Kington St Michael Women's Institute
KINGTON ST MICHAEL WI
(Founded 1937. Registered charity no. 1016260)
President: Jenny Hayne
Tel. 01249 750443
Secretary: Sally Isom
Treasurer: Joan Gilbert
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 11th March: WI meeting - AGM with the election of President & Committee, annual report & financial statement. The competition is for a spring cleaning tip.
Tuesday 8th April: WI meeting - Maureen Hinton talks on pots for the patio. The competition is for a spring flower arrangement.
Saturday 12th April: Race Night , in the village hall. Doors open at 7pm for first race at 7.30pm; enter into the spirit of this exciting evening with a dress code of “Point to Point” or “Ascot”. Tickets/race card £7 to include a hot supper, available from Margaret Pratley, 42 The Ridings, KSM. Take your own wine.
April (tbc): John Aubrey Group meeting.
Saturday 2nd August: KSM Flower, Produce & Craft Show. This year’s annual show will be on Saturday 2nd August, 3pm in the village hall, with an auction of produce at 4pm, plus teas and a raffle. So now is the time to start thinking ahead and planning for it. Apart from fruit, vegetables and flowers the show includes photography, handicrafts, flower arranging and there are special fun competitions for children too. All the information you need can be found in the show schedule (click here, and for the recipes please click here )
Do have a go! This is an important village event and has been going since 1974. It would be great if it could be the best ever in this its 40th year. Admission by donation. Any queries please contact Janet Elms on (01249) 750423.
WI News 2014
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
WI News 2013
December ~ Dazzling winter sunshine was a great bonus when 24 walkers left the Ridgeway Sanctuary car park for their December walk and headed down a byway passing a tumulus, towards the pretty village of East Kennett. Tracks and field paths brought us to the West Kennett Long Barrow, where we enjoyed seasonal refreshments and admired the beautiful panoramic views, with impressive Silbury Hill ahead.
At the foot of the hill we crossed the main road and followed the Kennett into the historic village of Avebury. A brisk walk through the Avenue of Stones and a gentle climb brought us back to the car park. Two venues, The Who'd a Thought it at Lockeridge and The Red Lion at Avebury provided delicious lunches.
WI walk, December 2013
December ~ At December's meeting the group enjoyed an evening attempting to make mini Christmas trees with the lovely David Taylor from Westbury, with fun had by all. There was also a large collection of food to be donated to Chippenham Salvation Army, which will distribute it to those in need.
November ~ November WI walk. It was a beautifully sunny morning when 26 members, husbands and friends set off for a late autumn walk. We began with coffee at Allington Farm Shop and then drove to Wick where we set off to walk up the
WI walk 22nd November '13 "Caught in a trap"!
~ The subject for our November meeting was “Clearing Rivers of Invasive Species” and Sam Stork from the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust gave us a very interesting and informative talk. We began by watching a film on the New Forest Native Plant Project where we could see the problems caused to ponds and rivers by New Zealand pigymyweed, parrot’s feather, Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed to name but a few. Sam then explained about the Source to Sea project which covers the rivers in three counties, Hampshire Wiltshire and Dorset where they hope to gradually eradicate these non-native plants. The Trust hopes to get the support of all landowners and the various angling clubs for this project. Although they employ a small number of experts in the use of pesticides the main workforce comes from volunteers and corporate teams who do an outstanding job throughout the summer months clearing the river banks so that our native species can thrive. Finally, Sam told us about the effort which has been made on the local Bybrook River and the ongoing plans to educate and encourage more volunteers to help with this important work.
October ~ WI Walk: On a threatening grey day, eleven of us met at The Star Inn, Hullavington for early morning coffee before moving on to Sherston to start our walk. From Sherston we crossed the river and headed through Pinkney Park, a haven for pheasants and partridges. After crossing a couple of fields we could see Easton Grey House in the distance. Walking through Easton Grey was delightful; such picturesque cottages dating back hundreds of years. From here we joined the Fosse Way and looped back around to Sherston. It was a six mile walk and the rain stayed away, thankfully!
The highlight of the day was lunch at The Rattlebone Inn, Sherston, which provided excellent food.
(WI walk at Sherston and Easton Grey)
~ Unfortunately our speaker this month was unable to come to our meeting but we were delighted to welcome Brian Goodson, the Chairman of Village Link, who gave us a very interesting and informative insight into the work of the charity. The organization, which covers five parishes in north Wiltshire, depends on a group of volunteers who drive those in need of help to various appointments across the area. As Village Link was Kington St Michael WI’s nominated charity this year, the President, Jenny Hayne, presented Mr Goodson with a cheque for £565, which had been raised at the recent buffet lunch. We concluded the meeting by playing board games whilst enjoying refreshments and a chat.
(Jenny Hayne presents a cheque to Brian Goodson from Village Link, 8th October 2013)
~ Members of both KSM and All Angels WIs planted bulbs near The Ridings on 5th October, to replace those dug up following pipe-laying. The bulbs were purchase with £100 donated by British Gas.
(Bulb planting, 5th October 2013)
September ~ The September meeting was how to make handcrafted chocolates, ably demonstrated by Deanna de Burgh from Mells. Her hobby/business was started as a result of a major illness. Using Belgium chocolate she has made all shapes and flavours, even sending a crown and corgi to the Queen for the Jubilee.
In August over twenty people visited Newton House near Yeovil, a listed private house open for one year to raise funds for two cancer charities in support of the owners’ daughter who has breast cancer. The owners, Robin and Jane Cannon, showed the group round, giving a very informative and amusing history of the house and members were left to tour the gardens and enjoyed a cream tea.
August 2013 ~ The recent Flower & Produce Show organised by Kington St Michael WI, which has become an annual feature of the village calendar after 39 years, drew a fine selection of entries despite the difficult growing conditions of this summer.
Trophies were awarded as follows:
Overall winner - Pat Woodward
WI trophy for top man - John Woodward
Vaughan Cup - Liz McCarron Heal
IK Alderman Shield for home baking & preserves- Liz McCarron Heal
WI Vase for floral art - Pat Woodward
Hughes Cup - Liz McCarron Heal
Woodward Cup for photography - Pat Woodward
Novice Cup - Claire Broomsgrove
John Gilbert Cup for under 5 year olds - Elizabeth Clark
Singer Cup for 5-10 year olds - Charlotte Clark
It was particularly encouraging to see members of All Angels WI taking part in the show and the Hughes Cup which is awarded to the top WI member went to a member of the new Institute.
The afternoon ended with an auction of donated produce enthusiastically conducted by Mary Humphreys.
July ~ WI walk: A perfect summer's morning was enjoyed by members and friends for our walk, as we strolled along the Severn Way sandwiched between the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal and the Bristol Channel. We passed the famous Puton Hulks and the towers remaining from the first Severn Bridge. Pretty cottages and gardens were admired in Hinton and Brookend on this flat but interesting walk, with great views across the estuary.
~ The subject of the July meeting was “All Tied Up” and we soon found out why. Anne Fisher brought her amazing collection of scarves – all shapes, sizes and colours. She told us that in Roman times scarves were tied around the wrist to indicate allegiance and as time went on they were used for protection, modesty and a sign of wealth. In 1906 the introduction of the “permanent wave” and open top cars gave rise to a huge increase in the wearing of headscarves. Now scarves are very collectible and very popular. Finally, we all tried to follow Anne’s example as she demonstrated a number of scarf tying techniques. It was a very enjoyable and entertaining evening and we all left determined to try and perfect our scarf tying before the next meeting.
June ~ The speaker this month was Brenda Spenceley who regaled us with tales of her time as a Games Maker at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She arrived in her official uniform and began by showing us the various pieces of official equipment which were issued to her, right down to a water bottle and baseball cap. We learnt that the volunteers were carefully chosen and thoroughly trained before they took up their posts at the Games. Brenda worked on security at the main Olympic site in
May ~ The May meeting dealt with the resolution to be debated at the National Federation Annual General Meeting at
~ Daffodils! Following an approach from KSM WI, Wales & West have donated £100 towards the purchase of new daffodil bulbs to reinstate the grass bank by The Ridings. They have been most helpful and, following discussions, cleared some of the large stones that had come to the surface, replaced the topsoil and reseeded the bank as well as giving the donation.
April ~ The speaker at our April meeting was Keith Conway, a serving prison officer at Erlstoke Prison. His subject “The Work of a Prison Officer” was very enlightening. He told us that he had joined the service in 1989 at Shepton Mallet prison but had moved on to Erlstoke in 1991. At present there are 132 prisons in
March ~ WI Dinner: This year the WI annual dinner was held on the 19th March at Chippenham Golf Club. Thirty four members enjoyed an excellent three course dinner followed by tea and coffee in the brand new club house. It was a very pleasant evening with the added bonus of seeing the new golf club premises at first hand.
~ At the Annual Meeting of the WI 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 that, following another very successful year, membership had now risen to 61. The Denman Bursary was won by Diane Steel and the Betty Wiggins Rose Bowl was awarded to Mary Humphreys for the most competition points over the past year. Our chosen charity for 2013 is Village Link.
February ~ At last we could walk!! After three months of cancelled walks due to weather conditions, 20 walkers enjoyed the February walk. We started in Bradford-on-Avon, passing historic buildings and grand mansions and great views over the River Avon. A gentle incline brought us to the hamlet of Turleigh with large fine Bathstone houses and pretty quarrymen’s cottages, leading on to Winsley where an unusual curved stone squeeze stile lead us on to a path with stunning views over the valley towards Limpley Stoke and eventually dropping down to the Kennet & Avon Canal. A short walk took us to Avoncliff and the Cross Guns for our lunch. Then a brisk walk along the towpath where we were thrilled to see a kingfisher on the opposite side of the canal. We passed the 14th century tithe barn and returned to Bradford-on-Avon.
WI walk at Bradford-on-Avon, February 2013
(Photo courtesy of Jenny Hayne)
~ At February's meeting Veronica Shaw recounted how, feeling ready for a new challenge as her family grew up, she raised £25,000 and undertook a gruelling fitness campaign to enable her to take part in an attempt to complete the unfinished expedition to the South Pole started by explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Along with a team of five she flew to South America on December 11th 2006. The trip got off to a bad start when she and the other members of the team went down with food poisoning and their plane was delayed by bad weather, but on Christmas Eve they arrived on the Polar Plateau to start the journey. Starting out in temperatures of below –35degC and wearing two layers of thermals, five pairs of gloves and two balaclavas as well as outer clothes, fur trimmed hoods, goggles and masks, Veronica was suffering with serious blisters on her feet by the time the team caught a glimpse of the South Pole on the horizon, but it was another eight hours before they eventually reached it on New Year’s Day. Throughout the trek there was just a vast white space ahead, the only sounds were of wind and skis. The team were fascinated to tour the Amundsen-Scott base, where 250 people live and work, before flying back to the Patriot Hills base for their return flight to Chile. At first Veronica found it hard to adjust to normal life but now she has taken on a new challenge by starting up her own company Mums & Co. to support single mothers and their children.
January ~ We started the New Year with an entertaining talk by Michelle Harper entitled “Marilyn Monroe”. Michelle definitely looked the part with her blonde wig, white dress and white stilettos. She shared her enthusiasm and wide knowledge of the film star, who had had a rather sad and difficult childhood. During her career Marilyn took part in 30 films, had 44 affairs and 3 marriages, all of which ended in divorce. She died in Los Angeles, in suspicious circumstances, in 1962, aged just 36. Michelle also entertained us with part of her varied and extensive collection of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia ranging from photos and ornaments to a magnificent umbrella and a life-sized cardboard cut-out.
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
A BRIEF HISTORY
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
. 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. UK
As part of a wider organisation there is the opportunity for members to take part in events further field and to attend courses at
, the WI's own educational centre in Oxfordshire. Denman College
New members and visitors are made most welcome. For more information contact the current President (see top of page).
(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 Kathy Kirby
Mrs Lyn Vaughan
Mrs Barbara Fenner
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