News

October 2021

We had a very successful stall at the village Autumn Fayre selling cakes, jams and bric a brac, raising much needed funds. Our dinos and cocktails trip was interesting and fun! We want to repeat the cocktail bar visit! Chris Armstrong was our speaker at  this months meeting, interesting for both local, Norwich members and those who are not Norfolk natives! Chris is a local author of regional history books and gave an interesting talk with slides on the entrepreneurs in Norwich 1850-1880 approx. Messrs Bignold, Colman and Caley were the subjects along with mention of several others. Their businesses, social care of their workforce and their lives in general. An interesting talk with a lot of local flavour (including chocolate!) Appropriate that Sue gave our vote of thanks, as she is a Norwich girl and had family connections with some of the businesses discussed. We've planned a walk at Carlton Marshes with stops for refreshments and a visit to Bungay for fabric and craft shopping followed by lunch  at a cafe.

September 2021

Another celebration as we had our 47th birthday meeting this month - more fizz and cupcakes!  In a much scaled down way, in order to 'stay safe' we declined to invite other WI's to this meeting and kept it chez-nous. Our entertainment was Julie Porter for an hour of ‘Murder, Mystery’. Julie dressed in costume, including wig, divided us into teams of four and explained how the entertainment would progress. She set the scene with musical clues, information sheets all at various points, giving us time to discuss clues, solve the murder and explain with a motive. Two teams solved the murder with one team having a better explanation of the motive- so ‘Something Silly’ were the winners. Julie was thanked, this being her first post covid appointment, she was very pleased with how the evening went and so were we. We're not telling 'who dunnit' but would recommend Julie to other WIs!  We then broke for half an hour for a glass of fizz and a cupcake to celebrate our 47th birthday meeting. Our forthcoming events include a stall at the Autumn Fayre with cakes and bric a brac, lunch out at The Nelson in Reedham,  walking tour of the dinosaurs' and visiting Dippy at the cathedral  followed by cocktails-just because we can!

August 2021

Celebrating with bubbly, our first indoor meeting since March 2020 took place on Tuesday 3rd August! Lovely to see and chat to each other under normal conditions again. Val Hawkins was our speaker on Innovations in my lifetime, how far we have come over the last 80 + years and where would we be without electronic communication? What advances will we see next ? We all have our own "wonderment" . As one member said " nice to be out of an evening again and see each other".

Later in the month we plan to walk/lunch/picnic at Fairhaven Gardens, South Walsham.

And on a rather damp day, severl of our members walked at Fairhaven and had a well deserved lunch afterwards!

July 2021

Our July meeting saw a change of time, speaker and then venue - no fear of being rained off, plan B! Helen hosted in her pretty vinery and Mary taught and entertained us with a set of handbells - we have some experienced big bell ringers, but most of our members are new to the instruments! We managed \twinkle, Twinkle but the more advanced music eluded us. nevertheless it was entertaining and fun for us. Mostly we just enjoy each others company and conversation.

Later on in July  a group of six went on a Treasure Trail of Norwich lanes followed by afternoon tea -well  earned because they walked  a good few steps. all agreed it was entertaining and would do another trail at a different venue. Lots are available, all over Norfolk.

Fitted in at the end of July, we enjoyed a visit to the Venetian Waterways in Great Yarmouth as our early celebration of Norfolk Day. Glorious sunshine and a gentle, cool waft of sea air made for a lovely day out together. The gardens are beautifully planted and well maintained. We didn’t take the optional boat trip ( !) but we did have to break for coffee once or twice of course! Some of us even dipped our toes in the sea! Out with WI friends in Norfolk, good times! all agreed it felt like a 'proper summer outing'.

June 2021

A lovely start towards lifting lockdown when our group met early this month, on a sunny afternoon outdoors at Reedham Village Hall. More social and catch up than offical WI meeting, but it was just what we needed to get the ball rolling! Future plans were made for a walk and picnic at How Hill this month, a Treasure Trail in Norwich Lanes in July and a “normal”(!) WI meeting in July.

Later in the month it was lovely to meet up and enjoy our delayed ACWW walk. Eight of our group met to walk the Nature Trail at How Hill, Ludham and then a BYO picnic on the hill. Always good company,  conversation  and laughter when we meet up.plus we raised £23 for ACWW.

2021

Our programme is available and as soon as we are able to meet together we will be running it. Until that time we will be holding Zoom socials and sending out information to our members by email. We also have our own version  of  an uplifting magazine with contributions from our members on a variety of topics. We are looking forward to meeting up when we can.

March-December 2020

Due to Government restrictions re Covid 19 Pandemic we were not able to hold any formal meetings indoors but have made the best of meeting up outdoors as often as we were able even in limited numbers. In August we were able to meet up outdoors at Freethorpe Playing Field, BYO chair, drink etc and had a Norfolk Quiz. In sunny September we met outside Reedham Village Hall for a picnic lunch and a chance to pass on news and chat. Otherwise Zoom meet ups for a chat and a cuppa have allowed us to enjoy seeing each other and catch up on our very similar news (topics-gardening, tomatoes, baking, crafting, Covid 19, the government, the NHS as well as our family news). Our WhatsApp group has  kept our phones pinging with news and uplifting and funny memes. Look at our Facebook page  to see our flowers of the month  and other news.2020 has been the year of all things E style for our WI.

Our walking group has become established and 6-8 of us have walked together this year. Our first get together was at Fairhaven Gardens, we were able to have a leisurely  outdoor coffee(and cake!) together and then wandered through the woodland and down to the waters edge - it was great to be let out and we had lots of happy faces! We've been to  Whitlingham Broad,  Burlingham Woods, Buckenham Marshes, around Strumpshaw and the marshes there and to Buckenham Woods.  It's been lovely to see each other and have a socially distanced chat.

We haven't been able to do our usual fund raising activities, but some of our members made masks for the local care home and we've encouraged continued support for the local foodbank.

All our members received an amaryllis bulb for Christmas and we've  been comparing growth rates, measuring the height, counting  the number of flowers and remarking on how such a dried up thing can become so beautiful. This has been something to brighten our days just a little.  We are currently all well and the friendship and support from our WI friends has been sustained in new and different ways. We're under lockdown again at the time of writing, but are looking forward to restrictions easing and meeting up as soon as we can safely do so.

February

We’ve had a busy time since our last meeting-a  theatre visit to see ‘Made in Dagenham’, a walk and coffee at Whitlingham, a social afternoon and ‘learn to crochet’, we had lunch out at East Hills and our book club has met to discuss ‘David Copperfield’ -though we have to confess that we have not all completely read the book! We are however looking forward to seeing the new film version of this classic with a local flavour!

Our speaker at this month’s meeting was Ernie Richards, enthusiastic, amateur expert on musical shows.  Assisted by his partner, Ernie took us through a historical view of musicals and how they were influenced by Shakespeare. His enjoyment of the shows and music was infectious, his talk was well informed and we all enjoyed listening to a variety of show songs that dated from pre 1940’s to present day. We were less inclined to sing along, but maybe one day?

We also celebrated a special birthday with cake and candles for Maggie Kennedy.We were busy arranging events for the next few months; Greyhound racing and meal at Gt Yarmouth in February; a March daffodil walk locally; planning our darts practice nights; a Saturday in Cambridge in June and our July summer outing to Woodbridge. Lots to look forward to for our WI over the coming months.

January 2020

A welcoming and relaxing evening at our WI last night, we caught up on lots of events that are planned and discussed WI resolutions for 2020. We also held a Christmas Gift Amnesty Auction as a fund raiser. Our next event is a social afternoon on Wednesday 15th January, 1.30 - 3.30pm at Reedham Village Hall to which we have invited women in our community. A crafty touch-if anyone wants to learn to crochet, they can come and have a go! Our book group meets this month to discuss ‘David Copperfield’, this Dickens classic is set to be released as a film by the BBC this month and with its local links we thought it a change from a modern novel. We’ve planned to meet up for lunch at East Hills, Brundall and then some members are off to see ‘Made in Dagenham’ at the Theatre Royal. A sociable and cheery start to our WI year.

December 2019

Our December meeting saw us out for our Christmas meal and social. Maybe the paper hats slipped a little but our sparkly ladies did enjoy themselves. Lovely to start the festive month with WI friends and a time to remember those friends  who were missing. Competition winners for 2019 were announced and given a plant. Even our newsletter had a seasonal flavour. Imaginative and carefully wrapped secret gifts were pulled out of Santa's sack for each member. Always a nice meeting with the emphasis on enjoying ourselves at our last meeting of the year.

November

November was time for our annual meeting when we reflected on all that had happened over the last twelve months and made plans for the next year. We elected a committee and president to oversee things, saw the new programme for our 2020 meetings. We have some interesting speakers and activities planned for next year- laughter yoga, musicals, willow basket making to name a few. A Christmas craft activity followed the formal part of our meeting and we enjoyed making Christmas crackers, complete with hats, snaps and the best jokes! Plus, plenty of time to catch up with each other. We collected Jolly Jars made by our members for our fund-raising stall at Reedham Community Christmas Fayre on Sunday November 17th and supported our local foodbank with donations for the festive period.  Our last meeting is in December when we'll be out enjoying our Christmas meal and having some seasonal fun!

October

This being our birthday meeting we took to the dance floor, but it was definitely not "Strictly" ! Most of us seem to have two left feet and we can't imagine what the judges would make of us but we did enjoy ourselves at our 45th Birthday meeting when Pam taught taught and led us in a variety of circle dances from around the world. This involved some easy steps and movements which we managed with our own flair and style! Wafting sheer scarves in a figure 8 to denote peace and calm at one stage, some foot stamping and arm raising all added to the fun factor. A glass of something and some delicious eats provided by our members made for an enjoyable, fun evening for everyone.We welcomed guests from neighbouring WI's plus Margaret and Louise, enjoying their company and socialising. Business was kept to a minimum with some organisation of trips including a visit to the  Theatre Royal for a historical tour, talk and lunch plus a social afternoon in our village hall and a visit to our local Post Office tearooms for coffee and cake.  Another enjoyable and busy month for our members.


September

This month we had a speaker with an unusual, possibly embarassing, maybe amusing, but relevant topic! Dawn, a local alternative therapist  gave an informed talk on colonic hydrotherapy -  our gut plays such a large role in our whole health and Dawn talked us through what happens and what the benefits are of this treatment. We came away with a much better understanding of how to look after ourselves -lots of water, the right probiotics, exercise and a good diet, plus taking time to enjoy our food being the basis to good gut health.   After a busy summer we're settling down to Autumn and getting ready for our Birthday meeting and Annual meeting, so lots to organise with our members over our tea/coffee break as well as catching up on holiday news. Our trips organiser Maggie has arranged visits to Somerleyton Hall & Gardens, Historical talk/tour of the Theatre Royal (we enjoyed our last visit so much!) and a social afternoon in October. Pat has us thinking about Christmas and our meal out. So really, our last summer event looks like being the village fete on the first September weekend then on to Autumn!


August

Alistair Murphy gave an interesting, amusing  and very informed account of the life and work of Olive Edis -Britain’s first female war photographer at our August meeting. Illustrated with slides of her work, he spoke about the technical and aesthetic aspects of photography as well as Olives life – this made for a well executed presentation from a very pleasant speaker. Our members expressed interest in visiting Cromer Museum to find out more about Olive – a WI trip with fish and chips on Cromer Pier? Sounds like a plan!   We enjoyed our usual social catch up over refreshments having had a busy month- garden party, faith lunch, Bressingham Gardens & Steam + Thetford Dads Army museum, fund raiser cake stall, bell ringing on Norfolk Day, our book group get together and  darts team practice and matches, so lots to chat about. Evelyn had kindly acted as our representative at National Fed Annual Meeting and got us up to date on issues and future resolutions. This month being school summer holidays  we supported a local food bank with contributions suitable for childrens lunches. How we pack it all in is surprising, but fun!

July

A delicious spread of food was made and donated by members for our July meeting.  This was much enjoyed by all with a glass of sangria to give a flavour of summer to this very pleasant social evening.   Just a little too cool to eat al fresco!  Good company and the conversation flowed.  We caught up on details of our future trips and outings as well as our usual business.  All in all a great evening.

June

Amanda & Charlie Hampton were our speakers this month and we were greeted on arrival with a fabulous display of a variety of hostas and plants to illustrate “A Summer Garden”.  Charlie gave a presentation  on hostas (surprisingly, some of these are considered edible in Japanese cuisine) and members learned about the ‘Chelsea Cut’ and propagating plants.  Amanda spoke about the health benefits of gardening- improving mental health, take up of Vitamin D and production of serotonin and the benefits of these as well as good exercise.  We then took part in a gardening quiz –fun and a little bit competitive!  We agreed this had been an interesting,  informative and mood enhancing evening.  We enjoyed our usual refreshments and catching up with each other and planned food and entertainment for our Summer Picnic Social in July.  We have several outings planned over the next month as well as continuing our book group and darts matches. Another busy month for our WI.

May

We met to discuss the WI resolutions to be voted on at the National meeting.  Members were strongly in support of both “ A call against the decline in local bus services’” and  ‘Don’t fear the smear’ . Being in a rural location good public transport is important not just for access but also in consideration of our impact on the planet; the profile women’s health screening services and their effectiveness does need to be kept “out there”.  We had a busy evening sorting out future activities, which left us short of time to play games, so we took the chance to socialise over our refreshments.  We held our successful cake/bake/craft stall and the sun shone on us for a change.  Our bluebell walk was a little too early to see many bluebells, but the coffee and cake afterwards was delicious!  The darts team have played two matches and won one, lost one, but they enjoyed both and the practices are a good excuse to be out on a Monday night.  Book group are onto their next choice “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosenni.  Another busy month for our WI.

April

This month Paul Strutt visited us to speak about the charity Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS). Paul gave an interesting, informative presentation and lots of back stories of how NARS has helped support the ambulance service on a purely volunteer led, charity based funding.   Our members were keen to support NARS and also to send Paul off with some homemade chutney! Afterwards we enjoyed a cuppa, catching up with each other and arranging our activities for the next month or so. Our book group has moved on to their second book- we’ve had some interesting discussions about ‘How to Measure a Cow’ which isn’t what it seems by the title! Darts players keep practicing regularly at The Ship and are just arranging their first match, the fun and chat makes for a good Monday night. Some of us are off to birthday meetings at other WIs and others will be at the thanksgiving to celebrate the centenary of the Norfolk federation. We are holding an Easter Bake Sale on Easter Monday morning (The Ship, Riverside) - we notoriously get rained on at our first cake stall outing-  here’s hoping our luck changes! Happy Easter to all.

March

We enjoyed a stylish and colourful evening with our speaker Margaret Sim on “The Pleasures of Wearing a Hat” . Margaret brought along part of her almost one thousand hat collection (she runs a hat hire business) and gave an informative and illustrative talk on her hats. She told us all about where she buys hats, the materials used, different styles, occasions when a hat might be worn and her experiences in the hat business. We all enjoyed being styled (head wise) by Margaret’s choice of a hat to suit our head size, neck length and colour to complement our dress on the night. It was great fun. Lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahhs ‘and laughter of course. Who does not enjoy the chance to try on a beautiful hat!

We have met socially over the last month in our book group (currently reading ‘How to measure a Cow’ by Margaret Forster) and to form our darts team. We have entered ourselves for the Norfolk Federation Darts Tournament- we do need to practice our doubles, or we could be in for some late nights! (for non darts players, you can only end and win a game by scoring on the appropriate double –that tiny outer circle can be most difficult to hit!). Nevertheless, we are looking forward to some fun nights and meeting new friends.

Valentines Day

A night at the Theatre Royal to join other Norfolk WIs see "Calendar Girls - the musical"  was enjoyed by several members; we had tears and laughter at the performance, but mostly admiration for those original WI calendar girls and their story. This show is still supporting Bloodwise the blood cancer charity. Some members also wore green hearts in support of their concern over  climate change.

February

We had a contrast of weather at our frosty February meeting when Brenda Pawsey gave an interesting and entertaining talk on her experience as a wrinkly backpacker in Sri Lanka. This account of her highs and lows on a budget holiday ranged from visiting Sigiriya, a city and fort on top of a rock; the Buddhist Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic to losing her precious backpack (and all her undies and documents). Brenda was in colourful costume and had brought along pictures, maps and souvenirs to illustrate her talk - much appreciated by our members. We socialised over coffee and made arrangements for our inaugural book group meet up, formed a WhatsApp group so we can stay in touch easily, planned dates for snowdrop/bluebell walks and started our bit to “save the planet” by recycling ink cartridges.

January - Backstage at the Theatre Royal,Norwich.

Our January visit the Theatre Royal was bright and entertaining! Jason gave an interesting, informative and amusing commentary to this backstage tour. We learned about stage direction and management; sets and scenery; costumes and laundry; saw the green room, dressing rooms and stood on the trap door. Jason has a vast experience of working at this theatre and is a mine of anecdotes. Our eighteen ladies were in full agreement of the success of this visit. Followed of course by a delicious light lunch. We’re all looking forward to a return visit to learn about the history of the theatre.

January 2019

Our first meeting was sprinkled with New Year greetings and members catching up with each other.  We considered & discussed each of the WI resolutions and made our individual votes-these were sent off to Norfolk federation and we will hear about the selection in due course.  We socialised over drinks and post Christmas nibbles whilst contemplating joining new activities within our WI- cinema trips, book group, darts team, cycling and walking.  Maggie has organised a private visit to ‘Hidden History of Norwich’ involving secret tunnels.  Eighteen members are looking forward to a backstage tour of the Theatre Royal this week. Penny then introduced us to new age kurling and we had great fun trying this out with two competitive teams and some on target kurling!   We held a Christmas Gift Amnesty auction and raised some money for our funds.

A busy and successful evening to start off our new WI year!

2018

Our speakers educated and entertained us with Music Mirrors – a talk on keeping memories alive for dementia sufferers, vintage fashion, jewellery, Blood Bikes and Rachel Duffield performing cabaret style at our birthday meeting. We’ve had some homemade fun with a Beetle Drive, BBQ and a Games night.

We completed 100 Acts of Kindness to commemorate 100 years of Norfolk Federation; we made Green Hearts to prompt thinking about our planet and hung them on St Peter Mancroft’s railings with other Norfolk WI’s. We visited other local WIs for fashion shows, birthday meetings and coffee mornings.

Outings included visits to Stody Lodge, Gt Yarmouth Greyhounds, Fairhaven, Henstead Exotic Garden and a walk to see Go Go Hares in Norwich, followed by a pub meal and drink. Socially we met for a sumptuous strawberry tea, regular meals out and our Christmas Meal.

Fundraising events included a cake stall on Riverside, an Equaliteas coffee morning at The Ship and a walk around the village (12,000 steps) followed by coffee.

Members helped in filming and setting the scene for a murder mystery for a local drama group. Groups of our ladies have formed quiz teams at a variety of local venues and learned to ring bells for the Armistice Day centenary.

We held stalls at Reedham village fete and Christmas Fayre, decorated a tree for the Christmas Tree Festival and our members won 4th prize in the Beighton Church flower festival.