Thursday, 19 May 2022

WI Roundup

WI Roundup


TWELVE of our members had a lovely day out at RAF Benson, visiting the Douglas Hamilton Heritage and Ethos Centre, where we saw aspects of the history of the base, including its role in the Second World War in photo reconnaissance and its days as the base for the King and Queen’s Flight.

Following lunch, we were able to hold our formal meeting in the families club — the recently refurbished Sharland Centre, named after Fredys Sharland, a wartime Air Transport Auxiliary pilot, our former president and a long-time resident of Benson.

We thank all at RAF Benson for being so accommodating and making our day really enjoyable.

For our next meeting, we return to Benson parish hall on the afternoon of May 25 when we will discuss our support for the National Federation’s campaign resolution, which this year is to ask the Government to fund research into the under- identification, misdiagnosis and lack of support for women and girls with ASD and ADHD.

There will be the usual chance for a catch-up over tea and cake.

For the Queen’s platinum jubilee on June 3, we shall be joining in with our village event and providing an information stand and meeting point in the parish hall as part of the Benson jubilee trail.

We welcomed one new member at the start of our 96th year on April 1 but would always welcome more.

If you wish to join us or just visit at any time to find out more about the WI in Benson, please call the secretary on (01491) 837885 or email

Sue Brown


AN enjoyable meeting was held on April 1 with Peter Hague, our speaker, talking about famous jewels and their history.

Thanks to his slides, we were able to see amazing gems used by jewellers in the past. A question and answer session followed.

Our president, Valerie, thanked Peter for an interesting talk.

Tea and refreshments were taken and then the business of the meeting

After a vote, our preferred resolution to be put forward to the National Federation’s annual meeting is “Women and girls with ASD and ADHD are under-

Valerie announced that the summer outing to Dyrham Park in Gloucestershire was no longer an option but Hughenden Manor was, so if members were interested a clipboard was circulating to register their names.

An invitation had been received to have tea and cake with the other group members at the Sonning WI meeting hall to discuss the future of the group.

There being no further business, the meeting closed.

We had a stall selling cakes, jams and marmalade at the beanpole day held at Caversham Court Gardens and made £258.

Carol Briscoe


WE had a very interesting talk at our April meeting from Sue Hookway on the Home Leone project.

This project has single-handedly built a new community to rehouse families from the worst slums in Sierra Leone.

Help extends beyond housing to employment and education, so can and has really transformed lives.

The competition was for an Easter bonnet made out of a colander and we had several very good creations.

A food collection was held for the Wallingford Food Bank.

Katrina Cooper


ON Wednesday, April 20, joint president Judi Rowlands welcomed members to our meeting at Crazies Hill village hall.

Our guest speaker was Jane Fletcher, founder of the Art of Giving Community Interest Company.

She works with NHS doctors and nurses and her framed art has been located in many staff and patient spaces at hospitals, where it receives immensely positive feedback.

Jane has also started to work in schools, providing posters and cards with positive mental health messages.

She inspired us all to think about how we organise our spaces and how to cherish keepsakes.

Some examples were her father’s business cards, mounted and framed to record his career, a retired ballerina’s ballet shoes mounted in a box frame labelled “Dancing through the years” with her life in dance story on the back and shells in a glass vase labelled with the beach and date collected.

Photographs are something we could all sort through, choosing those that have meaning to us then, grouping and framing them, or printing them and making albums, labelling the back with their dates and stories.

Before and after photos are also interesting and fun.

Similarly, we saw examples of framed music album covers alongside words from favourite songs.

Framing gives value to items and we could consider the height of pictures on walls as well as their arrangement and size in the space they occupy.

WI members contributed their own examples, such as making a quilt or teddy or other objects using clothing fragments once worn by loved ones or making a family calendar made up of the previous year’s family photographs.

Jane asked that we give her any examples of what we do with our “stuff” to share with other groups. (

After this enjoyable talk, members enjoyed a delicious tea, which included homemade cakes and sandwiches prepared and served by Sheila Neil and Elizabeth Pomeranze.

Our next event was to be a bluebell walk at Greys Court on April 28 followed by lunch.

Our next meeting will take place at Crazies Hill village hall on Wednesday, May 18 at 2.30pm. The speaker will be Ailsa Claybourn with a talk called “800 Years of the English landscape in poetry”.

Sheila Brockelbank


ON April 20, Barry Wood gave a talk to members called “Greys Court revealed”.

He began by saying that he would paint a picture of thousands of years of history of Rotherfield Greys.

Before 1066 our area was covered by deep forest, where peasants worked the land from daybreak to

In September 1066, King Harold, the last crowned Anglo-Saxon king, marched his men to Yorkshire to fight, and defeat, King Hardrada of Norway, but then heard that King William of Normandy was landing on our southern shores.

Harold and his already tired men marched south and fought the army of William near Hastings.

Harold was killed by a sword, not an arrow in his eye, and the Anglo-Saxons lost the Battle of Hastings.

Victorious, William then marched on to London to claim his new kingdom.

King William gave the manor of Redrefield — later named Rotherfield — to his ally, a Norman knight, Anchetil de Greys, and thus began the long history of Greys Court and the de Greys family.

Over the years the de Greys continued to fortify their castle, now known as Greys Court, and we can see a beautiful memorial brass of Sir Robert de Grey, who died in 1387, in Rotherfield Greys church.

By 1430 the de Greys family had run out of sons so the eldest daughter, Alice, married Lord Lovell.

A timber building was built for the growing family and later this was incorporated into an even larger dwelling.

In 1514 Greys Court was given by Henry VIII to Sir Robert Knollys for the annual rent of one red rose, given at court every midsummer’s day.

In the church there is a magnificent side chapel containing a monument to Sir Robert and Lady Knollys, despite the fact that Lady Knollys was actually buried in Westminster Abbey.

In 1774, Greys Court was bought by Sir William Stapleton, whose vast fortune was based on sugar and slavery.

The Stapleton family converted the house into a Georgian mansion and later added a Victorian extension. Miles Stapleton fought in the Great War.

In 1934 Greys Court was then sold to Evelyn Fleming, the mother of Ian and Peter Fleming, who made some alterations and left for London.

Finally, in 1937, Greys Court was sold for £18,000 into the safe and loving hands of Sir Felix and Lady Brunner.

The D-Day landings may have been plotted in Greys Court.

The Brunners renovated both the house and gardens and opened Greys Court to the public from the Fifties.

They gave the house, gardens and estate to the National Trust in 1969.

Barry knew that he was speaking to members of Rotherfield Greys WI, Lady Brunner’s own WI.

Over the years she took her turn as a committee member and president until her death in 2003.

We at Greys WI remember and mourn her still.

This was a wonderful, detailed talk about the fascinating history of our village and its long links to Greys Court.

Merryl Roberts


IT was a pleasure to welcome four new members to the April meeting, all of whom were wanting a WI which meets in the afternoons.

Suzanna Rose and Sue Beswick had attended the Oxfordshire Federation’s virtual annual meeting and were delighted to be told that Harpsden WI had been awarded a £150 bursary to be used for educational purposes. We now have the pleasure of deciding how this will be spent.

At our previous monthly meeting we had a collection for the Red Cross Ukrainian Appeal and Suzanna announced that we had collected the magnificent sum of £119.

Those members wishing to have an electronic version of Oxfordshire Inspires were asked to notify the committee.

The book club continues to meet bi-monthly and will discuss the latest book on June 1 at 2.30pm.

Doris Tallon is busy organising outings and has booked June 28 at the recently refurbished Thames Lido in Reading. We are asked to meet there at 11am.

Outings to Welford Park and Mapledurham Mill have been put on hold until 2023.

Invitations have been received from Shiplake WI and Henley Ladies Probus Club.

The former is an outing to Highgrove, the home of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the latter to Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, on July 21, price £45.

The speaker for the afternoon was Fiona Barker whose subject was “The wonderful world of picture books”.

She had brought part of her large collection of books and each table had quite a pile of them to look at.

Fiona invited comments on many of them, mentioning that some older ones were not now “cool” and that those with bold colours are now fashionable.

It was noted that those books published during the covid pandemic often had the theme of “things will get better”.

Fiona’s talk proved to be very thought-provoking.

The competition was for our “favourite picture book” and an eclectic display proved that we had lovingly looked after our childhood toys. The winners were Judith Young, Pam Hails and Jean Newman.

The next meeting will be on May 11 when the resolution at the national federation’s annual meeting in Liverpool in June will be discussed.

This resolution concerns women and girls with ASD and ADHD and calls on the Government to fund research into these conditions.

The competition will be for a buttonhole.

We will meet, as usual, in Harpsden village hall at 2.30pm.

Judith Young


WE had Mike Hurst, singer, songwriter, record producer and amusing raconteur, as our guest for our Beechwood Group meeting.

He regaled us with tales from his long involvement in the music industry with names such as Eddie Cochran, Dusty Springfield, Marc Bolan, Showaddywaddy, Shakin’ Stevens and more.

He kept breaking into song and strumming along to lots of our favourite tunes from the past 60 years.

We rounded off the evening with a fabulous music quiz while nibbling on cheese and biscuits and home-baked cakes, all served on vintage china.

All in all, a lovely way to share an evening with our other WI branches.

Out next event was to be our May Day fundraiser in Henley market place, where we were selling a whole variety of delicious home-baked cakes.

Nicola Taylor


OUR retiring president Frankie Macmillan paid her last visit to the branch on the afternoon of April 6 as she is returning to her native Australia to stay with her daughter in Adelaide.

We all hope she will visit us again when she returns.

Gina Foden, our new president, thanked Frankie for her service and presented her with a beautiful Rennie Mackintosh silver brooch as a memento of her time with Mill Green WI.

A very enthusiastic talk on “Enchanted woodlands” was given by Ailsa Claybourn, who used to teach in the English department at Kendrick School in Reading.

In her retirement, she embraced her long-held interest in nature, sharing her knowledge and love of the subject with children initially and later with grown- ups.

She set up a small environmental business called Elspeth’s Walks and Talks. These walks follow set paths with written instructions with all the information anyone would need to understand what was developing in the various seasons. These take place mainly in local nature reserves.

Elspeth works closely with the Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust and the surrounding nature reserves.

We were then guided through the seasons, her talk illustrated by many beautiful slides showing us the emergence of the foliage of the trees.

She pointed out what we could expect to see developing in the weeks ahead.

Bluebells in the beech woods normally have no foliage growing under them as the canopy is so dense it prohibits a great deal of growth but they enjoy the chemical make-up of the soil.

They are the natural successor to daffodils in the spring.

The hawthorn is the next to come into leaf, quickly followed by the chestnut and all our native species.

We have a great number of ancient oak trees in this country supporting a vast number of insects and invertebrates.

We were all encouraged to stroll into woodland and sit for a while to benefit from the healing powers of the organic compounds produced by the leaves of various trees.

This has been the subject of a research project and has proved very positive. The Japanese apparently have known this for centuries and call it Forest Bathing.

We were made aware of how trees are important to our wellbeing. They have antifungal, antibiotic and anti-rheumatic properties. They recycle water, process our carbon dioxide and regulate the temperature.

We have more ancient forest here in Britain than in the whole of Europe.

There followed a detailed observation of the role of insects, invertebrates and bees in our ecosystem and the importance of our native wildflowers.

Birds also play a great part in balancing our natural world. Badgers, squirrels mice, rats and every other wild mammal was mentioned and their role in our delicately balanced natural world.

The talk ended with an extensive question and answer session.

There will be a group meeting on Thursday, May 12 and an outing to Waterperry Gardens on June 1.

Penny Hampton


JOHN PEACOCK, a charming and engaging speaker, gave us an in-depth talk with slides about the painting Guernica by Pablo Picasso.

This emotive painting could be interpreted as depicting what is happening in Ukraine today, although it was painted in 1937.

As a result, members were in deep discussion during the enjoyable and much-appreciated afternoon tea.

Our next meeting will be in Peppard War Memorial Hall on Wednesday, May 11 at 2.30pm.

We will be joined by Charlotte Peacock, who will talk to us about reflexology. Visitors are most welcome.


THE book club met early in April to discuss their latest read, Summer’s End by Amy Myers.

The story is set just before the First World War. It is a detailed story of village life at that time and there were many characters with whom one had to become acquainted.

It was decided that it was, on the whole, an enjoyable read, inspiring some to read the next book in the series.

The next read is A Man Called Ove by Fredrik

Four members from Remenham attended the Berkshire Federation’s annual council meeting in Reading, which was an interesting morning, with speakers from the Trussell Trust and the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

With the latter, it was interesting to see how all the handmade items we submit are put to such good use with the patients.

The main speaker, Mary-Jess Leaverland, gave a captivating and inspiring account of her aims in life and her experiences through school and university, leading towards her winning the Chinese version of the
X Factor.

The speaker at our April meeting was Phil Simms, deputy editor of the Henley Standard.

He gave a brief history of the paper and it was amazing to hear about the long association the paper has had with our town.

It was fascinating to have such an insight into the workings of our local paper and to hear about how each edition is put together, from reporters and photographers to proof readers and editors.

Phil’s talk led to many and various questions from the floor, ranging from the paper’s approach to contentious issues, the number of people working for the paper and the different sections within the paper.

Members will be opening their next copy of the paper with more understanding of its production.

Members are looking forward to their coffee morning at the Berkshire Gardener at the end of the month.

Daphne Austen


AS our president was away on holiday (hope she has a good time), we were welcomed by Ryszarda, our secretary.

She welcomed all members and visitors present and went on to say that copies of the records of the March and annual meetings were available for all to see.

Sue (treasurer) gave an account of our funds and reported that all is well. An amount of £16.50 from the raffle was added to the current account.

Birthday cards were handed to all who had April birthdays.

The book club met at Barbara Wood’s house. The cinema group was hoping to see the new Downton Abbey film.

Ladies that Lunch met at CÔte Brasserie in the Oracle.

Annual WI subscriptions were collected.

We were informed that nine WIs in Berkshire have closed down due to a lack of committee members.

We were reminded that our president and secretary would be stepping down in March next year, so to avoid Rosehill having to close, can some members put their names forward for the committee please?

The final payment for the trip to the Bombay Distillery and Silk Mill was collected from members.

Doris Goddard drew attention to the item in Berkshire News about the emergency hospital packs and asked members to please either donate items that are needed, such as flannels, soap, toothbrush/toothpaste, combs and shavers, or give a donation towards these packs.

They are much appreciated by the hospital and patients who arrive after an accident and so are unable to bring anything in with them.

We were also reminded that mini hats for the Innocent Drinks campaign is ongoing and any items would be gratefully received by Age UK Reading.

Unfortunately, we had no speaker at the meeting. His car had broken down and he was unable to attend.

There was no time to arrange anything else, so all members were able to do what members do best and that is chat among themselves before tea and biscuits were served.

Finally, the raffle was drawn.

Our next meeting was to be on May 4 with a talk on fraud by Vik Singh and members were reminded to bring their phones and tablets with them.

We meet at St Barnabas Church hall in Emmer Green on the first Wednesday of the month at 2pm.

Jean Hewitt


NEW president Sue Lines welcomed ladies to our spring meeting on what was a lovely spring day.

She gratefully thanked outgoing president Joan Jolley for all her guidance with the meeting handover. There was a lot of business to get through but Sue was up to the task and it went very smoothly.

As well as up-to-date details of forthcoming outings, some memorable dates were put in the diary.

The arts trail, featuring local artists, was being held at the memorial hall on bank holiday Monday.

Members were supplying refreshments and it was agreed that the proceeds would go to the Ukraine appeal.

There were lots of “volunteers” for a WI team taking part in a quiz night at the memorial hall today

The committee thought it would be good idea to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee later in the year as the June holiday is so busy already.

To this effect the hall has been booked for Wednesday, August 31 for a very special catered lunch.

Sue asked if ladies could think of “something lasting” we could do. Perhaps a rose with a plaque planted somewhere prominently in the village.

We are the hosts for the autumn Beechwood Group meeting in October.

Sue thanked secretary Audrey Simpson for all her work on the programme lay-out and for all the juggling needed to finalise the tea rota. Not an easy job.

Our speaker for the afternoon was Irene Manson with a talk called “One, two, buckle my shoe”.

Irene’s fascination for footwear was inspired by the 2015 V&A exhibition Shoes: Pleasure & Pain and she gave an amusing potted history of footwear over the millennia.

Apparently, shoes reveal a lot about the wearer, the society they live in and their personal preferences.

The richer you were, the more outlandish shoes became, solely (excuse the pun) because you were never required to do more than a modicum of movement.

In her youth, Irene loved to wear stilettos but was now more comfortable in flatties, probably a sentiment agreed with by the majority of her audience.

She showed us images of historical iconic fashion shoes — poulaines (very pointy) and pattens (very uncomfortable looking, wooden overshoes) as well as more modern styles — Birkenstocks (German, orthopaedic sandal) and Avarca (traditional Menorcan sandal), perhaps my favourite.

We looked at pictures of bejewelled Jimmy Choos, Christian Louboutin’s red-soled stilettos and the ubiquitous Dr. Martens.

Irene was warmly thanked.

The tea hostesses were Margaret Bullock and Joan Jolley.

It was a lucky afternoon for Ursula Davis as she won both the “Design a shoe” competition and the flower of the month competition.

We meet at Shiplake Memorial Hall every third Wednesday from 2.30pm. Visitors are always welcome.

Rachel Lloyd


OUR latest meeting took place on April 21.

President Sue Frayling-Cork gave a warm welcome to the 42 members and two visitors present and to our speaker for the evening, Sarah Slater.

Several apologies were received from members unable to attend. Welfare officer Jane led birthday greetings to Esther and all the other ladies celebrating their birthdays in April.

Members are always welcome to contact Jane at any time.

Visitor Carol Parry, from Bishopswood Special School, was presented with a cheque in memory of Barbara Pike.

Barbara had been a long-standing member of Sonning Common WI and a teacher at the school.

Alison introduced our speaker Sarah, whose was talk was titled “Kirtles, corsets and curtains” and was about the making of period costumes as worn by a tour guide.

Sarah is a tour guide at Hampton Court Palace and has worked there for 14 years.

The history of the palace and why it is called a palace of two sides, Baroque and Tudor, was most interesting.

Sarah’s presentation on the shape and style of ladies’ dress through the ages was fascinating.

Styles changed with bosoms sometimes being pushed upwards and hips and rears sometimes padded to make waists look slimmer and long sleeves required in Puritan times.

Crinolines and bustles, Sarah explained it all.

Kirtles were 16th century linen shifts which helped take the weight of dresses made from wool and silk. The linen shifts could be changed several times a day.

And where were they placed? In the linen basket.

Corsets and stays were used to achieve the fashionable style of the day.

In 1910 the steel used to reinforce corsets was replaced with lacing as the metal was needed for the war effort.

As a tour guide at Hampton Court Palace, Sarah sometimes wears period

At the meeting, she was wearing a black dress complete with comfortable fitted and supportive corset and bustle.

This is the dress Sarah wears on ghost tours. The costumes have to be historically authentic in every way with the correct plant dyes and fabrics.

The top stitching is by hand and only internal seams are allowed to be stitched by machine.

Curtains made from beautiful red silk removed from an exhibition were given to clever needlewoman Sarah, who made it into a fabulous dress.

Alison thanked Sarah for her most interesting talk and she answered questions from the floor.

Sarah is a member of Ottershaw WI in Surrey, which meets in the evening and was set up by nine school mums who were unable to attend afternoon meetings.

Her WI now has 115 members and a waiting list.

There were five lovely entries in the flower of the month competition, which was won by Jo Denslow’s tulip.

Members vote for the flowers by putting down silver coins. The flower receiving the highest number of coins wins.

At the end of the year the money collected is sent to the Associated Country Women of the World.

ACWW offers active support for a wide range of crucial development programmes in rural communities.

Empowered women will be able to make better decisions and change their own lives.

Sue Frayling-Cork thanked Val and Jenny, the two backroom ladies who design, produce and put up the posters advertising the monthly meetings and the village coffee mornings.

Treasurer Anne gave the financial report.

The first monthly coffee morning since lockdown was held at the village hall on April 6.

It was wonderful to see the hall full and buzzing with local residents and members enjoying each other’s company.

The Greenshoots nursery in Peppard attended with plants and produce. Rachel from Age UK were also on hand with helpful advice and leaflets.

The next coffee morning was to take place on May 4.

At our next meeting on May 19 members can have their say on the following resolution for the National Federation’s annual meeting: Women and girls with ASD and ADHD are under-identified, under-diagnosed, misdiagnosed and under-supported.

All WIs get one vote for the resolution — for or against. A delegate from Stoke Row WI will take the Sonning Common vote to the meeting in Liverpool in June.

Members will have an opportunity to have a virtual link to the meeting.

Sue Hedges


APRIL is the start of our new annual programme and we are looking forward to another year of exciting activities.

Our first activity of the new calendar was a meeting of the craft group in a member’s sunny conservatory.

Some of our members made decorative wreaths to celebrate Easter using willow and a colourful array of spring flowers and flowering shrubs from members’ gardens.

Such a contrast to the diners’ club event only three days earlier when we sat in the warmth of the Waterfront Café’s conservatory watching ominous black clouds loom with sudden flurries of snow blown horizontally over the tables in the garden.

Only a stalwart few turned up on such a bleak day but it was fun and we had a good lunch in good company.

April’s walk was through Checkendon woods to the Blue Tin for refreshments.

The new programme for 2022/2023 is a follows:

May 17 — Detecting autism by Julia Cox followed by resolution debate

June 21 — The Olympic Regatta of 1908 by Dr Michael Redley

July 19 — Garden meeting, Checkendon

August — Fun day, TBC

September 20 — The Art of Giving by Jane Fletcher

October 18 — Dragons and rescue dogs — My inspiration to write by children’s author Debi Evans

November 15 — One war, two women and nursing by Richard Cullen

December 13 — Christmas party night

January 17 — The Witches of Pendle by Denise Stanworth

February 21 — Birthday meeting with musical entertainment, “Hannah sings”

March 21 — annual meeting

Also included in the programme are walks, swimming, eating out with the diners’ club and Tea at 3, coffee and chat sessions on Zoom as well as the book club and craft and games groups which meet in person on a monthly basis.

If you are interested in what we do, call our secretary Pam on (01491) 681723 or email

You would be most welcome to visit us.

Denise Stanworth


OUR speaker in April was Steph Van de Pette on “How it all started and why”.

Steph is a local lady, who started a sustainable business during the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020.

Initially, she used her own home to sell environmental and sustainable goods and was then able to move to a shop in the town through crowdfunding. The shop sells a large range of flour, rice, pasta and other food products.

Steph also offers goods produced by local people, all produced to a high ethical and sustainable standard.

She is well qualified ecologically, having several degrees and a scholarship and continues to advise and supply to these high standards.

Sadly, she is moving to Bristol soon but the good news is the shop will carry on with her sustainable ethos.

Over Easter our lovely, knitted Easter eggs and swags adorned the town hall and lamp-posts around the town.

For the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations the swags will be used at the church for the flower festival.

We are also participating in the festival. Our theme is “Her crowning glory” by Rosemary Lewis.

On the morning of May 21 we will be holding a cake stall by the town hall.

Please do come along and meet us and buy some of our delicious homemade cakes.

Our art group was to meet on May 4 at Eleanor’s home.

At our next meeting on May 12 we will have a talk by Martin Sirot Smith on “Daily life in Tudor times”. On June 9 we will have a platinum jubilee cream tea celebration at Watlington Bowls Club.

For more information, please call Dawn Matthews on (01491) 612023. We would love to meet you.

Dawn Matthews


WHITCHURCH Hill WI has now been in existence 69 years.

Its longevity is proof, if proof were needed, that the activities we do and the ethos we promote are a recipe for success.

In this last month we have enjoyed a walk along the Thames from Benson to Wallingford with a lovely lunch at the Waterfront Café.

Of course walking is not everyone’s choice of pastime so some members just joined the group for lunch.

At the main meeting in April we enjoyed an entertaining talk from Dorothy Cook.

Her talk, entitled “Never a dull moment”, was an illuminating, heartwarming and hilarious account of her time as a midwife.

An excellent way to spend a morning.

At the meeting we also voted to support this year’s proposed National Federation resolution, which focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and support for girls and young women with ASD and ADHD.

These conditions are traditionally considered to afflict boys rather than girls. Too many girls therefore miss out on diagnosis early in life, making their childhood and teenage years more difficult than they perhaps need to be.

Later in the month a number of members joined members of other WIs in the Pang Valley Group meeting and enjoyed afternoon tea and another gifted speaker, Joyce Meader.

Calling herself the Knitting Lady, Jean gave a highly amusing talk on knitting (1950-2000). Her only prop was a bag full of knitted clothes.

Looking ahead we, like many, are busying ourselves in preparation for the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations.

Our bunting has been knitted and now needs to be put together.

We will set about decorating the old well in Whitchurch Hill with bunting and barrels of flowers along with red, white and blue annuals.

Before then we will be making copious cups of tea and serving many pieces of cake at the village show on May 28. Spring is a busy time.

Fancy lending a hand? Want to learn more about our friendly group? Frances will happily take a call from you and talk you through what we are about. Her number is 0118 984 2162.

Sally Bergmann


PATRICIA SOLOMONS welcomed members to our April meeting.

Margaret Carter was celebrating her birthday along with Pat Hunt, who had a special birthday and was given a bouquet of flowers.

We had a lovely tea. Thank you to the ladies involved and our new tea hostess Wendy Muchamore.

Tea was followed by a quiz to keep us on our toes. Thank you to Ann Larden.

The skittles and lunch at Wallingford sports centre was so well received that we have booked again for October.

The homes and gardens group will be visiting Root 1 for coffee in early May and we are organising social trips for the coming year.

The lunch group will be going to the Packhorse at the end of the month.

Our speaker at our May meeting will be from Thrive, a charity that helps people living with disabilities to thrive through gardening. We will also have a plant sale.

In June we will have a chance to make books with Jane Abbott.

The winners of bloom of the month were Carole Shelley-Allen and Shirley Bryant with their beautiful blooms of narcissus and camellia.

We meet on the third Wednesday of the month in the village hall. Please come and join us and you will be made very welcome.

Judy Williams

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