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.
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