Party time!

We had a fabulous time at our annual Christmas Party. Many thanks to Janet for hosting us this year. On the way in guests were treated to an elder flower cocktail followed by food and nibbles made by all our members, the food was delicious! We also had very fun party games organised by Rachael – our favourite being “The Sock Game”. We had to guess what was inside socks only by feeling the outside – this proved much harder than it sounds!

AGM and Quiz With Prizes

Tonight we had our Annual General Meeting where we have elected a new committee and president. We would like to thank all the members of the committee for the past year for all their hard work and are looking forward to what the new committee members will have in store for the next year ahead.

Our AGM was followed by a quiz with prizes headed by our resident quiz master, Denise. The quiz included all the traditional topics of everything from the arts to geography, as well as a bonus sheet in which we had to link 30 fictional characters to their novels.

Musical comedy from award-winning Funny Woman: Harriet Braine

Harriet entertained us with a look at some dead white men, 1 live man and 1 live woman. We thought about mostly artists, from Hokusai ( of “Wave” fame) through to Tracey Emin, (from Croydon by way of Margate) On the way we glanced at Matisse, Matisse, Matisse, Mati-i-i-i-sse (to the tune of “Jolene”), Frida Kahlo’s vaguely famous artist husband, and the hitherto unsuspected abilities of Lancelot “Capability” Brown. Thank you Harriet for a hilarious and fascinating evening.

Written by Penny

Salsa Dancing

We welcomed Lorena on Wednesday for a delightful evening.
Lorena gave us a short demonstration of some simple step-sequences, and very soon we were dancing along with the vibrant sounds of Latin America music. It was a very enjoyable evening, with lots of laughter and some new skills!

Written by Louise

Notting Hill Carnival: a talk from one of the founders

Ansel Wong gave us a fascinating insight into the development of the Notting Hill

Whilst we are familiar with it as our ‘local’ carnival, it is now the largest carnival in the
world. Growing from a couple of hundred participants and spectators, it now
welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors, with the two-day event attracting people
from across the country. Taking the Trinidadian tradition as its model, in 1964 it
began as a small neighbourhood event enlivening the August Bank holiday and
celebrating the wonderful diversity, heritage, and traditions of the local Caribbean

Whilst a number of our WI members have attended this vibrant carnival as
spectators, it was really interesting to learn how much work goes into its
organisation. Year-long strategic planning includes agreeing on themes, the making
of lavish costumes, and decisions relating to musicians, dancers and the licensing
and positioning of food and drink stalls. Ansel explained that the giant music
systems are set up in the central area, with the fabulous parade of dancers and
carnival floats moving in a larger outer-circle. The organisers work very closely with
Westminster Council and the police to ensure that the experience is a safe and
happy one for the crowds.

Ansel said that with the 2018 event just a couple of weeks away, they are already
planning for 2019!

Written By Louise

Footprints of London: Suffragette City. Walk led by Oonagh Gay

To mark the 100 year anniversary of some women getting the vote, we have had a very special walking tour meeting; this also gave us a chance to enjoy the sunny weather. We had a very pleasant walk around the central London Suffragette sites. We saw the outside of their headquarters in Holborn and the site of the Endell Street Military Hospital which was run by Suffragette members, as well as many other sites. An interesting observation that we made is that window smashing is apparently much harder than you might think, the Suffragettes had evening classes in order to learn how to do it effectively!

Woman and her Sphere, Elizabeth Crawford – lots of individual stories
Link to her books
LSE Woman’s Library details
Fawcett Society
Muriel Matters  Australian film
Robert Wainwright biography
Dr Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
Suffragette hospital
Emily Wilding Davison funeral
Huntley film archive The funeral of Emily Wilding Davison from youtube
UK Vote 100 project in Parliament
Schools Education by Parliament
Library talks at LSE


On June 13th we heard a fascinating account from a trustee of  “Warwick in Africa Masterclasses for Teachers”, a project of Warwick University’s School of Education, of her trip to Ghana to see the work they do in schools and with local teachers particularly promoting the teaching of Maths. She also had time to look at the local scenery history and crafts.
Written by Penny

Basic First Aid

A practical session led by Sandra Gibbs of the British Red Cross

The Red Cross was started in the middle of the 19th Century by Swiss businessman Henry Dunant.  He was very upset about the many injured soldiers on both sides of the battle of Solferino who were left to die due to lack of care. Today the Red Cross helps anyone, anywhere in the UK and around the world to get the support they need if crisis strikes. It can be recognised by 3 different logos, a cross, a crescent and a crystal. The headquarters of the Red Cross are in Geneva, Switzerland.

Image from:

Tonight we had demonstration and discussion of basic first aid, based on the training manual published by Dorling Kindersley Ltd22 Jun 2016. This manual is also used by the St.John Ambulance and St. Andrew’s First Aid.

Sandra showed us how to do CPR (30 compressions, then 2 breaths) and how to use a defibrillator machine, which is easier to use than we all thought. The machine will shout out instructions and therefore you cannot go wrong. This should always be done on the floor.

We also discussed how to deal with deep cuts, burns and nose bleeds.

Recommended contents of a first aid kit:

  1. Clarityn – an antihistamine
  2. Aspirin – thins blood during hear attacks
  3. Paracetamol – pain relief
  4. Ibuprofen – pain relief, however some may be allergic
  5. Conforming Bandage – a stretchy bandage used to keep dressings in place over cuts
  6. Crepe Bandage – a lightweight support for strains

You can find out more about the Red Cross on their website: