Blandford Evening WI

BEspoke and BE spoken

2018



Blandford Expo 2018

Blandford Expo 2018

Along with a huge range of societies and clubs our W.I. takes the opportunity each year to support the Blandford Expo which offers a platform to promote and explain our amazing wide range of interests and activities. Having set up our promotion materials we were armed with free W.I.News and W.I.Life magazines and tickets for sale for our forthcoming Barn Dance. Once again members of the public seemed to appreciate the information available and some expressed interest in joining our group and we assured them of a warm welcome. Members felt that the morning was well spent showing our W.I. as a positive part of such a vibrant and talented community.

Blandford Evening W.I. Barn Dance

Blandford Evening W.I. Barn Dance

The Harvest Moon shone down, the dancing shoes were on, the fiddlers were all tuned up and off we went. The Blandford Evening WI Barn Dance was a whirling success. The only casualty was the Vice President who two dances in, pulled a calf muscle and spent the rest of the evening hobbling around. The band, Arish Mel from Weymouth, led by Steve Earwicker, provided the spirited music while their lovely caller, Teresa Rabbetts, kept us all in order. The WI ladies would like to thank everyone for their help and participation, especially Sarah of Indulge Catering for the gorgeous fresh bread, Chrissy of From Dorset with Love for the tasty, tangy chutneys and Hall and Woodhouse for the beverage donation and raffle prize. It is hoped that this successful Harvest Home Barn Dance can be developed into an annual event by the Blandford Evening W.I.

Blandford WI August Meeting

Blandford WI August Meeting

Our meeting in August gave a rare chance to enjoy an informal social evening with no 'speaker' or business agenda. Members joined in making bunting for the forthcoming Barn Dance. It was great fun and enthusiasm was such that by the time they had finished there was enough to decorate two halls! The evening culminated with a most enjoyable supper purchased at the local fish and chip shop. Such evenings as this are an excellent opportunity to become more acquainted with members, old and new. As the photographs on our website record, it was a very happy and successful meeting.

Mamma Mia

Cinema Trip to see Mamma Mia : Here We go Again

It was lights, camera, action as 9 ladies went off to the Plaza Dorchester to see the new Mamma Mia movie and a good time was had by all. For some it was their first visit to the Retro 1930's cinema and they were greatly impressed by the large, comfortable seats with ample leg room even for the most elongated person.The entry fee was more than economical while access from within the town was easy. There will definitely be a repeat visit when the next worthwhile film is released.

Dorset Women's Refuge

Dorset Women's Refuge

Sara Jacson attended our meeting on behalf of the Dorset Women's Refuge to accept a cheque for £60 with some 30 pairs of knickers donated by our members. She thanked BEWI sincerely and went on to outline the work of the Dorset Women's Refuge. Sara had chaired the committee in 1999 which started up the Refuge with funding from the Government, North Dorset and Purbeck Councils. The refuge can accommodate 10 families and monies raised are used to ensure that when women arrive they have new bedding,fruit for the children,toiletries in the bathroom and any immediate finance that they require.The Refuge requires approximately £1k per month to continue it's work and is on target for this financial year.

Visit to Bletchley Park

Visit to Bletchley Park

Early on a bright, sunny morning twelve of our ladies plus two honorary members boarded the mini bus for Bletchley Park, the home of the legendary code breakers. An increasingly torrid journey found us at 11.30, a wee bit wilted, outside the fence of the famous establishment. We were counted off the bus, and through the gate, a little like it must have been in the dark days of W.W.2. The stark green of the utility building and the high security fence displaying the desired effect of seriousness and secrets. But once inside it was a complete change. A welcoming visitor's desk a small tea shop, souvenir shop, helpful guides, the entrance to the visitor's centre and out into the original site itself. A large lottery grant had been well spent. Everyone knows a little of the story of Bletchley but it really takes a visit to this place to appreciate the dedication and sacrifice of these men and women and the enormous contribution they made to the war effort and its aftermath, the ongoing security of this country and the dawn of the computer age. We were counted back on to our bus on departure for the homeward journey. Thanks again go to Vicky and Diane for an amazing and well planned trip.

Blandford Georgian Fayre

Blandford Georgian Fayre

It was a lovely sunny day and the Blandford Evening W.I. members were on hand in the Parish Rooms to provide a wide selection of homemade cakes and beverages for visitors to the fayre. Mr Chord, a busking band, consisting of Jo, Alan and Mike provided the music for the day. Our ladies worked very hard and a good contribution was made for this years fundraising.

Blandford Fashion Museum

Visit to the Blandford Fashion Museum with Afternoon Cream Tea

13 of our members visited the Blandford Fashion Museum which is in a lovely Georgian House dating from the 1700's. To commence we were given a most informative and interesting talk by Stella Walker, Costume Manager, about the social history and heritage of the museum which led to a guided tour. We were amazed to find ten rooms to explore which offered superbly presented models and displays in a variety of settings.There was so much to see, learn about and discuss plus helpful and informative staff on hand all of whom are volunteers. It was a most enjoyable and unique experience. Among several new additions this year and one not to be missed is a most beautiful and elegant Edwardian Ladies Room. Our members then retired to the pretty Tea Room to tuck in to delicious cream teas, cake and copious pots of tea which ended a delightful social afternoon. An outing definitely to be repeated.

W.I Banner

Our Annual Meeting

Simone welcomed 22 members and one guest for our Annual Meeting. She praised the group on the way that it had gelled over the past five years and commented on the good communication that we have between members. The Treasurer gave a financial statement and stressed the importance of fundraising to keep us in the black especially as we have lost one of our biggest fundraising events for this year. The Secretary said that it had been a busy and successful year and thanked everyone for their hard work. We had a short talk from our visitor, Heather Bartlett, she gave an interesting account of her role as a W.I. advisor and she explained how she visits branches all over the county and acts as a trouble shooter when required. The Committee was then elected for the next year and Simone was chosen to be our President.

The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew

Catering for the Forum Drama

Our members were on to hand to provide and serve some delicious refreshments, in the interval, for the three performances of the Forum Drama production of The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew. The drama was performed in the Blandford Corn Exchange and our President,Simone,took the leading role in the play.

Our 5th Birthday

Our 5th Birthday

The ladies of Blandford Evening W.I. had plenty to celebrate at their February meeting, as they gathered to toast their 5th anniversary. As well as cake and champagne, the committee entertained the ladies with their own version of the panel game "Would I Lie To You " with it ending in a draw. Toasting Blandford Evening W.I. our President, Simone, thanked everyone for their support and hard work, including local businesses who support them, and hoped that everyone was looking forward to another busy and enjoyable year.

Resolutions Meeting

Resolutions Meeting

We launched the New Year with a lively and interesting group discussion, led by committee member Marilyn Flower. We considered and debated the five proposed 2018 W.I. Resolutions.

1. Positive body image in a digital age
2. Stop female genital mutilation
3. Raise awareness of modern slavery in the U.K.
4. Mental health matters
5. Healthier mouth, healthier body.

Each topic was explored, offered fresh insights and members expressed compelling views. We also discussed the importance of voting for topics which may be achievable with regard to lobbying government and have positive outcomes for our work in the community. All the votes cast are anonymous and sent to County, National Officers, our Public Affairs Officers and Board of Trustees. The result is based on the highest number of selections from all W.I. members across England, Wales and the Islands. (Approximately 220,000 in 2017). Typically only two or three resolutions are chosen for the A.G.M. agenda in Cardiff in June where nominated W.I.delegates from all areas will vote and make their final choice. Our President Simone has agreed to be the delegate for the group that we are linked to this year and will report back on the results.