Friday, 14 December 2012

WOW-WI Christmas Party!

WOW WI Christmas Party

Ladies we are looking forward to seeing you at WOW WI on Tuesday for our Christmas Party .

Please remember to bring along a plate of food – either savoury or sweet for the buffet table and if you want to take part in the Secret Santa please bring  a gift either homemade or up to the value of £3

We are also launching our Bring and Buy table so please bring along something for the table and your purse to buy something’s !

Grace from Hillside Nurseries will be coming along to demonstrate making Christmas Wreaths and table decorations , she will also be bringing some ready made items that will be available for you to purchase . 

finally we will have some carols and Christmas songs accompanied by a pianist 

It’s going to be a great night ….. look forward to seeing you there

WOW WI Committee

WOW-WI does Superscrimpers!

Calling all WOW-WI!
Channel 4's Superscrimpers wants to involve you in a 'swishing' event -
if you could all bring two items of clothing that you would be happy to
trade with a fellow W.I member. It is a way to save money on getting a
fab dress in exchange for something you may not use anymore. Someone
else's trash is another's treasure!

We are hoping to throw a swishing event at the museum on Sunday -
between 2-4pm. We would need to confirm numbers, ages and dress sizes to
make sure we have a well balanced selection of clothing!

If you could forward these details onto including your name and contact number I can pass them into the production team.

The venue will be confirmed once numbers are finalised but will be in Weston Super Mare THIS Sunday 16th December dependant on the uptake. I understand that the notice period for this is very small but this is TV ladies!

Hope to see you there-PLEASE respond by email so we have enough info to schedule this and also to confirm this is going ahead.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Denman College - courses for everyone (including non members!)

Denman College is the WIs very own residential college  offering a wide variety of day and residential courses........but  did you know it is  open  to non WI members and men as well?
Denman is situated near Abingdon in Oxfordshire midway between Swindon and Oxford. 
The college consists of Denman House, a beautiful Georgian building housing dining facilities, lounges, a bar and reception,  a separate  teaching centre,   modern accommodation blocks and several acres of gardens and grounds.
Courses  available include  quilting, painting, various cookery courses, setting up your own business, dance, fitness, languages, meditation, embroidery, fabric corsage making, interior design, Tai Chi, crystal healing, drawing, silkscreen printing, Baroque Choral music, sugar craft, tracing your ancestors, bridge for beginners, jewellery making, heraldry and many many more.
The cost of courses varies from around £80 for a days course to  around £250- £300  for a residential or weekend course - these do however include accommodation and three meals a day with endless tea, coffee and frequently home made cakes! (WI members pay less than non members for courses)Denman College offers bursaries towards the cost of  courses and travel, and bursaries can also be applied for through Avon Federation.
The accommodation is modern, very comfortable  and mainly  single en suite rooms with larger rooms for those who wish to share.Non members and men are welcome so why not book a course with a friend or partner?
Denman College also offers very reasonably priced Bed & Breakfast accommodation - perfect for sightseeing in Oxford or shopping at Bicester or Swindon outlet villages!
Like many institutions Denman is feeling the financial pinch  and there is a danger that if not used more by WI members ( and guests) this fantastic facility may be lost (see the November/December issue of WI Life).
A weekend at Denman is restful 'me time', a chance to learn or improve on an interest, skill or hobby but also very sociable even  if attending on your own, and new friends are quickly made.
Why not log on to  to view all the courses available, email , call 01865391991 or ask for more information at future WOW WI meetings .

Monday, 26 November 2012

WOW WI Book Group...latest book

WOW WI Book Group met as usual at Loves Cafe on Tuesday 13th November to discuss " The Making of Us" by Lisa Jewell. This novel concerns three young adults, all at different stages in their lives, whose father was an unknown  sperm donor......until now. This story follows the discovery of their  heritage and their efforts to come to terms with this and connect with each other. Towards  the end of the novel they  decide to go together to meet their biological father, whose biggest gift to them has been the discovery of each other as siblings. This book was enjoyed by all the members as a believable, relevant, well written read, and one of Lisa Jewells best so far.

Next month the book group meet on Tuesday 11th December to discuss Sister by Rosamund Lipton.

New WOWWI members welcome.. ... email  marianneinbelgium@hotmail for more details if needed.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Meeting report – October

October’s meeting was our AGM and Daphne Vise the Avon Federation Chair was in attendance to conduct the formal part of the evening, together with Donna Butcher.

Most of the original committee members have decided to continue into next year; however Shona and Leanne are very busy with other commitments so have stepped down, but will remain valued members of WOW-WI.  We reiterated the request we have made at previous meetings for additional committee members and fortunately Helen F and Karen came forward to replace Shona and Leanne, and in addition Penny will be helping Elaine with the Treasurer role.  The number of committee members now stands at 9.

Daphne asked the members to nominate a committee member for President.  Five were nominated and asked whether they were prepared to stand; Annie was the only one who agreed so will continue as President for another year.

Members please remember we are always in need of an extra pair of hands and you do not need to commit to being a committee member to get involved with running WOW-WI.

Helen read the committee’s annual report and a copy of this can be seen below.  Elaine presented the financial report which had been approved by the Federation.  Both reports were then adopted by WOW-WI.

Following the formalities, those members who had participated in the Charity Shop Chic competition and strutted their stuff in a fashion show around the courtyard to show off their beautiful bargains.  They all looked wonderfully glamorous and Daphne had a difficult job to judge, but did eventually manange to select a winner and a runner up.

In a slight change to the advertised programme due to the expected speaker being poorly, we then handed over to Sue and Lesley from Boutique Burlesque, a new specialist lingerie shop in Weston which provides a bra-fitting service.  The ladies were great fun and explained that they had set up their own business after being friends for many years.  We were treated to some great stories about the funny side and sights of being a bra fitter, then those members who wanted to were given the opportunity to be properly measured.

Click here to see a story about Boutique Burlesque on the Weston Mercury website

Always self-sacrificing for the sake of the members, your secretary stepped up to the plate and was delighted by the result!

Wow-WI Committee Annual Report 2011-2012

Our first year has been more amazing than any of us could have imagined, the success which the group has had has been overwhelming.

Our first “official” event was in September 2011 where we invited the women of Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding areas to join us at a launch party; a good chance to gauge the level of interest, we thought, and to see if it would be worth forming a WI.  Well, the venue was full, ladies were queuing in the rain to get in so clearly a WI was needed in Weston-super-Mare. 

Ladies tucked into a delicious array of cakes, listened to music from the gramophone disco and generally had the chance to find out what the WI is all about.  Most people went home proudly clutching a hand-crafted paper windmill from the 15 minute make – keep hold of these ladies, they could be a collector’s item in years to come. We even had a try at singing Jerusalem; it wasn’t exactly a resounding success so this is a WI tradition which quickly faded from our meetings!  The Weston Mercury covered the meeting.

In October we had our formation meeting, where the decision was officially taken to form a WI and the committee and president were voted in.  Sue Sweet from the Hospice was present to talk to us about the work of our chosen charity and Shona & Leanne demonstrated how to make a bag from a t-shirt and launched a competition for the best one created by the following month.

In November we had a floral theme with a floristry demonstration from Charmianne and the 15 minute make was fabric corsages.  WI Life was in attendance and we featured in the members’ magazine shortly afterwards.  It was at this meeting that it really became apparent that the Blakehay was just too small to accommodate the ever-increasing membership numbers, so the committee were delighted when the Town Council suggested that we could move to the Museum, where we have met successfully ever since, largely thanks to the co-operation and helpfulness of Adam and the team who have been a great support to us throughout.

In December we celebrated Christmas with a mince-pie mingle – members came up trumps with a fantastic selection of different types of mince pies.  We also explored our new venue, had a Christmas quiz and transformed jam jars into twinkling Christmas lanterns.

In January we kicked-started our New Year’s resolutions for a more beautiful us with a demonstration on facial yoga as well as recipes for home-made beauty treatments from our resident beauty expert and committee member Fran. 

By February the healthy living and dieting had been abandoned and we welcomed Amy from Oak & Glass (who is also a WOW-WI member) who demonstrated how to make some beautiful sweet treats and told us all about working in a professional kitchen.  Leanne then showed us how to make gift boxes so we could give our lovely creations away to family and friends for Mother’s Day and Easter.

In March Grace from Hillside nursery attended the meeting and demonstrated how to put together a successful hanging basket – even members who had been container-gardening for years picked up some new tips.  This was followed by a period of primary-school style cutting and gluing as members fought over the scissors and resorted to underhand tactics to secure the best embellishments for their Easter bonnets.

In April Lisa Stevens who is a very talented ceramicist came to the meeting to talk about her work and members were given another opportunity to play as she let us loose with the clay.  Some beautiful creations were returned to us – whether their beauty was down to our members’ skill or Lisa getting clever with the glaze we couldn’t possibly comment!

In May we celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with an indoor street part.  Tables groaned under the weight of all the food brought by fancy-dressed members and the museum looked a picture strung with miles and miles of bunting.  We also got into big trouble with Adam for our total failure to remain in control of our helium balloons but hopefully he has forgiven us by now.  John Crockford-Hawley came to talk to us about Weston’s history and members were riveted by what he had to say (even those from Worle).  We also voted unanimously to support the WI’s proposed resolution regarding the recruitment of more midwives.

June’s meeting was held at Love’s Café where we were treated to musical entertainment, delicious refreshments (with no washing up afterwards!) and a fun quiz before setting off on an historical walk around the town provided by Weston Walks.

By July we were back at home in the museum.  Sue Gilbert came to talk to us about Pilates, cue members using muscles they didn’t normally and trying not to grimace.  This was followed by the charming and inspirational Ben Rushgrove who came to talk to us about his participation in the Paralympic games.

After the rest-month of August, members began a new WI year with a first birthday party, where we tucked in to fish and chips enjoyed another history talk from Mr C-H.

It’s not just the monthly meetings which we’ve been able to enjoy, WOW-WI now has three successful “spin-off” groups which members can participate in; Book Club, where we read and discuss everything from Dickens to the antics of a certain Mr Grey and Miss Steele; Craft Club, where members have been taught how to make cards and jewellery as well as swapping ideas and expertise; and Walking Group where we enjoy a new perspective on the town and getting a bit of activity into our lives, culminating in a plan to terrify Westonians at the end of October with our Halloween walk.  All three groups are a great hit and always well attended.

There have also been a number of trips and outings, starting in February with a Pamper Evening at Weston College, soon followed by a trip to the Country Living Fair in London in March.  In May we went to see Calendar Girls at the Hippodrome in Bristol and also got the chance to be hands-on with hanging baskets with Grace at Hillside Nurseries.  Later that month Annie and Helen participated in the Avon Federation Olympic Torch Relay.  In August several members enjoyed a soggy but fun day out to Hestercombe Gardens.

We are also proud to have raised £250 For Weston Hospicecare during our first year.

Our membership has steadily grown and now stands at a massive 90 women.

There are so many people to thank for their help during the year, we couldn’t possibly mention everyone, but they know who they are and as a committee we are grateful to everyone who has volunteered their time, skills and resources to help us make WOW-WI such a fantastic success.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Uphill WI Christmas Party

Our first Christmas Party invitation of 2012 has just been received! - see below.  Please email us on if you would like to attend.

Friday, 19 October 2012

October Book Group - what we read

Tuesday 9th October WOW WI book group met as usual in Loves Cafe.
Welcome new members........!
The book we discussed was the memoir of actress Sue Johnston ( Waking the Dead, Royle Family, Brookside etc) " Things I Couldn't Tell My Mother" . Overall most present found it disappointing and somewhat bland, lacking in real insight into the actress's personality  and written in a simplistic if pleasant narrative style. The title led us to expect some interesting perspectives on the  mother daughter relationship but the treatment of this was superficial . Overall not a favourite

Members put forward suggestion for books to be read and discussed by the group in the coming months and details are as follows.

Tuesday November  13th       The Making of Us  by Lisa Jewell
Tuesday 11th December         Sister   by Rosamund Lipton
Tuesday 8th January               When God Was  a Rabbit by   Sarah Winman
Tuesday 12th February          The Lovely Bones  by  Alice Sebold
Tuesday 12th March              Anna Karenina  by Leo Tolstoy
Tuesday 9th April                  Cross Stitch   by Diana Gabaldon
Tuesday  May      h               The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz  by Denis Avey with Rob Broomby
Tuesday June 11th                Cutting for Stone  by Abraham Verghese
Tuesday July   9th                 The Girl on The Landing by Paul Torday

Monday, 15 October 2012


Just  a brief reminder that it is WOW WI  on Tuesday night and we hope that as many of you as possible can join us as it is our first AGM 

We don't anticipate that the formal part of the evening will take more than 10 minutes so lots of time for some fun – we have a new speaker who has stood in at short notice as our Colour Me Beautiful lady isn't well but it is going to be a real laugh as we have the bra fitter from BURLESQUE Boutique coming to tell us how to make the most of our assets ! 

Don't forget there is a prize for the best dress person who has bought their outfit from a charity shop 

We will look forward to seeing you on Tuesday in your Charity Shop Chic! 

See you soon 

WOW WI Committee 

Monday, 17 September 2012

WOW WI Book Group

WOW WI Book Group met at Loves Cafe as usual, Tuesday 10th September to discuss the bestselling racy trilogy by E.L. James - Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Not surprisingly these books created a lot of discussion and may have resulted in certain members visiting the  Ann Summers store in Bristol! The consensus was that the first book was gripping but by the third book the poor standard of writing and repetition  had reduced the appeal a little. The plot was entertaining and basically a love story at heart. Themes discussed included whether the main character Christian Grey was controlling to the point of abuse, and the  ease  with which the heroine, originally  a naive virgin,  adapted to his varied sexual demands. We also discussed  the easy access that young people have to pornography on the Internet via computers and phones and the effect that  this may have. Most members enjoyed the books overall, one of two disliked them but we all had an enjoyable and often raucous evening .

The book for October is  "Things I Couldn't Tell My Mother" by actress Sue Johnson and next meeting is Tuesday 9th October 7.30 pm at Loves Cafe West Street. New members welcome.

The book choices for the coming year will be taken suggestions made by  WOW WI Book group members. Each member is to suggest a book they have read or would like to read,  that they feel the group would enjoy reading and discussing. It can be a recent best seller, one on a TV book club list, a classic or one that has been read many years ago but remained a favourite.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Have Your Say

WOW WI is one year old!  Have your say and let the committee know what  you  thought of our first year by completing our questioannaire. Go to  and complete the online questionnaire.Or, if you prefer copies of the questioannaire will be available to fill in at our next meeting at the Museum 0n Tuesday September 18th.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Craft Club

Sorry ladies I haven.t posted anything for two months.
June. Annie demonstrated simple cardmaking to a few of the ladies, Helen F got very carried away and managed to make about 10 cards, lots of different crafts were going on around us.
July Everybody did their own crafts from scrapbooking to jewellary. It was decided that in future the meetings would have more structure, so that we would take something away that we had made from each meeting. September it will be jewellary. one of the group is going to put little kits together, and then demonstrate to us. We will hopefully create something beautiful. Another change, is venue, from September we will meet at The Imperial on South Terrace. This is to keep costs down, The Museum is fantastic but we have to pay a set fee regardless of the amount of people attending eg. £5.00 in June as numbers were low. The Imperial will enable us to keep the amount we pay to £3.00  whatever the number. See you all then.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Hestercombe Gardens Visit

Formal Gardens
Madame President in the Witches House

Umbrellas needed!
17 ladies travelled to Hestercombe Gardens near Taunton on Saturday 4th August. Originally designed by Gertrude Jekyll and the architect Edwin Lutyuns, these Edwardian gardens have been  restored to their original glory during the  past 2 decades and further restoration on the house is also planned . We had a rather wet and soggy guided tour through  woodland landscape gardens complete with Witches Hut and waterfall, but also the Victorian planted garden  and formal terraced gardens with rills and pergolas. Despite the sometimes heavy rain the  tour was interesting and most of us enjoyed lunch and shopping in the plant shop afterwards.

Friday, 20 July 2012

WOW-WI July Meeting Report

As Sue explained this meeting marked the end of our first year as we
started in September 2011 and there is no meeting in August.  We are all
very proud of what has been achieved and what a great group of members we
have, with everyone being so enthusiastic and keen to join in.

During our first year as a WI we have been allowed to keep all of the
members’ subscriptions and visitors’ fees.  As of September 50% of this
will need to be paid over to the Federation, so to keep running at the
standard you are used to, we will need to start fundraising.  If anyone has
any ideas, please do let us know.

Another important part of the start of a new year will be the re-election
of the committee.  Some of the committee members plan to stand again, but
Leanne and Shona have decided not to, due to other commitments.  If you
would like to join us on the committee, don’t be shy, come forward and
nominate yourself.

A delicious array of cakes was produced again; our thanks to Steph, Annie,
Dee, Amy and Sue for these.

Don’t forget the forthcoming trips to Hestercombe on 4th August and Bath
Races on 1st September.  We still have places to fill for the races – this
is your chance to dust off your most flamboyant hat and try your luck with
the bookies!

In honour of the forthcoming London Olympics our speakers for July meeting
had a health and fitness theme.

Firstly Sue Gilbert came to talk to us about Pilates.  It was an excellent
introduction and gave a really good idea about what Pilates can achieve for
all types of people.

We had a good giggle at the photos of Joseph Pilates who liked to practice
in his pants and it was great fun to see the expressions of intense
concentration on the faces of members as they played the very challenging
“lift game”.

We are hoping that Sue will be able to offer a course of Pilates sessions
for WOW-WI members – watch this space.

Sue generously donated a personal training session to our raffle.  Her website is here.

Our own Sue Jamison must have dashed into a telephone box whilst we weren’t looking
as suddenly she had been transformed into an Olympic Gamesmaker, complete
with uniform.  Sue is passionate about the Olympics and the commitment of the athletes and was delighted to introduce our second speaker.

Ben Rushgrove is a Paralympic runner from Bath who trains locally.  He was
the first athlete to achieve a time of under 25 seconds in the 200m.  He
also won a silver medal in the 100m at the Games in Beijing in 2008 with a
time of 12.35 seconds, beating the bronze medal winner by 1/100th of a

Quite what he must have thought when he walked in to the museum to see
50-odd ladies practicing their pelvic floor exercises is anyone’s guess,
but it didn’t seem to put him off his cake.

Ben gave a very inspiring talk about his sport and his life, explaining his
philosophy of trying to concentrate only on the things which you can
control.  He was generous enough to circulate his various medals around
the group and we were very excited to have the chance to hold a silver
Olympic medal.

Alison Bond has been knitting cushions for Woolsack and was very proud to
hand her latest creation directly to Ben.  Woolsack is a project which
enables anyone to contribute to making a cushion from British wool. These
are being given as a personal welcome gift from the people of Britain to
the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

Ben kindly offered to take questions at the end of his talk (and didn’t
seem to mind being interrogated about his consumption of sweet treats!) and
then to pose for photographs afterwards.

Ben has a lot of new fans at WOW-WI and going forward we will all be
cheering him on at “Gamestime”, I really think that.

You can see a video about Ben on You Tube by clicking here

September’s meeting will be WOW-WI’s first birthday party.  We have chosen
a Weston-super-Mare theme and fish and chips will be for sale, provided by Atlantic
Fish Bar.  John Crockford-Hawley will be in attendance again to continue where
he left off last time in his account of Weston-super-Mare’s history.  Suzie
Johnson of The Wool Sanctuary will be joining us to tell us about her new
book Janet Smith Can’t Knit.

We will also be holding WOW-WI’s first creative competition.  There will be four
classes, all entries are to have a Weston-super-Mare theme.
1.    Food – anything you think sums up the culinary flavour of Weston,
from toffee apples to decorated cakes
2.    Craft – here is your chance to show off the skills you have picked up
at Craft Club; will it be a beach scene on a tray or a knitted donkey?
3.    Clothing – come along in your best Weston-themed outfit, perhaps your
only chance this year to don your bikini or kiss-me-quick hat
4. Souvenir – bring along the naffest (or most beautiful) souvenir of Weston
you can find available in the vast array of gift shops around town.

See you after the summer - if we eventually get one!

Monday, 16 July 2012

WOW WI Book Group

The WOW WI Book Group met as usual in Loves Cafe on Tuesday 10th July to discuss The Red House by Mark Haddon. As many of us had read other books by Mark Haddon, namely The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night  and A Spot of Bother we had anticipated an amusing well paced novel. This latest novel by Mark Haddon tells teh story of a brother and sister and their respective o families who share a week in a holiday cottage in Wales and  their relationships and attitudes to wards each other . Unfaithful spouses, stroppy teenagers and a woman possibley on the verge of going mad. Overall we agreed that The Red House  was disappointing, jumping  between  characters and scenes so quickly that it was hard to keep track of events. Lacking a clear plot, we felt the book was somewhat disjointed and we didnt gain enough in depth  knowledge of each of the cahracters. A few members did enjoy it but in summary not a faveourite for theh WOW WI members.
There  is NO meeting in August......the next Book Group meeting is Tuesday11th September and we will be reading the best selling  racy trilogy Fifty Shdes of Grey by El James . October we meet on Tuesday 9th and are reading "Things I Couldnt Tell my Mother  The autobiography of actress  Sue Johnson( Waking the Dead, Brookside, The  Royle Family).

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Meeting Report - 18th July 2012

Due to the museum having a long-standing booking for the third Tuesday, June’s meeting was held at Loves Café.  Anna from Loves put a lot of work into making a fantastic evening for us – thanks again Anna. Delicious cupcakes (my favourites were the ones with a well-known American black and white cookie on top) and a variety of lovely drinks were available.  It seems most people managed to remember that there was a change of venue (perhaps thanks to Fran getting busy with the felt tips and Blue Tac to make a sign for the museum door?!) as the place was packed.  

Sue reminded everyone of the upcoming trips to Hestercombe and Bath Races and of the dates for the forthcoming Book Club, Craft Club and Walking Group meetings.  Some serious allegations were made about the two youngest members of the committee and several other members who were accused of turning Walking Group into “Excuse for Drinking Copious Amounts of Cocktails and Staying Out Scandalously Late Group”.  We They are saying nothing (whoever they are).

We were entertained by a wonderful pianist and a certain lady who is old enough to know better went home with his phone number (for future WI events, of course).

A fact sheet was distributed, detailing how members could make the most of this website, so hopefully a few more of you are reading these words this month.  Or are they floating off into internet land?  Do let us know by leaving a comment and you will have the chance of winning a lovely bottle of wine in recognition of your super-brilliant IT skillz.

The main part of the evening was spent Walking around Weston on a Weston Walk with Weston Walker Mike Harding (your secretary was surprised not to see the comedian/Radio 2 Folk Show presenter) from Weston Walks.  Members were treated to a circular walk via Grove Park and Weston College, taking in the scenery and listening to stories of Weston residents from times past.  They got up to some shocking behaviour!  We were asked to play the jury and vote on the outcome of a true-life murder trial – quite a few members revealed their right-wing side and voted for the poor chap to face the hangman’s noose, but there were a fair few trendy lefties who went for the life imprisonment option.   All were agreed that Mike was a wonderfully engaging storyteller and very well-informed.  There have been rumours about the Walking Group going on a ghost walk with Mike for Halloween – watch this space.

Between walks, members participated in a fiendishly difficult general knowledge quiz and lots of chatting and laughter.

In honour of the Olympics, next month’s meeting has a sporty theme with a talk from the very inspiring Paralympian Ben Rushgrove as well as an introduction to Pilates from a local teacher.  Don’t worry, you don’t need to bring your PE kit as there will be no enforced exercise.  Local celebrity knitter Suzie Johnson of the Wool Sanctuary will be in attendance to tell us about her exciting first book.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Book Group - latest book

WOW WI Book Group met as usual in Loves Cafe on Tuesday 12th June to discuss the latest book choice - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.  This is the story of Harold Fry who sets out to post a letter to a dying friend.... and  ends up walking over 600 miles to see her instead. A poignant sometimes humerous tale of coming to terms with grief,loss,  love, family and   marriage -this book was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. A very 'readable'  and absorbing book.

In July, WOW WI Book Group are reading The Red House by Mark Haddon.

Dates for future Book Group Meetings are

Tuesday 10th July ( No meeting in August)
Tuesday 11th September
Tuesday 9th October
Tuesday 13th November
Tuesday 11th December

Sunday, 10 June 2012

WOW WI Meeting 19th June

Hello Ladies
The next WOW WI meeting will be held at Loves Cafe, West Street on June 19th (our usual venue of the Museum being unavailable that night).

Anna at Loves has arranged for a pianist to play just for our entertainment , first from 7 pm to 7.30 ,so arrive early and enjoy the music! Tea, coffee, cakes etc will be available to buy in Loves Cafe.

At 7.30 Mike Harding of Weston Walks will provide short 'tasters' of his guided walks around Weston super Mare. Depending on how many members want to go on the walk, members may be divided into one of two or two groups going.

Whatever the weather we will have music and activities

For those who choose not to go on the walk, a topical quiz will be held with a prizes for the winner.

The walking group is  expected back at Loves around 8.30 pm when we will have our usual notices and announcements & raffle.
The pianist will once again serenade us for another half hour from 8.30 - 9 pm  The meeting will finish as usual between 9 - 9.15 pm.
Those members going on the Hestercombe Gardens Trip ( 4th August) please bring cheques for £25 made out to WOW WI

Thank You!

Avon Federation Olympic Torch Handover

Due to some communication problems and resultant confusion of various members of various WIs, the torch handover was done at very short notice on 24th May.  Fortunately your President and your Secretary are always poised, like coiled springs, to respond the call of  WI duty and were able to scramble the emergency Ford Ka, fling on their WOW-WI sashes and make it to Knightstone Island in time to hold the torch for a very brief period of time between Bleadon and Locking Green WIs.

  Annie waits excitedly to do the handover, smiling through the pain of a twisted ankle.

Here are the photos to prove it:

Helen receiving the torch from Bleadon

5 minutes later, Annie passing the torch safely to the Locking Green ladies.

There are worse ways to spend part of a summer evening in Weston and it was great to meet the members of other local WIs.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Book Group -test read

The WOW WI Book Group met once again at Loves Cafe on Tuesday 22nd May. The book for discussion was Charles Dickens The Old Curiosity Shop- which it appeared you either loved or hated...or in some cases hadn' even read! This classic tale of Nell and her grandfather fleeing London in poverty and surrounded by various colourful charcters was not everyones cup of tea. A few found it unreadable, most had got at least half way through, one or two  members  were enjoying it..... four members had actually finished it! It was agreed that although we should read a 'classic' at least once a year, Dickens detailed and visual  style required concentration, was of its time, but was  very popular entertainment in its day.

Next two meeting dates are Tuesday 12th June and Tuesday 10th July.The  book for June  is The Unlikley Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce and in July we are reading the Red House by Mark Haddon.
Thee is NO WOW WI book group meeting in August but the group will resume again in September.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

****************** STOP PRESS!!!! **************

The WI Olympic Torch handover will take place tonight! Meet at 7pm at Knightstone Island. We are receiving it from Bleadon and passing it on to Locking Green with the assistance of the Lifeboat Crew!. Then we can join Bleadon in a stroll along the front. Apologies for the late notice, seems WOW-WI got a bit forgotten. Helen and Annie will be there and anyone else is welcome.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

May Meeting Report - Jubilee Street Party

 Last Tuesday night the museum courtyard was looking beautiful - strung with
miles and miles of bunting, decked out with red, white and blue helium
balloons and union flags everywhere - all thanks to the hard work of the
committee, Adam and Lizzie from the museum and a few stray husbands.

It should be noted that one condition was placed on the use of helium balloons
which was that they must not end up on the ceiling because as they
deflate they tend to set off the motion-sensors, leading to poor dedicated
Adam being called out in the middle of the night.  

We solemnly agreed, but sadly the road to hell is paved with good intentions and there were soon
four naughty balloons bobbing around on the ceiling.  So if you see Adam wandering the streets of Weston looking like he hasn't slept for the past four nights - maybe he hasn't!

 The faux shop-fronts really added to the street party atmosphere as did the
long tables, which were soon groaning under the weight of all the food,
brought by our generous and talented members.

No one could say that WOW-WI members are afraid of joining in and they
embraced the fancy dress theme with gusto - we had all kinds of fantastic
fancy dress from girls in bobby socks to hippies and punks, and Steph was
resplendent in Mrs Thatcher chic in the mother-of-the-bride suit from her
wedding.  A photographer from the Weston Mercury was in attendance to
capture our efforts so look out for a report in the local paper next week.

 After a brief mingle we proceeded to the gallery where Marianne explained
the WI resolution system and presented the case for the current one which
is for the WI to campaign for the NHS to recruit more midwives.  A vote was held later in the evening which
was unanimously in favour of the resolution as proposed.  Trish Taylor will
take the decisions of all the local WIs to the National Federation AGM next

Elaine encouraged members to use the WI Moodle; this is a facility which
members can access for free and has lots of information about the wider WI
as well as learning resources.  Members should have already been sent a
username and password - if anyone has any problems with accessing the
Moodle, please let Elaine know.

The WI Olympic Torch Handover is due to take place on 24th May at the
beach, but we are still awaiting confirmation of the times.  More
information to follow when we have it.

Members were reminded of forthcoming trips to Hilside Nursery and
Hestercoombe (see events page).  We are also planning a new trip to Ladies
Day at Bath Races on 1st September, more details to follow.

We reminded everyone of the forthcoming meetings of the Book, Craft and
Walking Clubs - see individual club pages for details.

Next month's meeting will be an historical walk around Weston, starting out
from Loves Cafe.  Sue asked for a show of hands and it seemed that most of
those present were planning to join the walk.

Our speaker for the evening was John Crockford-Hawley who was very engaging
and we were all enthralled by his tales of Weston-super-Mare past.  A
shudder was seen to go around the room at the thought of the "refuse pond"
which had apparently occupied the site which is now the Pound Shop and
where old Westonians disposed of their fish-heads and bones - clearly not
everything about history is romantic!  Lots of people commented that they
could have listened all evening so perhaps we will have to get Mr
Crockford-Hawley to come back in future.

After the talk a swarm of locusts/large group of WOW-WI members descended
on the buffet, following which the fancy dress competition was judged by
some of those who had come as representatives of 2012 cutting edge fashion
(by which I mean they weren't in fancy dress!!). 

The committee is pleased to report that by the end of the meeting most of
the food had been eaten, with the remainder being gobbled up by your
secretary's waste-disposal unit aka husband who felt that the left-over
treats more than made up for her failure to provide him with a cooked meal
at home!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

WOW-WI Jubilee Street Party

Hi ladies

Just a reminder that the next WOW WI meeting will be on Tuesday, 15th May at 7.30pm.

We will be marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee by holding our own Street Party in the museum so please remember to bring along some party food -  either  a sweet or savoury plate would be much appreciated . I am sure we will have lots of food so please cater for 4 to 6 people and skip supper so you are hungry! 

We would like as many of you as possible to wear an outfit from one of the decades of the Queens reign so drag out your old durndle skirts, rock and roll dresses, minis from the 60s or maybe you were more a Flower Power peace lover or even a punk rocker, Bay City Roller fan or perhaps you power dressed in the 80s whatever this is your chance to dig out that old outfit from the back of the wardrobe . There will be a prize for the best outfit.

We will have lots of fun so hopefully you can make the next meeting

Look forward to seeing you next Tuesday

WOW WI Committee

PS  Please don't be put off coming by the fancy dress code -  if you want to come dressed in
an outfit from the current decade that is fine just make sure you come along and join in the fun

PPS Non members are very welcome the entrance charge is £4 and a plate of food for the party !!

Calendar Girls


On Tuesday night over 50 WOWers descended on the Bristol Hippodrome to see Calendar Girls.  The trip was a great success and the show was enjoyed by all, particularly when Linda Bellingham held up a massive floral arrangement of the word "WOW" but we think this was co-incidence rather than recognition of our attendance!
Some were so inspired they even left talking about doing our own calendar.  I think we should bring our own twist to the idea though- nudity is no longer original enough, SO last year!!  I'm sure we'd have no shortage of volunteers to be behind the camera though!

Let us know if there are any other shows you'd like to go on a trip to.

See you soon,


Monday, 30 April 2012

WI Resolutions

It's that time of year when we need to talk about Resolutions and vote on them. As a new WI this is still pretty new to us and so we thought it would be a good idea to give you a brief overview of what a resolution actually is.

The WI has a long history of campaigning and getting things done, in order to do this it has a democratic process whereby issues are raised at the grass-roots of the organisation and fed through to become the subject of our national campaigns.

The National WI website ( has lots of information about resolutions and mandates but here is a summary;
Each year every WI is invited to submit a resolution, this must be with regard to a nationwide issue that people really care about, it needs to be as relevant in a years time as it is when it is raised and it needs to be in line with the constitution of the WI

The National Federation provide the Committee of your WI with Resolution Submission Forms and together, members along with the support of the committee (and our WI Advisors) will pull together a submission and submit it to our Avon Federation who will check it against the constitution and against previous submissions to identify any duplication with previous resolutions.

These submissions will be collated into a 'long-list' upon receipt by the National Federation, they will review them again to identify if there has been any duplication in that years submissions and, once content that they are all unique, will create a short list to be reviewed by the Solicitor (to ensure that the resolution is legally viable).

When approved by the Solicitor the short list will be distributed to members via WI Life Magazine which gives all members the opportunity to vote for the resolution that they feel is most important. The National Federation will then collate the results of this vote and the resolution(s) with the overall majority will be carried forward for consideration at the AGM.

Your involvement doesn't end there. Before the AGM we will need to discuss this resolution at our meeting (ours is to be discussed at the meeting in May) and vote on whether we agree with the resolution. As a group, we will feed this back to our Delegate (who is this year from Congresbury WI) and she will take our views into consideration and will take them forward to the AGM where a vote will be cast on our behalf and, if accepted the resolution will become 'mandate' and the subject of WI campaigning in the years ahead.

The lovely ladies at Malago WI have created a potted history on campaigning; and this gives you a proper timeline and an idea of what is involved.

This Years Resolution
This years resolution is all about the recruitment of more midwives and again you can read all about the 2012 AGM Resolution on the National Website; The resolution has also been the subject of articles in WI Life and members of the committee attended a briefing meeting to understand more about the resolution and why it should be supported.

The Conservatives promised 3000 more midwives before the election (even though the Royal College of Midwives recommended that an additional 4700 were needed) and to date only 620 new midwives have been employed since the election.

There are various statistics that support the need for more midwives but in simple terms - more babies are being born (from 530,339 in 2000/1 to 668,195 in 2012/11) and jobs for midwives are actually being subject to cutbacks whilst fewer midwives are being replaced as they retire or leave the profession. Additionally there are new pressures on the time of midwives such as;
  • An increase in the number women having babies who are older, diabetic or disabled means that a labour can be less straightforward and there is a need for greater monitoring and involvement by midwives. This is also the case for teenage pregnancies and where a mother is drug dependent.
  • More diverse society means that sometimes translators are required as part of the delivery process and this adds to the time it takes to support a women through labour
  • Changing society means that there is less opportunity to rely on family for support and often new mums without any close family (or family close-by) will need additional, post natal support.

The benefits of more midwives would be a reduction in readmission, reduction in the rate of cesarean sections, shortened labour, reduced rate of forceps rate and happier mothers and families (which brings huge rewards long term)

So the case for more midwives is pretty straightforward. There is a counter argument about the amount of the money available and the work of the WI (if the resolution becomes a mandate) is to lobby the Government for greater investment in this area and a commitment to their pre-election pledge. (if you're feeling particularly keen on being heard you can also sign the Royal College of Midwives e-petition too; )

We'll be discussing this resolution in more detail at our May meeting but this should give you a flavour of what's to come.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

WOW WI Meeting Report April 2012

The WI Olympic Torch handover will take place at the beach on 24th May.  We are co-operating with Bleadon, Uphill and Worle, using various forms of transport to pass the torch along.  Details are being finalised with the other groups and we will let you know exactly what will be happening at the next meeting.

The Avon Federation Olympics is on Wednesday 18th July at Timsbury.  Members can participate in the various sporting events or just take a picnic and sit and watch – hopefully in the sunshine!

We will be increasing the fee for a non-WI member to attend our meetings to £4.00 as of next month.
We have been told that the team behind the Great British Bake Off are looking for volunteers to take part in a similar competition – but for sewing.  To find out more you can contact them on 0207 067 4822 or by email to  Alternatively you can download an application form.

We still seem to be getting a few emails returned to us as the addresses are wrong.  If you are not receiving emails from WOW-WI, please contact a member of the committee and we can correct the records.
For those members who do not use email or do not have access to the internet, we are planning a “buddy” system, where we will pair you up with another member who does use the internet and can pass on information.  Using email is much easier and cheaper for us than having to put updates in the post – particularly with the forthcoming increase in the price of stamps!

If anyone would like to contribute a raffle price, please let Sue know – the raffle is a great way of raising money to pay towards the costs of running WOW-WI, paying for great speakers etc.

Thanks to Leanne, Annie, Moira Cullington and Lucy Adams for providing wonderful array of delicious cakes, and thanks to Janice, Lara and Margaret, our refreshments volunteers this month for their sterling work.

Trips and Events
There are 5 seats left on the coach for Calendar Girls, please let Sue know if you would like one.  We will be meeting in the bar upstairs at the Hippodrome before the performance.

Sue is in the process of organising a Hanging Basket workshop at Hillside Nurseries with Grace, our fantastic speaker from last month.  Details to follow.
Marianne has organised a trip to Hestercombe Gardens on 4th August 2012.

We are proposing to organise a day at Bath Races on Saturday 1st September, more details to follow.

The West Mendip Group of WIs (of which WOW-WI is part) is putting on three trips this year.  We circulated sign-up sheets for the trip to Cardiff and the Brecon Railway  on 15th May.  Details of the other group trips to follow.

The book club is going really well and the next meeting is on 22nd May at Loves Café.  This month’s book is Dickens’ Olde Curiosity Shoppe which is receiving mixed reports from the readers!  June’s book is the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.

The next Craft Club is on 1st May – Adam has promised us faithfully on bended knee that the museum will actually be open this time!  Craft Club members should be hearing from Karen Mills about the arrangements shortly.

Members of the walking club will be participating in the Bluebell Walk  on 29th April and Helen Gosling is arranging a power walk along Weston Beach on 4th May at 6:30.

Next month’s meeting is our Jubilee Street Party.  Members were allocated food to bring and an email will follow for those who weren’t there.  We will be having a talk from John Crockford- Hawley who is a local councillor and historian about Weston-super-Mare and royal events.  Helen brought along some bunting she had made and promised to post instructions for making bunting to the blog, so if anyone fancies making some with a Jubilee theme they can bring it on 15th.

Our speaker for the evening was Lisa Stevens, a very talented ceramicist who shared with us some of her techniques for making beautiful small ceramic items, such as decorative bowls and jewellery.  You can see Lisa’s work at

After the talk, we were all offered the opportunity to make some small items ourselves which Lisa has taken away to fire in her kiln and add a glaze. These will be returned to their sculptors at the meeting in May.   I’m sure Lisa was terribly worried by the beautiful masterpieces produced by our members (!) but we had a lot of fun playing with the clay.