20th May


Election of Committee and President - it is your WI - MAKE SURE YOU CHOOSE THE PRESIDENT YOU WANT.

17TH June


Exotic Dancing and its history with Ann Hall. - Do not miss this - Members and non-members are welcome.

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?

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Pancake Racing 2014


Once more the handmade  Pancakes were ready
 The whole of Hollingbourne School,  Mums and Dads, Grannies and Grandad's, WI Members and friends were here for the races. 
 Mary Henderson started every race with instructions -" toss the pancake at each chair on the way"
Most of the children took no notice however and just ran as fast as they could.
Alan Williams collated the winners  on a scoreboard and  hereby apologises for any discrepancies and mis-spellings in the names - 

The first winner was Ryan Bibbins
Next Jack Bryce
 Ffin Koehler-Price
 speedy competitors and lots of onlookers. 
Freddy Wheadon
Hayden Bibbins
 The cheering was loud for these runners
Patric Johnson
 Traina Collins
Fintan Sherridan
 Jayden Lodge
 Pancakes in mid air
Amelia Rudzinski
 An energetic start to this race - looked like the Olympics
Imogen Sims
Hugo Chaussy pretending he wasn't really there
 Isaac Lee 
 Juliet de Banzie
 Mrs Tong was a winner for the first time
 The Men's race became a little confused
 Daddy Bibbins came out in front
 The School Cook Mrs Payne was a delighted winner
The Wi Race was won (once More) by a Lenham Member!
 The WI Ladies winner was from LENHAM!

 Val Williams ( in black)and Sadie Curtis (in Red and black)  were out to win this grudge race

 and at the line it was Val Williams who crossed first with a grin on her face. 
 Rita Moon looking on also smiled -after all,  it was only a Walking Race!

A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, with refreshments available in the Pavilion 
Thanks to all the helpers ( who Made the Pancakes, held the winning ribbon, gave out and collected the pans, gave out the eggs, awarded the rosettes, made the tea, washed up,  cleaned the floor  etc.etc. )


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Front Row seats for the WI when Alan Titchmarsh recorded his show

Our Trip to The London Studios started with a meal in The Mulberry Bush Pub and a Wander along the Embankment before queuing to go in.   As one of us was partially sighted we were given front row seats and Alan Titchmarsh came along to chat with us - quite a bonus.   We saw two shows with the first going out on the day with live guests being Simon Mayo and Comedian Ed Burns.   

We also had First Aid tips, how to make Chicken broth as a cure for colds and flu (which has been proven) and three other guest had made a business out of their hobbies- Papier Mache animals, Lego figures and Old fashioned sweets (with a taster)
The second show was pre recorded for a later date. Frank Bruno being one guest  with the Olympic Curling Silver medalists bringing along their medals for us to see.
Not looking too happy here,  but full of smiles on our visit.  A stamp collector and an artist who made pictures out of stamps were next on the show,  and finally although all of us volunteered to have a make over,   someone else from the audience was chosen - that's  just the way it goes.

A good day with lots of surprises.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Nothing to do on a morning in Maidstone? Try the Magistrates Court.

On 25th February, 11 of us gathered at the Magistrates Court 
at 9.30 am by prior arrangement. - 
We had previously had a talk by a Probation Officer at our monthly meeting, and   we wanted to know more.   Two off duty magistrates met us and explained the workings of the Court. 

 Unfortunately no pictures allowed inside the court.  We were split into two groups and attended hearings in different courts. Magistrates give their  time voluntarily (at least 13 days a year)  and work for us - to make sure that the law is upheld and criminals, when brought before them are given a full hearing.  If found guilty they are punished either by a prison sentence, a period of community service,  a fine, or are referred to the Probation or other 'help' service who will it is hoped, help the guilty party to rehabilitate themselves and not  re-offend.   The case can also be handed over to the County Court (The other side of the River) for a later date.  We heard cases of non payment of Debt,  Family abuse, theft, affray - all different and fascinating.   In all the cases we heard the person pleaded Guilty which made proceeding relatively fast. Had a Not Guilty plea been  given it would have been very lengthy I am sure as witnesses would have been called. ,

Each case has a prosecutor, a defending barrister, The Clerk of the Court, three magistrates, and representatives of the Probation service or similar.   Anyone can go into the court any morning of the week. (after having been searched)  The Family court and juvenile courts do not allow this.
It was an eye opening morning, and everyone should spend at least one morning there to see how it is conducted.

Having worked hard absorbing everything that was going on around us we needed some lunch, and
moved on to County Hall, at the top of Week Street.  After signing in, we climbed the stairs to the Restaurant where hot and cold meal are served.  Rate payers are welcome any day, though if you are a group it is best to ring ahead with your order. Prices are moderate and there were no long queues.
The Restaurant is a lovely room, with high ceilings and moulding, and the staff were pleasant and helpful.  Do try it next time you are that end of Town.

Thursday, 12 December 2013


Happy Christmas to you ! 
(whether you have arrived at this website by accident, or on purpose )
Two home made Christmas cards from our members
Made using a fairly modern technique - Stamping 
Made using the age old technique of  'Glueing and Sticking'

Our Christmas party had delicious food, friendly faces, a dance, and a game or two.

This picture looks like the incredibly boring game - 

 However it was TABLE TENNIS BALL BINGO.  A lot of fun, each persons egg box had numbered table tennis balls inside.  The numbers were called bingo style and, and the lucky numbered ball was then bounced into the bucket. - or at least that was the idea - most balls had a mind of their own.  The winner was the person with the final ball remaining - and received a prize.

 These three look to the left in pensive mood
 To the right totally disinterested
 but finally a smile creeps on their faces. 

Do come along  to our meetings next year, 
we have lots of interesting speakers and 
will give you a warm welcome
7.30 Hollingbourne Village Hall. Third Tuesday of the month.