Welcome to London West End WI

Friday, 29 June 2018


Hi all! 

Here is the report following the AGM in Cardiff in June. Aside from the official report, I'd just say that I had the most amazing time meeting so many lovely ladies, hearing the fantastic speakers and singing Jerusalem with more than 4000 women! I would absolutely say if you get the chance to go one year then do so. I am already looking forward to next year's.



The Resolution: 
Attendees voted in a near landslide for mental health awareness with 5945 voting for and 103 against giving it a 98% majority. 

1 in 4 people will suffer an episode of mental illness in their life but 75% of people do not get access to the care they need. Those who do get help it can be a wait of 1-4 years to get access to that help. 

Miscellaneous notes: 
The flowers on display this year we’re the colours if the suffrage movement in honor of the 100 year anniversary this year.

This year the number of WI members stands at 200,000 and 63 new WIs were formed this year. 

This year marks 100 years of WI campaigns. The first was in 1918 and was in support of the supply for more supported housing. 

Friday, 8 June 2018

Quiz night!

 Last month's meeting we had a fantastic quiz. If you were there and are dying to see where you went right and wrong, or if you weren't there and are simply interested, below are the questions and answers.


  • On 16 May 1929, a dinner party for around 250 people held in the Blossom Room of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California.  What is this annual ceremony now known as? The Oscars 
  • Which film included the characters Sandy Olsen and Danny Zuko? Grease
  • Who directed the 1960's epic Spartacus? Stanley Kubbrick 
  • Who plays Mrs. Wilkinson in the film Billy Elliot? Julie Walters 
  • In the Indiana Jones films, where did the hero get the name Indiana? From the family dog 
  • Which pop singer starred as Tommy in the film of the rock opera? Roger Daltrey 
  • Omar Sharriff is a reasonably well known actor.  What is his other area of expertise? Bridge 
  • Who is the star of the Terminator series of films? Arnold Schwartzenegger 
  • Who or what is the link between the films, Superman, Jaws and Star Wars? John Williams (the composer) 
  • Who is forever chasing the Roadrunner? Wile Coyote


  • Anything "napiform" is shaped like which vegetable? Turnip 
  • What is mascarpone? Soft cheese 
  • What is the liquer Cassis flavoured with? Blackcurrants 
  • The Americans call it a flapjack.  What do we call this item of food?  Pancakes 
  • Discovery is a type of what? Apple 
  • What is a tandoor? A clay oven 
  • Name two well-known Swiss cheeses with holes in. Gruyere and Ementhal
  • Which biscuit is named after a French royal family? Bourbons 
  • Is rhubarb a fruit or a vegetable? Vegetable
  •  What is the dessert called that is made with breadcrumbs, jam and meringue? Queen of Puddings


  • Income tax was first levied in its modern form in Britain to pay for the Napoleonic wars in 1799.  Who was the Prime Minister at the time? William Pitt the younger 
  • Who is the current leader of the Liberal Democrat Party in the UK? Vince Cable 
  • Who said "You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time"? Abraham Lincoln 
  • Who is the current Home Secretary? Sajid Javid 
  • Who famously declared "Ich bin ein Berliner" in 1963? J F Kennedy 
  • Who is the current Secretary General of the United Nations? António Guterres 
  • Who was the first female Member of Parliament in the UK? Nancy Witcher Astor (Viscountess Astor) 
  • Which country was the first to democratically elect a female Prime Minister? Ceylon or Sri Lanka (Sirimavo Bandaranaike) 
  • Who is currently the oldest surviving British Prime Minister? Sir John Major 
  • How many seats are there in the House of Commons in the UK? 650


  • When did the Berlin wall come down? 1989 
  • Who did John Wilkes Booth kill? Abraham Lincoln 
  • Who was the longest reigning British King? George III 
  • Which Union leader led his members into a 10 month long strike in 1984? Arthur Scargill 
  • Where did the Great Fire of London begin? Pudding Lane 
  • Who gave the Romans a drubbing by taking his armies over the Alps? Hannibal 
  • What was the name of the rebel from the Fens who took on the Normans? Hereward the Wake 
  • What important manuscripts were discovered in 1947? The Dead Sea Scrolls 
  • Jacobites was the term used for the supporters of which deposed King of England? James II 
  • Which African colonial statesman's last words were reputed to have been "so little done, so much to do"? Cecil Rhodes
  • Which river rises in North Yorkshire and enters the Irish Sea on the Lancashire Coast? The River Ribble 
  • What are the hills that are predominanlty in Somerset to be found between Exmoor and the M5? The Quantocks 
  • There are only two capes on the mainland UK.  Name them. Cape Cornwall (in Cornwall) & Cape Wrath (NW Scotland) 
  • Where would you find Blue John? Derbyshire - it is a mineral 
  • What is the smallest city (by population) in England? The City of London with 8,072 residents in 2011 
  • What is the river Thames called in Oxford? Isis 
  • In which county is the historic Watercress Railway to be found? Hampshire 
  • Which is Britain’s busiest railway station in terms of services, with more than 2,000 trains a day passing through? Clapham Junction 
  • The 886-metre (2,907ft) high Pen y Fan is the highest point in which range of hills? The Brecon Beacons 
  • What Roman Road links Exeter to Lincoln? The Fosse Way
  • What is Miss Marple's Christian name? Jane 
  • In 1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin was published.  Who was the author? Harriet Beecher Stowe 
  • Who wrote the Canterbury Tales? Geoffrey Chaucer 
  • What was the name of Ngaio Marsh's detective? Inspector Alleyn 
  • Which fairy tale character let her hair down? Rapunzel 
  • Who wrote a 101 Dalmations? Dodie Smith 
  • What is the odd one out and why: Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Seven Pillars of wisdom, Lady Chatterley's Lover? Seven Pillars of Wisdom by TE Lawrence (of Arabia) 
  • In 1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin was published.  Who was the author? Harriet Beecher Stowe 
  • When threatened with exposure in the courtesan Harriette Wilson's autobiography, who replied "publish and be damned"? The Duke of Wellington 
  • Baroness Orzy wrote a book about a Percy Blakeney.  What is the title? The Scarlett Pimpernel
  • If Monday's child is full of grace, what is Wednesday's child? Full of Woe 
  • Which is the odd one out? Bullet proof vest, fire escapes, windshield wipers, telephone, laser printer. Telephone - the rest were invented by women 
  • MDMA is another name for which illegal drug? Ecstasy 
  • What did Whitcombe Judson invent in 1871? The safety zip 
  • Who is the first female in order of succession to the British throne? Princess Beatrice 
  • What did Christopher Cockerell invent in 1955? The hovercraft
  •  What colour is Chinese Red? Red 
  • How many old pennies were there in a guinea? 252 
  • How many planets in the Solar System do not have a moon? Two - Mercury & Venus 
  • In which year was Mount Everest first climbed? 1953
  • What was an influential group of associated English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists, which included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, E. M. Forster and Lytton Strachey known as? The Bloomsbury Group or  Bloomsbury Set 
  • Who's statue stands at the north end of Bloomsbury Gardens? Charles James Fox 
  • What is the name of the museum in the under croft to St. Georges Church? Museum of Comedy 
  • Who founded the British Museum? Sir Hans Sloane 
  • What group was founded at John Millais's parents' house on Gower Street in 1848? Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood 
  • Which famous English naturalist, geologist and biologist has a "Blue Plaque" at 115 Gower Street? Charles Darwin 
  • Which was the last exhibition you were given a free invitation to? Rodin Marbles 
  • Which pub is on the corner of Great Russell Street and Museum Street? The Museum Tavern 
  • Who founded the WI, where and it what year? Adelaide Hoodless, Stoney Creek, Canada in 1897 
  • If you had the following ingredients to hand in varying proportions, what would you be making? 
  • Butter/margarine, caster sugar, eggs, self-raising flour, milk, double cream, vanilla extract, berries? A Victoria Sponge (well, according to my recipe!)

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

A joyful Spring

Hi all, Melonie here!

Firstly, apologies for the radio silence on this blog – don’t you hate it when work gets in the way of life?! Haha

This year has certainly got off to a great start for our WI. We’ve had some fab meetings and for those who haven’t been able to make it along here’s a little recap:

February we had the informative talk from the British Red Cross.

Book binding fun!
March Claudia a curator from Kensington Palace came to speak about the role of portraits and photography in how we see royal women. Looking back at Elizabeth I forward to Diana Princess of Wales, it was fascinating to see how these women used these forms of media to tell their own story and convey their power. For anyone interested, Diana: Her Fashion Story is on at Kensington Palace until 2019 and new items have recently been added so it’s a great excuse to go. Claudia also spoke about Queen Victoria whose reign saw the move from paintings to photography – the exhibition Victoria Revealed, again at the palace, opened earlier this year and is one not to be missed. If you do go to the palace be sure to try and see the new tiaras and jewels on display, some of which have not been on public display before – a sparkling day out. 

Some more fantastic craft club creations
April was book binding. This has always been popular at craft club so it seemed like a great idea for one of our monthly meetings too! 

Away from craft club and our meetings, there have been some fab events we were invited to attend. When the London Transport Museum held one of their late events, focusing on women in this suffrage year, we offered up rosette making at our stall which was hugely successful – I don’t think we had an empty table all night. Following this we were asked to be a part of boutique store Revival Retro’s Thursdate event. This is a regular event they hold which usually entails trying on, buying things we don’t need but are oh so pretty and a cocktail or too. To coincide with International Women’s month, we were invited along for rosette making again with the lovely Revival ladies, again a great evening! 

The Rodin exhibition
The Rodin exhibition at the British Museum was a fantastic day out once again. We’re hugely lucky that we get complimentary tickets for events at the British Museum, just one of the perks of being a member of our WI! 

This month we will be having a quiz so as well as nibbles to share be sure to bring your grey cells! The next craft club we will be card making so if you've got a birthday or are just super prepared for Christmas, come along and have a go!

In June it is the AGM in Cardiff. I’ll be going along to the meeting and I’m so excited! I’ll be reporting back, both here and in the meeting and I’ll be posting plenty of pictures from the day.

See you all soon!

Friday, 19 January 2018

What a start to the year!

Although January isn't typically the most exciting of months there can be no denying that this month has got off to a great start for our WI group.

This month's craft club saw us creating lovely paper roses. February (Tuesday 6th) will see us jewellery making so please bring along any stones or anything you'd like to turn into a pretty piece. Looking ahead to March (Tuesday 6th) we will be knitting squares which can be used to make blankets for knitting for Africa. All skill levels will be welcome, with someone on had to show the absolute the beginners the ropes (or the wool!) so please do come along for what will be another great night.
The beautiful creations at January's craft club

Our first WI meeting of the year saw us transported back to the 1920s and have a go at swing dancing! Despit there being some nerves to start with, everyone had it by the end! The swing era spanned from the 1920-1940s and evolved with the jazz music over the years. But with changes in music styles swing dancing and lindy hop faded into a background for a time.

In March at craft club we will be knitting squares which can be used to make blankets for children in Africa  

The dance was revived in the 1980s when Sandra Cameron and Larry Schulz of the Cameron Dance Center Inc in New York tracked down old timers Al Minns and Frankie Manning who taught them the moves. Dancers from New York, Sweden and London then set about reviving the dance style and today it is as popular as ever with old timers such as Norma Miller still traveling the world to inspire people to get on the dance floor.

Swinging the night away!
Swing dancing is not only a whole lot of fun but it is a great way to keep fit and make new friends. 

If the dance class left you wanting to learn more you can find a dance class near you on this website: 

Lindy exchanges and dance camps give you the chance to see the dance scene in other parts of the world. For a list of camps and exchanges across the globe check out

Friday, 8 December 2017

December Craft Club

Nicky led another fabulous craft club this month with a festive feeling perfect for this time of year.
Here are some pictures of the Christmas trees that were made, perfect for decorating your home. If you have a go at these at home do share your creations on our Facebook or Twitter! 

An easy to make festive treat!

January's Craft Club will lead to another pretty creation!
Craft Club is usually the first Tuesday of each month but in January we will be meeting on the second which is the 9th. In this first meeting of the year we will be trying out hand at paper rose (pictured). If you have  some old books, glue gun, cutting mat please bring them along . 

Pop a note in your diary and as always, look forward to seeing you all then!