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.

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.

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.

November Meeting

Our October ‘Hands on Sugarcraft’ meeting certainly stretched our dexterity, as we moulded and rolled sugar paste to make intricate flowers and leaves; all done with good humour and a lot of chat making it a most enjoyable meeting.

November is our Annual Meeting and is therefore a quieter and slightly more serious meeting. We have no speaker, although we have persuaded someone to run a short quiz for us after we’ve completed the business section of the meeting.

If you’d like to know more, why not come along and visit us. Visitors are always welcome to attend our regular meetings three times without charge and we are sure you’ll find a warm welcome.

As always we meet on the 2nd Monday of the month in Shorwell Parish Hall. November’s meeting will be held on Monday 11th November at 7.30pm.

For more information please call Debbie on 741384.


This month 21 members, plus visitor Sarah, were welcomed to our meeting. Birthdays this month were Barbara, Brenda, and Debbie.
Our activities over the summer – our trips to Quarr Abbey and the IW Cheese Company, plus of course our Garden Party – were all much enjoyed. Thanks must go to all who helped, and to Antonia for arranging the venue and being our hostess at the garden party.
Sadly, over the summer we lost Joyce, a Past President of our WI. We were pleased to help arrange her wake in the Village Hall, which was appreciated by her family.
Arrangements were begun for our 71st Birthday Meal in October; menu choices and numbers will be taken at the next meeting.
Some of our members had visited a production at the Apollo Theatre, and there will be further visits to the theatre and the cinema in the coming months with the new Social group.
Our speaker, Simon Butler, gave a presentation on how our household waste is collected and sorted for reuse, recycling, energy production or, lastly, landfill. The competition for ‘reuse of something normally thrown away’ was won by Di, who had re-purposed a chocolate box as an earring caddy; the Best Bloom was won by Barbara’s dahlia.

October Meeting

As we enter the last quarter of 2019 thoughts have turned to planning and booking our speakers for next year. I hope we have a programme planned which will have something for all our members to enjoy and will also encourage visitors and new members.

During the summer break we were saddened to have to say goodbye to one of our Past Presidents Joyce Blunn, but honoured to be asked to provide the catering for the celebration of her life.

Members and guests attended our annual garden party held in the Great Hall at Wolverton Manor. Earlier in the summer a small group attended the Apollo Theatre. The theatre trip was thoroughly enjoyed and we intend to continue the year with the occasional visit to the theatre and community cinema.

Our next meeting, 14th October, will be a ‘Hands on Sugarcraft’ meeting, the regular bloom of the month competition and raffle will also take place. Later in October we will be celebrating Shorwell WI’s 71st birthday.

Visitors are always welcome to attend our regular meetings three times without charge and we are sure you’ll find a warm welcome. We meet on 2nd Monday of the month, 7.30pm at Shorwell Parish Hall.

For more information please call Debbie on 741384.

September Meeting

Prior to our July meeting, 14 members visited the Isle of Wight Cheese Co. in Queens Bower. We saw and heard about the process of making the 5 delicious cheeses produced by local artisan Richard Hodgeson and his small team. At our meeting later the same day, members enjoyed sampling the cheeses we had purchased, along with a glass of wine, all accompanied with tasting notes.

Later the same week 20 members visited Quarr Abbey for a guided tour and cream tea.

We do not hold an ‘official’ meeting in August. We will, however, be holding our annual Garden Party in the garden of one of our members. This is a lovely opportunity to spend some social time and enjoy a WI tea with Members and their Guests.

Shorwell WI is not just about food though!

We cannot deny that we enjoy the foodie events, but being a WI member is also about the socialising and friendship, learning and discovering new things around us and often finding out unexpected things about ourselves and what we are capable of.

We have a weekly walking group and fortnightly ‘Not Just Knitting’ craft group both of which will continue all through the summer.

In August we will be thinking about the Programme for 2020. If you are interested in being one of our speakers please contact me.

In September our meeting is Monday 9th and our speaker is Simon Butler. Simon is the Communication and Community Engagement Manager, Environmental Services for Amey and will be telling us about Waste Management. The regular bloom of the month competition and raffle will be held.

Visitors are always welcome to attend our regular meetings three times without charge and we are sure you’ll find a warm welcome. We meet on 2nd Monday of the month, 7.30pm at Shorwell Parish Hall.

For more information please call Debbie on 741384