Denman Ambassador – Helen Carter
There really is something very special about Denman, the WI’s own residential College in Oxfordshire. Back in the 1940s, when war was rampaging all over Europe and beyond, a group of women had a dream. Sir Richard Livingstone, President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, was invited to be the guest speaker at a conference organised by the NFWI in September 1943 at Radbrook College in Shrewsbury. He spoke about the future of education, and then suggested that one day the WI might have a college of its own, thus planting the seed that was to grow into Denman College.
The seed grew, and finally came to fruition in 1948 when NFWI purchased Marcham Park in Oxfordshire, renamed it Denman College after its first and most influential Chairman, Lady Gertrude Denman, and opened its doors to its first students in September of that year. How much fun and laughter and learning has gone on both inside and outside its mellow Georgian walls since then! There are literally hundreds of courses offered in Cookery, Craft and Lifestyle so there’s sure to be one that interests you – or you can contact the College and ask them to put on a course in your particular area of interest.
Now open to members and non members alike, men are warmly welcomed too, and many WI members love the chance to escape from their everyday lives for a few days to enjoy the peace and tranquility, the fun and stimulation of learning that makes up Denman today. Go there, and try it for yourself.
Please click here for a link to Denman bursaries which are available for the 2017/18 programme year. These bursaries are all for first time attendees at Denman.
The bursaries are to be used on open residential courses taking place before 30 September 2018. This information will be included in the Denman brochure which will be distributed at the beginning of October and will also be added to the Denman website.
Please circulate the information to WI’s within your federation as soon as possible and highlight the closing date for applications for these bursaries, which is Friday 24 November 2017.
Bursary applications should be sent to Karen Hodge at Denman, Marcham, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX13 6NW or emailed to email@example.com
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.
If you are a tax payer and would like Gift Aid any donations to Denman they can reclaim a further 25p in every pound if you complete a Gift Aid Form. Please click here for a Denman Gift Aid Form .
Saving Denman Appeal
The member lead ‘Saving Denman Appeal ‘ closes this month and to date has raised £538, 500. It is hoped that we will be able to get some match funding to bring the total over a million pounds. Thank you to all those WIs, individuals, groups and families who have supported and carried out fund raising. If you have any money to bank for Denman please send it into the office before the end of March. Why not have a final coffee morning to boost Hampshire’s total?
Denman will always need extra money, the car park at the back of the cottages has just been re surfaced with tarmac. No more puddles or muddy shoes getting from car to accommodation.
Hampshire has pledged to continue to fund raise with special events. A recent offer was from Barbara Jeremiah of Herriard & Lasham with Bentworth WI. Barbara has offered to open her beautiful bluebell garden set in ancient woodlands, which has been part of The National Open Gardens Scheme, but is being opened exclusively this year for the WI. The cottage and gardens have also featured in ‘Period Living and Hampshire Life’. Her garden covers two acres with an open glade outside the cottage. Walk around the clay pits from which bricks used to be made, admire the fernery and the stumpery with upcycled tree roots and the peaceful feel of the garden. Children under 16 are free and would love the treehouse and rustic arches around the property.
Brick Kiln Cottage was home for the brick master to the Herriard Brickworks and is over 300 years old. Part of the garden has old square bricks made from the clay in the garden, set in a chequerboard design, which is filled with herbs. Many of the garden features are recycled and Barbara’s latest project is to restore an old shepherds hut. Pots contain spring bulbs and the whole ethos of the garden is to attract bees and wildlife. Come and enjoy the raised fruit beds, vegetable potager, pebble garden with shady arbour and delightful cottage garden.
The garden is mostly South facing and has been created by Barbara and Kay Linnell lovingly over 24 years. Their ethos is to enhance nature and create a haven-which they certainly have. They fell in love with the cottage and garden and have managed the woodland and worked with the environment to create a peaceful garden to relax in. Barbara is a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners and a talented textile artist so well placed to create and design with flair. It is an honour to be able to able to visit this unique garden.
Please join us on Sunday 6th May 2018, Noon to 5pm at Brick Kiln Cottage, The Avenue, Herriard, RG25 2PR. Entry to the gardens is £5.00, which includes a slice of homemade cake, a pot of endless tea or homemade lemonade. There will be designated disabled parking and plenty of room for further cars behind the cottage in the woods. Please note the woodland walk is not suitable for wheelchairs. Dogs are welcome on leads. Do join us on the Sunday and enjoy a delightful garden designed by inspiring ladies.