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.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Meeting 10 December 2018

At our December meeting we heard how much our donations to  the shoe box appeal and the food bank had meant to the organisations that run them, both being delighted at the amount sent. The Christmas meal at the Mendip Inn and the Christmas Tree festival in the church had been very successful with our tree based around loneliness winning the best themed entry prize.

Reminders of forthcoming events included the usual first Friday lunch on January the 4th in the Bell and also in the Bell our 70th birthday celebration skittles evening on Friday 18th. Mary asked us to have a look at the information about the Resolutions both in the County News and the WI Life and if possible bring a voting slip from the latter, with our choice on, to the January meeting, spare slips will also be available on the night. Mary also asked us to look out for her e mail with a short survey about food banks etc.

Our subs for next year will be £42, due in January and can either be paid by cheque or online, details for the latter to follow. Finally it was announced that mainly due to the larger numbers of members now, fund raising with the raffle is not essential but members voted to continue with it just for fun so please bring a small prize to the January meeting for the draws throughout the year.

In an entertaining, partly acting style and using letters sent to Emily Davis, our speaker, Sue Jennings, told us all about England’s first female physician, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. After much difficulty but with the support of her father, Elizabeth was finally admitted to the Society of Apothecaries although she had to go to Paris to study for her MD. She went on to set up the first medical college for women in the UK.

Our meeting on 14th January will include a talk on climate change.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

The Loneliness Tree

Our entry of "The Loneliness Tree" won the Best Themed Christmas Tree at the Christmas Tree Festival at St Giles Church last weekend. This ties in with the WI's Resolution on Alleviating Loneliness.

Red hands joined in friendship and baubles denoting a wide range of village and local activities adorned the tree. A leaflet was available to take away giving more details of the activities locally that people could come along to in order to meet others. Everything from joining a Rock Choir, doing some volunteering or just talking to your neighbour was suggested.

Many thanks to all those involved in designing and creating the decorations.  Our prize of a tin of chocolates will be shared at our January meeting.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Christmas Coffee Morning

Christmas Treats for all who come to the regular monthly Coffee mornings in the Village Hall.
Next event will be on Monday 7 January, 9.45 to 10.45am.
Do come along if you are free.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Shoe Box Gifts for the YMCA

Today I handed over the Shoe Boxes, full of both basics and treats, to be given to clients of the YMCA over Christmas time.  Due to the fantastic generosity of our members, we amassed goods to fill 8 boxes as well as some extra items to be given out as needed.

Well done every one and a huge THANKYOU from my YMCA contact.  Mary

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Meeting Monday 12 November 2018

It was good to see so many members at our November meeting plus plenty of donations for our shoe box appeal and Christmas themed items for the food bank. We are also expecting a record number at our Christmas meal on Monday 3rd Dec, so Leigh WI is certainly flourishing.

Reminders for forthcoming events included the usual first Friday lunch at the Bell from, 12.15 on the 7th of December which would be followed, for those interested, by the WI carol service at Beckington at 3pm. That weekend, the 8th and 9th, would also see the Christmas tree festival in the church where we would have an entry and refreshments would be available. Looking further ahead our birthday celebrations next year would be a skittles evening in the Bell on Friday 18th of January. Everyone, including partners and friends, is welcome to come along, either to play or just to watch. No food provided but you can order a meal from the Bell if you wish.

Our speaker, Tiggy Trethowan, had worked for many years behind the scenes in both theatre and television. This had been inspired as a child by watching Blue Peter and she did eventually manage to fulfil her ambition to work on that programme for a while. However the work which she enjoyed most was for the Antiques Roadshow. She came in as production unit manager to help completely update the show when it started using stately homes for venues. This included providing good security and first aid facilities and generally creating order from chaos. She had 10 years in the job and only retired from it due to failing eyesight. We also enjoyed seeing her guide dog Jackie who she had brought along and now goes everywhere with her.

The speaker in December on the 10th will tell us about the Life of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, England’s first female physician.

Food Bank

We do a monthly collection of donations of food from our members which are given to the Frome Food Bank.
However, at this time of the year instead of doing a 'Secret Santa' gift at our Christmas meal we also make extra Festive donations to help those less fortunate than ourselves have a more special time.
Thank you to our members.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Meeting Monday 8 October

Christmas preparations were beginning in earnest at our October meeting. The Christmas meal had been booked for Monday 3rd December at the Mendip Inn which the committee had chosen following a lot of thought and research. Deposits were taken for this where possible and menu choices made.

Some donations had already been made for the Christmas shoe box appeal but there is still time to make a contribution. Various items are needed for either men or women including socks, instant food and drink sachets, sweets and small toiletries but basically anything small, either useful or a treat. Bring your gifts along to the November meeting or give to a committee member.

Do you enjoy decorating Christmas trees? If the answer is yes you may like to be part of a small group needed to put together our WI’s entry for the competition in the church this year. No decision yet on the theme as the group will decide that, although suggestions of either plastic pollution or loneliness have been made. Contact president Mary Mears or any committee member if you feel this is something you may be able to help with.

Our speaker, Lysbeth Ballantine, told us all about the history of the “Save the Children” charity from its formation nearly 100 years ago to the present day. She had been a volunteer for many years, now mainly fundraising and promoting the charity through talks such as this. Led for many years now by the Princess Royal, they work all over the world, including the UK, saving children’s lives, with far reaching action rather than just a “quick fix”.

At our next meeting on Monday 12th November at 7.30pm the speaker will tell us all about her career “Behind the scenes in TV”.

Monday, 8 October 2018

WI Dates



Forthcoming Events
·         Christmas Meal, Monday 3rd December at The Mendip Inn on the A37 near Oakhill. £23.50 2 courses, £26.50 for 3 courses. Please let Kaz or Mary know ASAP if you want to come (or even if not) £10 deposit to Mary by 22nd October latest. Menu choices and cheque for the balance at November meeting latest. 
·         Programme Planning Meeting Monday 15th October at Caroline’s 7.30pm ALL welcome to help chose our 2019 speakers/events or send ideas in advance.

·         Village Quiz 17th November – partners welcome – names ASAP please
·         Frome Group Carol Service – Friday 7th Dec 3pm at Beckington. Names and arrangements to be sorted in November
·         Village Christmas Tree Festival – 8/9 Dec in the church. Small group needed to create our entry.
·         Food Bank Christmas gifts – we would like to do a collection for this again – small treat food items. Bring to November meeting
·         70th Birthday celebration – Friday 18th January 2019 – Skittles in the Bell Inn – partners/friends/kids welcome.  Meal booking optional.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Meeting Monday 10 September 2018

At the September meeting members reported having enjoyed our recent social events such as the First Friday lunch in the Bell and the President’s Evening Social. Those who came to the latter had a very good evening of food and chat, the “speed chatting” being particularly successful. We were now looking forward to the Group Social in Leigh on the 26th of September and names and payment were taken of those volunteering to help or just joining in.

Mary had details of the Somerset County weekend at Denman which offers the choice of several activities with the possibility of a bursary from our WI to help with the cost. If you think you may be interested let Mary or any other committee member know.

Looking ahead to Christmas we had some news about the annual shoe box collection. This is now being accepted at our local YMCA rather than collated by the County WI so we will have a little longer before Christmas to get our donations together. The members were happy to continue with this.

Our speaker Derek March gave us a potted history of England with relation to how cheese making started and continued about many of the types made. He had an enthusiastic style with lots of extra little bits of non-cheese information added in including the basics of his recipe for a game pie! We then had the chance to taste some of the cheese he had brought along.

Our next meeting on Monday 8th October at 7.30pm will include a talk about the Save The Children charity.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Visit to Wells Cathedral

What a fabulous opportunity to do a High Tour Visit at Wells Cathedral.   

A really interesting and informative trip around the Cathedral.  We learnt so much from our two Guides.

It is not usual to be able to see Jack Blandifers, who hits a bell with a hammer held in his right hand, so close up.

And a close-up view of the Clock.  We went behind the scenes and saw where the choristers used to sing out and the trumpeters blew their horns to the people congregating on what is now the Green.

Would certainly recommend this to anyone who doesn't mind heights and climbing up some narrow spiral staircases.

President's Evening

What a good evening we had in the Village Hall on Monday 13 August.  This year there were just too many members to host this event in the President's house.  As you can see there was an amazing selection of food.  Thank you to everyone who came and brought a dish for us all to share.

However, before the eating we all had a drink and then sat down to play a game where everyone got the chance to chat and find out something new about our fellow members.  It was like "speed dating" and thank you to Caroline for the idea and to you all for joining in the fun!

A great team effort - many hands make light work (putting out and taking down tables & chairs and work "behind the scenes" in the kitchen with washing & drying up).

It was so lovely to hear our new members comment on the great evening and "do you do this every year?".  Roll on 2019!!

Friday, 3 August 2018

County Fun Quiz

This was held at a number of different venues on Wednesday 25 July.

A team of 6 from Leigh on Mendip put their brains to the test - and were very pleased to come third out of eight teams.

Thank you to Frome WI for hosting this event and providing a delicious quiche supper.

Visit to Stoberry Gardens

A Group Event was arranged at Stoberry Gardens in Wells on 19 June.  A number of the WI ladies from Leigh on Mendip really enjoyed their evening here.  The gardens are wonderful with stunning views.

After a talk and walk around the grounds we had refreshments and it was lovely to meet up with members from other locals WIs.

A big Thank You from Leigh on Mendip to the organisers.

Summer Events

Leigh On Mendip Summer Fair

Thank you to everyone who supported our efforts at the 2018 Summer Fair.  Pity about the weather.  With the sunshine now I am sure we would have sold more ice-creams and Pimms!!

The Tombola Stall was a great success. We are very grateful to those WI members and other people in the Village who donated bottles, gifts, etc. etc.

Our share of the pay-out will help pay  the Speakers for our 2019 Programme.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Meeting Monday 9 July 2018

In July it was confirmed that several people had agreed to help with some of the tasks Mary Mears had been carrying out and that this meant she was able to take on the President’s job as hoped.

The business matters included the cancellation of the Group business meeting on the 25th of July and some more detail on the Group Social meeting on the 26th of September. There would be a light supper and a speaker for £3.50 a head and members were asked to think about whether they were able to help or just attend.

The recent lunch in the Bell had been well attended and Mary reminded members this was a first Friday regular occasion which people could just drop in to if they were free. It was noted the monthly coffee morning would not take place in August but the lunch would. We were also looking ahead to the President’s evening social in the Hall on August 13th, most had signed up to say what they were bringing, if you still need to, please let Mary or Barbara know before the 13th.

The programme planning meeting had been arranged for Monday 15th of October. If you have any ideas for speakers etc. do either go along to the meeting or let a committee member know beforehand.

We then had a talk from ex-nurse Lottie Dale who has been selling Aloe Vera products for several years. She explained all about the types and formats available and about many of the uses they have. We were able to sample both the cream, which can help aching joints and the liquids which can help with all sorts of situations including improving your immune and digestive systems.

Our next meeting will be Monday 10th September at 7.30pm with a talk about English Country Cheeses, including a tasting!