Kington St Michael Village Website
Informing Our Community Since August 2004

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Kington St Michael Women's Institute

WI logo  

(Founded 1937.  Registered charity no. 1016260)

A member of the National & Wiltshire Federations of WI & the John Aubrey Group


President:        Jenny Hayne

                          Tel. 01249 750443

Secretary:        Nina Rack
Treasurer:       Viv Penney


Kington St Michael WI meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm in the village hall, when members generally have the opportunity to listen to a speaker. They also take part in skittles and whist leagues, which are county wide.  Outings are arranged periodically.   We have over 53 members mainly from Kington St Michael, Chippenham and Stanton St Quintin.  New members are always welcome.  For further details please contact Jenny Hayne on 01249 750443.

Newsletters: there is a newsletter each month from the Wiltshire Federation.

Other things to do:

     Walking group: meets monthly for walks of 5 – 6 miles.
     Days Out group: Occasional days out to National Trust properties (and a few non-NT ones), with car   
     and petrol cost share.
     Book group: meets on the 4th Thursday of the month.
     Quilting & sewing group: meets weekly.
     Skittles team: plays in the WI league during the winter. 

If you are interested in any of these activities, please speak to the President or any committee member.

(Towards the bottom of this page is a brief history of KSM WI, with photos of the WI Reminiscences booklets from 1987 and 2007.  There is also a list of presidents from 1937 to date.) 



  Meetings & Events:


Tuesday 2nd September: WI committee meeting, 7.30pm at Jill Bishop's house.

Tuesday 9th September: WI meeting.  Luke Simon will give a talk entitled School in a Bag.  The competition is "when I was a child my satchel contained..."

Tuesday 16th September: Skittles evening in Kington St Michael Club.

Week commencing 22nd September: WI walk, leaving The Ridings at 9am.  Details to follow from Viv Penney.


Tuesday 14th October: WI meeting.  Keith Shepherd will talk on old houses in Wiltshire.  The competition is for a photo of a Wiltshire landmark.


Week commencing 20th October: WI walk, leaving The Ridings at 9am.  Details to follow from Jenny Hayne.


Tuesday 11th November: WI meeting. Dr Frances Burroughs will talks on the wonderful world of glass.  The competition is for a favourite piece of glass.


Tuesday 9th December: WI meeting.  Christmas social with a bring and share supper.  The competition is for your most treasured Christmas decoration.



Tuesday 13th January: WI meeting.  Dee Masters will give a talk entitled Around the World with two pairs of Knickers.  The competition is “Five items I must take on holiday”.


Tuesday 10th February:  WI meeting.  Sugar craft with Lesley Bastone.  The competition is for the kitchen gadget you never use.


February: Bingo evening – details to follow.

Saturday 7th March: Progresive supper - details to follow, but save the date!  Orgainsed by Kington St Michael and All Angels WIs.

Tuesday 10th March: WI meeting.  Annual Meeting with the election of President and Committee and the annual report and financial statement.  The competition is for a spring posy.


Tuesday 14th April:  WI meeting.  A flower arranging workshop with Margaret Bayliss; members’ efforts will be judged.

WI News 2014

August ~   A colourful display of flowers, fruit and vegetables lent a festive air to Kington St Michael village hall at this year's annual show.  Delicious cakes, tasty jams and chutneys, beautifully hand-worked craft items and children's fun entries all added to the competition.  The afternoon was rounded off with a light hearted auction of donated produce.

The overall winner was Pat Woodward.  Other cup winners were:

WI Trophy for men - John Woodward
Vaughan Cup for ladies - Claire Broomsgrove,
IK Alderman Shield for homebaking and preserves - Liz McCarron Heal
WI Vase for floral art - Claire Broomsgrove
Hughes Cup for the top scoring WI member - Claire Broomsgrove
Woodward Cup for photography - Pat Woodward
Novice Cup - Bruce Low
Singer Cup for 5-10 years old - Charlotte Clark
John Gilbert Cup for under 5 years old - Elizabeth Clark

July ~ At last!  Third time lucky, on a glorious July morning, members and friends left Ramsbury, crossing the tranquil Kennet and following tracks, we arrived at Littlecote Manor and admired the beautiful Roman mosaics.  A gradual incline through cool woodland eventually brought us back to Ramsbury and a delicious lunch at The Bell.

WI walk at Littlecote Manor, July 2014
WI walk at Littlecote Manor, July 2014

~ In “My Life as an Auctioneer” Gordon Brockman entertained us with the story of how an enforced change of career had taken him from saleroom porter to trainee auctioneer and valuer, and finally to his position today as a trusted auctioneer at a local saleroom.  He shared with us the problems of valuation days and the thrill of bringing down the hammer on an exciting lot.  Gordon passed on a number of tips for those considering buying or selling antiques and we even tried our hands, rather unsuccessfully, at valuing a number of items he had brought with him.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining evening.

June ~ WI Walk 17th June: The view from the top of Edington Hill more than compensated for the heaby rain which poured down on a dozen WI members and friends.  After the hill we followed the Imber Range path, eventually dropping down through Baynton Hillside Wood  to reach Baynton House, along a narrow path leading onto the pretty little Church at Coulston and on through the village.  We travelled along field paths, passing the remains of a moat and on a steep hill, the site of an early castle.  A lane brought us back to the village of Edington and, at last, sunshine.  After a few more minutes walking we reached The Three Daggers for a delicious lunch.

~ “Natural skin care and beauty without poisons” was the subject of our June meeting.  Jill Cockerton talked about the toxicity of many of the preparations which we buy in the shops.  She told us how she had spent several years researching natural products,  talking to chemists and negotiating European Union regulations before producing her own range of 100% natural skin care products.  Having been a social worker for 20 years she proceeded to set up her own business and was enjoying passing on her knowledge to others.  Finally Jill demonstrated how easy it is to make a facial scrub and a lavender scented bath bombe at home, as well as giving helpful tips for using strawberries, avocado and oatmeal and many other everyday products for the care of our skin.

May ~ April's race night raised £558.

~ We joined forces with All Angels WI for a litter pick-up around the village.


WI litter pick-up 12.05.14
The litter pickers, 12th May 2014.

April  ~ WI walk: Would it stop raining?  It didn’t, so 12 members and friends and  Tinca the dog braved the elements and set off from the Old Post Office in Guiting Power.  We walked along tracks, through the hamlet of Barton, crossed the Windrush river, through valleys adorned with cowslips and gorse to reach the Cotswold Farm Park.  After passing through Adam Henson’s farmyard, we approached open countryside; the only thing brightening up the skyline, was the oilseed rape!  The walk was shortened, the picnic eaten at home, but we enjoyed the exercise and company.

 ~ April's  talk was entitled “Pots for the Patio” and Maureen Hinton gave us plenty of hints for planting pots to give colour and interest all the year round, from black grass and snowdrops in winter to patio sweet peas which flower for several months in the summer.  There were also helpful ideas for growing seasonal vegetables in pots.   She also passed on handy tips for making cut flowers last longer when put in water and demonstrated several beautiful flower arrangements.  Finally Maureen told us how to make a scented summer pot pourri.

March ~ The Annual Meeting of the WI was held.  Various Bye Laws were adopted and a new committee was elected.  Those standing down were thanked for their hard work and new members were introduced to the meeting.  Jenny Hayne was re-elected as President.  The Committee’s Annual Report and Treasurer’s Report were both approved and, in the President’s address we heard details of another very successful year, with the sewing group, walking group, book club and skittles team all continuing to thrive.  The Denman Bursary was won by Carol Barratt and the Betty Wiggins Rose Bowl was awarded to Norma Hughes for the most competition points over the past year. 

February ~  Our speaker, Charlotte Popescu, began by telling us about how her idyllic country childhood in Oxfordshire with ponies, bantams, an orchard and a large vegetable garden had sowed the seeds for her future foray into keeping hens in her own garden.   Fifteen years ago Charlotte purchased two light Sussex hens and two bantams and her passion for chickens has continued unabated until now. Her garden is full with a mixture of 50 chickens, cockerels and bantams of all shapes, sizes and colours.  We were entertained with an amazing slideshow and tales of the escapades of the various hens.  Foxes and badgers had proved a problem and so CCTV cameras had been installed and two alpacas joined the menagerie with a view to deterring the predators.  Finally, Charlotte, who has written a number of books on the subject, gave advice on how to begin keeping chickens in the garden, the best breeds and the type of henhouses.  It was clear that if you want really fresh, free range eggs, then the only answer is to keep your own chickens.      

January ~ Our first meeting of the New Year was well supported for an entertaining talk entitled “Location, Location, Location” by Lynda Warren.  After leaving school and acquiring a secretarial training, which her mother thought would be a good idea, Lynda was successful in her application to join a Swindon theatre company and this was the beginning of a long and happy career as a location scout.  At the theatre she met her husband, a props and special effects expert, and together they set up their own company to support film and television crews.  They travelled all over the country sourcing locations in places such as castles, stately homes, supermarkets, launderettes and even a London sewer.  Lynda explained the difficulties of preparing the sites for filming, looking after the film crews, keeping the locals happy and then returning everything to its original condition or in some cases into a better state.  Finally Lynda regaled us with some behind the scenes anecdotes from such TV favourites as Casualty, Only Fools and Horses and Fawlty Towers.  It was a very interesting and amusing talk and Lynda concluded by telling us that she is now enjoying working at Disneyland in Paris.

WI News 2013
To view the news events and photos from 2012 please click here.

WI News 2012
To view the news events and photos from 2012 please
click here

WI News 2011
To view the news events and photos from 2011 please click here

WI News 2010
To view the news events and photos from 2010 please click here

WI News 2009
To view the news, events and photos from 2009 please click here

WI News 2008
To view the news, events and photos from 2008 please click here



Kington St. Michael WI was established on 3rd December 1937; a branch of the National Federation of Women's Institutes which is the largest voluntary women's organisation in the UK.  This seeks to offer women the opportunity to develop interests and skills in a wide range of subjects including sport, craft and science.  It also takes an interest in issues of the day, which affect us all on a local, national and international level - but above all it provides an environment of fun and friendship.  

As part of a wider organisation there is the opportunity for members to take part in events further field and to attend courses at Denman College, the WI's own educational centre in Oxfordshire. 

New members and visitors are made most welcome.  For more information contact the current President (see top of page).

WI reminiscences booklets
(Illustration by the late Kathy Kirby & photo by Linda Durno. 
Thank you to Jenny Hayne for providing the above booklets.)

Presidents from 1937 to date (some serving several times)

1937 - 1987
Mrs Thompson
Mrs Rawlings
Mrs Evans
Mrs Adams
Mrs Lee
Mrs Summers
Mrs Vincent
Mrs Kathy Kirby
Mrs Higgins
Mrs Taylor
Mrs Lyn Vaughan
Mrs Barbara Fenner
Mrs Humphrys
Mrs Jenny Hayne
Mrs Janet Elms
Mrs Margaretta Strickland

1987 to date (with thanks to Janet Elms)

1988/89: Mrs Margaretta Strickland
1989/90: Mrs Mary Humphreys
1990/1 Mrs Mary Humphries
1991/2: Mrs Kay Sambell
1992/3: Mrs Kay Sambell
1993/4: Mrs Joan Jackson
1994/5: Mrs Joan Jackson
1995/6: Mrs Joan Jackson
1996/7: Mrs Barbara Fenner
1997/8: Mrs Barbara Fenner
1998/9: Mrs Barbara Fenner
2001/02: Mrs Kay Sambell
2002/03: Mrs Mary Humphreys & Mrs Janet Elms
2003/04: Mrs Janet Elms
2005/06: Mrs Janet Elms
2006/07: Mrs Kay Sambell
2008/09: Mrs Kay Sambell
2009/10: Mrs Viv Penney
2010/11: Mrs Viv Penney
2011/12: Mrs Viv Penney
2012/13: Mrs Jenny Hayne
2013/14: Mrs Jenny Hayne
2014/15: Mrs Jenny Hayne

The first Flower & Produce Show was staged in 1974.

The old WI logo  

The WI movement was founded in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada, by Adelaide Hoodless, a farmer's wife.  Having lost a child through, as she thought, her lack of knowledge of household skills and hygiene, she realised that there were other women in the same position who had the will to learn and so the WI movement was born.

The first WI in the UK was started in Llanfair PG, Angelsey, in 1915. The 90th Anniversary of the formation of the National Federation of Womens' Institutes was celebrated in 2005.  Nationally, there are 230,000 members who have the opportunity to enjoy friendship, learn new skills and broaden their interests, and ,as a corporate body influence local, national and international affairs.

In 2009 the Wiltshire Federation of Womens' Institutes celebrated its 90th Anniversary.