Womens Institute
Meeting Reports 2019
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January
 

Our new President, Jayne Faversham, wished everyone a Happy New Year and gave a very warm welcome to everyone including new member, Jean Donocik. She particularly thanked Margaret Dunn for sending each member a birthday card throughout the year

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It was agreed by all present that the Christmas party in December was a great success, with a delicious meal provided by Anne Tenant and really enjoyable entertainment given by Bucks Voices Choir.

 

A thank you letter had been received from Amanda Martin of Scannappeal who very much appreciated the cheque for £880. Jayne suggested and it was agreed that this year’s charity would be the Parkinson’s UK Amersham & High Wycombe Group in memory of member, Janet Newman, who sadly died from the illness on 7th November last year.

 

A reminder was given to members who provided teas each month that they are entitled to £4 to help cover costs and should claim this from Treasurer, Avril.

 

The team for the Inter-County Quiz to be held on 28th March will be Anne Underwood, Christine Richfield Andrews and Jean Donocik.

 

The six Resolutions were presented to the members and voted upon. These will go forward to the NFWI Annual Meeting in June.

 

Anne Lloyd Jones and Christine will be the Delegate and Observer attending the BFWI Council Meeting in Aylesbury on 1st May when the speakers will include Naturalist Simon King, Steve Irons, Bucks Resilience Officer and His Honour Judge Francis Sheridan.

 

Monthly walks with a pub lunch are hoping to be started in the Spring and any ideas and voluntary organisers would be appreciated. £1 each is given towards the charity.

 

Pam Ruff had brought in a jigsaw from each of the last three Challenges if anyone would like to borrow them.

 

Ruth Dunkin, daughter of member, Felicity Beynon, gave a very informative and interesting presentation on the work of the Air Ambulance in general and Thames Valley in particular, for whom she has worked for the past 3½ years.

London’s Air Ambulance is celebrating 30 years while Thames Valley has been operating for 20 years. Their slogan is “We give you the best chance when the worst happens”.

 

It is funded entirely by donations and operates from 7am until 2am 365 days a year. The service has 39 aircraft, and has treated 25,000 of the most critically ill or seriously injured patients in their time of need.

 

The helicopters are based at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire and have a pilot, a doctor and one or two paramedics on board each one. They are able to treat the patients on site with the latest equipment as if they were in A&E. The helicopter is now supported by fast response vehicles.

 

The next meeting is at 8pm on 14th February when Sandra Hurst will speak about “Tibet – The Forbidden Land”. Visitors are very welcome.

 

 
Gillian O'Flynn
 
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February
 

Vice President, Elaine Barker, stood in for President, Jayne Faversham. Best wishes for a speedy recovery were sent to her husband. A special welcome was given to a new guest and also our speaker, Sandra Hurst.

 

The Beechwood Group Spring meeting is being held on 3 April, 7.15 for 7.30pm in Ballinger. Tickets are £4 and the speaker will be Simon Michael, Barrister and best-selling author. His book “My Life in Crime” will be available to purchase on the night.

 

The Hyde Heath Fete is on 11 May and Margaret Dunn announced that there will be a new format this year, but would be grateful for volunteers to help with teas and provision of cakes to be sold as usual in the cricket pavilion. The Flower Festival will also be held in St Andrew’s Church and a volunteer arranger was asked for.

 

Joyce Guthrie has very kindly offered her home and garden again for afternoon tea on 6th June to raise funds for this year’s charity, Parkinson’s UK (Amersham & High Wycombe Group). If anyone would like to host a coffee morning in the next couple of months, we would be pleased to hear from you.

 

Barbara Aris is hoping to organise a walk in London and Jayne suggested a Lunch Get Together in a local pub. A contribution of £1 each goes towards the charity.

 

Bill Newman sent a lovely letter to the WI to ask if any friends of his late wife, Jan Newman, would like to contribute to a tribute page on the web.

 

Work Aid still need bottle tops for washers and card board from cereal boxes or similar for use as labels. Old stamps are being sent to Marie Curie.

 

Eve brought in some old photographs from 1965 showing a WI play that she performed in and asked older members if they could recognise anyone.

Sandra Hurst then gave a talk and slide show of a wonderful, and strenuous, month long trip she made eight years ago with two friends to “The Forbidden Land of Tibet”. We were given fascinating details of the country’s long history, geology, religions, buildings, food and people and learnt many new details about the country.

 

Tibet was invaded on a number of occasions by India, Russia and Great Britain, which led to the Tibetans refusing to allow anyone into the country for many years. It was quite difficult for Sandra to get visas and she and her friends had to travel there by a very circuitous route to get there.

 

It is one of the least populated countries in the world and also has the largest and highest plateau, which is permanently covered with permafrost. Yak tribes live a very poor, harsh life in contrast to the enormous elaborate palaces built for the Dalai Lamas. The present Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India for many years.

 

China is now investing a lot of money and labour to build roads and a tourist centre near the foot of Everest. Shockingly, the height of Everest is reducing quite considerable every day due to climate warming.

 

Next month’s meeting will be at 8pm on 14 March when Ken Brazier will talk about “Cycling the Pilgrimage Routes to Santiago de Compostela.

 

 

Gillian O'Flynn
 
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March

 

President, Jayne Faversham, gave a warm welcome to everyone and in particular to our speaker, Ken Brazier and his Wife, who gave a fascinating talk and slide show on his cycling pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela.

 

He had made a number of trips with friends taking different routes and over several years had raised an amazing £78,000 for the charity Mercy Ships. This is an international faith-based charity that operates the largest civilian hospital ship in the world, delivering vital, free healthcare to some of the world’s poorest countries.

 

Mercy Ships have around 400 volunteers at any one time who comprise doctors and nurses, cooks, teachers, receptionists, mechanics, IT specialists, engineers and cleaners. They are soon to have a second ship coming into service.

 

Forthcoming events include the Beechwood Group Spring meeting to be held on 3rd April, 7.15 for 7.30m, at Ballinger.

 

Julia Thornton and Ruth Coulton are holding a charity fund raising coffee morning at Julia’s house on 25th April from 10am–12pm in aid of Parkinson’s UK (Amersham & High Wycombe group). Cakes, raffle prizes and bring & buy items will be very welcome.

 

Joyce Guthrie has again generously offered the use of her beautiful house and garden for afternoon tea on 6th June. Tickets will be £3.

 

The third charity fund raising event on 17th July will be the Summer Evening Ramble and Supper, which will be in St Andrew’s Church. All family, friends and neighbours are very welcome to these three events.

 

Good luck wishes were given to our BFWI Quiz team of Jean Donocik, Christine Richfield-Andrews and Anne Underwood which takes place on 28th March.

 

A group of members are meeting for lunch at the Red Lion, Great Kingshill on 29th March as there are no walks planned at present.

 

Pam Epps gave a resume of the very interesting and informative Science & Discovery day held at the Gateway Centre in Aylesbury held on 5th March, which five members attended.

 

Margaret Dunn requested more volunteers to help with the teas and cakes on 11th May at the village fete, which will be in a different format this year,. Di Coombes and Sylvia Childs kindly offered to do an arrangement on behalf of the WI for the St Andrew’s Church Flower Festival which is held on the same day.

 

The next meeting will be at 8pm on 11th April when Andrew Waite will speak about an “Introduction to Gemstones”.


Gillian O'Flynn
 
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April
 

Jayne Faversham, President, opened the meeting by introducing our speaker for the evening, Andrew Waite, who gave a talk and slide show on Gemstones and Crystals. It was an ideal subject for a room full of ladies!

 

Most gemstones such as diamonds, amethyst, sapphire, ruby etc are mined from rocks that originally had been subject to volcanic eruptions. But one of the most fascinating is amber, which formed over 30 million years ago from the sap of pine trees. Some encapsulated insects, moss and leaves giving an insight into what was alive then.

 

Quartz and amber are, in some parts of the world, found washed up on the beaches and we were shown a clip from a David Attenborough film when he found some really large pieces of amber. When amber is heat treated it becomes citrine.

 

Opal stones have a very small amount of water captured in them which gives them an iridescent appearance.

 

David’s assistant had displayed a number of beautiful items of jewellery for sale and there was quite a buzz of interest before we adjourned for our tea, home made cakes and savouries.

 

A group of 12 members attended the Beechwood Group Meeting in Ballinger when a very charismatic retired Barrister, and author, gave an amusing talk on his life in the Courts. He had some of his crime novels for sale. This was followed with wine and a delicious selection of sandwiches.

 

Congratulations to our BFWI Quiz team of Jean Donocik, Christine Richfield-Andrews and Anne Underwood, who came 12th out of 28 teams.

 

Estelle Johns’ was sent a Get Well card from all members after her accident.

On 25th April, Julia and Ruth are organising a charity coffee morning at Julia’s house when there will also be a raffle and bring & buy. A donation of £2.50 is asked for our fund raising for the Parkinson’s (High Wycombe & Amersham Group).

 

A second charity fund raising event will be Afternoon Tea from 2-4.30pm on 6th June at Joyce Guthrie’s home and garden when donations of cakes, raffle prizes and bring & buy items would again be appreciated.

 

A further charity event will be held on 17th July when the annual Ramble around Hyde Heath will start from St Andrew’s church departing at 6.15 pm until approximately 7.30pm returning for supper. The donation will be £6. Non-walkers are very welcome to come for supper. For all these events, friends and family are very welcome.

 

Volunteers are still needed to provide help and cakes at the Village Fete on 13th May.

 

Ruth Groves, Janet Bangay and Anne Underwood have kindly agreed to make a banner for the centenary next year.

 

Next month’s Resolutions meeting will be at 8pm on 9th May in the Village Hall.

 

 
Gillian O'Flynn
 
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May
 

All members, and one guest from Paris, were welcomed by Jayne Faversham, President, who sent good wishes to seven people who had birthday’s this month.

 

Thanks were given to Julia Thornton and Ruth Coulton for arranging the coffee morning on 25th April in aid of the charity, Parkinson’s (High Wycombe & Amersham Group). Although attendance was low, it was very much enjoyed and raised £125.

 

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. Thank you to everyone who has offered to help and/or make cakes.

 

The afternoon tea party being held at Joyce Guthrie’s home will be on 6th June from 2-4.30pm. There will be a raffle and Bring & Buy and the cost of entry will be £3. Family and friends will be welcome. Donations of cakes, bring & buy items and raffle prizes would be welcome.

 

The Summer Evening Ramble of 2-3 miles, followed by a light supper, will be on 17th July at 6 for 6.15pm from St Andrew’s Church. Tickets cost £6. Supper will be at approximately 7.30pm when non-walkers will be welcome. As before, please bring your own plates, cutlery and glass.

 

Christine Richfield-Andrews gave a report on the BFWI Annual Council meeting on 1st May and, although one speaker was unable to attend, the naturalist and broadcaster, Simon King gave an inspiring and entertaining talk.

 

Barbara Aris has volunteered to lead a walk during the last week of September from Hampstead Heath and visiting Kenwood House.

Jayne Faversham then presented the two Resolutions “A call against the decline in local bus services” and “Don’t fear the smear” which were discussed and voted for unanimously for the former and the second had one abstention. Kate Andrew from Ashley Green WI is our Link delegate who will be attending the NFWI meeting in Bournemouth on 5th June.

 

At a Beechwood Group meeting last the year, the speaker was from the Lindengate Charity in Wendover, next to World’s End Garden Centre. It is a garden created to support people with mental health needs and Gillian O’Flynn reported on a visit she had made with the U3A Garden Group recently. It had been suggested that members might like to visit this inspirational place, which has a number of visitor sessions including their Fair on 8th June.

 

The next meeting will be in the village hall at 8pm on 13th June when Dinah Latham will speak on “Walking Forward, Looking Back”. Visitors are very welcome.

 
Gillian O'Flynn
 
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June
 

President, Jayne Faversham, was very pleased to see Estelle Johns was able to return after her accident, and also gave a warm welcome to a guest and the evening’s speaker, Dinah Latham and her dog, Harriet, to the meeting.

 

 

Thanks were also given to Di Coombes and Sylvia Childs who again created a wonderful display for the flower festival in St Andrew’s Church and to everyone for their support donating cakes and serving teas in the cricket pavilion at the village fete, also particularly to Margaret Dunn for organising the teas. £575 was raised for the village hall, which was a £150 increase on last year.

 

The garden party was a great success and much enjoyed by 43 of our members and also guests from Wendover and Ballinger Institutes. Grateful thanks to Joyce Guthrie for offering her house and beautiful garden again. £231.05p was raised for our charity.

 

A brochure from Scannappeal included thanks to many organisations, which included Hyde Heath Evening WI, who raised funds for jaundice monitors for babies.

 

The next fund raising event will be the Summer Evening Ramble & Supper being led by Pam Epps on 17 July, 6 for 6.15pm setting off from St Andrew’s Church. Non walkers are welcome to arrive for supper at about 7.30pm. The cost is £6 and as before, please bring plates and cutlery.

 

We have been having an “Indoor BBQ” in the village hall every August since we were nearly washed away a few years ago and members were asked if they wished to support the event to make it viable to continue. Recompense would be given to volunteers who supplied salads and desserts. All the funds from this event will go to our charity, Parkinsons (High Wycombe & Amersham Group).

 

Barbara Aris has offered to lead a walk of approximately 4 miles on 27 September in London from Hampstead Heath with lunch at Kenwood House. Travel to London will be by underground train from Great Missenden.

 

Dinah Latham then told us about her reflections on her life as a retired district nurse and midwife in the community from the 1960’s whilst walking her dog, Harriet, who was fast asleep by her side having spent the afternoon herding about 450 sheep!

 

It was an enthralling story told in her book “Walking Forward, Looking Back”, as she juggled being a single parent with work, starting in the Portobello Road area in London where the people were so poor they still had gas lights in the basements. Her mode of transport in those days was a bicycle but many years later when she moved to the Chesham area, she was provided with a car and eventually the role of the District Nurse was sadly disbanded for nurses working in offices.

 

On Dinah’s retirement, she acquired a rescue puppy, Harriet a bearded collie, who is now 12 years old. She had an inbred instinct to herd sheep, which she used when being taken for a walk! The farmer suggested Dinah and Harriet learn properly the method and so followed an absorbing hobby of helping out farmers and entering competitions for sheep herding.

 

Next Month’s meeting will be at 8pm on 11 July when Edwin Rye will Talk about “Making a Garden for BBC Gardener of the Year”.

 

 

 
Gillian O'Flynn
 
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July
 

President, Jayne Faversham welcomed everyone, including speaker, Edwin Rye, on a very warm July evening.

 

The Summer Evening Charity Ramble and Supper will be at 6pm for 6.15pm on 17 July. Pam Epps has kindly volunteered to lead the walk of about 3 miles from St Andrew’s Church and gave details of the route. Supper will commence about 7.45pm to which non-walkers are very welcome. Cost £6.

 

Instead of an August meeting, there will be an Indoor BBQ in the Village Hall from 6.30pm on 8 August at a cost of £7.50. Pam Ruff and Julia Thornton have kindly offered to prepare the meat and various members will be providing salads and desserts, for which costs will be refunded

 

For both these events please bring your own plates, cutlery, drinks and glasses.

 

On 27 September, Barbara Aris will lead a walk across Hampstead Heath with lunch at Kenwood House, departing from Great Missenden Station about 9.15am.

 

The Autumn Beechwood Group meeting will be at 7.15 for 7.30pm on 23 October at Cholesbury Village Hall. David Dennis will give a talk about Butterflies in the Chilterns.

 

An invitation has been received from Ballinger Evening WI for a Canal Boat Trip with Afternoon Tea on 19 August 1-5pm.

 

Edwin Rye then gave a fascinating and humorous talk about his experiences of making a garden for the BBC television programme “Gardener of the Year” in 2002. He and 5 others were chosen from 1,600 applications and he reckoned the form was more complicated than his tax form!

 

The plots were in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and they were given 3½ days to make the garden, having spent weeks designing, submitting, choosing, buying (an allowance of £1,000 was given) then transporting the plants and equipment to the Gardens. The title chosen by the BBC was “My Kind of Magic” and Edwin decided to use white and silver colours for his title of “Magic in the Moonlight”. It looked beautiful in the photographs he showed us.

 

He has given many talks in the intervening years to various groups, selling plants to raise funds for a school, and now also school leavers, in South Africa. He and his Wife, an ex-teacher, visit each winter and give help as well as support at the school.

 

She was unable to come this evening as she was showing another WI Group around their lovely garden in Wendover, which they also open for the National Open Gardens Scheme, which raises a huge amount of money for a number of charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie and Parkinson’s UK.

 

Edwin recommended visiting Horatio’s Garden, designed especially by Joe Swift, at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital when it opens on 8 September.

 

Members were then able to buy from the many colourful trays of plants Edwin was selling.

 

The next meeting will be at 8pm on 12 September when Jo Laurie will talk about “Air Miss”.

 

 
Gillian O'Flynn
 
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