17th February 7.30 - HOW TO ACCESS LOCAL HISTORY IN KENT - Mark Bateson
17th March 7.30 - St PATRICK'S DAY - McMANIGANS DANCERS - wear your Shamrock and celebrate
27th March 7.30 (Friday) WI QUIZ (with a Castle Theme) £6 including Ploughman's supper Bring your own drink and glasses to the Village Hall

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

'The beautiful game' - Football for a Fiver

One of our members, Christine, is a Season Ticket holder  at Charlton Athletic and suggested a new
way to spend our Saturday(s) - Football for a Fiver - plus free transport in her car.
Christine, Rita, Janice, Mary and Val went along. (A new experience for some and rekindled memories for others)

 To ensure we really got into the spirit of things we made our own knitted hats and Rita went mad with her needles and completed a scarf as well.   We were welcomed by the Stewards and had to enjoy a Giant Burger before the football began.   The Programme gave all the details we needed to fully enjoy the match - as well as a mention of Hollingbourne WI's visit.

 We had good seats and the atmosphere was very friendly with a packed stadium of over 25,000 fans

There was terrific support for Charlton Athletic - lots of singing and shouting and applause for good play, which was good to see - a sign of family friendly ambiance which the club works hard to encourage.

 The result was a fantastic  3 - 0  WIN against Huddersfield

What a day - We were worn out with the shouting and singing at the end of it.   A Great day out, thank you Christine for taking us.  

Wednesday, 11 February 2015


We have to say that this year was better than ever with over 100 children from Hollingbourne Junior School and lots, and lots and lots of parent, grandparents, and well wishers

The crowd was enormous and  the races began

and the first  Race winner was HOLLY COOK  of class 3 

and the second race was won by


he/she disappeared and we  don't know who it was - if you can let us know we will award the Rosette immediately 








who told us she was not going to run - but came in first when she did


 The Teachers race could have been won by any one of them 
 but the new winner of  this teachers race was  Mrs Wilman.

 The Mothers winner was Mrs Johnson (They really are a fast family - see above winners)

Dean Burfield - father  and Marcus Bebbints - 
who will be shortly opining a Youth Club in the Village hall - watch for notices.

The WI WALKING RACE   was a tie - Val Williams and Sadie Curtis. 


FINALLY THE PRE-SCHOOL HAD THEIR OWN RACE - with encouragement from the Mums


What a great afternoon - 150 Pancakes made, tossed, and all eaten by the children or local hens.
(Apologies for wrong spelling of any names)
There were drinks and buttered hot cross buns for all,  and a busy time for WI members who supplied them, or were starters, finishing line holders, photographers, frying pan fillers, frying pan runners, rosette awarders, chocolate givers and hall cleaner-uppers - and all GOOD FUN!
NB. a teacher told us that the children wanted to be MORE involved next year and the children were thinking of making the pancakes themselves next year - WHY NOT?

Friday, 30 January 2015

90th Birthday for a lovely lady - Eileen Jenkins

January 2015, and Eileen was presented with an Iced Cake for her 90th Birthday, during the WI meeting.  We all had a slice, but there was plenty left to take home to the family

Janice Butler, one of our Joint presidents presented the cake, which was made  (with apparent ease) by another of our members, Penny Smith.  Not only did she make and ice the cake, but also the decoration which was a bouquet of  unique sugar craft flowers

Eileen has been a member for 24 years, and regularly attends our meetings and other events - and long may she continue.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

WEST KENT DARTS TOURNAMENT - Sarah in good form.

Each Winter we try to enter a team in the Federation Darts tournament and this year is no exception..  It is started with competion between teams in our Local District and we play in various Pubs in the Holllingbourne, Bearsted Area usually.

This winter we have beaten  Madginford WI and Bearsted 'A' WI at the George in Leeds, though Bearsted 'B'  WI did get the better of us.

Our Team from the left is is Sarah, Janice, Val, Rita and Christine

At our last game at The Bird in Hand  Bearsted we had a great victory over Madginford.  Sarah was the heroine by winning two out of three of the games with a double one finish and a double two.
(Normally both teams end up trying to get  a double for maximum 5 minutes, then the captains throw for nearest to the bull)  SO THINGS ARE GETTING BETTER!

After the game - Madginford and Hollingbourne the best of friends.

WI Lunch Club

The Lunch club was started this year and we get together each second Tuesday of the month in a local hostelry at 1pm. and has become very popular.   If we are going out of the village we meet at the Village Hall Car Park, ten minutes before and lifts are arranged for those without cars.

For Christmas we lunched at the Parkgate for a very pleasant meal.   
(Same table photo taken from different ends)  
Perhaps you would like to join us in the future.

WI Evening Christmas Party and Lunch

At our WI party we won't be crafty and arty
we won't make jam - we don't care a damn
we will eat, sing and chat in our Old Time Hat,
and hope we don't look to tarty!

So ran the poem in one of our ' to a WI friend'  anonymous Christmas cards
which are given at our party.   We did just what it said -
and the hats were a competition - see
Barbara below who one the prize for the Best  Dressed Old Time Hat.

Some members had cooked a meal  for us with lots of lovely puds, while we wracked our brains to come up with answers for the Quiz. We played a few games with 'Ping Pong Bingo a special request.

Finally we finished with Christmas songs and carols

Three long suffering husbands donned aprons and did all the washing up,
so a good time was had by all (At least by the ladies)

See you all next year. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

100 years of WI - Baton in Kent.

 IS CELEBRATING ITS 100TH YEAR with many events.
A Baton containing pictures from each county has been moving around the country, beginning in Anglesey where the first ever Institute was formed.    There are 54 English Counties and 13 Welsh Counties, and the baton is well on its way to Cornwall the last County. 
This week, the Baton was handed from Essex to West Kent, traveling by Lifeboat, and is in West Kent for a week.  Today an exhibit was staged in The Mall Maidstone, for all to see, 
with Members of the executive committee in attendance.

Margaret Weaver of Hollingbourne WI had the to chance to see it first hand.  The photographs inside on a memory stick, represent evocative places in Kent.   The baton was also taken along to the North Downs District WI's Christmas Carol Service where each Institute had its Christmas Tree
They were supposed to be no bigger than 2 foot, (though some were)  ours however was a delicate one foot specimen, made of crochet by Sue Weightman  a member with talent!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Art and Craft Ditton

West Kent Federation finds amazing speakers for this annual event, and today was no exception.
We 6 from Hollingbourne managed to grab seats in the front row, and our first speaker 
Fred Lamont told us all about the Flemish Weavers in Kent. 
They had emigrated to Britain  in 1100's and were far superior in the methods they used and they cloth they made to our own british weavers though our wood was the best in Europe.     However  time came when their religion did not fit the protestant religion of Britain and they moved off to Scotland and Wales.  However Britain in 1337 called them all back when it realised that our wool was being exported with high taxes  and then the finished cloth had to be imported again at hight taxes.  The Flemish Weavers would get our balance of payments on the level again! We were growing the wool, weaving the cloth and exporting it.   They were given the 'Kings protection anywhere in Britain, and were told that their daughters could be married to the highest in the land.     All over Kent Flemish Weavers set up their looms, (Wide looms) making Broadcloth. to a strict specification.   The areas used were clearings in the vast woodland, and these were given names starting or ending in DEN or HURST.  Except for Cranbrook which was the largest Weaving town, and very rich.   There were 30,000 people living in the area and 26,000 of them worked in the Weaving and allied trades.  .

As well as the weaving, the finished cloth had to be 'FILLED, enormous hammers, run by water mills hammered down on the cloth to make it smooth.  FULLERS EARTH was used in this process, coming from between Hollingbourne and Leeds.   There were 13 of these filling mills on the Loose river. 
Silk weaving also started in Canterbury and you can still see the Weavers House, next to the river. 
However all things come to an end, and Queen Elizabeth in 1500's had a problem. We were having to pay enormous export taxes, and it was decided to impose taxes on the importing countries (a bit like Russia today and the sanctions we are imposing) As a result  no one wanted our  cloth - recession!
The flemish weavers were not dismayed and  though it took time, they set up other businesses in Britain instead, and flourished.    
NOTE - DNA investigations recently have found that a large part of our population is descended from Flemish People
It was so interesting and Fred Lamont was a clear and unhurried speaker,later our Members had time to chat with him, and Hilary Lucette advised him that her forebears were Huganots who had come to Britian during the period he talked of. 

 Rebecca was a joy to listen to, her subject interesting and unusual, and her diction was imaccculate.
We followed her career from  A level student to the Present day. The main medium she works in is metal using all kind of hand and electric machines to assist her.  She showed examples  - one being an enormous  'COBWEB' built high in the trees as a commission for Frank Williams (racing cars) in his garden. Although we saw a picture we are unlikely to see the actual work unfortunately.
She also told us about the times she had been in Nepal and the inspiration she had obtained from the circular movement of the saris worn by the ladies, who seemed to do everything while their men did little.  This statue is a combination of a tree shape and a lady in a sari.
One period in Nepal was working at the Esther Benjamin Trust, where they rescue young Nepali women who had been sold by their parents into India and  suffered degradation of every kind. They had been trafficked and had no confidence or feeling of self worth. At the trust she taught them various forms of Art and craft to enable them to support themselves and was so happy with the change they were able to undergo. 

She then went on to her current project.  She has been commissioned by the Gurka Regiment to sculpt a Gurka in Afganistan battle dress, carrying his rifle.  It will commemorate 200 years of the Gurkas.  The statue will be 6 foot tall, and on a 6 foot plinth. It will be sited in Folkestone in about three months time.  The picture above shows her working on the statue which will then be cast in a metal which hopefully will cope with the onslaught of the sea air, and the local seagulls.   This is a very brief note of her work, and an internet search of Rebecca Hawkins will prove very interesting.


 Lucy's career has taken many turns, on leaving Art School she realised that what she had learned would not really keep her in a steady income and she went back to the needlework she had learned from her mother and grandmother,  but she was soon 'discovered' and she has worked with Jean Muir for many years, designing the 'extras'  - embellishments that are found on the  Jean Muir collections.   She has also developed quirky types of waistcoats. - see above and below.  Each piece being unique and made to the owner's specifications.
 Below is a coat which had to be made of extremely light fabric as the owner had a skin complaint, but needed something special to wear for an important event.

Lucy like Rebecca  had found time to visit (on a continuing basis) the far east spending time in Jaipur India where she works with ANOKI,  a company which produces fabric, designs, and embroidery using local talented women.  This is a two way project with both Lucy and the local women benefitting from this arrangement.

She also told us about WONDERFUL WORKSHOPS - In Jaipur, India- a bit far for a craft outing, but there may be one or two Inspired WI women, who following her talk, enrol and discover a new world out there. 

Apart from these three magnificent speakers, there were craft stalls and details of new projects ahead, we are so lucky  to be able to attend such events in a local venue. 

Friday, 31 October 2014



 Deep in the countryside of Paddock Wood, two members spent a gloriously sunny morning learning the skill of clay pigeon shooting, with members from other WI's.  We moved around different stands where the clay pigeons were thrown up in a variety of trajectories, such as that of Skeet, Pigeon, Rabbit etc.  We had five shots with the 20 bore shot gun for each target before moving on.
The Instructor was patient and persistent, ensuring that we all hit some targets.
As you can see Val is in control of the gun (broken) and it is rumoured that she was the best shot.

PETANQUE  - watch out,  our members mean business. 

 What better place to learn to play Petanque than at Istead Rise Petanque club on 1st September when Joyce Janice, Christine and Val joined 28 other WI members at a West Kent Federation event.  We were told about the history of the game and the rules.  We were divided into teams of 3 to play very competitively.  Tactics being the name of the game! We played all day and finished the afternoon with a mini tournament.  Istead Rise club were very patient and encouraging and even made cakes for our break assuming that we would only eat home made refreshments!

Not just tactics, but CONCENTRATION   from Janice.