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, 11 December 2019

Meeting 9 December 2019

We had enjoyed our Christmas meal in early December at the Mendip Inn and Christmas was still on our minds with reports of 8 YMCA shoe boxes having been delivered to the ACM in Taunton and still more donations arriving for the Food Bank at the December meeting. However we were looking at social occasions ahead too with bookings being taken for a morning outing on Monday 17th February to Camerton Hall Gardens to see the snowdrops. This would cost £8.50, tea and cake available for an extra £1.50.

We are also working towards the choice of next year’s Resolutions. The list to make our initial choices from is available in the current copy of WI Life and Mary asked members to have a look at this with a view to discussing our preferences at the January meeting when there would be a few other things to remember. Our subs for the year will be due, £43 this time and Caroline mentioned we can pay by bank transfer if we prefer, details will be sent to members. We need to bring a small prize for the raffle and finally for January don’t forget we have the Leigh WI birthday party on Saturday 18th in the Memorial Hall from 12.30, bring a plate of food to share and come and enjoy a chat and a film, which members voted they would like for the entertainment.

Our entertainment for the meeting was in two sections. Firstly the stage was set up with a table full of cake ingredients and Caroline and Jo proceeded to make a cake pantomime style. Mary read out the recipe which included several instructions to “test the vodka to make sure it was all right” with the predictable results! Very funny, maybe they should join an amateur pantomime group next year.

The main entertainment was a talk from author Barbara Spencer. She had led a very interesting life living in many different places, initially sparked off by following the West Indian cricket team. She had written many books for children and given talks in schools on them but now in semi-retirement had started writing for adults.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Christmas Shoe Box Appeal

8 Shoeboxes ready packed to be given to young people staying in the local YMCAs over Christmas.  Thanks for all the fabulous contributions from our members.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Meeting 11 November 2019

Seasonal final arrangements were being made in November for the Christmas meal on the 2nd Dec with a record 30 members signed up and there was still just time to bring some shoe box items for the YMCA. The business items also included information about the Frome Group Social at 7.30 in Frome on Monday 16th December and two lunches, one at Wells golf club with author Nicola Pryce on 29th November and a Social History lunch on 11th February in Trull near Taunton.

We are collecting Christmas items for the Frome Food Bank – members who haven’t already donated may like to bring items to our December meeting.

Members then spent the rest of the evening making ribbon trees under the tuition of Karen, one of our members and her helpers. The pieces of ribbon had all been pre-cut for us and counted into small packs with the right numbers needed for each stage. They had to be atttached to a polystyrene cone with the tiny pins provided in several layers with a star available to put on the top to finish it off. The ribbon had come in different shades and patterns, mainly red, green and silver so there was a great variety of finished trees. The room was fairly quiet while everyone concentrated on what they were doing and all who took part went home with an attractive table decoration.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Meeting 14 October 2019

A fairly brief session of business matters in October which included taking deposits for the Christmas meal at the Mendip Inn on Mon 2nd Dec and reminders about the Wells Carol service and the shoe box appeal. There was information about the county meeting in Taunton on the 23rd Nov which would include an autumn wreath competition, a Denman Dip and the issuing of sheets for the annual Christmas quiz.

Members had brought a lot of items for the “bring and buy” and we were encouraged to buy what we could, although Mary would take anything left to a charity shop.

We then got on to the main theme of the evening which was “Back to School” Several tables had been set out with school related activities on such as colouring in, indoor games and even an exam. We went round in groups of 4 or 5 taking a turn with everything. Many of us found things like balancing a book on our head or answering mathematical problems pretty tricky. Thankfully it was all just for fun! When everyone had tried them all there was a “show and tell” session where many members had brought photos of their school days and some old items of uniform and entertained us with the memories they triggered..

Friday, 13 September 2019

Meeting 9 September 2019

Members had been enjoying several social occasions during the summer. These included the ACWW walk followed by tea and cake at a member’s house, the County Quiz in Frome where one of our teams actually won and the President’s Evening social with the golf croquet and supper. Looking ahead, Christmas loomed into the picture with a mention of the Christmas Meal possibly being at the Mendip Inn as last year, a request for items for the shoe box appeal and the agreement to once again bring some food treats for the food bank in lieu of a Secret Santa arrangement.

For the October meeting we were asked to bring items for a Bring and Buy and also anything to help us take part in a “Back to School” session. This could be a piece of an old uniform, a photograph or simply your memories of the time, your triumphs or misdemeanours.

We then had a fascinating and encouraging talk from Craig Shaw, the founder of local company Advetec. We heard about his career path from the steel industry to diving and finally his present undertaking. Working closely with biologists, Advetec manufactures machines which use specific molecules to digest waste leaving harmless and actually useful by-products suitable for compost or fuel. The company has contracts to deal with waste all over the world including big organisations such as Apple in the US and the whole of Hawaii. They are confident that in a relatively short time they will be able to provide machines we could have in our own back gardens to dispose of rubbish on the spot. This is partly dependant on manufacturers changing the composition slightly of their plastic to include an element susceptible to the microbes. There is even the possibility they will be able to clean up large areas of the sea. It was wonderful to hear some good news on the ecology front for once.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

President's Evening

No business matters to report from our August meeting as this was the President’s evening and as usual a very different format to our normal monthly meetings. This year we all met at the Recreation Field for a session of golf croquet followed by refreshments. Members had all brought a plate of food to share and drinks were provided by the committee. Earlier in the day the weather had looked threatening with dark clouds and some light rain. However, as often seems to be the case in Leigh, as the evening approached things improved, the sun came out and we were able to go ahead as planned.

The golf croquet turned out to be good fun with a proper instructor and a lot of members taking part. We went round the course in groups of 4, two teams of 2, competing for the first team to get one of their balls through each hoop in the correct direction. It was even trickier than it sounded and could be quite tactical. With 7 hoops to negotiate most results were fairly even but one team managed to win 5 hoops so well done to them.

Thank you to everyone who came and brought food and drink to share.  And a BIG Thank You to Marianne Merchant who got so many of us involved in playing golf croquet.

It’s back to indoors for the September meeting on Monday the 9th, when we will hear about Microbes & Mayhem, a deep sea adventure!

Sunday, 11 August 2019


Friday 9 August

Better late than never!  Women Walk the World is held on 29 April - but for various reasons Leigh on Mendip delayed until the summer.  Fortunately, not in the hope of good weather as in early August the recent spell of hot, sunny days became a thing of the past!

Hoping the thunderstorms would pass over we met at the Hall.  At 2pm the heavens opened but after sheltering  we decided to go!
We walked up Leigh High Street, passed the allotments  (looking very good with produce and flowers) and mainly followed the route of the Community Access Footpath.  It didn't take long for the rain to clear and we walked most of the way in the dry.

With good views across to our village and the house where tea and cake were to be served.


Thank you to everyone who came, made cakes, hosted the refreshments and joined in a very enjoyable afternoon.  We made £76.50 which will be sent to the WI at Wilton Lodge to go forward to the ACWW (Associated Countrywomen of the World). This is a Charity that supports projects which allows us to support real-life changes for women in rural; communities around the world. They are women-led, designed by women in their own communities who know best what they need, and we fund them through local women's organisations, like the WI, to ensure maximum impact.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Meeting 8 July 2019

We had a brief recap of the fete at the July meeting, no overall profit figure at that point but Mary thought both the ice creams and tombola had done well and there should be a reasonable pay out as both the weather and footfall had been quite good.

Members had enjoyed the Kilmersdon supper evening and the re-located first Friday lunch, the latter due to be back in the Bell on 2nd August. Numbers had been down for the last coffee morning and Barbara would monitor these to check if worth continuing.

Final reminder for the ACWW walk on Friday 9th August, meet at 2pm at the Hall for about an hour’s walk followed by tea and cake at a member’s house. We then have the Presidents evening on Monday 12th from 6pm on the Rec Field, with a chance to try golf croquet. Please bring along a plate of finger food to share, sweet or savoury, which we will probably eat around 7.30pm, the drinks will be provided by the committee.

Our entertainment was a tasting session which committee members had spent a long time putting together. It was worth their efforts, providing an enjoyable and informative evening. The categories included items such as digestive biscuits, sausages and chocolate. Nearly all had a choice of three samples, mainly with one popular brand item and two different own supermarket’s offerings. We had to choose which one we preferred in each section, not knowing of course which was which. Many of the more expensive brand options did come out of top but there were also some surprises, not least the tap water beating both the bottled offerings. So we can sometimes save some money without sacrificing the quality.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Meeting 10 June 2019

Mary gave us a brief update in June from her visit to the National AGM and will give a fuller report at a later date. We had given her the freedom to decide how to vote on the rural bus issue and although the arguments for it had not been conclusive she did vote for the resolution as those against were not strong enough and it was passed. The Resolution “Don’t Fear the Smear”, already voted in favour of by us in May, was passed with a large majority. It was interesting to know that Resolutions made many years ago are still being worked on and results achieved on many different topics.

Another reminder that the belated ACWW walk would take place in August on Friday 9th from 2pm, starting at the Hall  and the Presidents evening on Monday 12th from 6pm on the Rec Field, with a chance to try golf croquet. Please bring along a plate of finger food to share, sweet or savoury.

Our speaker was a puppy walker from Guide Dogs and brought along her current trainee, Grace. There was so much more involved in the training of these dogs than I think most of us realised with many of the candidates not making it in the final selection due to being either too boisterous or too timid or the discovery of possible health problems. It was particularly interesting to hear about MP David Blunkett’s dogs who have to be black to avoid hairs showing on black suits, to be calm around sheep where he lives in the North, cope with his commute to London by train and then with the busy road traffic in the city, so very special dogs.

The entertainment for our next meeting on July 8th will be rather unusual, as we will be blind tasting various products and comparing our thoughts on them, so maybe only a light dinner beforehand!

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

WI Outing

On a rather chilly evening in May an outing was organised to the Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury.

This horse is an amazing sculpture made from old farming implements and machinery.

We had a very interesting tour led by one of their Staff and learnt so much about the history of the buildings and farming from the 1800s onwards.

The museum is on the site of the former Abbey Farm.  The magnificent 14th century Abbey Barn is among the West Country's finest buildings and the centrepiece of the site.

A great time had by all - including refreshments on the way home!  Thank you to Barbara for organising our trip.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Meeting 13 May 2019

What a busy evening we had at the May meeting. There were the usual business items, the discussion of the Resolutions, the election of President, a show and tell session and refreshments, including savoury nibbles, provided by the committee.

Outings had been enjoyed to the Rural Life Museum and the Spring Road Show and Barbara encouraged members to attend one of these interesting shows if they get a chance. Looking ahead the Frome Group social would be held on Thursday 4th July from 2 to 4pm at Buckland Dinham, your £4 entry charge would include tea and cake and a chance to try golf croquet, names to be taken at the June meeting. In August we would have two Leigh events. The belated ACWW walk would take place on Friday 9th from 2pm and the Presidents evening on Monday 12th from 6pm on the Rec Field, with another chance to try the golf croquet.

In the Resolutions section we heard about the decline of bus services in rural areas and the importance of having smear tests. We had interesting discussions on both topics resulting in giving Mary the option to decide our vote at the National AGM for the buses but to vote in favour about promoting the smear test.

The AGM included a review of the year from Secretary Jan Pattison, presentation of the accounts by Treasurer Caroline Harris and a short summary of her first year as President from Mary Mears. We then confirmed committee members for the coming year and voted on our choice of President which was won by Mary who agreed to stand for another year.

We then had our “show and tell” session with several members telling us what the object they had brought in meant to them.

The meeting on June 10th will have stories from a puppy walker.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Leigh on Mendip Summer Fair


The WI are running the Tombola Stall at the Summer Fair (Saturday 15 June 2019).

Please ask your friends and                            
neighbours if they have any bottles they would like to donate towards the Stall.

Funds raised are divided between all the Village organisations who take part in this event.

Thank You!

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Meeting 8 April 2019

In April there were positive reports of several recent events including the coffee morning, first Friday lunch and the Hall quiz. Mary thanked everyone who had taken part in the village clean up, although there was less rubbish this year, mainly due to the very welcome regular collecting by some villagers.

There had been some changes to the structure of the Frome Group with both Mary and Caroline resigning from their positions as co-ordinator and treasurer respectively. One institute had left the group and the remaining 5 had decided to conduct matters in a more informal way, including each choosing the format of their own group event to host on an average once every 2 years. We are due to run the summer social in 2020.

Planning ahead, for the fete in June we were reminded that both prizes for the tombola stall and volunteers to staff it were needed, so do sign up to the rota if you can when asked.

Finally another reminder, this time about the meeting in May. This is our AGM when we would be discussing the Resolutions. One is a call against the decline in local bus services and the other is titled “Don’t fear the smear”. Both need to be voted on, lots of information in WI Life to help you make up your mind. This will be followed by a “bring and tell” session, with anything interesting you would like to bring along, the telling part not compulsory!

We then had a talk about her work as a Registrar from WI adviser June Greenway who had stepped in when the booked speaker had to withdraw. She told us many amusing and interesting stories about her work including how inflexible the rules are about the right paperwork etc., something many applicants don’t understand.

The meeting on May 13th, Resolutions etc., see above.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Meeting 11 March 2019

Final names were being taken in March for our outing to the Somerset Rural life museum in May and Mary was pleased to announce that as this is an educational trip the cost of this for members would be taken from WI funds which were currently at a good level. We were also asked if we wanted to take part in the annual Tarmac Trophy quiz taking place in the Hall on April 6th, although it was unclear how many had volunteered for this. Before then our annual litter pick was due on Saturday 16th March and members were encouraged to join in with this and the refreshments afterwards.

Various events, including these, were listed on a printout attached to our County News copies so do check this if you are unsure of any dates. Looking ahead to the Resolutions for the National AGM, it had been decided to have two topics, the first about the decline in local buses and the second on fear about smear tests, so both would need discussing.

Our entertainment was a session of belly dancing led by Wafaa Powell.  She had held a similar evening 11 years ago which some of us did remember. She told us a little about the background of belly dancing, originally developed to improve health, not to entertain men as some think and even now is mostly done amongst women. Those who could joined in and others sat and watched while she built a simple routine for us by putting several moves together. It was good fun plus some exercise at the same time. Finally she did a demonstration dance to show us how it really should be done.

Our talk on 8th April is called “Grumpy travels the Americas” .

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Meeting 11 February 2019

Mary welcomed our members and a guest to the February meeting.  The celebration of our Institute’s 70th birthday at The Bell had been a great success.  We were joined by a number of husbands and people had great fun joining in the games of skittles.  Members had not been put off by the snow for our monthly lunch.  The Monday coffee morning had 14 people attending. The Village Clean Up is on Saturday 16 March starting at 2pm.  Please do come along – this is not just for the WI.  Tea and cake served afterwards.  There was some discussion on the Frome Group of WI Institutes.  Caroline after a number of years will be stepping down as their Co-ordinator.  The next meeting will be on 26 March at Nunney and a number of our members will be going.  Looking further ahead to the Village Fair Mary suggested members could start collecting Tombola prizes and she is happy to store them at her house.  Other events to look forward to are an evening outing to the Rural Life Museum and a trip to the Merlin theatre in Frome to see ‘Allo Allo’. 

We then had a very interesting talk from Fiona Blackmore on “My Life as a Gardener”.  She had always been interested in the outdoors and was encouraged by both her grandfathers who were keen gardeners.  She had studied Geography at University but later re-trained in Horticulture and Softscaping.  She works at a local plant nursery and they travel extensively to various Shows, including Chelsea, where they have won many gold medals.  When she is not busy at work she has her own garden to look after, which included digging a pond and keeping chickens and goats!  We saw some lovely slides of her work.

Our meeting on 11 March at 7.30pm will be on Open Meeting – so please if you haven’t come along before or it is a while since we have seen you please do join in.  We will be having a demonstration on Belly Dancing - participation for those who wish to join in!

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Birthday Social at the Bell Inn

We celebrated our birthday again with a social evening of Skittles, food and drink on Friday 18th January. Twenty four members/partners enjoyed a fun evening of Skittles in the Bell Inn, with Martin winning the overall score and Daggs winning the game of "Killer".

Many of us also enjoyed a meal beforehand and there was plenty of time to catch up with friends and for our newer members to get to know others and their partners too.

Thanks to Denis for doing the scoring and for the two young ladies doing the  "sticking up".

A very successful and sociable evening all round!

Wednesday, 16 January 2019


The WI started in Leigh on Mendip in 1949 and we will very soon be celebrating our 70th Birthday!

We had refreshments and cake at our Monday meeting.  As a reminder to members we will be holding a Fun Event in the Skittles Alley at The Bell this coming Friday evening (18 January).  Come along and bring your family & friends.

Meeting 14 January 2019

In January we were celebrating our Institute’s 70th birthday with cake at the monthly meeting and a skittles social evening planned for Friday 18th. There were positive reports of the recent coffee morning in the Hall and First Friday lunch in the Bell and we heard from one of our members how much she had enjoyed the WI carol service in Wells Cathedral. The new programme cards were given out and it was pointed out no outings were listed but any ideas through the year for these would be very welcome. The voting slips for the Resolutions were collected plus the yearly subscriptions and we were reminded to bring along a raffle prize if we had not already done so. Jo reported from the fete committee that the Saturday would go ahead with stalls etc much as in previous years and there would also be barn dance on the Friday before. There was a suggestion that the WI sell strawberries and cream rather than Pimms/Mocktails as part of our contribution which was agreed by members.

We then had a very interesting and detailed talk on climate change and global warming from Phil Gulvin. He studied earth science many years ago and reverted to this in recent times to give lectures to OU students after many years as a vicar. It became clear how difficult the science of predicting climate change is as so many factors can affect it although it seems generally agreed that one, global warming, needs addressing and we can all do a little to help with this.

Our meeting on 11th February at 7.30pm will include a talk called “My Life as a Gardener” from Fiona Blackmore who works in a local plant nursery.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Happy New Year

Wishing all of our current and prospective members, friends and followers a very Happy New Year.

We look forward to seeing you at our meetings and events over the coming year.

Take a look at the Programme and Information link to the right to find our 2019 Programme and Committee List.

See below for a summary of our recent events and many photographs.

If you are new to the area, or just never been to WI before, please do come along to a meeting as a visitor and meet us before you decide if you would like to join. Details are posted here and on the Village Website What's On page.

We are here to offer friendship, share skills and new experiences and have fun together.

We hope to see you soon.

Mary Mears and the Committee