Day out on Thursday 4 June – WI Centennial AGM broadcast in Harborough

WI Centenary logo eeD5k3OX_400x400The Centennial WI AGM is being broadcast live on Thursday 4 June at Market Harborough Theatre.  Her Majesty the Queen, the Countess of Wessex (Sophie) and Princess Anne (hope that is right!) will be in attendance.  Cost £5 per person.  Tea and coffee from 9.30 am, AGM starts at 10.10 am, finishes 4.30 pm.  Light refreshments available.  Funds to charity.  The event is being organised by Ashley Welland WI.  The link will take you to their contacts page.


Willow wonderment

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John Shone (left) and Martin Keeley (right) of Rutland Willows with some of their wonderful willow products

Rutland Willows amazed members on Wednesday evening this week with a witty and humorous talk by John Shone and son-in-law, Martin Keeley.

Whilst John introduced us to the numerous varieties of willow, their cultivation, colouring and harvesting, Martin very deftly created some wonderful shapes (see picture below of the dragonfly and fishing rod) plus giving us a useful tip on preserving them with spray on teak oil and, for the very conscientious, clear wood preserver.

It was good to hear that Rutland Willows manages the willow at a local, favourite beauty spot, Fineshade Woods, Corby.  It was fascinating, too, to hear how the demand for willow products dropped during the Second World War with the advent of cheap metals and plastic.  However, it was very pleasing to hear that through a connection with Louise, one of John’s twin daughters, who worked for Geoff Hamilton of Gardeners’ World fame, that incidental use of some willow products in the programmes brought back the demand when everyone wanted willow products in their own garden.

More on the history of Rutland Willows and to se more of their products again, they are having a stand at the Sandringham Flower Show in June.

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Information stand

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Fishing rod and dragonfly – both kindly donated as raffle prizes



Latest news on speakers at WI Centennial Fair in Harrogate

WI Centenary logo eeD5k3OX_400x400If you are still deciding on whether to go to the WI Centennial Fair, then maybe the latest news of the exciting list of speakers will sway you.

Highlights include Bill Oddie talking about his travel adventures, Dr Hilary Jones giving top tips on health and wellbeing, BTO’s guide to attracting birds to your back garden, Telegraph beauty editor Kate Shapland’s beauty industry insights, Great British Bake Off star Luis Troyano’s bread making masterclass and more insightful cookery demonstrations from highly-skilled chefs including Peter Lien, Mary Gwynn and Anne Harrison. 

Check out the post on 19 May 2015 for details of the coach trip from Leicestershire or get chatting to your fellow WI members and arrange to share a car.

Special thank you to Fiona!

Fiona Thompson receives a huge thank you from President Clare Farquhar

Fiona Thompson receives a huge thank you from President Clare Farquhar

A huge thank you (and hence a separate, special post) to Fiona Thompson,  Secretary of Market Harborough WI.  Fiona single handedly planned and organised the whole evening last night: from spotting the ad for Raising Agents last September on the National WI website, getting the local Committee’s approval through to ensuring the whole event ran seamlessly.  Other Committee members readily supported, lending a hand to meet and greet and help with refreshments.

Once again, thank you, Fiona.