Monthly Archives: July 2019

Hot Topics July 2019

Fiona welcomed 63 members and 2 guests

General Data Protection Regulation: Fiona mentioned the importance of GDPR and reminded members not to give out email addresses, phone numbers etc., without checking with the member first to get her permission. Fiona also reminded members of the Wimbledon WI Facebook Page which has a “closed group” section for members only. Please visit the Facebook Page to join   

Fiona informed us of a few future dates:

Battersea WI invites all Surrey Federation WIs to a picnic in The Winter Garden, Battersea Park on Saturday, 7th September at 1.00 pm

SFWI Autumn Federation Meeting, Monday 7th October 10.15 – 3.30 at Dorking Halls. Speakers will include Tom Hart Dyke and Simon Thomas. This is a good day out and a few members have signed up to go already. If you would like to attend please let Wendy know (

The NFWI AGM will be held at the Royal Albert Hall on 4th June 2020. This is a popular event and “pot luck” to obtain tickets. Members will be notified in the autumn when they can apply for tickets.

Resolutions 2020: Lesley mentioned requests for next year’s Resolutions. So if any member has a Resolution they would like to enter, please let us know as soon as possible as it has to be submitted by 13th September.

Plastic Pollution: The end of “Plastic Soup” is a WI campaign and one of our members has emailed us saying “Anyone who even has only a minor concern about the need to reduce plastic in our lives should catch up with this BBC programme. It is not just about plastic pollution in the sea. It is horrendous”.

Merton Heritage Centre: Eileen mentioned that Merton Heritage Centre is celebrating 25 Years since it was opened at The Canons, Mitcham on 23rd April 1994. They are staging a special jubilee programme combining exhibitions, talks, film, guided walks, crafts and heritage workshops. Booklets are available at libraries or visit for information.

Wimbledon and Putney Commons Open Day on Sunday 8th September: Veronica reminded members about the Open Day and that there will not be another meeting before this event. So we are asking members to generously provide produce to sell at our cake and preserves stall – anything from cookies, brownies, flapjacks, carrot cake, sponge, fruit and savoury scones, jams and chutneys etc. Please don’t leave it to someone else. We need every member to provide something. This is your WI main fund raising event so please help. Remember if you are away you can freeze items and find someone to drop the item off for you.

To ensure conformity and compliance with regulations everything will be wrapped, priced and labelled on Friday 6th September.  Please deliver cakes, biscuits etc., to the Lower Hall, Sacred Heart, Edge Hill on Friday, 6th September between 9.30am – 4.30pm (you will only be able to drop off cakes etc. between these hours.) When you deliver your cakes etc., please remove produce from tins as we can’t guarantee their return.

LABELLING– Label all:

  1. Type of cake.
  2. Ingredients [e.g. contains nuts, alcohol]
  3. Highlight if they contain the above.
  4. Indicate if pre-frozen.
  5. Gluten or Dairy Free etc.

Chutneys/Jams/Preserves can be delivered from Monday, 2nd September to Dulcie

Do not hesitate to phone or email Veronica in the week leading up to the Fair if you have any queries

Future Outings/Events:

Gillian reported that trips to see the Strictly Come Dancing Costumes and Brunswick House, Vauxhall are now full but there are still places for:

Chatham Dockyard, Friday, 27th September £37

Christmas Dinner at Taste Restaurant, South Thames College, Thursday, 5th December 6.30 for 7.00 £27

As usual please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place

Wimbledon Crafty Ladies: The next Crafty Ladies meeting will be held on Friday 3rd August in the upper restaurant at Ely’s Department Store in Wimbledon from 2.30pm to approximately 5pm.  Members are welcome to come to every meeting or just to attend now and again.

Speaker for the evening: Malcolm Wells MBE “So Far So Good”. Malcolm is a fundraiser for Canine Partners who train dogs for people with disabilities to enjoy a greater independence and quality of life through the provision of specially trained dogs. The charity train dogs for servicemen and women injured on active service, as well as civilians with a range of disabilities such as multiple sclerosis, spinal injuries and cerebral palsy. The dogs actually select their new masters and are carefully matched to the applicant’s needs and lifestyle, no matter how challenging. They are trained to help with everyday tasks such as opening and closing doors, unloading the washing machine, picking up dropped items, pressing buttons and switches and getting help in an emergency.

Malcolm left school at sixteen with an A level in music playing the cello, but having no other qualification he chose to join the Royal Artillery to play in their orchestra and to travel. And so he did initially touring Europe. He later served in Northern Ireland and the Gulf (1991) and Malta. The orchestra were re-trained, as medics, for Kuwait where they set up their hospital in two days complete with operating theatre.

Amongst their concerts the Royal Artillery Orchestra appeared at the Royal Albert Hall in a Prom concert, an engagement at Kensington Palace, at the Queen’s birthday engagement and at (old) Wembley for the England/Brazil match. They have also entertained at the Monarchs League at Buckingham Palace (these are private gatherings of royalty and ex-royalty from across Europe).

More recently Malcolm joined ‘Literacy in a Box’ which is sponsored by Roborough Rotary. In developing countries teachers often struggle to do their job fully due to poor facilities, a lack of basic school materials and pupil absence because of poverty and AIDS/HIV affecting children’s families Each box has enough material for 25 pupils for one term, are tailor made to the request of the teachers and have been sent to Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana and Nepal. No one at the charity receives a penny.

Malcolm joined the Royal Artillery in 1975 He was awarded the MBE in 1998 in recognition of his ongoing commitment to charity work. He left the Army in 1999 and was appointed fundraiser at St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Chichester and in 2003 took the opportunity of joining Canine Partners being appointed head of community fundraising and in 2010 national speaker.

We have subsequently heard from Malcolm saying how much he enjoyed the evening and he is pleased to confirm that the sum of £84.80 was donated to Literacy in a Box. This will be used to purchase school equipment which will be dispatched to the 41 schools they currently support in Zambia,

Wishing you all a very happy summer and look forward to seeing you at the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Open Day on 8th September and then at our meeting on 16th September when Joyce Meader will give us a very amusing talk about “Knitting”.

Hot Topics June 2019

Fiona welcomed 68 members and 1guest

Fiona and Lesley both reported on the NFWI AGM in Bournemouth which they attended with 2 other members on 5th June. They thoroughly enjoyed the event, speakers and camaraderie and encouraged members to go next year (likely to be at Royal Albert Hall, Thursday 4th June).  We have received a report from Janette who was our designated delegate to attend the AGM.

Fiona mentioned that sometimes photos are taken at meetings and on outings to be used on our website etc. Should any member not wish their photos to be used could they please let us know.  Fiona also reminded members that we have a Wimbledon WI Facebook page which can be seen only by our members. Please let us know if you would like to join this page as you need to be “invited”.

Fiona reminded us to start thinking about making produce (cakes, jams, chutneys etc.,) for the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Open Day on Sunday, 8th September as the July meeting will be the last meeting before this event. Cakes etc., can be made in advance and frozen. Not all members like baking so if they would like to donate the cost of the ingredients other members are quite happy to bake cakes on their behalf. Also please let us know if anyone would like more jam jars.

Future Outings/Events:

Gillian reported that trips to see the Strictly Come Dancing Costumes and Brunswick House, Vauxhall are now full but there are still places for:

Wimpole Estate, Cambridge, Wednesday, 26th June (£37)

Chatham Dockyard, Friday, 27th September £37

As usual please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place

Wimbledon Crafty Ladies: The next Crafty Ladies meeting will be held on Friday 5th July in the upper restaurant at Ely’s Department Store in Wimbledon from 2.30pm to approximately 5pm.  Members are welcome to come to every meeting or just to attend now and again.

Hampstead Walk – Friday 14th June – (Liz reports) 11 members set off from Hampstead Tube Station for a walk in yet another shower that hadn’t been predicted! Anyway, this didn’t dampen our spirits and we continued on our way through this attractive London suburb of Hampstead and Hampstead Heath, stopping at various points on the way to look at Georgian streets, churches and beautiful houses where many a well-known person had lived, as denoted by the abundant Blue Plaques.

We continued to the top of the hill and then across the Heath to the Pergola and Hill Garden which originally belonged to The Hill, the house of Lord Leverhulme. This is a delightful ‘secret’ garden which was a surprise to all of us and well worth a visit. The house has now been turned into ‘expensive’ apartments!

After a coffee stop at The Old Bull and Bush pub we continued on over the Heath to another area called the Vale of Health where we saw one of the famous ponds and yet more notable houses.

We finally stopped for a welcome lunch in The Burgh House and Hampstead Museum Cafe. This venue was given 4* by the group, but unfortunately it isn’t always open!

We eventually got back to the Tube station at about 3pm. Everyone appears to have enjoyed themselves and requested another ‘London’ walk in the future.

Essie, music teacher, actor, leader of The Singing Mertones and our entertainer for the evening soon had us all up and singing. First we warmed up by doing some exercises with a few funny ones included. The song Essie had chosen and well known to all of us was “Mamma Mia” by Abba. After singing the song through a couple of times we were then divided into three groups so harmonies could be included. Essie was very encouraging and a delightful teacher and by the end of the evening “Mamma Mia” was sounding pretty good. Everyone went home having had a very enjoyable evening with Mamma Mia running through their head.  Essie did an excellent job, getting us all singing and enjoying ourselves – eat your heart out Gareth Malone!!

“We’ll Meet Again” – Following on with the choir theme, several of our members will be singing with Wimbledon Community Chorus at this concert. Along with The Central Band of The Royal British Legion and conducted by the two times BAFTA award winning David Cole, a programme of well-known band and choral favourites will be performed for Armed Forces Day. The concert is at 7.00 pm on Saturday, 29th June in the Holy Trinity Church, Beaumont Road, SW19 6RJ. Ticket prices £15-£10 concessions. Click link for further details and tickets

Hot Topics May 2019

Fiona welcomed 67 members, 1 new member and 2 guests.

Fiona said the trip to Chiltern Valley Winery was a very enjoyable day. She also thanked Jeanette for organising the Covent Garden walk and Fiona has thanked Jan Young for arranging the morning at the National Gallery both of which were enjoyed by those who attended. And thanks to Angela for the netball practice – although it would be lovely to see a few more members joining in!

Lesley asked members to vote on the two Resolutions to be put forward to the NFWI Annual Meeting in Bournemouth in June. Members were in full agreement with both resolutions going forward – “Decline in Local Buses” and “Don’t Fear the Smear”.

Lesley also said she has received a “thank you” from NFWI for supporting the sale of their raffle tickets.

Future Outings/Events:

Gillian reported that the trip to see the Strictly Come Dancing Costumes is now full but there are still places for:

Wimpole Estate, Cambridge, Wednesday, 26th June (£37) 

Brunswick House, Vauxhall – Friday 26th July, £15 (15 maximum)

Also if there are enough people interested in visiting Chatham Dockyard in September, she will investigate a possible trip.

As usual please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place

“The Embroidered Home” Exhibition: We have provisionally booked a Talk and Tour of this Exhibition at the Royal Needlework School Hampton Court at 2pm on Tuesday, 16th July which will cost £16. This comprises a 30 minute talk and then an hour in the exhibition. We need a minimum of 8 people but they can take up to 24 people. If you would like to come please email Eileen by Friday 24th May so that we can secure the booking. Please see website for more information

Walk – Friday 14th June 10.30am: Liz will lead a walk through Hampstead featuring the Georgian Streets, the Pergola and Hill Garden and part of Hampstead Heath. This circular walk of approximately 5 miles includes hills. Meet at 10.30am at Hampstead Tube Station. There are several places to eat at the end of the walk.

If you are interested in joining the walking party please contact Liz.

Wimbledon Crafty Ladies:  These will be monthly meetings of ‘Crafty Ladies’ in the upper restaurant at Ely’s Department Store in Wimbledon from 2.30pm to approximately 5pm. The next meeting is on Friday, 7th June.  Members are welcome to come to every meeting or just to attend now and again.

“The Time is Now”: Reminder from London WI Advisors – With just five weeks to go, there is still time to join “The Time is Now” lobby for the climate and environment on 26th June from 1-4pm at Westminster to ask MPs to protect our climate, nature and people. We know that MPs view WI members as trusted messengers in society. This is your chance to highlight that we need them to take the lead in safeguarding the environment for future generations. It is crucial that as many members as possible join the day to push government for action on climate change and plastic pollution.

Hundreds of WI members have already registered their interest, and they will be joining supporters from sports, nature and faith organisations to let MPs know how much they care about these issues. For further details and to register your interest visit

Green Bowling: There is an Open Day at Wimbledon Park Bowling Club on Saturday, 25th May between 11.00 and 5.00 and free tuition sessions from 11.00 – 12.30 every Saturday until September.

Supreme Bowling Club (Kings College Sports Ground) also has an open day on Sunday, 26th May between 10.00 and 1.00. All welcome.

Bollywood Dance Fitness Class on Tuesdays 10.00am -11.00am £9 at Hot Yoga Studio, 7 Elm Grove, Wimbledon, 

Peter Blundell, Artist, our guest for the evening, soon had us all practising hatching, cross-hatching and shading in readiness for our attempts to draw an apple. Peter was very encouraging, patient and a good teacher. A very enjoyable evening all round with some seriously good outcomes but for the majority a fun attempt at something we haven’t done before. Well done budding artists and thank you Peter.

Plant Sale: Thank you to the members who brought in plants to sell and to those who bought them. £95.00 was raised for our funds. Well done.

Hot Topics April 2019

Fiona welcomed 64 members, 3 new members and 2 guests to our meeting on Monday 15th April, 2019.

Fiona encouraged everyone to say hello and chat to one another, especially guests and new members.

Eileen has taken over the running of the Facebook page to show what we are doing in our group. There is also a members’ only part of the site to which you can apply and Eileen will enable you to enter the site. News will still come to members by post in hard copy if required.

Lesley spoke to members about the trustees who we voted for last month. Resolutions: – smear tests and bus services were both strongly supported. If accepted these resolutions will become part of the WI campaign. Briefing notes are available on the website. We will vote on the resolutions at the next meeting

Lesley mentioned the initiative which will take place on 26th June concerning climate change. Organised by the Climate Coalition there will be a mass lobby outside Westminster from 1.00pm to 4.30pm to speak to MPs about protecting the climate and environment. More information on

Fiona asked members to be sure to tell the committee if they have any particular activity or outing that they would like us to organise.

Fiona spoke to members about possibly capping our membership at 110. We currently have 100 paid up members (the hall can seat 140 maximum) – following a discussion it was agreed not to cap the membership.

Margaret advised members that beginning on Friday 3rd May at 2.30pm to approximately 5pm there will be a monthly meeting of ‘Crafty Ladies’ in the upper restaurant at Ely’s Department Store in Wimbledon. Margaret encouraged members to bring along any hand held craft they wish and they will be welcome to come to every meeting or just to attend now and again.

Wendy has advised that the amount raised at the Quiz held at Merton Park Church Hall for our chosen charity, Jigsaw4U, is £972.74.

Book sale/Jigsaw swap – members gave books and bought books and Jigsaws were swapped and a total of £61.70 was raised.

Guest Speaker: Our speaker, Jan Young (Art Expert), gave a fascinating talk about ‘Looking at Art’. Jan told us that studies have shown that on the whole people only look at paintings in Art Galleries for approximately 2 minutes. They tend to spend longer looking at the label beside the paintings than they do actually looking at the work of Art.

Jan tells us that young people today tend to look at moving images more than still images and unless they learn to look and ‘read’ a still image they will eventually lose the ability to do so.

Jan showed us, and explained, how to identify materials, signs, colours, shapes and symbols within paintings that tell us about what we see. Jan explained to us about the juxtaposition of the people in the pictures and how to interpret their dress, their expressions and gestures and what these all tell us about what is happening and what the artist wishes to convey.

Jan mentioned that all of the pictures that she showed us this evening are part of the collection which is hanging in the National Gallery and she encouraged us to go there and see them for ourselves.

Jan took us through discoveries and developments in paint over the years and the gradual improvements in brush manufacture. She also explained about the growth of understanding of colour, the use of colour and the relationships between various colours. Jan is so well informed and she gave us such an entertaining and thought provoking talk that the evening flew by. We all felt that we had learned a lot from Jan in a thoroughly enjoyable way.

Jan ended her talk by inviting members to visit the National Gallery and look at the paintings with her in the week beginning 13th May 2019. Details will be circulated before then so that members can sign up to this visit.

Fiona advised members that at next month’s meeting we will have a talk from an art teacher from Sutton College who will instruct us all in how to draw a still life picture. Also please bring along any plants/seedlings/spare seed packets etc. for the plant sale. Thank you.