Monthly Archives: November 2014

Hot Topics November 2014

Agnes, our President welcomed 80 members (including 1 new one) and 1 guest to the meeting. During our normal WI business, 2 members were successful in the draw for our 2014/15 Bursary for Denman College. We hope they enjoy their time at Denman. Members chose as our Charities of the Year 2015: Linden Lodge’s Acorn Family Centre Appeal and Macmillan Cancer Support (Merton). Members were very generous with donations to the Wimbledon Food Bank, and with Christmas gifts, as well as blankets knitted by members of our Craft Club, to be delivered to our Charity of the Year 2014 Merton & Morden Guild A member who had recently been at Denman (courtesy of a Surrey Federation Bursary) was wearing examples of some of the jewelry she had made and recommended Denman to members. Congratulations to our Craft ladies had raised £535 to donate to the British Legion from the splendid poppies they had created. The Pottery Workshop had been a successful and fun event. We hope to see examples of the creations at our December meeting. Members expressed concern about the future of adult education in Merton and decided to sign a petition expressing their concerns.

Annual Meeting

At our Annual Meeting members ratified our new Wimbledon WI Constitution & Rules: the President and the Secretary subsequently signed these. Chris, our Treasurer presented our WI Financial Statement for the year to end September 2014, which was adopted by members. Ann, our Secretary presented the Committee’s Report for 2013/14, which was adopted by members. Agnes, our President, addressed the meeting for the final time before she stood down from that post and the Committee. She thanked named individuals on the Committee for all the work and planning that goes into providing such a varied programme of events. Agnes also thanked by name members who helped organize our various WI clubs/groups, as well as the organizer of our stall at Wimbledon Village Fair and the member who had found us premises to use for the Fair preparations. We gave Agnes a rose called “Happy Retirement” and Jennifer (who was also standing down) a bunch of flowers and thanked them for their work.

Remembrance Sunday 2014

Commemorating World War I: a first for Wimbledon WI and for me

A big thank you to Wimbledon WI for the new experiences and memories they have given me this year.

At our July meeting, we had a talk about London in World War I, which led me to research a vague memory of something my mother had told me before she died. I found a photograph of her Uncle Fergus (2nd Lieutenant James Ferguson Hickson) who, researches revealed, died on the 1st day of the Battle of Passchendaele on 31 July 1917. This led me to attend two days of courses at London’s City Lit about women in World War I, as well as visits to the National Archives to find out more about Great Uncle Fergus, and onto two visits to the display of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red”.   Amazing and thought provoking to think that each of the 888,246 poppies there represents each British and the Commonwealth person who had died during the 1st World War. And we must not forget the enormous losses suffered by the deaths of people from other countries.

My new experiences did not end there. Several members of our WI had been making some wonderful poppies to raise funds for the British Legion. It was decided that for the first time in our existence, we would create a wreath from some of those poppies to be placed at Wimbledon War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday.

We met before 10am in Belvedere Grove for the parade through Wimbledon High Street and onto the War Memorial. A very moving, and poignant, service was held, followed by the organizations represented laying their wreaths. I had the great honour of being asked to lay Wimbledon WI’s wreath. I am not normally an emotional person but, as I walked up with our WI’s wreath to the War Memorial, I felt shivers running down my spine, as I thought with some considerable poignancy not only of Great Uncle Fergus but also of all the others who had lost their lives in that terrible war. I had not previously attended a parade or service on Remembrance Sunday.

Thank you for encouraging me to learn more about my family’s history involvement in World War I, for encouraging me at the grand old age of 63 to finally pay my formal respects to those who died in both World Wars, and asking me to lay the wreath on behalf of our WI.


Hot Topics October 2014

PA200004Agnes, our President, welcomed 84 members (including 3 new ones) and 3 guests to our 6th Birthday meeting.  The main event was a magnificent display of predominantly British cheeses and some delicious tasting organized by Rupert & Mario of the London Cheese Board company.  By participating in an informative fun quiz, we learnt about cheddar aging, that there were well over 700 (some say over a 1,000) different British cheeses, and which country consumes the most cheese/person/year.  In addition, the book sale raised £71 for our WI – thanks to our Book Club members for organising this.  We could apply for a Wimbledon WI Bursary for Denman College (draw at our November meeting).  Charity of the Year 2015 – explanations about the nominations were given by Louise (Acorn Family Centre Appeal – Linden Lodge Charitable Trust), Diana (First Touch supporting babies at St George’s), and Ann (Macmillan Cancer Support Merton) – members voted for their preference.  After the voting figures have been double-checked, the final results of the vote will be announced at our November meeting.