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 Mary Mears

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! Everyone welcome.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Denman College

As you will be aware, Denman College is under threat through financial difficulties. There is an article all about it in WI Life, and the future of the college looks pretty uncertain. Our Somerset Federation Denman Representative, Veronica Andrews spoke passionately about making every attempt to save it at the Somerset Meeting in Yeovil which a number of us attended. There is very strong feeling that we should do what we can to save it.
Responding to the questionnaire in the magazine would be an excellent idea in the first place, so they know there is a lot of interest and support here for the college.

Does anyone have any other ideas to suggest?

We also need to consider our own Denman bursary - if you all agree that we continue to add £75 each year, we shall have approximately £200 for someone to use in 2013. The course brochure is online on the WI website, and we have several copies which we will bring to the next meeting.

If no-one is keen to take it up, we could use the money we have put aside for a training day for ourselves held in our own village: we would need to find a topic or two which appeals to us all! A tall order? here are some ideas to set you thinking: photography, art, music, singing, computers, craft, cookery......

over to you! what do you think? which option do you prefer?

Throwing down the gauntlett!

At last night's committee meeting two members of the committee announced that they don't bother to look at the blog! Now there's a challenge if ever I saw one!

We've decided to make life easier for all of our members by having the blog available for viewing at every meeting next year! Starting off in a big way in January with the projector so that everyone can look at it together on the big screen! (No hiding in the kitchen to avoid it this time!). After that, those of us who can, will bring our portable internet devices so that members can browse the blog during our social, second half of the evening.

Then, no-one will miss out on all the news - and if you want to, you will be able to add your comments and ideas!

Feedback from our last meeting!

Just to say thanks, and congratulate you on a very entertaining evening. Usually AGM's are very dull affairs by cutting down on the business and adding the choir was first rate. You really have brought a breath of fresh air through our midst which was much needed.

I certainly enjoyed reading through our WI blog this morning, it was very interesting. Am I right in thinking extra business will be by e-mail and reports, meeting etc will be on the blog.

Sorry you lost Sandra, hope she will remain a member. Its the younger females we need to attract instead spending their time in the pub, which I believe they do, to just come along they might learn something instead of nattering to their friends, widen their horizons and even make friends with us older generation as I feel I am. I used to know all the Mums, and children going to/fro from School, now I am lucky if I know one.

Here's my best wishes for another successful year as President, and to your Committee which also support you.

Thank you very much, June F, for your very kind comments, they are much appreciated! Thank you also to the other members who came to speak to me after the meeting. I really appreciate your encouragement and support.
We also received a lovely letter from Westfield Ladies Choir, thanking us for a warm welcome and saying how much they appreciated the applause and our singing!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Our AGM + singing!

It was agreed pretty much unanimously that we had an excellent evening! A glass or two of wine helped the proceedings to go with a swing! It was lovely to see so many members present - was it the possibility of a certain choir master? Who knows! Westfield Ladies Choir gave us a lovely performance and then lead some community singing, rounded off with a hearty rendition of Jerusalem!

We are looking to continue the recruitment drive, ably lead this year by Kathy, who has introduced no less than 3 guests! Come on the rest of us! We need to do some catching up here! You can remind your friends and neighbours that we always have a laugh, we're cutting the business section in half because we are all so technologically advanced at Leigh On Mendip WI, and we are very friendly and welcoming. (And we do lots of exciting stuff!)

Please try to make a heart cushion or bag for Marie Masters' challenge. If you don't have the time or inclination, then maybe you would be kind enough to buy a bag of cushion stuffing or donate a (clean!) old cotton shirt/skirt or something we could use. I will e mail the pattern ( and attempt to put it on here, 'though photos are sometimes a bit temperamental!).

Our Denman Bring and Buy raised about £80! Accurate amount to be verified, this was just a quick count up! Wow! Thank you all and well done for bringing in so many enticing items!

We have lots of events and activities in the next month - let's have a wonderful time, and keep a look out for e mails - I'll try to send out reminders in time!

Thank you all for electing me as your President again!
Please have a think about joining the committee; we have only 6 members, and the whole idea is that we each take on a small rĂ´le, then it is easily managed and very enjoyable. The more the merrier is the phrase which fits here, so please do have a think about it! We meet once a month to plan the main meetings, and once this year we had a virtual meeting! We simply couldn't find a date we could all manage, so held the meeting electronically! What fun! (As they say!)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

A new opportunity? Just say 'yes'!

Eight of us attended the County Annual Meeting in Yeovil today - feeling part of the great WI family and realising just what it is we belong to! A great day!

The morning saw the business section: our outgoing County Chair, Carole, introduced the Board of Trustees and we began the day with a rousing 'Jerusalem'.
The chairman of South Somerset District Council welcomed us all with a very optimistic look at Yeovil and district's future, thanks largely to the spirit of optimism and success engendered by  the Queen's visit to the town for the Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics - and a huge investment by Augusta Westlands.

The standing orders were adopted. A delegate from each WI has a vote.
One point for us all to consider: next summer we can make nominations to the County Federation for new Trustees. A rewarding opportunity.

The  County Chair and Treasurer attended  the National Council meeting; NFWI finances are healthy, membership is rising. There is, however, a problem with the financial situation at Denman. We are the only Women's Organisation with our own college - we must keep it! 'Use it or lose it' is the slogan!  Wy not ask for Denman gift vouchers for your Christmas or birthday gifts? Look at the next edition of County News, on the front page you will find two Denman bursaries on offer! Apply! Several people mentioned the need to support Denman throughout the day, a recurring theme.

Plans are afoot for our NFWI centenary celebrations in 2015, to pass a baton throughout the country - it will travel through Somerset in March 2015! Let's be sure we can join in the fun!

You will remember voting on the venue for the 2015 National AGM? The results were inconclusive! A decision will be made soon. Opting for a huge venue so that every WI can be represented is risky - high cost and will everyone attend?

We have a copy of the new WI Guide - we'll bring it to Monday's meeting

The County Treasurer's report demonstrates that SCFWI is financially viable and healthy for the forseeable future. The report was adopted.

The Annual Report of Activities was presented in a very interesting and entertaining way:
                           "Who has been inspiring women in Somerset?"
The 6 Somerset women who took part in the upcycled little black dress competition paraded across the stage, I gave a description of our Let's Cook Local course, we heard about a music bursary taken up at Denman, a very clever poem which won the poetry competition was read to us.... and there was a long list of the crafts, sports and other courses and activities which have taken place this year.
Our membership has increased by 120 this year!

 Next, Margaret Bigg gave us ideas to encourage more people to join us: mainly asking friends,
encouraging neighbours to come along. She also described next year's holiday: a 13 day leisurely, 4* trip to Tuscany, with the majority of meals and many organised visits and trips included. Look out for details in a future County News. It promises to be lots of fun and very good value for money.

Vivien Lloyd spoke to us about her exciting new project: she is an acclaimed preserves and jam maker, having written a book and won several prestigious prizes for her produce. She is a National WI judge and next March will run a training course at Denman for people who would like to become NFWI preserves judges.

Then we heard a brief talk from Steve Greenhalgh about safe driving; telling us about an initiative to improve driving safety and offering a free talk for Somerset groups.

Some WIs are involved with charities: one told us about the Osteoporosis Society and Marie Masters, one of the Trustees, who has had lymphatic and breast cancer this year, set us all a challenge. Can we make heart shaped cushions and/or little shoulder bags? These are for cancer patients to use and will be donated to cancer units at hospitals in Somerset (+ the RUH in Bath) we will bring copies of the pattern on Monday.

We heard how successful the Trading Post has been this year, bringing in over £1,000 to the WI coffers.

Anniversary Certificates were presented to a number of WIs, ranging from 95 - 60 years.

Finally came the turn of our speaker,  Paul Atterbury, whom Antiques Roadshow devotees will recognise. He's the chap with the stripey jackets, all purchased in charity shops, the very first one in Sherborne! What a fascinating life, based on the principle of saying yes to whatever opportunity came along. His Mother was the puppeteer who worked Andy Pandy, and she told him that she based Andy Pandy on him! Perhaps this is why he likes the stripes! He was an excellent and very entertaining speaker.

Carol then gave her closing remarks, thanked everyone and was presented with some Denman vouchers from the Board of Trustees as a farewell gift!

We all agreed it had been a fabuous day! Can't wait for the next one!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Operation Christmas Child

This evening, Mary and I called in to Caroline's house to sort out all of the shoe boxes and gifts kindly supplied by our WI members. We had some beautifully covered boxes, plenty of soaps, toothbrushes, combs, gloves, hats, stationery, soft toys, games ...... Enough to fill 9.5 boxes! One completely filled box was supplied, and a couple of people have offered to buy the items we need.

We also have to include £2.50 for each box; members have donated £9.50 - thank you! If anyone who hasn't already been generous and would like to contribute, please bring a donation along to our meeting on Monday.

Remember that we have our Do it for Denman bring and buy sale at the meeting on Monday! A chance to find a quirky Christmas gift? Please bring something if you can, as well as some cash to buy!