Saturday, 24 December 2011

Season's Greetings

We would like to wish all our readers and WOW-WI members a very Merry Christmas and a fun and WOW-WI filled 2012!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

And a mince-pie-tastic time was had by all...

Ding-Dong!! Our Christmas get together was as brilliant as all the others and a wonderful way to get us in the mood for the festivities...

First off, we were in our new home - the Weston-super-Mare Museum and, it felt very much like home very quickly! Special thanks must be said for the wonderful staff who made us feel welcome and who were such a great help while we were setting everything up (round of applause please!!). 

Our lovely new home

We were overwhelmed with magnificent mince pies (and I rather liked one in particular with lime icing (worked a treat with the rum!) in fairness it was the only one I had but is was rather brilliant!). Well done to all those ladies who joined in and well done on some spectacular baking!

The scrummy table heaving with Mince Pies

To accompany the mince pies we had some mingling along with a mooch around the museum. It was a real treat to have enough space for everyone to move around and take the opportunity for a chat and it was a bit of a novelty for us Committee members to be able to join in with the meeting (usually we're running around like maniacs trying to find chairs!)...

We then had a spectacularly difficult Christmas Quiz, followed by a marvellous make-a-long where we demonstrated the art of turning jam jars into festive tea-light holders (details on the Make Log). Those 'making-a-long' created some beauties!! (our members are a truly talented bunch!)

Our lovely WOWzers poised and ready to Make-a-Long

And that was it, our fun-filed festivities were over!

So, be sure to make a note in your diary for Januarys meeting where we will be joined by face-yoga expert Danielle Collins (who is hopefully going to be able to assist in repairing the damage inflicted by the excess of Christmas) and we'll continue the theme with a variety of health and wellbeing topics.

We look forward to seeing you in the New Year....

..... Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Mince Pie Recipes

With less than a week to go until our Mince Pie Mingle on Tuesday 20th, I thought I would post up a few links to some mince pie recipes just in case you  needed some help/inspiration!

Delia's Traditional Mince Pies

The Pink Whisk's Bailey Pastry Mince Pies

The Hairy Biker's Old Fashioned Sweet Mince Pies

Nigella's Grandma's Mince Pies

Chocolate Mince Pies

What's your favourite mince pie recipe???

Friday, 9 December 2011




As you'll all know we've outgrown the Blakehay and have been in search of a new venue for our monthly meetings and after a considerable search we have found one.

The new home of the Women of Weston-super-Mare Women's Institute is;

The Weston-super-Mare Museum
Burlington Street
BS23 1PR
Telephone: 01934 621028

Links to their website are here;

Details of how to find them are here;

The date and times of our meetings will remain the same and our next meetings are;

20th December 2011; we will be having a tour of the museum, a mince-pie-mingle (its easier to explain on the evening) and a magnificent make from Leanne & Shona

17th January 2011; we are very pleased to announce that we will be joined by Danielle Collins, facial yoga expert ( and a make appropriate to the theme of the evening (its very good)

Start time is 7.30 pm.

There are some big benefits of us moving to the Museum;
  • Capacity; we could accommodate over 150 people at the Museum so we need never be squashed into a tiny room without enough chairs ever again! It also means that we can continue to welcome guests to our meetings until we reach a membership that matches the capacity.
  • Space; because it is a really flexible space we will be able to do a lot more (belly dancing anyone??) and also make our meetings more sociable for you (and because the courtyard is nice and airy, you won't overheat!).
  • Catering Facilities; we have facilities for our tea and coffee making and we can continue to serve you delicious cakes.
  • Accessibility; our meetings will be held on the ground floor which is completely accessible (no steps!) making it easier for everyone. There are also more disabled parking spaces on the street outside which is a bonus.
  • Price; we've managed to match the price of the Blakehay so we get a bigger venue at no extra cost.
There is only one hitch;
  • Parking; the museum is about a 5 minute walk from 3 car parks (including the one near the Blakehay). This is a drag and whilst we'd tried to find a venue with everything, the others we looked at also had issues with parking. There is a fair bit of on street parking near the Museum and you can park on most of the streets around the building for free (whilst there was a car park at the Blakehay it was quite expensive). We are going to enquire with a local business that has a car park to see if we can use that when we meet but it won't be available in time for our December meeting.
We look forward to seeing you all at the December meeting and again in the new year!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Meeting Report: 15th Nov - Festive Flowers

Well we had another humdinger of a big night at the Blakehay last night and this time it didn't rain!!

Once again we had a huge queue and this is something that we're working on as we find our feet and get used to our attendance figures, we were jam packed into the Jill Dando suite and we're talking to the Blakehay about whether or not we use the Auditorium (which can accommodate 200) but there are some restrictions including no cake eating or tea drinking (unless from a plastic cup) and its not as sociable as the room we currently use (that said, being packed in like sardines isn't terribly comfortable anyway)..

I won't dwell on logistics but did want to say that we really appreciate so many of you turning out (and extra apologies to those ladies we had to turn away) but please do bear with us because next month we'll have a bigger space and there will be more room to move around, enough seats for everyone and we're making resolving venue issues our biggest priority for the next couple of weeks. Incidentally, if you have any ideas for a potential venue (that can hold 100 wonderful women) in the centre of town - do please let us know because we're mad keen on making our meetings as comfortable for you as possible.
Right, apologies and explanations out of the way. On with the detailed report of the wonderfulness of Tuesdays meeting . 

We were joined this evening by Daphne, our federation chair and it was lovely to catch up and to share our fabulous WI with her, she thoroughly enjoyed herself and made a fantastic job of judging the t-shirt bag competition. We were also joined by Lucy from the WI Life Magazine and a photographer (which I'd forgotten and therefore failed to dress up posh and so you got a very normal view of the Women of Weston-super-Mare WI Committee (I was surprised Annie didn't have sequins on!). The attendance by WI Life was wildly exciting because it we are all very much in awe of our very own members publication and are very much looking forward to being in it!!!

As mentioned, we were overwhelmed with our attendance and hit capacity at 7.30. Who knew that festive floral arrangements would be such a draw?? They were pretty brilliant though and the marvellous Charmianne (and her super assistant) did a phenomenal job of demonstrating how to transform 'normal' flowers into 'spectacular floral displays'. In an hour she'd whipped up 4 arrangements, 2 using dried flowers and 2 using fresh flowers (she then made up one extra while we carried on chatting! What a woman!!). The arrangements were stunning and everybody in attendance was surprised to see such a rapid and impressive transformation! We no longer have any excuse for failing to produce a fantastic feat of floristry and whilst we won't be testing you to see what you've learned - you're always welcome to share photos of the ones you made at home.

The '15 minute make' featured floral corsages which were demonstrated by the wonderful Shona (supported (more like impeded) by me!) all the details of how to make your own are featured on the make log which is where we'll detail the quick crafts that we demonstrate each month - if there is anything you're desperate to see made 'on the fly' do let us know and we'll factor it into the programme.

The make log is a new addition to the blog along with the cake log which will feature details of the various unctuous delights that are made each month by the tremendous cake rota volunteers (don't forget, if you want to show off your baking - email Shona and get your name on the list).

We've been utterly rubbish at getting photos for those of you that didn't make it which is another thing we'll be getting better at next month and what with the festive feel to our December meeting it'll be a good excuse to glam up (perhaps with a fancy ol' corsage) and we can get some photos to jazz up this site.

Monday, 14 November 2011

15th Nov - Festive Flowers

The next WOW WI meeting will be on Tuesday 15th November at The Blakehay at 7:30pm.

This month our theme is flowers and we have a smashing speaker coming in to show us how to make stunning Christmas displays and how to make a bunch of supermarket flowers look amazing, so if your normal approach is to take off the wrapper and elegantly plonk them into the nearest vase this meeting is for you!

We hope you can join us at 7.30pm, don't forget to bring along your decorated T Shirt bags if you want to be in with a chance of scooping the prize for winning the President's challenge set last month, as well as any magazines you may want to swap and remember, if you join this month you will get 14 months membership for the price of 12 (bargain!)

See you Tuesday :)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Local Event: Uphill Carols

The Uphill Village Society are organising Uphill Carols on Sunday 11th December, 4-6pm,

The event is a fundraiser for Weston Hospicecare and also an opportunity to sing your heart out! 

Meet in the School playground and have warming mulled wine, sing come carols and then make your way to the Hospice and sing some more carols and have a biscuit or two and then finally finish in St Nicholas Church with more carols and some mince pies. 

For more details please contact

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

WOW WI Continues to be wonderful!

WOW!! Another brilliant night!

Another evening marred by rain and stormy weather wasn’t enough to keep you away from our second meeting! Thanks to all of you who came along and joined us for our second WOWWI meeting.

This months meeting wasn’t quite the spectacular that we achieved last month (mainly because we can’t always have balloons!) but was action packed nonetheless and included the official-officialness that means that we are now a fully fledged, all-singing, all dancing Womens Institute.  
We started out with a welcome from Sue (who did a sterling job considering that she has a horrendous cold!), hilariously (not for them) Sue was filling in for Annie who, whilst present, had lost her voice!

Between them they welcomed new faces and welcomed back those of you who came along last month and introduced Jean, our WI Advisor who was present to oversee our formation.

The formation involved Jean making sure that everyone wanted a WI (and it was nice to see that so many people obviously do want a WI in Weston-super-Mare) and formally recognising our name, frequency of meetings, number of committee members and also the very important business of Presidency.

Annie was nominated, seconded, thirded etc. and formally sworn in as President of the Women of Weston-super-Mare Womens Institute. It was mega exciting and we all cheered and clapped. Hurrah!

After all of the officalness we welcomed our speaker, another Sue from Weston Hospicecare.

Weston Hospicecare is a marvellous charity that is very close to the hearts of a number of our members (including Annie) who volunteer there and we’ve decided that we would like to support the Hospice as our chosen charity for the year.

It all gets very complicated trying to support a charity being that the WI is a charity and there are rules that we must follow when raising money but we are able to donate to local charities and support them in non-financial ways (including through community engagement) and we have chosen Weston Hospicecare as the recipient of this great attention for this year.

We were notified of a number of fundraising initiatives that the Hospice is currently promoting including the Tree of Light and Light Up a Life Event 2011 and their Massive Mince Pie (which I was most disappointed to learn does not involve a humungous mince pie!). If you care about the Hospice, take a look and get involved.

Following the talk we were treated to another ‘marvellous make’ by Shona and Leanne (in fairness, it was mainly Shona!) who showed us how to fashion a bag from a t-shirt, yes you heard us, how to upcycle your old t-shirts (and those of your families) into bags, with a few snips of the scissors and a whoosh of the sewing machine.

So impressed were all assembled that it was agreed that we’d have a bag parade at our next meeting with a competition for the best bag! Any bags unwanted by their creator can be sold off for our fundraising.

Shona's demo bag
So – get making, there are some mega-competitive crafters in our midst and it’ll be a great challenge for your creativity, we’ll post pictures of bags on the blog too – how exciting!!

We closed the evening with some updates on membership and news of our next meeting where we’ll be having a demo of festive floral arrangements from a professional (not me and Shona), we’ll be auctioning off the creations (so you can take ‘em home and pass them off as your own!) and you’ll learn of the skills to recreate them for your own homes over the festive season. There will also be a ‘make’ and you’ll have to wait and see what treat we have in store for you!

- - -


If you are interested in membership – now is the time to join (and a BIG welcome to all of our new members, its great to know that so many of you want to share the wonders of the WI).

If you join now, the membership fee is £31.50 and you will have nothing more to pay until the end of 2012 – which is a bargain! You’ll still be able to attend as a visitor if you’re not yet sure you want to commit (although I am confident that the floristry, the facial yoga we’ve planned for January and the festive frolics we’ve scheduled for December will entice you further).

We also welcomed our first Dual Member this month and look forward to welcoming more in the future.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

WOW - What a night!

 What a night!! Our first meeting was awesome and we were overwhelmed with just how many of you lovely ladies were interested in joining the WI! Before the doors opened Annie had said 'what happens if nobody comes' and I said 'we'll just have to eat all the cake ourselves!' thankfully for my diet it wasn't necessary…

We are all so thrilled that so many of you turned out on such a horrible evening and queued in the rain to come and see us.  Hopefully you enjoyed yourselves enough to come back next time and our October meeting is going to be a lot of fun and also really interesting.  Don't forget it's on 25th October.

 We've decided that we'd pick a charity that would benefit from some of our fund raising and this year we've picked Weston Hospice Care (the rules state that any charity that receives donations from a W, must be a local, rather than nationwide, charity) and are pleased to welcome along a representative of the Hospice to tell us all about their work and how your support can help them out. We'll also be having a 30 minute make where we'll demonstrate the thing of beauty that we'll make to raise money for them. Annie is a volunteer at the Hospice so they seemed an obvious choice for our first year but next year we'll be seeking your suggestions for a local charity or community organisation that would benefit from our support and then we'll have a vote to decide which one gets us!

The October meeting will also include some formality as we need to go through a process of 'formation'. Lovely Jean (our WI Advisor) will be guiding us through the process and we're assured that it shouldn't take too long!

Having hit capacity at the launch meeting we're thinking that we might need to find a bigger venue, so if you felt a bit squashed - don't worry, we're already on the case. We're already booked into the same room for next month but one of the reasons that we chose the Blakehay was because it is so flexible as a venue and can accommodate large and small groups so it should always be the same location - maybe a different room!


Look forward to seeing you next month

Lea x
PS - the rather splendid photographs from the launch were taken for us by Russ at North Somerset Photography

Tuesday, 13 September 2011



If you would like to meet like-minded creative, crafty women that care about their community come along to our launch event where you can learn more about your newest WI.

Tuesday 20 September 2011
7.30 – 9.30 PM
The Blakehay Theatre, 20 Wadham Street, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset. BS23 1JZ.

The Women of Weston-super-Mare will hold regular meetings on the third Tuesday of the Month at The Blakehay Theatre starting at 7.30pm.
Non-Members always welcome.

Please get in touch for more information

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Launch Party - only 13 days to go!!

The Committee had our final planning last night so we are now all set to go for LAUNCH!

The party will start at 7:30 in The Blakehay.  There will be a £3 entry fee and this includes a cup of tea or coffee and a homemade cake!

For those who fancy something stronger, a cash bar will be open throughout the evening.

We plan to wrap things up at 9:30.

Stay tuned for more details of what we have planned for you!

Wise Words

An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.

- Edwin Land

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Launch Party

The WOW-WI Launch Party will take place on Tuesday 20th September 2011 at the Blakehay!!!!

Put the date in your diary and stay tuned for more details.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Welcome to WOW-WI

Welcome to the Women of Weston-super-Mare Women's Institute.

Stay tuned for loads more information and a massive Launch Party heading your way soon!