WI Newsletter – July 2005

Before their summer break, the members of Abbotts Ann were cast adrift on a desert island – where they could take time to ponder on their favourite books, music and food amongst other things.

Does this sound a welcome relief from the rush tear of modern life – well it did to them as well.

This was a themed evening, the second time we have attempted this, last year it was holidays and that was very successful and this time we did our version of Desert Island Discs.

The two castaways were Mary Whittle one of our own members and a member of Andover Evening WI, Sheila Wiles, both of course stalwarts of the Abbotts Ann Players. Rather than an in-depth interview, our own version of Sue Lawley, Jacquie Wilson, asked them to reflect on the lighter side of life, by asking them to choose two pieces of music that provoked happy memories, as well as describing their favourite photographs and food. They were also asked to reveal whom they would like to be rescued by and on what form of transport. Whilst Mary could not put a name to her ideal man, she felt she wanted to sail away on a luxury liner, with a very strong swimmer in the form of a lifeguard. However, Sheila was spoilt for choice. She thought about Cary Grant, but not being alive rather counted against him, then she toyed with Roger Johnson, and finally plumbed for her all-time favourite, Omar Sharif on a camel!

Earlier in the evening members were asked to identify the committee, from their answers to a sheet of similar questions. There were a few surprises, and some were harder to guess than others – but it was fun and certainly showed a new side to some our ladies, one of whom was rather greedy. Not only did she want to be rescued by Olympic oarsman Steve Redgrave, she also wanted the whole of British Navy waiting just offshore. Can you guess who it is? Answers on a postcard please!

With the aid of the Internet, I had found a couple of funny stories with a Desert Island theme that the members seemed to find amusing. Therefore, I think it can be judged a success, but only due to a great deal of hard work behind the scenes. Sandra Newland’s contribution was much appreciated, as not only had she taken on organising the refreshments for this meeting at short notice, but she also brought along a beautiful castor oil (fatsia japonica) shrub and other items to help transform the stage into an enticing desert island, as well as organising some of the music. Aileen Catterson also contributed to the staging by bringing one of her plants.

Members were given a newsletter to keep them updated, as there is no meeting in August, but we will of course be very busy at the Village Fete on 03 September.


17 – 19 August – Hampshire in Stitches. This is in The Great Hall, Winchester. Free entry and a chance to see some of the many textiles owned by Hampshire WI’s. Abbotts Ann’s banner will be on display, so please do go along.

03 September – Village Fete Teas and Cake Stall (all contributions of cakes are welcome – please give Sharon King a ring on 01264 335630 if you would like to help)

29 September – Chairman’s Challenge with Helen Creese – 7.30 p.m. Village Hall

01 October – Visit to Clarence House

27 October – Management for Wildlife at Porton Down – S Corbett – 7.30 p.m. Village Hall

31 October – Autumn Council Meeting – 7.30 p.m. City Hall in Winchester

24 November – Annual Meeting – 7.30 p.m. Village Hall

We will be back in the Hall on 29 September when we have Helen Creese as our speaker. Helen was the winner of the Chairman’s Challenge last year as she visited the most WI’s during 2004 and yes, she did include Abbotts Ann in her itinerary. I cannot remember how many she visited in total, but I am sure we will be told in September. Helen will certainly be able to reveal just how different each WI meeting can be.

Don’t forget, however, we will be at the Fete, so do come and say hello – oh and of course buy a cup of tea and a cake or two, but if you want to find out how much more to the WI there is, please do come along to one of our meetings.

Sharon King