Hot Topics March 2019

Fiona welcomed 67 members and 3 guests. Before introducing our guest speakers, Fiona mentioned how Jigsaw4u, our charity of the year, is so poignant to her at the moment as it is helping counsel the children of one of her friends who has recently died at only 38 leaving two boys aged 7 and 10.

Fiona informed us of the sad news of the death of Jane Purchase. As well as being a WI member Jane has been associated with scouting for many years, in a number of capacities both at the 4th Wimbledon and the 19th Wimbledon. Most recently she was a member of the Scout Executive Committee, standing down only last year after 29 years. She was also a much loved teacher at Hollymount School. She will be missed.

Dates for diary: Fiona mentioned 2 dates to put in your diaries:
Sunday, 8th September when we will have a stall at the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Open Day – it is never too early to start making preserves etc., and cakes to freeze.
The second date, which is a bit nearer, is our Quiz on 6th April. It is never too late to get tickets – just contact Gillian (details below). Even if you are on your own, come along and join a table of no more than 8 people. There will also be a raffle on the 6th.

Members’ suggestions: Fiona said that we have taken members suggestions for speakers/activities on board and have booked a Tai Chi session for next year. A few members have asked for a craft session so please could we have your ideas of what you would like to make/do etc.

Resolutions: Lesley informed us that there will be two resolutions going forward to the NFWI AGM in June and they are Decline in Local Bus Services and Don’t Fear the Smear.

Royal School of Needlework have sent us their booklet for this year and if enough people are interested we would like to arrange a tour/taster session. Further information will be sent out when we have more information and dates.

Future Events: There are places for the following events.
Quiz, Saturday, 6th April (£14 includes Ploughman’s Supper)
Chiltern Valley Winery, Tuesday 23rd April (£35)
Covent Garden Walk, Thursday, 16th May (£10)
Wimpole Estate, Cambridge, Wednesday, 26th June (£37)
Please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place.

Crafty Ladies: Anyone interested in joining a WI Knatter Group for knitters, crocheters, embroiders etc., please contact Margaret as she is collating a list of people and their preferred days.

Wimbledon WI Facebook Page: A “closed group” has been set up within the Wimbledon WI Facebook page which is only accessible to our WI members. If you would like to join the group please visit
Then click on the sub heading “groups” to request to join. Once you have done this, a message is sent to the moderators of our group and your request will be accepted. We will only accept members of Wimbledon WI so members can message each other or post things of interest without non-members seeing it. You do need to have a Facebook account to do this.

Salvation Army: Our first speaker for the evening was Emma Scott who is an officer with the Mitcham Salvation Army. Emma gave us a potted history of how the Salvation Army was started by William and Catherine Booth in 1865 when they moved to London and were appalled by the conditions people lived in. They aimed to help as many poor people as possible but particularly women who had fallen into prostitution. As The Salvation Army became established women were given leadership responsibilities. Catherine Booth fought to expand the role for women in church and public life, advocating better conditions and pay for women workers and to have the woman’s voice heard. This commitment to equality remains today. Unfortunately domestic abuse is on the increase and in spring 2016 The Salvation Army set up The Link Café (TLC) to help women, who have left their abusive partners, to link to other services in the community. Working with Merton Borough Council and other volunteer agencies, the Salvation Army sought to fill a perceived gap. The Salvation Army have also secured funding to help women who do not qualify for Legal Aid (due to the change in the law if they are named on any house purchase document they are not entitled to it). We asked Emma how we could help. She said due to the lack of storage space they are unable to store items and they have to acquire items as and when they need them, for instance they are in desperate need of a micro wave. The best way is for them to contact us as and when items are needed. At the end of the meeting, Katharine had the brilliant suggestion of all members donating a £1 to buy a microwave and the following is the email we received from Emma.

“Firstly, a huge thank you for allowing me to come and share a little of what we do with you all tonight and for the beautiful surprise that now means we can provide a microwave for someone who needs it. If you would like any further information either about volunteering with us or to donate goods then you can contact me. We are in the process of a new mobile number as the landline isn’t always available. Thank you again and I look forward to the fair in September!”

Paracise: Our next speaker, Alison Kirk, introduced us to Paracise which is a new exercise designed to enhance and enrich your life by a gentle but effective workout that improves mobility, flexibility and balance and maintains or improves quality of life. Lack of fitness, age, injury, physical and mental illness can affect our well-being and staying fit and positive can help us to ease those symptoms. Alison soon had us up and joining in with the gentle and enjoyable exercises. For more information visit the website

Below is information received from theatre groups:

Kemp’s Jig, Tara Theatre Earlsfield : As part of the week long celebrations of Shakespeare’s birthday at Tara Theatre, a one man show is being produced on 22nd and 23rd April. The show is “Kemp’s Jig” and tells the tale of Shakespeare’s clown, Will Kemp and his Morris Dance from London to Norwich. It’s a fun and irreverent piece, and perfect material for a group outing. We have the support of Greensleeves Morris Men on the Monday and Dacre Morris (a ladies’ side) on the Tuesday so there’ll be lots to see and the added bonus of being relatively local. Full details are on the link below

Emilia, Vaudeville Theatre,Strand 8 March to 15 June 2019
Emilia tells the story of the trailblazing Emilia Bassano, one of the first female English poets to be published in 1611. A contemporary of Shakespeare’s, thought to be the ‘dark lady’ of his sonnets, she was herself a talented poet, teacher, mother, writer, wife and lover. Now in a play full of music and song, an all-female company bring Emilia’s story to life and through one woman’s story, celebrate women’s voices across the centuries.
Special Offer: To book a Band A ticket for £30 / £35 (usually £50 / £55 from 22 March) call 0330 333 4814, This offer is valid for Monday to Friday performances at 7.30pm and Wednesday matinees at 2.30pm from 8 March to 18 April, subject to availability.
Complimentary Playtext Group Offer: If you would like to organise a group outing, the 8+ Group Rate is £32.50 (Stalls / Dress Circle) or £25 (Grand Circle) and you will also receive a complimentary play text with each ticket purchased. This rate is valid for Monday to Thursday performances from 8 March to 18 April, subject to availability. Please call 0330 333 4817.

A Christmas Carol, Middle Temple Hall: We have been sent details about Antic Disposition’s much-loved musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens festive classic A Christmas Carol which returns to the spectacular Elizabethan setting of Middle Temple Hall in central London. It will run from Saturday 21 – Monday 30 December 2019 with daily performances at 3pm and 7.30pm (11am and 3pm on 24 December; no performances on 25/26 December). They are able to offer us a 10% discount for groups of 15 or more. With this reduction, reserved seats are £40.50 (normally £45) and unreserved seats are £31.50 (normally £35). This offer is not available on their website. For further details visit

Diary Dates:
Saturday, 6th April. Quiz Night
Monday, 15th April Meeting – Jan Young, Art Expert. Book sale/jigsaw swap
Wednesday, 5th June, 2019. NFWI AGM, Bournemouth
July 12-14th Surrey WIs at Denman
Sunday, 8th September, Wimbledon and Putney Commons Open Day
Monday, 7th October. Surrey Federation of WIs Autumn Meeting