked the committee and all the members for their tremendous support during 2014.

Sonning Common WI was going from strength to strength and this was entirely due to the committee and all the members showing enthusiasm, support, fun and friendship. Sue Hedges presented Sue Frayling-Cork with a lovely bouquet of flowers and thanked her for her much-valued contribution as acting president.

The existing committee members were re-elected for another year of tenure.

Two new members were also elected on to the committee, Di Soden and Carol Townhill. Members were asked to nominate a president from the committee members. From these nominations, Sue Frayling-Cork was selected and Ruth Webb presented her with the presidential badge.

The flower of the month cup for 2014 was won by Joan Reeve. There was no overall winner of the competition cup.

After refreshments, everyone enjoyed an entertaining and thought-provoking quiz which was, once again, organised and compiled by Beverley Porteous. The winner was Margaret Pyle.


WE held our annual meeting in March and Kath Gomm was re-elected after agreeing to stand for one more year.

The outgoing committee also agreed to stand again as no new members had come forward to join the committee. This was voted upon and agreed by the members present. After the business of the evening, Eleanor Holden held an excellent and hilarious game of Pictionary. Perhaps we have some more budding artists among us.

Our next meeting will be at the town hall on May 13 at 7.30pm. Our speaker will be Ann Sharman on “Rag  rugging”.

Our art group meets every Wednesday in the Methodist Chapel at 2pm.

If you would like to come and meet us, you will be warmly welcomed. For more information, please call Kath Gomm on (01491) 612939.


THE March meeting was our annual meeting.

Apologies were received from a number of members who were unwell or unable to attend.

The 16 members present voted unanimously to re-elect president Frances for another year together with the treasurer and other members of the committee.

Our honorary treasurer’s report pointed to the increased costs of hire of the meeting room, fees for good speakers and most other items.

Last year, we gave one member a bursary to attend a course at Denman College and subsidised a “Denman Day”, also at the college, which was much enjoyed by all who attended.

We also made donations to Associated Country Women of the World, a charity well supported by the WI.

Our social events, which also started last year on a different day from our meetings, have been well received with those involving lunch or tea being particularly well  attended!

We have also made knitted dolls for orphans in Zimbabwe, collected useful items for the women’s refuge in Reading and have contributed a pennant â?? designed and made by members â?? portraying our local church, St John’s, to add to many others made for this centenary year of the WI.

Our next year is starting with a craft morning, a new event for us and one which we hope will be repeated.

We are looking forward to our new programme, which will include talks on such varied subjects as tai chi, English courtrooms, Georgian cookery, and paintings from the First World War.

We are making a trip to Highgrove to enjoy the gardens in June and listening with anticipation to the national federation’s annual meeting, which is to be held at the Royal Albert Hall.

Meetings take place at Goring Heath parish hall on the B471 on the third Tuesday of the month. Doors open at 10am and the meeting starts at 10.15am. Visitors are welcome â?? do come along and find out what we do.

For more information, please call 0118 984 1696.


WE met on March 18, a warm afternoon, for our annual meeting and Shirley Bryant welcomed the members and guests.

Birthday buttonholes were presented to Jo Seymour and Rosemary Fripp.

We welcomed Ann Larden to our committee for this year and thanked Rosemary Fripp, who was retiring from the committee, for all her hard work.

Thanks were given to Audrey Hawthorne for being the tea hostess for this year.

We thanked Shirley Bryant for her hard work as president this year and were relieved that she had agreed to carry on for another year.

Margaret has worked hard balancing the books and keeping our spending under control.

The competition winner for last year was Carole Shelley-Allen and the bloom of the month winner was Shirley Bryant. Both received vouchers.

One of our members will be going to a Buckingham Palace tea party in June to celebrate the WI’s centenary year.

There will be lots of events taking place next month to celebrate the centenary with the baton that is being passed from county to county.

A beetle drive much enjoyed by all â?? I have never seen so many different looking beetles! Thank you, Gill Woods, for organising this.

Afterwards we enjoyed a delicious tea thanks to Audrey Hawthorne, Iris Lewis and Joan Snook.

New members are welcome. We meet on the third Wednesday of the month in the village hall.


OUR annual meeting was a very pleasant evening with the committee and president being elected for the coming year.

There are two changes on the committee, bringing new ideas and assistance to keep our WI fresh. The president Penny Noble was re-elected to serve another year.

After the short business of that meeting we continued with all the announcements and decisions of the normal meeting.

This time it included the allocation, by ballot, of one ticket to a garden party at Buckingham Palace as part of the centenary celebrations of the WI.

Also for the centenary we are going to Dorchester Abbey for a baton passing ceremony and tea, then a coffee morning in Stoke Row followed by a vintage car journey with the baton to pass it on to the next WI on the list of those around Oxfordshire who are taking part.

Other events booked include an evening with Isla St Clair entertaining with songs and sketches, the annual meeting in Oxford with Lucy Worsley speaking.

Our walk this month is around Watlington and the craft and book groups will be meeting as usual. As it was St Patrick’s Day, we had decorated the tables and were treated to a shamrock tea, when we had time to chat and look forward to another year of WI.

Our president has made flags as bunting to use at our coffee morning for the centenary.

We held them aloft to try them out as decoration for the Maharajah’s Well, where we hope to have a photoshoot on the day.


AT our March meeting we were given a talk by Judy Halls on Benjamin Disraeli and his much-loved country house, Hughenden Manor.

Judy, a volunteer with the National Trust, told us about the history of the building and about some of the previous owners before giving us an illustrated tour.

Disraeli first entered the commons as Conservative MP for Maidstone in 1837.

In 1839 he married Mary Anne Wyndham Lewis, a wealthy widow, and in 1848 they bought Hughenden.

Evidence had been found to show there has been 1,000 years of building on the site.

When the Disraelis bought the house it was a plain white-painted Georgian house. Mrs Disraeli transformed it into the neo-Gothic building we see today.

There were several additions to the building at this time, including the porch on the north side.

There were also huge alterations to the interior by the addition of vaulted ceilings, redecoration and refurbishment.

Disraeli was a favorite of Queen Victoria and was her prime minister twice, once in 1868 and again in 1874-80 after holding the positions of leader of the Conservative Party in the Commons and Chancellor of the Exchequer twice.

Victoria visited him at Hughenden only once but did make a pilgrimage after his death to visit his grave and to sit in his study.

She had the inspiration to have all the rooms photographed (photography was just becoming popular in 1881) and these pictures have been a great help to the National Trust, which took over the house in 1947, in recreating the authenticity of the house and furnishings of the latter half of the 19th century.

The meeting concluded with the ballot for the royal garden party in June, which was won by Pam Ziffo. The draw for the DenmanCollege bursary was won by our retiring president Jan French.

Future events include:

April 13: WI centenary baton lunch, Henley Cricket Club pavilion, 12.30pm to 2.30pm.

May 6: “Zheng He: discovering America”, a talk by Roger Shaw, and the resolution discussion.

May 14: Group meeting, Knowl Hill village hall, 2.30pm.

Mill Green, Wargrave WI always welcomes visitors and new members. Meetings are usually held in the Hannen Room, Mill Green, on the first Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm unless otherwise stated.


PRESIDENT Rachel Lloyd introduced Stella Oakes, a WI advisor from Tackley, to the March meeting. Stella was to advise us on the correct running of an annual meeting.

Rachel was pleased to be able to tell the members that the race night had been a great fund-raising success.

She also confirmed the arrangements for the centenary celebrations at Dorchester Abbey and the following day’s handover of the baton at Greys Court.

There is to be a celebratory royal garden party at Buckingham Palace in June, hosted by the Duchess of Cornwall. Every WI is allowed one member to attend and our lucky ballot winner was Irene Crawford. Have a wonderful day, Irene.

Pam Hudgell told members about the outing to Ramster Gardens to see the Embroidery and Textile Art Exhibition on April 28. There were still a few places on the coach.

There was also a reminder about the next WI walk starting at the Duke of Wellington in Twyford and the monthly lunch at the Baskerville.

Details of “Making a silver ring in a day” at Bishopsland were announced.

The ordinary meeting was then closed and the annual meeting opened.

The financial report was given by the treasurer Rosemary Appleby who said that meetings were only just covering themselves financially and the cost of teas might have to go up.

The catering report was given by Irene Crawford who thanked all the ladies who had made cakes and sandwiches and helped in the kitchen. She said that the tea rota was working well and would be continued next year. Sandy Porter then announced Pauline Watkins as the winner of the Elsie Southam Cup for the most points awarded for the flower of the month competition over the year.

Rachel then read the report of the competition table, which is run each month by Ursula Davies. The winner of the Burge Cup was Sue Evans. The cups were presented by Stella Oakes.

The outings report was read by Pam Hudgell, who had organised many lovely trips over the last year.

Next Rachel gave her president’s report, which was approved by a show of hands.

Four members of the committee were standing down and Rachel thanked them for all their work and commitment over the years.

This is Rachel’s last year as president and she was presented with some flowers and a card with thanks from all the members.

She then announced that the new president would be Joan Jolley and thanked her for volunteering for this important role. Stella Oakes then addressed the members and told us how pleased she was to see such a thriving and successful WI.

Janet Matthews gave a short explanation of the history of Shiplake WI. She has been archiving the old records and had discovered many interesting documents.

She will give a full talk in May.

The winner of this month Associated Country Women of the World flower was Ursula Davis and Susan Partridge won the competition for a home-made name-badge.

The winner of the Grace Phillips Memorial Salver, our annual competition for members and this year for the best photograph, was Brenda Lea-Cox.

The speaker at the April meeting will be Steve Moll, talking about the incredible world of the honey bee. The competition will be for a recipe containing honey.

Visitors are always welcome.

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