Womens Institute
Meeting Reports 2020
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January February March

President, Jayne Faversham, wished everyone a Happy New Year. She particularly thanked Margaret Dunn for sending each member a birthday card throughout the year.


Despite having to move the Christmas party forward a week from 12th December because the village hall was used as a polling station, it was really fortunate that both the caterer and the entertainer were able to make it. It was agreed that the evening was a great success, with a delicious meal again provided by Anne Tenant and really clever and amusing magic “al la Tommy Cooper”. Gifts of cyclamen plants were given to all members.


Jayne read a letter from Trevor Owen of the High Wycombe & Amersham branch of Parkinson’s thanking us for our generous cheque of £800 from the 2019 charity fund raising.


After discussions, it was agreed that the charity for 2020 would be Lindengate, Wendover the Mental Health Charity, who specialise in Health and Wellbeing through Nature and Horticulture.


A brief summary of the five Resolutions were presented to the members and voted upon. These will go forward to the BFWI.


Volunteers for the Inter-County Quiz at Prestwood on 26 March were Christine, Jayne and Avril with Anne Underwood as a reserve.


Volunteers were also requested who wish to attend the BFWI Council Meeting in Aylesbury on 12 May as Delegate (free ticket) and Observer (£15 tickets), where the speakers will include Dame Esther Rantzen and Jay Blades.



The Spring Beechwood Group meeting will be in the evening of 22nd April at Missenden Abbey with a talk on “Liberty of London”. The Autumn meeting will be hosted by Hyde Heath on our usual meeting night of 8th October.


Used stamps are now being collected by Jayne for Scannappeal instead of Marie Curie. They should be cut with a 1cm border around.


Adam Smith then gave us a most fascinating talk and slide show on the history of the occupants and designs of “Two Victorian Country Houses in the Chilterns”. The two contrasting houses were Cliveden owned by families of enormous wealth, and the much smaller Hughenden Manor owned by figures of importance.


Both are now in the care of the National Trust but the most recent owners included The Astors at the former, and Benjamin Disraeli in the latter house.


Next month’s meeting will be at 8pm on 13 February when Brian Newman will talk about “Bekonscot Model Village”. Kaye Edmonds, our local WI adviser, will be attending to give information about events for the forthcoming BFWI Centenary year.


Gillian O'Flynn
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Vice President, Elaine Barker, stood in for President, Jayne Faversham. A special welcome was given to two new members and Kaye Edmondes, our local area WI Adviser from the Buckinghamshire Federation.

Spring is coming and the Beechwood Group meeting is being held at Missenden Abbey at 7.15 for 7.30pm on 22nd April, cost about £4. The speaker will talk about “Liberty of London”.

The chosen charity for this year is Lindengate, Wendover (next to Dobbies Garden Centre). It is an award winning charity that offers specialised gardening activities in their 5 acre site to help those with mental health needs and illnesses, from the age of 16 upwards, using the healing power of nature and the outdoors to improve their mental well-being, boost self-esteem, promote social inclusion and encourage long term recovery.

At Lindengate the service users, (known as Gardeners) work alongside volunteers and staff on an equal footing either one to one or in small or larger group sessions. They were delighted to be chosen by us and have offered a tour of the site, with tea and cake, which will be on 23rd July at 5pm.

Members were asked if they had any ideas for fund raising or perhaps host a coffee morning. There will be the Summer Evening Ramble and Supper again. Also, is anyone willing to organise a walk with a pub lunch as this also raises charity funds?

The BFWI Annual Council Meeting at Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury will be from 10.30am – 4pm on 12 May, when Dame Esther Rantzen and Jay Blades will be speaking. There is one free Delegate ticket and Observer tickets cost £15.
A list of Members’ contact details was available for everyone to check, correct if necessary, and to sign as agreement that information can be shared within our Institute. The information will not be given to anyone outside our Institute.

The Village fete will be on 9 May when we will provide tea and cakes in the cricket pavilion as usual.
Kaye Edmondes then spoke to us about her job advising 21 Institutes in her area and various other aspects that she helps with as well as the forthcoming Buckinghamshire Federation Centenary celebrations, including the Garden Party at Waddesden, where there will be musical entertainment and various other events in a marquee and 50-60 stalls to visit. Also entertainers will mingle with the visitors.

All the pennants made by members in each Institute will be on display at the Council meeting and on 21st May each Institute has been invited to parade their Banner through Aylesbury when the roads will be closed. An afternoon of presentations by possible new Speakers will be hosted at Hazlemere Golf Club on 19 March, and an extra morning of presentations will also be held at Stuart Lodge on 9 March..

Brian Newman from Bekonscot Model Village in Beaconsfield then gave us a fascinating talk about its history. It was founded by London Accountant, Roland Callingham, who had too many model trains to fit into his house and garden so in the 1920’s, bought a plot of land, designed and had the village laid out, models of local buildings, animals and people made, including Enid Blyton’s house.
It is the oldest model village in the world and was visited by Queen Mary with her grandchildren, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. Its 90th celebrations were last year.

After a number of innovations, including a model of Concorde, it was decided to keep to the 1930’s style. A number of films have been made there, including Midsummer Murders! They are now updating their very popular Education Centre.
Next month’s meeting will be at 8pm on 12 March when David Dennis will talk about “Butterflies of the Chilterns”.

Gillian O'Flynn
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President, Jayne Faversham, welcomed everyone to the March meeting and announced a long list of forthcoming events.


• The Beechwood Spring meeting will be on 22nd April to be held at Missenden Abbey. The cost of the evening will be £5 and the talk will be “Liberty of London”.

• The Beechwood Autumn meeting at Hyde Heath is confirmed to be on 8th October. Our own meeting will be moved to 15th October and will take place at St Andrew’s church. The speaker will be confirmed later.

• A visit to Lindengate, our charity for this year, has been arranged for 23rd July at 5pm, to include a tour, talk and refreshments. This will last for two hours.

• The Inter-county Quiz will take place on 26th March at Prestwood, with the team of Avril, Christine and Jayne with Anne Underwood as a reserve.

• Mary Collins will be our delegate to the BFWI Annual Council Meeting on 12th May, accompanied by Avril and Janet Manson as observers. 


• A car sharing outing is planned for the summer. There are a couple of ideas and any further suggestions would be welcomed.

• The Parade of Banners will take place on 21st May in Aylesbury. Jayne is happy to go and carry our banner and would be grateful for a helper.

• Also on Thursday 21st May, Ann Crook will be leading a walk.

• The Centenary Garden Party and Scarecrow Trail will be on 7th July at Waddesdon Manor.

• A Centenary Denman College Tea is planned for September at a cost of £25.

• Sue Flint is planning another tour of the Hearing Dogs Centre at Saunderton, the date is to be confirmed.

Mary Rose informed the meeting that very sadly Eunice Narcisi, a former member, had passed away suddenly and will be remembered fondly by a number of present members.

Kay Edmondes, our WI Advisor, has emailed to say how much she enjoyed our meeting in February.

The Investigation and Discovery Day was very much enjoyed by all those who attended. The speakers were very varied talking about the future of batteries and battery cars, climate change, Gertrude Elles, a gifted geologist from the 1800’s, and a material scientist, who had also swum the channel!

Margaret Dunn requested help with the Village Fete teas on 9th May. An increase in prices was discussed and it has been suggested that refunds be given for cakes made by members.

Jayne introduced David Dennis who gave an extremely interesting illustrated talk on “Butterflies of the Chilterns”. He had a vast knowledge of their life cycles and the differences were fascinating. There are 58 species found in our temperate climate.

Next month’s meeting will be at 8pm on 9th April when David Coulton will speak on the topic “Gordon Bennett”.


Gillian O'Flynn
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