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Shiplake WI

Shiplake Womens Institute has around 60 members. We meet at 2.30 pm on the third Wednesday of every month (except August) usually at the Memorial Hall in Memorial Avenue.  The afternoon's programme includes a talk by an invited speaker and a splendid tea prepared by members.  Interesting trips and visits are also arranged throughout the year.

Contact: Audrey Simpson 01491 410256

Shiplake WI October Meeting


President, Joan Jolley, welcomed members to the meeting, with one lovely new member

further increasing the OFWI Centenary Member Challenge.

Joan then went through the business.  Everyone agreed that the OFWI’s Centenary Art & Craft Exhibition had been a run-away success.  The standard of member’s work was amazing and the whole setup of the exhibition was first rate.  All our entries did us proud too.

We will be laying our Remembrance Day Wreath, on the 10th November, at Shiplake War Memorial.

Sue Lines gave details of future outings; Winchester Christmas Market, and two musicals - “The Lion King” and “Nine to Five”.  She was booking a visit to Highclere Castle (of Downton Abbey fame), probably in April 2021!

There were lots of interesting articles and photographs in News & Views.  Lots of events lined up for the Festive Season; Christmas Extravaganzas, a Dickensian Food outing to London and a Christmas Decorations workshop amongst others.

Our speaker this month was Michelle Stanforth, a tutor of Makaton – Hand Signing.

This is a language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech, enabling communication.

It is especially beneficial to any of us with learning problems; it aids social skills, and ends frustrations arising from the inability to connect with people.

We were shown how difficult it is to communicate without speech, and taught a few easy signs.  Michelle gave us an enjoyable, but thought provoking talk.

A lovely tea was hosted by Banba Dawson and Shirley Cooke.

The competition “A Glove” was won by Rachel Lloyd, with an elbow-length, midnight blue sequined creation.  (Though goodness knows when or where I wore it!)

The ACWW Flower of the Month was won by Pauline Watkins with a lovely yellow begonia.

Article created / last edited: 22 October 2019

Shiplake WI September Meeting


President, Joan Jolley, welcomed members back after the summer break, and we were pleasantly surprised with a glass of champagne.  Our illustrious Outings Secretary, Sue Lines, was celebrating her Ruby Wedding Anniversary and together with her husband Michael, very thoughtfully included us in their celebrations.

We also raised our glasses to Barbara Ingleby-Williams, who will be a magnificent ninety soon.

Joan went through the business, which after two months was quite a lot.  She was pleased to say that we now had a very good selection of items going into OFWI’s Centenary Art & Craft Exhibition on the 21st.  Items, on show for us, included paintings, pottery, embroidery, quilting, crocheting and knitting.

There were lots of new events planned in  News & Views.  I thought the Chairman’s letter was of particular interest.  Jane outlined how OFWI are beginning to plan how to go forward into the future of electronic communications available via our computers and smart phones, whilst also keeping the more traditional methods for us technophobes!

Our speaker this month was Marcelle Siddall.  Marcelle, a South African lady, runs the small, UK-based charity Action for Ingwavuma, which

 “supports the rural community Ingwavuma, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.  The people of

   Ingwavuma live extremely hard lives, struggling against the impact of HIV-AIDS,

   desperate poverty and severe water crisis.”

Marcelle was accompanied by her charity colleagues Carol and Rosie, all very dedicated, driven women, trying to alleviate some of the hardships borne by the women of the region.

The charity has worked in the community for fifteen years and funds their projects with a self-help women’s group called Fancy Stitch, an income generating initiative. Beginning with just 27 members it is now over 400 strong, and the women make and sell beautifully beaded and embroidered articles for sale here.  All money raised goes directly to the people of Ingwavuma, and together with support from large organisations, e.g. Comic Relief, Thames Water and Diageo, it funds many water projects, food supplements, schools and community gardens.

Members were very impressed with the work of the charity, and if you want to learn more about Action for Ingwavuma, visit their website.

A lovely tea was hosted by Jackie Bryant and Judy Rolstone.

The competition “Something from Africa” was very well subscribed to, obviously lots of our members have connections to the continent.  It was won by Mavis Crouch with an exquisitely carved wooden boat.

The ACWW Flower of the Month was won by Pauline Watkins with a wonderfully large begonia.

Article created / last edited: 24 September 2019

National Federation of Women's Institutes

Shiplake Women's Institute is part of the National Federation of Women's Institutes which is the largest voluntary organisation for women in the UK. The National federation has approximately 230,000 members in around 7,000 WIs throughout the British Isles with broad aims to educate women and to enable them to provide an effective role in the community, to expand their horizons and to develop and pass on important skills. 

Article created / last edited: 4 January 2014