WI Spotlight S - Z
S - Z
SALTMARSHE & DISTRICT WI
Meeting time: 2nd Wednesday of the month In Feb/March at 2pm other months at 7.30 pm
Venue: Saltmarshe & District Hall
Saltmarshe & District WI celebrated its 70th birthday in April 2016. The initial meeting was held in a room at Saltmarshe Castle, just a few miles North of Bromyard. The Castle no longer in exists but our embroidered tablecloth and banners give reference to our beginnings and our WI remains active, supportive and lively.
We currently have 24 members drawn from a wide area and our Programme contains a mix of interesting Speakers, demonstrations by our own members and a chance to join in with enjoyable activities. Meetings include a rousing version of Jerusalem, a competition and tea & biscuits. Some members have belonged for a very long time and we value their expertise and experience.
We try to join in WI events: over the years members joined the WI Choir, the WI walks and Quizzes, attend Group meetings and much appreciate the Trips organised by the Federation. Each month we send a report of our meeting, to appear on the Federation website.
We visit fascinating places and our pictures show Croome Court, with its Walled gardens, this year, and the Elan Valley when we explored inside a dam and sang Jerusalem, to the amusement of other tourists when we re-emerged
In recent years, Saltmarshe & District WI began to rotate Presidents in an effort to keep our Group vibrant and we find this works well. Visitors are always made welcome so do come along and make new friends
STAUNTON ON ARROW WI
The Staunton on Arrow WI recently celebrated its seventieth anniversary attended by past and present members.
Staunton on Arrow is situated in a secluded valley between Pembridge and Kington. Soft fruit, apples, potatoes and corn are grown. There was a pub here long ago, the school closed some fifty years since and the shop and post more recently. WI meetings take place in the Village Hall which was built with lots of local voluntary work in the late twentieth century.
It is interesting to see how different subjects are and yet how similar. One of the earliest talks was ‘How to make a pair of gloves from rabbit skins’ and one of the most recent ones was ‘ How to make a Mors Bag from remnants of material’! We have a very able committee which plans an interesting and varied programme. Our well attended meetings always end with a proper sit down supper, no tea and biscuits!
Some members instigated monthly coffee mornings, proceeds going to local organisations. Another spin off is ‘Crafternoon’ where ladies knit, crochet, sew, etc. and have tea coffee and cake! There is also a monthly luncheon club which is great for those who live on their own.
The following poem was written for the fortieth anniversary and it is still applicable:
Seventy years of meetings, Seventy years of chats
Visits to the Albert Hall (What happened to the hats?)
We’ve had a lovely party Enjoyed it to a ‘man’,
Aren’t we glad we all belong To the WI in “Stan”?
Written by Nancy Owens, who has been a member at Staunton on Arrow for over fifty years and has taken all the Officer roles in her time as a member.
STOKE EDITH & TARRINGTON WI
Meeting Time : 2nd Monday of the month at 7.30pm Venue : Lady Emily Hall, Tarrington
The parishes of Stoke Edith and Tarrington are located midway between Ledbury and Hereford, alongside the A438. When our Institute was founded 90 years ago, members used to meet alternately at Stoke Edith in the afternoon and at Tarrington in the evenings, in the old corrugated iron clad village hall. Our longest serving member remembers taking her 2 small boys to the afternoon meetings, over 50 years ago.
We now hold our meetings in the lovely Lady Emily Hall in Tarrington. This Hall was converted from the village Primary School and opened in 2000 – with a well-equipped kitchen and effective heating system – both being a great improvement from the old Hall.
The group enjoys having interesting and informative speakers each month and we have even persuaded some of our ladies to share their hobbies and talents. These have included a Member’s Cookery Demonstration and hanging-basket making, among many other fascinating talks. Our newest member gave a talk entitled “ My Button Box” . We learned how buttons were made, the materials they were made of, such as vegetables. I am sure the older members of the WI will remember rubber buttons on your liberty bodice, which used to go brittle and crack when going through the mangle. We visit a garden, each summer, and have found some real treasures over the years.
Membership has fluctuated from year to year and we are few in number these days but are undeterred and remain a close-knit group that enjoys each other’s company and friendship. Despite struggling to find new members, we are determined to carry on enjoying being members of our 90-year old WI for as long as possible – keeping the WI Banner flying in our Parishes.
STOKE PRIOR & DISTRICT WI
Meeting time: 2nd Tuesday at 2.30pm Venue: Stoke Prior Village Hall
Nearly 30 years ago our then President wrote the following article to celebrate the Stoke Prior & District WI’s 60th anniversary.
“The Stoke Prior and District W.I. was founded in 1929 with 37 members meeting monthly in the school room on Saturday afternoons. Jumble sales, whist drives and teas were held (1shilling including refreshments) to raise money towards the cost of building a village hall. This was completed in 1934 and the first meeting in the new hall took place on 8th December. ‘Jerusalem’ has been sung at meetings since 1934. Previously, it seems, they sang the National Anthem. For many years, primroses and daffodils were gathered and sent to local and London hospitals. A founder member donated seed potatoes which were planted in a competition for the highest yield to be sent to the hospital. In 1987 several members embroidered a beautiful altar frontal, depicting the church, the pub, the school, and several houses as well as flora and fauna of the village. It was dedicated at a special service in 1988. Every member looks forward to our annual lunch, this year February 21st, 1989 is our 60th Birthday. Stoke Prior is a pleasant, friendly village and we like it”.
Now, nearly 30 years later we still hold our meetings in the same village hall but now on the second Tuesday afternoon of the month, so we are still contributing to its upkeep. Fund raisers for local charities are still an important part of our remit. The altar frontal is still used in Stoke Prior Church on special occasions. Our members now number 22. Our annual programme offers a wide range of activities including a variety of outings, interesting speakers and a monthly competition which nearly all our ladies enter. We are a very friendly and sociable group and we still celebrate our birthday every Spring with a party. The Spring of 2019 will be our 90th anniversary and we have plans to mark this special day with a memorable celebration!
Meet at Canon Pyon Parish Hall on 4th Wednesday at 7.30 pm
Since the formation of The Pyons WI in 1999, we have settled on a couple of interests that make our meetings and visits very popular – food and drink. Whatever the time of year, we always seem to find a way to meet and enjoy the delicacies of local tea-rooms, hostelries and unsurprisingly, refreshments at our meetings, always something to be anticipated.
November was our month for a fund-raising coffee morning, run by our then 20 members. We sold crafts, produce, bric-a-brac, plants and of course delicious cakes and bakes made by our talented members. It was an ideal moment for a recruitment drive (we have sixty new houses in Canon Pyon), so we took bribery biscuits, a lightbox, and our “Keep calm and join the Pyons WI” posters. It must have worked, at our most recent meeting we welcomed six new members and six visitors.
Here we are wearing red, white and blue, enjoying a French evening following our Annual meeting, with French cheese, bread and wine.
Our January meeting was a good-humoured squash which could have been due to our popular and boozy choice of speaker. Duncan Fox from Haven Distillery, Dilwyn came to educate us about his Sly Gin with samples of his signature, lemon verbena and pink grapefruit gins. We left a little rosy cheeked after Duncan’s intoxicating offering.
We have enjoyed a visit to the Wonkey Donkey tearoom in Canon Pyon for afternoon tea and company of our members. The tales of our Pyon Hill walk beforehand, were quickly forgotten with the arrival of cake. Can you see a pattern emerging here?
What does the future hold for The Pyons WI?
We’ve organised a Pimms and Pudding party after the Resolutions meeting in May. After the serious discussion, we will enjoy a little injection of cream and meringue. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s always Chilli Keeper Pam Davenport from Chilli Zoo talking about spicing up our lives.
Ultimately, we look forward to welcoming more new members and making new friends (although a good-humoured squash could become a game of sardines).
THE SPARKLING WYE WI
Sparkling Wye WI is situated in the busy, vibrant, market town of Ross-On-Wye, the southern point of Herefordshire and close to the borders of Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire.
We were founded in January 2010 when the original Ross WI had sadly dwindled in numbers. Our story tells that Shirley Eastwood, an existing WI member, felt so strongly that she didn’t want to lose the WI completely, that she presented herself at the gates of the local primary school where she knew she would find a good source of new recruits. The new group was established with the aim of offering evening meetings and the name was chosen from the playful suggestion of a combination of sparkling wine and our lovely, river Wye.
From that time we have gone from strength to strength; having started with a mere eight members, SWWI now has forty-two members registered in 2018, and we are in the lucky position where we regularly receive enquiries from prospective new members throughout the year.
As a relatively new WI we are still evolving our traditions; we don’t sing Jerusalem nor for the moment, do we have a banner. However, we do have great social, evening meetings, filled with a lot of chat and laughter, home made cake and the odd glass of wine. We have an interesting and varied speaker programme, a series of social events held throughout the year including theatre trips and dinners, a monthly walking group, and the newly established craft group and monthly coffee mornings.
We have an amazing group of talented, resourceful and enthusiastic women and there are always new ideas being put forward for Sparkling Wye to become involved with. Future ideas include embracing social media so that we can help prospective new members find us, but also to strengthen ties and offer new ways to communicate to our existing members.
If you are in Ross on Wye and would like to visit us, the Sparkling Wye WI meet on the second Wednesday every month at 7.30 pm in the Conservative Club, Walford Road, Ross-On-Wye.
THE SUTTONS WI
MEETING TIME: 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7.30 pm VENUE: Sutton St Nicholas Village Hall
There was originally a WI in Sutton St Nicholas meeting at the old school in 1952 when 50 ladies turned up for the first meeting, with the first President being Mrs E Gwynne. Unfortunately this WI closed in 1990 – many Members but as in today’s WI’s - no one was prepared to take Officer positions.
The Suttons was set up by Eileen Dilley and Committee in 2010 with Members old and new in the new village hall in Sutton St Nicholas. The village sits on the River Lugg near the villages of Moreton, Marden and Bodenham.
We have had many interesting speakers and a diverse programme encouraging Members to take an active part. These include learning Heartstart skills; fire safety and fire forensics; various talks from around the world; belly dancing; tai chi and a visit from the High Sheriff of Herefordshire to name a few. We also have had talks from our own Members; Cecilia on her visit to India: Trudie on wills and inheritance and Eileen on the history of afternoon tea.
We have had outings to a Ceramic workshop where we decorated a mug; visited The Taste for Adventure Centre where many achieved completion of an assault course and archery; bowling/steak nights and a ghost walk around Hereford.
We complete each year in the WI Quiz and have even achieved the final on a couple of occasions.
We assist the Federation in Fund raising events with Fashion Shows and Quizzes many being held at Sutton village hall.
We are now few in number and are continuously looking for new Members. The Suttons WI is well respected and support many village events and occasions including helping with refreshments on Bonfire night and decorating the church for the Queen’s 90th Birthday.
We are very privileged and proud that two of our Members have received British Empire Medals: Sue Davies for her work with Herefordshire Heartstart and Eileen Dilley for her commitment to the WI over the last 30.
In 2020, Tupsley WI will celebrate their Centenary. The Institute was started in May 1920 and although the venue was ‘humble’ ladies were correctly dressed for meetings which were held in a tin hut situated on the Ledbury Road.
Over time and due to increased membership other venues have been used until finally now ladies of the Institute meet on the second Monday of the month at St John’s Methodist Hall a spacious, well equipped hall able to accommodate more than 50 members.
A proud moment for the Institute was being presented with the Chairman’s Award, Paddy’s Tree at the Annual Council Meeting in 2015. This was also a special Centenary year when the Baton was being passed through the County, we also took part in carrying the baton.
To also mark the occasion within the Institute, a large bull toy, resembling the famous Herefordshire Bull, was purchased and named Magna who was to become the Institute Mascot. Magna was taken by members around the county being photographed in 100 places of interest, although he wasn’t able to join the ladies from the Institute who went to Buckingham Palace for the Centenary celebration there. Some members of the Institute watched the streaming of the Centenary AGM and during the lunch break enjoyed a picnic lunch, accompanied by Magna, on the Bromyard Downs before returning to watch the afternoon session.
Our Annual Programme includes visits to places of interest and these are well supported, as are the meals shared to celebrate our Birthday and New Year. We support the annual Federation Quiz and where possible members join different advertised trips and outings organised by the Federation.
‘Singing for Pleasure’ is a most appropriate name for our choir. The ladies who meet for practice regularly are in great demand to entertain residents in local care homes, our own Annual tea party and further afield.
Between monthly meetings members meet to go on planned walks, play skittles and some go to the Handicraft Club which is advertised in the Newsletter; and have you ever wondered who puts the flowers at Tupsley Cross? Look no further than the willing members of the Institute who ensure that there are always flowers at the base of the cross.
During the 1970’s – 1980’s we were linked with Beamsville, Canada and exchanged news and messages.
To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee a tree, with an inscribed plaque, was planted to mark the occasion at The Quarry, Tupsley.
Over the years membership has fluctuated from 15 members in early 2000’s to what we are now, but we never lost one of our current members who joined in 1975 and two more who joined in the early 1980’s.
The final meeting of the year usually sets the scene for Christmas with some ‘brave’ members providing entertainment invariably linked to a Pantomime theme. Last year all the preparations including food had been organised and prepared until the SNOW arrived and put a stop to the day. Nothing daunted in true WI spirit we re-arranged the date, kept the theme and the celebration and Panto performance went ahead at the end of January.
UPTON BISHOP WI
Wellington WI is 85 years old. For part of its existence it was joined with Hope-under-Dinmore but a few years ago it reverted back to being just Wellington. Ours is a lively village and the WI follows suit. We have a membership of 28 and members, participate and enjoy the various talks and activities organised; serious, fun, educational, physical and practical!
We believe in supporting local charities and love to organise tea parties to raise funds for them.
Each autumn, the members help to mix Christmas Puddings; these are cooked, beautifully wrapped, and sold in the village shop. It is great fun working together marking the beginning of Christmas preparations.
In alternate years, the WI make and sell portions of puddings during the village Fun Week. The variety of desserts is a sight to behold and a good, regular fundraising activity. We try to arrange between-meeting activities; we have craft days, cookery classes, visits to gardens, country walks to name but a few.
As a WI, we try to get involved in some of the campaigns promoted by County and National. We made posters covered in green hearts to show the “Love of our Planet”. These were displayed around the village and at the local shop where we gave away packets of mixed seeds. At the moment, we have a group of members training for the Walking Netball.
At Wellington WI the emphasis is on enjoyment, we all enjoy life and the WI.
The present Weobley WI is only 3 years old, having been re-formed in February 2016, but it has a much longer tradition and September 2019 will be the centenary of the founding of the original Weobley WI. We plan to mark the occasion with a party, of course, but will also take time to look back on how the lives of women, the WI and the village have changed over the past hundred years with an exhibition in the library and a talk on the life of our first President, Ella Mary Leather, author of The Folklore of Herefordshire.
The centenary will be an opportunity for current members to view the work of their predecessors, including the Weobley Screen. This screen was embroidered by 26 members as an example of co-operative work for a County Federation show and shows views of the village, black and white houses and farms.
Our members meet in Hopelands Village Hall on the second Monday evening of the month. The committee also meets monthly and, like our monthly meetings, these can be lively affairs with the business of the evening punctuated by considerable laughter and chatter.
Weobley WI currently has 35 members, an increase of 75% since our re-formation in 2016. We are a varied group in age, background and interests but united in our enjoyment of sociable, informative and entertaining meetings. Attendance ranges between 22 and 35, and usually includes a couple of guests, who are always welcome.
Over the past three years we have had talks on bra-fitting, volunteering in the Calais refugee camps, women's health, jewellery making, mountain rescue and the history of perfume. We’ve also had hedgehogs and owls at our meetings, and attempted Morris dancing. In what is fast becoming a tradition, our December meeting is devoted to making Christmas decorations while sipping mulled wine and feasting on celebratory treats.
Members pitch in for special events, whether making poppies to decorate windows for the anniversary of the end of WW1, creating fabulous puddings for our annual summer "Pimms and Puddings" garden party or donating jewellery to the Heart Research UK. We play our part in village events such as laying a wreath on Remembrance Day and fund-raising for the village hall. We took women's suffrage and the colours green, white, and purple as the theme for our stall at the village fete in June.
Last year we helped to organise and cater for a supper concert with the Welsh male voice choir Synergy to raise funds for Hopelands and the WI. This was so successful that it is being repeated later this year. In 2019 we look forward to hosting our Group event, with Weobley's own country music group ‘Alive and Pickin’ providing the entertainment. We are thrilled that the HFWI 2019 Calendar includes a beautiful photograph by Kate Best, one of our members.
Weobley is growing and so is bound to change as a village. Whatever people feel about growth, Weobley WI will give a warm welcome to women who are new to our village and encourage them to join us. We know from experience that if the membership dwindles and ages increase, the group will struggle to survive, so the WI must remain relevant to the lives of modern women.
Woolhope WI is a small but feisty bunch of women who meet on the 3rd Wednesday evening of the month at Woolhope Parish Hall on Berryfield, the local cricket and football ground adjacent to a thriving tennis club. At 75 years old, and located in a very rural setting, we have always had a small membership but manage to attract ladies from several neighbouring villages - and along with Hampton Bishop hope to resurrect the long defunct Fownhope group in 2019. In the past couple of years we have arranged a monthly craft and chat morning and have enjoyed other monthly outings - for a walk on light summer evenings and to various local places of interest at other times. Our annual Birthday Bash has established quite a reputation among our invited WI’s who have joined us for wine and tea tasting, line dancing and a musical extravaganza in recent years. We serve a community lunch for about 50 in July each year and make cream teas for the annual village fete which always attracts a big crowd, whatever the weather. For a small bunch of women, we feel we have always “punched above our weight!”
WYE WOMEN WI
Wye Women WI was formed in January 2013 and we meet every second Tuesday of the month at 7.30 pm at St Martin’s Church Hall, Ross Road. We have continued to grow and during 2018 we reached 45 members and 2 dual members.
Over the years, mainly through speakers’ donating, we have supported a number of charities eg St Michael’s Hospice; Little Princess Trust; Army Benevolent Fund local branch; Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre; Martha Trust, The Leukaemia and Intensive Therapy Fund and, of course, the Denman Appeal.
At each meeting we have a book swop table, a suggestion box and collect for the Hereford Food Bank. We have a walking group who are fearsome adventurers but nearly always end up in a pub! Our sewing/craft group have made our beautiful tablecloth which comes out at every meeting; scottie dogs for the children’s ward, baby quilts, knitted teddies and lovely cross stitch name badges for each member.
The monthly meetings continue to be engaging and varied - teaching in challenging schools, advice in choosing the right sized bra, and we heard how some brave parachutists rose to the challenge of being the first to cross the English Channel by parachute. We have seen demonstrations on hanging baskets, making chocolates (with tasting), making our own beeswax candles, learned some new steps for the waltz, rumba and salsa and tried our hands at making cards and bookmarks. We celebrated our fifth birthday at Ballingham Court in its beautiful gardens and Church, followed by afternoon tea. Also, during the summer, we visited Brobury House and Gardens with refreshments and retail therapy. Our August stroll around Hereford ended with a visit to de Koffie Pot. Four members took part in the Federation quiz and reached a creditable fourth position; we had a lovely trip to Cardiff to see the Rat Pack; jewellery was donated to raise funds for the Heart Disease foundation, and one member made sensory arm bands for those living with Alzheimers.
We were invited to join other WIs at their meetings: we heard from a local Deli owner on how to make tortilla and paella (properly) and walked with Moccas WI in the deer park to share their birthday celebrations. Some of us heard about Brian Hatton’s horses from a local historian.. A few other groups joined us for our fundraiser meeting in May and Staunton-on-Arrow WI joined us in September for our parachutist talk. A delegation of ladies went to the Herefordshire Federation annual Council Meeting and a large group attended the National Annual Council Meeting in Cardiff.
We are looking forward to our 2019 programme!