November 2011 Hot Topics

Hot Topics November 2011

We welcomed 91 members and 2 guests to our Annual Meeting this month, together with Sally Dampney, the Surrey WI Adviser who formed our WI and has supported us ever since. Sally is retiring this year, and so we will have a new adviser at our next meeting. We also welcomed Gill Holder and Sally Winfield from SW19WI, who acted as our tellers. The formal notices were given and then Susan Bowler, the Treasurer presented accounts for the year ended 30th September, which were accepted by the Meeting.

Lesley Challacombe, the Secretary read a report highlighting the WI’s programme during the past year, which included a rich and varied selection of activities, speakers and social events.

Sheila May, The President then gave her retiring address after which she thanked the members and committee for their support during the past year a said how much she had enjoyed her time as President. She was presented with a card , gift voucher, and a bouquet from the committee and members, and thanked for all her hard work over the 31/2 years. Sheila then presented us with a new gavel, which is engraved with the words Wimbledon WI 2008, which, as you will remember is the year we formed.

Sally then guided WI members through the election process for a new committee and a new President. The 7 of the members of the existing committee, some of whom had been co- opted during the year, put themselves forward for re-election and 5 members volunteered, bringing the total up to 12.

Lesley Challacombe was elected new President, and your new committee consists of. Sally Alger, Val Barnes, Janice Beale, Dulcie Edwards; Fiona Gerdes Hansen, Gillian Kitcherside; Daphne Monk; Annette Osborne, Diana Ovens; Eileen Smith and Christine Ward . Joanna Cardwell will continue to update the website.

Subscriptions 2012

The cost of subscription for 2012 will be £31.50 and cheques, made payable to Wimbledon WI, should be BROUGHT TO THE JANUARY MEETING in a sealed envelope with your name on the front. If you are unable to attend the January meeting,or do not intend to renew your membership please contact Lesley on

Christmas Presents for Children

Members very generously brought a large selection of gifts for Camilla Batmanghelidjh’s Kids Company.

Christmas cards

A selection of Wimbledon WI Christmas cards was on sale, designed by our members. There is one set left please let Joanna know if you would like it

Signing In

Could all members please remember to ensure that they sign in at each meeting. This enables us to keep our records accurate and is needed for Health and Safety reasons.

Advance Dates for 2012

January Meeting Bring & Buy Sale in aid of our chosen Charity.

Social Outings

Sign up sheets were available for the following outing.

February Spencer House.

NFWI Resolutions for 2012

The proposed list of Resolutions, which have been put forward for voting for 2012 are highlighted in the November/December issue of WI Life pages 26-29 They are also on the NFWI website. Please bring the voting slip from page 29 of WI Life to the December meeting to cast your vote on the Resolution you would like to be put forward at the 2012 AGM. Please note the WI is Wimbledon and the Federation is Surrey.


Members wishing to donate towels, linen and kitchen equipment please contact Joanna or Lesley for the phone number.


The 2012 Diaries are now available. As these have to be ordered and paid for, please ensure you collect yours if you have ordered one. There are 2 spare ones for sale at £3.50 each.

Love Your Libraries

December will be the last chance to sign the WI petition against library closures.

Charity Support 2012

Members present voted for the charity they would like to support in 2012 and we are pleased to announce that our support next year will be for Faith in Action

AGM 2012

If you have signed up to attend the AGM on Wednesday May30th at the Albert Hall, please bring a cheque for £17 made out to SFWI [Surrey Federation of Women’s Institutes] with the name of the WI and the event on the reverse of the cheque, to the December meeting. The closing date for applications is in January before our next meeting. A ballot for tickets will be held after the allocation date if the event is over subscribed.

Walking Group

Some walks will be organised in the new year. In the meantime LB Merton/leisure/walks website has a number of local walks already in place which WI members might like to join (no cost involved). Val Barnes is walk leader on Monday mornings meeting at the National Trust Cafe and walks 10.30-11,30 in Morden Hall Park There are approximately 35 walkers each week, including Wimbledon WI members and everyone walks within their own capabilities.

Loire Wine tasting Trip

There are still some places left on the Trip to the Loire April 23rd – 28th 2012. This is an opportunity to taste wine, sight see and enjoy door to door travel to and from Wimbledon. Details on last months Hot Topics. Please contact Katharine Blakemore as soon as possible if you are interested.

December Meeting

The December meeting will take place on Monday 12th December when we will be having mulled wine and mince pies and singing some seasonal songs. If you have not put your name down for this and wish to be present at our last meeting of 2011, please contact Lesley now on

A note from NFWI


HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED On 10/11 Dec Oxford Street & Regent Street will close to traffic for a Christmas festival. This year we are hosting a continuous Christmas carol singing session – the West End Christmas Carol-A-Thon to raise money for Kids Company to give thousands of children the opportunity for a proper Christmas.

We are on the hunt for groups of talented singers and performers to take centre-stage and lead the world record attempt with a choir of their own making.

HOW IT WILL WORK There will be a dedicated Carol-A-Thon stage/open top bus within the centre of Oxford Circus. The Carol-A-Thon will run for approximately 30 hours from start to finish across Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December.

Requirements Provide singers to sing carols for up to one hour in the carolling relay Sing a carol, a Christmas song or a variety continuously for that period of time Provide us with a list of times your choir can sing over the weekend period so we can book you a slot We are looking for some high stamina groups to do the overnight sessions so if you are up for a challenge, please let us know!

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY We will be inviting broadcast crews and photographers from national and London-based newspapers to come and take pictures of the West End Christmas Carol-A-Thon so the more impressive your choir, the more likely you will be featured.

CALLING ALL THOSE CALLED CAROL To open the Christmas Carol-A-Thon we will be launching with a group of Christmas carollers called Carol.

We are calling on anyone called Carol to put themselves forward to take part in what is set to be the biggest Christmas event of the year.

If you know of anyone called Carol who may be interested in taking part please ask them to get in touch directly.

CONTACT To register a choir to take part in the Christmas Carol-A-Thon or put yourself forward as a singer called ‘Carol’ please contact: Cat O’Donnell on 0207 828 0118 or email