Thorney WI keen to attract new members

Veronica Hewins (web)

Thorney Plus WI membership has fallen to around 20 people and the group is keen to attract new women to their meetings.

They meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 10.15am at the Bedford Hall. There’s a different speaker or activity each month and also opportunities to visit other Women’s Institute groups around the region.

Next month (August) the normal meeting will take the form of afternoon tea, served from 2pm to 4.30pm in the Bedford Hall with a charge of £2 and, in September, the meeting will be held in the evening (7.30pm, also at Bedford Hall). More evening meetings may be held if the idea is popular. The group also has its own Facebook page, just search for “Thorney Plus WI”.

September speaker is Veronica Hewins (pictured), a former convenience store owner who now talks on life in India and Indian cooking in particular.

In October, there’s a talk by Les Green of Deeping Fudge, who set up a business with his wife making fudge 13 years ago; and in November, Margaret Hope (one of the club members) will demonstrate flower arranging.

Tea, coffee and cakes are always on offer and visitors can pay £2 to come along to see if they like it. Annual subs are £39 to cover all meetings.

“A lot of people think we’re just a load of old diddies, and a lot of us are,” laughed secretary Judy Epton,“ but we enjoy the talks and the company and it would be great to see more people come along, especially younger women as they are the ones who will keep the club going in future.”

“A friendly welcome is guaranteed and if people want more information, they can call me on 270704 or e-mail”

There’s a serious side to the Women’s Institute as well. After the Manchester terrorist murders, WI groups from the city came forward to help and the organisation also supports women’s education, with Denman College, its own institution. Across the UK, more than 200,000 women belong to the WI.

“We are engaged in lots of things happening in the village,” said Judy. “We’ve done Open Farm Sunday and we’ll be helping with the Thorney Abbey Flower Festival and the Solomon Islands charity.”

Recent activities included a visit to Willow Brook Farm, Helpston to make pork pies; also talks on forensic science and family history. Members visited Whittlesey WI for its birthday evening and were entertained by the fantastic Upwood Ukulele Band; also Tydd St Giles WI for its Strawberry prom, with entertainment from King’s Lynn town band and The Isle of Ely WI choir.

On September 20 it’s WI Day and retired royal protection officer Peter Lawrence is giving a talk at March Community Centre on London villains and royalty entitled “From the Krays to the Crown” and in October, there’s a talk at Wisbech St Mary for Federation Day by Mandy Hickson an RAF fast jet pilot.


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