Hot Topics September 2019

Fiona welcomed 61 members and 2 guests and hoped everyone had a good summer. Fiona said the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Open Day was a huge success. She thanked Veronica for all her hard work, dedication and organisation, without whom the WI stall would not exist. Fiona also thanked Dulcie and her helpers for covering the huge amount of jams and preserves – remains of which were on sale at Monday’s meeting. The final amount raised including Monday’s sales is an amazing £1177 – thank you to everyone who helped and donated produce.

Campaigns: Lesley has been sent campaign action packs on End Plastic Soup, Cervical Screening and No More Violence Against Women. All very worthwhile campaigns – are there any members who are interested in public affairs and willing to set up a sub-committee campaign group to deal with these issues.

Surrey Federation Website: The new website for Surrey Federation has just been launched and worth a look. You can find it on

Thank you from Agnes: Gillian had been asked by Agnes to thank everyone for all the cards, messages of sympathy and flowers. She was very touched and overwhelmed.

Future outings/events:

Chatham Dockyard, Friday, 27th September £37

Syon Park Enchanted Woodland, Saturday 30th November £20

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.

Walking Netball: Walking netball has been suspended for the time being until Angela is well enough after her foot operation. We wish her a speedy recovery.

Charity of The Year: At our October meeting we will chose our Charity for 2020. If you have a local charity you would like to nominate please let Sheila have details before next meeting. The Managing Director of Jigsaw4u will attend the October meeting to receive our cheque on their behalf.

2020 Diaries: After enquiring we have heard that Surrey Federation will not be selling WI diaries for 2020 as it is not economically viable. However these can be purchased directly from NFWI and Wendy is happy to purchase these for members. If you would like one could you let Wendy know as soon as possible. They cost £5.80 and are red this year.

Wimbledon Crafty Ladies: The next Crafty Ladies meeting will be held on Friday 4th October 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.

Fixing Fast Fashion: The NFWI is taking aim at fast fashion for the next stage of the End Plastic Soup campaign. With around 300,000 tonnes of textiles thrown away every year, action is needed to tackle the environmental impact of clothing.

Members are invited to attend a free educational women-only event, hosted with clothing charity TRAID, to learn more about how to reduce the impact of their wardrobe. This is an interactive, hands-on event where people will come together to learn more about the true cost of fast fashion and what can be done to fix it.

There will be different stations set up to consider different aspects of fast fashion—these include repairing and mending clothes, considering clothes production and our throwaway culture and the impact microplastic fibres pose to the environment.

This is to be an intergenerational, communal event and so each member is asked to bring along a female plus one; whether that’s a neighbour, friend, female relative or work colleague to introduce them (and hopefully recruit them!) to the WI.

This event is aimed at people who are novices at repairing, adapting, mending and sharing clothes and who wish to learn more about how they can play their part in fixing fast fashion.

It will take place at the Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BU, on Saturday 19 October from 1.30-5pm. Places are first come, first served, so please register your interest via this link: 

Speaker for the evening Joyce Meader: Most of you will remember Joyce when she previously spoke at one of our meetings. Tonight’s knitting history started from the 1950’s with a lot of us remembering some of the items she displayed across her chest. The items ranged from some very weird and wonderful hats – smog hoods, pixie hats, balaclavas, bobble hats and a knitted beret with a knitted breakfast on it – egg, bacon and peas!! But the 1950’s was known for one particular garment – the string vest for both male and female. Originating in Norway in the mid 1800’s they were known as health vests as they are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. And to go with the string vests Joyce produced some very fetching string pants! Of course she showed us the compulsory toilet roll covers, tank tops (round neck for women, v-shape for men) and some wonderful jumpers with pictures knitted on them. Joyce also had a large selection of knitwear from all over the world which included many sleeper socks. We were also given the amusement of being shown a knitted garment that warmed a certain part of the male anatomy along with some fluffy thongs – the mind boggles. As we had envisaged a very amusing and insightful evening.