Hot Topics March 2014

Agnes, the President, welcomed the 64 members and 8 guests to our meeting in the Dining Hall at Ursuline High School (our usual venue of the 6th Form Centre was being used for exams). We were delighted that 7 of the guests paid their 2014 membership subscriptions to our WI.

Main event

We had a lively dance session with Claudio from Start the Dance who showed us the steps for two Latin American dances – merengue and salsa. By the end of the evening, everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves very much. Congratulations to all of those of you who had a go even though it looked challenging and exhausting.


Agnes reminded members that the following signup sheets were available at the meeting and to pay at this meeting for any trips/events they had booked:

  • Quiz Night 22 March 7pm St Mary’s Church Hall, Merton Park – details in reminder notice circulated on 18 March.
  • Super Raffle 14th April – prizes already received listed on the signup sheet. Members to add any other prizes had obtained, together with details of the donors so we can thank them
  • Wimbledon Village Fair 21st June Agnes encouraged us all to do something to support our WIs main fund raising event and to put our names on the signup sheets.       You can bake something or make preserves.       We get an increasing demand for Gluten Free produce. Helpers also needed for the stall on the day. Ideas for what to bake/make were on the Notice Board and in a folder of recipes

Kosovan children – A thank you drawing from the Kosovan children was on the Notice Board for the monies Elizabeth Gowing had given them from the %age of the sales donated as a result of purchases made by our members at our February meeting.

Knitted Squares – Knit some more squares for blankets – see our website We will be saving some for next year’s Get Your Knit On and some will be made into blankets for our charity Merton & Morden Guild. Some wool was available at the meeting.

Dress making Workshop 22nd February Fifteen members spent an enjoyable morning sewing, chatting and sampling homemade cake. Thank you to all who made the dresses either on the day or since and also to those who contributed material. 27 dresses have been sent off this week to the orphanage in Mombasa. More information and pictures will be on our website soon Julia will be going out to Kenya again in September so, if you would like to make a dress or two, they would be gratefully received. We may run another workshop if there is sufficient demand.

Surrey Federation WI Annual Council Meeting – Ann, the Secretary, said she’d been to Dorking to represent our WI. She gave a brief rundown of the event. Copies of the Federation Chairman’s Address, Treasurer’s Report and the Budget for 2014-14 were on the Notice Board. A fuller report of the meeting would be on our April meeting Notice Board. Lynne Stubbings National Federation Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Training Committee gave a brief history of her involvement with the WI. and a glimpse of what the NFWI are planning for our Centenary Year. Lynne’s main message was that it was up to us as current WI members to make the most of our opportunities and help lay the foundations for current and future WI members to be the Inspiring Women of the next 100 years. During the return train journey Lynne asked Ann to send her greetings to Wimbledon WI and hoped we enjoyed our meeting that evening. Some of the forthcoming events in Surrey (details on Notice Board) mentioned at the Federation Annual Meeting were:

  • Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) Awareness & Fundraising Walk 27 April 1pm Nonsuch Park
  • Aspiring WI Speakers Auditions – A new venue for these events when afternoon and evening sessions were planned for 5 June in New Malden
  • Croquet Taster day 11 July at Surbiton Croquet Club and
  • Cranleigh Show on 2nd August.

Notice Board – Ann reminded members to look at it. Among the other new material this month were:

  • NFWI News extracts from April issue
  • Extracts from Surrey News including, forthcoming events and results of the votes cast within Surrey Federation for the 4 resolutions we voted on at the end of last year
  • Denman – A chance to attend The Real Downton Abbey: Literary Lunch Friday 2 May 2014 which coincidently follows on after our WI’s trip to Highclere on 24th April

·       Easter egg cosy knitting and socialget together -8pm Wednesday 2nd April – see end of this Hot Topics, and

    • Different colours on member’s badges – Joanna had been issuing new labels for our members’ badges. We hope these will help members and visitors who have any queries to spot someone who might be able to tell them more about our WI. Click here for definitions

Signup sheets – The following were also available:

      • Committee Taster – come and hear what we get up to on the Committee – it is your Committee for your WI, and
      • Surrey WI News – Taking orders for this monthly magazine – price for 12 issues £3 for the year. Examples of previous issues were available. Final orders/payment (if not already paid) due at our April meeting.

Our Website – Joanna has given our Website a revamp and added some new material – do look at it regularly. Congratulations to Joanna for all her hard work on our Website which has been chosen to feature at WI’s Inspiring Women Working Together conferences around the country and described as “a great example of a WI website, linked to the NFWI site”.