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Shiplake WI

Shiplake Womens Institute has around 60 members. We meet at 2.30 pm on the third Wednesday of every month (except August) usually at the Memorial Hall in Memorial Avenue.  The afternoon's programme includes a talk by an invited speaker and a splendid tea prepared by members.  Interesting trips and visits are also arranged throughout the year.

Contact: Audrey Simpson 01491 410256

Shiplake WI November Meeting


Our President, Joan Jolley welcomed members and began by telling the ladies that Shiplake would be hosting the Beechwood Group Meeting in October next year. Names were taken for the Christmas Lunch at The Baskerville. Joan also reported that the WI Team at the local quiz had done well but had not won!

Two members had attended the Mental Health Summit at Benson and two were going to the Climate Change Workshop in Goring. The date for the NFWI AGM had been announced as June 4th and members were asked if they would like to attend as observers.

A group of members had gathered at the Memorial to lay the WI poppy wreath on Remembrance Sunday and Joan thanked them for their support.

Sue Lines gave the final arrangements for the trip to Winchester Christmas Market and announced more details for the theatre trips to see Dolly Parton and Singing in the Rain in the New Year.

Shiplake Community Choir are giving a Concert with Indigo May at Queen Anne’s in Caversham on Friday 6th December. Tickets are available from choir members.

Joan then selected some of the important items from News and Views, including the report by Mary Gregory on women as Agents of Peace. The Health and Wellbeing day and the talk about the Historic Knitter and Pendell’s War at Benson also looked interesting.

The speaker for the afternoon was Jeff Rozelar whose talk was entitled An Actor’s Life for Me. He told about his early experiences on the stage and how important it had been to learn how to use his voice, his body, his walk and different accents to portray characters. He had produced, directed and performed in over 200 productions and he gave some examples of things that went wrong as well as the good times. He ended his talk with portrayals of some memorable characters from his repertoire.

The usual excellent tea was served and the tea hostesses were Rachel Lloyd and Pippa Hughes. The winner of the most popular ACWW flower was Pauline Watkins with a dark pink rose and the winner of the competition for a ‘Favourite Quotation from a Play’ was Rosemary Jones with a line from Oscar Wilde.

Next month’s meeting will be the Christmas Party and members were reminded to bring their contributions towards the tea and their gifts for the Secret Santa basket.

Article created / last edited: 29 November 2019

Shiplake WI October Meeting


President, Joan Jolley, welcomed members to the meeting, with one lovely new member further increasing the OFWI Centenary Member Challenge.

Joan then went through the business.  Everyone agreed that the OFWI’s Centenary Art & Craft Exhibition had been a run-away success.  The standard of member’s work was amazing and the whole setup of the exhibition was first rate.  All our entries did us proud too.

We will be laying our Remembrance Day Wreath, on the 10th November, at Shiplake War Memorial.

Sue Lines gave details of future outings; Winchester Christmas Market, and two musicals - “The Lion King” and “Nine to Five”.  She was booking a visit to Highclere Castle (of Downton Abbey fame), probably in April 2021!

There were lots of interesting articles and photographs in News & Views.  Lots of events lined up for the Festive Season; Christmas Extravaganzas, a Dickensian Food outing to London and a Christmas Decorations workshop amongst others.

Our speaker this month was Michelle Stanforth, a tutor of Makaton – Hand Signing.

This is a language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech, enabling communication.

It is especially beneficial to any of us with learning problems; it aids social skills, and ends frustrations arising from the inability to connect with people.

We were shown how difficult it is to communicate without speech, and taught a few easy signs.  Michelle gave us an enjoyable, but thought provoking talk.

A lovely tea was hosted by Banba Dawson and Shirley Cooke.

The competition “A Glove” was won by Rachel Lloyd, with an elbow-length, midnight blue sequined creation.  (Though goodness knows when or where I wore it!)

The ACWW Flower of the Month was won by Pauline Watkins with a lovely yellow begonia.

Article created / last edited: 29 November 2019

National Federation of Women's Institutes

Shiplake Women's Institute is part of the National Federation of Women's Institutes which is the largest voluntary organisation for women in the UK. The National federation has approximately 230,000 members in around 7,000 WIs throughout the British Isles with broad aims to educate women and to enable them to provide an effective role in the community, to expand their horizons and to develop and pass on important skills. 

Article created / last edited: 4 January 2014