Welcome to London West End WI

Monday, 2 October 2017

September Round-up

Now we're into October, things are definitely feeling more autumnal! September saw the last of our bake sales for the year (with the exception of mince pies at the St George's Carol Service, of course).

In the last update we already mentioned September's craft club, and the successful bake sale at Phoenix Gardens. Since then, we've had our monthly meeting, complete with Morris Dancing, and another bake sale, this time for Open House at St George's on 16th September.

Morris Dancing

Thanks to Tish and Mick for coming along to lead us in another dance (the name of which I've totally forgotten!) - no video this year, you'll be delighted to hear!

Open House

Thanks to everyone who helped out at Open House this year, baking and selling our wares to visitors to the Church.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

August (and early September) round up

Despite being holiday season we still managed to have a full craft club in early August, where Nicky led us in making 3D paper cut outs.

 At our monthly meeting, we were joined by the Urban Urchins project officer from London Wildlife Trust, Emma Pooley, who gave us a fascinating talk all about hedgehogs. If anyone wants to get involved in the project, or if anyone sees a hedgehog in London, you can contact the project here.

As we're into September before I've done any writing up, I'll also include early September information here (and why not!). At our September craft club we dug out our glue guns, pliers and boxes of shiny things and made brooches, earrings and bag charms.

On Saturday 2nd September we had a cake stall at the annual Phoenix Gardens Agricultural Fair, and a splendid day was had by all! Thanks to everyone who made things to sell, helped us sell our goodies, or bought from us. 

Ruth, Melonie, Claude and Helena hard at work!

Coming up in September/October:

1. We have a trip to the British Museum on Sunday 10th September for the community preview of the Scythians exhibition.

2. Our next cake sale is at St George's Bloomsbury as part of Open House on Saturday 16th September where it's all about cream teas.

3. Our September monthly meeting is on 20th September, where we'll be Morris Dancing.

4. October craft club turns its mind to Christmas, and we'll be turning ribbons, fabric scraps and embroidery hoops into festive wreaths.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Phoenix Gardens, Saturday 2 September

Bakers, Crafters, Sellers, Buyers... we need your assistance at the Phoenix Gardens Agricultural Fair in Soho this Saturday!!

Email us if you can bake or craft for the table, or help with selling.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

August Monthly Meeting

August 16th 
Saving London's Hedgehogs

Consistently voted Britain's favourite mammal, the western-European hedgehog is now suffering from a severe population decline, particularly in urban areas. 

This talk will explore the ecology of the humble hedgehog, while looking at some of the challenges the species is facing in the urban environment. Hedgehog Project Officer for the London Wildlife Trust, Emma Pooley, will reveal how the Urban Urchins citizen science project is aiming to discover more about the status of London's hedgehogs, and simple things you can do to improve your area for them.

Guests are very welcome (£5 for non-WI members). If you're not a member, please email us at londonwestendwi@gmail.com so we know to look out for you!

St George's Bloomsbury, 6 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HR. Doors open at 6:00pm for a 6:30pm start.

Please bring along refreshments to share with the group, (they don’t have to be home made!)

Monday, 31 July 2017

Review of the month - July

We started July with our first bake sale of the year (reported on in our review of June - obviously!), and continued with a second sale at the Chap Olympiad in Bedford Square in the middle of the month, with assistance from Kate and Claude.

Some of our goodies for sale at Bedford Square (c) Claude Asgill

Craft Club took place on 6th July, where we had a go at origami - some of us more successfully than others, it must be said! At our August craft club on 1st August we're going to be doing more papercraft, with Nicky leading us in making 3D paper models/cards.

At our monthly meeting on 21 July we were hoping to welcome Geraldine Beskin to give us a local history talk, but due to illness this meeting will be rescheduled. Huge thanks are due to Helena, who led us in printing cards using fresh flowers, hammers and watercolour paper - a fascinating evening, and who knew it was possible to make such pretty things in this way!  At our monthly meeting on 16 August we'll be learning all about Urban Hedgehogs with a speaker from the London Wildlife Trust.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

July meeting - 19th July, art from flowers

In a change to the advertised talk, tonight is a crafty, hands-on session led by Helena. We're going to be taking hammers to flowers and leaves in order to release their natural dyes onto watercolour paper to make works of art which can then be turned into cards, bookmarks etc. Creating art from nature while venting your frustrations? Sounds like a winner!

If you've got any brightly/strongly coloured leaves or flowers in your garden/windowbox you'd like to try with, do bring them along - the darker or brighter the better! We'll have hammers, but do bring your own if you have one. 

Watercolour paper will be supplied, and we'll also have some embellishments for you to decorate your artwork with!

We meet in the Upper Vestry Hall of St George's Church, Bloomsbury. Come along from 6.30pm, we'll be crafting from about 7pm. Bring snacks to share with the group!

Friday, 7 July 2017

June - Review of the Month

June began with Craft Club, where we were trying our hand at Japanese fabric folding - a bit like origami, but making these lovely fabric flowers out of pentagons of pretty fabrics, no cutting required!

Our monthly meeting was also our 10th birthday party, where we welcomed back former members along with current and new members for drinks, a quiz and a fabulous birthday cake baked by founding member Helena!

At the end of June (well, ok, the first day of July!) we had our first bake sale of the year at the Queen Square Fair where thanks to Claude, Ruth, Claire, Laura, Helena and Pam's baking and selling efforts we raised over £220

Coming up in July - craft club has been and gone (details in our next monthly round up), but we've still got our monthly meeting on the 19th where it's a local history talk from Geraldine Beskin from Atlantis Books. We also hope to have another cake sale at the Chap Olympiad on 15th July in Bedford Square.

Friday, 30 June 2017

It Must be Summer - it's Bake Sale Time!

On Saturday 1st July LWEWI will have our annual cake stall at the Queen Square Fair in Bloomsbury (near Great Ormond St hospital). 

Help always needed with baking etc, or why not come visit our stall and buy some cake? And if you've been thinking of joining us, here's your chance to find out more about who we are and what we do!

If you can't come to this one, we'll also be at the Phoenix Gardens agricultural show in September, and St George's Bloomsbury for Open House.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

It's our birthday!

London West End WI is turning 10 years old this year (well, roughly anyway - we may be a teensy bit older, but who's counting?)

All current, former and prospective members are invited to come to our birthday party on 21st June, 6.30-8.30pm. We'll have some bottles of fizz, birthday cake and maybe some party games! Hope to see you there?

Thursday, 25 May 2017

May Review 2017

At the beginning of May we were kept busy with craft club, where we had another go at cross stitch (with differing levels of success!).

At our monthly meeting we were joined by Nancy from the Positive Society who gave a fab and inspiring talk about the society, the benefits of positivity, and how we could all become involved. 

We also voted in favour of both the NFWI resolutions, on combatting loneliness and micro-plastics in the oceans.

As well as our meetings, members also attended the community preview of the Hokusai exhibition at the British Museum, which is well worth going to if you can. Members are frequently able to visit BM exhibitions for free before they open, just one of the benefits of joining LWEWI!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Monthly Meeting: Wed 17th May, The Positive Society and WI Resolution voting

For this month's meeting we are pleased to welcome Nancyt Steidl, founder of The Positive Society. She'll be telling us all about the society, and the benefits of staying positive. In these changing times, that can be difficult so this should be a wonderful and uplifting evening. 

Nancy will also be telling us about the "achievement diaries' which are run with the Society - they started in January but can be started now. It's a free tool, which lets you set targets and work through them to make your dreams come true, along with reflection on what you've achieved. 



Note that at this meeting we will also be asking members to vote on the WI Resolutions for 2017, Alleviating Loneliness and Plastic Soup. 

All members get one vote for each resolution: you are not voting for one over the other, but should vote for or against each one independently. LWEWI will then cast our WI vote for or against each resolution as directed by our members. 

If you have not paid your subscription by the start of the meeting you are not entitled to a vote.

All members can inform themselves of the campaigns by reading pages 20 and 21 of the April issue of WI Life magazine, and check out the resolutions page of the NFWI website by clicking here.

Guests are very welcome (£5 for non-WI members). You're welcome to email us in advance, but do feel free to just turn up on the night!

Upper Vestry Room, St George's Bloomsbury, Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HR. Door open c.6.15pm for 6.30pm start. Talks generally start at 7pm.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Review of the Month - April

In April we celebrated springtime both at craft club and at our monthly meeting. 

At craft club our crafty ladies knitted little chicks to pop chocolate eggs into just in time for Easter

At our monthly meeting we finally had our long-overdue AGM, and voted in our new committee. Thanks to all our outgoing committee members, particularly Becky and Laura for so valiantly dealing with the accounts, and a massive thank you to Alix for being President over the last year. Our new committee are:

  • Pam (President)
  • Claude (Secretary)
  • Helena (joint Treasurer)
  • Margaret (joint Treasurer)
  • Laura 
  • Chris

Thanks to all for volunteering their time for LWEWI!

After the AGM we got crafty as Helena led us in the making of lonely bouquets, which we then left around London to hopefully brighten some stranger's days.

Thursday, 30 March 2017



Please note that all 2017 membership subscriptions should be paid ASAP. The cost is only £39 for the whole year, which gets you free entry to our monthly meetings, copies of WI Life magazine from the National Federation of Women's Institutes, and the chance to join us for previews of British Museum exhibitions (worth £15 or more per exhibition). 

Your subscriptions help us pay our rent and get speakers for meetings, as well as being shared with Middlesex Federation and the NFWI. Without paying members, we simply can't afford to exist any more.

You can pay via the paypal button to the right of this page, or by cash or cheque at the next meeting. Any members who haven't paid by the end of the April meeting will be removed from our membership list - don't let that be you!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

March Review / What's On in April

Review of the Month
March has been a busy month (and it isn't even over yet!) with Craft Club busy making iris folded cards, and a lesson in Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs at our monthly meeting.
Iris folded cards made by our Craft Club

We learned to read this inscription at our March meeting

Members also enjoyed a visit to the British Museum to the community preview of the American Dream exhibition, and some attended the book launch Tom Schuller's new book, The Paula Principle - Tom previously spoke to LWEWI about his research for the book, and the ideas behind it. The book is available in all good bookshops, or via Amazon*

*If you shop with Amazon via our link Amazon will donate back to us 5% of your total spend.

Spring is in the air, and our April activities reflect this!

Craft Club
At Craft Club on Tuesday 4th April we'll be having a go at knitting simple Easter chicks, ready to be stuffed with creme eggs (other chocolate based eggy treats are available!). I'm assured they're very easy to knit, and we have experienced knitters on hand to assist.

Main Meeting
At our monthly meeting on Wednesday 19th April we're going to be making lonely bouquets to brighten up stranger's days, and printing our own gift wrap for them.

See our 'craft club' and 'this month' pages for more details. Guests and new members are always welcome to our meetings, for more information get in touch via email: londonwestendwi@gmail.com.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

March Monthly Meeting, Wed 15th - Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Wednesday 15th March 2017 6.30pm

A Beginner's Guide to Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Ever wondered what the symbols on Only Connect really mean? Or puzzled over what all those sculptures in the British Museum say? They can't simply mean "owl, walking man, dog, tree" can they? 

Come along for a brief introduction to one of the most ancient written languages in the world, what the symbols mean, a few phrases to dazzle friends and family with, and learn how to write your name in ancient Egyptian. 


St George's Bloomsbury, 6 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HR. Doors open at 6:00pm for a 6:30pm start.

Please bring along refreshments to share with the group, (they don’t have to be home made!)

Guests are very welcome (£5 for non-WI members). If you're not a member, please email us at londonwestendwi@gmail.com so we know to look out for you!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Invite to Book Launch

Some of you will remember that in October 2013 author Tom Schuller gave us a talk about The Paula Principle, the theory of why so many women work below their competence - details of the talk here

His book is now being published, and LWEWI members are invited to attend the launch of the book at Waterstones on Gower Street at 6pm on Wednesday 8th March. See details below, and please RSVP direct to Sarah at the email on the invite.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

February Monthly Meeting with Harper Stein

Wednesday 15th February 2017 6.30pm

Guests are very welcome (£5 for non-WI members), and we are delighted to open up the meeting to members of other WIs too. If you're not a LWEWI member, please email us at londonwestendwi@gmail.com or reserve a ticket via eventbrite so we have an idea of numbers.

It's Valentines day (or near enough) so this month we're exploring matters of the heart.

Harper Stein, the UK's most exclusive invitation-only dating agency, are delighted to present an interesting talk by award winning dating and relationship coach, Shelley J Whitehead. Shelley's fascinating talk will explore  how to lead a life you love, how to have better relationships and the biggest mistakes we make in relationships and dating. 

Single ladies are warmly welcomed for complimentary registration with Harper Stein at the end of the talk, where Shelley will also be available to answer questions and to explore private coaching options.

St George's Bloomsbury, 6 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HR. Doors open at 6:30pm for a 6:45pm start.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Committee Members Needed - URGENT

We really, urgently need committee members for the next year! We'll soon have our AGM (date to be announced), and we'll be losing Alix as President and Becki & Laura as co-Treasurers. 

Without these posts the London West End WI will sadly have CLOSE as we are not allowed to operate without filling these positions. 

If you're a paid up member of LWEWI you can be on the committee! Get in touch with us via email at londonwestendwi@gmail.com and we'll let you know what's involved. It's not too onerous, and you'll have the backing of other committee members such as our lovely secretary, Claude and long-standing member Helena.

WI Fair at Alexandra Palace