Marchwood Village is situated just off the A326 to the West of Southampton on the Waterside of the New Forest. Belonging to the Beaulieu Group, the first Marchwood WI meeting was held on May 11th 1921, when 45 members were enrolled. The President was Lady Crofton, the Secretary and Treasurer a Miss R. Longman.
Our meetings take place on the second Tuesday of each Month at 7:15 p.m. (No meeting in August).
Venue – Marchwood Village Hall which is situated behind the Village Centre. Accessed via Vicarage Road adjacent to St. Johns Church. The Hall has full disability access.
Our president is Carolyn Bianchi.
Marchwood currently have 40 members. We are a friendly group of women, not all from Marchwood, but along the Waterside as well. Please come to one of our meetings, or one of our shows. You will be made very welcome. There is always something to look forward to at the monthly meetings and it is a great way to make new friends and maybe discover talents you didn’t even know you had!
Each month we have a speaker, competition and a bloom of the month.
Marchwood WI has a Book Club and a Quiz team. The members also belong to local groups such as “Stitch and Chat” and the “Solid Silver Club”.
We are involved various ways within the community, for example at the school, local churches the Village Hall and a Waterside Charity.
Our ‘Education Day’ is a biennial event in which we can participate all kinds of new activities such as chocolate making, crochet, jewellery design, ribbon work, to name but a few!
Centenary Celebrations 2021
“One Hundred Years Not Out and it’s a Fete Accompli!”
So after sixteen months of not having proper meetings, Marchwood WI met again at the end of July ….we held our annual plant and produce auction and it was nice to feel somewhat normal even though we met at the (misted, safe and well ventilated) Village Hall with a sense of trepidation!
It went well and barring a more stringent lockdown we then decided that the September meeting was going to be our party to celebrate ONE HUNDRED YEARS of their being a WI in Marchwood!
We had a great celebration, with Kristie from KJ’s Café providing a choice of hot food ( no American Supper this time, yay !) and we had a Prosecco toast…to another hundred years…wouldn’t that be great!
We had invited members from the other WIs within the Beaulieu Group …from Waterside, Holbury Manor and Langley as well as Marchwood WI ex-presidents.
It’s sad to think that at one time there were ten WIs within the group and now so few that we are to be joined with the Bartley Group.
Carolyn Bianchi our President and archivist presented long standing members with certificates…a lovely surprise! And cut the centenary cake with Joyce.
Molly Burchall our oldest member was able to attend as was Joyce Monks who was a President in the past, both are in their nineties…fantastic!
Everyone sang the “Twelve Months of WI” which was hilarious!
Similar to the Twelve Days of Christmas but not quite…certainly that doesn’t include crocheted iced buns! (Think “The Calendar Girls”!)
Lynda Butterfield had knitted little celebratory centenary figures for each table…which were then raffled.
“A Fete Accompli !”
We even attended the Village Fete in September a year and a bit later than it should have been.
The theme was “Superheroes” and we dressed superhero-ish and sold tea and coffee and cakes.
At Octobers meeting we did a taste test…this was such fun …and very enlightening…Carolyn went to four supermarkets to buy a range of nibbles…tortilla chips, mince pies and sausage rolls…then we had to mark them in order of niceness! This was harder than we thought it was going to be, even though we had water to sip in between. ..things tend to taste a bit samey after a while…with any luck the next taste test will be Prosecco!
12 October 2021
- Competition – a bon-bon dish
9 November 2021
- Talk – The Secret Marshes
- Speaker – Aimee Durnell
- Competition – Picture of a marsh
11 November 2021
- Remembrance at the Cenotaph 10.50 am
14 December 2021
- Christmas Party – American Supper
- In-house entertainment
6 January 2022
- Beaulieu Group Carol Service
- St Francis Church Hall, Langley
- 2-4 pm
11 January 2022
- Talk – My career in Nursing
- Speaker – Annie Norman
- Competition – A decorated NHS face mask
8 February 2022
- Talk – Your guide to eye health
- Speaker – Twinkle Patel
- Competition – Eye bath
8 March 2022
- Talk – The War Horse Project
- Speaker – Amy Goodman
- Competition – Anything horse related
22 March 2022
- Spring Council Meeting Guildhall, Portsmouth
4 April 2022
- Beaulieu Group Spring Meeting
- St Andrew’s Hall, Dibden 7.30pm
12 April 2022
- 101st Birthday Party
10 May 2022
- Annual General Meeting
14 June 2022
- Plant and Produce Auction
12 July 2022
- Talk – What the Butler saw in Victorian Times
- Speaker – John Pitman
- Competition – A saucy postcard
13 September 2022
- Talk – Paper folding
- Speaker – Wendy Proctor
- Competition – A folded napkin
11 October 2022
- Talk – TBA
- Speaker –
- Competition –
13 December 2022
- Christmas Party
- In-house entertainment
Centenary Snowdrops March 2018
On a cold, March day, fortunately when it wasn’t raining or snowing, 6 ladies from Marchwood WI volunteered to plant 1000 snowdrops, representing WI colours, in the village to mark the Centenary. 5 plants were placed in each hole so the job didn’t take too long. They all had a lot of fun and a laugh or two, and hopefully there will be a great display in 2021 when we will celebrate our own Centenary. Many thanks to Judy Saxby for suggesting the idea and to Lynda Butterfield for directing the operation!
Marchwood WI Summer 2017
“The Antiques Copse Show” and “Florries Diamond Day”
The members of Marchwood WI always have a very diverse programme to look forward to and this Spring offerings were no exception.
In February Peter Raw the Winchester Auctioneer, came to speak to the WI bringing a wealth of experience and humour to his interesting talk of his years in the profession.
After a quiz whereby the audience had to guess the value of items….that was so hard, with most people either undervaluing or massively over-valuing. Peter then spoke about the various items that had been optimistically brought in to be valued by him….”is my picture by Rembrandt, is my glass Lalique or my jewellery Faberge?” Well, sadly there were no instant millionaires made that evening but it was a good evening and showed how hooked we all are on anything to do with antiques.
The meeting in March was such a lovely evening. Dave Dibden a coppicer with “local roots” came to talk about his life managing the “Pondhead Reserve” near Lyndhurst.
Dave gave a fascinating talk, illustrated with slides telling how he came to be involved with this wonderful wooded area after working for some years for the Forestry Commission.
Coppicing involves controlling the trees and shrubs within an area on a rotation. This allows the copse to mature but not die or become overgrown. Dave manages the reserve with the help of a band of dedicated volunteers. They have actually just won a prestigious award for their work. The slides showed the wood throughout the year and how it looks and grows during the various seasons and wide variety of fauna and flora that live there. It was a wonderful talk by someone who has a natural ability to connect with his audience in an informal way but still hold their attention and inspire them to visit this part of our New Forest.
At the 96th Birthday Party, we were entertained by Paul Nicholas’ beautiful voice….a fabulous rendering of “Bring him Home” from Les Miserables and lots of Swing, rock and classic vocals showing his ability and versatility.
Before Paul sang Florrie Sexton was presented with a bouquet to mark her very, very long term involvement with Marchwood WI.
Florrie has been a staunch and very regular member of Marchwood WI for an incredible “SIXTY YEARS” Florrie and her late sister, Gwen joined in 1957, following a family tradition. Her Grandmother was a founder member, whose daughter Rachel (lovingly known as Auntie Pop) became the first Secretary. Florrie’s mother Edna was working in domestic service at Dibden Manor for the then President Mrs Kettlewell, who insisted on all her staff becoming members of the WI! When the WI wanted to form a Drama Group , Edna encouraged her two daughters to join as well. Both Florrie and Gwen have been the WI President and committee members and Florrie’s nieces Pauline and Debra have been very active within Marchwood WI as well. We are really proud to have such a long family history within our membership.