May Meeting 2018
At our May meeting, our members voted unanimously for the resolution on "Mental Health Matters" as much as "Physical Health" to go forward for debate at the NFWI Annual General Meeting in Cardiff on the 6th June. Unfortunately, we were unable to have our planned speaker who was going to tell us about life as a Tiller Girl. As an alternative, we had a quiz which was great fun. Before the members left they were treated to seeing their committee attempt to copy the Tiller Girls with their high kicks. Needless to say this produced a lot of laughter and everyone left the meeting with smiling faces. The committee however are still recovering!!
September Meeting 2018
Our first meeting in the main hall proved successful with the additional amount of room for the speaker Yvonne Sanders from Canine Partners and her companion Norman a puppy in his first year of training as a service dog.
A most interesting and informative talk accompanied by a slide presentation showing how a trained service dog helps its owner with everyday living . Norman himself had had a rather long and tiring day and then was expected to show off his skills to the rest of us!
October Meeting 2018
At our October meeting we celebrated our 45th birthday and were delighted to have four ladies with us who are still very active members and who were at the very first meeting in 1973. We also included in our celebration 100 years of women being given the right to vote and 100 years of the Surrey Federation. Many of our members wore something in one of the suffragette colours and we learnt that one of our member's fathers had been on Epsom Downs as a young boy when Emily Davison was knocked down by the King;s horse.
Our speaker, John Stirling, was excellent and told us of his life from being a child actor at the age of nine playing "Noddy" and his career in entertainment, through to meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace and eventually running a Donkey Sanctuary with his wife!
As it was a very special evening, during the break we enjoyed some "Bubbly" and cake which had been decorated with purple,
white and green flowers - both went down very well! Also, it was an absolute delight to see so many people laughing and smiling and generally having a good time.
Happy Birthday Ashtead WI and here's to the next 45 years!
November Meeting 2018
At our November meeting, as is customary with most WIs, we held our Annual Meeting. The Treasurer and Secretary gave their reports for the year and the joint Presidents thanked the members for all their contributions throughout the year and the Committee for all their hard work and commitment.
As there were to be no changes to the Committee, the members were asked to vote for their President/s. Marilyn Belton and Lillian Baldwin were unanimously voted to be joint Presidents, which they accepted.
After a tea break, all the members joined in a couple of very light hearted quizzes which were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Although November is fundamentally a business meeting, there was a lot of laughter and smiling faces as the members left.
December Meeting 2018
Such a wonderfully festive December meeting arranged for us by our committee, with tables decorated with sparkles and plants, Santa’s sack, and cards being delivered all around the room. There was a real buzz. This evening we were introduced to the new Ashtead W.I. Website where we can find all the information on previous and coming events, and we’re encouraged to refer and add to this so it is always updated.
It was a joy to have the Swan Handbell Ringers of Leatherhead with us this evening, their beautiful bells ringing out Christmas music and carols, which we were encouraged to join in with, including joining them to do our own ringing. The first tuned bells were reported to be from Wiltshire from 1696, and handbells teams became popular during the 19th & 20th centuries. The bells came from the Whitechapel Foundry, are made from copper and tin, weigh from a few ounces to 15 lbs, giving a great range of sound, and can cost from £300 - £500.
Clare Cody our other guest speaker talked about the website and the work it entailed to set up and keep it up to date. She encouraged members to take an active part in sending articles and photos to be uploaded and generally contributing to the website.
After coffee and mince pies we collected our Secret Santa gifts, were reminded about next week’s carol singing in Ashtead for the Princess Alice Hospice, our Christmas lunch and arrangements for January. Then came our bumper raffle, and very many thanks to our committee who had organised such a good Christmas meeting for us all. Finally a lovely surprise – we were all given a Christmas gift on leaving.
Written by a member