Womens Institute
Meeting Reports 2023
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January       February



Elaine Barker, President, welcomed everyone to the first meeting of 2023, including our speaker, Tom Way.


The Christmas meeting and meal on 8 December at The Plough was much enjoyed by members and was pronounced to be a great success, as was the Christmas Carol Quiz which Elaine Barker produced. Thanks were given to Margaret Ritter for the organisation.


The Beechwood Group Spring Meeting will be in Wendover on 25 April when Sarah Slater from Hampton Court will give a talk on “Sex, Secrets Scandal and Salacious Gossip in the Royal Court”. Rude but amusing apparently!


Members should read the Resolutions which are printed in the November/December edition of the WI Life magazine as they will be required to vote on them at the February meeting.


Volunteers were requested for a team to compete in the Jigsaw Challenge, which is on 28 February at Stocklake, Aylesbury. Also, a team is needed for the County Quiz being held on 23 March at Prestwood.

The annual Investigation & Discovery Day will be at Holy Trinity Church, Aylesbury on 14 March 10am–4pm and anyone interested in attending should sign the board at the next meeting. The cost is £20 per member. This is always a fascinating and informative day.


We had Tom Way give us a talk and slide show a few years ago and he did not disappoint this time either. His grandparents used to live in Brays Lane and many members could remember them, particularly his grandfather who was Carter Aerials.


Tom has been photographing wildlife for ten years or more, ever since he took time out to travel after university and became fascinated with taking pictures of all the exotic animals he came across. As a professional photographer he now exhibits and sells his pictures around the world. He had been in South Africa since last August and in the two weeks at home over Christmas he was able to visit us to give a beautiful slide show and explain how and where he had taken each one, whether it was an elephant or a puffin! Afterwards, members took advantage of buying cards and pictures.



The next meeting will be on 9 February at 8pm when Mike Grundy will talk about “The Dramatic Art of the London Underground”.

Gillian O'Flynn
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President, Elaine welcomed all members, including one guest, Pauline, to the February meeting.


She then introduced our speaker, Mike Grundy, who gave his initial talk and slide show on “The Dramatic Art of the London Underground ten years ago, but still many people did not notice the beautiful and fascinating artwork on the walls of the various stations.


He took us on a trip on the underground showing pictures from well-known Hitchcock films, Renaissance art near the National Gallery, silhouettes of Sherlock Holmes at Baker Street and Eduardo Prolozzi mosaics at Tottenham Court Road. We concluded that when we next travel in London, we will keep our eyes open!


Margaret Dunn told us that the village fete would be on 13 May and, as she would be away on holiday, would appreciate some volunteers to help co-ordinate the teas and cakes we served in the Cricket Pavilion.


The Beechwood Group Spring meeting will be at St Anne’s church hall at 7 for 7.30pm on 25 April. Sarah Slater will speak about “The Royal Court 1660-1830 – Scandal and Gossip”.


Elaine summarised the four Resolutions proposed then members voted on each one. The results will go forward to the BFWI.


Next January 2024 our Institute will be 60 years old. Elaine outlined some ideas the Committee had about the Diamond Anniversary celebrations and asked members for their ideas.


The team of Mary Collins, Pam Ruff and Anne Underwood were given good wishes for the BFWI Jigsaw being held on 28 February.

The Annual WI Subscriptions will be due on 1 April. This year the NFWI has set the amount at £46 which is divided between NFWI, BFWI and our own Institute.


The Committee proposes to reduce the subscription payable to Hyde Heath Evening WI Institute by £8 to £38 for the year. After discussions, this was agreed.


Elaine explained that the Independent Financial Examination Advisors stipulated that sufficient funds should be available to cover 12 months’ expenses, or a minimum of 6 months, for hall hire, speaker expenses etc so in the current climate the Committee felt we should opt out of raising funds for a specific charity this year but support our own Institute.

After discussions, members agreed to this suggestion.


A team of three volunteers were asked for to take part in the Inter-County Quiz being held on 23 March.


Elaine has organised a guided walk/outing around Jordans on 3 May starting at 1pm at the Green. The cost will be £5 to include refreshments plus £1 towards our funds.


The Beechwood Autumn meeting will be on 18 October in Cholesbury.


The next meeting will be at 8pm on 9 March when Jo Laurie will talk about “Charing Cross to China”.

Gillian O'Flynn
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