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, 26 February 2013

Record of February's meeting

Leigh on Mendip WI meeting:   Monday 11 February 2013      7.30 pm in the Memorial Hall

Welcome & apologies:  Sparks rang the fire bell and explained the fire drill, then welcomed everyone.  Apologies received from Jean, Sandra, Marguerite, Margaret, Gill & Sylvia.

Minutes & matters arising: The minutes were signed as a true record.  Mary was thanked for hosting the birthday party, which had been very enjoyable.  A new banner was being considered as the existing was not very good and seems to be  lost, speak to Sparks to express interest.  Members voted on whether to order goods to sell at the Village Fair – 1. Do nothing (1), 2. Order 50 short handled calico bags (12), 3. Wait until next year (5).  More details were on the blog. The members agreed that Sparks should order the bags.

County News: Members were asked to read County News and add their names to the event lists on the table.

Forthcoming Events:  

§  Saturday 16 March 2-4.30pm.  Village Clean up.  Making cakes – Barbara, Jeni  & Sparks, Serving teas – Jeni & Mary, Organising map – Jan H

§  Group Meeting 25 March 7.30pm.  Competition poster – Mary/Sparks, Olive scones –? , Palmiers – Barbara, Celery & carrot batons – Jeni, Rice Crispie Cakes and cakes – Kathy, Drinks – Barbara & Ann, Set up room 6pm – Sparks & Val, Prepare platters 6.30pm – Kathy & Annie, Clearing – Sue & Jane.  Food costs would be paid so members were asked to keep receipts.  Entertainment – 2 poems read by as many as possible, wearing purple.

§  Village Country Fair 15 June.  Val reported that we would run a cake and produce stall again this year.  Mixes in jars, pickles and jams did well last year.


Correspondence: Helpers required for the Bath & West Show, names to Mary.

Treasurer’s Report:  Bank £1257.36, petty cash £27.39. 

Birthdays:  Linda 8, Jean 20 and Jan P 28 February.

Next meeting: Gill Odolphie talking about the work of the Earth Science Centre at Stoke St Michael with a visit planned for May, followed by a practice for the Group Meeting entertainment.       VOT: Annie. 

AOB: Donations of nearly new clothes and cakes for the sale on 9 March for the church.

Members were notified that the Memorial Hall quiz will be held on 23 March.

CocoBella co-founders talked to us about chocolate and their inspiration, then offered delicious samples and goods for sale.

After refreshments, Jane lead a discussion about Fairtrade.

Exciting News from Denman College!

Now you, too can go! here's how:



Netherhall bursary


Kindly donated by an avid Denman supporter we have 5 bursaries of £200 each for this year only.  The bursaries can be used towards any residential course.


Gwen Garner bursary


Kindly donated by Lesley Garner in memory of her late mother Gwen Garner we have 2 bursaries of £300 each for a residential art course including a travel contribution.




Please apply in writing to:


Therese Greenhalgh, Denman College, Marcham, Oxfordshire OX13 6NW or email t.greenhalgh@denman.org.uk by 29 March 2013.


In your letter please give the following details:

                     Your full name, contact details, WI and Federation

                     Which bursary you would like to apply for

                     Whether you have been to Denman before and if so, if you have received a bursary from Denman in the past.

                     How you would benefit from the course

The number and title of the course you would like to attend (if known) if your application is successful, otherwise the course can be chosen at a later date

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Leigh on Mendip WI 2013 Banner Project

Our meeting was very useful, we came up with plenty of ideas and questions!
We need your answers!
Firstly, the plan is to make a banner which represents the 2013 members of Leigh on Mendip WI, using our ideas, skills and 2013 methods.
1. Do we want a banner?
2: if yes, where and how will be use it?
3. Are you willing to offer any help? 
(E.g. Ideas, design, sewing, knitting, printing, painting.... Donating fabric or materials, supporting ( actual and moral!), organising.....  If lots of people can help a bit, it won't be such a huge task for a few people - and shared activity is always fun! Perhaps we could meet regularly at the Community Coffee Morning to confer and view progress?

If the answer is yes, we thought we could have a central panel surrounded by smaller 'tiles' which represent what we do, what we like about our WI...... And so on.
It could be portrait or landscape shape
The central panel could be based on the photo of the village as printed on the tea towel. There are plenty of  decisions to make!

Please email me or leave a comment here with your response. - thank you! 

Friday, 22 February 2013

A force to reckon with?

On Thursday evening this week, Caroline & I went along to the Frome WI meeting to let them know about the Group meetings and what happens. We also stayed to take part in their meeting: a demonstration of Taikwondo. It was actually taking part, too, as we learned and tried out various methods of repelling an attacker! Which parts of the body can inflict the most damage! Then we tried some punching and kicking! ( not each other this time, some special pads held by an expert!)
It was great fun, and as we walked down the lane to the car park afterwards we felt very bold and brave!
However, any attacker would have to be extremely slow and patient, willing to respond to requests to wait while we tried to remember how to make him relax his grip so we could kick him and run away! This, in fact, was the message overall: run away!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Film Club - Thursday 21st February

Leaving the village at 2.15pm, we're going to see 'Hyde Park on Hudson'.
If anyone would like to join in, please email or ring Sparks by Monday evening (so that I can book the tickets)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Warminster & District Foodbank

Here is a letter from the secretary of the food bank, sent to June B:

Dear June
On behalf of the Warminster and District Foodbank I would like to thank you and those in Leigh on Mendip, who have donated a fantastic 51.7kgs of food between November 2012 and January 2013. I thank you particularly for your recent donation which was left at the hall at Dewey House.
We are very grateful for your continued support of this local charity which many adults and families are often dependent upon.
Thank you all once again
Best Wishes
Judy Cooper

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Banner Project Starts!

Yvonne, Annie and I will meet next week to start thinking about how and what we can create for our Leigh on Mendip WI banner.

I've just been doing some research and discovered that banners have been used since Old Testament times. A banner is a piece of cloth, carried for identification and showing the benefits of being a member, demonstrating skills, giving a reminder of the past and a symbol of beliefs and hopes.

So, it seems we can include whatever we choose, and use whatever methods of manufacture we like!

It would be meaningful to be able to incorporate the ideas and suggestions of every member, so that the finished article is a true representation of all of the members of Leigh on Mendip WI.

Any ideas? Please let us know!

Calling all singers..... CANCELLED

Buckland Dinham WI have kindly invited us to join in with their 'Sing-a-long' on Tuesday  March 5 at 8pm, costing £2. David Andrew is the host.
Sounds as if it will be fun!

Leigh on Mendip Bags! (New!)

As a result of our discussion and vote at Monday's meeting, I have placed an order for 50 cotton bags,  in "racing green". I thought you would approve of the colour, as it represents us, The WI, without actually saying so! ('Though possibly not the racing bit!) The cost per bag has gone up by 6p  but I felt it was still OK to go ahead as it doesn't eat too much into our budget.
At this stage it is in the queue for the design team who will send us a proof which we must approve before they go ahead and print.

CocoBella comes to Leigh WI!

What a very interesting - and tasty - evening! Our speakers were very relaxed and informal and gave a very good demonstration of how their beautiful chocolate favours are crafted. The growth and success of their business from the kitchen to a unit at an industrial estate (via a shed!) was really great to hear in these depressing economic times. Both ladies clearly enjoy what they do and spend many hours each week creating some unique and very clever confections. They invited us to call in on them (near Vobster) any time to have a look around. They have a website, too.

Our Fairtrade discussion raised a lot more questions! Jane presented us with a brief history of how fair trade developed and then suggested a wide range of angles from which to view the process. Just how fair is it? ...at each stage of the process? Does every producer have equal access to the scheme? How much of the extra we pay for Fairtrade items actually reaches the producer? Is this simply a way in which we can each feel that we are contributing, doing our bit for the Third World? How much is spent on administration, marketing, 'costs'? Sue decided to do some more research and we all agreed it would be interesting to invite a speaker from a supermarket to explain how it works.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

On Monday 11 February we have our next meeting – all about chocolate! Apparently, Coco Bella will bring some items to sell, too.  Jane is very kindly preparing some information about Fair Trade for us to talk about after the break. I think it will be very interesting, so I hope you will be able to join in.
Also! Remember the food bank item, if you can, please!
In addition to reading the minutes of the last meeting, please will you think about the suggestion made last meeting to have some more tea towels or something with the Leigh on Mendip design ready for us to sell on our stall at the Village Fair?
The committee looked carefully at the options open to us and the majority decision was that the light cotton bag with short handles would be the best option as it would cost us roughly £100 for 50, and people would probably buy something like that for £2.80. Other ideas (apron, oven gloves, canvas bags....) would all be much more expensive. so, at the meeting we will ask you to vote for one of the following:
1. we should do nothing about it!
2. we buy 50 cotton, short handled bags to sell. Selling them all would give us £40 profit.
3. we wait until next year, when the tea towels will have faded a little and we may get more interest in a logo-ed item!
From County News there are several events you may like to attend – there will be a sheet for you to sign up: Spring Ramble 15 May, Spring Roadshows in April, Snowdrops at Litton, a performance of Acorn Antiques at Strode Theatre and a conference in Bristol on Women’s Rights.
On Tuesday 12 Feb the Strawberry Line WI at Cranmore have a speaker demonstrating Indian Cookery which looks very interesting. Jan P would like to go – is there anyone else who would like to join her?
On Thursday 14 March, Kilmersdon WI have a speaker from the TV programme ‘Homes Under the Hammer’. let us know on Monday if you would like to go!

23 March is the Hall Quiz night, so keep that night free and let's see if we can manage a little better than we did last year! 

Record of January's Meeting

Leigh on Mendip WI meeting:   Monday 14 January 2013      7.30 pm in the Memorial Hall
Welcome & apologies:  Members were welcomed in 2013.  Apologies received from June F and Ann.
Minutes & matters arising: Sparks confirmed that the minutes were available on the blog and a hard copy was available at the meeting.  They were signed as a true record.  The lunch at The Bell on 4 January was good.  Sparks thanked the WI for the bursary for her wonderful weekend painting course at Denman.  More details were on the blog.
County News: Not yet received.  6 members wanted to attend the NFWI AGM in Cardiff on 1 June.  Members were reminded about the resolution forms in WI Life.
Forthcoming Events:  
§  Mary was thanked for printing the programme.
§  Tuesday 15 January at Cranmore Village Hall 7.30pm, Chris Sperring with an owl
§  Making hearts and bags for Marie Masters’ challenge and craft day Friday 18 January.  Interest gauged.
§  Birthday Party – Burns Night at Barbara’s, 25 January 7.30pm bring a plate of food and a poem to share.  14 members wished to attend.
§  Group Spring business meeting Monday 28 January 7.30pm at the Hall. Sparks offered to take the minutes and others to help with refreshments.
§  Lunch at the Bell Friday 1 February
§  Saturday 16 March.  Village Clean up.

Correspondence: None
Treasurer’s Report:  Bank £854.75, petty cash £37.59.  The tea towel profit was over £80. It was agreed to re-join the Memorial Hall 100 club.
Birthdays:  Sparks 23 and Jan H 28 January
Next meeting: CocoBella talking about chocolate with items to sell, followed by a Fairtrade discussion.       VOT: Gill. 
AOB: The Banner project to be discussed at the next meeting.
Members were notified that the Memorial Hall quiz will be held on 23 March.
June B expressed thanks for all the items brought for the food bank.
The charge for the Community Coffee Morning to rise to 60p.
Jane suggested buying some more tea towels to sell at the fete this year and it was decided that Sparks would cost alternative products for discussion next month.
Sparks then introduced our local Gamesmaker, Richard Blunden, who gave a fascinating insight into his role at the Paralympic Games, whilst wearing his uniform.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Marie Masters' Challenge

At the Somerset Annual meeting last Autumn, Marie Masters set us all a challenge to make some heart shaped cushions and some bags for people recovering from breast cancer surgery.
Between us, Annie and I made 10 of each and, after consultation with Emma at Wilton Lodge (Somerset Federation HQ), I delivered them to the Breast Care Unit at the RUH in Bath.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

When I'm 64.....!

We celebrated our 64th birthday in style last night at Mary's house, with a selection of gorgeous food, wine and scintillating company! Thank you all for making it such a fun evening! Isn't it always surprising that we never plan the food in advance and yet there is always an even selection of savoury and sweet? How does that work? Extremely well, in our experience, anyway!