We had a record turnout for our September meeting when Caroline showed us how to make seed bombs out of her surplus tissue paper. Everyone got stuck in and the volume of chat around the hall steadily grew! With some having more success than others, a large variety of seed bombs were made. Look out around the verges of North West London to spot where the seeds eventually end up! Many thanks to Caroline for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
We were delighted to welcome Hilary to St Anne’s to hear all about New Ground Housing – an inspirational housing project in Barnet for women over 50. Hilary told us all about the many hurdles that she and other members of OWCH (Older Women’s Co-Housing) had to overcome to fulfil their dream of creating a community for women where they could live independently, but at the same time reap the benefits of living alongside each other and enjoying the company of friendly, supportive neighbours. After many years of setbacks, OWCH managed to secure a site in Barnet for their new purpose built block of 25 flats, finally moving in in 2016. After describing all the many benefits of co-housing and talking through photos of the site, Hilary answered a wide range of questions. Members were encouraged to look at the short film about New Ground on their website https://newgroundcohousing.uk/ (unfortunately we were defeated by the technology on the night!).
After keeping us guessing all day, the weather ended up being fine for our picnic in Queen’s Park, with not even one drop of rain (though plenty of wind!). We had a great turnout with many bringing delicious food for sharing – the highlight of which was Pat’s homemade strawberry ice cream! Thank you to all those who contributed to such a lovely evening!
A beautiful sunny evening for our guided tour with the wonderful Maria from Herstorical Tours. We met at Farringdon and wended our way to the Old Bailey, stopping at various points along the way to hear fascinating tales about the many awful fates that befell women in the area – from wives being sold at Smithfield to the gruesome story of Amelia Dyer, a baby farmer, who was tried at the Old Bailey. There were also tales of witches and apparitions and the tour ended in the cells underneath the Viaduct Tavern where we were truly spooked by the thought of being incarcerated there!
We had a record turnout for our May meeting, when Penny talked us through how to make the ‘Spring Flower Felts’ featured in the March edition of “WI Life’. Penny provided us each with a kit containing the template and felt for one of the four designs and then everyone got to work!
Debbie began by asking us all about our singing experience and there was a wide range of answers. Some members said that they sang regularly in local choirs, others sang along to favourite tunes in the safety of their own home and others professed to not being able to sing a note! But after some some breathing exercises and copying simple notes and sounds, we discovered that we could all sing after all and ended the session with a rousing rendition of Que Sera Sera. Many thanks to Debbie for a wonderful evening.
Most of us had never done Zumba before, but Andrea, from Fun4Over50’s, soon had everyone on their feet and joining in the catchy routines. Great fun was had by all!
We were given a very informative and thought-provoking presentation on charitable giving by NWLWI member Jan Knight who has had a long career in charity management and grant making. It was encouraging to know that in 2020 £11.3bn was given to charity in the UK – and when asked why, the overriding answer was “because I was asked”.
As well as advice on how to spot the less genuine ‘charities’ we were guided to some of the resources available to help us make more informed choices. Jan highlighted advantages to both small and large charities and helped us to think about what we wanted to achieve by making a charitable donation.
Caroline, Lindsay and Angela summarised the four resolutions that had made the shortlist drawn up by the NFWI:
- Save our water – every drop matters
- Women to women – turning over a new leaf in the lives of women tea workers
- Online gambling harm: time for action
- Clean rivers for people and wildlife
After questions and a discussion, everyone voted on their preferred resolution. Once all members who were unable to attend have voted, the resolution with the most votes will then go back to the NFWI.
The evening was rounded off by a lively game of bingo (renamed WIngo!) – the lucky winners all received a chocolate orange (was it a coincidence that all the winners were from the same table!?)
Many thanks to Frances for once again letting us hold our annual party at your lovely house. A great turnout and a good time was had by all. Members provided lots of delicious food and this year’s competition was for the best festive headgear. The evening was rounded off by a hilarious game of charades, which required some serious guessing!