Yearly Archives: 2015

Autumn 2015 Craft Updates

Patchwork Sessions

The first meeting of our patchwork sessions for beginners will be held at 7.00 on Friday 16th October.  For this first meeting we are limiting the numbers to 6 people but would like everyone interested to put their names on the signup sheet at the meeting on 21st September so that we can get an idea of how many would like to do it. We will be attempting 2 basic patchwork skills with a Christmas touch.


5270838_origThank you to everyone who has knitted baby blankets, bonnets and blanket squares. We now have enough to make eight blankets and if there are some willing volunteers to stitch these together that would be wonderful. Dulcie will be bringing these along to next meeting so please see her if you can take one.

We have enough squares now to be getting on with but if you would like something to do over next few months, our contact will be visiting Africa again in December and has room to take any “Dress A Girl Around The World” dresses, knitted teddies or cloth dolls. Please see the following websites for details on how to make these or speak to Eileen at the meeting.

Knitted Teddy Pattern



Hot Topics June 2015

We welcomed 82 members and 3 guests to the meeting.

We enjoyed a slide show of the recent visit by the Wine Club to the Rioja region of Spain. It looked as though a good time was had by all on the food and the wine front. During the evening, we also heard about the Surrey London WIs Centenary celebrations in Hyde Park, the results of a very successful Plant Sale and our preparations for our stall at Wimbledon Village Fair.

Our main event was a highly interesting and enjoyable talk from Sheila Willis, a former member of the Surrey Police. She gave us an insight into some of the early policewomen, including Edith Smith the first woman on the beat and first to be paid. Sheila also told us about her own experiences in the police force with a bike for transport on her rounds and the need to use public phone boxes to communicate with her station.


Wimbledon Village Fair 2015

Wimbledon Guild Village Fair – Saturday 27 June, 2014 10.30-17.30
For balloons, bubbles, sequins and sparkles come and join in with the fun at the Wimbledon Guild Village Fair, with an official opening by the fabulous Darcey Bussell CBE at 11 am.

Taking place on the picturesque Wimbledon Common, The Wimbledon Guild Village Fair is the largest free outdoor event in South London. Catering for shopaholics, foodies and families alike with its huge range of entertainment including live music, food villagesshopping areas, children’s zones, horse showfun dog showraffle drawphoto booth and performances by local community groups.

The Wimbledon Guild Village Fair is a great day out for everyone.

Our stall will be full of homemade cakes, jams and chutneys, come and say hello and pick up something delicious for tea!

See you there!

Hot Topics May 2015

18 May 2015

Joanna Cardwell (our President) welcomed 86 members, two guests and two new members to the meeting.

Our main event was Ardella Jones from Chalk the Sun who spoke to us about creative writing. She gave us top tips on starting our own novel and examples of motivation from other writers.

Amongst the other things at the meeting we held a successful fundraising Plant Sale, heard about the forthcoming Centenary Celebrations for Surrey’s London WIs in Hyde Park and the arrangements for our fundraising stall at the Wimbledon Village Fair on 27th June where we would be selling cakes, preserves etc made by our members. In addition, we voted on matters for the NFWI Centenary Annual Meeting in the Royal Albert Hall on 4th June.


Photos from Julia’s Trip to Gambia

Julia recently delivered all this hard work by the craft group.

“Imagine a World where every little girl owned at least one dress! What if that dress was made by you?”

dress a girl around the worldDress a Girl Around the World is a charity set up in America with the aim of sending dresses to girls living in poverty across the world.
We thought this was a great idea.  Some of us got their sewing machines out and Julia, one of our members, took 10 dresses to Utange, Mombasa where a charity works to provide needy children with an education. We are hoping to get photos of the girls wearing the dresses soon.

We are going to continue to make dresses and will be able to send more out in the spring when another visit to Utange is planned.

You can find the pattern for these very simple dresses here

Hot Topics April 2015

MEETING – 20th April 2015

Joanna Cardwell (our President) welcomed 91 members and 4 guests to the meeting.

Our main event was a highly interesting and enjoyable talk from Tom Hart Dyke, plant hunter and renowned gardener from Lullingstone Castle, near Sevenoaks. Tom first shot to international prominence in 2000, when on a plant hunting expedition in the Colombian jungle that went dangerously wrong. Tom and his travelling companion, Paul Winder, were kidnapped while trekking through ‘The Darien Gap’ and held for nine months. During their time in captivity, they were subjected to numerous threats, including death. Faced with the latter, Tom spent what he thought would be his last day on earth designing plans for his dream garden containing plants he’d collected from across the globe, planted out in their respective countries of origin. Luckily for Tom, Paul and their families, the boys were not executed, but were released in time for Christmas 2000. Tom’s idea for a World Garden has now been translated into reality at his Lullingstone home. We were enthralled by his tremendous enthusiasm and the beautiful pictures of rare plants (including the most gorgeous orchids) he found on his expeditions, as well as ones from the World Garden he has created at Lullingstone.

Hot Topics March 2015

We welcomed 89 members, 4 new members (1 dual) and 1 guest.

Our main event was a talk by Sarah Warren on the history of gin entitled “Drunk for 1 penny, Dead drunk for tuppence. Straw for nothing!!” – a familiar sign above gin shops and on the streets of London at the time. The “Gin Craze” saw it available to buy in ordinary shops, gin shops, from street sellers and people’s houses. In 1743, 2.2 gallons of gin were consumed per person annually. Those keen to see gin drinking curbed presented images of women being dragged down by gin (Mother’s Ruin) – their children neglected or murdered, gin given to babies to quieten them. Hogarth’s famous print, Gin Lane, reflected the evils of gin consumption, including poverty, infanticide, starvation, madness, decay and suicide. Concerns about the upsurge in gin drinking, particularly amongst the poorer classes, led to various Gin Acts being introduced during 1729-1751. Henry Fielding (author of Tom Jones) also campaigned against the “perpetual drunkenness of the Londoners”. Sarah’s talk ended with an interesting comment that life has not changed much in terms of portraying women being brought down by drink. In 2008 some media binge drinking stories were illustrated with photos of drunken young women in the street.


Hot Topics February 2015


We welcomed members and guests to our main event of practising some Latin American steps under Claudio’s expert guidance. Those who braved the wet evening certainly seemed to learn quickly and left with a decided spring in their step.

Amongst our other business during the evening, we heard the Centenary Celebrations for Surrey’s London WIs is to be a picnic type event in Hyde Park on Saturday 23rd May.

Members present also completed a questionnaire to help improve our WI. Members agreed to some changes to our Charity fundraising for our two Charities this year, as well as to three donations from our WI funds in recognition of the WI Centenary. Signup sheets were available for various events and trips.

Our 2015 Local Charities

After a very close vote in November 2014 we have chosen two local charities to support for 2015.


Hot Topics January 2015

We were delighted to welcome over 100 people for this first meeting of the New Year when our main event was a talk on breast health awareness. In addition, our WI subscriptions were due.

We also heard presentations from both our 2015 Charities of the Year about their fundraising appeals:

  • Linden Lodge Charitable Trust’s Family Centre Appeal to raise funds for a state of the art Family Centre. The Sensory Support Service provides education, care and support to almost 1,000 deaf, visually impaired and deaf blind children and their families from birth to 19 years. Families of children with sensory impairment are often isolated and in need of expert guidance. Through this Family Centre, specialist staff will provide information, support and advice to the families, and
  • Macmillan Cancer Support (Merton) Appeal to raise money to fund two local Macmillan Nurses specializing in gastro-intestinal and gynaecological cancers based at the Royal Marsden. The fundraising work of Macmillan Merton is unusual in the Macmillan family in that all the funds they raise/receive are used for local projects at local hospitals.

We also held our annual Bring & Buy to raise funds for the 2 charities we are supporting this year. Thanks to the generosity of donors and those who purchased, so far we have raised over £200 to be split between our two Chosen Charities.