Womens Institute
Meeting Reports 2016
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Programme 2016  -  here



November 2016


A warm welcome was given to the smaller number of members who were able to attend the AGM meeting.


Elaine Barker reported on the Beechwood Group meeting held last month which was a really lovely event with beautiful table decorations, delicious food and wine.  The speaker, who was the first Fireman to attend the Windsor Castle fire 24 years ago, gave a most informative and fascinating talk and slide show.


Mary Collins told the meeting about the Jigsaw Puzzle Quiz in which she, Di Coombes and Pam Ruff did very well and thoroughly enjoyed.


A reminder was given of Vanessa Culmer’s fund raising coffee morning and raffle on 17th November.  She also needs more favourite recipes from members to be included in the book, which will be on sale next year.


Unfortunately, the visit to Kew Christmas Lights being organised by Pauline Richards has had to be cancelled due to insufficient numbers.


Gillian O’Flynn spoke about the Monthly Report Book which was started in 2002 by Janet Newman and continued by Gillian since January 2004.  The book also contains photographs of various walks and trips together with articles of interest.  The Report appears in the Bucks Examiner and Chris Sargeant puts it on the village web site for all to read.


The Institute took a stall to sell home made cakes at the Hyde Heath Toddler Group coffee morning in Hyde Heath on 12th November. 


The Christmas celebration will be on 8th December, 7.15 for 7.30pm when this year a caterer will be providing a two course meal, including a glass of wine or soft drink and coffee.  The entertainer will be Ray Spiller.


Elaine thanked those who had taken part in the Avoid Food Waste campaign.  She announced that the London Walk had to be cancelled but asked for volunteers to organise walks for next year. 


Suggestions for a charity for 2017 were requested.  One had already been put forward in memory of member, Val Bevan, who with her Husband, Dave, had been staunch volunteers of the Pepper Foundation which funds hospice at home palliative care for life-limited children.


The AGM then commenced with Elaine Barker, President, addressing the meeting.  She thanked everyone for all their support and encouragement in her first year.  Avril Sherratt, Treasurer, presented the financial statement, which was adopted, as was the Annual Report, which had already been issued to Members.


The nine existing Committee members were unanimously re-elected and Elaine Barker was elected to continue as President.


There followed a Christmas Song Quiz which was won by Christine Richfield Andrews.


The 2017 meeting will be on 13th January at 8pm when the speaker will talk about Punch and Judy Puppets.



Gillian O'Flynn                                               Top of Page                         Up                         Home




October 2016


President, Elaine Barker, welcomed everyone to the October meeting and said that Elizabeth Gordon had asked that thanks be given to all members who had supported the Macmillan Coffee morning on 30th September, which raised a magnificent £774.40p.


Good luck wishes were given to our Jigsaw Challenge team of Pam Ruff, Mary Collins and Di Coombes which takes place on 27th October.


Vanessa Culmer is holding a Coffee Morning with Raffle on 17th November and the Christmas party, with supper and entertainment, will be on 8th December with tickets costing £14.


Secretary, Mary Rose, asked for volunteers to take part in the WI Food Waste Survey.


A London walk has been suggested for 18th November which Jayne Faversham is organising.  Also Pauline Richards has offered to organise a coach trip on 1st December to see the Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, departing at 4pm.


This month’s speaker, Julia Davis, was welcomed.  She gave a resume of her working life in various jobs in the NHS, finally working in a child protection team identifying vulnerable children.


After retirement she realized that she needed to occupy herself and after an extensive 6 months training became a volunteer with the Citizens’ Advice organisation.


It is a very complex job covering a large variety of problems but the main ones she has to deal with are debt, work issues, benefit, housing, consumer and immigration.  They are open to everyone, it is a free service and confidential.


They are a charity and rely on donations from Local Authorities, businesses and organisations.   However, some Local Authorities, such as Slough, no longer give support and that CAB office has had to close.


Not only does the CAB support the general public, they are a powerful organisation which can bring pressure on the government when legislation needs to be improved.


Members were given a hypothetical typical case to see if we could identify the man’s problems and work out how to help the family.


The next meeting will be at 8pm on 10th November which will be the Annual Meeting with a Bring & Buy Sale and Quiz.  If any members would like to join the Committee or help in any way, they would be most welcome.



Gillian O'Flynn                                               Top of Page                         Up                         Home




September 2016


President, Elaine Barker, welcomed everyone back after a lovely summer and gave a big thank you to all who helped make the Summer Barbeque such a success.  The raffle raised £92 for our charity Bucks MIND.


A reminder was given about the Wine Tasting on 1st October as more tickets, costing £10, needed to be sold to make it a viable event.  Also Vanessa needed more recipes to be included in a booklet to be produced for the October meeting.


The Beechwood Group meeting will be on 19th October at Ballinger when the speaker will talk about his experience as the first fireman to arrive at the Windsor Castle fire.  


The team for the BFWI Jigsaw Challenge on 27th October will be Mary Collins, Di Coombes and Pam Ruff.


A walk is being organised for October, details to be announced, and volunteers to organise and lead a walk are always welcome.


Vanessa has kindly offered to host a coffee morning later in November.


This year’s Christmas Party will have a caterer so that everyone can relax and enjoy the event.  Entertainment will be provided by a Magician.  The subsidised cost of tickets will be £14 to include a drink.


Treasurer, Avril Sherratt announced that the 2017 subscription will go up by £1.50 to £39 which will give a share of £19 to the WI, up by £1.


Volunteers were asked to help with a Supermarket Investigation questionnaire and food waste survey.


It was felt by members that as a small WI Group, Hyde Heath would not need proxy voting for a President and Committee.


The guest speaker, Paul Healey, then gave an extremely interesting talk on his two very adventurous trips on antiquated motorbikes in the Tibetan Hills.  


Twelve years ago Tibet opened its borders and at the age of 70 he travelled with a group of enthusiasts, including his two sons then aged about 40, from Kathmandu to Nepal. They were the first European visitors to travel through rural areas


It turned out to be an incredible, but at times terrifying, journey over mountains on very rough and dangerous tracks particularly for the first 25 miles.  At one time nearly coming off and at another stopping, he didn’t know how, at the edge of a sheer drop down a mountain after skidding.


The accommodation, ablutions and food were worse than basic, at one time a mule was pushed out of its stable to allow them to sleep in it!  One of Paul’s sons suffered from severe altitude sickness when in one afternoon they drove up from 4,500 feet to 12,500 feet.  


In Nepal the roads were decent and the accommodation improved. They had a Chinese minder and saw some wonderful ancient buildings, including the Dalai Llama’s old palace.


The next meeting will be at 8pm on 13th October when Julia Davis will talk about the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.  The competition will be “Something Autumnal”.



Gillian O'Flynn                                               Top of Page                         Up                         Home




July 2016


President, Elaine Barker, gave a warm welcome on a lovely warm summer evening to all members and two guests.


Christine Richfield Andrews reported on a very enjoyable walk up and down the hill from The Shoulder of Mutton at Wendover to Coombe Hill last month.  Volunteers to organise walks in August and September were requested.


Photos of the tea ladies in the new Hyde Heath WI aprons serving at the village fete were on display.  Vanessa is collecting recipes to incorporate into a cookbook to be produced for sale before Christmas.


The summer ramble on the 6th July raised £200 for the charity Buckinghamshire Mind.


The August meeting will be the summer indoor barbeque on 11th August at 6.30pm for 6.45pm, costing £7.50.  The proceeds of the raffle will go to the charity.  Requests were made for deserts, salads and raffle prizes.


Another reminder was given for the Wine tasting and light refreshments in the evening of 1st October, costing £10 a ticket.  


The Autumn Beechwood Group meeting will be on 19th October at Ballinger when one of the first firemen to arrive at the Windsor Castle fire will be the speaker.


Members were asked if they would like to complete in the annual Jigsaw Challenge  on 27th October.  


Paul Rabbitt then gave an interesting, amusing and informative talk about the Decline


Gillian O'Flynn                                               Top of Page                         Up                         Home




June 2016


President, Elaine Barker, welcomed everyone including one visitor, to the meeting on a lovely summer’s evening.  She also welcomed the speaker, Keith Jansz and his Wife, Cindy, who spoke very enthusiastically about the history of The Mouth & Foot Painting Artists Association.


Arnulf Erich Stegmann was born in 1912 in Germany.  When he was two years old he developed polio and lost the use of both arms.  His artistic talents were recognized and supported by his teachers and he soon became proficient at painting using his mouth.


He struggled to live through the difficulties of the war in Nazi Germany and was imprisoned for 18 months for being outspoken as an enemy of the State. However, in1956 his vision to form a self help group of disabled artists came to fruition and he became the first President of the Association.


In 1995 Keith suffered a broken neck in a tragic car accident which left him paralysed from the shoulders down and is now wheelchair bound.  After 6 months in Stoke Mandeville hospital, his Mother gave him a book called “Painters First” with biographies of the Mouth & Foot Painting Artists.


Keen to encourage him, his wife Cindy arranged a meeting with the mouth artist, Trevor Wells, who persuaded Keith to try painting with his mouth.


Despite disastrous early efforts in, 1998 Keith was accepted as a student artist in the organisation, becoming a full member in 2000 and now his prints and work have been exhibited and sold around the world.


He uses a sports mouth guard attached to a bent arrow with brushes fitted on the end.  He brought along a variety of examples of his work, which were astonishing, filled with light and atmosphere.


The Association supports not only disabled artists but other charities too such as the RNLI.


Whilst consuming a delicious tea, Elaine gave a very big thank you to everyone who had helped by donating cakes and help at the Fete, and also to Sylvia Childs for a beautiful arrangement in the St Andrew’s Flower Festival. 


The largest amount ever was raised, £815, towards the Village Hall and a lovely letter of thanks for the WI’s efforts had been received from David Coulton, who also thanked us for the contribution towards the defibrillator.


 The Summer Evening Ramble is on 6th July meeting at 6pm for a 6.15pm start to the walk and returning about 7.45pm for Supper in St Andrew’s Church.  The Indoor BBQ is on 11th August at 6.30pm.  Also on 1st October there will be a Wine Tasting with light supper.  Family and friends are very welcome to all these events.


If anyone has a recipe or two which can be included in the Hyde Heath WI Cookbook, please send them to Vanessa Culmer.


Julia Thornton, who works with the organisation across the County, told us about the work of Buckinghamshire Mind, which we are supporting this year. 


The next meeting will be on 14th July when Paul Rabbitt will talk about “Bandstands – Decline & Revival”.  The competition is a “Musical Instrument”.


Gillian O'Flynn                                               Top of Page                         Up                         Home


May 2016


President, Elaine Barker, welcomed everyone to the May meeting and announced that the Car Boot sale at Denham was a great success and raised £291.50p.  Mary Collins, Doreen White and Janet Manson were thanked for all their efforts.


Felicity Beynon reported on the very enjoyable Beechwood Group meeting in Wendover when the majority of members wore red, white and blue and enjoyed a glass of “bubbly” with celebratory cakes to commemorate the Queen’s birthday.  The speaker, Richard de Peyer, Director of Bucks County Museum in Aylesbury gave a very informative talk about the Museum’s restructuring for 21st Century.


Judith Butt reported on the Bucks Federation Annual Meeting held in the Watersmeet Theatre in Aylesbury on 27th April which was also attended by Elaine and Mary Collins.  The speakers were excellent and a super video of last year’s centenary celebrations was shown.


Thanks were given to Julia who held a very successful coffee morning at her home, which raised £123.75p for the charity Bucks MIND.  A letter of thanks had been received from Andrea McCubbin, Chief Executive of MIND.


A report of the delightful “bluebell” walk on 29th April around Swan Bottom was given by Gillian O’Flynn. 


It has been suggested that a donation of £50 be given towards the costs of the defibrillator positioned outside the Village Hall.


Great Missenden are closing the High Street on 11th June for a celebration of the Queen’s Birthday and their WI will have a produce and cake stall.


The Charity Summer Ramble with supper will be on 6th July at 6pm for 6.15pm. Non walkers are welcome to the supper at about 7.45pm.  The Summer Indoor BBQ will be in the evening of 11th August in the Village Hall.  There will be a Wine Tasting evening with light supper on 1st October also in the Village Hall.


Gary Beynon came to the meeting to tell members about the Christopher Project to raise funds for repair and conservation at St John the Baptist Church in Little Missenden which has some rare wall paintings which need to be preserved.  It is one of the criteria of the Heritage Lottery Funding to make local people aware of what is proposed.


After a delicious tea Barbara Aris presented the two Resolutions on “Avoid food waste and address food poverty”  and “Appropriate Care in hospitals for people with dementia”,  which were discussed and voted upon.


The next meeting will be at 8pm on 9th June when Keith Jansz will talk about “The History of Mouth & Foot Painting Artists”.  The competition will be Miniature Art.


Next month’s walk will be on 17th June meeting at 10am in the car park of The Shoulder of Mutton in Wendover for a 4 mile walk around Coombe Hill.




Gillian O'Flynn                                               Top of Page                         Up                         Home


April 2016


President, Elaine Barker, opened the April meeting with the very sad news of the deaths of both Maggie Mulberry and Val Bevan.  Both will be remembered with great affection and condolence cards have been sent to both families.


The County Quiz team of Christine, Avril and Elaine were thanked for representing Hyde Heath.  Gillian O’Flynn reported on the most enjoyable, if a little boggy, Black Poplar walk around Wilstone last month. 


Also members’ attention was drawn to the Huxley Cup competition for floral art being held at Greys Court, which will be open to members to visit on 15th and 16th September.  This was the former home of Lady Brunner, NFWI Chairman from 1951-56.


This year funds are being raised for Buckinghamshire MIND, which works to support and represent people with mental health needs in the local community.   A coffee morning was held on 15th April by Julia Thornton, who is a volunteer with MIND.  On 6th July there will be a Summer Evening Ramble followed by supper in St Andrews Church.  Also on 1st October there will be a Wine Tasting in the Village Hall when friends and families will be very welcome.


The Beechwood Group Meeting will be at 7.45 for 8pm on 21st April at St Anne’s Church Hall in Wendover.  To celebrate HM The Queen’s 90th birthday, refreshments for the evening will be “Cake & Fizz” and members attending are asked to wear red, white and/or blue if possible to add to the atmosphere.


The Summer Evening BBQ will be on 11th August in the shelter of the Village Hall.


Margaret Dunn is co-ordinating arrangements for afternoon teas at the Village Fete on 14th May and would really appreciate as many volunteers as possible to help on the day and donations of cakes.


A project is being organised by Vanessa Culmer to raise funds by producing a Hyde Heath Evening WI Cookbook and members were asked for contributions of their favourite recipes.


The next walk will be on 29th April meeting at 10.30am at The Old Swan pub at Swan Bottom to view the bluebells around The Lee.


Graham Laurie then gave a most interesting talk, slide and film show about “The Royal Flying Doctor Service and the $20 note”. 


Rev John Flynn (1880-1951) was a minister in the church and was responsible for looking after people in the vast tough area known as “the outback”. He found that there was virtually no medical assistance.  In the early days the mode of transport was more likely to be a camel with communication by self powered telegraph using Morse code.


The idea of the flying doctor service was born when Lt Clifford Peel of the Australian Army saw a doctor flying his own plane. He discussed his idea with the Rev John Flynn, whose picture appears on the $20 note and Hugh McKay, a very wealthy man, who left money in his Will in 1928 to fund the start of the Australian Aerial Medical Service.


Next month’s meeting will be at 8pm on 12th May to discuss the Resolutions.  There will be a Bring and Buy table plus a fun quiz.



Gillian O'Flynn                                               Top of Page                         Up                         Home





March 2016


President, Elaine Barker, welcomed all members and visitors to the March meeting and also the speaker, Mrs Janet Dineen, who spoke about “Old Buckinghamshire Cooking”   


She announced that it would be her last talk as she was retiring after tonight from the speaker’s circuit having given about 77 other talks over the years.  


Mrs Dineen was also a lace maker and the meeting was entertained with many stories, tastings and recipes from 17th and 18th centuries which were used, particularly on the Lacemakers celebration days, in the different areas of Buckinghamshire.   


Nowadays, these are a very strange mixture of ingredients such as a mixture of wheat, honey and spice called Frumenty, Bucks badger with suet pastry cooked in a cloth and Edlesborough had cherry pudding with bacon and beans! 


All the big houses such as Shardeloes, Chequers and Lowndes had cooks with their own recipes and there was also the well known Eton Mess.   


The pitch at the car boot sale in Denham on 16th April will be manned by Mary Collins, Doreen White and Linda Drummond.  All contributions will be welcomed. 


Vanessa Culmer modelled one of the new aprons with the Hyde Heath WI logo on, which will be worn at events such as the Village Fete teas to advertise our presence. 


A request was made for a volunteer to do an arrangement for the St Andrews Flower Festival on the fete day.  Also volunteers were requested to make cakes and serve teas at the fete which will be on 14th May. 


Unfortunately the trip to the BBC has been cancelled as they have suspended all tours. 


The next walk organised by Barbara Aris will be starting at 11am on 1st April from The Half Moon pub at Wilstone. 


A team will be competing at the BFWI Quiz on 8th April.  Other forthcoming events include a Charity coffee morning to be held at Julia’s house on 15th April and the Beechwood Group meeting will be held in St Anne’s Hall, Wendover on 21st April.   


Contributions to the Work Aid plant stall on 28th May have been requested.  Eve Brown was this month’s competition winner. 


A Defibrillator has been fitted on the wall of the Village Hall next to the shop and instruction leaflets were available. These have also been distributed to all households in the village. 


The next meeting will be on 14th April at 8pm when Graham Laurie will talk about the Royal Flying Doctor Service.  The competition will be “An Australian Souvenir”. 


Gillian O'Flynn

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February 2016


On a frosty night President, Elaine Barker, gave everyone a warm welcome to the February meeting.


Vanessa announced that the aprons with the Hyde Heath WI logo on would cost £14.74 and she would model the first one!


The four suggestions for this year’s charity were put to the meeting and voted on with Buckinghamshire MIND being chosen.  They work to support and represent people with mental health needs in the local community.


Charity fund raising events suggested were two coffee mornings, one in the spring and the other in the autumn, a summer ramble with supper and a cheese and wine evening on a date still to be arranged. Any further ideas would be welcomed.


Mary Collins and Doreen White are very kindly organising to take a pitch at a Car Boot sale again on 16th April and would be very grateful for donations of suitable items.


A reminder was given that the Beechwood Group meeting will be at 7.45 for 8pm on 21st April at St Anne’s Church Hall, Wendover.  The talk about the Buckinghamshire County Museum will be given by the Museum Director or Deputy.


Barbara Aris will be organising the first walk of the year around the Black Poplar Trail at Wilstone and Long Marston to take place on 1st April. 


Mr Alan Jones, a retired vet, gave a fascinating talk about his life as a bird vet and exotic creatures.  His work had taken him to many countries around the world and in 1987 he became a founding member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians started in America.


Unfortunately, at one meeting he became quite ill and was taken to hospital where it was diagnosed that he had caught Psittacosis, which is a very unpleasant parrot disease.  He did, with treatment, fully recover.


His Grandfather had started his interest in birds watching them on the feeders.  He went to the Royal Veterinary College and started work with farm animals but found it more rewarding dealing with pets and their owners.


Alan told us so many interesting facts about birds such as the Kiwi from New Zealand produce, for their size, the largest eggs in the world!  Some rare pets that he has dealt with, like the Hyacinth Macaw, can cost up to £20,000.


He has treated a huge variety of creatures from tortoises, owls, porcupines (very difficult to handle) snakes, peregrine falcons as well as a pet cheetah.


Di Coombes was the competition winner this month with “A Feathered Friend” and Pam Ruff won the raffle.


The next meeting will be at 8pm on 10th March when Janet Dineen will be talking about Old Buckinghamshire Cooking.  The competition is a Favourite Cooking Utensil.


Gillian O'Flynn

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January 2016


The newly elected President, Elaine Barker, wished all members including two new ones, a very warm welcome for the New Year.


Jayne Faversham, past President, presented a charity cheque for £590 to Linda Carroll from SPACE Support (Chesham).  She was most delighted and also said how much she had enjoyed joining Hyde Heath for some of the fund raising events held during the past year.


Elaine announced the new Committee members together with members who had volunteered to help with various functions.


Voting took place after Barbara Aris had presented the eight Resolutions for members to select, which will be taken forward to the NFWI Annual Meeting at the Brighton Centre in June. 


It has been suggested that aprons with the Hyde Heath WI logo on be purchased for general use by members at events such as teas at the village fete.  Vanessa Culmer has investigated a supplier.


Forthcoming events include the Investigation & Discovery day in Aylesbury on 7th March; a team will be put forward for the County quiz on 8th April in Great Missenden; the BFWI are organising a coach trip to the Royal Academy for the Monet to Matisse exhibition; and Elaine will be attending the BFWI Annual Council Meeting in Aylesbury on 27th April.


It has been suggested that a Craft and Produce exhibition and competition be included in the village fete next May and individual members may like to take part.


Christine Richfield-Andrews reported on an interesting and useful meeting she attended in November at the Judges Chambers in Aylesbury and Elaine commented that a group of members had a very informative visit to Work Aid in Chesham last month.


Thanks were given to Barbara for organising the very enjoyable New Year Battle of Britain walk in London last week.


Peter Hague gave a fascinating and lively talk and slideshow into the history of West Wycombe Park and the Dashwood family.  It was a great relief that his equipment still worked as earlier in the evening it had crashed onto the floor when the table had collapsed!  


The National Trust now own the property but the family still live in the Palladian style house and own the pictures and furniture together with the notorious Hell Fire Caves. These were used by the 2nd Baronet Francis Dashwood, who was a very colourful character.


The next meeting will be at 8pm on 11th February when Alan Jones will talk about “My Life as a Bird Vet”.  The competition will be “A Feathered Friend”.

Gillian O'Flynn

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