Reports & Speakers 2013

January 2013

Marian welcomed everyone to the meeting and wished those members she had not previously seen a Happy New Year.
She went on to say that she had sad news to impart Diana Owen George had passed away the previous evening and one minute’s silence was observed. Jerusalem was sung and Marian thanked Colleen for the lovely flower arrangement which would be added to the raffle prizes. Marian thanked Eunice Allen for nine years of dedicated service as the Institute Secretary and presented her with a beautiful orchid. Marian then introduced Elaine Cantle as the new Secretary. Elaine said she felt she had a hard act to follow and whilst she hoped she would record the minutes accurately she felt she would not be able to bring the good humour to the report her predecessor had and that she certainly was not qualified to judge the singing of Jerusalem!
Apologies were received from Eight members and the minutes of the November meeting were read, accepted and duly signed by the President as a true record.
Marian then introduced the new Committee Members – Elaine Lane, Marilyn Brierley and Viv Ebbage.

The Group Meeting will be hosted by Bredon and will be held at the Village Hall on 9 May.  The Bishops Cleeve Players are performing a murder mystery and a ploughmans supper, dessert with tea/coffee would be served.

The Group Carol Service held at Twyning had been excellent. The Venerable Ron Hesketh had led the service and his address had been most thought provoking and entertaining. The refreshments were first class and the retiring collection amounted to some £100.
The December coffee morning had been a well supported and very sociable event. It was intended to continue to hold them every couple of months in March, May, July, September and December. Precise dates to follow.
Those who had attended the Christmas concert at Cheltenham Town Hall at which Lesley Garratt had starred reported it had been very good.

Wychavon District Council made contact concerning a litter pick in 2013 and it had been agreed this would be carried out on the 14 March. Sign up boards with routes would be available at the next meeting.

Our Digital Champion Janine Black had requested we complete a questionnaire for the Race Online UK Initiative. The following results were recorded from a show of hands. Of the 41 members and two visitors present, 7 members had never used a computer, 40 had both a computer at home and internet access. 10 members would like to find out more as novices and three members as improvers. 5 members offered to be available to give support.

Marian pointed out various items of interest from the January Newsletter including the GFWI Annual Council Meeting in March, the WI Ladies Day event at the Cheltenham Festival, Golf for Beginners, Golf for Improvers, Clay Pigeon Shooting, a walk at Moreton in Marsh and courses in Creative Writing, Bedazzled Silk Book Covers, and Dressmaking. Marian also reminded everyone of the Group Skittles to be held on 22 January and there was a sign up board for this.

Marilyn drew members attention to an advertisement in the Newsletter for the Ebrington Arms for lunch at £7 and suggested it might be a suitable venue for the lunch group. Chris and Patsy reminded members of their newly formed Craft Group held in the village hall on the third Wednesday of each month 1.00pm-5.00pm.

A social evening and quiz then followed, organised by Margot, amidst much fun and laughter. Members were formed into teams depending on their birth month and December won the quiz overall for which they won chocolate bars. Thanks to Margot for organising.

February 2013

We had our usual rousing rendition of Jerusalem after the President welcomed members and visitors alike.  Apologies were received from seven members.  The Minutes of the January meeting were read, approved and signed as a true record.

2013 Coffee mornings – Marian reported that the dates for the 2013 coffee mornings had been agreed and the kitchen booked.  The dates were Friday 22 March, Thursday 16 May, Thursday 4 July, Thursday 5 September, Thursday 5 December.  The dates for March and May were later in the month than anticipated due to other commitments.

Group Meeting 9 May – Arrangements for this event to be hosted by Bredon were well in hand.  The Group Committee had agreed the ticket price would be £5.50 to include a ploughman’s and dessert supper with tea or coffee and entertainment.  The Bishops Cleeve Players had been booked to provide a murder mystery evening.  This takes place in the 1940s/50s and members may dress for the period if they wish.

The draw tool place for 4 Denman bursaries this year.  Ten names were drawn, giving six reserves if necessary.

Litter pick – It was explained the litter pick would take place on 14 March or any day earlier that week if this was more convenient.  She had a sign up board of routes and encouraged members to become involved.  Everyone was reminded that they needed to sign a Declaration Form for Wychavon which would be available when they collected their equipment from the President’s home.  Everyone taking part were made aware of possible hazards and advised to take care.

Change of Format April and May Meetings – A request had been made to the committee by a number of members to consider a change to the meeting format.  It was suggested that tea/coffee should be served at the beginning to allow more time for socialising.  It was intended therefore to commence the evening at 7.00pm with refreshments at the April and May meetings, then continuing with business at 7.30 pm as normal.

2013 County Quiz – The first heat of this year’s quiz would take place at Bredon in the village hall on 23 April.  There were four members to a team and everyone was encouraged to consider signing up.

Kemerton 90th Celebration – An invitation had been received from Kemerton for five members of Bredon to join them on 27 March when they will be celebrating their 90th anniversary.

Lunch at Dumbleton Hall – Lunch had been booked for 5 April, 12.30 for 1.00pm.  Participants were asked to complete a menu sheet with their requirements.  The cost for two courses and coffee is £15.95.

Correspondence – The secretary said that as there was quite a lot of correspondence and as some of the letters were lengthy she had placed them all on the table for perusal.  They comprised:  Letter from Sue Wilson, Federation Chairman, ref Mystery Plays and a request for help with making costumes.  Denman College – additional course  for April Sir Hugo Brunner and Anne Stamper.  Denman College – Bulb Festival and additional April courses relating to flowers with two Sunday open days.             NFWI advising the 2013 AGM Campaign would be  ‘Decline of our High Streets and Town Centres’.  New Denman brochure.  New Bite to Eat Booklet.  Open gardens flyers and flyer advertising the County holiday to Croatia.

Newsletter – Attention was drawn to various items in the Newsletter including Campaign and Debate Day, a photograph of our “Knit and Natter” group and a display of their work and lastly an advertisement from the Tewkesbury Manor Players offering discounts to WI members for their production of Calendar Girl at the Watson Hall.

Denman Make Up Master Class – Joan gave an interesting and amusing account of this course she had attended with Elaine Lane.  Elaine had used her bursary and Joan had taken advantage of a 10% discount as she had booked the course whilst attending a previous course – quite a Denman veteran!    It had been Elaine’s first visit to Denman and she had been very impressed.  Joan reported the tutor had had much previous experience making up famous personalities including applying fake tan to contestants in the first edition of Strictly.  A good lunch was enjoyed with time for retail therapy in the shop.

Bob Skelt was our speaker who gave a most detailed and entertaining talk on The Bletchley Park people along with some very interesting pictures.  His explanation of the workings of the Enigma and Bombe machines made it much easier to understand than the explanation received on the WI trip to Bletchley.  Mary Daniels gave the vote of thanks.  The raffle was held and refreshments served.  The competition was won by Jenny Barrett.

At our March meeting we shall enjoy a cider presentation and tasting by the Severn Cider Company.

March 2013

After the welcome and singing Jerusalem, three New Member Packs were given out and apologies were received from eight members.  The Minutes of the February meeting were read, approved and signed as a true record.

2013 Coffee mornings – Everyone was reminded about the Coffee Morning to be held in the Village Hall on Friday, the start time would be 10.30 and not 10.00 as indicated in the Parish Magazine.

Litter pick –  Eighteen people had helped with the litter pick and it was generally felt that there had been less litter to pick this year.  Thanks were extended to all helpers.

2013 County Quiz – The first heat of this year’s County Quiz was to be held at Bredon on 23 April but more participants were needed from Bredon! Marian urged members (especially the quiz queens) to sign up as Bredon traditionally entered 3 teams.

Early start April/May meetings – Everyone was reminded once again that at the request of members the April and May meetings would commence at 7.00 pm with refreshments and the business part of the meeting would commence promptly at 7.30.  She urged members to please be seated by 7.30 so that business finished promptly and did not delay the speaker.  Washing up would be done at the end of the evening as usual.

Singing for Joy – Six members wished to take part in the Singing for Joy competition and were looking for additional singers to join their group.  Could anyone who was interested please contact Rosie Ballinger on 772482.

How Does the Competition Work? –  Clarification was sought on exactly how the monthly competition worked.  Marian explained that each month competition entries were invited related to a particular letter of the alphabet (the precise alphabet letter was shown in the programme).  Entries were placed on the little table in the kitchen and those entering were asked to write their name on the small slip of paper and place it face down under their exhibit.  Members were requested to place coins alongside the item they thought should be the winner.  The item with the largest number of coins (NOT the largest value of coins) would be that month’s winner.  Each entry earned 1 point and the winner earned 3 points.  At the year end Christmas Dinner a small gift was presented to the person with the most points.  This meant you could be the year end winner by entering each month and not necessarily winning.  All coins were donated to ACCW.  All members were asked to support the competition and make a point of looking at the table each month.  Any members who were still unsure of the procedure should speak with Marilyn Brierley who was the committee member responsible for competition this year.

Correspondence – Elaine listed the correspondence received and had the full copies for anyone who wished to read them.  Namely, details of the Taste of Denman day, details of weekend in Chester, invitation to join the 200 Club, List of retail therapy available at the Annual Council Meeting together with letter from Sue Wilson advising tickets still available, the cancelled walk at Sevenhampton in January had been rescheduled for September.  Two seats available for the weekend on the Isle of Wight due to a cancellation and the 2013 NFWI tickets had arrived.  Marian requested a volunteer to sell this year’s raffle tickets and one member kindly offered.  Members were reminded income from the annual raffle helped keep subscriptions down .

Newsletter –  Marian drew members attention to various items in the March Newsletter.

Marian then introduced The Severn Cider Company who gave a most interesting and informative talk on cider making.  This included some interesting historical facts, and slides.  Members also enjoyed tasting the various ciders and perry and were able to purchase them at the end of the evening.  Viv Ebbage gave the vote of thanks.  The raffle was held and refreshments served.  The competition was won by Beryl Cox.

At our April meeting we will enjoy a talk from Sharyn Singer whose subject will be Eating and the Seasons – the evening will include a tasting.

April 2013

The President welcomed members and visitors and three ladies from Mitton who were hoping to set up a new WI and Jerusalem was sung particularly well tonight.  Perhaps we were trying to impress the ladies from Mitton..  Marian then thanked Beryl Cox for the beautiful flower arrangement which would be added to the raffle at the end of the meeting.  The President had attended a meeting the previous day and learned that in future we would be known as the ‘WI’ and not the Womens Institute as part of our new image and rebranding. 

Group Meeting 9 May – The President reminded everyone of this forthcoming event and outlined the programme for the evening.  She urged anyone who had not done so to sign up and pay the treasurer for their ticket.  Volunteers were also being sought to make desserts for the evening, for which they would be reimbursed.

2013 County Quiz – The first heat of this year’s County Quiz was to be at Bredon Village Hall on Tuesday 23 April at 7.00 pm and currently Bredon were very short of eggheads for their first team.  Could we please have some more volunteers.

Lunch at Dumbleton Hall – Once again the Dumbleton Hall lunch had been successful, it had been a beautiful day and the gardens were looking lovely.

Annual Council Meeting – The treasurer as the Bredon delegate then gave her report on the Annual Council Meeting held at Cheltenham Town Hall.

Future Events – The President gave details of two proposed events suggested by the Committee.  The first was a visit to Hampton Court Castle and Gardens in Herefordshire sometime in June and a board was out in order to get an indication of interest.  There was also a board out for a suggested visit to The Severn Cider company in September.

Correspondence – The secretary listed the correspondence received since the last meeting which was available for anyone to read in detail if they wished.   (1) There were to be two free days at Denman one sponsored by Sun Chlorella on the subject of healthy eating and one by Aldi.  There would be talks, demonstrations and a goody bag to take home.  (2)There was a bulb offer for next September’s planting for WI members – details with secretary.  (3) Diana Colbeck thanked everyone for their great response to her request for materials for Denman and asked if anyone had any further contributions could they please take them to Denman themselves when next visiting.  (4) The Spring mailing from NFWI had contained details of the governance documentation, the AGM in Cardiff, the campaigns for Midwives and High Streets, and an invitation for members to visit NFWI headquarters in London in October.  Anyone interested in this please let the secretary know.

 Newsletter –  There were various items in the April Newsletter, and there was a sign up board for the Croquet events.

The Raffle was held and the competition was won by Mairwen Lloyd.  The May meeting would be our Resolution Meeting and the speaker would be John Flynn from the Woodland Trust.

May 2013 

Marian welcomed members and two visitors and baby Theo and thanked Chris Frame for the flowers which would be added to the raffle.  Jerusalem was sung and  three new members packs were presented. Apologies were received from three members.

Group Meeting 9 May – Marian reported that although we catered for 101 people, 12 did not attend.  Marian said a big thank you to the many people who had helped in many ways and to Margot in particular for organising the supper.  The evening had been a great success.  Bredon were awarded a Denman bursary for hosting the evening and a ballot of Bredon members who had attended the evening was held.  This was won by Maggie Hall.

2013 County Quiz – The first heat of this year’s County Quiz was held at Bredon Village Hall and Bredon had entered three teams, none of whom sadly had gone through to the next round.   The final would be held in October.

Future Events – Only 8 people had put their names on the board for the proposed visit to Hampton Court Castle and this meant cars would be used for transport and the cost would be approx £18.  It had been suggested by a member that another bowls afternoon be held at Bredon Bowls Club.  The suggested date was Wednesday 26 June and the cost would be £2.50 (to be paid in advance) which would include tea and biscuits. Woods would be provided but members were reminded that only smooth soled shoes should be worn.

Ebrington visit – Bredon would be hosting a ploughmans and dessert supper for Ebrington WI on 13 June and 30 – 35 visitors were expected.

2013 Resolution – After a brief report from Eunice a vote was taken on the 2013 WI Resolution with 42 in favour & 7 against and no votes for discretion.  These results would be passed to both the Secretary of GFWI and our Link Delegate who would vote on our behalf at the AGM in Cardiff.

Vote on early start of monthly meetings – Members voted on the recent pilot scheme of starting monthly meetings at seven with refreshments.  8 members had voted in favour of the early start and 41 were against.  Therefore future meetings would revert to the 7.30 pm start time with refreshments served at the end of the meeting.

Correspondence – Details were available for members to read in the folder on the table and items covered were:

GFWI seeking bowls players for the Gloucester annual match against Avon which would take place at Frampton on Severn in August 3rd.  Additional Denman courses Food and Flowers, Tea and Textiles, and Photography Master Class.  GFWI choir – see Viv.  New Denman Course Brochure,Taurus Crafts.  Elaine again reminded everyone of the NFWI open days in London in October.  There was also an amusing article on the WI and pirates from the Daily Mail.

Newsletter –  Marian drew members attention to various items in the May Newsletter, and advised there were sign up boards for:  July county walk at Upton St Leonards, Christmas concerts and the proposed visit to Wedgewood.

Marian introduced John Flynn who entertained us with a talk and slides on the work of The Woodland Trust with particular reference to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee projects.  A vote of thanks was given by Mary Daniels.The Raffle was held and the competition was won by Jane Bailey and Viv Ebbage.

There would be no speaker at the June meeting as it was to be a social evening where drinks and nibbles would be served.  Margot was planning one of her ‘ice breakers’ to get us all talking and mixing.

June 2013

Marian welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked Janet Langford for the beautiful flowers from her garden which would be added to the raffle prizes and Jerusalem was sung.

Apologies were received from five members.

Future Events – Hampton Court Castle –  As only 8 people had put their names down for this visit cars would be used.  The concession prices for the castle and gardens were £9.20 and the gardens only £5.95.  Passengers were also requested to make a contribution to their driver for transportation.  Bowls afternoon – the board was out again for this event but as there were only 7 names it would possibly have to be postponed.  For anyone wishing to add their names the cost would be £2.50.

Severn Cider – It had been established that organised visits to Severn Cider took place on Saturdays only, therefore the date of Saturday 5 October had been selected for this proposed visit.  The visit cost £12.50 each and included an orchard tour and cider pressing, with a soup and sandwich lunch afterwards.  There would also be an opportunity to taste various ciders and perry.  The board was out for this and if we were able to number 20 a small coach could be hired.  Bell Boat Race – The church is going to make this an annual event and the inaugural race would take place on 14 September.  The WI along with many other organisations had been asked to enter a team.  It was hoped teams would pick themselves a suitable name and possibly dress for the occasion.  Eight members were needed and these could include husbands/partners/children/grandchildren.  Margot, Chris and Jane volunteered and Beryl would ask her grandchildren.

Link Delegate’s Report of NFWI AGM – Pam Schermuly had been Bredon’s link delegate for the AGM and Elaine read Pam’s report.

Denman – Jane Bailey had used her bursary to attend a residential Calligraphy Course at Denman College.  She told everyone what a marvellous time she had had and how much she enjoyed it, so much so that she then booked herself onto another course How to Make a Fascinator.  Jane presented Bredon with a lovely thank you card which she had produced on the Calligraphy Course.  She then modelled a most attractive fascinator she had made, she sparked members interest & several members wanted to place an order!

Correspondence – The relevant documents were available for members to read in the folder on the table and items covered were:  Details of the Federation Weekend to be held 28 Feb/2 Mar 2014, Nepalese Cookery Course, Interior Design with Linda Barker, 2014 Calendar, Age UK Ipad Course, selection of flyers from the AGM and a reminder for the last time for any names who wished to attend the NFWI open days in October.

Newsletter –  Marian drew members attention to various items in the June Newsletter:  a visit to the National Arboretum, September and October walks – boards were out for all three.  Gloucestershire Federation Weekend – see Elaine for application forms for this.

Fun and Refreshments  –  Marian then handed over to Margot who was Entertainments Officer for the evening and who had prepared various talking points for groups of members to discuss as a means of getting to know each other.  Wine and nibbles were then served.  Thanks to Margot for the entertainment and Viv for the nibbles.

Any Other Business  Marian advised everyone that following the theme of their 90th anniversary celebrations Kemerton WI were organising a trip to Sudeley Castle on 3rd July and had extended an invitation to Bredon to join them.  The ticket price was £17 to include entry to the house and gardens and afternoon tea.  It was suggested everyone took a picinic lunch.  Anyone interested to see Marian at the end of the evening.

Bredon WI has been asked to man the bookstall at the Family Fun Day to be held on 14 July from 12 – 3.00pm.  Marian reminded everyone whose name was on the list for the Christmas Concerts that Margot needed the money this evening.  She also reminded everyone of the next coffee morning to be held in the Village Hall on 4 July everyone welcome.

The speaker for the July meeting would be Peter Berry who would speak on Riding Freight Trains in America.  His talk is entitled ‘….and the wife came too’.

July 2013

Marian welcomed everyone to the meeting including two visitors and thanked Jeanette for the lovely flower arrangement, which would be added to the raffle prizes.  Jerusalem was sung and complimented later in the evening by our visiting speaker.

We had apologies from six members and the minutes from last meeting were available to read on the table.

Hampton Court Castle – Seven members had visited (5 committee and 2 members) and had had an excellent day out with wonderful weather.  Refreshments in the restaurant were very good and many photographs were taken including our President in ‘the stocks’.

Future Events: – Visit to Severn Cider – This trip has been arranged for Saturday 5 October and is open to husbands and partners as well as members.  There were already 27 names on the list and it was possible to take a total of 44 people.  The visit would cost £12.50 to include a light lunch and if a 22 seater coach was booked this would cost an additional £8 per person.  If a 43 seater coach was booked this would work out at approx. £5/6 per head.  The board was out for anyone who wished to sign up.  WI Bell Boat Team 14 September – A board was also out for members to sign up for the bell boat team, this could include husbands/partners/children/grandchildren.  Visit to London – as requested by members a trip to London was being organised for November with a theatre trip to Billy Elliott in the afternoon.  Dependent upon numbers transport would be either by National Express coach to Victoria or private coach.  Elaine Lane had put out a board for Billy Elliott as tickets were needed to be booked quickly.  Members not wishing to attend the theatre could join the event and make their own arrangements for the afternoon.  Marian reported that Wendy Roberts was organising another lunch at Dumbleton Hall on 3 September and the menus and costs for this were on the table.  Husbands and partners were welcome – maximum numbers available 26.

A brass plaque had been purchased and fitted to the wall behind the Rowan tree planted by Bredon WI to commemorate the Queens Diamond Jubilee.

As agreed the screen had been purchased for the use of visiting speakers and would be kept in the store cupboard at the village hall.

Date for 90th Celebrations – This would take place on Friday 17 January 2014 instead of the usual Tuesday meeting in January.  Margot outlined the plans for the evening (an auctioneer and ‘Antiques Roadshow’ type of evening with refreshments) and explained more information would be available later but for members to please make a note of this date in their diary.

Group Meeting Report – Elaine reported a recent Group Meeting had been most complimentary about the Murder Mystery Evening and thank you cards had been received from Glenda Ford County Chair and Newtown WI.  Viv as Group Secretary was currently organising a skittles evening – date to follow.  This year’s carol service would be held at Kemerton in the evening at 7.00pm.  Next year’s Spring Meeting would be held at Twyning on Monday 28 April and it was proposed to have Angela Baker as speaker.  This would cost £500 and therefore tickets would be in the region of £10.  Once WI numbers had been established it was proposed to open the event to other interested parties.

Eunice then gave us details of her interesting Back Care Course at Denman College and also the interesting day three members had had attending an Aldi Open Day held at the college.  This included cookery demonstrations and a goodie bag at the end of the day.

Correspondence – Elaine gave brief details of the correspondence which was available to read on the table:  NFWI Mailing which included 2014 AGM information, Resolution Information, The Denman Report, Website Information and Jam Festival Competition.  A reminder from County Chair about the Christmas Concerts and flyer concerning Bredon Playgroup’s Quarter Marathon.

Marian drew members attention to various items in the Newsletter:  Autumn County Meeting on 27 September at a cost of £9, there was a board out to sign up for this.  2014 Diaries and Calendars – board for this.  Visit to the National Arboretum – board for this and Viv’s article on Shooting the Clays.


Peter Berry gave a most enthusiastic talk with slides on ‘Riding Freight Trains in America’.  It would appear that his wife has been a very long suffering participant in these forays but she is now getting her wish to travel the world to see the flora and fauna.

The raffle was drawn and refreshments served and the competition was won by Marjorie Dawson.  Next month’s speaker will be Gordon Ottewell – Laurie Lee ‘A Cotswold Lad’.

August 2013 

Marian welcomed 44 members to the meeting and thanked Elaine Cantle for the bowl of roses which would be added to the raffle at the end of the evening.  Jerusalem was sung.

Apologies were received from seven members.

The minutes of the last meeting were available to read on the table and if there were no amendments would be signed at the end of the meeting.

Walk and Picnic on Bredon Hill 4 September – The bus would leave the village hall at 11.30 and meet the walkers at The Folly.  The bus would accommodate 14 people but only 12 seats were being used to allow space for folding chairs.  Everyone would bring their own lunch.  A board was out and it would be helpful to know who was walking.

Future Events: – Visit to Severn Cider – This trip had been arranged for Saturday 5 October and the list was now closed at 25 people.  The cost was £12.50 per person to include the tour and lunch and £8.50 for the coach.

WI Bell Boat Team 14 September – One team was registered but if anyone would like to make up a second team to let Margot know.  Elaine C had been requested by the organisers of the Boat Races if WI members could provide cakes for the tea tent, and to man the tea tent in one hour shifts – any volunteers to see Elaine at the end of the meeting.

Visit to London 14 November – Elaine Lane had a list of some 12 members who wished to see Billy Elliott in London and would require payment this evening in order to purchase the tickets.  It was intended that travel would be by National Express from Cheltenham Royal Wells.  Marian reported that 16 people were on the list for lunch at Dumbleton Hall on 3 September and that payment should be made to Margot.  Wendy had opened up the event to other WI’s in the Tewkesbury Group.  September Coffee Morning – 5 September – Marian reminded everyone of the next coffee morning.

The membership were asked to vote on a suggestion put forward by members that wine and nibbles be available at the end of meetings as an alternative to coffee and biscuits.  It was suggested that this idea should be piloted for the three months of Sept/Oct/Nov after which members would be asked to vote again.  There were 21 members for the motion and 7 against.  The trial would commence in September.

County Croquet Event – Seven members had attended the County Croquet event in July and had an enjoyable afternoon followed by an excellent tea.  Sadly those who had signed up for August Croquet had been unsuccessful as the Bredon application had been balloted out.  However, Margot had organised a local croquet event to be held at Beckford on Friday 23 August a 10.30 at a cost of £3.

Group Skittles Event 25 September – Marian reported the Group Skittles evening would be held on 25 September at 7.30 at The Bluebell Inn at Stratford Bridge at a cost of £4.50 to include a sandwich and chips supper.  There was a sign up board for this event.

Denman course reports – Chris Frame then gave a brief account of her recent bursary course at Denman on quilting, showing members a beautiful wall hanging that she had made.  She then went on to tell members of Colleen Gryspeerdt’s bursary course at Denman which ran at the same time.  Chris showed four lovely watercolours that Colleen had painted whilst on the course.  Both members had not only learned a great deal but also had a most enjoyable time and thanked Bredon WI for their bursaries.

President’s address and presentation – Marian then advised the membership that the August meeting would be the last one at which she would preside as she was shortly to relocate to Christchurch in Dorset.  She went on to say that she would be very sad to leave Bredon and all her many friends there but was looking forward to moving closer to her family and grandchildren.  She thanked members and committee members for supporting her in her three years as President.  She added that Joan Needham would take over as Acting President for the remainder of this year until the AGM in November.  Joan then presented Marian with a beautiful flower arrangement from the members together with a very attractive card made by Jane Bailey using her recently acquired skills on a Denman course, which had been signed by all those members present.  Joan told the meeting that Marian had joined the Bredon WI in 2003 and carried out many committee roles including President for the past three years, and taken part in many productions as could be seen from photographs displayed at the back of the room.  She had been present for Bredon’s 80th celebrations but would sadly miss the 90th.

Correspondence – Elaine gave brief details of the correspondence which was on the table for anyone to read.  She also read out a notice from Sylvia Harrington who was holding a Strawberry Tea from 2.00 pm on Thursday 29 August in aid of breast  cancer at 2 Cherry Orchard.

Newsletter –  As this was the second month of the present Newsletter there was nothing new to highlight.  However, Marian reminded members about the Autumn County Meeting in September.

Any Other Business – Marian reported that Jeanette Aldred had sold 92 of the 100 NFWI raffle tickets and hoped that the remaining tickets could be sold during the evening and went on to thank Jeanette for her sterling efforts.  Marian drew members attention to the display of colourful blankets made from knitted squares at the Knit and Natter Group afternoons.  Members would remember that knitted items made last year had been sent at Christmas to orphanages in Eastern Europe.  This year’s knitting produced since January would be going to St Richards Hospice to brighten up the white bed linen.  Beryl Cox had kindly offered to take over hosting the fortnightly meetings of the Knit and Natter Group, and Marian was delighted the group would continue to meet and thanked Beryl for taking this on.

There was a change to the published programme for next month’s speaker who would now be Angela Cresswell who would talk about Tropical Shells.

Gordon Ottewell delighted us with his talk about Laurie Lee “A Cotswold Lad”.  Famous for his book “Cider with Rosie” along with a couple of other books and three volumes of poetry.  It really was a most fascinating insight into this man from Slad.  If you haven’t heard Gordon talk about him, please book him for your WI or other organsation.  It will be well worth it!  The raffle was drawn, refreshments were served and the competition was won by Peggy Sutton.

September 2013 

Joan welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked Jane Bailey (in her absence) for the plant which would be added to the raffle at the end of the meeting.  Jerusalem was sung and Joan commented it sounded pretty good at the front.

Apologies were received from three members. 

The minutes of the September meeting were available on the table to read and would be approved and signed at the end of the meeting if there were no amendments.

Matters Arising – Walk and Picnic on Bredon Hill – An  excellent day out with 8 walkers and 8 passengers on the bus.  The weather was perfect and there are photographs on the website.  As the event was so successful it is intended to repeat it next year.

Visit to Severn Cider 5 October – 25 people would be attending this event and the coach will leave the village hall promptly at 11.00 am.

London Trip – 14 November – Theatre tickets to see “Billy Elliott” & Coach tickets have been purchased.  Final arrangements to be advised.

Bell Boat Team – 14 September – We only entered one team, namely “Not the WI” but they acquitted themselves very well against stiff competition from a number of very fit young men!!  As the boat was relatively easy to cope with and it was such good fun it is hoped we may enter more than one team next year.  Joan asked everyone to show their appreciation to the paddlers.

September Coffee Morning – This had been a very cheerful event and the next coffee morning will be held on 5 December when the Cobalt Group will draw their raffle.  Next year it was proposed to hold the coffee mornings every other month and dates will be advised when these are to hand.

Lunch at Dumbleton Hall – Wendy had organised another successful lunch at Dumbleton Hall, this time attended by members from other WIs in the Tewkesbury group.  The next lunch would be around Easter time next year.

Christmas Meal – 10 December – A board is out for the Christmas Meal indicating menu choices.  The two course meal with tea/coffee to follow and a glass of juice or wine would cost £16.  It had been suggested that instead of a Secret Santa everyone bring an item for the food bank.  After a show of hands it was agreed everyone would bring an item for the food bank.

Beckford Croquet – This had been a very successful event and a lot of fun with those attending proving to be quite competitive.  7 members attended.  It is hoped we can organise more visits next year.

Group Skittles – 25 September –  A board is out for this group event.  The evening will commence at 7.30 when teams will be selected.

Visit to National Memorial Arboretum – A number of Bredon members joined this County event and found it to be a most interesting and moving experience.  To be recommended to anyone who has not been.

Choice of Refreshments Available This Evening –  Joan reminded members that this evening was the first of three meetings where offering alternative refreshments would be trialled.  Wine and nibbles would be offered as an alternative to tea and coffee, which would also be available.  A small donation would be requested from those taking wine.

Competition Voting – The rules were clarified and members were asked to note  it is just one coin per item so that other entries are not disadvantaged.  Any spare coins could be put in the ACWW box which was always available.

GFWI Course – Anona Greening gave brief details of a one day course she had attended at WI House on ‘Bedazzled and Bejeweled’.  This course involved dyeing silk and then covering a book with the material.  Anona showed members a couple of beautiful items and she explained what a great day it had been.

Request for email addresses – Joan reminded everyone that Bredon WI had its own website  which she looked after and updated regularly.  She had now added a counter to record how many people visit it.  She had compiled a list of members names and would be grateful if members would write down their email address against their name.  This information would not go beyond Bredon WI but would be very useful to contact people other than by telephone. 

Nominations – Joan alerted members that we will be seeking nominations to the committee at the October meeting prior to the AGM being held in November.  If anyone was interested would they please speak to Joan at the end of the meeting.

Correspondence – Elaine listed the correspondence which was on the table for members to read:  Mary Berry Day at Denman, High Streets Campaign information pack and poster, Plastic Bag Campaign action pack, Tomorrow’s Heirlooms information, Titan Travel leaflet, Do the Honours leaflet.  She passed on Bredon Boat Committee’s thanks to all those who had made cakes and manned the tea tent at the races event.

Newsletter – Joan drew members attention to the following items in the Newsletter:  Christmas Concert Programme Competition, Birmingham Markets visit – board for this, Discovery Day, Denman Dip slips – please complete and pass to member attending County Meeting, Swan Supper, and Resolutions Meeting– a delegate was sought to attend this meeting.


Angela Cresswell very graciously stepped at the last minute as our programmed speaker had to cancel.  Angela gave a most informative and interesting talk on Tropical Shells, their natural history and uses.  The array of shells that she brought with her was wonderful.  There were large and small and some were absolutely exquisite!  Angela was thanked by Mairwen Lloyd.  The raffle was drawn and refreshments were served.  Marian Ralls won the competition.

The speaker for the October meeting would be Christine Patterson on ‘On Tour with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company’.

October 2013

Joan welcomed 34 members to the meeting, Jerusalem was sung, particularly well Joan thought for the smaller than usual numbers present, and the plant provided by Joan would be added to the raffle.  A new members pack was presented to Carole Cowley.

Apologies for absence were received from ten members.

The minutes of the September meeting were on the table and would be signed at the end of the meeting.

Matters Arising from the MinutesNominations for Bredon Committee – Joan once again sought nominations for the Bredon Committee and asked that anyone wishing to join the committee or nominate someone to please see the Secretary at the end of the meeting.

London Trip – 14 November – All the arrangements for this trip were now in hand and Joan thanked Elaine Lane for organising the event which promised to be a great day out.

Autumn County Meeting – Joan gave a report of the Autumn County Meeting – see Appendix A.

Group Skittles 25 September – 31 group members had attended this event and a profit of £30 had been made.  Everyone enjoyed a sandwiches and chip supper and a good evening was had by all, some bowlers doing very well and others maybe needing a little more practice!

Visit to Severn Cider – This had been a very successful visit and was enjoyed by all those attending.

Plastic Bottle Tops – Helen Newborough was happy to receive any plastic bottle tops collected by members.  These would be used towards the purchase of an iron lung for use within Gloucestershire GP Surgeries.

Nominations for County Executive Members – Open Chair Project – Joan had explained in her report of the Autumn County Meeting that County were seeking nominations for Federation Executive Committee Members.  To this end they were holding an ‘Open Day’ at WI house for anyone who might be interested and there was a sign up board out for this.

Dates for 2014 Coffee Mornings – Joan gave the dates for the 2014 coffee mornings which would be held on the first Thursday of February, April, June, August, October and December.

Village Hall Cupboard Clear Out – The Village Hall storage cupboard was something of a hazard area at the present time and the Parish Council had agreed to pay for a skip in order to accommodate any unwanted items from the cupboard.  A date of Friday 22 November has been fixed for the clear out and it is hoped one or two people from other organisation using the cupboard will send a representative to indicate what may be thrown away.  Margot is organising the activity and would like a team of 8 to help.  It was intended to start a t 9.15 and coffee and biscuits would be provided.  Would anyone who is prepared to help please see Margot at the end of the meeting.

Correspondence – Elaine explained the correspondence was available for anyone to read and consisted of:  an email from the County Secretary concerning a tree sapling offer, the new Denman Brochure, an email from Denman concerning  special events Jam Festival, New Year house party etc., NFWI reminder of the importance of the new Lobbying Bill as discussed in WI Life on  Page 25.  Joan reported she had written to our MP, Harriet Baldwin, on behalf of Bredon WI along the lines recommended by NFWI but would urge members to write independently.  Elaine reminded members it was the last opportunity to sign up for the Swan Supper and to please see her at the end of the meeting if you wished to attend.

Newsletter – Various items were highlighted, namely the Open Chair project and the Open House day on 7 November, Discovery Day for which payment was needed this evening, the Derbyshire holiday next year and the Exmoor Walking Weekend.  There was also a photograph of Kemerton’s recent visit to Sudeley Castle which showed Jeanette Aldred in her 1930’s costume.  Joan also reported there had been a very good photograph of the WI rowing team in the current edition of Tewkesbury Direct.  Joan went on to remind members that the board was out for the Group Carol Service which would be held at Kemerton on Thursday 5 December at 7.30pm at a cost of £3.  The Christmas meal board was also out, and Joan reminded members we would be bringing items with a Christmassy theme for the foodbank – not pasta or rice please.

Talks on Denman Courses attended – Marilyn Brierley then gave an account of her recent Foraging course at Denman and Sylvia Harrington an account of her Denman Taster Day.

Christine Paterson gave a most entertaining and amusing account of her time ‘On Tour with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, it was so good that we could have listened to her for much longer.  The vote of thanks was given by Mary Daniels.  The raffle was drawn, refreshments were served and the competition was won by Marjorie Dawson.  Joan reminded everyone that the next meeting in November would be the AGM and there would be a talk from Lynne Fox on ‘Working with Help the Heroes’.

November 2013 (AGM)

Joan welcomed the members and a visitor amidst much happy chatter, thanked Biddy for the beautiful plant which would be added to the raffle at the end of the meeting.  Jerusalem was sung and the President thought that wine being consumed at the beginning of the meeting appeared to improve the vocal chords!

Apologies were noted and the Minutes of the October meeting were available for reading and would be signed at the end of the meeting.

Matters arising – Blankets to St Richards – 20 blankets had been delivered to St Richards by 13 knitters and this was a great achievement.  The knit and natter group were to be congratulated.  Knitting was still proceeding with the next batch of work heading for Africa.

London Trip – A most enjoyable day out was enjoyed by all including a 21 gun salute on arrival in London!!!  An excellent lunch was taken at a restaurant in Victoria, with some members going on to see Billy Elliott and others to the V&A for an exhibition.  Well done and thanks to Elaine Lane for organising the event.

Cupboard clear out – This will be carried out on Friday 22 at 9.15 when two councillors and the Parish Clerk will also be in attendance.  Margot had a band of volunteers and refreshments would be provided.

Christmas Concerts – Tickets were still available and anyone interested should contact WI House direct, guests may be taken.   County had advised there were to be 7 independent traders selling their wares in additional to WI sales.

Christmas Dinner – This was to be held at 7.15 pm on Tuesday 10 December, there was still time for those who had not yet signed up.  Entertainment would be homespun!  There would be no secret Santa this year but members were asked to bring something along with a Christmas theme for the Tewkesbury Foodbank – not wrapped please.

Group Carol Service – This was being held at 7.00 pm on 5 December at Kemerton, and there was still time to sign up.

Coffee Morning 5 December – This was to be held 10.30-12 and all were welcome.

Visit to Birmingham Christmas Market – Coach pick up for this trip was Cheltenham Racecourse Park and Ride at 9.00 am on Thursday 28 November, returning at 3.00 pm.

90th Anniversary Celebrations – 17 January 2014 7.30 prompt – This event would be held in the Chandler Room and drinks and canapés will be served.  Everyone is invited to bring along a small antique or interesting item, and our speaker Mr Philip Taubenheim will talk about the items during the course of the evening.

Correspondence – Everything is available on the table for viewing.

Ratification of the new WI Constitution – Members were reminded that the new WI constitution had been discussed at length at the NFWI AGM in Cardiff in June, at which time it was agreed.  Members were now required to ratify that decision.  The motion was proposed by Eunice and seconded by Chris and carried by a show of hands.

We then had the appointment of Independent Examiner, the presentation of the accounts, the annual report from the secretary giving details of Bredon WI’s activities during the year, which were many and varied.  Next we had the President’s address, adoption of Annual Report and the election of the committee.  Finally, as there was only one nomination for President, Joan Needham was voted in unanimously.  

Various items were highlighted in the newsletter and then the speaker for the evening – Lynne Fox was welcomed.  Lynne gave a fascinating talk about her work with “Help for Heroes” and about the work carried out by lots of different charities to come together to make the whole.  It is a very worthwhile project and very far reaching.  The vote of thanks was given by Wendy Robertson.

Marion Ralls thanked the officers and members of the committee for all their work in running the Bredon WI in the past year.

Joan gave everyone a final reminder for the Christmas meal and the items for the Tewkesbury Foodbank.  The competition was won by Marjorie Dawson.


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