Blog Archives

Hot Topics June 2018

Fiona opened the meeting by welcoming 61 members and 2 guests. Thank you to everyone who brought their old and unwanted bras for Zabra and as usual, for all your items for Foodbank

Walking Netball: Fiona mentioned how much she had enjoyed the Walking Netball warm up practice and encouraged a few more to come along next month. She said it was great fun and another way of keeping fit. Wimbledon WI has now signed up to the NFWI Walking Netball Programme and, hopefully, will soon have a team to compete.

Centenary Fair at Barnes: This was a great success and the 14 London WI’s involved made over £3600. Once expenses have been paid, plus hire of the hall and a donation made possibly to The Friendship Fund, the proceeds will be divided between the WIs involved. Fiona thanked Dulcie and Sheila for all their hard work to the lead up to the fair where we ran a Gift Bag Tombola stall.

2019 Diaries: Fiona mentioned that orders for next year diaries have to be in soon. If you would like a diary please contact Wendy Kilgour. The cost of the diaries is £4.70 each.

Social Committee Notices: There are still spaces for the following events
Lullingstone Castle, Wednesday, 4th July (£27.50). Hopefully led by Tom Hart Dyke
Bateman, Wednesday, 5th September (£29.50)
Please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place.

Summer Fairs: Veronica mentioned the two summer fairs Wimbledon WI will be attending this year. Namely, Morden Family Day on Sunday 22nd July and Wimbledon Stables Day on Sunday 9th September. As collection for cakes etc., will be on the Friday preceding both fairs, it has been asked that there should be no cream or chocolate fillings etc. A letter with further information will be sent out in due course.

My WI: Fiona mentioned it is well worth registering with My WI for all the news etc. and demonstrated how to access the site and login. Quite a few members have not received login details but this is easily rectified by visiting https://mywi.thewi.org.uk/welcome-to-my-wi for all information about registering etc.

The Perfect Pollinator Evening RHS Wisley Thursday 28th June: Fiona reminded everyone about this evening’s event which is happening next week. She also asked if any member had spare seats in their car to give other members a lift. If so, please let us know as soon as possible if you do.

The Surrey Federation has arranged this evening event as a finale to the Centenary celebrations and will be open from 6.30pm to 9.30pm especially for WI members, their families and friends to have a social evening with a picnic. There will be live music from three bands: Blazing Saddles, a Country and Western band; Dr Bone and the Rhythm Boys (a 1920s style quintet) and Surgeons of Swing who play a mixture of swing, jive, jazz, ballroom and Latin music. To order your tickets ring 0203 176 5810 and ask for tickets to “The Perfect Pollinator Evening”. Tickets are RHS members £7 in advance or £8 on the night. Non RHS members £10 in advance and £11 on the night. This looks to be a fun evening so why not take your picnic hamper, Pimms or Prosecco and a chair or rug and enjoy the gardens and evening. Barbeque food and drinks will be available to purchase if you don’t want to take your own.

Eileen later showed members Beatrice the Bee Pollinator made by several members which will be displayed at Wisley so look out for her when you go.

Guest Speaker: Rosie Troughton gave us a very interesting talk on the Wimbledon Ball Boys and Girls (BBGs). She first gave us a potted history about the All England Lawn Tennis Club before telling us all about her time as an Instructor and Trainer of the BBGs. The boys and girls are now chosen from 35 feeder schools throughout south London but between 1946 and 1966 Dr Barnado’s boys would be bused in everyday from their home to do the job. Originally only 4 ball boys were on court and were on for 4 hour shifts unlike today’s 45 minute shifts. In 1996 six ball boys were introduced to the system and in 1977 girls were included. In 1980 mixed teams were set up and in 1985 girls were seen on centre court for the first time. Approximately 250 BBGs from around 700 applicants work at The Championships. The average age is 15. Training is one evening a week for 6 months where they have to learn perfect ball handling skills, self-discipline and obedience. Being a BBG is an arduous task and very competitive not only amongst themselves but amongst the schools taking part as well. The BBGs get a daily allowance but they also get to keep their prestigious uniform designed by Polo Ralph Lauren which can consist of 3 shirts, 2 shorts, tracksuit and trainers and costs several hundreds of pounds. But if the BBGs are not up to scratch they get notification telling them this (nowadays by email but originally by letter) and they are out. Rosie retired a few years ago but says she was very proud of her BBGs for all the 20 years she worked as their Instructor.

Diary Dates:
Thursday, 28th June – SFWI Picnic at RHS Wisley (6.00pm – 9.30pm)
Wednesday, 4th July – Lullingstone Castle
Monday, 16th July – A talk by Melanie Lewis on Mindfulness
Sunday, 22nd July – Morden Family Fun day
Saturday, 4th August – Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace
Sunday, 26th and Monday, 27th August – Edenbridge & Oxted Show
Wednesday, 5th September – Bateman (Home of Rudyard Kipling)
Sunday, 9th September – Wimbledon Stables Day
Monday, 8th October – SFWI Autumn Meeting
Thursday, 4th October to Sunday, 14th October – Wimbledon Bookfest



Hot Topics May 2018

Fiona opened the meeting by welcoming 72 members and 1 guest. Thank you to everyone who brought in plants to sell at Monday’s meeting – £99.60 was raised for Carers Support Merton, our chosen charity.

Social Committee Notices: There are still spaces for the following events
Turner’s House/Orleans House, 3rd June (£6)
Lullingstone Castle, Wednesday, 4th July (£27.50)
Bateman, Wednesday, 5th September (£29.50)
Please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place

Bowling Day, Saturday, 28th April: Angela told us how much she, Lesley and Wendy enjoyed the bowling day at Belmont Bowling Club. It was a whole day event which included tuition and various challenges in the morning, followed by a delicious lunch and lovely cakes. In the afternoon a “round robin” competition took place and the Wimbledon WI team got the highest scores and therefore won the cup. The day was such a success there is a possibility it may be held again next year. But in the meantime, Angela mentioned that anyone can go along to the Wimbledon Park Bowls Club on a Saturday until September between 11.00 am – 12.30 pm for coaching/taster sessions. Well done to the 3 winners.

My WI: Fiona mentioned it is well worth registering with My WI for all the news etc.
My WI is the dedicated website for WI members. Here you will find everything you need to get the most from your membership – from essential information and advice, to campaign action packs and special interest projects for you to try. Go to this link for all information about registering https://mywi.thewi.org.uk/welcome-to-my-wi

Summer Fairs: Veronica mentioned that now that the Wimbledon Village Fair is no longer happening, Wimbledon WI will have a stall at the Morden Family Day on Sunday 22nd July and the Wimbledon Stables Day on Sunday, 9th September. A letter will be sent in due course regarding the usual request for cake, preserves and volunteers for these fairs.

4Ocean: With regard to one of the WI previous resolutions “End Plastic Soup”, Fiona wanted to bring to our attention a website called “4Ocean”. It is an organisation whose mission is to help clean up millions of pounds of plastic which enters the ocean every year, creating a dangerous and even deadly environment for marine life. 4Ocean fund their work by selling bracelets made from recycled materials. Every bracelet purchased funds the removal of 1 pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines. In less than 2 years, 4Ocean has removed 629,942 pounds of trash from the ocean and coastlines. Visit 4ocean.com for further information

The Perfect Pollinator Evening RHS Wisley Thursday 28th June: The Surrey Federation has arranged this evening event as a finale to the Centenary celebrations and will be open from 6.30pm to 9.30pm especially for WI members, their families and friends to have a social evening with a picnic. There will be live music from three bands: Blazing Saddles, a Country and Western band; Dr Bone and the Rhythm Boys (a 1920s style quintet) and Surgeons of Swing who play a mixture of swing, jive, jazz, ballroom and Latin music. To order your tickets ring 0203 176 5810 and ask for tickets to “The Perfect Pollinator Evening”. Tickets are RHS members £7 in advance or £8 on the night. Non RHS members £10 in advance and £11 on the night. This looks to be a fun evening so why not take your picnic hamper, Pimms or Prosecco and a chair or rug and enjoy the gardens and evening. Barbeque food and drinks will be available to purchase if you don’t want to take your own.

SWWI’s Centenary Fair: South West London WIs are delighted to announce that the South West London branches of the Women’s Institutes will be joining forces to hold a fantastic Centenary Fair, to celebrate and showcase all that the WI offers. The Fair promises to be an amazing day with a variety of stalls, a chance to enjoy the fun of the fair with retro games, taster drop in workshops, plenty of food, and of course, a supply of homemade WI cakes! We’re also having a courtyard bar and coffee shop.

Open to all, entry to the Fair is free and it will be held in an idyllic venue in the heart of Barnes, next to the beautiful village pond. The Centenary Fair will be taking place on Saturday, 9 June 2018 from 11.00am – 3.30pm at Barnes Green Centre, Church Road, London, SW13 9HE, which is also known as “The Gingerbread House by the Pond”. Barnes Green Centre is very easy to get to with an abundance of transport links; the nearest rail stations are Barnes or Barnes Bridge (5-10 minute walk away) and the nearest tube station is Hammersmith (with frequent 209 or 283 buses to the ‘Barnes Pond’ stop opposite the Centre). It’s also a short bus ride from Richmond (419 bus) and if you are driving there is ample free parking in the surrounding roads on weekends.

The Fair will be an opportunity for a fantastic family day out; children are welcome and can enjoy face painting and games. There will be workshops, for a small cost, on screenprinting, making biodegrable glitter and various arts and crafts. An array of stalls will offer plants, books (some signed/vintage), jewellery and crafts.
Entertainment on offer will be from the FiSH choir, Petite Performers, demonstrators from Mei Quan Tai Chi and Kew Karate. The Balhamonics have also confirmed and will be on hand to entertain you with their repertoire of rock and pop. Please do spread the word, and come along and help celebrate the 100th birthday!

Used or Unwanted Bras: Lesley mentioned that once again she has been contacted from a charity asking our members to donate their old or unwanted bras. Please can you bring any you may have to the June meeting.

Linden Lodge: Being one of our chosen charities in the past, we were delighted to be invited to the opening of The Isobel Centre which we helped to raise funds for. It is a truly remarkable building with the latest technology and facilities for their visually impaired and multi-disabled visually impaired pupils to use.

Resolutions Result: Members voted that the Resolution to go forward to the final vote at the NFWI Annual Meeting in Cardiff on 6th June is Mental Health Matters.

Flower Arranging Demostration: We certainly had a lovely evening when we tried to copy Jean and Julie’s beautiful flower arrangements. Julie took us through the procedure step by step and when finished there were some amazing creations by our members. At the end of the evening 3 lucky members won the lovely arrangements made by Julie.

Diary Dates:
Thursday, 28th June – SFWI Picnic at RHS Wisley (6.00pm – 9.30pm)
Wednesday, 4th July – Lullingstone Castle
Sunday, 22nd July – Morden Family Fun day
Saturday, 4th August – Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace
Sunday, 26th and Monday, 27th August – Edenbridge & Oxted Show
Sunday, 9th September – Wimbledon Stables Day
Monday, 8th October – SFWI Autumn Meeting
Thursday, 4th October to Sunday, 14th October – Wimbledon Bookfest



Hot Topics April 2018

Fiona opened the meeting by welcoming 61 members and 1 guest. Thank you to everyone who brought in books to sell at Monday’s meeting – £38.50 was raised.

NFWI AGM: Lys reminded us that this will take place on Wednesday, 6th June at Motorpoint Arena Cardiff if anyone is interested in attending.

Surrey WI News: Lys said a copy of the Surrey News would be put on the noticeboard for people to see what events are happening. If there is anything that takes your fancy, please let Wendy know so she can book a place. This is also “the last shout” if you want a copy of Surrey WI News as orders have to be in by the end of the month. Please let us know within the next few days if you want to receive this which comes out monthly, starting in June, and costs £5 for 12 copies

Events: We have had two fantastic events recently. The first was quiz night when we raised £1133.79 for our chosen charity – well done and thank you to everyone who took part or helped on the evening. Also a black scarf was left behind if anyone is missing one. The second event was the brilliant trip to the Hat Factory in Luton – a lovely day out.
Four of our members are attending the Bowling Day on 27th April to be held at Streatham WI’s meeting place.
There are a few places left for:
Blue Badge Whitechapel Walk, Saturday, 12th May (£9)
Turner’s House/Orleans House, Sunday, 3rd June (£6)
Lullingstone Castle, Wednesday, 4th July (£27.50)
Please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place.

Centenary merchandise: There will be another opportunity to order these at the May meeting. Mugs £10, Tea towels £6, pens £3. Please pay with your order.

Barnes Fair. Fourteen London WIs are running stalls at this fair on Saturday 9th June. We are looking for volunteers to help run our tombola stall. If we get enough helpers the slots will only be for half an hour – giving you plenty of time to enjoy the fair.

Jellyfish and Octopus for prem babies: Eileen showed us a delightful crochet jellyfish she has made for the prem unit at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. These little jellyfish and octopuses make babies feel calmer and safer. The babies play with their tentacles as if it is their mother’s umbilical cord and reduces the risk of them pulling out any medical tubes etc. Below are a few websites with patterns plus a Woman’s Hour clip. The yarn has to be 100% cotton and the coordinator for Chelsea and Westminster, who vets all the octopuses or jellyfish, suggests beginners try the knitted jellyfish or the flat jellyfish for crocheters. If you have difficulty accessing patterns, please let us know.http://octopusforapreemie.com/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/octopusforapreemie/
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=octopus+for+a+preemie+uk+
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09gbn0h

My WI: If you haven’t received an automated ‘Welcome to the Digital WI’ email containing your login instructions for My WI, please visit https://mywi.thewi.org.uk/request-access to request access to the site.

Suffrage 100 – Archives at night: Law breakers, law makers: An event at the National Archives on Friday 18th May at 18.30 – 22,00

FGM (Female Genital Mutilation): We have received an email from the London Surrey WI Advisors regarding the campaign against FGM in the UK and globally. They are encouraging us to write to our MP to investigate why the practice of FGM is still occurring and asking for this to be eradicated both nationally and globally and to bring justice to these little girls. Attached with these Hot Topics is a copy of a letter members can edit and send to their MPs. If we all sent this to our MP that would be in excess of 800 letters from the 15 London WIs.

Perfect Pollinator : Plans are under way to make a bee by our WI for the display at Wisley. If any member has either bright yellow or black material/wool we can use for rag work, could they please bring it to the May meeting. Thank you.

The Perfect Pollinator Evening RHS Wisley Thursday 28th June: The Federation has arranged this evening event as a finale to the Centenary celebrations and will be open from 6.30pm to 9.30pm especially for WI members, their families and friends to have a social evening with a picnic. There will be live music from three bands: Blazing Saddles, a Country and Western band; Dr Bone and the Rhythm Boys, a 1920s style quintet and Surgeons of Swing who play a mixture of swing, jive, jazz, ballroom and Latin music. To order your tickets ring 0203 176 5810 and ask for tickets to “The Perfect Pollinator Evening”. Tickets are RHS members £7 in advance or £8 on the night. Non RHS members £10 in advance and £11 on the night. This looks to be a fun evening so why not take your picnic hamper, Pimms or Prosecco and a chair or rug and enjoy the gardens and evening. Barbeque food and drinks will be available to purchase if you don’t want to take your own.

Fire Regulations: Fiona reminded us of the procedure in the event of a fire:
• Vacate the room walking quickly and quietly, with the last person closing the door and go directly to the Muster Point
• Do not stop to collect any belongings
• Make sure your evacuation route takes you away from any risk
• The Muster Point is the tennis courts where names will be checked against the sign-in sheets
• Do not return to the building until instructed it is safe to do so.
A copy of the Ursuline Fire Policy and school plan can be found on the noticeboard.

Speaker for the evening – Jane Asher: To say swimmer extraordinaire is putting it lightly, Jane is truly an inspirational lady who in her 88th year is still swimming competitively.
Born in Rhodesia, Jane swam competitively at school and during her early twenties before moving to the UK. Living in Norwich Jane took up coaching when she became a mother to her four children and set up the East Anglian Swallow Tails swimming club, for which she is still the Honorary Life President. When Jane lost her husband, Robbie, to cancer in 1991, it was at this point that she decided to pursue competitive swimming. Masters Swimming became a lifeline for Jane. It kept her busy and gave her something positive to focus on. She made lots of new friends and it gave her the opportunity to travel all over the world.
Despite having a double hip replacement at the start of the millennium, Jane has smashed over 200 swimming records. She has competed in races in some of the world’s most high profile swimming pools but she maintains that her favourite pool to swim in is our very own London Aquatics Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Park.

Diary Dates:
Saturday, 12th May – Whitechapel Walk
Monday, 21st May – Plant Sale, Final vote on resolutions, Flower demo
Wednesday, 6th June – NFWI AGM Cardiff
Saturday, 9th June – London SWWI’s Centenary Fair
Thursday, 28th June – SFWI Picnic at RHS Wisley (6.00pm – 9.30pm)
Wednesday, 4th July – Lullingstone Castle
Sunday, 22nd July – Morden Family Fun day
Saturday, 4th August – Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace
Sunday, 26th and Monday, 27th August – Edenbridge & Oxted Show
Sunday, 9th September – Wimbledon Stables Day
Monday, 8th October – SFWI Autumn Meeting



Hot Topics March 2018

Fiona opened the meeting by welcoming 64 members and 3 guests. The following notices were mentioned before our entertainment for the evening.

Surrey WI News: Fiona informed members that Surrey WI News is an invaluable source of information of Federation news and events. Orders to receive this magazine have to be by the end of April. If you would like to place an order to receive this please sign-up at next meeting or email us beforehand. The cost of the magazine is £5 for 12 issues and begins with the June edition.

General Data Protection Regulation: Fiona mentioned that changes to the data protection laws are coming into force in May this year. These changes include introducing clearer ways in which organisations must ask for permission before sending information or to use images resulting from photos/videos in any printed and online publicity, social media, and press releases. This will be mandatory and after that date we may no longer be able to use your data to send Wimbledon WI correspondence unless we have your permission to do so.

Summer Fairs: Veronica reminded us that Wimbledon Village Fair was our biggest fund raiser for our WI and as this is no longer happening, we need to look at other events to help raise funds. Two local summer fairs have been suggested Morden Family Fun Day on Sunday, 22nd July and Wimbledon and Putney Commons Open Day on Sunday, 9th September. Veronica asked for everybody’s help with baking cakes, making preserves etc., to make these fairs successful and reminded us that when making cakes etc., we can always make two and pop one in the freezer. Further information and sign-up sheets will be made available later.

Perfect Pollinators: As part of the Centenary Celebrations, Surrey WIs have been invited to create a Perfect Pollinator which will be displayed at RHS Wisley from 28th June. Eileen mentioned that it would be lovely if Wimbledon WI could take part and if anyone is interested there will be a brainstorming session at 7.30 on Tuesday, 27th March. Please let us know if you would like to join us. (See February Hot Topics for further details).

The Perfect Pollinator Evening RHS Wisley Thursday 28th June: The Federation has arranged this evening event as a finale to the Centenary celebrations and will be open from 6.30pm to 9.30pm especially for WI members, their families and friends to have a social evening with a picnic. There will be live music from three bands: Blazing Saddles, a Country and Western band; Dr Bone and the Rhythm Boys, a 1920s style quintet and Surgeons of Swing who play a mixture of swing, jive, jazz, ballroom and Latin music. To order your tickets ring 0203 176 5810 and ask for tickets to “The Perfect Pollinator Evening”. Tickets are RHS members £7 in advance or £8 on the night. Non RHS members £10 in advance and £11 on the night. This looks to be a fun evening so why not take your picnic hamper, Pimms or Prosecco and a chair or rug and enjoy the gardens and evening. Barbeque food and drinks will be available to purchase if you don’t want to take your own.

Walking Netball: Fiona mentioned that Angela is the person to see if you are interested in joining Walking Netball. A few members are interested, so, hopefully, we will be able to form a team. Let us know if you would like to be included.

Social Committee Notices: It’s not too late if you would like to come along to the quiz night on Saturday 24th March at 7.30 St. Mary’s Church Hall, Merton Park. Tickets are £13 and include a ploughman’s supper. Please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like tickets. Places are also available for the following
Blue Badge Whitechapel Walk, Saturday, 12th May (£9)
Lullingstone Castle, Wednesday, 4th July (£27.50)

Bowling Day, Saturday, 28th April: A Bowling Day is taking place at Belmont Bowls Club. The cost is £5 per person and it will be a fun day with tuition in the morning, lunch and an inter WI competition in the afternoon, with a cup for the winning WI. Let us know if you are interested

SFWI Centenary Celebrations 2018 – Walk 100 Miles for 100 Years: As Saturday 17th March was such an awful day and not many people could make the Richmond Park walk arranged by the South West London WI Advisors, they have rescheduled the 10 mile walk round the park for Sunday, 15th April at 1.00pm at Kingston Gate.
Wimbledon WI walk Kew Bridge to Strawberry Hill: Liz led 9 of us on a lovely walk on Friday 9th March from Kew Bridge to Strawberry Hill. We walked about six and a half miles and our walk finished at our refreshment stop just as the rain started.

Countryfile Live Saturday, 4th August: Just to let you know NFWI have organised a presence at BBC Countryfile Live in the grounds of Blenheim Palace. SFWI have organised coaches with pick up from Clapham Junction. Family and friends are welcome. Group and early booking discounts are available. Inclusive of the coach (£15) the costs are £38 per adult and £26.50 per child before April 24th. After that date and before Tuesday, 24th July, costs rise to £42 per adult £28.50 per child. Entry to Blenheim and gardens not included. However, those with tickets for Countryfile Live can secure entry for half price during the event. For more information visit https://countryfilelive.com/

Little Honey Bee Co: We received a cheque from Michelle of the Little Honey Bee Company for £11.50 being 10% of her sales at last month’s meeting.

Bollywood Dance Experience: Our entertainment for the evening was to try and undertake some beautiful dance movements demonstrated to us by the talented Ayesha and Priya. They had brought various garments for us to wear and many of us tried to imitate their movements. But we soon realised what they made look effortless was quite difficult to master. We all enjoyed ourselves nevertheless and appreciate how beautiful and complicated Bollywood dances are.

Diary Dates:
Saturday, 24th March – Quiz Night
Monday, 16th April – Jane Asher Swimmer Extraordinaire – Book sale/Jigsaw Swap
Saturday, 12th May – Whitechapel Walk
Saturday, 9th June – London SWWI’s Centenary Fair
Thursday, 28th June – SFWI Picnic at RHS Wisley (6.00pm – 9.30pm)
Wednesday, 4th July – Lullingstone Castle
Sunday, 22nd July – Morden Family Fun day
Saturday, 4th August – Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace
Sunday, 26th and Monday, 27th August – Edenbridge & Oxted Show
Sunday, 9th September – Wimbledon Stables Day
Monday, 8th October – SFWI Autumn Meeting



Hot Topics February 2018

Fiona opened the meeting by welcoming 77 members and 3 guests. Fiona then drew our attention to the various Centenary events mentioned in the Surrey WI News which will be happening over the summer – a copy of which will be on the noticeboard. Amongst other things, there is the Barnes Fair on Saturday 9th June which is organised by the 14 London South West WIs and where we will be running the Tombola stall – thank you to those who have brought in gifts for this. There will also be an evening at RHS Wisley on Thursday, 28th June, a Richmond Park walk on 17th March and our own walk on 9th March. More details about these below.

Quiz Night: Fiona reminded everyone about our quiz night and how enjoyable it is. It is on Saturday 24th March at 7.30 St. Mary’s Church Hall, Merton Park. Tickets are £13 and include a ploughman’s supper. You can either make up a table of 8 or come on your own and join a table. Everyone welcome. Please contact Gillian if you would like a ticket.

A few words of thanks: Fiona mentioned that we had received a letter from Foodbank thanking us for all our contributions.
Eileen also thanked all the members who have made the lovely items to send out to Kenya. These are taken out to a community near Mombasa by members of Merton Park Explorer Scout Group. A number of years ago the scouts helped to build school rooms and a doctor’s surgery. The leaders continue to visit a couple of times a year taking items to support the maternity clinic such as teddies, jumpers, hats and tote bags (containing baby toiletries). If you would like to make a jumper or teddy you can find the links on our website. The leaders will be going out to Kenya over Easter so please bring any finished items to our March meeting.

Perfect Pollinators: As part of the Centenary Celebrations Surrey WIs have been invited to create a Perfect Pollinator which will be displayed at RHS Wisley. So why not be creative and have a go. If you are interested, we need to notify SFWI by 1st April that we are taking part so please let us know.
The Specification
The Federation is requesting as many WIs as possible to create an exhibit of an enlarged Pollinator Insect as realistic as possible including the colouration. No florescent colours may be used. The exhibits are to be distributed around the RHS Wisley garden. If the exhibit is intended to be displayed hanging from a tree, then a suitable hook should be attached for that purpose.
The pollinators we hope to see are bees, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths, flies and beetles.
The size of the completed Pollinator should not exceed a breadth of 1 metre, width of 1 metre and height of 1 metre. The finished Pollinator must be limited in weight to 5 kg. Please be aware that you must limit the size such that the assembled exhibit fits into your car. The Pollinator may be made of any material but it must be robustly weatherproof as it will be left outside in the gardens for some days. Suitable materials include wire, chicken wire or flexible wood to make the basic structure and a material cover eg tights for wings. Robust wrapping must be applied to ensure that nothing will drop off or get blown away particularly if polystyrene or loose, non-biodegradable material is used.
The exhibit should be delivered to RHS Wisley complete. A team of RHS staff and WI members will be positioning and fixing the exhibits round the area where they are to be exhibited during the week starting 25 June.

NFWI Raffle Tickets: Lys said she now has these raffle tickets for sale so please see her over the next few meetings to buy them at £1 each.

Social Committee Notices: The following events have been arranged and there are still spaces. Please contact Gillian if you would like to go
Afternoon Tea at St. Pancras Hotel on Saturday, 17th March (£38)
Quiz Night, Saturday, 24th March (£13)
Blue Badge Whitechapel Walk, Saturday, 12th May (£9)
Lullingstone Castle, Wednesday, 4th July (£27.50)

SFWI Centenary Celebrations 2018 – Walk 100 Miles for 100 Years:
Two walks have been organised as part of the above celebrations.
The first is organised by Liz, one of our members, and will be from Kew Bridge to Strawberry Hill on Friday, 9th March. Members who signed up for this will be receiving further details in due course. Anyone else wishing to join us, please let us know.

The second walk is a Richmond Park Walk which has been organised by South West London WIs. The plan is to start at 10.30 on Saturday, 17th March. The exact meeting places have yet to be confirmed but there will a refreshment stop at Pembroke Lodge so those not wishing/able to walk far can park there and meet to share a short mile and refreshments.

There will be the option to walk either a couple of miles or a longer 6 or 7 mile route. The miles will be totalled amongst our WI members to add towards the 100 miles for 100 years total.

As London WIs are holding their centenary event on Saturday, June 9th it would be great to be able to display any documentation about our walks as part of this. You could document in a journal, photos, a short diary or any other way you choose.

Our speaker for the evening was Michelle from The Little Honey Bee Company who gave a very interesting talk on bees. She brought with her some props and products made from honey.

One artefact she brought was a beehive made from polystyrene which is particularly suited to beekeeping in Britain. In our cold wet winters, wooden beehives become damp and the wood saturated but in a dry, warm, poly hive the situation is quite different. The insulation keeps the bees warm whatever the weather, rain simply runs off the outside, and any moisture inside the hive runs out of the open mesh floor, keeping the colony warm, dry, and above all, healthy.
Bees have their own unique ways of coping with cold temperatures. As the weather becomes cool, the honeybees gather in a central area of the hive and form a “winter cluster.” Bees have one main job in the winter — to keep the queen bee warm and safe. In order to do so, worker bees surround the queen and form a cluster with their bodies. The worker bees then flutter their wings and shiver. This constant motion and continuous use of energy is how the bees keep the inside temperature of the hive warm. In order to keep shivering, the bees must have enough honey. This is how they get their energy. One of the most important jobs of the beekeeper in the winter is to make sure the honey supply stays full so the bees can keep shivering. The worker bees rotate from the outside to the inside of the cluster, so no individual worker bee gets too cold.
Facts about bees:
• Honeybees are the only insect that produces food eaten by humans.
• Worker honeybees are female.
• The average worker bee produces only 1/12 teaspoon of honey over her lifetime.
• A worker bee lives about 6 weeks. The queen bee can live to be 5 years old.
• Honey never spoils.
• To make one pound of honey, bees must visit 2 million flowers.
• Swarming is the process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees. In the prime swarm, about 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen. This swarm can contain thousands to tens of thousands of bees
For further information visit http://www.thelittlehoneybeecompany.co.uk/

Diary Dates:
Friday, 9th March – Wimbledon WI walk – Kew to Strawberry Hill
Saturday, 17th March – London SWWIs walk – Richmond Park
Saturday, 17th March – Afternoon Tea at St. Pancras Hotel
Monday, 19th March – SFWI Annual Council Meeting
Monday, 19th March – March Meeting Bollywood Dance Experience
Saturday, 24th March – Quiz Night
Saturday, 12th May – Whitechapel Walk
Saturday, 9th June – London SWWI’s Centenary Fair
Thursday, 28th June – SFWI Picnic at RHS Wisley (6.00pm – 9.30pm)
Wednesday, 4th July – Lullingstone Castle
Sunday, 22nd July – Morden Family Fun day
Sunday, 9th September – Wimbledon Stables Day
Monday, 8th October – SFWI Autumn Meeting



Hot Topics January 2018

Fiona opened the meeting by wishing the 80 members and the 2 guests who attended a Happy New Year.

Bring and Buy Sale: Fiona thanked everyone for their donations for the Bring and Buy Sale – £155.65 was made so well done everyone. Some of the Bring and Buy items have also gone towards the Tombola stall we will be running at the South West London WIs’ Centenary Fair in Barnes on the 9th June.

Summer Fairs: The Wimbledon Fair is no longer happening and as this was our biggest fundraiser (approximately £1,000) we are keen to attend other similar functions and already have a couple in mind. So we will still need your lovely jam, cakes etc. And talking of cakes, one of our members mentioned the Christmas cake ingredients boxes now reduced to £2 in Asda!

Quiz Night: Fiona mentioned the forthcoming Quiz Night on Saturday, 24th March. This is always a good evening and once again, Agnes’ son has kindly offered to be our quiz master. So do come, either on your own or, if you can, make up a table of 8. Tickets are £13 which includes a Ploughman’s Supper. There will be a cash bar and profits will go to our charity, Carers Support Merton.

2018 Resolutions: After some interesting and really thoughtful group discussions on the five shortlisted resolutions, the one we would most like to go forward for further discussion and final voting at the AGM in June is Mental Health Matters. The result of the voting is as follows:
1. Positive body image in a digital age 4
2. Stop female genital mutilation 18
3. Raising awareness of modern slavery in the UK 12
4. Mental health matters 39
5. Healthier Mouth, Healthier Body 5

Social Committee Notices: There are places for the following events:
Brands Museum, Saturday 20th January (£12)
Afternoon Tea at St. Pancras Hotel on Saturday, 17th March (£38)
Quiz Night, Saturday, 24th March (£13)
Lullingstone Castle, Wednesday, 4th July
Please contact Gillian if you would like to go.
SFWI Centenary Celebrations 2018 – Walk 100 Miles for 100 Years:
‘A Journey of a Thousand Miles Starts with a Few Steps’ Lao Tsu
Individual WI members, WIs and Groups are invited to participate in an initiative to get SFWI members walking to improve their health and well being.
Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise proven to improve health. Walking is a natural stress remover, relieving the triggers that release endorphins in the brain, the natural hormone that soothes both stress and pain.
You may wish to plan and walk with your fellow members or join walks put on by many organisations in and around Surrey e.g. National Trust, Surrey Wildlife Trust, Surrey Hills and Surrey County Council.
Participants are invited to record their progress in any way they wish e.g. a diary (real or virtual), a scrapbook, a Fitbit log, photos, blog etc.
It is suggested that these be shared within Groups and that a selection of these will be chosen and displayed at the ACM in Spring 2019.
So… let’s put our best foot forward for the next hundred years!

Richmond Park Walk: With the above in mind the South West London WIs feel that a larger scale walk would be good to involve everyone that wanted to take part and the plan is to have a walk in Richmond Park at 10.30 on Saturday, 17th March. The exact meeting places have yet to be confirmed but there will a refreshment stop at Pembroke Lodge so those not wishing/able to walk far can park there and meet to share a short mile and refreshments.

There will be a couple of options to walk either a couple of miles or a longer 6 or 7 mile route. The miles will be totalled amongst your WI members to add towards your 100 miles for 100 years total. More information about this walk to follow.

As London WIs are holding their centenary event on Saturday, June 9th it would be great to be able to display the documentation from our WI as part of this. You could document in a journal, photos, a short diary or any other way you choose.



Hot Topics December 2017

Fiona opened the meeting by welcoming 65 members and 1 guest. Before introducing our regal entertainer for the evening, the following notices were mentioned:

Wimbledon Village Fair: We have heard from Wimbledon Guild that after 25 years of organising the annual Village Fair, they are unable to keep pace with the operating costs and it is no longer financially viable. As Wimbledon Village Fair is our biggest fund raiser, we are therefore looking for similar events where we can sell our homemade produce. So if any member knows of such events, please could they inform the committee. But in the meantime, don’t stop making your wonderful preserves etc.

SFWI Centenary: Fiona mentioned the list of events happening next year to celebrate SFWI Centenary. A copy of this is on the noticeboard but one date to put in your diary is Saturday, 9th June, when London South West WIs will be having their own fair at Barnes Green Centre between 11.00 and 3.30. Each WI will run a stall – unfortunately, homemade produce has already been taken! Imogen is our liaison officer and will keep us informed of developments.

Events: There are still places for the Afternoon Tea at St. Pancras Hotel on Saturday, 17th March (£38) and for the Brands Museum, Saturday 20th January (£12)
Please contact Gillian if you would like to go. Please note, to secure a place for an event, payment has to be made at time of booking (preferably by cheque).
Denman: Special Offer – Taste of Denman, March 10-11 (£155). Email Dulcie for details.

Volunteer for Age UK Merton: We have been contacted by Age UK Merton who are looking for volunteers to help with their organisation. As “Link Together to Alleviate Loneliness” is one of our resolutions passed in 2017, we are happy to pass on this information.

“Volunteering is a fantastic way of making friends, developing skills and giving back to the community whilst having fun. Age UK Merton delivers a wide range of services and activities, and volunteers are at the heart of this. If you can spare just a few hours each week we’d love to hear from you! Our volunteers support all our services including: Befriending, Reception, Health & Wellbeing, Activities Centre, Out & About and Admin Support.
Help us make a huge difference to the lives of older people living in Merton.”
Apply today
020 8648 5792
volunteering@ageukmerton.org.uk
www.ageukmerton.org.uk



Hot Topics November 2017

Fiona opened the meeting by welcoming 70 members and 2 guests.
Events:
Gillian mentioned that afternoon tea at St. Pancras Hotel has been arranged for Saturday, 17th March (£38). Also there are still places for the Brands Museum, Saturday 27th January (£12) Please contact Gillian if you would like to go. Please note, to secure a place for an event, payment has to be made at time of booking (preferably by cheque).
Denman: Special Offer – Taste of Denman, March 10-11 (£155). Email Dulcie for details.

Fiona gave us a light hearted account of her recent stay at Denman:
I’d like first of all to thank you all for the opportunity of having the ‘Denman experience’. From the beautiful surroundings to the delicious food and fascinating company, it was something that I shall never forget.

I took advantage of the shuttle service Denman organises, so I was picked up from the station at 4.00pm. At 6.00pm about 100 people taking I think 8 courses gathered to be introduced to their tutors. During the welcome speech we were encouraged to help the funding of a new stair carpet for the main house by patronising the bar freely! Two minutes later our tutor said that as our Cryptic Crosswords was ‘an intellectual course’ we shouldn’t have too many glasses of wine before the evening session!

This statement was met by stunned silence from the audience, but as I was a little apprehensive about being able to keep up with the course, I was more than happy to heed that advice. I therefore joined the others after dinner ready for our first session.
Brian was at pains to assure us from the start that, although he accepted the course might be quite challenging he did want to make sure we had a few laughs too. He couldn’t, he said, send us away after a day and a half ready to do any crossword we attempted, but he wanted to teach us at least how best to approach them. And I can say that I do now feel better equipped to recognise strategies and have even attempted The Times (‘Quick’ – shh!) Crossword!

And Brian was true to his word – he had no end of amusing anecdotes from his very varied experience. This one he saved till last: his parents were members of the Salvation Army, and encouraged him to join the brass band. After attempting and failing to master the cornet and tuba, he was finally told to take charge of the percussion section. One evening he was performing in a concert and, getting carried away at the back on a rostrum, didn’t notice that his kettle drum playing was vibrating the staging so that his music stand crept away and eventually fell off the edge of the rostrum, hitting the trombonist in the back of the neck so that his slide shot out and took out the first row of violins!

Workshops:
Katharine, on behalf of everyone who attended, thanked Fiona for arranging the courses (Jewellery and Introduction to Floristry) at Sutton College, followed by a talk on James I and the English Witch Hunt. They were enjoyed by everyone.

Chosen Charity for 2018:
Tracy, Representative from Carers Support Merton informed us about their work with Young Carers in the borough. She said they work with families to improve Young Carers lives in the following areas:
Understanding their caring role
Reducing feelings of isolation
Improving emotional well being
Making healthy decisions
She also said they work with families by advocating on their behalf, offering them emotional support and by giving Young Carers opportunities to take part in new, informative and fun activities. Tracy then thanked us all for the collection of Christmas presents we had brought to the meeting and for choosing Carers Support Merton as our charity for 2018.

December and January Meetings:
Fiona mentioned that next month we would be having a royal visitor – King Henry VIII will be entertaining us at our December meeting when mince pies and mulled wine will be available. In January we will be voting on Resolutions so keep the Resolution Selection Form in your November issue of WI Life to bring to that meeting.

Hot Topics: Fiona mentioned that Hot Topics are a way of informing members and recording what has happened at our meetings as minutes were not taken. Everyone should receive a copy of Hot Topics either by email or by post.

Wimbledon WI AGM:
Appointment of tellers – none required
Secret ballot for committee – not required

Chris is standing down from the committee at this time. Fiona presented Chris with a bouquet of flowers and she thanked Chris for all of her hard work as treasurer in past years and for sharing her knowledge of rules and regulations with her fellow committee members. Following a show of hands, indicating WI members’ approval, the remaining committee members will continue as before with the addition of Angela.
Wendy – Treasurer
Lys – Secretary
Lesley – Assistant Secretary
Linda – Committee meeting minutes
Gillian – Vice chair and outings/entertainments organiser
Margaret – Crafts
Dulcie – MCS Preview Notes/Hot Topics and Crafts
Daphne – Catering
Sheila – Charity Liaison
Angela – new member

None of the committee indicated that they would like to stand as President. Following a further show of hands, indicating WI members’ approval, Fiona will continue in her role as President.

Wendy presented her Financial Statement for the past year. The Financial Statement was audited and passed by the Surrey Federation auditor who complimented Wendy on having presented the best set of financial records that she had seen to date. Fiona proposed the adoption of the Financial Statement. The proposal was seconded by Gill and members indicated by a show of hands that the Financial Statement was accepted by all present.

Lys gave a report of the speakers, outings and events that we have enjoyed over the past year. Fiona thanked Gillian and her team for all their hard work of planning and organising the programme. Fiona proposed that the report be adopted and Ann seconded this proposal. The members indicated their agreement by a show of hands.
Fiona said how much she enjoys being part of our WI and she said she is happy to continue in her role as President. Fiona thanked the committee and all members who have supported her so well over the year.

Speaker for the evening:
Wayne Watling, Counter Terrorism Focus Desk Supervisor. Wayne told us that he has spent the past 22 years working with the Metropolitan Police, mainly in a uniform role. For the past two years he has been the supervisor of the Counter Terrorism Focus Desk (CTFD), working in partnership with Transport for London. He compiles Counter Terrorism (CT) messaging, presents a number of corporate and bespoke CT products to increase CT awareness and reassurance. Wayne said that it was highly unlikely for anyone present tonight to encounter a terrorist attack, however, the threat is still there and the importance of staying alert and aware. The National terrorism threat level is still “severe” and has been since 2014 and it is important to have eyes and ears on the ground as 550 cases are being handled at one time.

The aim is to reduce the risk to the UK and it’s interest overseas from terrorism so that people can go about their daily lives freely and with confidence
Pursue: stopping terrorist attacks
Prevent: stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism
Protect: strengthening our protection against attack
Prepare: mitigating the impact of attacks

Wayne explained that the cordon distances are a lot larger than the general public think being:
• 100 metres for a minor explosive risk – rucksack
• 200 metres for a moderate explosive risk – car
• 400 metres for a serious explosive risk – lorry
Wayne also mentioned the HOT principles on unattended items:
H – Hidden – has it been concealed or hidden from view
O – Obviously suspicious – Does it have wires, circuit boards, batteries, tape etc.
T – Typical – Is the item typical of what you would expect to find in this location.

Wayne also mentioned the Stay Safe principles:
RUN – Escape if you can, insist others leave with you, leave belongings behind.
HIDE – If you cannot run, hide. Try not to get trapped, be quiet, barricade yourself in.
TELL – Call 999. Informing of location, where suspects were last seen and description.

And he left us with one last message. Be vigilant, our behaviour can reduce threats to the organisation, be security savvy. The Anti-terrorist Hot Line is 0800 789 321.

Poppies:
Thank you to everyone who either helped to make the poppies or bought them. We raised £255.65 to send to the Royal British Legion. A joint wreath was also laid on Remembrance Sunday with SW19 WI at the Wimbledon Village War Memorial.

Next Meeting:
18th December – King Henry VIII. Mince Pies and Mulled Wine but before then
Christmas Dinner at the Taste Restaurant, South Thames College, Morden, on Wednesday, 6th December, at 6.30 for 7.00.

The Committee



Hot Topics October 2017

Fiona welcomed 47 members and 2 guests.
2018 SFWI Centenary celebrations:
One of our members, Imogen has agreed to be the liaison officer for the celebrations next year and we look forward to hearing what is to be proposed for May and June 2018. In the meantime you can write Thursday, 28th June in your diary for an evening event at RHS Wisley. Fiona thanked Sheila and Miriam for their contributions towards the History Record of Wimbledon WI. This, together with Eileen’s creative craft work has been forwarded to SFWI for inclusion in the Centenary Commemorative Book.

Wimbledon WI 10th Anniversary:
We are hoping to arrange something special for our 10th birthday which will probably happen after July 2018. A show of hands voted for an evening event rather than a Saturday afternoon for our own celebrations. Further information to follow.

Chosen charity for 2018:
Members took a vote on the following charities to choose our charity for 2018:
Carers Support Merton – 20
Merton Vision – 9
Lantern Arts Centre Merton – 5
Christian Care – 5
Merton Talking Newspapers – 3

Events:
There are still a few spaces for the Brands Museum and Christmas Dinner and one place left for the jewellery workshop at Sutton College (Saturday, 18th November). As usual, please contact Gillian if you would like to go. Please pay for events booked at the next meeting or send a cheque to Gillian.
Surrey Residential Designer Taster, Saturday, 10th March – Sunday, 11th March (£155) – An overnight stay followed by a day of “taster” workshops. If you would like further information and application form, please contact Dulcie.
NFWI AGM, Wednesday, 6th June, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff. Please let us know if you are interested and we will send you an application form.

Resolution – End Plastic Soup:
In relation to one of this year’s WI resolutions Fiona, one of our members, drew our attention to an item she has recently heard on the news. A Sea Bin has been launched from Portsmouth, where the micro fibre research was being done. Apparently it can gather micro fibres of about 2mm, as well as plastic bottles and bags etc. Great News. Further reading can be found on https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/uk/britain-gets-first-sea-bin-trap-rubbish-floating-int-solent/

November Meeting:
Next month will be our AGM when we select our committee. A few committee members may be stepping down so we are looking for volunteers to put their name forward. Anyone can join – no experience needed. So don’t be shy, if you have the time, we would love to hear from you.

Subscription 2018:
The NFWI Board of Trustees has set the membership subscription for 2018 at £41. Dual members will pay £20 to their second WI. Payment will be due from members in January 2018.

Monday night was a particularly successful evening with members socialising, playing games, answering various quizzes and eating chocolates! A relaxing and enjoyable evening was had by all.

Next meeting:
20th November – Matt Bryan, Counter Terrorism. AGM. Christmas Gifts Collection. Charity Rep.

The Committee



Hot Topics September 2017

Fiona welcomed 66 members and 2 guests and hoped everyone had an enjoyable summer.

Resolutions:
Lesley mentioned that there are now Campaign Action Packs for the two resolutions passed at the 2017 NFWI Annual Meeting. For further reading on “End Plastic Soup” and “Link Together to Alleviate Loneliness” please click on following links

https://www.thewi.org.uk/campaigns/current-campaigns-and-initiatives/end-plastic-soup

https://www.thewi.org.uk/campaigns/current-campaigns-and-initiatives/link-together

Copies of these can be found on the noticeboard.

Healthy Living and Wellbeing Week 11th – 15th June 2018:
The aim of this week is to encourage members to try new activities that relate to the subject “Healthy Living and Wellbeing”. If you have any ideas that we could do this week to inspire our members to take steps towards leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle, we would love to hear them.

Our WI, Our Future – Membership Survey May 2017:
This makes for interesting reading and a copy of it will be on the noticeboard.

My WI Website:
Quite a few of us have still not had instructions or logon details for the new My WI Website. To request access to the site online simply go to https://mywi.thewi.org.uk/ and press the ‘Request Access’ button or call on 020 7371 9300 and select option 0 to get set up over the phone.

Future Events:
Gillian mentioned that there are still places left for the following events:
Waddesdon Manor Thursday, 23rd November to visit house, garden and Christmas market (£26)
Christmas Dinner, Taste Restaurant, Wednesday, 6th December (£29.95)
Brands Museum, Saturday 27th January (£12)
Supreme Court, Friday 2nd February (£5)
Hat Factory, Tuesday 10th April (£27)
Please contact Gillian if you would like to go to any of above.

Sutton College:
Fiona has arranged with Sutton College who will run two workshops and a talk on Saturday, 18th November for Wimbledon WI. They are Jewellery and Introduction to Floristry which were the two most popular. These will be held concurrently between 1.00 and 3.00 followed by a talk on James I and the English Witch Hunt. Spaces are limited for the workshops but the talk is open to all members. Please contact Gillian to add your name to workshops.

2018 Charity:
Sheila mentioned it is time to start thinking about a local charity for next year. If members have any nominations for our charity of the year, please let one of the committee members know.

SFWI Centenary Celebrations:
Fiona thanked both Imogen and Eileen for their beautiful needlework creations for the Surrey Federations Centenary Celebrations next year. Eileen’s piece will be forwarded to Surrey for inclusion in the Centenary Record Book. And Imogen’s will be framed and displayed as part of our own 10th anniversary celebration next year. Congratulations to them both.

Book Sale:
At Monday’s meeting £44.50 was made from the book sale which was organised by the Book Club and the funds will go to Wimbledon WI. Thank you to members who brought in books and jigsaws.

Croquet Day:
“As a new member of Wimbledon WI, I was presented with a copy of Surrey News. In it I spotted an advert for a tuition Croquet Day at Surbiton Croquet Club. I thought that this sounded a fun thing to do in August and that was how it turned out. About 30 members of Surrey WIs attended and were separated into pairs for the day. Male members of the club then demonstrated the basics of golf-croquet and started off games with 2 pairs against each other. The object was for one person from each foursome to get a ball through a hoop; scoring a point for their pair. The game ended after 6 hoops with the points declared. During the morning 2 games were played. The rain came down while we had a delicious lunch in a marquee but stopped for everyone to play an afternoon game. Unfortunately a storm started and that prevented everyone having a 4th game, apart from the 2 pairs with the highest scores, playing each other in the rain, to decide the winner of the prizes. The games were played in a friendly spirit and the refreshments during the day were greatly appreciated”. Rita.

Speaker for the evening:
Melvin Rees gave us a talk on “My Family and Other Setbacks” which was a very light hearted and comical view of growing up in South London, raising 3 children, coping with ageing parents and having a passion for trains!!. Many of his anecdotes evoked memories of our own childhood and child rearing. Further reading about Melvin and his books can be found on this link
http://www.trouser-press.biz/

Dates for Diary:
15th October – Last day to use £1 coins as they will no longer be accepted after this date
16th October – SFWI Autumn Meeting at Dorking
16th October – Next Meeting – Social and games evening. Choose Charity for 2018

The Committee



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