Monthly Archives: January 2019

Hot Topics December 2018

Fiona welcomed 74 members and 6 guests and before being entertained by Santa’s Elf aka Tony Harris, a few matters were discussed.

Wimbledon Masterplan Consultation: Eileen hoped everyone had had a chance to read the proposed response from Wimbledon WI regarding the Future Wimbledon Masterplan Consultation to be sent to Stephen Alambritis and a copy to Stephen Hammond. She asked if anyone had any objections or would like to add anything. A show of hands was then taken to see if everyone was in agreement to this letter being sent and the outcome was unanimous.

Future Events: Gillian mentioned that the Postal Museum trip in February is now full but there are spaces on the following events:
Fullers Brewery, Chiswick, Wednesday, 23rd January (£18)
The Clink Afternoon Tea, Thursday 7th March (£18 includes gratuity)
Chiltern Valley Winery, Tuesday 23rd April (£35)
Covent Garden Walk, Thursday, 16th May (£10)
Please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place.

Mindfulness: Melanie Lewis who gave a very interesting talk on Mindfulness in July has a few places on her course. If anyone is interested in attending please contact.

Surrey WI News: From 1st January, Surrey WI News (SWIN) will be available on the internet. When the current SWIN financial year ends in May, WIs will then be required to pay for access to it but until then it is free to everyone. Visit Surrey Federation of WI’s for more information

Entertainer for the evening: Tony Harris certainly had us all engaged with his very interesting and comical facts about pantomimes. He has a wide knowledge about how pantomimes came about etc., and has himself played a “panto dame”. This led him into some amusing anecdotes about his acting history. A very light hearted and entertaining evening which set us up nicely for Christmas.


Hot Topics October 2018

Fiona welcomed 78 members and 1 guest to our special 10th Anniversary meeting. A few notices were read out before we all had a lovely evening socialising, being entertained by Theo the Magician, partaking of a glass of Prosecco or two, indulging ourselves in a tasteful buffet, completing a celebrity picture quiz and enjoying a slice of Agnes’ wonderful birthday cake.

AGM next month: Lys reminded us that the November meeting will be our AGM and the re-election of committee members. Please let us know if you would be interested in joining the committee. Anyone can join – no experience needed. So if you have the time, we would love to hear from you.

NFWI AGM: Next year this will be held in Bournemouth on Wednesday, 5th June and members can apply for tickets. Please let us know if you are interested in going.

Social Events:
Kew Gardens (Christmas Lights), Thursday, 22nd November 6.00pm (£16.50) – Now full, waiting list only.
Christmas Meal at Taste Restaurant, Tuesday, 4th December (£30) – A few places available.
Fullers Brewery, Chiswick, Wednesday, 23rd January (£18)
Postal Museum, Thursday, 14th February (£13.50)
Afternoon Tea @ The Clink, Thursday, 6th March (£18)
Please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place on any of the above.

Development of Wimbledon Centre: Eileen wanted members to know that Merton council have just published “the Future Wimbledon Masterplan which has been prepared to create a long-term vision for the future of development of Wimbledon town centre.”
It includes, amongst other things, a proposal to change Wimbledon’s designation from a Major Centre to a Metropolitan Centre, like Croydon and to attract large office developments of 14-16 floors in the town centre and eastern end of the Broadway. This, together with changes to road layouts and pedestrian areas means that Wimbledon town centre is likely to have a very different character in the coming years.
There is a very basic Survey which people can complete to register their views of the plan but this “consultation” is only open until December 7th. A decision on the plan will be made in Spring 2019.
The plan can be found here:
This is the link to the Facebook entry from Friends of Wimbledon Town Centre which gives a good resume and overview of some of their concerns

Merton Council want to turn #Wimbledon into a mini Croydon 😨🏢🏢🏢🎥 Find out more in our short video 👩 Come to our public meeting on 12 November🗣️ Tell us your views💻 Respond to the Council's consultation

Posted by Friends of Wimbledon Town Centre on Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Christmas Gifts Collection: Lesley said she had been in touch with the Salvation Army and they are thrilled to know that we will be collecting presents for children ranging from small babies to teenagers. Please send in your gifts unwrapped, although rolls of wrapping paper would be appreciated. The suggested price to spend on gifts is £5 but vouchers would also be really appreciated as mothers could then actually buy the present their child wants. Toiletries for the mothers would also be appreciated.

Wimbledon 10th Anniversary:
Lesley read out a lovely letter from Katharine, who couldn’t make Monday’s meeting as she is on holiday. Katharine just wanted to say how much she has enjoyed being a member of Wimbledon WI, the various events, running the Wine Club and making new friends

Sheila, our first President, gave a short speech of how Wimbledon WI came about and how she and Lou worked very hard to get it set up. Sheila mentioned a few of the many speakers, outings and experiences that have happened over the last 10 years and said that Wimbledon WI had gone from strength to strength and wished it all the best for the next 10 years.

Fiona then gave out “SFWI Centenary Mugs” to all the founder members who joined in October 2008 and are still members.

Drukshan, one of our members, shared with us a beautiful, black cocktail dress – similar to the style worn by Marilyn Monroe – she had made to help raise funds for St. Raphael’s Hospice. Thank you Drukshan and we are delighted to say from this £332 was collected.

Remembrance Sunday: Once again, we will be laying a joint wreath with SW19 WI on Sunday, 11th November, at Wimbledon Memorial in Wimbledon Village. It would be lovely if you could join us. We will meet at 10.00 at Belvedere Road, Wimbledon Village when we will process with other community groups.
Bronzefield Bee’s WI are holding a Coffee Morning and Craft Fair on Wednesday 7th November and welcome members to attend. There will also be a raffle.
Their Fair will start at 10 am but could members arrive between 9.15 and 9.45. All visitors will be required to have a biometric (numerical finger print) check and one form of photographic ID (passport or photo driving licence). Because of their security measures each visitor will need to be booked onto the internal system. Please let Dee know by Monday 5th November if you would like to attend.

2019 Charity: We will need to be thinking about our new charity for next year. If members have any nominations for our charity of the year, please let us know as soon as possible. Please note, the charity has to be a local one.

Subscription 2019: The NFWI Board of Trustees has set the membership subscription for 2019 at £42. Dual members will pay £20.50 to their second WI. Payment will be due from members in January 2019.

Festive Treats’ – Saturday, 17 November 2018, 9.30am – 1.00pm: The London Surrey WI Advisors have notified us about this event.
This course is strictly limited to 12 places. For £30 you will have the opportunity make a menu comprising a chocolate log, peppermint “face” sweets, a biscuit mix in a jar (we supply the jar), and a small Christmas pudding (half pint bowl). ALL Ingredients and recipes will be provided. The course will be held at Ark Putney Academy.

Hot Topics September 2018

Fiona welcomed 63 members back and 5 guests and hoped everyone had a good summer. She opened the meeting with a few notices:

We have had a letter from the Chairman of Surrey Federation thanking us for our contribution to the Pollinator evening at RHS Wisley in June which was a great success.

There is ‘The March of the Women Community Day’ on Saturday, 24th November (10.00 – 4.00) at Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking. Tickets are free but please book online at or phone 01483518737.

London Surrey WI Advisors had a meeting at Sherwood Grange Care Home about how the residents could be involved with local groups. It is felt this could possibly work if the WI could take extra activities to the care home i.e. craft group, coffee morning, games afternoon etc., on a regular basis. Please let us know if you have any ideas or could help in any way.

The 2 summer fairs we were present at i.e. Morden Family Fun Day and Wimbledon and Putney Commons Open Day were both a great success and we raised over £1,100 – we would have raised more at the Open Day but, unfortunately, we ran out of cakes by lunchtime!!! Fiona gave bouquet of flowers to Veronica and Angela for all their hard work.

Next month’s meeting, 15th October, will be our 10th Anniversary when we will be having a social evening including finger food, drinks, birthday cake, entertainment and an auction of a handmade dress.

Once again, we will be laying a joint wreath with SW19 WI on Sunday, 11th November, at Wimbledon Memorial in Wimbledon Village. It would be lovely if you could join us.

The November meeting will be our AGM and re-election of committee members. Please let us know if you would like to stand – it would be lovely to have you.

We will be having Henry VIII back for our December (17th) meeting but this time he will coming as a Christmas Elf so, no doubt, it will be a fun evening.

One of our guests today, Mirella, is a volunteer at the British Red Cross charity shop in Wimbledon Village. They are looking for volunteers to help in the shop. Please let us know if you can help when we will put you in touch with Mirella.

Social Events:
Watts Gallery, Friday, 19th October – PLEASE NOTE THIS TRIP HAS BEEN CANCELLED
Kew Gardens (Christmas Lights), Thursday, 22nd November 6.00pm (£16.50) – Now full, waiting list only.
Christmas Meal at Taste Restaurant, Tuesday, 4th December (£30) – A few places available.
Fullers Brewery, Chiswick, Wednesday, 23rd January (£18)
Please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place on any of the above.

SW19 WI are holding an Autumn Village Fair on Saturday, 22nd September from 12.00 to 4.00 at Emmanuel Church, 24 Ridgway.

Send Inspired WI – Tea Party Invitation: We have been invited to the next tea party “Once upon a time” at Send Inspired WI, to be held on Friday 2 November. Send Inspired WI is one of our prison WI’s, and if you wish to attend then please contact Dina and please arrive by 1.15pm and have photo ID with you, and £1.00 for the raffle.

London WI Advisors: We have been asked to let you know that on Friday, 30th November 2018, Surrey Federation are planning a trip to Greenwich market, a blue badge guided river cruise to Westminster pier, a coach guided trip round the lights in London and then supper at the Strand Palace Hotel. This costs £49 all included.
This is a fantastic value trip and the London WI Advisors have arranged for members who live in London to meet in Greenwich without having to travel out to the Surrey pick up points i.e. meet the rest of the group in Greenwich and leave them after the Strand Palace Hotel. Please contact us for further details etc.

It has also been suggested that, if enough members can meet at Greenwich beforehand, a local history guide is arranged to show members round for an hour before the Surrey members arrive.

Queen’s Birthday card: An opportunity to design a card for the Queen’s Birthday. The final design should be A5 size and be completed by 1st March 2019. Anyone interested please contact us for further information.

Craft News: Another consignment of dresses, teddies, jumpers, hats etc., will be going out to Kenya in November. So just to let you know, if you have any please bring them to the October meeting. Thank you for those received already.

Book Sale: £19.50 was made at Monday’s booksale. Thank you to everyone who brought in books to sell and to those buying them.

Salvation Army: Eileen and Lesley met with Emma of Mitcham Salvation Arm. They run a cafe every Tuesday morning to support ladies who have left abusive relationships and are making a new start. We discussed how we could offer support. They do require things like kitchenware and bedding etc., but they have limited storage so we agreed that they would contact us when they need items. They also have volunteers who accompany the ladies to court hearings etc., to give support. We also discussed the possibility of donating our Christmas toy and present collection to them this year. They ask for donations and then hold a session where the mothers can choose the presents, wrap them and give them to their children in their name.
As this was an initial meeting, the committee will discuss further and we hope that Emma might be able to come to talk to us about their work in the New Year.
We will give further information when we have it.

2018 Charity: Catriona and Raymond, representatives of our chosen charity, Carers Support Merton, were delighted to receive our cheque for £1440.54 and thanked us all for our efforts and said that some of the money would be spent on outings for the young carers; some of whom are only 5 years old.

William French, speaker for the evening, certainly gave us an entertaining time on Monday with his resume of his life and work. After getting his brother to forge his mother’s signature on his sign up papers, William joined the Royal Navy at 15. He trained as a chef but soon realised he wanted to be “on show” and retrained to become a No.1 steward. He later graduated to personal steward to a senior office at NATO HQ where he saw action in the Falklands aboard HMS Battleaxe and HMS Broadsword. After the conflict he worked as a Leading Steward for a short while before attending a 6 hour interview and subsequently being appointed Royal Class Steward on the Royal Yacht Britannia. This opened up a new world for William as not only was he serving the Queen and Prince Philip, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of York, he went on many of the royal tours around the world. Later he moved to Kensington Palace as ‘breakfast butler’ and he was at the Ritz Hotel in Paris on the night of Princess Diana’s tragic accident.
William was also serving on Royal Yacht Brittania on passage to New Zealand for Royal Duty in Jan 1986 when fighting between the Government and rival Marxist factions had broken out in the former British Colony of Aden. With the full agreement of Her Majesty, Britannia proceeded to the Aden area and prepared to evacuate British and Commonwealth nationals. Before she resumed her voyage to New Zealand Britannia had rescued 1,082 people of the overall total of 1,379 of 55 nationalities saved by the British ships.
William went on to work for the Rothschild family, Lord Rothermere in Eton Square, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, Robert Redford, Sean Connery to name just a few. William also had a few saucy tales to tell us and probably knows a lot more he couldn’t.

We have just heard from William that £158.60 was raised on Monday in donations for Medical Detection. His fee also went to that charity.

Hot Topics July 2018

Fiona welcomed 70 members and 2 guests. Fiona reported on the lovely evening at the Surrey Centenary evening at Wisley and how amazing the displays of Pollinators were. She also had a slide show of the wonderful creations. One of Linda’s students from Taiwan also attended the event and heard all about what the WI do etc., and it transpired she very generously donated £300 to our WI.

Lullingstone: Fiona also had a few slides of the recent visit to Lullingstone and Gillian mentioned that she has received a letter from Tom Hart Dyke thanking us for the donation in remembrance of his father to go towards the restoration of Lullingstone church.

Bronzefield Bees WI (HMP and Young Offenders Institute) are having a craft fair and afternoon tea on 10th August at 2.30. Please let Wendy know by 1st August if you would like to attend as they need to have a list of full names of those attending prior to the event. An early arrival of 1.30 pm will be necessary to go through ID (passport) and registration etc. There are now a few prisons’ WI’s and studies have shown that those who have become members and attended were less likely to reoffend.

New Resolutions: Lys reported that next year’s AGM of NFWI is to be held on Wednesday, 5th June in Bournemouth and that now is the time to submit any resolutions you may like to put forward to be considered.

Surrey Autumn Federation Meeting will be on Monday 8th October from 10.00 to 4.00 at Dorking Halls. The main speaker is Tricia Stewart, the lady behind the “Calendar Girls”.

10th Anniversary: As you all know, at our October meeting we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary when we will be having a social evening with prosecco, nibbles etc. If anyone knows of a small group of musicians who could play chamber music during the evening, could they please let us know as we thought that would be a lovely addition.

Ecumenical service to celebrate the Centenary of Surrey Federation will be held at Guildford Cathedral at 2.00pm on Saturday 8th September. Everyone welcome to just go along and to the cream tea afterwards (£7).

Red Cross Charity Shop: We have been asked to mention if anyone has a few spare hours a week to help at the Red Cross Charity shop in Wimbledon Village as they are looking for volunteers

Sutton Countryside Walk: Liz has organised a walk for Friday August 3rd at 10.30 am to start from the Oaks Park Car Park. The walk is approximately 5 miles long, so we will be able to get refreshments at the end either in the Mayfield Lavender field or the Oaks Park Cafe. If you are interested in joining the party of walkers, please contact Liz for further details.

Social Events: Gillian mentioned there are still places for Batemans – Home of Rudyard Kipling, Wednesday, 5th September (£29.50), Watts Gallery, Friday, 19th October (£17) and Kew, Thursday, 22nd November, 6.00pm (£16.50) to see the Christmas lights,
Please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place.

Charity for 2019: We need to start thinking about our chosen charity for next year so if you have any suggestions can you please let us know. The only criterion is that it has to be local.

Craft Items: Thank you to everyone who has been busy making jumpers, dresses and toys to send out to Kenya. They will all be taken out by the scout leaders in September. There are 52 jumper and hat sets, 24 jumpers, 22 hats, 14 dresses, 2 shorts, 2 baby blankets, 6 bags and over 30 teddies and rabbits. Absolutely fantastic, thank you so much.

WI Campaigns: An interesting clip was shown at the National AGM in Cardiff in June about WI Campaigning and is available to watch on this link

Guest Speaker, Melanie Lewis gave a very interesting talk on Mindfulness and how it can benefit all our lives. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us. It is something we all naturally possess but need to practice on a daily basis for it to be readily available. Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) explains how mindfulness lights up parts of our brains that aren’t normally activated when we’re mindlessly running on autopilot. “Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodelling the physical structure of your brain.

Mindfulness can help you manage your wellbeing and mental health. It can enable you to:

✓ feel less overwhelmed
✓ improve your sleep quality
✓ positively change the way you think and feel about your experiences (especially stressful experiences)
✓ increase your ability to manage difficult situations
✓ make wiser choices
✓ reduce levels of anxiety
✓ reduce levels of depression
✓ reduce levels of stress
✓ reduce the amount you chew things over in your mind
✓ have greater self-compassion

Melanie talked us through a few exercises to experience the feeling of mindfulness which resulted in some positive feedback from members. She also offered other sessions that members could attend if interested. We certainly all went home feeling calmer and more relaxed.

Summer Fairs: Morden Family Funday was a success and a big thank you to everyone who provided produce, helped before the event and on the stall on Sunday, 22nd July. With everyone’s efforts we had a very good result on a very hot day and made over £500. Well done everyone. The Wimbledon and Putney Common Open Day on Sunday 9th September will be held before our next meeting. The same format will apply i.e. cakes etc., to Sacred Heart on Friday, 7th September and preserves etc., to Dulcie. For further information refer to email sent on 31st May or contact Veronica.

We wish you all a very enjoyable summer and look forward to seeing you 17th September when we will be having a booksale and jigsaw swap and our guest speaker will be William French – Butler to Royalty.