Welcome to London West End WI

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year!

A very happy new year to all of our members from LWEWI!

In January, we have Craft Club on Wednesday 6th January, where we'll be knitting, and our regular meeting will be on Wednesday 20th January, with our annual quiz (with regular quiz master Steve Wickham).

In December, we made Christmas earrings at Craft Club, and then attended the carol service at St George's, Bloomsbury, and supplied the congregation with mulled wine and mince pies.

Thanks to everyone who has come along to meetings, or bought cakes, or been a speaker, or supported us in any way. Hope to see you all in 2016!

Monday, 7 December 2015

2016 Membership

LWEWI Membership for 2016 is now available at a cost of £37.50. This is payable via the Paypal button to the right and below, or via cash/cheque at our next meeting.

Membership entitles you to come to all our meetings (Craft Club costs extra) and get tickets to previews of British Museum exhibitions. 

You'll also automatically become a member of the both the Middlesex Federation and the Women's Institute and receive the regular national magazine 'WI Life'. 

Find out more about WI membership here: https://www.thewi.org.uk/become-a-member

Friday, 27 November 2015

November Round-Up

So November is almost gone... scary stuff!

At Craft Club we continued in the festive spirit with our 3rd consecutive month of Christmas crafting! This month we made 3D Christmas trees out of felt, which we will of course be decorating our homes with!

At our November meeting it was our AGM - as usual, our President gave us a summary of the year's events - it's been a somewhat varied and successful year, with lots of new members joining us, and a wide variety of talks. At the AGM, Victoria stepped down as President but will remain on the committee, and Jane and Pam stepped down from the committee - but not quite entirely! Jane is our temporary treasurer until our new treasurer can join us, and Pam (that would be me - hello!) remains in charge of this blog and Facebook.

Our new President is Alix Vernon-Evans, seen here on the right receiving the Presidential badge of honour from Victoria.

December brings with it Christmas, and Craft Club (Wed 2nd Dec) is more Christmas crafting, of the shiny, beaded jewellery persuasion. Our annual Christmas quiz has been postponed, and will be a New Year quiz at our January meeting. Instead, all members are invited to join the congregation of St George's at their annual Christmas Carol Service starting at 6.30pm on Wed 16th Dec, and afterwards there will be mince pies and mulled wine.

Thursday, 5 November 2015


Wednesday 18th November, 6.30pm

AGM and Sparkling Wine Tasting

Join us for our annual review of the year, and vote for a new committee. Some lovely ladies from the Middlesex Federation will be coming along to make sure we do everything properly.

Want to be on the committee, and help run our WI? So long as you're a member, you can join. No previous experience needed, just enthusiasm! We'll also need a new President, Treasurer and (maybe) Secretary. Drop us an email at londonwestendwi@gmail.com or via our Facebook page and we can give you more information.

The AGM takes 30-40 minutes, so afterwards we'll be having an alcohol tasting/quiz - can you tell your prosecco from your bolly? Come along to our blind tasting of sparkling wines and see how well you can do!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

October Round Up

As the nights draw in, it's not quite the end of the calendar month but time to review LWEWI's activites for the month.

At Craft Club we made Christmas Cards, led by talented member Nicky.

Our regular monthly meeting was a hands on session, led by the lovely people of Arthur Beale Chandlers of Shaftesbury Avenue. After a brief history of the business and an introduction to rope, it was time to learn all about knot tying. Teaching us a bowline knot turned out to be more difficult than you'd think, but it turns out we're all naturals at making nooses!

And as if that wasn't enough, Sunday 25th Oct is the community preview of Egypt: Faith After The Pharaohs at the British Museum, which 12 of our members are attending for free. One of the perks of being a LWEWI member!


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Next Meeting - October

Wednesday 21st October, 6.30pm

A Knotty Issue

Yo ho ho and a cup of tea, and attention all craft-minded members (or interested vistors)!

We have invited Steve Harvey and one of his shipmates from Arthur Beale, the long-established yacht's chandlers in Covent Garden, to take us through the art of roping and other knotty problems. Come along and learn more about this fascinating topic, with hands on practice, without tying yourself in knots!

The company has been on the same site in Shaftesbury Avenue for 120 years, and survived the many transformations this vibrant area has seen. 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

September round-up

On Tuesday 1st September we had Craft Club, where 11 of us spend a merry couple of hours learning the art of teabag folding with Nicky in order to make Christmas cards (yes, it's already that time of year!). Next month we're going to be making Christmas cards again, but with ribbons this time.

Jane and Tish show off their creations at Craft Club

On Saturday 5th we had our annual cake stall at the Phoenix Gardens fayre, where we took almost £350 - a great amount given the dismal weather! Thanks to Helena, Jane, Valeria, Pat, Tish, Victoria, Claude, Denise, Pam, Ruth and Kate for their selling, jam making and/or baking skills which made the day a success!

Helena, Tish, Pam, Pat, Jane and Denise at Phoenix Gardens

Wednesday 16th was our monthly meeting, where Geraldine Beskin gave us a fascinating talk about researching local history from the comfort of your own sofa, and one of the stories she has uncovered, in particular the story of James Allen, who was found upon his death in the early 19th century to be a woman, something not even his wife had suspected!

James (Abigail) Allen, from the 1828 London publication "An Authentic Narrative of the Extraordinary Career of James Allen, the Female Husband!"

Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th are Open House weekend, where we' were doing the refreshments for St George's. We took over £300 across the two days, and even the vicar stopped by for tea! Thanks to all the ladies who baked, sold cakes and made cups of tea on either day.

As if that wasn't enough, Sunday 20th was also the community preview of Celts at the British Museum, which a few of us were lucky enough to attend - remember that London West End WI members get free tickets to the exhibition previews at the BM, saving you over £10 a ticket.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

International news!

Some of you may remember that at our meeting last October (how is that almost a year ago already?) we had some oversees visitors at our meeting, including Annemarie McDonald, a member of a Canadian WI, and committee members from the ACWW.

Thanks to Tish, we now have copies of the news articles in The Countrywoman, the international magazine of the Associated Country Women of the World, which reports on our guests that night. Click on the photos below to enlarge them and read the articles.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Morris Dancing, August 2015

So at our August meeting (19th August) we learned how to perform a Morris dance with hankies. As you can see, we were full of grace and elegance! Many thanks to Tish and Mick for leading the evening, and a huge welcome to our new members who came along for the first time, and have agreed to come back!

Monday, 17 August 2015

August Meeting

Wednesday 19th August, 6.30pm

Morris Dancing

Following our successful attempt at hitting each other with sticks last year, Tish and Mick are coming back to lead us in another merry dance. This time, to minimise risk of injuries, we'll be having a go at a hanky dance.

If you've never Morris danced before, don't worry - those of us who had a go last year were not exactly experts in our field, as you can see from the video above! 
Come along from 6.30pm for what should be a fun evening. We'll be having a bit of a chat about  upcoming table sales, then get on with the dancing from 7pm. Bring along snacks to share with the group if you can.

Phoenix Gardens, 5th September


Please, please help out with this if you can - it's our biggest fundraiser of the year. Come along to our meeting on Wednesday to find out more (before indulging in a spot of Morris Dancing!)

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Brownie Heaven!

At our meeting on Wednesday, Helena led us in a brownie tasting session with additional baking assistance from Ruth and Alix. 

We all went away safe in the knowledge that there are many, many types of chocolate brownie in the world, but avocados should probably never be used in the icing of them! Perhaps in the WI we're sticklers for tradition, but the pecan brownies and the raspberry brownies were the successes of the evening, and some of the more 'healthy' options (as well as avocado, we had date & sweet potato, among others) were not such hits!

Next month, in a bid to burn off the extra calories consumed this month, we're having another go at Morris Dancing.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

July Monthly Meeting, Wed 15th July

Wednesday 15th July, 6.30pm

Chocolate Brownies

How Weird is my Brownie? (now there's a question for you!)

Not content with large amounts of butter, chocolate and sugar in your brownies? How about adding beetroot? Or sweet potato? Or even black beans? They're all veggies, so it must make the brownies healthy, right? Come along and try some weird, but wonderfully tasty, brownies, and learn the recipes. Got your own favourite/strange brownie recipe? Bring some along, and we'll have a taste-off!

Brownie eaters as well as bakers are needed for this chocoholic's delight of a meeting. Please note, LWEWI is not responsible for any weight gain caused by this event (although as we all know, cakes baked by someone else are calorie free!)
Come along from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, Upper Vestry Hall, St George's Bloomsbury (entrance on Little Russell Street), free for members and first time visitors, £4 for everyone else. Never been before? Email us on londonwestendwi@gmail.com for more information.

Craft Club update

At Craft Club in July we did some knitting under the watchful eye of Nicky, who taught us how to knit these funky squares. Safe to say some of us were better at it than others!

If you want to try for yourself, the pattern is below.

At our August craft club (first Tuesday of the month), we're going to have a go at quilling, having been inspired by the Wimbledon poster. It doesn't matter if you've never quilled before, none of us have done very much of it, so do come along and learn with us!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Queen Square Fair, 4 July

LWEWI would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who baked, made jam, sold our goodies or came and bought something at our stall on Saturday, in the glorious sunshine. After costs, we took an amazing £200, which will go towards costs for our WI.

Next up, Phoenix Garden fair in early September.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Your WI Needs You!

We'll have a stall at the Queen Square Fair this Saturday, and are still on the lookout for bakers, and people to sell our cakes, savouries and jams. Drop us an email at londonwestendwi@gmail.com if you're able to help out - we can't do it without you!  

All money raised goes back into the WI to pay for the rent of the hall, money towards guest speakers, and everything else we need to keep our WI operating.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

June Meeting: The MicroLoan Foundation

Wednesday 17th June, 6.30pm

The MicroLoan Foundation

"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime"

Poverty blocks aspirations, opportunities and breeds apathy, so the
MicroLoan Foundation helps some of the poorest women in the world by offering small loans, business training and support to set up self sustaining businesses. This enables women to lift themselves & their families out of poverty.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Tech Night, and a little yellow robot

A proper blog on our May meeting will follow soon, but for now, a huge thank you to the good people from Dragon Hall for letting us play with your tech and for letting us keep the 3D printed robot, and we'll keep an eye out for your Kickstarter in June!

You're never too old to try Oculus virtual reality goggles, as Ruth demonstrates!

The lovely people from Dragon Hall

Tish loves our little yellow 3D printed robot, and has adopted her for the group

Women are from Venus, men little yellow robots are from Mars!