2000-2009 Records of WI monthly meetings

Janet Birchmore


February – Coffee morning raised £73.43. Talk by Mr Kingsnorth ‘R.S.P.B.’.

March – 80th Birthday Night, supper and cake. Talk by Mrs Moody –  ‘Motor Cycling Grandma!’, describing at the age of 46 was her first experience of riding a motor bike and all the countries she had been through since.

April – A.G.M. After business, talk by Judy James –  ‘McMillan Nursing Service’ describing it’s history. New President Anne Pitman.

May –  Fran Saltmarsh led the discussions on the Resolutions to be considered. Short talk by Bridget Bromilow on her visit to Denman College.

June – Margaret Hancock informed members that out of 1300 people in the village only 288 had signed the petition regarding the closure of Post Offices if pensions etc were paid at the banks. Talk by Liz Chapman ‘Career at Premier Travel’ describing how she had worked for the company for 30 years.

July – good wishes and thanks were given to Margaret Evans who was leaving the village. Summer lunch at ‘George and Dragon’ in Elsworth. Catherine Chesworth gave her report of the A.G.M. in London, describing the reaction to Tony Bair’s speech. Talk by Lamarna Thomas –  ‘Creative Patio Gardening’.

August – talk by Darrel Stevens –  ‘Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Land at Welney’.

September – Peggy Heap asked for a driver for the Harston Car Scheme. Talk by Dr. Calder  – ‘Forensic Science’.

October – Peggy Heap informed members of a meeting to see if there was a need for a mobile warden in the village. Harvest supper then entertainment by ‘The Sunflower Singers’.

November – Peggy reported that people had expressed an interest in the Warden Scheme. Talk by Monica Askay – ‘Food as Christmas Presents’.

December – Talk by Sheila Edwards  – ‘Flower Arrangements for Christmas’.


February – Talk and slides by Sue Pemberton – ‘Being a Cambridge Blue Guide’.

March – 81st Birthday Night. Members asked if they would carry organ donor cards as there had been a steep decrease since the Alder-Hey Children’s Hospital Scandal. Talk by Sue Taylor ‘Hats’, showing many designs.

April – A.G.M. Reports given by committee members. Talk by Robert Harrison, a young care worker, about ‘Centre 33’, place in Cambridge which offers free counselling and information.

May – members asked to make a list of all their voluntary work for a major promotion in September. Resolutions discussed. Last years campaign to keep Post Offices open was successful. Talk by Judy Lindgren –  ‘The Dodo Breed’, describing her married life to an ‘oil-man, living mostly in different parts of Africa.

June – talk by Roy Farman  – ‘The Woodland Trust’.

July – meeting in Catherine Chesworth’s garden in Barrington. After business, strawberries and cream served followed by games and looking round the garden.

August – talk and demonstration by Dorothy Wood – ‘Painting on a Mug’, members invited to have a go.

September – talk and slides by Shirley Love, from Addenbrookes, on ‘Bone Density’, causes of it’s loss and effects.

October – harvest supper, talk by Susanna Spicer –  ‘Jungle Adventure in Borneo’.

November – Voluntary work had been collated and showed members were represented on bodies of all kind. Talk by Richard Bentinck, broadcaster on Radio Cambridge, on ‘My Dad, My Hero’, describing his Father’s  experience of being a ‘prisoner of war’ by the Japanese and it’s effect on the rest of his father’s life.

December – After business, a seasonal general knowledge quiz and carol singing.


February – Congratulations to Jo Cowland for gaining First Class Honours Degree in Natural Sciences with Biology from the Open University. Appeal for help with lunch club. Talk by Beryl Sealy ‘The Clan that I married’, brief history of New Zealand, precursor of her husband’s ancestry.

March – Notice of village picnic June 3rd on the recreation ground to celebrate forthcoming Golden Jubilee celebrations. Talk and slides by Mr Ken Hitch ‘Ely Cathedral’. Buffet supper and cake followed.

April – A.G.M. After business, talk by Pat Dalynjuple ‘Arthur Rank Hospice’, describing the history and work carried out.

May – talk by Maureen Rowlands ‘Secret passion of collecting porcelain models of shoes’ showing examples and telling their history.

June – thanks given to members for contributing to the Golden Jubilee picnic. Talk by a member of Waitrose staff, describing it’s history and develoment.

July – meeting held at Maureen Bloss’s where members strolled around her beautiful garden. After business, puddings, made by members, were sampled.

August – tak by Mr Vic Botterill, Chief Inspector of the Hertfordshire Constabulary, ‘Body Language’, explaining gestures, eye contact and proxemics.

September – autumn lunch at Bourn Golf Club. Talk by Becky Proctor ‘Shopping Memories of Old Cambridge’.

October – Notice of Nora Sellen’s death. Harvest supper, entertainment in the form of Desert Island Discs.

November – talk and slides by Geoff Evans ‘Odds and Ends’ showing various scenes around the country.

December – entertainment by Susanna Spicer and Annabelle Lawson with songs, carols and readings.


February – memory of Ruth Webb, long time member of W.I.  who had recently died. Talk by Mr Cave ‘East Anglian Air Ambulance Service’ history from 1917 to present day.

March – 83rd Birthday night. Letter from Federation, after taking legal advice, suggested W.I.’s should become Limited Companies to guard funds and legal position. Talk and slides by Barry Kaufman-Wright, Wildlife Liaison Officer for the Police Force, ‘Working with Gerald Durrell’, describing working at the zoo in Jersey.

April – agreed to support the advice of the Federation. After business, talk by Bridget Bromilow ‘Travels with Peter’. New President Maureen Rowlands.

May – talk by Anne Dingle ‘Cancer Care Support Group’ started in 1986 for cancer suffers and carers.

June – talk by Mr Busby, senior ranger, ‘Milton Country Park’.

July – meeting in Bridget Bromilow’s garden. Notice Post Office closing in Harston. Quiz on the colour red followed by a variety of cakes made by members.

August – talk by Mr Ken Hitch ‘Travels in China’.

September – talk by Jacky Devlin ‘Noel and Gertie’ describing the friendship between Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrance.

October – harvest supper, hired Venture Scouts to do the washing up, so members didn’t miss the entertainment of a talk by Marion Langley ‘The Origins of English Sayings and Superstitions’.

November – letter from Cambridgeshire Federation regarding the plan by the European Union to do ‘away with the independent assay offices (testing of metals for ingredients and quality) in Britain and therefore devaluing our existing precious metals and opening the way for fraud’. Members agreed to write to British MEP’s and the Consumer Council to maintain the present assay of compulsory independent hall marketing. Talk and demonstration by Francis Ashfield ‘Autumn Landscapes’, providing paper and 3 primary coloured paints for members to paint an Autumn landscape.

December – letter Robert Sherdy, M.E.P. informing members that 9 other EU countries agreed with Britain and the change to hallmarking was to be dropped. Games and Christmas mince pies followed.


February – talk by Richard de Horsey ‘Changes in the Textile Trade over the Past 40 Years’.

March – talk by David Reinderps ‘Men the Vainer Sex’ showing buttons, cuff links, ornate crucifixes and gold nose stud, most had belonged to his father, Bishop of Guildford.

April – A.G.M. After business, talk by Sally Kingsman – ‘Visit to Canada’, describing the site of the formation of the W.I. at Storey Creek, Ontario, by a Farmer’s wife.

May – discussion of the Resolutions.

June – talk by Dilly Bradford ‘Care of Hair and Skin’.

July – Maureen Bloss had raised £312.50 for McMillan Nurses for her garden open day. Money from raffle for Narcolepsy Research. Members tasted various cheeses brought by members.

August – talk by Mr Bill Wittering ‘Trains – Kings Cross to Cambridge’.

September – talk and slides by Geoff Evans ‘Travels in Alaska’.

October – leaflet showing awareness of the true cost of our food from around the world instead of eating local food. Appeal to support the Post Office now it is back. Harvest supper followed by a talk from Keith Goodwin ‘Being Head Chef at Wimpole Hall’.

November – talk by Francis Ashfield ‘History of Pottery’.

December – talk by Alan Marshall ‘Blue Cross Animal Rescue’, their history from 1897.


February – talk by Jessie Salter – ‘Canals and Canalling’ describing their history and her adventures.

March – 85th Birthday Night. Talk by Mr Brian Paine ‘Being Magistrate at Cambridge’.

April – A.G.M. After business, Bridget Bromilow read from the memories of her aunt , Mrs Millie Millington, of her childhood in South Africa before and after the Boer War.

May – after Resolutions discussed, Sylvia Jones gave a talk ‘Life as a Lock Keeper’s Daughter’.

June – talk by Paul Bass ‘Work as a Trading Standards Officer’.

July – talk by Andrew Nager-Scott from Notcutts ‘The Gardening Year’.

August – appeal for pieces of material, buttons, wools, etc for a members fund raising sewing. Talk by Patricia Smith ‘Cards for all Occasions’.

September –In December, for the 90th Anniversary year of the founding of W.I. in 1915, an appeal for members artefacts, photographs, craft work, paintings etc for a display showing talent and skills of members. Talk by Jenny Edridge ‘Flora, Fauna and Birds of the Seychelles Islands’.

October – harvest supper followed by entertainment from federation Players ‘Prose, Poetry and Music’.

November – talk and demonstration by Frances Ashfield ‘Flowers on Pottery’, members having a go at making thumb pots.

December – Exhibition of craft work and W.I. memorabilia to mark 90th Anniversary, showing the talents of members. After business, games and refreshments, before going to the Chapel to sing carols.


February – talk by Geoff Evans ‘Holiday in Alaska’.

March – 86th birthday night, talk by G. Hoxton ‘Pearls, Ancient and Modern’, followed by cake and tea.

April – A.G.M after business, talk by Judy Lindgren ‘Kenya’, history and development. New President Jenny Howes.

May – discussion about the excessive use of plastic packaging. Patterns available for ‘Bears for Burundi’ appeal. National resolutions discussed, renewable energy and sport for health. Talk and demonstration by Maureen Bloss ‘Flower Arrangements with a Wedding Theme’.

June – talk by Margaret Hayes, Blue Badge Guide, ‘Haunted Ely’.

July – letter taken to Tesco, Royston, about excessive packaging. Members warned of petty vandalism in the village and if seen, report to Police. Talk by Sandra Barker ‘Willow’.

August – talk by Hayley ‘Robert Sayles’.

September – talk by Christopher and Janet South ‘Snap out of it’, giving a list of topics for members to choose from.

October – Birthday night, talk by Rosemary Wheeler ‘No exam results does not mean no job’.

November – talk by Mr Andy Lea, accompanied by his dog, ‘Dogs for the Disabled’.

December – talk by Sally Kingsman ‘Christmas Table Decorations’. Meeting finished with carol singing.


February – talk by Beryl Lawry ‘Station X and the Enigma Machine’, intelligence gathering.

March – 87th Birthday night. Talk by Thomas Hillas ‘Enneagram’, different ways people see, experience and interact with the world around them.

April – A.G.M. After business, talk by Mr David Deacon ‘history of Harston’.

May – No minutes.

June  – talk and slides by Mrs Barbara Lovejoy ‘Lace’.

July – talk by Robert Goode ‘How to make a Wildlife Garden’.

August – talk by Mr King ‘History of Smuggling’.

September – talk by ‘The Life and Books of Beatrice Potter’.

October – congratulations made to Jenny Howes, 1st prize in Dundee cake competition, 1st prize Maureen Bloss pedestal of flowers and 3rd in the cakes, Marilyn Dickerson 3rd for her shortbread. After supper, talk by Hilary Sage ‘Seven Deadly Sins’.

November – talk by Janet and Christopher South ‘Snap out of it’, helping victims of the tsunami in South East Sri Lanka. List for members to use the topic from.

December – talk by Bruce Tate ‘Life and Work in Antarctica’.


February – appeal to members to give 10p for every tap in their house and garden to raise money for the Associated Country Women of the World (A.S.W.W.). Talk by Hilary Ritchie, archivist from Addenbrookes, ‘History of Addenbrookes’.

March – Birthday night. Talk by Mr Chris Winter ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a relative’ describing various anecdotes from his life as an undertaker.

April – A.G.M. Appeal for sponsors for a member’s husband running the marathon. Jenny Howes President. After business,  members looked at family wedding photographs and guessed the year.

May – appeal for pieces of materials etc for making things to raise funds for the Kidney Patients Unit at Addenbrookes. Resoloutions for discussions, banning bottom trawling for fish and inappropriate imprisonment of mentally ill offenders. Talk by Jo Cowland ‘Her Sensual Year’ about her learning Aromatherapy.

June – talk by Lynda Croat ‘I had a Dream’, learning to scuba dive.

July – talk by Anna McIvor and Martin Roach ‘Carbon Footprint Challenge’, raising people’s awareness of the rising carbon problem.

August – talk by Mrs Phyllis Baptye ‘History of Doll’s Houses’.

September – information given about the garage applying for a licence to sell alcohol.

Talk by Peter Jackson from Scotsdale, Winter Colour in the Garden’.

October – harvest supper, followed by talk from Paula Dolan ‘Memories of Holidays’.

November – minutes silence in memory of Jean Hearn who had been a wonderful supporter of the W.I. and community. Garage won the 24 hours drink licence with the proviso that any unruly behaviour would jepodise the permit. Notice of public meeting 7th December about traffic in Harston. Development behind the playing field might not go ahead due to the credit crunch. Talk by Mike Petty ‘Cambridge in Dickensian Times’.

December – correction of the drinks licence at the garage for limited hours. Talk by member Sally Kingman ‘Christmas Table and Tree decorations.


February – talk by Mr Ken Smith ‘The Cambridge Food Bank’ describing the aim to reduce food poverty.

March – talk by Peter Lawrance ‘London Docklands; Past and Present’.

April – A.G.M. Tea and hot cross buns held in aid of funds. New President Jo Cowland.

May – talk by Mr Doug Brown ‘Bees’.

June – talk by Andrew Norton ‘Route 66 across America’.

This page was added on 08/08/2020.

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