Hyde Heath Evening
Womens Institute
Meeting Reports 2012


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November 2012

Barbara Aris, President, welcomed everyone on a slightly milder evening. 

The AGM commenced with Treasurer, Pam Ruff, presenting the financial statement.  The annual report was read out by Secretary, Judith Butt giving details of all the many and varied outings, events and speakers that had been enjoyed during the year.  Anne Honour was the overall winner of the competitions.  There are now 33 full members and 3 honoury members. 

Five members of the Committee will be stepping down at the end of the year having given sterling service and will be replaced by Jayne Faversham as President with Felicity Beynon, Janet Manson and Gillian O’Flynn being co-opted onto the Committee. 

Barbara Aris thanked everyone for their help and support during her term as President. 

There will just be a walkers’ lunch at The Three Crowns, Askett on 22nd November.  Anyone interested should contact Barbara as soon as possible. 

Brains were tested with an amusing Quiz and purchases made at the Bring and Buy table.  A delicious tea was enjoyed whilst Di Coombes gave a demonstration of beautiful Christmas floral arrangements, which were given as raffle prizes. 

The Christmas party with entertainment will be at  7.30pm on 13th December.  Lucky numbered tickets costing £8 should be purchased as soon as possible but before 30th November. 

The first meeting in the New Year will be at 8pm on 10th January 2013.


Gillian O'Flynn


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October 2012

President, Barbara Aris, made a strong plea for new members of the committee including a replacement President as she had almost completed her 3 year term of office. 

Our speaker for the evening, Sally Botwright, had braved floods on her journey to the village hall but her slides of the “City of London Gardens” gave a sunny insight into all the secret and hidden green oasis of an extremely busy city.   

Sally is a Blue Badge and City of London tourist guide who took us on a journey around a variety of gardens sometimes in unexpected places such as old bombed churches that had been transformed into peaceful retreats.  The various gardens including on roofs, churchyards and planted areas help to attract wild life.  People appreciate the contrast to air conditioned offices to be able to walk through, sit, eat and relax. 

Finsbury Circus is the largest open space in the City and has had a bowling green since 1925.   The City of London has 7% green spaces including plant pots!  Surprisingly, the London Corporation looks after many more gardens outside the City including nearby Burnham Beeches. 

The next Group meeting will be at 7.45 for 8pm on 25th October in Great Missenden village hall at a cost of £3.50.  The talk given by Stephen Hearn from Tring Auction Rooms will have an antiques theme. 

£949.40p had so far been raised for the Charity, South Bucks Hospice and Lymphoedema Clinic, so in an attempt to reach £1,000, raffle tickets for a Christmas hamper will be sold at the next three meetings. 

The Christmas Party will be held in the evening of 13th December in the Village Hall.  Lucky number tickets at £8 each will be available to purchase at or before the November meeting. 

Waddesdon Manor are holding an event including wine on 15th November when WI members will receive 10% reduction.  

Following the article in the WI Life Magazine, it was suggested that a visit be arranged next year to Buckingham Palace gardens. 

The next meeting will be the AGM at 8pm on 8th November.  Di Coombes has kindly agreed to demonstrate a Christmas table decoration plus there will be a bring and buy sale. 

The monthly walk of 4 miles around Burnham Beeches will be on 18th October meeting at the Village Hall at 9.30am to share lifts to the start of the walk from The Blackwood Arms Country Pub in Littleworth Common with lunch there afterwards.

Gillian O'Flynn

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September 2012

Barbara Aris, President, welcomed everyone back after the summer break, during which various events took place including a most interesting guided tour of the RAF Uxbridge bunker and museum.  Photos can be seen on the Village web site. 

The August BBQ and September Charity Ramble were also much enjoyed and thanks were given to Margaret Dunn for holding the BBQ in her garden and to everyone for all their help and support in the preparation and contributions of food for both events.  The BBQ raised £181 and the Ramble £135. 

It was announced that the subscription for next year would be increased by £1.50 to £33. However £1 will go to each WI group with 50p to the local Federation. 

The next Group meeting will be on 25th October at Great Missenden, 7.45 for 8pm.  The cost will be £3.50 and the speaker will be Stephen Hearn from Tring Auction Rooms. 

Barbara reiterated the urgent need for four more people on the committee as some members will come to the end of their terms of office in November, including the president and secretary, without whom the group cannot continue. 

The speaker for the evening, Jane Dunsterville, had been involved with the WI for more than 18 years and had taught crafts at Denman College.  Dressed in a beautiful crinoline which she had made, she entertained us in song accompanying herself on the autoharp, pictures and stories about the “upstairs and downstairs” life in the first half of the 19th century.   

The next monthly walk of 4 miles around Burnham Beeches Nature Reserve will be on 18th October meeting at the Hyde Heath village hall at 10am and then travelling to The Blackwood Arms Country Pub in Littleworth Common for the start of the walk. 

The next meeting will be on 11th October at 8pm when Sally Botwright will talk about “City of London Gardens”.  The competition will be an Olympic memento.


Gillian O'Flynn

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July 2012

On yet another wet summer evening, President, Barbara Aris, gave a warm welcome to everyone and thanked Doreen White, Avril Sherratt and Mary Collins for their efforts in making a profit of £23 on the Treasure Hunt, despite the dreadful weather in the morning, also Di Coombes for a profit of £143 at her coffee morning. 

Forthcoming events included Wingrave’s WI invitation to croquet and cream teas at 2.30pm on 1st August at a cost of £3 for tea and £1 to play croquet.  The BBQ in Margaret Dunn’s garden at 6.30pm on 16th August will cost £7.50 and at 6.15pm for 6.30pm start and on 6th September the Charity Ramble and Supper also costing £7.50.  The next group meeting will be at Great Missenden on 25th October. 

A reminder was given that the AGM will be held on 5th November when five members of the committee plus the President will be standing down, therefore, replacement committee members were desperately needed. 

Colin Oakes gave a lively and amusing talk about “London in the 50’s and 60’s – Never had it so Good” a phrase which was taken from a speech made by Prime Minister, Harold McMillan.  It was a nostalgic evening of a wide variety of memories from that era ranging from the Profumo affair; the TV programme “That was the week that was” with the singer Millicent Martin; spivs, teddy boys, mods and rockers; and coffee bars with juke boxes. 

We were reminded that rationing from the Second World War did not finish until 1954.  In 1962/63 snow lasted from Boxing Day until March.   Thick smog was a hazard until 1962, despite the Clean Air Act of 1956.   

It was also a time of different food and drink obtainable from the Lyons Corner House, Wimpeys hamburgers and Coca Cola, which gave a taste of America, and Indian and Chinese restaurants and many more happy reminders from our youth! 

The next walk will be on 19th July meeting at the village hall at 10.20am.  The 3 mile walk will start at The Frog at Skirmett at 11am returning for lunch at 12.30pm.   

The next meeting will be at 8pm on 13th September when Jane Dunsterville will talk about “Not in Front of the Servants” and the competition will be “a Cameo”.

Gillian O'Flynn

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June 2012

Barbara Aris, President, announced that a massive £747 had been raised at the Fete by members providing teas and cakes, which went towards the final amount raised for the Village Hall. 

The Group Meeting held at Cholesbury last month was deemed most enjoyable with a very good energetic speaker. 

An interesting detailed report of the NFWI AGM held at the Albert Hall, written by Sue Hogarth of Chesham WI, was read to the members where the resolution “Employment of more midwives” was carried by the majority of the 5,000 members present. 

Barbara issued an invitation from the Wingrave WI for croquet instruction and a cream tea at 2pm on 1st August. 

Other forthcoming events announced were the Treasure Hunt for all the Family to be held at 2pm on 24th June on the Common.  Di Coombes will be hosting a coffee morning with a bring and buy table and raffle from 10.30am on 29th June - all are welcome.  Also the visit to the RAF Uxbridge Bunker/Museum on 21st July meeting outside the Village Hall at 9.30am. 

Mrs Frances Alexander gave a very informative talk and slide show of a brief history of High Wycombe before chair making became an important industry, and the significance of Rye Park and the Wye River.  Her knowledge and interest grew when she served as a Councillor and was also Mayor of High Wycombe from 1998-99. 

The river is a chalk stream which produces very pure water.  There are only 18 chalk streams in the world, 12 of which are in England.  The water we drink today fell as rain in Henry VIII time!  The valley also had flints for tools and buildings together with trees for fuel and shelter, all that was needed for prehistoric and Roman settlements.  The remains of mosaic floors were uncovered in 1950 when the outdoor swimming pool was built on the Rye. 

Beaker pottery from 2,800-1,900BC to early Bronze age has been found and evidence of woolly mammoths was dug up in 1928 when a new sewer pipe was being laid.  There are two Iron Age forts and earthworks, one called Desborough Castle.   

High Wycombe was centrally placed between Oxford and London and with six mills producing corn, cloth, paper and wood sawing was described in the Domesday Book as an important industrial area.  

The next meeting will be at 8pm on 12th July when Mr Oakes will talk about London in the 50’s and 60’s – Never so Good.  The competition will be a memento from the 50’s or 60’s. 

The next walk will be on 21st June meeting at 11am outside the Village Hall to organise lifts.  The 4 mile walk starts at 11.30am at Buckland Wharf with lunch at The Bell, Aston Clinton.

Gillian O'Flynn

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May 2012

The rain had stopped and the village hall was set out with tables of four in readiness for the Quiz later in the evening. 

Barbara Aris welcomed everyone and gave a big thank you to Mary Collins, Avril Sherratt and Doreen White for raising a fantastic £207 at the Denham Car Boot Sale.  It was a stupendous effort, especially as they had to depart soon after 6am to transport the large collection, contributed by members, to the venue. 

Pam Ruff reported on the Bucks Federation of WI’s meeting at the Aylesbury Theatre.  Several members enjoyed the day listening to a number of interesting speakers, including Adam Henson from BBC TV’s Countryfile programme, but were very disappointed that the sound and slide projection were not working properly, which detracted from some of the presenters. 

Margaret Dunn reminded everyone about the requirements for the teas that the Hyde Heath Group provide for the Village Fete on 12th May.  The forecast looked good but the parking facilities had to be changed due to the waterlogged conditions on the Common. 

The Group Meeting is being held at Cholesbury on 23rd May.  There are still places available for the Garden visit on 16th June and anyone interested should contact Barbara as soon as possible.   

The Treasure Hunt, which Avril is organising, will be at 2pm on Sunday 24th June.  Entry costs £3 and there will be a prize for both children and adults.  Bring your own picnic tea and join everyone on the Village Common for a fun afternoon. 

Di Coombes invited everyone to join her for a fund raising coffee morning with a bring and buy table together with a raffle from 10.30am on 29th June.  The Charity evening ramble and supper will be on 6th September. 

There was only one Resolution presented to the meeting, “Employment of more Midwives”, which was discussed and voted upon.  The Resolution was carried with one vote against.  Following a delicious tea, the members took part in a fun quiz. 

This month’s walk of 3 miles will be on 24th May meeting outside the Village Hall at 10.30am or 11am in the Forestry Commission’s car park at Leygrove’s Wood, Cadmore End. 

The next meeting will be at 8pm on 14th June when Mrs Alexander will speak on the “History of the Rye and Holywell Mead”.  The competition will be an Unusual Object.

Gillian O'Flynn

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April 2012


The team of Felicity Beynon, Jayne Faversham and Janet Newman were congratulated on their efforts in the recent Bucks Federation Wl Quiz.

A reminder was given that the RAF Bunker and Museum visit has been postponed to Saturday 21st July due to the over-running of maintenance works.  There are still a few places left. 

The Village Fete is on 12th May when cakes and volunteers will be needed to serve teas.

The Beechwood Group meeting will be on 23rd May at Cholesbury.  Tickets are £5 each from Pam Ruff.   The summer outing to the RHS Garden at Hyde Hall followed by a visit to Beth Chatto's garden will be on 16th June. There are also places stilt available for this visit.

On 24th June at 2pm there will be a Treasure Hunt for children and adults on Hyde Heath Common.  Entry tickets are £3 with a prize for the winners.   Bring your own picnic tea and meet up afterwards.

Sandra Webb tempted ail the members with a Caribbean cookery demonstration of three typical recipes, using specialist Jamaican ingredients, which are available at some supermarkets and also a specialist market stall in High Wycombe.  By the time everyone had smelt the various aromas they were delighted to be able to have a taster of all the different exotic types of food as they were cooked.

Sandra gives demonstrations and runs cookery courses to raise funds for the XP Support Group.  XP, or Xeroderma Pigmentosum, is a rare genetic defect that causes extreme sensitivity to the sun's ultraviolet rays.   Unless patients with XP are protected from the sunlight, their skin and eyes may be severely damaged, which can lead to cancers of the skin and eye and neurological problems.

The incidence of XP is 1 in 250,000 world wide with only about 100 known cases in the UK, including Sandra's son who is now 18 years.  She first gave a talk to the Hyde Heath group in March 1999 when she started fund raising. Recently a specialised clinic has been set up in St Thomas' hospital in London which all patients and doctors from around the country can attend.

The next meeting at 8pm on 10th May will discuss the Resolutions. There will be a bring and buy sales tabfe and a Quiz.  The next monthiy walk will be on 24th May.

Gillian O'Flynn

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March 2012

It was announced that last month’s speaker, Chris Sargeant, wished his fees to be donated to the South Bucks Hospice Butterfly Appeal. 

There will be a car boot sale on 14th April.  If anyone has any items for this, please notify Mary Collins and Doreen White. 

There is an urgent need for volunteers to serve teas and make cakes for the Village Fete on 12th May.   

The summer garden visit will be on 16th June to the RHS Hyde Hall Gardens in Essex and after lunch to Beth Chatto’s garden.  Departure by coach at 8.30am with return to Hyde Heath at about 6.30pm.  The cost will be £20 for RHS members and £24 for non-members.  

Two BFWI mandates passed in 1982 will be presented at the next Council meeting.  They are “Banning of illegal snares for wild animals” and “Adults should be discouraged from taking children under secondary school age on protest marches”.  Votes were taken and carried. 

The replacement speaker, Jean Hatton, gave a most interesting talk on the prison reformer, Elizabeth Fry, whose portrait in a Quaker hat appears on £5 notes.  Jean was delighted when her publisher asked her to write a biography about Elizabeth Fry as she had been very interested in the period she lived in the 18th century.   

Elizabeth was born in Norwich in 1780 into a wealthy family of Quakers.  Her father, owned woollen mills and a bank.  She kept a journal from the age of 17 years, which gives great insight into her life and personal feelings (she suffered illness and depression from time to time) and the history of that time. 

When she was 17 she began to question what life was all about and opened a school in Norwich for poor boys.  During this time she met and married Joseph Fry, the tea and coffee importer, and had 12 children.  She did much charitable work to try to improve the lives of the poor and homeless, particularly after seeing the terrible conditions of women and their children jailed in Newgate Prison, London and devoted her life to prison reform at home and abroad.  She died aged 65 in 1845. 

The next meeting will be at 8pm on 12th April when Sandra Webb will speak on Caribbean Cookery.  The competition will be a holiday postcard. 

The first walk of this year will be on 22nd March.  Those needing a lift should meet outside Hyde Heath Shop by 11.10am to enable the drivers to be at The Red Lion, Great Kingshill to start the 3 mile walk at 11.30am.   If anyone wishes to join the walkers for lunch please let Barbara Aris know and, as usual, a £1 contribution is made towards the charity.

Gillian O'Flynn

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February 2012

A warm welcome on a snowy cold evening was given to all visitors and members at the February meeting.  

Forthcoming announcements were given for a proposed visit to Highgrove Gardens in early summer.  The cost of entrance is now £19.50 plus the coach fare.  Anyone interested should let Judith Butt, secretary, know.  Those visiting the RAF Uxbridge Bunker on 28th April will meet in Hyde Heath at 9.30am.   

Volunteers to provide cakes and serve teas at the Village Fete on 12th May are required and Di Coombes has kindly volunteered to produce an arrangement for the village Flower Show on 12th/13th May.  The theme this year is “Celebrating 2012”. 

There will be a Car Boot Sale which will be held in March or April.  Members have been asked to donate items for this event, and a coach trip has been suggested for July. 

Barbara Aris will be restarting the monthly walks in March, weather permitting. 

Chris Sargeant was the speaker on “Photography – getting better pictures”.  He started with basic but important instructions on how to keep the camera steady and illustrated his talk with photographs taken over many years, the first being a tall ship in Dartmouth in 1962.  He explained how to create a picture with a viewpoint using bridges, paths, railings, etc to draw the eye to the subject.  Photos taken at dusk can be spectacular with interesting light and shadows.  Chris suggested using, for example, door entrances, arches or leaves to frame a picture and how important it was to divide a picture into three with a foreground, middle and background with the point of interest on one side rather than centrally placed. 

Many questions were asked by Members who are hoping for better holiday photos in future. 

The next meeting will be at 8pm on 9th March in Hyde Heath Village Hall when Roddy Lloyd Jones will talk on “Young People and how they help others in our World Wide Community”.  The competition will be “A Childhood memory from school”.


Gillian O'Flynn

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January 2012

President, Barbara Aris, wished everyone a very Happy New Year and thanked the Committee and Members for helping to make the Christmas Party last month such a success.  It was agreed that the entertainment was very amusing.   

Members were delighted to see the WI Millenium wall hanging back in time for the party.  Janet Bangay stitched an edging of material around the original before it was reframed.  The cost of £331 was less than expected due to the generosity of everyone involved.  

Secretary Judith Butt read out a letter from long standing member, Beryl Cope, who regretfully wishes to resign from the WI due to ill health. 

An excellent £78.50 profit was made at Janet Forrest’s coffee morning with a further £17.50 on the Bring and Buy stall.   

Eve Brown and Ruth Groves were the runners up in the 2011 competition results with Anne Honour the overall winner.  

An outing has been arranged to RAF Uxbridge Bunker and Museum on Saturday, 28th April. The guided tour will start at 10.30am.  This trip is open to family and friends. 

Other forthcoming events will be a village treasure hunt and a visit to Highgrove gardens. 

Voting took place for this year’s Resolutions followed by a fascinating talk and slide show on “A Royal Bucks Exile” given by Neal Rees.  When Mussolini invaded Albania in the Second World War, King Zog, his family and entourage escaped via Paris to Britain where he, like other minor royal families from Europe, stayed at the Ritz Hotel in London. 

When London was bombed, King Zog relocated to Parmoor Manor (now known as St Catherine’s) near Frieth, which became available to be leased after Lord Parmoor died in 1941. The King, his Wife and Son together with all his relatives and entourage lived there until 1946 when Britain asked the Albanian King to leave the country as they were supporting the now communist Albania.  There followed many years of him being exiled from one country to another, eventually returning to Paris where he died in 1961. 

Neal has since met a number of relatives of the late King Zog including Princess Michael of Kent, who was a relative of the King’s Late Wife, Hungarian born Geraldine, his Son and Grandson both named Leka.  He had the honour of being invited to King Leka’s state funeral last year.  Later in the year the Grandson visited the Manor to unveil a blue plaque detailing the stay of King Zog in this Buckinghamshire hamlet.  

The next meeting will be on 9th February at 8pm when Chris Sargeant will speak on “Photography – Getting better Pictures”.  The competition is “The Worst Photo you have Taken”.


Gillian O'Flynn

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