December 2018: Around the W.I

November 28 2018

Beechmere Belles WI

 THE year 2018 seems to have flown by, and Beechmere Belles have had a full, interesting and fun year.

New friends have been made, new skills have been learnt and many laughs have been had.

From samosa folding to needle felting and sugar paste roses to pottery painting, we have tried it all.

Our November meeting, the last one of the year as we take our break at Christmas, was an evening of Christmas crafts.

We had three crafts on offer: bauble wreath making, Christmas pudding felting to hang on the tree and Christmas card making, all set to Christmas music. Well, it’s never too early to bring Slade into our lives!

The raffle was a success, with the theme being something Christmassy. Tea and cake were also consumed, which I think is actually mandatory for a WI.

Although we do not have a meeting in December, we are getting together for a Christmas meal in a local eatery to celebrate the festive season. Beechmere Belles will also have a stall at the Emersons Green Village Hall Christmas Fayre on December 1: if you see us, come and say hello.

It is difficult to pinpoint the best meeting or the best outing, as there has been so much going on.

We had a speaker from the fire brigade, who gave us plenty to think about when it comes to safety in our homes: no more do I put the washing machine or dishwasher on before I leave the house or go to bed. The visit from the breast lady was interesting and informative, and something we should all beware of.

Rapeseed oil tasting – what is this all about, I thought to myself? Well, I wouldn’t have missed that meeting: we learnt how this farmer’s wife started a new venture using their rapeseed crop, earning herself a visit from the Prince of Wales as their farm is on Duchy land.

We started with the basic rapeseed oil and moved through the different flavours, including, amongst others, rapeseed with lemon and rapeseed with garlic, which makes the best garlic mushrooms.

For me, the highlight was definitely the meeting with the Queen’s body guard: it topped off a brilliant year that also included two royal weddings.

Beechmere Belles’ committee have worked hard planning our 2019 meetings and outings, and there is something for everybody to look forward to. Please feel free to pop in and join in the fun. We meet every fourth Thursday evening at 7.30pm, in Emersons Green Village Hall.


Shortwood Village WI

Our October meeting was hosted by our vice president, who welcomed our speaker for the evening. Tim Lewis and his wife, a lovely couple, gave us an interesting and humorous talk about “Around the World in 80 days”. They stayed for the usual cuppa and biscuit and an after-talk chit chat.

This was followed by our business for the forthcoming month and future events. Our December meeting is our Xmas party, where we are lucky to have the use of a room in the Bridge Inn in the village. As usual, we will have party games, secret Santa and an American supper, and good fun will be had by all!

Every year, we have a carol singing evening through the village, come rain or shine, which this year is on December 18, meeting at The Bridge Inn. Thanks to the generosity of the village residents and customers in the Bridge Inn, we raise a good sum for charity. This year the nominated charity is Dual Purpose Dogs, which trains dogs to help people with sight loss and significant hearing loss.

The village carol service is in Shortwood Chapel on December 23 at 6pm.

We would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas and prosperous New Year in 2019.

Our January meeting is on January 10 and we would love to see new members.

We meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm in the vestry behind the chapel, in the middle of the Main Road, Shortwood.

For further information, can contact Catherine by email at


Lynne Miller




Our November meeting was enjoyable and entertaining.

It was fabulous to welcome Philomena, who demonstrated exercise for all abilities.

I particularly found the armchair aerobics useful.

Philomena was clearly very knowledgeable in her profession and we highly recommend her to our WI sisters.

Christmas is just around the corner – “Oh no it’s not!”

We have a number of festive activities planned.

Out meeting on December 17 will be a singalong with Naomi.

Dancing is not obligatory but Naomi always gets us up enjoying the evening.

Best party frocks and earrings at the ready, ladies.

Our meetings start at 7.30pm and we do not charge for our visitors for the first two visits.

We have a broad range of ways to contact us. You can use to email the team directly.

Our website gives details about meetings and upcoming events for members

You can also follow us on Twitter @mangotsfieldwi or you can like our Facebook page at

Kate Tarr