Reports and Speakers 2016

January 2016

 Joan opened the New Year with a big WELCOME to 42 members including 2 new members and 3 visitors, who all sang “Jerusalem” with appropriate enthusiasm.  APOLOGIES were received from 10 members.  The President informed everyone of changes in the personnel serving on the Committee and the MINUTES of the AGM of 17th November 2015 were available on the notice board for members to read.  They would be signed at the end of the meeting, subject to no disagreements.

Points from the Minutes

  • The trip to Cardiff Christmas Market had been wet but enjoyable, particularly the selection of fascinating shop arcades which had profited from our wallets.
  • The Cobalt coffee morning in December had been profitable and sociable.
  • The Group Carol Service in December, hosted by Mitton WI, reflected well on the organisation of the youthful hosts, and had been appreciated by those who had attended.
  • Our Christmas dinner was, on the whole, a good one.  Unfortunately a lack of time had meant no communal carol singing. Joan was very grateful to all who had helped clear up and clear away at the end of the evening.

Future Events

  • A London trip to see the highly recommended “Jersey Boys” was arranged for Tuesday afternoon, 24th May at a cost of £44 each, open to non-members, but please book and pay as soon as possible. 
  • Joan assessed response to a Windsor Castle Birthday Exhibition visit.  About 30 members were interested and further investigation would be take place.  The exhibition is open from Sep, and details will be available soon.
  • Bredon will again enter the County Skittles Tournament.
  • Options for Sugarcraft, silver jewellery, archery and calligraphy would all be investigated.
  • It was noted that GFWI were spreading its educational opportunities to the peripheral regions of the county & had already booked Bredon Village Hall for a “Willow Work for Christmas” workshop on 28th October.


  • GFWI were advertising an administrative job.
  • The Three Counties festival is this year hosted by Gloucestershire, so there is an opportunity to offer help in the GFWI catering area in the Festival Village from GFWI members.
  • Denman is promoting a “History and Heritage” course, relating to “Downton Abbey”; you can also learn about ACWW; gardening; cheese and wine evening; and a about Henley on Thames.


  • Denman Dip – slips available.
  • GFWI Walk – Upton St Leonards
  • ACM – Marilyn Brierley will be our delegate.
  • NFWI AGM in Brighton in June and Twyning will be the link delegate.
  • Campaign & Debate Day – RESOLUTIONS IN WI LIFE p33, voting forma available tonight.
  • Fed Training Days – Moodle
  • Visit to Gloucester Mosque – board & open to non-members
  • Green Hearts for Valentines Day in support of green issues.
  • Midweek Walk with Lunch
  • ACWW – New Project
  • Clean for the Queen – anyone know of any areas not covered by Wychavon?


  • Joan advised that there were two errors in the 2016 WI Programme.  The “Infakara Bakery” should read “Ifakara” and our November AGM will take place on Tuesday 15th, not 17th,  November.  However, the Treasure pointed out that as Joan had produced the Programme, it had saved us £50, which more than compensated for Joan’s errors!
  • Attendance at the GFWI Denman weekend in September was encouraged.
  • Joan advised about our involvement in reviving the Bredon Village Market, the first of which she hoped we would all support on Saturday 30th January in the Village Hall.  A good variety of tables would be on display, and we would hope for a healthy development of the market as an asset to the village community.
  • Joan, along with many Knitters, had been overwhelmed by the response at Christmas to our plea for Double Knitting wool for the Knit and Natter group.  This is an amazing by-product of our WI, and Joan thanked Beryl for providing her home as a convivial meeting place.  Next meeting on 21st Jan at Elaine Lane’s.
  • Marilyn Brierley was a worthy winner of the 2015 monthly Competition, and, as such, was presented with a bottle shaped container.
  • Denman Dip slips were available for those who would like to exchange £1 for the chance to win a Denman Bursary at the Annual Council Meeting on 23rd March.
  • Sylvia will hold a coffee morning in aid of Admiral Nurses on Saturday 5th March from 1030-1230 at 2 Cherry Orchard.  Admiral Nurses work with sufferers of dementia and their families, in much the same way as Macmillan Nurses work with cancer patients.
  • A list was circulated to check or add members’ email addresses, as an update would be very useful.

DENMAN DRAW. Margot’s bag of numbered discs was shaken to reveal the lucky aspirants to Denman Bursaries. Sue Peters and Steph Kenny were winners, with hopeful reserves of Georgina Clutterbuck, Joan Needham and Judith Dockerty.  Margot encouraged the beneficiaries of three outstanding Bursaries from last year to make use of their winnings.

The RAFFLE was drawn while the Speaker set up his necessaries, and we were then treated to the history and delight and personal reminiscence of “Punch and Judy”.  Phil Collins presented history, education, corny comedy, audience inter-action and downright entertainment which enthralled us all.  Marion Ralls’ vote of thanks to him was almost unnecessary, as we had laughed our way through total involvement in the slapstick atmosphere, and Margot had excelled herself in the role of “Bottler”, she who encourages the public, by means of loud instruments and coercion, to fill her bottle with money for the performer whose hands were in everything.  In this case, monies collected went to ACWW! “Professor Collywobbles” provided a thoroughly entertaining evening.

NEXT MEETING on 16th February will be all about the “Ifakara Bakery Project”, based in Tanzania, and the Competition will be for an imaginative “Cupcake”. There were only two entries for the puppet competition this evening, and the winner was Liz Coupe.



Joan WELCOMED a well-attended meeting of 45 members and two visitors, with APOLOGIES received from five members.  The rendering of “Jerusalem” was enhanced by the enthusiastic baritone voice of our guest Speaker.  The MINUTES of the January 19th meeting were available on the notice board for signing at the end of the meeting, subject to no disagreements.

Points from the Minutes

  • The London trip to “Jersey Boys” on 24th May is now fully booked.
  • Bredon have entered a team into the County Skittles competition, so there will be a keen rehearsal on Thursday evening (18th) in Gotherington, at which Captain Rita may make a selection.
  • The visit to Gloucester Mosque is proving popular with a board out for further additions, on either the 12th or 13tfh   April.
  • Denman Dip slips are available for aspiring partakers who would not be attending the ACM in Cheltenham on 23rd March.
  • The opening of Bredon market is proving to be popular with many stalls, many people, many cups of coffee and a heart-warning village atmosphere.  Although the WI is organising it, it should be stressed that it is VILLAGE event.  Margot has devised a mathematical scale model to squeeze as many tables in as possible. Joan asked for volunteers to help with washing up from 11.30, as there is a lot of clearing away to accomplish, mostly done by Committee at the moment.
  • Federation Weekend in September has only ONE person attending.  Carol Cowley would use her Group Bursary to attend.  Hopefully, she will tell us all about it on her return.


  • At the NFWI AM in Brighton in June, Twyning should be our link delegate, but they are unable to field a candidate. Our WIA has advised us that Bredon is next in line, so anyone interested in representing our collection of WIs should approach Joan.
  • Our President launched the promise of a Village Fun Day to celebrate HM the Queen’s 90th official birthday in June.  From 12 noon till 4pm on Sunday 12th June, while an expensive Street part will be filling The Mall in London, our playing fields will be the centre of attraction for a hopefully large turn-out of young and old from Bredon and surrounding areas.   We are joining with the Bredon Community Play & Recreation organisers, and already have several projects in hand.  Our January Speaker will run his Punch and Judy stall; there will be a bouncy castle, a Tea tent, and maybe a climbing wall, a band, various stalls to attract youngsters, a possibly a fancy dress parade…..many plans, no end of ideas.
  • A trip to Windsor castle in the Queen’s 90th birthday year is under construction.
  • Craft: Boards are available for classes in Sugarcraft and Silver Jewellery, with 8 places available in each. Finding a source for a Calligraphy class is proving a little difficult, but Jane is persevering.
  • Don’t forget the GFWI Craft Workshops which are being arranged, particularly the one in Bredon on Willow work in October.

Group Spring Meeting   The invitation from Newtown warmly welcomed us to the annual gathering, this year to be held in Holy Trinity Church hall, on Thursday 21st April from 7 o’clock, the very day of the Queen’s actual birthday.  Therefore we are encouraged to wear a crown, or a tiara, or a fascinator, or a hat…   The Speaker, Cherry Hubbard, will be appropriately dressed to tell us about “The Life of a Tudor Housewife.” The competition entry should be one from each WI: “A Card fit for a Queen”, and entries will be judged by a qualified arbiter. Attending numbers and £7 per attendee to be given by end of March.

CORRESPONDENCE   There was nothing which was not mentioned in the Newsletter.


  • The February edition contained information on best time of day to contact Denman College.
  • April GFWI Walk in Lydney.
  • Floral Art workshop on 14th April in WI House.
  • Holiday in Crete
  • The talk on Contented Dementia on 11th May
  • National Sports Week in September.


  • Knitters were preparing 10 blankets for transporting to Lourdes; their circle of fame grows steadily.
  • At the next Bredon Market on 20th   February, there would be 12 tables of traders, with a large variety of goods for sale.  Our attendance was encouraged.
  • Sylvia Harrington would hold a coffee morning in aid of the nurses of dementia at her home on Saturday 5th March, all welcome.
  • Helen Newburgh was growing marjoram plants for use by hay-fever sufferers which will be available for sale as the pollen count increases.
  • The annual distribution of the WI Membership Booklet was greeted with customary feelings.
  • Wendy is setting up another WI lunch at Dumbleton Hall with a choice of 2 or 3 courses; further details will be available soon.

We were treated to an outstanding and inspirational SPEAKER in the form of Eugene Schellenburg. Visiting a medical son in Tanzania in 2001, Eugene and Margaret realised how they could help the hopeful and trusting Africans in the small town of Ifakara and the sisters of the local convent to set up a bakery using wheat flour as the most nutritional ingredient in bread.  The project grew and grew, enabling, through better health and reducing poverty, more and more children to receive an education, thus fulfilling their ubiquitous slogan that “Education is Liberation”. These days, they bake 400 loaves a day. This was a truly remarkable story told by a truly remarkable man.  We all felt privileged to hear the story.

The RAFFLE was drawn, during which the provider of the flowers won the flowers, a most unusual outcome. Refreshments were, as usual, enjoyed. Eugene was overheard commenting on the noisy friendliness of our WI!

At the NEXT MEETING on 22nd March, Mary Day will talk about her involvement in “Mary Day Silks”, and the competition will be “Smooth and Silky”.



Joan welcomed everyone, including two new members, Sheila and Sally, and thanked Colleen for her flower arrangement.  Apologies were received from and the Minutes of last month’s meeting on 16th February were pinned on the notice board for acceptance.

Points from the Minutes.

  • The theatre trip to “Jersey Boys” is fully booked.
  • The first County Skittles encounter is on Friday 15th April in Gotherington, against Southfield WI. Rita expects a full team and an enjoyable evening.
  • The Silver workshop on 15th April, 2.30 till 5, is nearly full, with further interest being expressed for the Sugarcraft one.
  • A very grateful letter of thanks had been received from the Ifakara Project speakers of last month, as our donations to their cause were worthy of 550 loaves of bread, expanded by another 23 after Gift Aid, and would be much appreciated by the people of Ifakara.
  • Bredon Village Market is galloping ahead, with plenty of applications for table space.  This month’s will be held without access to the kitchen area, due to a previous booking, on Saturday 19th March.  There will be no market in April.

Future Events.

  • The village Picnic in the Park will celebrate her Majesty’s official 90th birthday on Sunday 12th June on the playing fields from 12 Noon till 4 p.m.  It is being organised with the help of the Playing Fields Team (PFT), and expected assistance from the Rugby Club and other organisations.  The WI are arranging a Punch and Judy Show, Bouncy Castle, the ReVIVals Band and a Zumba demonstration has been booked, and we will run a Tea Tent. Other things happening will be the Ice Cream man, Craft workshop, Circus skills workshop, Hook a Duck, Bran Tub, Tombola, Climbing wall and the Rugby club will arrange an obstacle course!  Lots to do and see!
  • Wendy’s next Dumbleton lunch will be on Friday 22nd April.  Elaine has a sign up board and the menus choices available.
  • A Windsor Castle visit is proving difficult to ascertain through a puzzling website, but a couple of options look promising, if pricey. Continuing investigation is under way.
  • Marilyn will be our delegate to the ACM on 23rd March, and there was a final opportunity to enter the Denman Dip for anyone not attending the meeting.
  • The talk on Contented Dementia is on 11th May, £5.50 in Churchdown.
  • Twyning cannot provided a delegate for the NFWI conference in Brighton in June, so Elaine C will represent our group.
  • Group Spring Meeting on Thursday 21st April requires a competition entry of a Birthday Card fit for the Queen. Joan has artistic names in her mind. Sign up boards available.
  • Rita has arranged a Fun Skittles evening in the Bluebell Inn at Stratford Bridge on 22nd March.


  • Janet and Marjorie volunteered to cajole and collect for the annual NFWI Raffle, which has a good cash prize as encouragement.
  • Denman is in financial trouble.  Courses fund themselves but repair and maintenance of the old building is proving necessary and expensive. More will be heard at the ACM, with a suggestion that all would be solved if every WI member donated £10 over two years. Joan will bring a money box to our meetings for donations.  Individuals may like to donate direct to Denman College.
  • News of a chance to form a vocal “Most Entertaining” choir which may end up under the direction of Gareth Malone in the coming year, met with some interest.
  •  The annual conference of ACWW meets this year in UK, in Warwick.
  • Some seed company has the idea of planting up a hanging garden in a BRASKET to encourage donations of used bras to third world countries.  Mmm.
  • Elgar’s Birthplace Museum is up for a visit from WIs, which could indeed be of interest.


  • GFWI walk on 14th May from Box
  • Needle felt workshop on 19th May (see Angela);
  • Lady Denman Cup competition;
  • Photo entries for the 2017 GFWI Calendar
  • Hygiene qualification course.
  • Contact details of GFWI choir members present and potentia

President’s Reminders

  • First Aid courses through the British Red Cross.
  • Sylvia was very happy with the £220 raised for dementia nurses at her recent coffee morning
  • Village Market dates: 28th May, 25th June and 25th July.
  • Steph Kenny and Sue Peters have taken up their Denman Bursaries.

The Speaker for this evening was Mary Day accompanied by a large collection of hand-made silk products of stunning colours.  She is a Denman tutor, so the quality of her presentation was most interesting. The themed competition was entitled “Smooth and Silky” and had several clever interpretations.  I liked the hard-boiled egg texture, and the winner was Marilyn Brierley.



Joan welcomed everyone including two visitors Rose Sommer and Gwen from Canada. There were 44 members present and we sang Jerusalem.  Apologies were received from six members and the Minutes of last month’s Meeting on 15th March were pinned on the notice board for acceptance and signed at the end of the meeting.

Points from the Minutes.

  • We played skittles against Southfield last Friday at the Beehive in Cheltenham and won by 2 points!
  • A successful silver workshop was held last Friday which everyone enjoyed.
  • There will be no April Market but one will be held on 28th May where  help is needed to help carry tables to set up.
  • A fun skittles night was held at the Bluebell which was a great success.

Future Events.

  • Picnic in the Park.  The Bredon Community Play & Recreation team are on board to help and all is moving along.  Margot has produced a list for cakes and we need lots please!  There is also a list for volunteers to help man the tea tent and to help set up and take down.  Please help as the committee cannot do it alone.  Donations of nice gifts are welcome to donate to the Tombola which will be run by the guides.
  • Windsor.  We are putting Windsor Castle on hold at the moment due to lack of interest.
  • Group Spring Meeting.  We are sending 6 members to our Spring Meeting out of a membership of 63.  Biddy Denver has painted a beautiful card for the Queen’s birthday and Joan Needham has written some beautiful words inside, for the Meeting.
  • Flower Guild Outing.  The Flower Guild have organised an outing to Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Thursday 9th June at a cost of £12.50.


  • GFWI have sent bulb catalogues for next Spring which could brighten up our gardens.
  • Open Gardens at Hanley swan on the May Bank Holiday weekend.
  • The Gloucester Urban Community Walking Club have organised a series of walking tours around Gloucester to learn more of the fascinating history of Gloucester.  All the walks are suitable for wheelchair users and there are 6 to choose from in April, May, June, July, August and September
  • The Wildlife Trust and GFWI have a joint initiative to promote gardening which is a follow on from one of the speakers at ACM. There are two workshops – one an illustrated talk and the other one a hands-on wildlife gardening.

Resolution Meeting next month.  It has been decided to put forward two resolutions and if both go through to the NFWI AM, they will table both.  One is about Dementia Care in Hospitals and the second about Food Waste.  Wendy Roberts volunteered to present the two resolutions at the May meeting.

ACM Report.  Marilyn Brierley as our representative at the Meeting compiled a report, the gist of which was reported at the meeting. Roger Mortlock of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust encourages us to sow seeds for bees who in turn would pollinate our fruit and veg.  Janice Cole talked about ACWW who had raised over £4,000 and slides were shown by Valerie Stevens from the European Section of ACWW.  After lunch there was an excellent talk and slides by Mandy Hickson who is one of only 5 females in the RAF to fly fast jets and she flew Tornadoes.  The Denman dip was drawn but we didn’t win and October 2019 is the GFWI Centenary.

Presidents Reminders

  • The competition winner last month was Marilyn Brierley.
  • There was a tin put out for any Denman donations.
  • The Knit and Natter group were to meet at Jane Bailey’s house this week.
  • It was suggested that Jane Bailey would have a craft evening at one of our meetings in 2017 with decoupage cards.
  • Please see Wendy Roberts with money to pay for the Dumbleton lunch.

April Competition.  The competition was “below stairs” and was won by Jane Bailey.

Speaker.  Tonight’s Speaker, Matthew Gacek on “Carson and I”.  He told us how he gave up his job as a teacher, sold his house and moved down to Cornwall without any job.  How brave was that! He took a job as an under gardener at Caerhays Castle in Cornwall and worked his way up to being an indispensible butler in the Castle. He showed us lovely slides of the castle and beautiful azaleas, rhododendron, and magnolia.   There was lots of cleaning involved and setting tables for lunches and dinners.  It was a hilarious evening with lots of anecdotes and we had our eyes opened about all the work that goes on “below stairs”. Wendy Roberts gave the vote of thanks.



The President welcomed 46 members and three visitors, Irene, Anne and, all the way from the States, Chris Frame’s sister, Jackie, and thanked Biddy Denvir for the pretty contents of the Flower Bowl. We sang Jerusalem with customary enthusiasm and received apologies for absence from five members and the Minutes of last month’s meeting, dated 19th April, were placed on the notice board in preparation for signing at the end of the evening.

Points from the Minutes

  • After winning the first match of the season, our skittles team go forth to face Coopers Hill in the Cheltenham Civil Service club. Doing well.
  • Jane has found a Calligraphy tutor for which many members have already added their names to the “interest” list.  There is also a board for a Sugarcraft session.
  • Next Bredon Market is on 28th May, at which Mary Daniels has a table groaning under pots full of garden plants, among many other interesting stalls.
  • “Picnic in the Park” noon until 4 on Sunday 12th June in conjunction with the Community Play and Recreation group already has many activities and attractions. Our Tea Tent needs helpers and cakes, and assistance at the Bookstall, so please sign up where you can give your time.  Margot asked for suitable donations for the Tombola stall which will be run by the Girl Guides.
  • The Spring Group Meeting in April had been very enjoyable, with the Speaker dressed in authentic Elizabethan clothes to reflect the celebration of the 90th birthday of the current Queen Elizabeth, as she gave a colourful picture of life in those times. Joan showed the beautiful entry into the “Birthday card fit for the Queen” card, which had been judged, at 92.5%, second in the entries.  The efforts of Biddy and Joan were well rewarded and it had been decided to actually send the card to HM The Queen.
  • The outing to Jersey Boys on 24th May would leave at 8.30am prompt!

Future Events.

  • Croquet, Thursday 30 June £4
  • “Beautiful”, Thursday 19th January 2017, Aldwych Theatre matinee £48.50 asap to Elaine or Margot
  • Christmas Market in bath, Thursday 1st December, about £13 each for the coach
  • Archery and summer ramble to be arranged in the Sports Week of 12-18 September.

Correspondence.  Information on “Flog It” in Croome park, Hanging Brasket competition, Sustainable Gardening day, a “Women in Art” exhibition in the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, as well as expansions of various GFWI events were to be seen on the notice board.

Newsletter.  Members were encouraged to attend the GFWI Christmas Concert on Wednesday 7th December in Cheltenham Town Hall, and Secretary will confirm the names of Bredon trillers who will form part of the Choir.  Laura Wright will repeat her very popular appearance of 2015.  Further information on contents of Newsletter was available on the board, including a course on “Public Speaking”.

Resolutions.  Wendy enlightened us in the pros and cons of the TWO Resolutions which were to go forward to the National AM in June. Patients with dementia fare badly when admitted for some other reason to a hospital ward, and should be able to have access to carers and family as much as possible.  Without this support, dementia sufferers go downhill quickly, and about a third of them will not leave that hospital.   However, this is already implemented in many hospital wards.  There is currently a Dementia Challenge in place encouraging communities to be more aware of the need to be “dementia friendly”.  The vote was counted at For – 37     Against – 5   (Carried)

The second Resolution called on all Supermarkets to sign up to a voluntary agreement to avoid waste, passing surplus foods on to charities like Foodbanks to reduce the UK’s increasing food poverty. Many Supermarkets are already involved in cutting back on waste, and nearly half of food waste is generated in the home.  The WI has long been involved in cutting back on food waste.  Is this mandate necessary?  The vote was counted at For – 29   Against – 15   (Carried)

Therefore, our Delegate to the AGM, Elaine Cantle, will vote in favour of both resolutions in the national vote, knowing the balance of opinion in our WI.

 Presidents Reminders.

  • Last month’s competition winner was Jane Bailey.
  • Maggie Hall is looking for volunteers to help with teas for the monthly Darby and Joan club.
  • The presence of a Denman Appeal Tin and a Suggestion Box was pointed out.

The evening’s Speaker was Danielle Steel from the Medical Detection Dogs charity, and we learnt how amazing our canine fiends can be in supporting people with diabetes and other illnesses which require an immediate alert to what is about to happen and what can be life threatening.  Epilepsy support has been around for a long time and is run by another charity, but this unit increases hugely the quality of lives of people who have been very restricted, along with their carers, by their medical conditions.  Another part of their work, with different dogs, is detection of cancer from lab specimens, which has a very high success rate of early and accurate diagnosis. It was most enlightening, and I suspect the donation box weighed quite heavily at the end of the evening.

The vote of thanks was given by Sarah Harding, the Raffle was drawn, and we all retired for refreshments.



The President welcomed 35 members and one visitor who is very keen to join. Jeanette was thanked for her pretty flower arrangement.  Jerusalem was sung with customary enthusiasm and Apologies were received from eleven members.  Minutes of last month’s meeting of 17th May were pinned on the notice board for perusal and acceptance and signing.

Points from the Minutes.

  •  County Skittles. We did it! We are through to Round Three.
  • Bredon Market takes place this Saturday, 25th June, without Joan OR Margot.  We think we will manage, sufficient volunteers coming forward to man the kitchen and put up tables.
  • Picnic in the Park. Despite the need to move into the Village Hall, the event was a great success with a great atmosphere. The threat of thunder necessitated the cancellation of the Bouncy Castle, but the climbing wall and the circus drumming remained outdoors and provided a happy diversion.  Indoors, everything moved, including Mr Punch’s quite realistic truncheon.  He provided first class entertainment. Joan remarked on the large number of families who attended, and had a big thank-you to all who had helped in the success of this community venture.
  • Jersey Boys was a superb show, enjoyed by all. Thank you, Elaine, for organising it.  And wasn’t it rather nice to have one’s pre-ordered ice cream delivered to one’s seat???

Future Events.

  • Calligraphy Workshop. Fully booked, but hopefully another one in the near future.
  • Sugarcraft Workshop. Undecided date in October at a cost of about £18, room for a few more.
  • “Beautiful” in January, another London theatre trip, with 16 places still available, and participants are requested to pay quickly.
  • Christmas Market in Bath on Thursday 1st December, with a coach for transport.
  • Croquet in Beckford, Thursday 30th June 2-4 pm., 4 places still available, £4 each.
  • Evening Walk with Chris Frame, Thursday 28th July, 5.55 for 6pm at the Village Hall, a gentle chatty stroll around Kemerton Lake, with a refresher in the Crown!
  • County Sports Week 12th-18th Sept.  We are already planning a walk, archery, swimming, Bell Boat races, and there may be other options soon. How many of us will take part?

Correspondence.  The Notice Board held all of the relevant forms from GFWI with particular attention being drawn to

  • The article on activities and expenditure of the ACWW
  • Visit to the National Gallery should be booked directly through NFWI.
  • Is anyone entering a “Letter to one’s Younger Self” to the Lady Denman Cup?  Closing date 29th June.

Newsletter.  Joan highlighted the GFWI Walk on 13th August at Avening, and recommended attendance at the Autumn Council Meeting on Tuesday 27th September, particularly as the excellent “Cantare” voices would be performing. Ian Coley Sporting Ltd was offering an interesting pastime in October.

 Special Event. Although the WI’s image of middle-aged jovial ladies is changing as younger newcomers join our ranks to learn about crafts and preserves, it is still a pleasure to celebrate AGE.  Eileen Jones has not twirled on a table top in a tu-tu for a few years now (it was a pantomime from the past); nor did she offer to do so today, for her birth certificate dates from 28 June 1917 and she waved gracefully as we all sang Happy Birthday to her, a week ahead of the Pretty Big Day.  Well done, Eileen!  99 not out.

Annual Meeting of the NFWI.  Elaine Cantle had been our delegate in Brighton earlier in the month, representing four WIs altogether, and had experienced an eye-opening view of a lifestyle rather different from that of Bredon.  The official report is duly recorded and she advised that the smooth running of the Gloucestershire organisation was very much due to the efficiency of one of our former members, Eunice Allen. In particular, Elaine highlighted the current WI membership of 226,402, and that over 60,000 new members had joined since January 2015. The Resolution on hospital care for Dementia sufferers was passionately debated, and passed by a large majority.  The other Resolution about avoiding food waste and addressing food poverty was also passed by a large majority.  An unusual Finale looked like Last Night of the Prom, with flags and patriotic songs and much celebration.

President’s Update.  Marilyn Brierley had been the winner of May’s competition.  Joan requested that suggestions in the Suggestion Box should not be anonymous, and that some suggestions already received were being followed up; and please do drop a coin or two into the Save Denman Box, whose contents will go toward general maintenance of the old buildings. Note that courses at Denman are financially self-funding, and none of our annual subscriptions ends up in Denman accounts.  Carol Cowley was congratulated on coming third in her category of the London marathon.  No-one seemed inspired to follow her amazing example!

The Entertainment started quietly as each table got to grips with the old fashioned games it had been allocated.  Enthusiasm grew along with the noise, and a pleasant and sociable evening was enjoyed.  There was more adding of names to the Clipboards, before the Raffle was drawn and teas sipped.



The President welcomed 41 members on a sweltering evening, and a special welcome to visitor, former member, Peggy Sutton, who was keen to hear the words of the Speaker on his visit to the Galapagos Islands. Two further visitors were also welcomed.  The flowers from Janet Langford were admired and we sang Jerusalem with customary enthusiasm.  Apologies for absence were recorded from eight members. The Minutes of the previous meeting were displayed on the board, awaiting signature of acceptance at the end of the meeting.

Points from the Minutes.  Bredon will play Bishops Cleeve WI in the third round of County Skittles on 27th July.  One replacement was sought.  Joan thanked all who had helped with the June Village Market, and encouraged attendance at the one of 30th July.

Future Events.

  • There is an evening ramble with Chris on 28 July, leaving at 6pm from the Village Hall.
  • The Calligraphy Workshop on Friday 2 Sept was fully booked, and another one under way, date as yet unknown. 10 till 4 pm at a cost of only £10.
  • Activities for Sports Week, 12-18th Sept could include Archery, a swim hour in the Moretons, a Bell Boat team in the Bredon Boat Races, and a Chris Frame stroll.
  • Sugarcraft Workshop on 21st October, with a choice of items to make, about £18 cost.
  • Theatre trip to “Beautiful” in January has only 5 spaces left.
  • Christmas Market trip to Bath on 1st Dec, awaiting final numbers before calculating cost of transport.
  • Already 21 on the board for Emma Bridgewater visit, sometime in October.
  • A Group Pub Quiz will probably happen in Beckford Social Club on Thursday 29th Sept.  Teams of 4 can enter, and the cost of £5 each will include a Raffle ticket, and light refreshments. The Tewkesbury Group needs to raise funds to support its giving of Denman Bursaries.

Correspondence. Information on a Bat Walk, a Texas Scramble, how to instigate a WI Resolution and entry to the Huxley Cup competition was all waiting to be read on the Notice Board.

Newsletter.  Joan highlighted items on two WI walks, a Federation day visit to Denman on 14th Feb, the Texas Scramble, a Willow Workshop for Christmas to be held in Bredon Village Hall on 28th Oct. (cost £50), and a GFWI coach trip to Bristol.

President’s Update.  A reminder that payment for diaries and calendars was immediate; refreshment hostesses were needed for the August meeting; is anyone interested in an Advanced Driving course as advertised in the current WI Life?  Joan would send out a questionnaire on attitudes and habits in the WI, and send a hard copy to any who asked.  This would aid the research of a student’s Thesis.  Joan also thanked Jan Langford and Marjorie Dawson for selling £60 worth of the annual NFWI Raffle tickets.

The Raffle was drawn, as we prepared for a fascinating talk with wonderful photography from today’s Speaker Arthur Ball on his visit to the Galapagos Islands.  This Secretary was enthralled, and wasn’t the only member. We look forward to his next visit.

Many fluttering fans were returned to handbags as we enjoyed the after-meeting refreshments.



The President welcomed 41 members.  Lovely Calla lilies from Jane Bailey were admired and added to the evening raffle prizes. A good rendition of Jerusalem was given by the members and Apologies for absence were received from nine members.  The Minutes of the previous meeting were presented to the members and displayed on the board for acceptance at the end of the meeting.

Points from the Minutes.  Bredon WI were once again successful in the latest round of the County Skittles Competition.  We now progress to the quarter final stage on August 23rd when we will play Churchdown Evening WI. The president reported that the last game had been a close fought match with a draw at the end of play. The winners were decided by a play off between two players and Marilyn Brierley won the day for Bredon (2-0). The final is scheduled to be played on 4th November. Joan thanked all who had helped at the Village Market on July 30th. There will be no market in August and the next one is scheduled for September 24th when volunteers are needed to help out.

Future Events.

  • A wide range of activities have been planned for the Sports Week (Sept 12 – 18th)
    • Archery on September 16th. Cost £6
    • Swimming at the Moretons on Sunday 18th September 3.30 – 4.30pm (leave premises by 5pm) Cost £7.
    • Walk (flat) on September 16th at 2pm leaving from the Village Hall. Take a thermos flask and a snack. Please let Chris know if you cannot make it.
    • We will also be entering a boat in Bredon Boat Races. Margot will inform those who will be rowing.

Other events.

  • Sugarcraft workshop on October 21st. Cost approx. £18.
  • Visit to see ‘Beautiful’ in London during January 2017. There are still 3 seats available. Members were asked to pay for their seats now.
  • Christmas Market in Bath on December 1st. Cost £13.
  • Visit to the Emma Bridgewater Factory in Stoke on October 20th. The coach will leave at about 9am and the party will split into two for tours at 11.30 and 13.30. 9 more names are needed. Cost for the coach £14 plus £2.50 entrance which is redeemable against purchases over £12.95.
  • Windsor Castle visit on December 12th to see the display of ‘Costumes through 90yrs of HM The Queen’s Reign’. An added bonus will be the Castle will be decked out for Christmas at this time. Cost £30. Any member who attends will be able to visit Windsor Castle during 2017 free of cost.
  • Group WI ‘Pub Night Quiz’ to be held at Beckford Social Club on 29th Sept. (tbc) as a group fundraiser. Teams of 4 at a cost of £5 per head to include a raffle and light refreshments.
  • Advance notice that Bredon will host a walk in November 2017. Soup and Desert to be served.

Denman Bursary  Stephanie Kenny gave a short description of her recent visit to Denman where she did a one-day course on Silver Clay and freshwater pearl. She was wearing some of the jewellery she made as a testament to skills she had been shown.

Correspondence Information on a day visit to Denman with a cookery demonstration, 20% off Green People products with Denman and Chilterns Craft and Design Show. All were displayed on the board.

There was no Newsletter as there had been a double issue last month.

President’s Update.  The future of the monthly raffles was discussed and a vote taken. 5 members voted in favour of continuing to hold one monthly but the rest of the members voted to hold a raffle a maximum of 3 times a year. Joan also told the membership that we will be giving the competition a rest during 2017 as there had been limited interest. We will then see how people feel about it after that. A refreshment hostess is still required for September. Joan asked that she be informed if anyone became aware of any welfare issues.  Joan advised that a board was doing the rounds and members were asked to place a tick against their names in the appropriate columns for activities that they enjoy.  From that we hope to continue to provide a varied menu of activities.

Wendy Roberts has organised a lunch on Friday 26th August at The Abbey Tearooms in Tewkesbury, a board is out for anyone who wishes to go.

Members who had completed the student questionnaire that was circulated recently were asked to return it direct to the sender.

Joan then introduced our Speaker, Mr Simon Lawton from Tewkesbury’s John Moore Museum. He gave an interesting talk on the life of John Moore with reference to places in the immediate environment that played such an important role in his life and acted as a stimulant for his writing. Some members were observed squirming in their seats when his talk moved on to showing some of the objects he brought from the museum …. In particular the items from the taxidermy displays.

The meeting concluded with the raffle and refreshments.


The Vice President welcomed 39 members, including new arrival Pauline Southwell-Brown.  Helen Newburgh was thanked for her colourful flowers which would later grace the Raffle table, at which point we all broke into a tuneful “Jerusalem”.  Apologies were recorded from eight members including the President who had decamped to North Yorkshire for a break.  The Minutes of the previous meeting were displayed ready for approval at the end of the evening.

Points from the Minutes – Our team had not been successful in going forward to the next round of the County Skittles Competition, but we preened ourselves on being very successful in our first year of entry.  The Calligraphy workshop was thoroughly enjoyed by the 8 who attended.  The Tutor enjoyed it, too, and is willing to make a return visit next year. Numbers signed up for the visit to the Emma Bridgwater pottery are not sufficient to make the outing viable.  Regretfully we have had to cancel; monies have been returned to disappointed members. GFWI Sports Week had included our team’s entry into the Bredon Boat Races, to whom Margot expressed much thanks for their contribution to a very successful day, despite the rain and discomfort. Many photos of the day had been taken and these would be available to reminisce over at a later date. The Archery experience had been cancelled due to illness of the Instructor, but hopefully we will be able to arrange another one next Spring. The Friday Ramble around local lanes and footpaths was much enjoyed by nine participants, and Sunday’s Swimming at the Moretons was a joyful experience of a mere 4 members. Response is disappointing.

  • Future Events.
    • This Saturday, 24th, is Bredon Market Day, with less stalls than usual, but plenty to come and enjoy.  Sylvia Harrington will make an expectedly delicious Tray Bake for the Refreshments, and Margot will bring the WI Log Books for visitors to pore over and be amazed and amused.
    • The Windsor Castle visit is  on 19th December and there are 10 spaces left.
    • The visit to London to see “Beautiful” on January 19th has one space.
    • Christmas Market in Bath on 1st December is fully booked!
    • Sugarcraft workshop, 2 Oct. noon-4.30, 2 places left.
    • Calligraphy interest in 2017.
    • Group Pub Quiz now 3rd November with teams of 4.
    • The Skittles fun evening in the Railway Inn at Ripple on 6th  October will include sausage and chips.
    • ACM in Pittville Pump Rooms in Cheltenham next week and tickets for the Denman Draw are available for people who cannot attend.  Calendars and Diaries will be available after this ACM.

Denman.  Sue Peters had attended Denman art course using paint and inks, and told us of her experience there, starting off with “exhausting” and “not quite what I was expecting” (the first two products ending in the waste bin) but ending up with some fascinating framed pictures.  They were lovely, and she HAD enjoyed herself!  The profits from tonight’s Raffle would go to the Denman Appeal.

Correspondence.  We are invited to the launch of Kemerton WI’s raunchy 2017 Calendar this Thurs at 7 pm in The Crown.  We have Info on another Gloucester Urban Community Walk. Responding to requests from various WIs, NFWI will allow the use of proxy votes at WI Annual meetings, provided that that WI has voted to invoke the possibility. Straightforward!   We voted in favour. A request from our knitters for ribbons and bows and big buttons to adorn the Twiddle Muffs they are making for the Hospice.

Newsletter. Chedworth walk, Eastern delights, Resolution short list (coincides with Bath), walking in Powys (highly recommended by Mid-Wales Margot), Tyntesfield for Christmas, and a taster day in GFWI House were all high-lighted.

Dr Sue Jennings was introduce as our Speaker and gave a most interesting talk on Dr Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first woman to qualify as a doctor in Britain, after years of opposition from men and the churches.  Here was one determined and feisty woman, a bit like our Speaker, I think. Viv gave the vote of thanks, the raffle was drawn, and we retired to our cups of tea.


The President welcomed 41 members to the Meeting  and we sang a very robust Jerusalem.  We had a change of order for the meeting this month to enable our speaker to go off to another venue!  Busy man!  Our speaker Mr. John Dixon from Tewkesbury  regaled us with a talk entitled “How did you obtain your first pair of nylons”.  It was a very interesting talk and slide show with lots of local history about the first and second world wars.  He mentioned how important Ashchurch Camp was in the second world war and how it was amazing it was never bombed. At the end of the talk he asked everyone how they obtained their first pair of nylons. Isabel Masters told us that her brother despatched her first pair of nylons to her from Singapore.  However, she found they were not long enough as they were made for small oriental ladies who are very short!  Isabel’s demonstration of how she would have had to walk was hilarious!  Marion Ralls gave the vote of thanks.

Once back to the business of the meeting, Jane Bailey was thanked for her display of flowers which would later be entered in the raffle. Apologies for absence were recorded from seven members.  Margot was thanked for standing in for our President last month and Elaine Cantle for deputising for Margot in collecting monies during the evening.

From the Minutes:  Bredon Market is on Saturday 29th October and there will be a full room of stalls and everyone was encouraged to attend. The Emma Bridgwater visit was cancelled yet again.  This visit is proving very difficult to get off the ground as this is the second time we have tried to arrange it.  The Autumn County Meeting was excellent and our treasurer was in her element when she saw and heard Cantare.  The   Skittles fun evening at the Railway Inn at Ripple was enjoyed by all who attended and there were lots of laughs.  Our thanks go to Rita for organising it.

Future Events.

  • Sugarcraft workshop on 21st October has been changed to the 25th November.
  • The tickets have now arrived for Beautiful on January 19th 2017.
  • Bath Christmas Market on 1st December leaves the Village Hall at 9am prompt.
  • Windsor Castle visit on 19th December leaves at 9am prompt and will not return until much before 7pm.  A packed lunch was suggested.
  • Group WI Pub Quiz which is a fundraiser for the Group is to be held on Thursday 3rd November in Beckford Social Club at 7.30pm. There will be teams of 4 at a cost of £4 per person to include raffle ticket and some nibbles.
  • Christmas Dinner. This will be held on Tuesday 13th December. Everyone who is attending needs to put down their preferred choice of food from the list on the board. We will also be serving coffee and tea and a glass of wine or juice and the cost is £15. There will also be professional entertainment.  As last year the “secret Santa” is a donation of DK wool for the Knit and Natter group.  Last year the donations were so successful that the wool lasted until September. Thank you for the donations.
  • AGM. Next month is the AGM and the existing committee is happy to remain in post but anyone else wishing to stand for committee must tell the secretary tonight.

Correspondence.  We have had a letter about Denman bursaries for the 2016/17 programme year, which have been donated by many people in memory of loved ones etc and Angela read these out to the Meeting.  Anyone interested was to see Angela for details.

Newsletter. A Denman fundraiser afternoon with Joanna Toye at Cheltenham Pump Room.  Entries for the County Quiz.  A walk hosted by Kemble and Ewen.  A Federation holiday to Austria and a hand embroidery workshop at WI House were all highlighted.

Presidents Update. There is 1 ticket available for the evening performance of the GFWI Concert. Next month there will be a display of the knitted goods made by the Knit and Natter group before they are sent off to various parts of the world.  Donations of buttons, bobbles, ribbon etc. were asked for to make Twiddlemuffs.  Beckford would be very pleased to see us at their Christmas Fayre on Saturday 19th November.

The raffle was drawn and we all enjoyed our tea and coffee.



 Forty eight members and two visitors (Patsy Hodgkinson and Jackie from US) were welcomed by the President, and we all sang Jerusalem with customary gusto. Apologies for absence were received from seven members.  Elaine Cantle was thanked for her seasonal poinsettia, gracing the Bredon Rose Bowl.  The Minutes of the October meeting were available on the notice board for anyone to check before being signed at the end of the meeting.

From the Minutes. The wonderful display of knitted items were much admired before they set off to their needy destinations!  The recent Group Quiz in Beckford Social Club had been well attended and most enjoyable. Forty four participants enjoyed an enormous variety and quantity of nibbly things, and, with the Raffle, contributed to a total of £194 to Group funds. The Group Treasurer knew all the answers, because she was the Question Master, and was very pleased with the financial outcome. It was hoped that a good turn-out would enjoy an early Group Carol Service in St Giles Church, Bredon on Saturday 3rd December, again boosting Group funds, and with a retiring collection going to the Acorns Trust in Worcester.

There was little Correspondence except the unexpected fact that GFWI Secretary Peter Bryant will retire in the Spring of 2017.  He has been a most helpful point of contact in GFWI House, and will be missed by many.

We began the AGM by gratefully re-appointing Ron Daniels as our Independent Examiner.  After decades of poring through our figures, he still has the stamina to repeat his performances.  His appointment was unanimously carried.  Our treasurer, the cause of Ron’s homework, led us through her explanations of numbers and columns which indicated a very successful and varied year.  Her final announcement that we were well and truly in the black, was applauded, and the adoption of her statement was proposed by Irena Brewis, seconded by Elaine Cantle and carried unanimously.  Angela Kane reiterated our activities over the past year in her Annual Report, amazing (our 63 and one dual) members that we can fit so much into shortening years. Mary Daniels proposed acceptance and Chris Frame seconded its adoption and it was approve unanimously. There were no new nominations for Committee members, so the present committee, each having been proposed and seconded, was elected en bloc.

Joan Needham, proposed by Margot Dryden and seconded by Angela Kane, with the approval of all of the Committee, will remain as President, an appointment met with noises of approval.

Newsletter.  Highlights are – the February GFWI Walk, Building a wooden Bug House workshop, Denman support in making teas at Snowdrop time in Colebourne Park (the Denman Appeal has passed the £155,000 mark);  New Speakers event, a workshop on Paper-Piecing Patchwork, and the date of the 2017 National meeting in Echo Arena, Liverpool, on 7th June.

Future Events.

  • Christmas Meal in the Village Hall on Tuesday 13th December. Arrive before 7 pm to start eating at 7.15, first drink complimentary.  Please bring wool for Santa’s Bag, and there will be professional musical entertainment.
  • Hostess, VoT and Flower boards for 2017 need to be filled.
  • Both December outings will depart the Village Hall at 9 am prompt; on 1st to Bath and on 19th to Windsor.
  • Jane will contact participants of Sugarcraft workshop.
  • The last market of this year will be on 26th November and bookings have been made for last Saturdays of the month throughout next year, omitting August and December.
  • Joan spoke of a vacancy or two in a regular slot for swimming in The Moretons, 1 pm on a Monday.  It would be a most pleasant weekly pastime, but there were no immediate takers.
  • She also advertised Beckford’s Christmas Fayre in their Village hall next Saturday 19th.
  • The Mediaeval Festival in Tewkesbury was looking for new participants in the parade and details would be provided re what was required if anyone was interested.

AOB.  Gill Smith suggested that, as Denman was in need of so much financial support, had the London NFWI offices ever considered moving lock, stock and barrel to Marcham?  Mairwen Lloyd, from  her days on GFWI Exec, was able to tell us that it had indeed been considered and turned down over a decade ago.

Our Speaker was Beryl Cox, in charge of our Refreshments, but today telling us what it was like to be an evacuee during the war.  She built a most interesting picture of a very select residence to which she and friend Meryl had been assigned.  If someone buys in a cow to ensure fresh dairy products for Beryl and Meryl, these childhood years must have passed quite happily! Joan thanked Beryl for sharing her vivid memories, and signed the October Minutes, and closed the 2017 AGM  about 9 pm.

Annual Address from President for 2016

I cannot believe how quickly this year has passed and here we are again!  You’ve already heard from Angela about the things we have done in the last year, but before I can look forward, I do need to take a look back.

When people ask me about Bredon WI and I tell them of all the visits to theatres, sporting venues, talks and the myriad courses at Denman, our very own college, they’re usually quite amazed as they didn’t think the WI (read the old-fashioned term Women’s Institute), were capable of some of the activities we get up to!  I’m always very proud to sing our praises and highlight our activities.

The last three years have been very busy.  In 2014 we undertook the task of researching the WW1 names in our church and we also celebrated our 90th birthday.  2015 saw the excitement of the progress of the baton through the county and then the Centenary of the WI and our visit to Malvern.  2016 we had the picnic in the Park to celebrate our Monarch’s 90th Birthday and in the process, we produced a beautiful card that came second in the Spring Meeting competition and I subsequently sent it on to the palace for Her Majesty.  This was on top of all our meetings and outings – mosques, racing, theatre, croquet, talks on dementia, murder, then all our speakers.  Goodness, I’m almost out of breath remembering them.

The trusty band of knitters are still going strong and have been for five years now.  In that time, they have supported numerous charities both here and overseas and continue to do so.  The group was started by my predecessor Marian and then when she moved away, Elaine Lane took the reins and ran with it along with Beryl who has also been a mainstay and has very nobly turned her house over to the group for their meetings and plied them with cups of tea and biscuits. It continues to be an excellent advert for the WI so thank you to everyone in the Knit & Natter Group, especially Beryl and Elaine.

Members continue to attend courses at Denman and we are all trying to do our bit to keep it going.  It really would be a tragedy to lose it.

The coffee mornings as you are aware, morphed into the monthly village market and have been very successful.  It gives people a good chance to get together for a coffee, a chat and to support local businesses.  So much so that we are going to continue with them next year.

Our membership continues at a steady rate and we currently have 63 members plus 1 dual member.  Once again I sincerely hope those that have joined recently are enjoying being part of our WI.

Our Jubilee tree is doing well; I pop into the park to have a look from time to time and our two Centenary roses flowered during the summer. I note the village hall garden has benefitted greatly from the severe pruning we did last year! It’s called tough love!

The website continues to advise people of what is going on but I am now attracting companies who wish to raise our profile, regrettably, not for free!  I am certainly happy with the hits we receive and we are almost at 6000!

Looking forward to next year I hope we have put together a programme that will be enjoyed by all and we will try to organise outings that you would like.

Now for my “thank you’s” – a part of my address that is very important to me as I never take for granted the efforts put in by people to make this a successful WI.   First – Thank you, Rita, for putting out the books at our monthly meetings and market days, thank you Sally Deakin and Dorothy March who put out the signs at each end of the village for the market.  Thank you to everyone who has given a vote of thanks, provided flowers or helped with refreshments as these elements of the WI are very important.  Thank you to my committee who never shirk when it comes to helping, you have all done a tremendous job over the last year.  In particular, I want to thank our treasurer for her excellent work with keeping our accounts in such good order and especially for her wise counsel when I have asked for it.  I feel sure that you, the membership all appreciate the huge effort put in by everyone who helps.  Finally, my thanks to you the members, for without all of you we wouldn’t have this excellent WI.

I have just one more very important item – last Tuesday I received a letter from Buckingham Palace to say thank you for the birthday card.  This is what it said ….. I am sure there will be huge sighs of relief when I say that this concludes my report, thank you for your patience in listening.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s