WI Newsletter – June 2005

I really wish I could think of a different introduction each month, but it really has been another busy month, this time around, Abbotts Ann WI was represented at Hatch Warren’s In the Pink evening, the National AGM at the Royal Albert Hall and the Danebury Group round of the Federation Quiz. All this and we also organised a Group visit to Denman College in Oxfordshire.

So what did all these events involve?

In the Pink with Hatch Warren was just that, all guests were asked to wear something pink and our hosts certainly did. The whole evening was great fun. Several members read out poems that illustrated the difficulties of buying clothes for all shapes and sizes, and the star of the show was a very glamorous member of 73 who was not afraid to show a very brief glimpse of her black underwear. If only all those in the media who continue to perpetuate misconceptions about the WI could have been there, they would have certainly seen us all in a new light – if not through rose tinted spectacles!

Who but the WI could boast a line-up of speakers that included Caroline Lucas MEP, Helena Kennedy, Bill Bryson and Jane Fonda? This was the treat in store for two of our members who attended the National AGM at the Royal Albert Hall, it has since been described as the best AGM yet and there was definitely a buzz around the Hall. A great day which definitely confirmed what a powerful organisation the NFWI is, as the whole meeting agreed to a motion that the WI should send a communication to the G8 summit in support of ending World Poverty.

Both resolutions debated at our May meetings were passed unanimously.

Abbotts Ann won the Danebury Group round of the Hampshire Federation quiz by the very narrow margin of one point, so now proceed through to the final in Bishops Waltham in September.

The long awaited trip to Denman College was a great success. The setting is second to none and with the sun shining it was a pleasure and a treat to be shown around this jewel in the WI’s crown. It is open to both members and non-members not only for a wide variety of courses, but also for a holiday, either on a bed & breakfast basis or by renting a cottage within the grounds.

Finally, on the last day of the month it was our own meeting, one with a difference as the whole Agenda was in reverse order.

After such a hectic time it was a change in pace as members enjoyed a gentle stroll around the centre of the Village visiting eight very different gardens. There are some very green-fingered villagers and they very kindly offered us a glimpse of what lay beyond the front garden, each one a delight giving us plenty to think about when we returned to our own. Someone asked if we were going to do this every year, well only if we can persuade people to let us into their gardens – so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

It was then back to the Village Hall for refreshments, which included a surprise birthday cake for the President who was celebrating one of those birthdays with a zero on the end, in early July. It was a lovely gesture and much appreciated by yours truly.

Finally, the members were given an update of future events including arrangements for the Village Fete Teas and Cake Stall, all proceeds are going to a central fund for distribution later in the year. Members were also reminded about Hampshire in Stitches an exhibition in Winchester during August with free entry as well as asking them to think about what workshops they would like organised in early 2006.


28 July – Desert Island Discs – 7.30 p.m. Village Hall

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 – Clarence House visit

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

31 October – Autumn Council Meeting – Winchester

Our meeting in July is also something different – Desert Island Discs – if want to come along and see our mystery castaways, then come to the Village Hall for 7.30 p.m. on Thursday 28th July.

Sharon King