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.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year to all our Members

Image result for images for new year
Happy New Year to our current and potential members!

Here's hoping that you all remembered Sue's tips on table etiquette over the festive period and not an untidy napkin to be seen! Read the minutes from the December meeting under the Previous Meetings section to the right.

We look forward to another year of fun with our 2015 programme and some additional events for the WI's Centenary.

The monthly lunch will be held on Friday 9th January at The Bell Inn.

Our first meeting is Monday 12th January, 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.  Please remember to bring along your subs payment (£36 - cheques made payable to Leigh on Mendip WI) along with an offering for our raffle prize stock.

We are still without a permanent President and short in numbers overall on committee. Our committee meeting is on Monday 5th January, 8pm at Mary's house - anyone who would like to come along and just see what we talk about, before committing to joining us, is most welcome.

As always any ladies in the area interested in joining WI are welcome to come along as a visitor for a couple of meetings first. So why not make this your New Year's Resolution to get out and meet new people and make some time for yourself?

Here's to a fantastic WI 2015!

Your committee.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Wells Winter Festival

Thank you Sue R for organising our winter outing.  We met at the Palace in the afternoon and wandered around in our groups looking at the amazing floral displays in the rooms - from Victorian-style,
 commeration of WW1, the Future and an enchanting The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe.  There were plenty of lovely Christmas items for sale in the marquee and
leaving in the dark the grounds of the Palace looked quite magical with the illuminations. 

We also went to St Cuthberts Church to see 200 different Nativity scenes including a life-size knitted set (raising funds for St Peter's Hospice in Bristol).

Group Carol Service

A number of our members attended the Group Carol Service on Friday 5 December.  Another lovely festive event with readings and poems by different Institutes and singing of carols.  Thank you Nunney for organising and serving warming mulled fruit juice and delicious nibbles after the service.  We then adjourned to The George for our normal monthly lunch.  Good food and good company.  Perhaps we could come here again another month?  Thank you to Caroline for organising us - such a pity you weren't able to join in.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Happy Christmas and Goodbye!

We all said a sad farewell to Sparks at our Christmas meal, held at the Bell Inn on Monday 1st December.  We presented her with 2 framed  prints of Leigh On Mendip along with Garden vouchers, chocolates and biscuits (to share with the boys and Ruby!).  We were pleased to hear that Sparks has already found her local WI and the President is a near neighbour, so straight into Devon WI (just sit on your hands and don't mention having been President here).

Hazel Park won the attendance prize for 2014 (or "best behaved" member) and there was much chatter and laughter along with a lovely meal.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

What do Committee do when they are not planning your meetings and outings?

Visit NT Killerton House (nr Exeter) for the Christmas festival and costume exhibition of course.  A 2 hour drive if direct from LOM, but worth a visit if you are down that way.

The Nutcracker theme was truly magical.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

November Meeting

Our talk about bees was very informative, accompanied by photos and some video clips. What amazing creatures they are! Who would have believed that some are bad tempered and lazy?
We were able to buy some Somerset honey afterwards, and enjoy the fruits of their labours.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Topical Bees are the subject of tonight's talk

.... and what has just popped up on the Somerset WI Facebook page?

How up to the minute are we, at Leigh on Mendip WI?

I'm looking forward to hearing all about the bees and what we can do to help secure their future.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Denman College Craft Fair!

Is anyone free the last weekend of November? Would you fancy a day out to Denman College?
The books, kits, embroidery items, wools, fabrics and sewing notions I saw last weekend in the craft shop were at excellent prices and very, very plentiful! If you want to top up your stash, or if you have a project in hand this would definitely be the destination for you! Let me know if you are interested!
There is no Real Jam Festival or Christmas Fair this year.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Are you wondering what to donate to the Foodbank this month?

Here's an idea: (you will need to click on the picture to see the whole thing)

Monday, 3 November 2014

Committee members look at the blog!

(Three days later, President's note: 40% have done their homework. I must be losing my touch!)

After a relaxing, fun meeting, members embraced their techie side by taking a look at how to use the blog.

Certificates of Competence are in the post, don't hold your breath!

Can I have mine please?  Mary
Of course!

I've added the photos.  Can you spot where??  Jan
You have earned your Level II certificate, Jan!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Denman College - Somerset Fed. Weekend

The bedrooms have been decorated by the Federations, each adding their own regional touches.
 Ann stayed in the Guernsey room.

Denman is as welcoming as usual! Enhanced by the fabulous weather and beautiful autumn colours in the grounds. We've enjoyed a cup of tea and a bite of cake... What will this evening hold for us?
A lovely meal followed by an introduction to our chosen courses. Ann will be walking along the Thames Sue embarking on some delectable French cookery and I shall be trying to create some silk jewellery!

Sunday morning has come all too quickly! Yesterday was jam packed! After a tasty breakfast we all set off for our various courses. The silk dyeing and jewellery making had us all totally engrossed; no one really wanted to stop for a coffee break, and several of us came back early after lunch!
Ann enjoyed her walk in the balmy November (!) weather, and the interesting tour around a National Trust property. Sue cooked sea bream and salad for her lunch, and enjoyed a delectable endive, pear, walnut and Roquefort salad prepared by the tutor.
After our evening sessions we all gathered together for the very professional entertainment put on by our Somerset members. Paulet WI put on a short version of Cinderella, which had us all in stitches!

Denman College: waving at us is the Ukelele teacher!

We seemed to spend quite a lot of time enjoying the excellent food in the dining room!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Somerset Federation Annual Meeting

Seven of us attended the SCFWI Annual meeting in Yeovil on Saturday; luckily we arrived early as the hall was packed! There were more WI members present than I have ever seen at that event! The main speaker was Michael Portillo, and he gave a fascinating, humorous and self deprecating talk which had us enthralled! In the afternoon we were able to listen to the nurse who works with organ donors and their families in the south west; a very telling and emotional insight. We also heard from the founder of a charity which supports women who have reconstructive surgery following breast cancer.
It was a very informative, fun and interesting day, as usual an opportunity to catch up with many friends and to appreciate the work done on our behalf by our County Trustees.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Ballroom Dancing Rocks!

Fab-u-lous evening, Dahling!
Paul Parsons and his dancing partner, Jane, from Castle Cary demonstrated so beautifully the art and skill of ballroom dancing! Then we were lead very carefully through the steps of the cha cha cha which we practised without music to begin with.
As Paul walked over to switch on the music I suddenly wondered if he was going to play the 'Tea for Two' cha cha cha we used in our Olympics routine! Luckily it was not!

We had plenty of fun, concentration and exercise! I wonder if anyone will be tempted to take up ballroom dancing lessons?
Another great evening!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

October's sunny lunch date

A select group of us met in The Bell for a delicious lunch on Friday. It was so sunny and warm!
Lovely company and good conversation! I wonder what the weather will be like for our November lunch date?

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

#iamwi update!

This is taken from Cambridge WI's blog (camcitywi.blogspot.co.uk) and explains much better than I can what the #iamwi is all about:

The hash-tag (iamwi) campaign was set up to give people a look into the many faces of the people who join the organization. In the UK, the organization is often seen as an outdated gathering only for ageing housewives, WWII survivors and "girly girls". When I mention I'm in it, I sometimes get the response, "Why would you want to hang out with old ladies?" or "Good lord, you're young still, do something with people your own age!"
However, the WI definitely has a very diverse membership including many from my generation and younger! Yes, some of us knit and bake. No, others don't. Some of us enjoy political debates about mandatory organ donation. Others cringe at the mere mention of the word "birth control". 
The campaign was a way of trying to break some stereotypes while encouraging women to show their true selves. It was designed to be empowering, engaging and (hopefully) intriguing -- in an effort to welcome new members. If you fit the old stereotype, good on you! If you don't, that's great too! What draws the WI together is a wild assortment of shared interests, shared skills, and a nearly boundless desire to learn more about the world we're in: whether it be new or old.So: while I don't generally love rocking the boat, and I certainly don't love posting pictures of me to the entire world ... I figured if I was going to show "what makes me a member of WI", then I should show my true core and what really empowers me. That's exercise and owning up to the fact that I like to rock the boat a little. Just a little. Teeeeeeeeny little bit. Ok. Maybe I'll just go back to posting only to friends now. 

Do you tweet? Are you on Facebook? If yes, today is the day to show the world who we are! Challenge the stereotype image of the WI! Take a photo of yourself with a card saying "I am W.I.  1st October 2014" and post it along with ' #iamwi '.
I think you will find it if you search for Women's Institute on Facebook (not the official NFWI page) or if you google #iamwi

There are plenty of smiling faces to see!
Here's a tweet, randomly selected from many:
If you think, like a lot of people do, that the Women's Institute is old hat, have a look at the  tag today! We are pretty fab

Have a look at these links, too, to see what people are saying about the WI:
The yorkshirepost.com  'The WI proud of it's past and looking to the next 100 years'
And this blog: annefoweraker.com/2014-so-what-does-a-typical-WI-member-look-like-#iamwi

here is one of the photos posted on Facebook, how great is this? 

Women in World War I - Autumn Group meeting

We were taken on a very detailed and emotional journey into the varied roles undertaken by women during the First World War. It is really fascinating to hear about the home front and the social history of the time. How lucky we are to be born now!
As a little aside I'm wondering if all of our spin doctors and PR companies have the Suffragette movement to thank for inadvertently causing the birth of their careers! It is quite plain now, with the benefit of hindsight, so see just how the government of the time was able to manipulate public opinion and behaviour. Hmmm.....

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Programme Planning and Pimms....

...... went extremely well together! Thank you very much to Mary for the refreshing beverages, to our Pimms mixing expert, Sue R, to everyone who gave ideas and to those who came along to plan for 2015.
(Dare I say 'as usual'? I think so, as we always invite good speakers to our meetings!) As usual, we have a rather stunning programme planned for ourselves for the WI Centenary year: the highlight of which must be on June 4th when we will be streaming the live National AGM from the Royal Albert Hall into our own Memorial Hall! Put that date in your diary!

A big thank you, as well, to Mary for providing us with the calendar ready to fill in with our speaker suggestions and to Jan P for collecting together all of the ideas over the year.

Over the next few days we shall contact the various individuals so that we can book the dates!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

What is the WI?

Have a look at this film, made by Dunham Massey WI in Cheshire to celebrate their 95th birthday. I think it captures the essence of being a part of the WI.
Or 'google' the Wild Indians of Dunham Massey and you will find the film.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Larkrise to Candleford

What an interesting insight! Behind the scenes indeed! I would like to watch another episode just to look at all of the buildings and background! I shall certainly pay more attention to the scenery and sets when I watch another historical drama!

Next month we have a short talk and then a 'have a go' session on ballroom dancing! Strictly comes to Leigh on Mendip memorial hall! (As long as the judges stay away we'll be fine!). Start sewing on the sequins now!

Monday, 8 September 2014

September lunch date at the Bell Inn

  5 members enjoyed a meal and chat down at The Bell last Friday.  It was lovely to have a relaxing time to catch up on all the news.  Hopefully, see a few more people next time!

Next time will be Friday 3 October.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

A lovely day out together!

Yesterday, Shelagh, June, Marguerite and I had a wonderful day out together at the American Museum! We sampled the delightful lunch and then afternoon tea on the beautiful terrace overlooking the gardens. It felt as if we owned the place!
The purpose of the visit was to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition - and wow! It was a real visual feast! A definite must-see if you are even remotely interested in textiles, craft or interior design. Fab-u-lous!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Have a look at this: Behindthedoorof104.blogspot.co.uk

Starting the Big Conversation

The WI’s Time to Talk Campaign is about making sure we all know 
what our loved ones’ wishes are about organ donation. The decision 
to be a donor is up to each of us (you can become Registered 
Donor here if you like), but in the end, it’s left to thousands of families
 every year to turn those wishes into actions.

We know talking about donation with our loved ones can sometimes 
be difficult. So we've come up with a way to use WI members’ talents 
to show their leadership in finding the Time to Talk.

We’re starting the Big Conversation, which means we’re asking each 
and every WI member to:
Find the Time to Talk and have a conversation with their loved 
one about their organ donation decision
Get creative and make something through craft or illustration to 
show who you spoke to
Take a photo and send it to us

Did you sit down to a cup of tea with your husband? Did you mention 
it to your children when you were cooking dinner in the kitchen? Maybe 
you mentioned to a close friend after getting your driving 
license renewed? Perhaps reading a story about donation in the paper 
prompted you to talk to a family member. Transform who you spoke to 
(or are going to speak to) and the context of that conversation 
into whatever craft or creative project you like. It can be as skilful
 (crochet, pottery, decoupage, quilling, embroidery) or basic (spell 
out their name in icing or take a selfie spelling out who you 
told!) as you want.

Take a photo of it and post it to social media using 
the hashtag #WITimetoTalk. Or email it to the NFWI Public Affairs
 team (publicaffairs@nfwi.org.uk) and we'll publish it for you.
The results will be shared online over the next year on Twitter,
 Facebook and an online photo gallery. At the end, we will create
 a massive mosaic of photographs of all the WI members’ crafts 
for a special exhibition as part of the WI’s centenary year.

With each photo representing a real conversation, together they will 
show how WI members have found the Time to Talk, and inspire 
others to do the same. Remember every single discussion about
 organ donation is part of a bigger conversation.

You have until Friday 27 March 2015 to share your conversation photos
 with us. 
Get crafting! 

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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Alice in WI land

Here is some more detailed information about the Alice in WI land centenary celebration. As you already know, the time to go along and see what it's all about is Saturday 20th September in Evercreech Village Hall - 'dancers' in the morning and singers, actors and everyone else in the afternoon. (No previous skills required! just a willingness to have a go!)
Our part of the whole show will last 25 minutes.

Here is the schedule:

Saturday 20th September - Evercreech Village Hall(E V H) - Auditions
Saturday  4th October - 2pm - E V H - First Run Through
Saturday 24th January - 2pm - E V H - Rehearsal  
Saturday 14th February - 2pm - E V H - Rehearsal  
Saturday 21st March - 2pm - E V H - Rehearsal
Saturday 28th March - 2pm - E V H - Rehearsal
Saturday 11th April - 2pm - DRESS REHEARSAL 
Saturday 18th April - performance
Saturday 25th April - performance 

 so you can see that there isn't a huge commitment - it is intended to be something to have lots of fun and join in with other Somerset WI members to celebrate being a part of the WI. 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Fancy a WI trip to London on 21st September?

WI Women and Climate Change Campaign
I have received the following letter from NFWI. As you see the timing is too short to enable us to publicize the event in County News.
Can I ask you to liaise with Mary at NFWI Public Affairs direct, if you or members of your Institute are interested in taking part.
There is more information about the event on the Climate Coalition website.  http://www.theclimatecoalition.org

Best wishes

Nicky Venning
Somerset WI
Public Affairs +International

Dear WI member

Global Day of Action on Climate Change - 21 September 2014
The NFWI is supporting the Climate Coalition’s ‘For the Love of…’ campaign. The campaign aims to build a diverse movement of people supporting action on climate change in the UK by celebrating all the things people love that will be affected by climate change. From the food we love to the homes we live in, they are all at risk from climate impacts such as flooding and drought.

As part of the campaign, the Climate Coalition is taking part in a London event on the 21st September 2014 to coincide with the UN Climate Summit in New York. Simultaneous events will take place globally to demonstrate the scale of public passion for protecting our environment. The London event will include a march and a display of all the things we love that will be affected by climate change. We’ll be calling on David Cameron to show ambition and leadership by outlining the UK’s commitment to taking action to tackle climate change.

Come and join the WI for the event. WI members will be meeting near Temple tube (location to be confirmed) from 11am onwards with a ‘For the Love of… Brunch’ – featuring some of the foods we love that will be affected by climate change – before joining others from the Climate Coalition to walk to Parliament Square. If you’d like to take part in the celebrations, please contact the Public Affairs Department to register your interest. This is an open event, and friends and family are welcome.

 Please contact the public affairs team on pa@nfwi.org.uk or telephone 0207 371 9300 ext. 212 for more information.

 Kind regards
 Mary RobertsNFWI Research and Campaigns Officer


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

the President's Evening

What a very enjoyable evening we spent, catching up on all the news and simply making the most of each other's company. Is there anything better than time spent with friends, accompanied by some good food and drink?

The puddings were gorgeous! (despite the fact that at least half of them arrived with a note saying they weren't up to scratch!) We voted with our feet, as it were, and polished pretty much everything off, so all I can say is that they were tip top! Thank you! 
The Pimms and soft drinks were delectable, too - grateful thanks to our Pimms technician and the providers of the accompaniments! 
Here are Barbara's photos:

The aftermath! 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Wells cathedral tour

Our visit to Wells cathedral was most informative and interesting, each of us learning a lot about a place most of us visit on a fairly frequent basis. Of particular note were the small carvings high up on each of the massive pillars, telling their own story and giving a glimpse into the mind of the stone mason. We decided to organise an embroidery tour of the cathedral, which sounds fascinating!
The Bishop's Table - delightful setting for an apr├Ęs tour cup of tea!
We finished the morning at the Bishop's Table in the very beautiful grounds of the palace.
Thank you Caroline and photographer Brian for the photos.
A delicious egg sandwich! 

Nunney WI trip

Four of us joined The ladies of Nunney WI on Wednesday to enjoy the rich and varied delights of the water walk at the Bishop's Palace in Wells and the organic gardens at Lag Farm, the heart of Yeo Valley. It was a fabulous day! Excellent weather, very good company and a great choice of venues offering something for all interests.

Monday, 14 July 2014

What a fascinating talk!

These two current uniforms were used to demonstrate how the uniforms are made so that they can be readily adjusted to fit  well. The real bearskin busby was marvellous! 
We were expecting our speaker to tell us about the history of military uniforms: wrong! She works for the MOD in the supplies department, and told us all about her work in developing fabrics and clothing for our armed forces. It was quite amazing, everyone was enthralled and not in the least bit surprised to learn that recently she had been awarded the MBE for her services.
A special thank you to Sue V, who really entered into the spirit of the occasion:

This body armour is so heavy! When worn it would have lots of items of kit attached to it as well!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

WI campaigns - we can take part!

The NFWI notes that three people die every day whilst waiting for an organ transplant. We call on every member of the WI to make their wishes regarding organ donation known, and to encourage their families and friends, and members of their local communities to do likewise- Standon and Coates Heath WI - Staffordshire Federation
The WI's campaign encourages members to have a think about donation, make a decision and then talk about it to someone close to them. Time to Talk About Organ Donation is about easing the burden on grieving families. When families have a clear idea about what their deceased loved-one wanted, it makes it so much easier for them to fulfill your wishes. 
- See more at: http://www.thewi.org.uk/campaigns

SOS Bees
You can count bees when you are in your garden or out for a walk! Simply download a free app to your mobile or tablet, and it's easy! Go to
This is organised by Friends of the Earth who will use the data gathered to formulate a policy to safeguard our bees.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

ACWW event in Binegar

Wednesday 6 August 

Refreshments provided, bring your packed lunch (& maybe a cushion!)
Binegar village hall 10 am until 2 pm.  £5

Reidun Sannes (Somerset WI) 'Growing up in Norway'
Anitra Lockwood (Devon WI) Resolution from the Chennai conference
Valerie Stevens (Devon WI) ACWW European Area President : 'My first year in office - news from European travels'

 Displays from the Chennai and Norway conferences,  fair trade stall, raffle and quiz.
It promises to be a very interesting day; those who have been before will recommend it!

Frome Group Summer Social: A Peace Tea

Saturday 21 June saw another lovely afternoon of 'Bygone Times' with a Peace Tea in our Village Hall.  This was our Summer Group Social with members from other local institutes invited.  A special thank you to Sue Rodford (looking every bit a WW1 nurse) for explaining a little about Peace Teas and for making our dainty sandwiches.

The format (and some of the costumes) were in WW1 style along with decorations and bunting to match.

After a brief introduction to the history of Peace Teas and informing us of how WW1 affected millions of British women in both the short and longer term by "Nurse" Sue,  we sang some wartime songs, ably accompanied by Ruth from Nunney Institute. We all tucked into dainty sandwiches, homemade scones, cakes and jam tarts and lashings of tea.

Everyone enjoyed a lovely afternoon, lots of chatter and were reluctant to leave.  Many thanks to all who contributed, by setting up the hall, making food, serving and clearing up, making this such a lovely occasion. It was much appreciated by our visitors who thanked us for our efforts and found "it very friendly and enjoyed the songs".