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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

Report on WI December meeting


For the WI Christmas Party the hall looked very festive with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and tables with a lovely centrepiece of a candle surrounded by greenery interspersed with white flowers, red berries, orange slices and holly. A quiz about board games, card games and pastimes was on each table.

President Joan Jolley opened the meeting. Apologies were received. and Joan reminded members of the fire regulations

WI member Rachel Lloyd who is on holiday in Australia sent Christmas greeting to all the members and was looking forward to spending Christmas Day in temperatures of 30 degrees plus.

Sue Lines, the events organiser, spoke about the outings planned for the next few months. Theatre trips include 'Warhorse' at the New Theatre Oxford and 'American in Paris' in London. Sue has also organised a tour of the Leander Club in Henley in May and a trip to see Diana’s dresses in July.

The speaker this month was Tony King whose subject was the history of musicals. This was very enjoyable, everyone recognised every film and song even if they didn’t know all the words. Tony started by talking about the first musicals in the 18th century in particular John Gay’s “The Beggars Opera” in 1728. He continued through the ages mentioning Gilbert and Sullivan, Jerome Kern, Ira Gershwin Lerner and Lowe to the present day musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber. A lovely relaxing talk which brought back memories for everyone.

Everyone enjoyed a delicious tea hosted by the committee. The tea tables at the back of the hall were laden with sandwiches and savouries. There was so much  food that the cakes and mince pies had to be laid out at the serving hatch

The raffle and drawn and Joan read out the answers to the quiz. Two tables drew for first place and shared a tub of chocolates. 

Article created / last edited: 5 January 2018

Celebrating Shiplake WI's 90th Birthday

Cutting the Cake 

The October WI meeting was a celebration of the 90th birthday of Shiplake Women’s Institute.  The Memorial Hall was decorated with bunting and balloons and photos of our Birthday Boat Trip. Each member was given a small hand-made gift.

The celebrations included the cutting of the Birthday cake and a glass of fizz. A photo was taken of the past and present Presidents along with Mavis Saward who is one of the oldest members. The names (from left to right) are Joan Jolley, Pam Hudgell, Rachel Lloyd, Carol Willson, Rosemary Appleby and Mavis Saward. Some of the WI scrapbooks were on display and were of much interest and amusement.

The President Joan Jolley reported on the Beechwood Group Meeting and asked ladies to sign up for the Christmas Lunch. Sue Lines announced details of the visits to ‘My Fair Lady’ in December, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘American in Paris’ in January. Sue also reported that the visit to Sonning Mill Theatre with the backstage tour had been excellent.

The speaker was Dr. Janice Kinory who gave an interesting talk on ‘Oxford Then and Now’ during which she showed us some wonderful images from the Historic Environment Imagery Resource. Some of the pictures dated back to the 1880s, with those early images held on glass lantern slides. Of the over 18,000 images more than 800 are of Oxfordshire and Oxford.

Dr. Kinory told the meeting about the changes that had occurred at the Colleges in Oxford including the increase in female students, illustrated with some pictures of the Colleges with ladies on bicycle. She showed some wonderful old photos of Oxford streets alongside modern images so that the dramatic changes were more obvious. There were also pictures of the Martyrs Memorial, the Examination School, the Morris Cycle Works in Long Wall and Hansom cabs on The High - all interesting to see. The talk ended with fascinating images of Oxford during floods over the years.

Everyone then enjoyed a special birthday tea. The tea hostesses were Banba Dawson and Viv Ellis.

The winner of the most popular ACWW flower was announced as Frances Lefebure with a large spray of Nicandra and the winner of the competition was Banba Dawson with a very colourful bank note from Costa Rica.

The speaker at the next meeting on November 15th will be Rosemary Edington with Teaka, talking about Hearing dogs for the Deaf. Visitors are always welcome.

Article created / last edited: 25 October 2017

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