When and where we meet:

Every 2nd Monday of the month at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall, Leigh on Mendip

Visitors welcome!

For more details contact Sue Rodford

or leave a comment here on our blog

Leigh on Mendip Community Coffee Mornings

1st Monday of the month in the Memorial Hall from 9.45 to 10.45am.

Come along for a coffee and a chat!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Meeting 12 February 2018

Two appeals for help first. We need a new representative to attend the monthly Fete meetings. It’s important we are involved in the Fete as it is by far our main source of income during the year. This time as well as selling ice cream, Pimms and Mocktails we will be running the adult tombola so will need donations for that nearer the time. The second appeal is for two people to take our banner to the Parade in Wells on 28 April, see the latest County News. If you can help with either of these please contact President Sue Rodford on 812766 or any committee member.

Don’t forget the usual monthly lunch in the Bell on Friday 2nd March and the village clean up on Sat 3rd. The latter will start from the Hall at 2pm where you will be allocated an area to litter pick. Refreshments will be available back at the Hall from 3pm.

We are going to take part in the WI photo competition so keep that in mind and take your snaps at any WI involved activity in the coming months. Our 12 photos will be chosen at the end of the year. Finally would you like to attend a course at Denman our WI headquarters college? There is currently a £150 bursary towards the costs on offer with one person interested at the moment. This would be shared if more than one applicant. Contact Mary Mears if you need any information on what courses are available.

After the business matters our entertainment was a Valentine card workshop led by member Jeni Francis. This was very well organised with a good variety of materials provided to use to decorate the cards and produced some lovely results.

At the next meeting on Monday March 12th we will hear an “amusing?” talk on composting from Steve Mynard.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

69 Years Young!

On Saturday we celebrated Leigh on Mendip's 69th Birthday with a Ploughman's Lunch for members at Barbara's house.

Some of the Food - but where are the Puds???

We had lovely cheese, ham, breads & salad to start.

Followed by a scrummy selection of puds.

But first we raised our glasses and sang "Happy Birthday"!!

Many of our members & some new people to the Village were able to come.  Many thanks to Barbara for hosting this event.

Empty plates & happy smiles - must have been good.

Monday, 15 January 2018


Jane organised this outing for WI members, partners and friends. 

We visited behind those very high walls of Shepton Mallet prison on Saturday 13 January 2018.  Our guided tour was with one of the ex-prison officers.  The 2 hours we were there gave us the opportunity to “walk in the footsteps of prisoners who have been residents of those wings during the last 400 years”.  We learnt a lot about is history dating back to 1610 – the daily life, visits, prison work, the gym and the Chapel.  

In the early years all prisoners, men, women and children, were held together in reportedly dreadful conditions. The gaoler was not paid, instead making an income from fees from his prisoners. The buildings were later extended and the high wall surrounding it built.  

In the early 19th Century, a large treadwheel was built within the prison on which men who had been sentenced to hard labour would serve their punishment. The wheel was used to power a grain mill outside the prison wall.The prison closed for a few years in 1930 due to under use.  Later it was run as an American military prison.   

It returned to British militaryuse and soldiers held there included the Kray twins who were serving out their national service after absconding.

During the War it was also used to house various items, believed to have included the Domesday Book & Magna Carta.

The buildings were again modernised towards the end of the 20th Century and the prisoners were given the opportunity to study and learn a trade or to be employed in the kitchens.  When it finally closed in March 2013 it was the oldest working prison in the United Kingdom.

Various events can now be booked there, such as parties, hen nights, etc but we weren’t sure about staying overnight!  It was also recently used for some of the filming for Paddington 2!  

There is much talk about the area being developed into housing so this was a wonderful opportunity to view it as a Prison.

I'm pleased to say that at the end of the tour we were all allowed to go home!

Friday, 12 January 2018

Meeting 8 January 2018

At our January meeting the programmes for the coming year were handed out and we were reminded to bring a raffle prize to a meeting if we had not already done so. Mary noted the programme did not include any outings but felt it better to arrange these at short notice during the year as suggestions cropped up.

Reminders were given about some forthcoming events such as the WI birthday lunch at Barbara Turner’s house on Saturday 3rd Feb and the Village Clean Up on Sat 3rd March. This would be held between 2 and 4pm with refreshments available from 3pm and as always was open to all volunteers not just WI members. We were also reminded that if we wished to attend any events appearing in the WI County News not to apply direct but to let Mary know and she would arrange it.

Our talk had a rather unusual opening with speaker Clive Fairclough, the new vicar of Mells, first playing From Russia With Love for us and then donning a Russian type fur hat and falling briefly into James Bond mode.  He had been ordained 14 years ago following a life including 20 years in military service and came originally from a farming background so was happy to be back in rural Somerset. However the most interesting period of his ministry had been 2 and a half years spent in Moscow and he gave us a fascinating account of his time there.

The next meeting on Monday February 12th will include a craft workshop, please bring some scissors and a general purpose chopping board.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Meeting on Monday 8 January 2018

This will be an Open Meeting - please ask friends, partners, neighbours if they would like to join us for the evening.

The speaker will be Rev Clive Fairclough, the new Vicar of Mells, talking on
His Life & Adventures before he became a Vicar.

Meeting 11 December


We were already getting ready for the coming year at the December meeting with the tea rota to check to make sure we were free on our allotted day and volunteers needed to sign up for thanking the speakers.  Names and money were being taken for the visit to Shepton prison on January 13th, we had a reminder about the WI birthday lunch at Barbara Turner’s house on Sat February 3rd and were given advance warning of the annual village clean up which would be on Sat 3rd March.

Two WI issues to address in January. The suggestions for the Resolutions were in the current WI Life and we were asked to fill in our choice on the slip there to bring to the January meeting. Also at that meeting we should bring our subs for the coming year which have gone up slightly to £41.

The talk called “Girl Cop” was given by Sandy Osborne, the author of a fiction book of the same name and its follow up. Sandy was still a serving police officer in Bath and had based her stories on the area including her own real life experiences. She told us how her writing career started and how difficult it had been to get published and read us extracts from both the book and some of her writing for magazines.

The next meeting will be on Monday January 8th at 7.30pm