Welcome to London West End WI

Sunday, 28 October 2007

November Meeting

Hello! Our next meeting will take place on Tuesday, the 20th November, from 6.30 to 8.30pm at our new location in the Upper Vestry Hall at the back of St George's Church on Little Russell Street London WC1. The nearest tube stations are Holborn and Tottenham Court Road. Alternatively, you can take the 1,8, 19, 25, 38, 55, 98, 242 buses.

This meeting is in two parts, the Annual General Meeting followed by an Art Workshop

In order for our Women's Institute to continue we need to elect a Committee of at least 3, and a President, Secretary and Treasurer. You, the members, elect the Committee and the President directly at this meeting so you have to be there in person! There is no postal or proxy voting.

We are asking for nominations for President, Secretary, Treasurer and Committee members. Kate and Anni, the current President and Secretary are not standing for re-election due to family care issues so please step forward. You can nominate yourself or nominate someone else as long as they are willing to stand.

Nominations can be sent to Kate Matheson at londonwestendwi@googlemail.com

It could be your name on the ballot slip!

Our own member Helena Roden will be running the art workship. We will be starting to design a large window panel for the Dragon Hall, our previous meeting place. Please bring a picture or photograph about Women, having fun, being in an institute, doing anything that a modern woman does. The wilder the better!

We look forward to seeing you all on the 20th!

Sunday, 14 October 2007

October Meeting

Hello! This months meeting will be taking place on Tuesday the 16th at 6:30 and the speaker will be Richard Wiseman whose talk will be "From Notepad to Screen – how TV Programmes are Made'. Remember that our meetings now take place in the Upper Vestry Room of St.George's in Bloomsbury on Bloomsbury Way. Enter via the gate on Little Russell Street. Looking forward to seeing you!

Sunday, 16 September 2007

September Update

We have a new home! Now that we've had a chance to try out our proposed new venue - The Upper Vestry Room at St Georges Bloomsbury, we've taken a vote and it has been agreed upon that we will move there permanently. We also decided to make this month's meeting a Planning Session to cover the next year or so, deciding who does what jobs, what speakers we'll invite, how we recruit new members and so on. So please come along with lots of bright ideas! And lets hear it for Viv who can play the piano at the more musical events we've planned, starting with a Christmas singalong.

Unfortunately, the fair we signed up for in September has been cancelled. There's going to be a Bloomsbury Festival over the weekend of 19-21st October sponsored by Allied London and we've also been asked if we would like a stall at Queens Square Book Fair on 20th October, which would cost £40. Let's discuss the whole "Fair thing" as part of the planning session. Some questions to consider could included: do we have to make cakes or could we sell something else? Is there another way we can fund raise ? How much are we prepared to pay for a stall?

Fancy Yourself as a Brown Owl? Dragon Hall are starting a Brownie Pack for local girls aged 7-11 , and they are looking for a leader. Full training and on-going support will be given and this could lead to a formal volunteering qualification. This is a great idea, much needed in the local community so if you could find time to get involved please contact Helen at Dragon Hall helen@dragonhall.org.uk . Even if you don't fancy leading, it would be worth asking Helen if there were another way to get involved.

St George's needs volunteers too! The church has been magnificently restored recently and now has one of the most beautiful Hawksmoor interiors in the country. Consequently, lots more people want to see it and the church is now in need of volunteers to greet them and make sure they get the most from their visit. Enthusiasm and the ability to communicate with members of the general public are more important than the ability and experience and people from all religious faiths (or none) are welcome. If you have any spare time and would like to get involved, please contact Alexandra Talisadoras 020 7242 1373, or email at stgbalex@hotmail.com .

Anyone feeling artistic? Dragon Hall has asked if we would like to design a Perspex panel. We are assured it will look like a stained glass window for the entrance of their building. Any Ideas?

As always, we meet every third Tuesday of the Month from 6pm. Here's a list of our upcoming meetings.

16th October - "From Notebook to Screen" : How TV Programmes are Made

20th November - AGM & craft evening

18th December - Christmas singalong

15th January - The Blitz in the West End

hope to see you all soon!

Friday, 24 August 2007

New Location!

We're pleased to announce that our chapter of the WI will now meet regularly in the upper vestry room of St. George's Bloomsbury, located on Bloomsbury way. We hope to see you there at our next meeting in September!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

August Update

We have all been looking forward to the Garden Party we planned for August, but unfortunately this can no longer take place, as the garden is totally waterlogged – it’s quite low lying and has been well and truly soaked! The gardeners who look after it (it’s part of the University) have said that it’s not in good enough condition for people to use.

However, there is a good side – St Georges Church has offered us the use of the Vestry Hall, for a party and this will enable us to try it out and make sure we like it. So, our Next Meeting will be an ‘Indoor Garden Party’, and will take place in the Upper Vestry Room of St George's, Bloomsbury, from 6.30 till 8.30pm. It’s easier to find than Dragon Hall! Entrance via Little Russell Street (at the back of the church, access via Museum St or Bury Place), Come in the iron gate, up the steps on the right, If anyone needs disabled access please contact londonwestendwi@googlemail.com. Please bring food to share, drinks alcoholic or non alcoholic, sheet music if you can play the piano and CDs for background music.

In other news, thanks to great efforts by Kate Matheson who found out all about the scheme and applied on our behalf, London West End WI have been granted £1000 from the Covent Garden Partnership Community Chest Fund. This gives money each year to local projects that contribute towards building strong communities. This will make a terrific difference to the success of our WI – it will pay our rent for the next year and take off the pressure of constant fundraising.

As you may be aware, our branch is considering moving our meetings from our present location, and at the August meeting we need to make a decision whether to stay at Dragon Hall or move to the upper Vestry Room at St Georges Bloomsbury. All members are entitled to vote and if you are unable to come to the next meeting please email /phone the president Kate Matheson at londonwestendwi@googlemail.com and tell her which way you would like her to vote on your behalf.

This significance of this move could mark a new stage in our WI's development. At our September meeting we will be discussing the goals for our local chapter and its role in relation to the Federation, so that we can develop as a group and move forward coherently. More details to follow.

We have been invited to have a WI produce stand at a West Central Community Fair on Friday 21st September, from 3.30 till 8.pm at St Giles Garden, St Giles-in-the-Fields Church, 60 St Giles High Street, LONDON, WC2H 8LG. This is a great opportunity for us to build new connections with the women (working or living) in the area. The first time we went to a fair we raised nearly £200 for the group funds and attracted some new members. Those who took part would say it was fun (even with the stormy weather). To make this happen we need volunteers to bake, make, meet, sell the produce, set up the stand & put away. If you cannot come along on the day perhaps you would be willing to bake/make for us.
Please let Carrie know if you are willing to bake/make help out on the stand help with logistics ( storing baked goodies/transport etc) clear up join us for tea/glass of wine support in spirit if not in body. To help everyone their making / baking we need to make a decision about going ahead with this by 3 September. So please email or phone Carrie if you are willing to help. She can be reached at home eves 02087614882 or 07789954972 anytime, or at carriethecoach@hotmail.com.

Finally, We’re planning to see if Neil McGregor – who’s in charge of the British Museum – will let us have a group visit to the big Chinese Warriors exhibition at the BM in the autumn. We’ll see if we can get a good rate and maybe go along to one of the evening openings. If you’re interested, please let us know at the next meeting.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

July Meeting

Did you know that a public hangman once lived in Stukeley Street? That Bertrand Russell used to lean out of his window in Russell Chambers anticipating the arrival of his lover, Ottoline Morrell? Richard Knight from Camden Local Studies & Archives Centre will tell us more facts about the people who have lived in our area and contributed to its reputation as a bohemian heaven.

Ruth Harris stepped in to the breach last month when our planned speaker was unable to come along at the last minute. Ruth nipped home and returned five minutes later with her viol. She told us about the instrument, how it is played, some of its history and played us a tune or two. Now we are wondering how many more potential speakers we have amongst our own members. Sign up if you'd like to take your turn, whether it be telling us about a favourite unusual hobby or showing your slides from that trip of a lifetime to Machu Pichu.

West Central Forum's Great Plague Fair will be in the gardens of St Giles-in-the-Field on Friday 21st September from 3.30- 8pm.The plague of 1665 started in this area and there is no plaque or monument to commemorate the fact so instead we will have a community fair! If you want to run a stall contact Kate at mathesoncat@hotmail.com

Finally, There is a Brownie Pack starting at Dragon Hall on Sundays from for girls from 7-10 years old. If you have a family member of neighbour with a child of that age, get in touch with Helen at Dragon Hall 020 7404 7274 or Helen@dragonhall.org.uk.

We hope to see you all at this month's meeting - you can sign up for an annual fee of £26, which gives you a subscription to WI Life, or alternatively you can pay £3 at the door for each meeting!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

June Happenings in the West End

Now that June's here, our next meeting is right around the corner. On the 19th of June Kusuma Barnett, Head of Volunteers at the British Museum, will come and regale us with her stories and insights about one our city's major attractions. Kusuma has worked with the British Museum for nearly twently years, and has recently been awarded an MBE for her efforts!

On Sunday June 17th at 12:15 there will be a "meet the neighbours" lunch at St.George Bloomsbury. Please come to this great opportunity to get to know your community, and bring food and drink!

Anyone interested in volunteering at the Oxfam Bookshop on 12 Bloomsbury Way is still encouraged to do so. An application can be downloaded here. Oxfam requires a minimum 4-hour-a-week commitment, but these can be arranged flexibly to best suit your schedule.

Anyone interested in completing their online Food Hygiene Course can find information here. The course requires a minimum of 8 hours learning and a 45-minute multiple choice exam. The WI will fund volunteers.

Keep in mind that our summer garden party is rapidly approaching! Please bring your ideas to the next meeting so we can start to get the ball rolling on our plans. Also remember that July's meeting will feature a talk from Richard Knight of Camden's Local Studies and Archives Centre, who will dazzle us with his knowledge of the St Giles and Bloomsbury areas.

That's all for now - we hope to see you all at 6:30 on June 19th at Dragon Hall!

Friday, 25 May 2007

Welcome to London West End WI!

Welcome ladies of central London! This is the inaugural post of the London West End Women's Institute website. Please check back frequently to find information about our forthcoming meetings, current campaign issues and ongoing activities. We meet on the 3rd Tuesday of every month in the upper vestry room of St.George's Bloomsbury on Bloomsbury Way, so please come and join us - the more the merrier!

Our next meeting will take place on the 19th of June Kusuma Barnett, the head of the volunteers program at the British Museum is going to come and talk to us. Originally hailing from Sri Lanka, Kusuma trained as a nurse with the intention of becoming a lady of leisure upon her retirement. However, in 1989 she visited the British Museum and enjoyed it so much that she became a volunteer and has been awarded an MBE for her efforts over the past 20 years. Come and hear Kusuma's stories and insights into one of the most fascinating collections in Britain.

On the 17th of July Richard Knight from the Camden Local Studies & Archives Centre will be coming to dazzle us with his knowledge of the St Giles and Bloomsbury areas, and looking ahead, our Summer Garden Party will be held on the 21st of August in the Vicarage garden on Gower Street, where we won't have to worry about any repeats of last year's close shave with an ASBO. Members of the Islington and Fulham WIs are also being invited, but in order to put on a good shindig we'll need some volunteers and good ideas, so have your suggestions ready at the next meeting.