Category Archives: Women’s Institute

Women’s Institute related posts and pages

WI Report – October 2016

We gathered in the small room  as the floor of the main hall is undergoing a face lift. This proved to be a nicer venue and everyone could hear what was being said from the platform.Janet was ably helped by Val as Trish is sunning herself in Spain.Twenty five members were present to hear a very refreshing talk by Claire Rawle on her experiences with antiques with the BBC. Claire divulged that her two ambitions as a 15 year old were
a. To leave school as quickly as possible and
b. To win the Badminton Horse Trials.

Leaving school was achieved when she gained sufficiently good O level results but winning Badminton eluded her, Claire thought this was just as well as she had been more likely to break her neck. At  Dulverton she became a part time assistant at an auction house,  Claire enjoyed the atmosphere of auctions having attended a great many with her father who had farmed in Gloucester. This was followed by a post at Sotheby’s where there was much learning and drinking, one lesson was always carry a file and a pen to look busy even if heading for a coffee break.Whilst working at Sotheby’s only articles of the highest quality were seen.

Opportunity to join the B B C programme Flog It,  Claire was reluctant as she felt she may lack the required expertise but passed a screen test at Whiteladies Road in Bristol with flying colours. The B B C operates to a very high standard with everything conducted correctly.

On to Bargain Hunt presented by Tim who is very knowledgable but very  naughty. For this Show people in pairs are required to apply, it is necessary to have enthusiasm and be able to react well to the camera.

Antiques Road Trip with Paul Laidlaw in which Claire travelled in a T V R Tuscan which is very difficult to enter and exit with a degree of elegance. It was good to be paired with Paul, who always wins, Claire would love to beat him, just once. Anyone who participates does gain from the publicity. It was a good learning curve acting as a dealer as opposed to an auctioneer.

Now back to her day job as an Auctioneer in Bridgwater, Claire will always be grateful for the opportunities given to her by the B B C.Angie thanked Claire. Judging the competition for an antique item Claire placed Wendy’s Black Forest dancing bear first. With Julie’s mother’s nursing notes second and a geological map third. The flower of the month was won by Angie.A measuring book dated 1800 was deemed to be very collectable.

Val has organised the Christmas meal and items for shoe boxes.
An e-mail from Liz Brown of Walton W I informed us of the death of Janice Davies, Wendy attended the memorial service on our behalf, Janice is held in high esteem by us all.

Mary sent a thank you for flowers, cards and visitors following her recent operation for a knee replacement from which she has made a full recovery, a big contribution to this being Harvey’s kind administrations!

The recent short mat bowls competition held at North Petherton resulted in the defending champions, Compton Dundon, retaining their
title with a large trophy to prove it. This is the 25th anniversary of this competition, 14 pairs took part, with Compton Dundon represented by Anthea and Christina, who reached the final by beating Sandra and Joan, also Compton Dundon, then beating Ashcott represented by Janet and Shirley in the final.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – July 2016

Barbara Olioso, our speaker, living in Wells but originally from Italy is a living testimony to her subject, The Secret of Well Being Care of Your Skin. A qualified scientist with intensive knowledge of the structure of the skin and the relation of our body parts to the skin which is the biggest organ in the body. Various conditions of the skin can be accurate indicators of other health problems.

The Chinese people call the skin the third lung and the third kidney.The sense of touch is important and skin contact helps with emotional development Whilst not minimising the dangers of too much exposure to the sun’s rays, Barbara stressed that sunlight leads to the production of Vitamin D, the only vitamin the body produces. Sadly too many of us overreact to advice given for the protection of our children’s skin, covering every part and this lack of vitamin D can and does lead to conditions such as rickets. A sensible balance must be reached, especially in England where we hardly ever see the sun.Pollution causes problems and we are lucky to live in the countryside where the air is somewhat cleaner than in the cities.

We were horrified to learn that the majority of cosmetic products we regularly buy, sometimes at great expense, and use,  contain dangerous chemicals. Caustic soda in our favourite soap. Use natural products wherever possible, a little more expensive perhaps but much better for the skin.Many common garden flowers such as marigolds and roses have beneficial effects, dry the petals and suffuse in oils but  remember, one of the best health tips is to  drink lots of water

Kath Frank’s said, in her vote of thanks that we had all learnt a lot and had a lot to think about, our shopping will take us longer in future.

The competition for the best sun hat was won by Pat M with Janet D and Mary B runners up. The Flower of the month, winner Mary B with sweet peas.

Kathy Ingham was welcomed back as a visitor. Condolences were sent to Verify Linnet, a former member, whose husband

has recently died. We are delighted to report that we have, at long last, made it to the photo gallery in County News and in representing W I a talk by Dr Hudson was held in memory of our well remembered colleague , Sali Money.

Janet reassured us that the tree planted to commemorate the birth of Prince George, recently vandalised, was alive and growing strongly and had a photograph taken by Angie to prove it. Next month’s meeting will be held in the committee room as the floor of the main hall is to be renovated.Janet read a very comprehensive report sent by Margaret Adams of Shapwick W I who was our of representative at least the meeting at Brighton .

Patricia Heap, our representative on the village hall committee, asked us to give our views on the proposal to revamp the ladies’ loos. Mary Burt stated she felt this was unnecessary as the loos were perfectly adequate as they were.Janet said that after 16 years a few improvements might be helpful. Patricia left it in the hands of the members,requesting they put forward their views on the slips of paper provided.

Trish informed us that the committee had decided to replace the recently damaged flower trough a cost of £49 plus compost and plants. Each member is asked to contribute £1 towards this project.

Short Mat Bowls Competition players Frances and Anthea, Sandra and Joan, Mary and Christina. Skittles, we lost our match against Walton in June played at the Street Inn, next match  July 28 at the Crown Inn Catcott against Woolavington.

Dates to remember: July 20 Ladies who Lunch The Quarry Inn Keinton Mandeville.

July 21 Scrabble at Wendy’s house.

August 9 Quiz evening with Somerton W I at Somerton.

August 10 afternoon visit to Midney Gardens with cream tea.

September 14 Sarah’s Sugarcraft Cake Decorating.Harvest Celebration with a ploughman’s supper, stall for chutneys and jams, and the competition heaviest crop of potatoes from the seed potato. Visitors welcome. I am

September 16 Polden Group Autumn Meeting to be hosted by Compton Dundon at the Meadway Hall with refreshments, competition and entertainment.  Speaker C!Ive Wakeley cost £4 per person Do not  miss this amazing evening.

October 28 Bursary Day at Meadway Hall quilting lampshades and flowers.Bring a packed lunch.More details later.

At the October meeting please bring toiletry items to fill Christmas Shoe boxes.

Finally remember the Village Flower Show on August 6 at Meadway Hall when the competition for the W I shield is 3 chocolate chip cookies.

As Wendy will be away in September, Angie C has kindly offered to submit the monthly report.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – May 2016

Our Speaker, Kay Coombes, had the most inspiring personality and this came over in her talk Knitted Knockers. Kay, a single mother working in the tax office, told of her experiences after being diagnosed with breast cancer. A lump in her armpit, leading to a mammogram showing lump in her breast, biopsy – cancerous. Kay has a particular form of cancer, normal drugs ineffective , following her first round of chemo her hair disappeared between Christmas and New Year.Her son felt very insecure and Kay involved him in her treatment  as much as she could, he shaved her head and became the man of the house, taking over lots of little chores.

Radiotherapy treatment at the local Beacon Centre, Kay returned to work, her hair had grown back but blood tests showed a risk of further cancer and Kay underwent  double mastectomy plus removal of her ovaries.Complications following surgery prompted Kay to join support groups online,leading to her discovery of an American based company Knitted Knockers. A knitted knocker is simply a knitted prosthesis as opposed to one made of silicon.A simple idea perhaps why has no-one thought of it before?  This product has changed the lives of many women. U K orders are dealt with by a group of lady knitters in the U K so despatch is swift. Kay polished her knitting skills and started a knitting group. Knitted Knockers are soft and comfortable, the latest innovation is a knocker suitable for insertion into swimming costumes. These are made from acrylic yarn and stuffed with sponge as opposed to knitted with pure cotton yarn and stuffed with material used to stuff toys. It must be emphasised that knitters originally met all the costs of materials and postage but following strenuous efforts to raise funds and to be adopted as a charity, costs can now be met. No charge is made to the recipient,every order is individually made to measure and a knocker can come in any colour, with or without a nipple, leading to the slogan “nipple on your knocker”.

Kay’s work led to four of her ladies being invited to an event at the Cabinet Office dealing with funding for charities etc.Expecting a slap up lunch, the bacon butty on offer was a bit of a let down but the cream tea later made up for it.Interviewed on B BC Breakfast Show, meeting Esther Rantzen and Lionel Blair boosted the publicity and last year, on her

birthday, Kay received the news that her Knitted Knockers has been given charity status.

This product will always be free to anyone who has had cancer and not everyone can have reconstructory surgery.Kay uses Facebook to contact people but also has a website, Knitted Knockers UK.

Mary Badman gave a heartfelt thank you to Kay, we were given much to think about and were impressed by her products.

Annual General Meeting 2016

Our 86th Annual General Meeting followed the speaker, Trish Cox unanimously voted to continue in the post of President.

Pat Maddaford presented the financial statement.  In her report, Trish thanked everyone for their continued support,the committee members, Wendy for press reports, Gill and Sue for teas, Gill for skittles and Anthea for drama.

Janet, our secretary, commented on the very varied programme over the last 15 months, on average we have 33 members with attendance averaging 24.Scrabble, Ladies Who Lunch Short Mat Bowls continue to flourish. Individual triumphs, Julie Gordon with the Christmas Quiz and Sally Walker winning the W I Shield for Cookery with her Boiled Fruit Cake.We were defeated in the semi final of the County Skittle Cup but were victorious in the Short Mat Bowls Competition.Julie Gordon attended the Royal Garden Party, we took part in the Group Concert and exchanged visits with Bucklers Mead W I. Janet said this is just a small snapshot of our activities and appealed to us to keep going for at least another three years when we will be 90  years old.Angie thanked  Janet and Trish for all their efforts and this concluded the Annual General Meeting.


Resolutions were discussed and voted on, food waste resolution was passed but we abstained on the resolution dealing with care with dementia patients in hospitals.

It has been agreed to donate  £50 to the Denman Appeal.

Skittles: Match against Ashcott won by 9 pins. Forthcoming matches, Thursday 12 May v Middlezoy at Moorlynch, Thursday 16 June v Walton Street Inn 8 p m.

A group visited Pittard’s Leather Factory at Yeovil followed by lunch at a nearby hostelry. Angie and Wendy attended the Roadshow at Croscombe. Mary and Wendy will join Puriton W I at the birthday party. A visit to Midney Gardens is planned for August.Ladies Who Lunch meet at the Crown and Victoria Tintinhull Friday May 20.

Thankyou received from Val Day for the delicious brownies taken by  Mary to speed Val’s recovery from her recent surgery, good news here we are pleased to report. Edna joined us as a visitor and thanks go to Nicky Wisniewski who acted as invigilator for the

Presidential voting.Julie appealed for help with the forthcoming Flower Festival. The competition for a knitted article was won by Joan Carbin who was complimented by the judge on her high standard of work, second was  Christina and third, Trish Cox. The Flower of the month was won by Janet Davies.

Next month’s speaker Jan McNeill My Life at Sea,  competition, Anything Nautical.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – April 2016

A celebratory cake commemorating the Queen’s forthcoming 90th birthday, made by Mary Burt and tastefully decorated by her granddaughter Carly was on display, later to be consumed at cup of tea time. Sally asked for a round of applause for Julie Gordon who achieved 3rd place in the recent County Christmas quiz. The correspondence included renewed invitations to visit N F W I

headquarters in London and the opportunity to enter a competition to transform a bra into a  hanging basket –  a bracket.It is hoped Sally will work the oracle here.

Next month voting takes place on the two chosen resolutions. Skittles recommence April 25 when we meet Ashcott W I

at the Street Inn. The designated speaker was unable to come but will visit us next month when the competition will be for a knitted article.Trish thanked everyone who supported her recent coffee morning resulting in donating £350 to St Margaret’s Hospice at Yeovil.

Simon Dore, accompanied by his wife, Allie, stepped into the breach caused by our speaker and took us on a tour he and Allie had taken three years ago celebrating their ruby wedding anniversary. The most striking thing about India is the colour and the birds.

Delhi, a brief history, Hindu and Mongul Architecture. Simon and Allie decided to go into the centre of Delhi on the Underground, having been assured that local people did not use it. The station was deserted, boarded the train but as each station en route was reached, more and more people crammed into the carriages, sardines in a tin had nothing on this. Trying to get back to the hotel was even worse, and Simon and Allie resorted to the local cycle rickshaws.

In a Sikh temple 2,500 people are provided with a free meal every day. Because of many fireworks etc being lit at festivals, the smog was incredible, the sky always yellow. On to Agna where the fort had once had a moat in which crocodiles were kept.

Then to the Taj Mahal, where tourists were given precedence over local people, the former paying a much higher entrance fee.

Bharatpur was reached by train, just to experience Indian railways, sharing a carriage with three men who were fast asleep and remained so. The area is very similar to the Somerset Levels, with lots of birds.Staying at a very luxurious hotel, at Ranihamshore Tiger Reserve, Simon actually saw the tail of a tiger disappearing into the undergrowth.A ride on an elephant took them to Amber Fort and at Jaipur the wedding season was in full swing.At Jodphur a bullock cart ride took Simon and Allie to an open air meal on the edge of a Stepwell, a swimming pool with steps down to get into it.Lit by 1,000s of candles, very atmospheric. Suddenly, they were seized upon and given head and shoulder massage, very painful apparently. Home by Jeep.

Ruby Wedding celebrations at Pleasure Island, being showered by rose petals and wined and dined with champagne and chocolate cake, the latter organised by their son.

Gill thanked Simon and Allie and expressed the hope, on behalf of all of us, that Simon will return at some future date to bring us up to date with news of their more recent visit to another part of India.

The competition for the prettiest bra was bravely judged by Simon with Pat M the winner with Wendy second and Angie C third.

The Flower of the month competition was won by Joan Carbin with Narcissus.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – February 2016

No excuses for careless or bad driving following the informative talk,accompanied by power point illustrations,by Steve Greenhalgh and his team from Somerset Road Safety, presenting Route 60 +.

We were asked to give a two way flow interaction to the talk, Steve was helped by his colleagues, Malcolm and Kevin.All were previously in the police force except Kevin who is still an active member of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Team and also has his own driving school. Automatic drive cars were recommended, be careful if you are a clever lady who can change her own wheels, nasty accidents were illustrated.Golden rules before setting out on any journey, wash windows, check tyre pressures and be aware that to have a dirty number plate is an offence.

We were subjected to an examination regarding speed limits, we scored well in this. A good driver remembers the following two mantras

C. Concentration
O. Observation
A. Anticipation and Awareness
S. Space
T. Time

Only a Fool Breaks the Two Second Rule which applies to distance between vehicles.

A unit of alcohol is the amount of alcohol the body processes in an hour and it is a myth that food makes it safer to drink when driving, food slows down the absorption process.Once over 70 years of age, check photos as only valid for 10 years whilst !licences have to be renewed every 3 years.

We cannot alter yesterday’s accident figures but we can influence those of tomorrow.

We were given goodie bags containing an up to date Highway Code, useful literature, high viz jacket. emergency cagoule,key rings etc. Sally thanked Steve for a very helpful and, date she says it, arresting talk.

Business matters were short and sweet,volunteers are needed for the Bath and West Show. Transport arrangements were made for the visit to Bridgwater Custody Unit.

The competition for a Motoring Memorabilia was won by Sheila Taylor with a second world war headlight shield Pat Maddaford  A a Helmet a d Sally Walker with an old road map.

The Flower of the Month was won by Janet with Tête a Tête daffodils.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – Jan 2016

Trish Cox, our President and other members of the Craft Club, presented us with a hands on opportunity to be crafty. Trish explained that she had wanted to join together with like minded people and had tried initially to have craft projects at her house.This had not been very successful and eventually in 2013 the Craft Club was formed, meeting at the Meadway Hall on the first Tuesday of the Month. This club has gone from strength to strength, with members displaying a variety of talents.The only thing that they have not been able to master is crochet,but help is at hand with Mary Burt’s granddaughter, Hannah, willing to give instructions. Australian cross stitch was demonstrated, no one knows why this is so called, Christina Napper learnt the tricks of the trade whilst holidaying in Australia, this stitch not being known in England unless someone out there knows better,please let us know. One proud achievement is the making of 48 cushions, used in the oncology departments of local hospitals,for the comfort of breast cancer patients.Other items include many varied Christmas decorations, decupatch the art of making decorative items with little scraps of paper and glue.One of Trish’s new ventures is the making of knitted brooches which were very attractive.For the next two months the theme will be Easter but everyone is welcome and it is not necessary to make anything, just drop in for a coffee and a chat.Bring along your own project, one enthusiastic member brought her horse blanket to repair. Tables were set out with everything needed to have  go and soon everyone was knitting, stitching, glueing and pushing pieces of fabric into polystyrene shapes. This who!e session was very successfully organised and carried out with great aplomb by Trish.

Resolutions were discussed and votes taken. Sue Searle had resigned as our team convenor and Sally kindly volunteered to take over this position. Sheila Taylor spoke on behalf of all members when thanking the aforementioned Craft Club For the valiant fund raising activities they have carried out over the past months.Subscriptions were paid and names taken for the forthcoming Roadshows and Public Affairs Visit to the Avon and Somerset Police Bridgwater Custody Unit.

Competition Hand Made Item, Pat Maddaford jewellery, Sally Walker walking stick, Francis Riley knitted clothes for dolls.

Flower of the Month PT Maddaford.

Next month’s speaker is Steve Greenhalgh Somerset Road Safety.


Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – December 2015

Angela assembled us for a group photograph and at the commencement of the business matters, Trish told us of Kathy’s

decision, due to health reasons, to resign as joint President. Trish will now act alone, Kathy asked members to give Trish their continuing support and Trish thanked Kathy for her previous input and wished her a speedy recovery.

The information that Compton Dundon was selected to represent Ashcott and Pedwell at the Annual General Meeting is incorrect ,

Shapwick W I is to do this, we wait to see if they wish to do so.We are now not needed to organise the short mat bowls competitions.

A letter of thanks from Mo Retford for our contribution to the recent Group Christmas concert at Puriton where we performed an

original sketch cleverly written by Sally Walker. Trish reported on the Christmas dinner held at the Castlebrook Inn when mine hosts did us proud, we all enjoyed the food and the hospitality, thanks to Trish and Val for organising this event.

Despite Trish hitting a magnificent 63 and Anthea 55 pins, we still lost to  Middlezoy by 57 pins, hard to believe but well done Middlezoy.

Jenny Barham spoke and demonstrated on the art of creating wonderful Christmas Garlands from everyday household items and scraps of materials,preferably cut from garments with sentimental connections, thus creating a garland of memories combined with vibrant colours. No need to spend large amounts of money, Jenny expressed surprise at the prices charged at up market shops for items which can be made at home,simply and cheaply. Have a go, involve your grandchildren in making painted trees pulling them away from the I pads, is Jenny’s advice. Jenny congratulated the members who had contributed homemade craft items to the stall at the meeting and said the quality of work was exceptionally high. Sheila Taylor,in thanking Jenny, said she had been inspired with the many wonderful and original ideas.

Mary Burt won 1st prize in the Christmas 200 club draw with Mary Badman also receiving a prize. The competition for a table decoration was won by Pat Maddaford,second Angela Castle, third Trish Cox.F!ower of the Month won by Joan Carbin with Christmas Roses.

Presentations: Skittles Cup Mary Burt. Flower of the Month Cup Sally Walker.Competition Cup Janet Davies.Short Mat Bowls Competition,Certificates and Trophy Frances Riley and Anthea Bell. Village Show W I Shield Cookery Boiled Fruit Cake, Sally Walker.

The evening concluded with a drama presentation, reading of a funny poem and a very special raffle, hampers won by Kath Franks, Janet Wall and Val Day. Special sweet packages won by Val Day,Pat Mizen,Wendy Edwards, Angela Warren,Corrine Webb.

We all received a present from Secret Santa. End of another year, happy new year to everyone, see you in January, second Wednesday in the Month, new members very welcome.

Wendy Edwards.

WI Report – September 2015

P1110728This meeting took the form of a celebratory Rainbow party to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the W I movement.

Members wore bright colours, Kathy welcomed everyone including  members’ friends and Sandra Ford who is the advisor for the Polden Hills Group.After dealing,  very briefly, with the business matters, Sheila Taylor read us an excerpt from the archived minutes of 1948 when a telegram was received at 3.40 p m, Compton Dundon post office, imagine the excitement, from Buckingham Palace in which the King and Queen thanked Compton Dundon W I members for their kind loyal message congratulating the royal pair on the occasion of their Silver wedding anniversary.

The committee had worked very hard to present the hall in party mood and the supper was, as always, excellent. Mind bending paper quizzes were placed before us all, some did better than others solving the questions. Thanks to Sally Walker for this entertainment.  Trish Cox displayed many of the items made at the recent craft classes – these will be on sale at the forthcoming Big Breakfast.

Much reminiscing was done looking through the scrap books of our younger years.

Dates to Remember:

Thursday October 1 Skittles Compton Dundon  v Buckland Dinham – Cup Round – The George Inn Croscombe at 7.30 p m.
Friday October 2 Group Meeting at Woolavington.7.30 p m
Friday October 23 Skittles Compton Dundon v Puriton Ring of Bells Ashcott 7.45 p m.
Tuesday November 1 Visit to Bucklers Mead Yeovil W I.

Latest News Unfortunately, one of our members, Kath Franks has had to return to hospital following what is believed to be a slight stroke and we all send her our very best wishes and hope that she will be back with us very soon.

Wendy Edwards.

WI – July / August Activities

Ladies who Lunch met in late July at the Tapas Bar in the High Street, Street. Highly recommended. August saw us at The White Horse Haselbury Plucknett – excellent food in a tasteful dining room. The September get together will be on Friday September 18 at Winstone’s Fish and Chip Bar at Shepton Mallet.

Scrabble has taken place at Mary’s and Angela’s houses and Julie Gordon will host the next game on Tuesday September 22.

Skittles at the Castlebrook August 19 v Ashcott W I This is the first time we have played on the newly refurbished alley at the Castlebrook Compton Dundon and we learnt, to our cost,that the balls are small and the spaces between the pins large. Ashcott  conquered the difficulties before we did, resulting in a win for them by 23 pins.Both teams enjoyed a snack supper of sausage and chips.

July 24 A very successful quiz evening organised by Wendy,ably assisted by her son Robin who devised the quiz and acted as quiz master.Thanks also go to her daughter Louise who designed the posters and walked around the village with Wendy putting the posters in appropriate places. Thanks to  wonderful support from Somerton W I who fielded no less than six teams, family and friends and some W I members the whole evening went well, with lots of laughter and intelligent answers. Somerton W  I were rewarded with three of their teams taking the honours.  Thanks to Wes and Nicky, mine hosts of the Castlebrook, who worked so hard arranging all the tables and who supplied a very reasonably priced buffet supper, which was excellent.

At the annual Flower show the W I shield for the cooking competition, this year it was for a boiled fruit cake, was won by the present holder, Sally Walker, congratulations Sally.

August 23 – Atrocious weather all day, until to our great relief at 5 pm the clouds rolled away and the sun shone for our trip on Cabot’s Matthew at Bristol. Angela Castle organised this trip, we were joined by a party of friends from Langport and Somerton. A fish and chip supper was partaken on board, the mini cruise around the basin was idyllic and we saw the fantastic waterfront flats and houses also a great viewing of the SS Great Britain.A fitting finish to our summer activities, the weather has not been good but it has not stopped us enjoying ourselves.

We look forward to meeting again on Wednesday September 9 when a Rainbow Party will be held to celebrate the centenary of the W I movement.

Wendy Edwards