November Update

Our November meeting was planned as an online origami paper folding session filmed with a rostrum camera, but the new lockdown restrictions meant filming in a private home was impractical, and once again some quick thinking was needed. Everyone taking part was sent a pack of paper, with instructions on how to make a water lily gift bow, and almost everyone managed to make one, and also a paper Christmas tree. As our meeting came after the Remembrance weekend, we also had a poem from World War II and a song and video on women in wartime sent by Marty Kristian of the New Seekers.
Next month is, of course, our Christmas meeting, on Monday December 14th at 7.30pm, and we intend to celebrate via Zoom even if we can’t have our usual party in person. We will have a Christmas quiz, and prizes for the best Christmas outfit – Santa, Sparkly, anything goes! – and the best Christmas bloom.
In January we will have another speaker; Beth Butcher will explain all about British Sign Language. This has been booked as a Zoom session for Monday January 11th, and hopefully before too long we may be able to hold face-to-face meetings again.

We are a very friendly group and visitors are most welcome, there is no charge for your first three visits. If you would like more information about joining our Zoom meetings or learning more about our WI please feel free to call Debbie on 741384.

Shorwell Women’s Institute

2020, if nothing else, has taught us to expect the unexpected, make the most of what we can do and realise that there is no point trying to forward plan too far.
October 2020 saw Shorwell WI reach it’s 72nd birthday. Our original plans included a meal out, a monthly meeting where we would sing Jerusalem and enjoy a piece of birthday cake and glass of fizz and hear a real speaker. Not to be thwarted we managed a Covid secure meeting using Zoom; we heard from Peta Allingham, a very enthusiastic mainland speaker, who regaled us with her ‘Travels in a Quirky Car’ a Citroen 2CV. Our talented member Hilary played Jerusalem and Happy Birthday on her flugel and all our members had a small (pre-wrapped) cake delivered later in the month.
Those of you following the WI may know that our next meeting Monday 9th November 7.30pm would have been our annual meeting. With the agreement of all the IOW WIs, our Federation has delayed the annual meeting by 6 months, and it will now be held during quarter 2 of 2021. Thanks go to the members of Shorwell WI’s existing committee who have very kindly agreed to extend their tenure.
Our November meeting will now be a join in craft session. With the aid of a rostrum camera within the Zoom session, members will be able to follow the folding instructions to make Christmas ornaments and a card by folding paper (origami). Prior to the session members taking part will have a pack delivered containing all the necessary materials.
We are a very friendly group and visitors are most welcome, there is no charge for your first three visits. If you would like more information about joining our Zoom meetings or learning more about our WI please feel free to call Debbie on 741384.

September Up-date

Who would have thought, as we attended our WI monthly meeting in March 2020 that come October we would not have met again as a WI? We had a full programme planned and much to look forward to for the remainder of the year.

Following the announcement that we would be ‘locked-down’ and not to be deterred by any virus small or large, we took some time to take stock and re-evaluate our resources. With the help of a member with much technical resource available, a Committee who have been determined to keep the wheels on the WI bus and enthusiasm from many of our members we revamped our programme to suit the times. 

Since March we have been holding our monthly meetings using ‘Zoom’. To give us time and confidence to got to grips with the technology and seeing ourselves on screen, we started with homegrown ideas. We had a Quiz, played Bingo, participated in a home scavenger hunt whilst enjoying a cheese and wine evening, held some competitions and caught up socially. What a lovely way to keep the WI spirit of friendship alive.

To make sure we maintain contact with those not able to, or not inclined to zoom, we still send out our monthly newsletter, members’ birthdays have continued to be recognised and of course the phones are well used!

Lockdown easing was announced, and we planned and held a self-catered picnic, all socially distanced of course with no sharing of food, crockery or seats. It was all going so well until the rain started and failed to stop!

Fast forward to September and we felt sufficiently competent to invite a ‘real speaker’ to our Zoom meeting. Keith spoke to us about his career and experiences from a Cadet to Chief-Superintendent of South Yorkshire Police (now retired). Although a seasoned speaker, this was also Keith’s first Zoom talk.  It all worked well and proved a great success and for the first time, one of our members was able to invite a non-technical member to join the meeting, socially distanced but in the same living room.

At the time of writing this, it is Day 2 of living with the ‘rule of 6’. Our expectation is that, for the foreseeable future, Zoom will be our method of meeting.

Our next meeting will be Monday 12th October 7.30pm with speaker, Peta Allingham delivering a light-hearted talk called ‘Travels in a Quirky Car’.

We are a very friendly group and visitors are most welcome, there is no charge for your first three visits. If you would like more information about joining our Zoom meetings or learning more about our WI please feel free to call Debbie on 741384.

Our Year to Date

Can you believe that as you read this we are already looking towards the middle of the year? At the point of writing we have just had our March meeting in Shorwell and were thrilled to have Sarah Evans as our speaker. Sarah grew up in Brighstone. She now lives on the mainland, but during a family visit was able to come and give us a fabulous insight into her and her family’s experience of living on the Falkland Isles for a year. We were pleased to welcome a number of guests to our meeting, some from other local WI’s and some who had come along just to hear Sarah’s story. Sarah bases her stories around a very large picture of a Gentoo Penguin which she has created in mixed media.

In February we were humbled to hear from two speakers. Lauren Fry, from Young Carers gave an update on how our 2019 fundraising money had been spent and Kathryn Grimes provided an insight into our 2020 chosen charity The Wight Brainy Bunch.  Sadly both charities exist due to a local IOW need. It was great to hear about the work they do and how successful both charities have been and continue to be.

Also in February we held our annual fundraising event, this year instead of Soup we opted to provide a Ploughman’s and Pudding lunch, mainly to ease the strain in the hall kitchen. Despite the awful weather conditions, 42 visitors turned up and were very complimentary about our choice of Ploughman’s; many said how generous we had been providing the lunch for £6. Once again, a big Thank You must go out to all our members, visiting WI members and visitors who supported us. The £100 raffle takings will be donated to The Wight Brainy Bunch.

As with all WI’s the January meeting is always a busy one; annual subs to collect, events to organise and post festivity news to catch up on, and of course the usual WI business to be dealt with. We decided that an informal game of skittles would help the evening flow. We hired the skittle alley from Shorwell Sports & Social Club and commandeered the help of a local to keep us in line and a great evening of fun was had by all. Our star of the night, who hardly missed a skittle, was Pat Ridett.

It’s fair to say we are not as busy as some WI’s in between our monthly meetings, but we do thoroughly enjoy our evenings together and are looking forward to the next three months of an Easter themed meeting, a ‘street party style’ celebration of VE Day and a visit from a Horologist. We also shouldn’t forget that we’ll be making the items for sale and running the Produce & Preserves stall at the Shorwell Midsummer Fair.

April Meeting

At our March meeting Sarah Evans gave us a great insight into her and her family’s experience of living on the Falkland Isles for a year. We were thrilled to welcome a number of guests to our meeting, some from other local WI’s and some who had come along just to hear Sarah’s story. 

Our April meeting, due to take place the second Monday of the month, falls on Easter Monday; we have therefore brought it forward to Monday 6th April and, due to hall availability, it will be an afternoon meeting starting at 2pm. We will be enjoying the delights of Easter with Chocolate, Simnel Cake and Hot Cross Buns, plus decorating and parading Easter Bonnets. The usual bloom of the month and raffle will also take place.

Outside of the monthly meeting our members have started to make jams and chutneys for the Midsummer Fair and continue to meet for the fortnightly ‘Not Just Knitting’ group. A few members are meeting regularly to attend the theatre and other trips to the IOW Archives and Foodbank are being planned.

We are a very friendly group and Visitors are most welcome, there is no charge for your first three visits. If you would like more information about our programme please feel free to call Debbie on 741384.

Shorwell WI meets in the Parish Hall, Russell Road, Shorwell PO30 3JT.

Monthly Report February

23 hardy members braved the elements to attend our February meeting. We were humbled to hear from two speakers. Lauren Fry, from Young Carers gave an update on how our 2019 fundraising money had been spent and Kathryn Grimes provided an insight into our 2020 chosen charity The Wight Brainy Bunch. Sadly both charities exist due to a local IOW need. It was great to hear about the work they do and how successful both charities have been and continue to be.
On March 9th 7.30pm we will be joined by Sarah Evans, who will be telling us about the year she spent in the Falkland Islands.
If you are thinking of joining Shorwell WI or are just curious about what we do, please feel free to come along to one or two of our meetings and spend the evening with us. If you would like more information please feel free to call Debbie on 741384.
We meet at 7.30pm in Shorwell Parish Hall on the 2nd Monday every month except August.
Finally, Thank you to all our members, visiting WI members and visitors who once again supported our annual fundraising event on 18th February, the raffle proceeds of which will be donated to The Wight Brainy Bunch.

February Meeting Report

At our February meeting, we trialled a PA system for the first time, hopefully to enable everyone to hear the speakers more clearly. Maria and both Lesley’s have birthdays this month, and in total 21 members were welcomed to the meeting.
Everyone who attended the New Year lunch had enjoyed the meal. Our next event is the fundraising Ploughman’s and Pudding, and final arrangements were made for helpers and catering. We were also told about the next meeting of the Longstone Group in March, and tickets were available.
The business included voting for which of the proposed WI resolutions should go forward to the Annual Meeting in June. Our choice was ‘To increase potential stem cell donor registration’ and our choice will be forwarded to WI House.
Looking ahead the Midsummer Fair, we now have clear health guidelines to follow when making preserves, drawn up by Antonia. Most of this is common sense, but it is good practice to have a written guide.
Our WW1 wall hanging is to be displayed In the hall, and the meeting agreed to the cost of its being framed professionally.
After the business, Debbie read an amusing poem about Valentine’s Day and chocolates!
Our two speakers were Lauren from Young Carers, our charity for 2019; and Catherine from Wight Brainy Bunch, our charity for 2020. Both told us of the work they do to support respectively children aged 5-18 who have taken on a caring role at home, and people suffering with brain tumours and their families on the Island. After tea, the Best Bloom was judged, and the winner was Isabel’s black hellebore.

Monthly Report ~ January 2020

22 members, including new members Sarah and Lesley, plus guest Val, were welcomed to the first meeting of 2020. Antonia celebrates her birthday this month.
Final arrangements were made for the New Year lunch at the Fighting Cocks, Arreton, on Thursday. Menu choices were taken, to avoid long delays on the day.
Helpers will be needed for our Ploughman’s and Pud event on February 18th, both to make puddings and to help in the hall. This is usually a very popular event and a good supply of puddings will be needed. Items for the ploughman’s lunch will be catered for by the organising committee.
Subscriptions are due this month, and members were also reminded that next month voting slips for the 2020 Resolution selection will need to be returned. Antonia gave details of the next visit to the Apollo Theatre in February. Debbie then read a very amusing poem on the aftermath of Christmas.
The hall Skittles Alley had already been set up, and after the business meeting, everyone enjoyed a fun tournament, presided over by Keith Cram. The winning team was Team 1: Janet, Lesley S, Sue, Pat, Isabel and Gill. The individual prize went to Pat, and the prize for the lowest score went to Dilys. The scrapbooks were also out on show, and the Best Bloom was judged to be Isabel’s white hellebore.

January Meeting

Our January meeting is always a busy one; annual subs to collect, events to organise and post festivity news to catch up on, and of course the usual WI business to be dealt with. We decided that an informal game of skittles would help the evening flow. Thanks go to Shorwell Sports & Social Club for the set-up and loan of their skittle alley and Keith Cram for officiating over our games; a good time was had by all.


If you are thinking of joining Shorwell WI or are just curious about what we do, please feel free to come along to one or two of our meetings and spend the evening with us. We don’t ask you join immediately or be a jam maker or cake baker, just be yourself and remember that we were all ‘the new girl’ once. If you would like more information please feel free to call Debbie on 741384 or visit our website www.shorwellwi.org.uk
We meet at 7.30pm in Shorwell Parish Hall on the 2nd Monday every month except August.


Our February meeting is on Monday 10th and we will be hearing from the Young Carers (our 2019 charity) and also The Wight Brainy Bunch, our 2020 charity.


Date for your Diary – We will be offering a Ploughmans & Pudding lunch on Tuesday 18th February 12-2pm in Shorwell Parish Hall. Entry is £6 per person on the door and all are welcome.

We will be holding a Ploughmans and Pudding lunch, 12-2pm on Tuesday 18th February. The event will take place at Shorwell Parish Hall and cost £6 per person.


There will be the usual selection of our lovely puddings, and this year rather than offering soup we have decided to offer a Ploughman’s lunch. We will also hold a raffle with takings being split between Shorwell WI and our 2020 charity, The Wight Brainy Bunch.
Come along and enjoy some Shorwell WI hospitality.

December Meeting

It’s difficult to believe that we have just gone through another Annual Meeting at Shorwell WI. This meant hearing about everything we’ve done this year; it’s always a surprise to hear how busy we’ve been. We’ve also had some committee changes for the coming year and I’d once again like to extend thanks to those who served the committee during 2019 and welcome back those who are returning, together with the new faces. As with so many organisations we are so happy to see our members and guests each month, but it’s the dedicated committee who keep the wheels turning behind the scenes.

We finish the year with our Christmas meeting, accompanied by the IOW Scottish Dancers. We will also have a ‘bring and share’ supper, secret Santa, raffle and competition. We start at 7.30pm and meet on Monday 9th December. If you would like to join us for the December meeting please contact me in advance, this will enable us cater accordingly.

2020 begins with a friendly skittles match and as always, our meeting will be held on the 2nd Monday of the month at 7.30pm in Shorwell Parish Hall.

A date for you diary is our regular foodie event in February. 2020’s event will take place on Tuesday 18th February and will be a Ploughmans and Pudding, all for the knockout price of £6 per head.

For more information please call Debbie on 741384.

Finally, Merry Christmas from everyone in Shorwell WI, we look forward to seeing some of you at our meetings in 2020.