16th September - MY DRAMATIC LIFE
Rob Masters will regale the dramas of his life as a teacher.
21st October -
Christpher Rudguard of 'Christophers' Village Shop' will present a spoken and visual account of his many years in the village.
18the November. DON DRAY on
'The first 60 years of British Broadcasting'.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Safari Market 2014 - New Pop Up stalls

Our 6th Year and around 45 sites, with lots of new stall holders popping up. 
Two prizes this year, 
1.   - Lucky Map was won by Mr & Mrs Ballard of Roseacre Lane Bearsted.

2. -  The people who won the prize for the most stalls  visited, were Mr & Mrs Strover of Ashford.
On fact 17 people visited all the stalls and handed in their answer paper
and the Lucky winner was drawn from these 17.

Having lived in the village for nearly 30 years, I had never visited  this house before.

 This leafy garden is right on the main road through Hollingbourne!

 The Ralph grandchildren  had decided it was time to  'cash in'  on their toys.
 Kim - deciding whether to carry on selling, or just dump it all in the skip
 Detling WI CAKE STALL was new this year and a great success, it was completely full to overflowing at the start, and at 11.30 all but sold out - lets hope  they will be with us next year. 
 Teas and Coffees flowed all day, - with of course the hot bacon and sausage rolls in great demand

 The Bellringers had a stall to make money for a new Hollingbourne Church bell. 
Bill was practicing for the RIDE AND STRIDE - on 13th September - see the yellow notice in the background  - a' round the parishes' sponsored walk and bike ride.
 Another new spot, with plenty of exercise equipment, and a  wood shredder for sale. 

We all know that some peoples' trash becomes other peoples treasure trove. This stall however was  a 'cut above' with classical  and Operatic C.D's  & DVD's all set out in an easily accessed way.  

Walking from the playing field to the church was a country  stroll through the woods. 
There were UGLY things to see - with two and one eyed mini monsters and all kinds of cuddly and original  things on the stall on Muskett Green. 
and finally a most beautiful stall, with streamers flying high above it, to entice buyers in . 

All in all a most enjoyable, successful and busy day.   The Playing field was packed with  far more cars than in other years, and we thank  Alan Smedley  of The Meadows Trust who ably assisted with the parking.  All morning,   we could see the happy buyers walking up and down the village, clutching large bags of 'goodies' 
 Thank you all for coming -  without you there would be no safari.    
See you next year!!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A necklace fit for Titania?


The 9 institutes in our District got together in Hollingbourne Village Hall, with the chance to meet old friends and find out what was happening around the Institutes   We also heard plans for the 100 birthday of the WI (in addition of course to HOLLINGBOURNE's own  90th Birthday in 2015)

The competition this year was for an  Edible Necklace
There were some made of sweets, one of chillies,  vegetables etc, and the best one of all was - 

A necklace of wild strawberries.   It stood out amongst all the others!
Who made it?  - Hilary Lucette of course from Hollingbourne, 
who always has good ideas and the ingenuity to carry them out. 

Our speaker was Ray Spiller who played music and had a good line in old fashioned jokes.   His music was from the 50's and 60's and brought back many happy memories of our youth.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Doddington Gardens Kent.

Twelve of us set off from Hollingbourne in convoy, so as to qualify for a discounted group admisssion.
we arrived in bright sunshine in stark contrast to a very wet start to the day.

 As we approached the house the path opened up into a lawned area where people sat picnicking whilst listening to live jazz music.
 Surrounding this grassed area were numerous stalls selling various wares - from fruit liqueurs, flowers, butchery, crepes, cheese to paintings.  Quite a few of us were tempted to part with our money.
Away from the popular events there were quiet corners to contemplate the beauty of the gardens.
After exploring we all met up in the tearoom where most of us indulged in a cream tea, or at the very least, tea and cake.  An afternoon enjoyed by all.

Thursday, 19 June 2014


Eltham WI, visited our Safari Market last year and asked us to join them in a visit to the Palace.

We  joined four members of Eltham WI for a pleasant lunch  on a lovely day, at Tudor Barn in Well Hall Pleasance which was built in the 16th Century. It was owned by William Roper who married a daughter of Sit Thomas Moore - Lord Chancellor of Henry VIII, it  was also the home of Edit Nesbitt (Author of the Railway Children)  A Flying Bomb exploded nearby in 1944 . Through its life it was built and rebuilt with the final restoration in 2002 and the Tudor Barn was back in Business.    The gardens were lovely and it was hard to believe we were so close to London. Four other members joined for the second part of the visit.

We moved on to  Eltham Palace, the original of which was the childhood home of Henry VIII, since 1930  it was owned by the Courtauld family  who built on to it and  travelled the world collecting ideas for their home.  They were keen horticulturists and this shows in the 19 acres of garden.  The Palace reflects the glamour and allure of the 1930's fashionable society. The bedrooms had built in furniture, the bathrooms had sunken baths.  There were telephones in every room.  Even the Racoon had his own room! We were able to watch old cine films of the family and their guests which brought it all to life  - it was fascinating.   Hollingbourne's 7 members are now firm friends with the  8 from Eltham and we hope to see them at the Safari on 7th September.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


Our Easter meeting, started with reminiscences of a Trip 7 years ago with Inge Hack  to Nuremburg, and Egglofstein when we visited the Easter egg villages of the area.  The weather had been perfect and it was one of those lifetime experiences we will never forget. 
We started with a choice of Easter Bonnets made by Hilary and Margaret, which sat daintily on our heads all through the meeting (and on the trip home, to the surprise of our other halves) 

Following on, Mary led us singing a  round of 'hot cross buns' finally culminating in a 4 part round - we were then in the mood for a story.
Margaret read us two Easter items from her father's  WW2 book 'My War' - firstly making Hot Cross Biscuits from dry Army Biscuits., and secondly in Epirus Greece, 1945,  as part of a support group , when the Local people celebrated Easter with Easter Lambs and coloured hens eggs, having finally rid themselves of the occupying forces.

 Some Craft work came next - 'Faberge' egg decorating. Hollow plastic eggs, originally from Joyce's hens, were decorated with many kinds of 'stick ons' - from gold and silver strips, to flowers, rabbits,, cats and 'diamonds' or every hue.
 Sadie, had cycled 26 miles earlier this day, and in a couple of days time reaches a very special day- we sang  her 'Happy Birthday'.   Hilary was one of the main Crafts tutors and she gave help when needed.
Two finished eggs -  worthy of  Faberge?
 Special refreshments - Lenten Pies -  an old recipe  from Janice's family, 
and Mini Simnel cakes (from a Lakeland recipe) of Margaret's
And finally the ultimate chick and the ultimate Easter Bonnet.   - Rita had knitted 28 chicks - all it seemed with different expression, and containing a Cadbury's Cream egg.  
We went home very contented with our evening  - except for Rita, who was home ill in bed!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Ascot Races and Michael Portillo - all in one week.

Ascot race course was the venue for 500 WI presidents recently - (actually 1000 as there were 2 days of 500 each)  This was just in the South of England, and other parts of the country were hosted in other top spots.
Hollingbourne's joint presidents Ria Moon and Val Williams went along and of course a major talking point was the food provided - Posh sandwiches.

The background of this picture has an advert for tote betting, so maybe they had a flutter, who knows?
The sign says 'do not sit on this statue'   - Rita  had just dismounted  luckily, and appears to be feeding it as a reward. for loyal service, and not being bucked off  (Apologies, when I manage to move this picture 90 degrees you will be able to see it properly)

The purpose of the day(s) was to review all aspects of managing our WI and spoke of new initiatives in IT training. They  were introduced to all the Board of Executives of the National Federation of Women's Institutes, and told of plans for the 100th Anniversary of WI in England. This is to be in 2015.
 (2015 is also the Anniversary of 90 years of WI in Hollingbourne.  Watch this space in the next 18 months, for our own celeb rations)
                        - - - - - - - - -
A few days later West Kent Federation held it's AGM in Tunbridge Wells Assemby Rooms, and three of our members were there, including our delegate, Jean Talboys.   It gave us an update of affairs  financial and general in West Kent, with Hollingbourne being mentioned.   
The mental capacity of Val Williams and Rita Moon has gone up in our estimation as they won First and Runner up prizes in the Written Quiz that has been circulating for several months
The Gift Box that Hollingbourne donated was snapped up quickly for £10. It contained a Kit for a Japanese Patchwork cushion provided by Margaret Weaver. 
Our first speaker was Joy Kemp who gave a comprehensive background to Midwifery in Britain and abroad in support of our recent resoslution regarding the necessary increase in Midwives in this country.

Then finally Michael Portillo  -
A charming man, with who came resplendant in one of his famous coloured jackets.- and advised us that he had two new ones awaiting him at the tailors.   He told us of his career and  the workings of Westminster with some anecdotes of MP's. He was not afraid to answer difficult questions and
finally -
This is the picture you have been waiting for -
A picture of MICHAEL PORTILLO'S leg.
Presumably the brown boot, slim trouser and  pink jacket.   The story goes that Hilary had chatted to him about childhood friends they had in common, but the platform was high and Hilary is short, and  the photographer made a boob!
We always have excellent speakers at these events and he was no exception.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Anew idea - a lunch once a month- starting in Hollingbourne Village 
to enjoy a friendly chat and some delicious food. 
At the same time continuing with our ' Save our High Streets  ' Campaign
14 of us descended on The Sugar Loaves and chose from a wide menu, some stuck to the Pensioners Menu, while others decided to go the whole hog with a choice from the Main menu 
 Ham egg and chips 
 Pavlova Dessert
Spotted Dick

The verdict - a great success.  Sparkling repartee  (maybe it was the alcohol that helped) 
and delicious food which was cooked especially for us, and  the chance to make a new member welcome and find out something about her life.  We shall be dining each month (the second Tuesday of the Month at 1 pm) and hope to visit The Dirty Habit in April - Why not join us?