Womens Institute
Meeting Reports 2018
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January 2018
 

President, Elaine Barker, wished everyone a Happy New Year and gave a particularly warm welcome to the speaker, Maralyn Jenkins, who was ably assisted by her two very well-behaved companions, Chihuahua’s Jumbo and Nellie.

 

All three are volunteers with Pets as Therapy, which is a community based Animal Assisted Therapy charity operating across the length and breadth of the UK. It was founded in 1983 by Lesley Scott-Ordish and is the largest of its kind in Europe Maralyn now also “vets” new owners and dogs who wish to join.

 

Thousands of people of all ages benefit every week from the visits provided by the PAT Volunteer Teams, who visit residential homes, hospitals, hospices, schools, day care centres and prisons. Their newest project is helping to improve literacy in children by developing their confidence, interest and enjoyment in reading through their read2dogs scheme.

 

Maralyn said that it was a most rewarding experience seeing the positive response that “man’s best friend” can make to many different people in a great variety of circumstances. There are now approximately 5,000 dogs and 100 cats (plus owners) volunteering and it was inspirational to hear all the different stories.

 

After a delicious tea and chat, the meeting continued. Jill Morton was warmly welcomed back after a long absence through injury. Vanessa has resigned from the Committee and thanks were given for all her contributions. Best wishes were sent to Christine, who is returning to the Committee, but unfortunately was unable to attend as she had slipped on ice and broken her wrist.

 

Everyone had a lovely time at the Christmas party with lively entertainment and a delicious meal, again provided by Morreen, who is now retiring. Elaine thanked all those who had helped set up the tables with decorations. Suggestions were requested for replacement caterers for this year’s Xmas party.

 

A thank you letter had been received from The Pepper Foundation for the donation of £680 given to them last November. It was agreed that the charity for the present year is to be in memory of Doreen White, whose daughter suggested The Small Project Scannappeal Scheme, which raises funds to purchase life-saving equipment for Amersham, Stoke Mandeville, Wycombe and Community Hospitals.

 

There are still spaces in the two Board Game sessions which are held in members’ homes. On 7th March the BFWI are holding their now annual Investigation and Discovery Day in Aylesbury from 10-4pm. This is always an excellent science themed event. Tickets are £14.

 

One free Delegate ticket is available for the BFWI Annual Council Meeting in Aylesbury from 10.30-4pm on 18th April. In the evening of 18th April, Hyde Heath are hosting the Spring Beechwood Meeting at 7.45pm. Also, it is our turn to send a Link Delegate to the NFWI Annual meeting which is being held in Cardiff on 5th and 6th June. Ticket, travel on the Federation coach and overnight accommodation is free.

 

Elaine introduced the five shortlisted Resolutions proposed for the 2018 NFWI Annual Meeting, then Members selected individual Resolutions which will go forward to the Annual Meeting in June.

 

The next meeting will be at 8pm on 8th February when Sandra Telford will talk about “Colour, Style & Confidence”. The competition will be “Something colourful

 

 

Gillian O'Flynn

 
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February 2018

On a very cold evening a warm welcome was given to all members by President, Elaine Barker. Several people were unable to attend, and thanks were given to Mary Collins and Gillian O’Flynn for their help.

 

Details of fund raising events for both the Scannappeal Charity and the Institutes’ funds were given. The Charity Evening Ramble and Supper will be on 4th July, the Summer barbeque will be on 9 August, and Joyce Guthrie has very kindly agreed to hold a tea party at her home in the early summer. Other fundraising ideas would be gratefully received.

 

A free delegate’s ticket for the BFWI Annual Council Meeting in Aylesbury on 18th April is still available. Avril Sherratt will be our delegate attending the WI Annual Meeting in Cardiff on 5/6 June.

 

Volunteers to make up a team of three were requested for the BFWI Quiz on 27th March being held in Prestwood.

 

National Women’s Day will be on Sunday 11th March in Maidenhead to discuss “What have we achieved”.

 

The Beechwood Group Spring meeting is being held in Hyde Heath at 7.45 for 8pm on 18th April when Patricia Purcell will talk about “Tales of the Opera”.

 

Sue Flint, who trains Hearing Dogs, thanked everyone for saving stamps over several years for the Charity, but they are now no longer collecting them.

 

Sandra Telford then gave a talk on “Colour, Style & Confidence”. After a career in sales and marketing, including helping at the London Olympics in 2012, she took voluntary redundancy but after a year was looking for a new challenge.

 

A friend gave her a personal colour and style consultation and asked if she would be interested in a position with the organisation, Colour me Beautiful, who are the leading colour consultants in Europe and are also worldwide. Sandra is now an award-winning consultant.

 

Wearing the right styles and colours gives everyone, including men, confidence. It was most enlightening when Sandra selected various members to show which colour ranges flattered them most. She also gave advice about what styles suited different shaped people.

 

The next meeting will be at 8pm on 8th March when Tony Mealing will talk about “Punch and Judy”. The competition will be “A Puppet”.

 
 
Gillian O'Flynn
 
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March 2018

Unfortunately, along with several members, the Punch and Judy speaker was ill and unable to attend the March meeting.

However, President, Elaine Barker, stood in and gave a very interesting and amusing talk entitled “You Never know what you will find at the bottom of your garden”.

She spoke about her childhood living in Hanger Lane when some of the old West Twyford village fields still remained, and we could see from her photos and postcards how lovely the now built-up area used to be. Elaine then produced a surprise, a quarter jaw of an elephant found in her family’s back garden, probably a landowner’s status symbol from colonial times!

The members then took part in a fun Cryptic Quiz that Felicity Beynon and her husband had composed, which enjoyably filled the evening before a longer chat with refreshments.

Gillian O’Flynn gave a report on the very popular Investigation and Discovery day held in Aylesbury on 7 March when 4 eminent people gave talks on varied subjects.

We wish our team of Jayne Faversham, Avril Sherratt and Anne Underwood good luck for the BFWI Quiz on 27 March.

Mary Collins will be our delegate at the BFWI Annual Council meeting on 18 April, accompanied by Ann Crook.

The Beechwood Group meeting at 7.45 for 8pm on 18 April is being hosted by Hyde Heath. Patricia Purcell who was with Sadler’s Wells will give a talk on “Tales of the Opera”. Volunteers were requested to help with refreshments.

As always, the Institute will provide tea and cake in the cricket pavilion at the Village Fete on 12 May. Di Coombes and Sylvia Childs volunteered to represent the WI at the Flower Festival held in St Andrew’s Church on the same day.

On 28 June, Joyce Guthrie has kindly offered her home and garden for a fund-raising afternoon tea. Family, friends and neighbours will be very welcome.

The Summer Evening Charity Ramble, with Supper in St Andrew’s Church afterwards, will be on 18 July and the Indoor Barbeque will be in the village hall on the evening of 9 August.

Next Month’s meeting will be at 8pm on 12 April when Ken Brazier will talk about “Cycling the Pilgrimage Routes to Santiago de Compostela. The competition will be Something Spanish.

 
 
Gillian O'Flynn
 
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April 2018

President, Elaine Barker, welcomed everyone on a rather dull and damp evening with the news that, thankfully, Irene had found a replacement speaker as the original one was unfortunately ill.

 

It was announced that very sadly former member and President, Sheila Compton had passed away on 22 March 2018. She and her husband had moved from Hyde Heath to Saltburn-on-Sea 15 years ago and was remembered with fondness.

 

Margaret Dunn had sent a reminder to everyone about WI Teas at the Village Fete on 12 May The support of as many members as possible was needed for donations of cakes and help on the day.

 

It was confirmed that the Afternoon Tea Party at Joyce Guthrie’s house will be from 2.30-4.30pm on 28 June. The Summer Evening Ramble & Supper will be on 18 July. Friends and relatives are welcome to both events, which will raise funds for Scannappeal, our charity for this year.

 

On the evening of 9 August, the Annual Indoor Barbeque will be held in the Village Hall.

 

Congratulations were given to our team of Avril Sherratt, Jayne Faversham and Anne Underwood who took part in the BFWI Quiz on 27 March and enjoyed a challenging evening finishing just over half-way down the list of 34 teams.

Our speaker, Jeff Rozelaar, then gave a fascinating and amusing talk, his third

one of the day, on Bagels and Bacon. He was born in the East End of London where Jack the Ripper preyed on his poor victims. Some of his neighbours past and present included Lionel Bart, the Kray brothers and Barbara Windsor!

 

The title of the talk emanates from the smells of the cafes and stalls serving this food. Even though he was Jewish, he couldn’t resist buying the bacon to go in the bagel.

 

Jeff described his life, living about 600 yards from the Tower of London in the 1940’s and 1950’s, illuminating it with snippets of songs from music halls and musicals. He had produced a book of his experiences, which was available to purchase.

 

The next meeting will be at 8pm on 10 May when the Resolution “Help us End Plastic Soup” will be discussed. There will also be a Bring & Buy table.

 
 
Gillian O'Flynn
 
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May 2018

Although there were quite a few absences for the Resolutions meeting, Elaine welcomed everyone and reported that she had received several very positive comments for the Beechwood Group Meeting last month and for the entertaining and amusing Opera Singer, Patricia Purcell.

 

Thanks were given to all the members who had provided food and helped set up the hall.

 

Di Coombes and Sylvia Childs had volunteered to provide an arrangement for the Flower Festival in St Andrew’s Church and Margaret Dunn was again organising the rota to provide tea and cakes in the cricket pavilion on the day of the village fete, which was very much appreciated.

 

The afternoon tea party being held at Joyce Guthrie’s home will be on 28 June from 2.30-4.30pm. There will be a raffle and Bring & Buy and the cost on entry will be £2.50.

 

The Summer Evening Ramble with Supper will be on 18th July at 6 for 6.15pm. Tickets cost £6. Supper will be at approximately 7.45pm when non-walkers should arrive.

 

WI members, friends and family will be most welcome to each event and the proceeds of both the Tea Party and Ramble will go towards our Charity, Scannappeal.

 

Also, the Annual Indoor Barbeque will be held in the village hall on the evening of 9 August.

 

Jayne Faversham then presented the Resolution “Mental Health Matters” which was discussed and voted for unanimously. Avril Sherratt will be the delegate representing Hyde Heath at the NFWI meeting in Cardiff on 6 June.

 

There was a request in the Newsletter for all BFWI’s to submit an entry to be included in a new Buckinghamshire Village Book in time for the Centenary in 2020. Pam Epps volunteered to help.

 

It was agreed by members to continue to give a subscription to Bucks Bounty (previously the Friends Club).

 

The next meeting will be on 14 June when Paul Rabbitt will talk about “A Life in Landscape: Park, People and Places”. The competition is “A Scenic Postcard”. Volunteers to organise a monthly walk were requested.

 
Gillian O'Flynn
 
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June 2018

President, Elaine Barker, thanked everyone for their support donating cakes and serving teas in the cricket pavilion at the village fete, and particularly to Margaret Dunn for her sterling work. £452.65p was raised.

 

Thanks were also given to Di Coombes and Sylvia Childs who created a wonderful display for the flower festival in St Andrew’s Church.

 

Avril Sherratt reported on her attendance at the NFWI annual meeting in Cardiff on 6 June when the only Resolution “Mental Health Matters” was overwhelmingly passed. 85 new Institutes have been created and 220,000 new members have joined. The Denman Appeal Fund is now closed and has raised £661,978.91p. Both the speakers, Stella Rimmington and the news reader, Hugh Edwards were very eloquent.

 

A reminder was given about the Afternoon Tea at Joyce Guthrie’s home on 28 June between 2.30-4.30pm. Cost will be £2.50 and donations of cakes, Bring & Buy items and raffle prizes would be much appreciated.

 

Also, on 18 July the Evening Ramble and Supper will take place starting at St Andrew’s Church at 6 for 6.15pm. Supper will served in the Church at about 7.45pm and non-walkers are welcome. Cost will be £6. Please bring your own cutlery and plates.

 

WI members, family and friends are welcome to both these events and the proceeds of them will go towards our Charity, Scannappeal.

 

A Summer “Indoor Barbeque” will be held in the village hall on 9th August at 6.30 for 6.45pm. Tickets will cost £7.50. Donations of deserts and raffle prizes would again be appreciated. Proceeds from the raffle will also go to Scannappeal.

 

A contribution to The Buckinghamshire Village Book will be produced to mark the BFWI Centenary in 2020 and anyone interested can join a small group of members. Also, if anyone would like to make a pennant for the Centenary, please let a committee member know.

 

Sponsorship was suggested for Pam Ruff who is doing a Swim Marathon to raise funds for the charity “Cherished Gowns UK” who support families who have premature or still born babies.

 

Speaker, Paul Rabbitts, made a welcome return to talk this time about “A Life in Landscape: Parks, People & Places”. His career in landscape design has taken him all over the country from Jersey to Edinburgh and a lot of places in between, working for councils and private people.

 

His designs have included a variety of small playgrounds to vast parks and buildings, entrance gates to large private gardens and mansions. He has now worked for more than 7 years at Watford Council overseeing their parks, including the renovation of Cassiobury Park, and cemeteries. It was a fascinating story of his career and the people he has worked with.

 

The next meeting will be at 8pm on 12th July in St Andrew’s Church as the village hall is unavailable. The speaker, Denise Beddows, will talk about “Bucks Spies & Subversives”. The competition will be “A Magnifying Glass

Gillian O'Flynn
 
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July 2018
 

In Elaine’s absence on holiday, Vice President, Felicity Beynon, welcomed everyone to the meeting in St Andrew’s Church, which we were very lucky to be able to use as the hall was unavailable.

 

A Get Well card was signed by all members present for Jan Newman, who we were very sorry to hear had a bad accident on holiday and is in hospital in Taunton.

 

Would everyone please let Mary Rose or Felicity have their response to the GDPR form.

 

Thanks were given to Joyce for letting us use her home and garden for a most enjoyable Afternoon Tea. £268.86 was raised for our charity.

 

The Charity Summer Ramble and Supper is next Wednesday, 18th July tickets £6. Time 6 for 6.15pm meeting at St Andrew’s Church to start the walk, or non-walkers should arrive about 7.30pm. This year’s charity, Scannappeal is in memory of Doreen White, who sadly died last year and Felicity was pleased to announce that her Husband, Mike, would join us for the evening.

 

Please bring plates and cutlery for the Summer Indoor BBQ in the village hall which is on 9th August at 6.30 for 6.45pm. Tickets cost £7.50, which will go towards our funds. Volunteers were requested to provide salads and desserts. We shall also need raffle prizes, funds from which will go to our charity. A special request was made by Margaret and Pam, who have very kindly offered to prepare the meat, for anyone requiring a special menu to let them know.

 

In 2020 the BFWI celebrate their centenary. They have asked each Institute to provide a pennant. If you are interested, please let the Committee know. If you have any used stamps please let Jayne have them for the Marie Curie collection at Amersham Hospital.

 

If anyone is interested in taking part in this year’s Jigsaw Challenge on 30th October, let Felicity or the Committee know.

 

After the BBQ in August, the next meeting will be at 8pm on 13th September when Peter Hague will talk about “ Inside the World of a TV Film Extra”.

 

The competition will be An Autograph/Autograph Book.

 

Denise Beddows then spoke about and showed slides of “Bucks Spies & Subversives”, about which she had written a book under her maiden name of D.J. Kelly.

 

When she retired 8 years ago, she joined the local historical group in her home area of Chalfont St Peter and became so fascinated with the subject that she start to investigate and found there were a surprisingly large number in Bucks from as early as 600 years ago to the present day.

 

These included The Amersham Martyrs, the Digby family in Bucks who were involved in the Gunpowder Plot and the notorious Hell Fire Club, who were known for their drinking and debauchery but also for spying.

 

Many suffragettes were jailed in Aylesbury.

 

In WWI Vernan Kell, who was with the Special Branch, started MI5 (domestic terrorism) while MI6 covers Britains interests overseas. There were various venues used for code breaking such as Bletchley Park and Hughenden.

 

It was a really fascinating subject and some members bought her books to learn more.

 
Gillian O'Flynn
 
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