5th December - Christmas Party
A very big thank you to Wendy for organising the music for our party, she had us up dancing all evening. Thanks for all the food and the Mulled Wine. It was a great party.
This months raffle money is going to Julia's House. Pat de Brett made an amazing "boozy" Christmas Cake and we raised £70. Thanks every one.
Christmas Tree Festival.
7th November - Calligraphy
Who would have thought that an evening of calligraphy would create so much concentration and provide so much enjoyment. Heather (firstname.lastname@example.org) provided everyone with their own pack of instructions and examples of how to write each letter. After practising the letters using a pencil, we picked up our pens and opened our pots of ink. This took some of us back to our early school days! It wasn’t as easy as it looked and a few of us struggled but most took to it really well. This year’s Christmas cards should be written beautifully. We were all working so hard we didn’t have a break but instead drank our tea and coffee and ate Sandy’s lovely cup cakes at our tables
3rd October - Life of an Auctioneer
Tonight Gordon Brockman talked to us about how he changed career and became an Auctioneer. He started at the bottom as a Porter and soon was promoted to Chief Porter. Later he was asked to train as a Valuer which is necessary if you want to be an Auctioneer.
Gorden enjoys going to peoples homes to value their "treasures" and building a rapport with them.
He gave us a little test, trying to decide which of the items on the table was the most valuable, we were rubbish. So many of the items were fake!
27th September - Bombay Sapphire Gin
About 20 members had an evening out to the Sapphire Gin Distillery. Our tour guide, Phoebe, spent a good hour showing us around and explaining the history and the process that goes into making the gin. We were let loose in the Botanicals room to smell all the different ingredients that are used in the Gin. Then to the best bit, tasting .
5th September - Julia's House Children's Hospice
Tonight Fiz M, a volunteer from Julia’s House, gave us a very enlightening talk on the workings of the Hospice. Julia’s House Devizes, is the first children’s hospice in Wiltshire and was officially opened by the charity’s Patron, Martin Clunes, on Saturday 6th May 2017. More than 100 invited guests attended the ceremony to celebrate the end of the building work with a reception in the garden followed by tours of the new £2 million pound hospice. The theme for the building and garden is Wiltshire’s Neolithic heritage, with fun interpretations of white horses, stone monuments and – in a creative extension of the theme – cave drawings interpreted by local children’s artist Hannah Kate Sackett. The Hospice has many high-tech features including interactive projection systems that allow play via vision, sound and movement, enabling children to play and have fun regardless of their physical limits. Fiz told us about a young boy called Joseph and his mum Liz, she said: “Joseph has been so excited. It is fantastic to see him so happy. It is so good to have a place where he can come and feel safe and we can feel relaxed.” Joseph is able to stay overnight and give his parents a rest even though they might be in the room next door. Staff take care of Joseph while his parents sleep. Children are usually referred by their GP, Social services or, sometimes the family themselves. Julia’s House put on open days and activities through the year and are always happy to welcome visitors and are very grateful for any money raised. We donated the proceeds from the raffle and the teas and coffee’s. We were able to give Julia’s House over £100.
1st August - Picnic Competition and Summer Party
Our August meeting was all about picnic and finger food. Mel gave us a very good demonstration of canapés, on a very small camping stove! Cheesy bread squares, Blennies’ with smoked salmon and little Yorkshire puddings with Horseradish and Roast beef – Yummy!! Barbara Rose judged the entries for the picnic food we had all brought in. There were four categories - Savoury, Sweet, Salad and Drink. She awarded the prizes for the Spanish pasties, Coronation salad, Fruit salad and Peach Tea. We gave her a pot of flowers as a thank you.
4th July - Treasure Hunt around Warminster
This month saw everyone taking part in a “Warminster” Quiz. A big thank you to Christine who put together a fantastic quiz based on “Girls Names” - some more obvious than others.
The route took members up and down and round and round Warminster ending in the Organ Inn for a well earned drink. The winning team was”The Early Birds”, well done ladies!
6th June - Meet the Alpacas
This month, we were visited by Wendy Williams and her alpacas.
Wendy manages Dorset-based farm Alpaca Adventure which celebrates the animals for being friendly, therapeutic and well-behaved.
4th May - Plastic Soup
This month, we had a talk from one of our members (Professor Andrea Russell from Southampton University). Andrea, and her colleague, Christina Thiele, are researching the impact of microplastics on the marine environment.
We learned a lot about the scale of the problem of microplastics and microfibres across the globe and steps being taken to try to lessen the damage. Following the presentation members were split into small groups to discuss what steps we can take within our own homes to minimise our use of plastics. We spoke about the need to have a better understanding of what can be recycled, shopping with own bags and looking for unpackaged veg etc that can be put straight into the basket, changes to the way we wash our clothes, using reusable coffee cups and many other things. One member admitted that she recycles all her plastic bags and even uses the plastic bag that her copy of WI Life comes in. She freezes things in it and hasn't bought any freezer bags in ages! People came up with some really good ideas and we are going to try to put them into force over the next month and report back at our next meeting. We had a really good turnout to the meeting which is testament to how concerned we all are about this issue.
Andrea’s talk is part of our plans to reduce our own use of plastics and their impact on our local environment. We have also written to our local supermarkets asking about their plans to cut out the use of unnecessary plastic.
4th April - AGM & Earring Making
Tonight was our AGM and earring making. First the minutes of the 2017 AGM were agreed and copies of the treasurer's report were handed out. Last year was a good year for the group. Our membership has increased, we took part in a number of fun activities and listened to some very interesting speakers. Caroline went through the accounts and told us that we are in a comfortable position, with about £3,000 in the bank. It was suggested we used some of the money on trips out for the members, maybe paying for the coach. The treasurer's report and the minutes were proposed and seconded by the members. Christine reminded us of this years WI resolution , Mental Health Matters and that Karen is happy to represent us at the Annual Meeting in Cardiff in June. All the members voted to have this resolution put forward to the meeting in June on our behalf. Chris reminded us to look at the notice board and to put our name down if we were interested in any of the activities. Mel asked the members if anyone would like to join the committee or even shadow a member of the committee with a view to taking over the role next year. Unfortunately, nobody put their name forward so the committee was voted on for another year.
Then the fun bit started, making earrings. We all had a small bag with the makings of two drop earrings and boxes and boxes of beads to choose from. It was quite difficult trying to choose which beads we liked and even more difficult holding onto them while twisting the silver wire into a loop. You really needed two pairs of hands. But everyone had a go and some beautiful pairs of drop earrings were made.
7th March - Countrywise Presentation with Stuart Judd
Tonight Stuart Judd, who was the Producer of Country Ways for 12 years came to talk to us. Country Ways, which covered the south of England, started in 1983, produced 300 episodes over25 years, and later went on to film Coastal Ways as well. Each episode was 26 mins long but the crew would have 8/9 hours of film to edit down to 26mins. Usually three or four local people would be asked to appear in the film talking about their interest or jobs. We watched the episode of the Wylye Valley 1985 which included a Sheep Farmer, a Bee Keeper, and a Fisherman. Watching these DVD’s is like stepping back in time to the days when the whole family would sit together and watch Country Ways on Sunday evenings.
DVD’s of the Country Ways and Coastal Ways were available to buy and can be bought from www.countrywaysfilms.com/index.htm.
Wiltshire WI Craft Course
Three of us made these great bags out of cardboard and recycled materials. It was a WI craft course run by Wiltshire WI. Chris has all these courses and activities on the notice board which she brings to our meetings. Please read them, put your name down and have a go.
7th February - Games Night
Tonight was games night. We all had a go at Scabby Queen, Linkee and Pig amongst others. Each member was given a number, between 1 and 5, and everybody with the same number sat at the same table. This ensured that we were all mixed up and were able to sit and talk with people we didn’t know that well. We had so much fun playing these silly games and enjoyed chatting with new friends.
Christine ran through this year’s WI resolutions and all the members voted for the one they felt most strongly about and wished the Federation to take forward. We voted for Resolution 4 – Mental Health Matters (https://www.thewi.org.uk/media-centre/news-and-events/current-news-and-events/final-2017-18-resolution-shortlist).
We don’t have a meeting in Jan but we invited all the members to come along for a game of skittles and fun at the Organ Inn in Warminster.