Welcome to Lymington WI.
Feb 2021update: During the Covid19 pandemic we are sadly unable to meet as usual. However our monthly newsletter (e-news and paper) enables us to keep in touch with our members, and we have started holding our monthly meetings by Zoom If you are interested in joining us once we can meet again, please get in touch.
When things get back to normal:
We hold our meetings on the second Wednesday of the month at 9.30am, and once we can meet face-to-face again, these will be held in the St Thomas Church Hall, Lymington. We enjoy a wide range of speakers, raffle and of course a good natter!
Between meetings we enjoy Cinema, Crafts, Darts, Reading, Skittles, Socialising and Walking.
We continue with our lively meetings and sub meetings, keeping ourselves fit and our brains updated! So if you think you would like to come along and join our WI, you would be very welcome.
If you would like more information about the Lymington WI just email: firstname.lastname@example.org or pop along to one of our monthly meetings.
Our programme for 2021 is mainly suspended but our next two Zoom meetings will be as follows:
Wednesday 10th March: Illustrated talk on ‘The New Forest Coast’ by Sheila Ward of the Friends of the New Forest
Wednesday April 14th: ‘Getting to know you’ – members talk about one of a choice of items they have at home.
Lymington WI Groups
- Activity – Book Club 1
- Timing – Every 6 weeks, 2.30pm-4.00pm
- Leader – Andrea Purvis
- Activity – Book Club 2
- Timing – Every 6 weeks
- Leader – Alison Crates
- Activity – Craft Group
- Timing – Mondays, 2.00pm-4.00pm (Not Bank Holidays)
- Leader – Pam Neale
- Activity – Darts/Social
- Timing – Second & Fourth Tuesdays, 11.00am
- Activity – Walking Group
- Timing – Third Wednesday
- Activity – Skittles/Social
- Timing – First and third Tuesdays, 11.00am
- Leader – Cicely Lang
- Activity – Cinema visit
- Timing – As announced
- Leader – Helen Williamson
We are keen to expand our groups therefore ideas for new groups always welcome.
Meets the third Wednesday of the month in the morning.
The 2019 Lymington Rotary Summer Spectacular
Our team was soooo busy that we all forgot to take any photos! But our stall was a great success, raising funds for our charity Forca as well as for our own funds, with the raffle for three hampers being the money-spinner. Ably organised by Joan Horton-Fawkes, a team of members worked in shifts to put up the stand, sell goods and raffle tickets, and clear away, exhausted, at the end of the day.
Success at the New Forest Show 2019
Members of Lymington WI did very well in the WI tent at the New Forest Show with their exquisite craft work, winning a Best in Show, First and Second places as well as some stars.
Lymington WI at the Lymington Town Carnival 2019
The Carnival theme this year was ‘Save our Planet’ and we decided to focus on animals and their endangered habitats. We dressed simply all in black, carrying inflated globes. We wore baseball caps with animals on top and each of us wore small placards front and back with a message about saving the habitat of their particular animal. Our bucket shakers did well, collecting money for the Rotary Carnival fund. Our group was well-received with smatterings of applause as we walked round, and we were pleased to win second place in our category. Happily the day was not too hot and the procession went smoothly.
Outing to Compton Acres June 2019
A sunny day in June found 22 members and friends boarding a coach to visit Compton Acres gardens at Poole. Many of us began with a coffee stop just inside the entrance, before following the winding paths through the various lovely gardens, and marvelling at the water lilies in the Italian Garden in particular. A leisurely lunch in the one of the cafés left time for more strolling and a visit to the garden sales area and shop.
Save Our Seas: The Lymington WI Christmas Tree at the St Thomas Church Christmas Tree Festival 2018
Craft Group members guided by Pat Hooper, made a variety of “Save Our Seas ” themed decorations to adorn the Lymington WI Christmas Tree. These included felt and knitted octopus, fish, star fish, penguins, dolphins and sea horses. This was one of the trees decorated for the St Thomas Church Christmas Tree Festival to raise funds for various organisations. The trees were available to view by the public from 7th December to 11th December.
Lymington Summer Spectacular August 2018
Sunshine and a great crowd made for a fun and successful WI stall at the Lymington Summer Spectacular 2018. Members had excelled in their cake baking and making creative craft products, which filled the stall at the start of the day and were quickly snapped up by those attending the event.
Lymington WI at the Lymington Town Carnival 2018
The July Lymington Carnival day dawned dry and warm as the twelve ladies from the WI gathered at the start of the procession. The theme of the carnival was “Television” and we chose “Call the Midwife” as our WI theme. Two members carried the Lymington WI banner and twelve ladies dressed splendidly as midwives walked behind, wearing stunning white pinafores, red cardigans and hats, some pushing bicycles and a pram. Buckets were shaken at the happy crowds lining the streets and money collected for the Rotary Club Town Charity. A lively procession through the streets enabled us to celebrate our busy WI Group and a fun morning was had by all!
Ending Plastic Soup
On Saturday 17th February 2018 from 10.00am to 12 noon, in response to the national resolution to end plastic soup, Lymington WI held a table top display in the foyer of M&S Lymington. The event was registered with the Marine Conservation Society whose literature was used to raise awareness of the issue and the huge problem we face. Local MP Sir Desmond Swayne came along to lend his support, Lymington Times attended and members of the public showed great interest in the microplastic fibres issue and how we can all help address this problem.
The table top display is to be followed by a Beach and Cliff Top Clean event at Hordle Cliff (west of Milford-on-Sea) on Saturday 7th April from 10.00am to 12 noon, again supported by the marine Conservation Society. The event is open to all, many hands will make light work, New Forest District Council will provide plastic gloves, bags, some grabbers and will collect rubbish later. The WI banner will be flying from Joan Horton-Fawkes’s beach hut between the steps, which will be HQ for the day on the sea front serving tea/coffee and rock cakes.
Lymington WI Beach and Cliff Top Clean at Hordle Cliff
Following on from the Women’s Institute National Federation Resolution to stop plastic soup in our seas, on Saturday 7th April from 10.00am to 12.00 noon a group of around 100 enthusiastic people comprising a band of Lymington WI members and the general public met for a Beach and Cliff Top Clean at Hordle Cliff, just west of Milford-on-Sea.
The event took place on a blustery dry morning and was undertaken in co-operation with the Marine Conservation Society. NFDC provided rubbish sacks, pickers and high visibility volunteer vests.
MP Sir Desmond Swayne came along to lend a hand, collecting rubbish on the beach including a traffic cone!
President Joan Horton-Fawkes made her beach hut the HQ for the morning from where tea/coffee and rock cakes were served to the eager volunteers. Sarah Bunce a Boldre WI member also made her beach hut available with refreshments.
Over 20 bags of rubbish were collected, full of plastic debris including bottles, bottle lids, rope, fishing netting, plus small detritus easily swallowed by fish. Items too large for the rubbish sacks included several broken beach umbrellas, long lengths of metal and two car tyres!
The morning concluded with a gathering together of all the rubbish sacks and other items which made for a considerable mound, to be collected later in the day by NFDC.
The event took a great deal of planning and proved extremely worthwhile.
MP Desmond Swayne helping
Day trip to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery Laverstoke 2017
On Wednesday 22nd November 2017 twenty two enthusiastic members boarded the 8.45am coach from Lymington to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Laverstoke. On arrival we enjoyed hot drinks served in the Mandydown cafe, a converted green and white double decker bus in the grounds of the Laverstoke Mill site.
Our tour of the Distillery began in the Laverstoke Mill Heritage Room displaying the history of the site. Following our very informative guide we moved on to the Botanical Dry Room and Dakin Still House where the exotic botanicals meet the spirit and the London Dry Gins are made within the historical Dakin Stills. It was fascinating to sample the aromas of the botanicals and make choices for our later gin cocktail tasting. The magnificent Botanical Glasshouses hold examples of the live growing botanicals and the stunning arched glass architecture was appreciated by all. Although a chilly day it was a pleasure to view the River Test up close and witness its crystal clear waters, being one of the purest chalk streams in England. From the nearby court yard we saw India House, built in 1916 to make banknotes for the Bank of India, now used to house two large Vapour infusion stills. We enjoyed browsing in the Gallery where over 250 years of distilling Gin are celebrated.
We gathered around the Christmas Tree outside the pretty flint covered old workers cottages for a group photograph before going into the Mill Bar to be served with our complimentary finely crafted cocktails to suit our individual tastes. The trip concluded with a visit to the Gin Shop where we could purchase Bombay Spirits, cocktail making equipment and various books about the Distillery.
The journey home was trouble free until we reached the traffic lights in Lyndhurst when there was a loud bang and the coach driver carefully manoeuvred the coach into the car park, where he discovered that we had a serious puncture. There followed several phone calls to family and friends at home in Lymington to rescue the party of twenty two ladies! A fantastic and fascinating day was really had by all.
Lymington WI at the Lymington Town Carnival 2017
The July Lymington Carnival day dawned dry and warm as the twelve ladies from the WI gathered at the start of the procession. The theme of the carnival was Musicals and we chose Mary Poppins as our WI theme. Two members carried the Lymington WI banner and ten ladies dressed splendidly as Mary Poppins walked behind, wearing stunning white pinafores, red bow ties, hats accessorised with cherries and carrying wooden handled black umbrellas with the WI logo proudly emblazoned on them. Members took it in turns to push the “Mary Poppins Nanny Agency” pram which contained the CD player playing songs from the musical. Buckets were shaken at the happy crowds lining the streets and money collected for the Rotary Club Town Charity. A lively procession through the streets enabled us to celebrate our busy WI Group and a fun morning was had by all!
Sparkling Strawberry Clotted Cream Tea
On 17th August 2016 members gathered in the garden of Joan Horton-Fawkes President of Lymington WI, to enjoy a Sparkling Strawberry Clotted Cream Tea. The glorious sunshine made for a relaxing and fun afternoon as members enjoyed strawberries, cheese biscuits and Prosecco, followed by sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream and slices of delicious cakes, with plenty of tea to drink. Many members had dressed up their hats for the occasion and the prize for the best hat went to a wonderful beach themed creation sporting a crab and a seagull ! The event included a free raffle with great prizes and concluded with an amusing brain teasing crossword competition, altogether a lovely August afternoon.
The Life of a Correspondent
At the 24th March 2017 Spring Lymington Group WI Meeting, over 100 ladies gathered at Lymington Community Centre to hear Kate Adie talk about her life and career as a correspondent in journalism and broadcasting. Joan Horton-Fawkes President of Lymington WI introduced Kate as someone all of us had heard in our homes over so many years. You could indeed have heard a pin drop as she spoke in her distinctly recognisable voice so familiar to us all, with humour for an hour. She explained that she is a member of Cerne Abbas WI and finds the WI relevant, alive and enormously respected with its up to date resolutions. She recalled how the hymn “Jerusalem” had the alternative title of the “Womens Suffrage” hymn.
Kate reminded us that with the end of World War 2 working women were being replaced by men returning from the war, so career aspirations for women were very limited at that time. With the support of her headmistress Kate studied Swedish and Old Icelandic at Durham University and after graduating began her career in Durham local radio a new venture for the BBC. As a Weerside girl she quickly learned her biggest lesson in being a correspondent is that the audience have interesting lives, that they know and care about things which make for the richest source of topics for broadcasting. The radio station tried out all sorts of new things with varying success including using a radio car and “phone ins” and one night unbeknown to Kate, her mother phoned in and at the end of the conversation asked her on air what she would like for dinner!
From radio she went into regional TV in Plymouth and then Southampton working there just before the Equal Pay Act. She was one of the first women to enter these new professions and frequently needed to reinforce her equal status amongst the men she worked with, explaining to us that that there was often an automatic relegation of women to the roles of “maids” despite their new professional status.
From regional TV Kate joined national television at the London National Newsroom and became a worldwide correspondent. She told us that news is “the unexpected” so broadcasters have to send the reporter available at that time with often no choice of who it will be. Kate’s definition of a reporter is” an eye witness on the ground” so her career involved lots of travel because places with news often did not have television broadcasting departments. Getting the facts was not easy when people were shocked scared and angry. Kate emphasised that there is no such thing as a “war zone”, as the effects of war ripple outwards with no boundaries and involves everyone. She explained that she needed to approach people carefully, ask what happened and listen and verify the facts. She did not seek out the War Lords and Big Wigs as they have their own agendas, she found ordinary people to tell her what was happening, trying to get as near to the truth as possible. When they first filmed news situations there was often nowhere to develop the film and so complete strangers were approached at the airport and used to volunteer to take the film with them on their flight back to the UK and the BBC would send someone to their home to collect it! When video came along she could then say “tonight this happened” as it was transmitted in real time down the phone lines.
Kate recalled being sent to Saudi Arabia to cover the first Gulf War and as the only woman amongst tens of thousands of men ensuring she did not “whinge” about the poor conditions and facilities. She made us roar with laughter recounting how she convinced General Sir Peter de la Billière, Commander-in-Chief of the Gulf British Forces, that if she was captured by the Iraqis with the satellite dish, she would tell them she was a cook and the satellite dish was her wok; he duly gave her permission to use the dish for broadcasting!!
She described herself as an optimist and that in her experience even in the worst of circumstances people are kind and give you information and make jokes. She recounted a very moving story of how after the 1988 Armenian earthquake, an elderly lady caring for her husband and two children in a scene of total devastation, offered to share with Kate and her cameraman the meagre meal she had prepared. Similarly reporting from the1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, it was the ordinary local Chinese people who took care of her and her team, hiding them from the authorities, at great risk to themselves.
Kate explained that with the coming of 24 hour news, journalism is now a presentational type of job inevitably involving repetition, speculation and opinions, rather than just new factual information. She reminded us that journalists often put themselves in great danger and this is exacerbated by the availability of alcohol and drugs to people with guns. Also that many journalists are killed doing their jobs and the most frequent cause of their deaths is being killed by their own governments.
A vote of thanks to Kate for her inspiring and interesting talk was given by South Baddesley WI, who remarked that we were fortunate to have Kate talking to us after she avoided Vikings and chemical warfare!
Kate’s speakers fee and expenses were all donated to “Footprints” Kate’s chosen charity which mentors ex-offenders when they leave prison, helping to reduce reoffending.
Kate’s talk was followed by a fabulous afternoon tea which was enjoyed by all.