W.I. Newsletter October 2017

The last celebratory event on our Centenary Calendar was lunch at Esseborne Manor on 7th October.  This was a chance for our members to sit back and relax and enjoy a delicious three course meal.  Lynne Lucas, a member of the Centenary sub-Committee, had taken on the planning of the event and President Kate Bennett became involved with making sure we all knew our places, by providing the table plan and illustrated name cards. Kate spoke briefly at the start to say thank you to everyone involved and then by reading an amusing poem about the WI she had found on the Internet.   Each table was decorated with colourful pots of cyclamen, enough for each member to take one home with her, as well as another centenary pen and two boxed chocolates.  Everyone enjoyed the occasion immensely.

Our speaker this month, Lynda Warren, has a large repertoire of talks, but the one we had selected was “A 100 years of Women and the WI”, although Lynda prefers to describe herself as a story teller. She certainly wove a vivid narrative of how women’s lives have changed since 1917, when really they were only expected to marry, raise children and look after the home.  Of course, two World Wars changed this dramatically, as women had to take on roles previously carried out by men.  Along the way Lynda also brought to life many names familiar to WI Members. These included Adelaide Hoodless who formed the first W.I. in Canada and Madge Watt who brought the W.I. to the U.K (Aileen Catterson who did all the research for our Centenary Exhibition discovered that Madge came to Abbotts Ann in June 1922 – “the meeting was postponed from the previous day as she had been commanded to attend Buckingham Palace on the original day of the meeting”).  We also heard about other lesser known women, but who nevertheless were instrumental in the success of the W.I. and Women’s Suffrage movements.

Members of our Institute were also present at the Autumn Meetings of both the Anton Danebury Group and Hampshire Federation.  The speaker at the former was the Head Gardner from Hinton Ampner and by all accounts his audience thoroughly enjoyed his talk and slide presentation.

The latter was held in the Anvil at Basingstoke and whilst the morning was taken up by Federation Business and news of all the events planned for 2018, proceedings were then livened up by the appearance of Val Bugden-Cawsey.  Val is a President of a Cornwall W.I. and gave a wry and amusing account of Growing Old Disgracefully.  However, the afternoon was very different as we were entertained by Alvin, who considers himself to be The Ultimate Elvis Tribute.  He interspersed songs from “The King’s” repertoire which a lot of humour and Hampshire ladies were on their feet at the end calling for an encore and joining in with much gusto and enjoyment.   If only the public could see what the WI is really like, none of those stereotypical images please.

Naturally, we have also continued with other activities this month, but now look forward to next month and our meeting is on 30th November starting at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall and the topic of our guest speakers, Adrian & Jane Jefferies, is “Collectable Costume Jewellery”. 


Diary Dates:

04 November –  Breakfast Club

09 November –  Supper Club

11 November –  Walking Group

25 November – Lunch Club

30 November –  Monthly Meeting – 7.30 p.m. Village Hall