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.
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.