Seasons Greetings! A few words from our lovely president Clare

Wow!  It doesn’t seem like 5 minutes ago that I was writing my last month’s update.  It’s been a very busy month at work, at home and in MHWI land.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so busy and yet felt so content.  I love Christmas.  I love the shopping and the wrapping.  (My sister has told me this week that I should be in charge at Fort Knox, apparently my parcel taping skills are exemplary and there was no way she was getting in!). I love the lights and decorations, in my world there can never be too much tinsel.  I love party food and wine, obviously.  I love going to church and singing carols from the depths of my diaphragm and watching the kids nativity.

This year I have also been on the back of the Scout Santa Sleigh a couple of times with my fun-loving Fiona Thompson.  What fabulous evenings we had.  Not only were we bringing joy to the children, but I was struck by how excited the elderly were to see Santa and meet us “elves” and have a little chat, a little contact.  In all the fuss of family, shopping, work and life in general, it’s easy to forget there are people who are alone and not really looking forward to the festive period.

And then there was another MHWI committee meeting and the preparations for our Christmas Bash!  Boy, are we going to have fun tonight.  The raffle is AMAZING!  So much so that we are charging £1 a ticket.  The committee also decided as part or our “caring and sharing” mission, we will be donating from the proceeds to Market Harborough Young Carers to help fund a trip to the thwi2eatre after Christmas!  Such a worthy bunch of people to be supporting, so make sure you buy a strip of tickets and you may walk away with one of our super prizes.

The prizes have been donated by MHWI and local independent businesses (See here).  I hope you all supported our independent shops on Small Business Saturday.  I have always tried to shop in Harborough first before resorting to my beloved internet.  We have such a fabulous amount of independent retailers in town and I am always discovering little gems that can provide gifts that are just a little different from the norm.

At this point I must thank the fastidious committee who always step up to meet a challenge and managed to procure the raffle prizes.  I also challenged them to “titivate” the envelopes following a few sips of mulled wine!  So check out the bling and string of your creative committee at the MHWI meeting on Wednesday 17th December.

Our MHWI committee meeting was a huge amount of fun, and yes, the mulled wine did flow and mince pies were munched.  This did not stop our usual meeting, though Fiona had to bring us back on track a few times when we got carried away!  There are some incredible ideas for next years centenary celebrations.

Our first announcement, that has already gone out on the website, is that the Mikron Theatre Company are coming to perform in Market Harborough.  The play is called Mikron TheatreRaising Agents” and is a comedy about the WI.  We are really lucky to have secured a fixture as they tour the country on a barge along the canal network. If you would like to get involved with organising this event, please let Fiona Thompson know.

There will be other Centenary Events that will be announced shortly, so watch the website and social media for information and please come forward to help with the organising of individual events.  The more help there is the bigger and better each event will be.  AND if YOU have an amazing idea, come and let us know!

We are going to kick off the centenary year with a top 100 household tips.  So get your thinking caps on.  What quirky little time saver can you share?  For example, my top tip is :

Having washed, ironed (if you’re so inclined!) and folded your freshly laundered bed linen, put all the relevant bits for the bed neatly folded inside one of the pillowcases. This means that there is no scrabbling in the airing cupboard on bed change day to find the right sized sheet and the second pillowcase which thinks it’s an elusive sock!  Ta dah!!

So write down your tip (put your name on it) and bring to the January meeting or post on social media.  We will gather them together to create a list to be published.

So there you have it, lots of excitement to look forward to.  I hope that I have managed to fit this to one page, but my expectations are low!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Exciting and Inspiring Centenary Year!  Enjoy!
Clare x

Fabulous evening lined for Wednesday’s Christmas evening

We’ve loads lined up to make this a fabulous evening.  Not only is there a superb raffle, with the majority of prizes generously donated by local organisations, there are games to play and handbell ringers to entertain us.

Christmas tree decorations-w500-h500Spend a few minutes before the 17th and make a Christmas tree decoration.  There’s a prize for the best one.

Bring some nibbles to share as well as your favourite Christmas cheer (plus glasses).

See you there.


The Christmas snow(wo)men have arrived!

All snowmen-w500-h500The highlight of this week’s Christmas meeting just had to be the toilet roll snowman competition.  A member from each team stepped up and the rest of the team used toilet paper, hats, scraves, carrots, straws and pens to decorate their model.

Two Spirits Distillery-w500-h500

Two Spirits, a new, local distillery supplied samples of gin, vodka and absinthe, with the chance to buy some last minute Christmas presents at a specially discounted price.

Dutch Supper-w500-h500

The supper table was laden with all sorts of exciting foods to sample.

Raffle prizes-w500-h500

All Christmas raffle prizes were from local organisations.  Some had also generously donated prizes.

Winners - play dough nativity competition

Winners – play dough nativity competition

Santa - who's that?

Santa – who’s that?

Playdough nativity competition-w500-h500

Overall winners - Crackers1

Overall winners – Crackers1

Decorate a bauble

Decorate a bauble

Crarckers team - overall winners-w500-h500

Best and cheapest mincepie

Best and cheapest mincepie

Teams had great fun all evening playing ‘Chrisolympics’.  Games included making a nativity scene from play dough (click for recipe), blindfolded sampling to decide which was the best or cheapest mincepie, guessing the names of stars dressed in Santa outfits, millionaire drop and Christmas Pictionary.

Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year to all our members.

Fun evening planned for December’s meeting

Do make sure Wednesday 18th December is in your diary.  It’s 7.30 pm at the Congregational Church, Bowden Lane.  There’s lots happening and it should be a great start to Christmas festivities.

Local distillery, Two Birds Countryside Spirit (click to find out more and why they are so special), will be visiting with a chance to taste their locally produced spirits: London Dry Gin, Vodka and Absinthe.  You will also be able to buy their products at a discounted price for the evening, so a great chance to complete your Christmas shopping, while enjoying an evening with friends!

‘Chrisolympics’ are planned.  So, again, lots of fun for everyone as we can all take part in some crazy seasonal games.

Do bring a plate of nibbles to share – it’s a Dutch supper.  If you want to share a glass of wine with other members, then do bring a bottle and some glasses.

Looking forward to another great evening to celebrate the end of Market Harborough WI’s second, very successful year.  See you there!


Monthly news from MHWI

A few items from last week’s monthly meeting:

  • New and existing members can join/rejoin for 2014 – £34.70.  To the Membership Secretary, Patsy, by the January meeting, very latest.
  • Badminton group meetings Mondays, 9 to 10 am, in the sports hall at the MH Leisure Centre.  Do join us or contact us.

December’s meeting – Christmas social

  • Raffle tickets for the Christmas draw – do keep selling these right up to December’s meeting on the 18th.  Return counterfoils and money to Patsy (Committee) at December’s meeting.
  • Please bring a plate of nibbles to share.  If you want to share a bottle of wine with friends, then bring this together with some glasses.  There will be fun and games on the night too – do join us!
  • Lyn Taylor from Harborough Distillery will be attending the December monthly meeting.  She will be letting us taste her produce and it will also be on sale at a reduced price – ideal for last minute Christmas presents.

Other bits and bobs

  • Would you like to volunteer to welcome ‘newbies/be a hostess at future meetings?  it can be unsettling to come into a new group and to have someone welcome new people/introduce them to others in the group, wold make the world of difference.  Please see one of the committee if you are able to help us out with this or Contact Us.
  • Latest County news is available.  Hard copy is on the display table each month.  To share, please as we only have 2 copies.  however, if you do wish to have your own copy, please Valerie (Treasure on the committee) – they cost £3.08 +p&p for the year.
  • Brand new Facebook page – please go and have a look at and add things on to it:

Christmas card fun

Card making, Nov 13 (1)-w500-h500

Evanda Greenwood and her ‘sis’ Marie

A huge group of Market Harborough WI members and 4 visitors thoroughly enjoyed themselves this week making their own, unique Christmas Card.

Evanda Greenwood, Social Secretary, and her ‘sis’ Marie, supplied each member with a card kit in a cellophane pack.  Armed with instructions, members and visitors had great fun making their cards.  We learned how to add peel off gold borders and lettering, scoring bauble shapes with a cocktail stick so we could fold and glue to create an illusion of overlapping shapes, finishing off with gold hangers on raised sticky pads.  We proudly took them home to share with families. Click to see more pictures.

Marie had travelled up from the south coast to help Evanda.  She displays some of her delightful handbag gift bags in the picture above.

Thank you for a great evening.

Christmas bunting

Market Harborough WI members proudly displayed their creative skills by entering bunting made for Christmas in a competition at the December meeting.  Enormous detail was used and many must have taken hours to complete!

Each piece was numbered and members voted for their favourite.  The winning item was made by WI member, Carla, who had done a picture of Father Christmas – spot number 3 on the pictures below.