21st April 7.30 (Madeira) A talk on this Atlantic Island by Our own Mary Henderson.
19th May Our Annual Meeting- Election of President and Committee, National Resolution and Beetle Drive.
16th June BLOWING MY OWN TRUMPET Roy Bilham and his trumpet -

Sunday, 29 March 2015

QUIZ 2015

Once again Rita Moon had prepared a great set of questions for our Quiz - this time with a Castle Theme.  Each team name was a castle in Kent

 With 14 tables booked (but not paid for),  we kept our fingers crossed that all would turn up on the day as many were old friends and previous competitors. Fred Lucette seemed the only  one to choose his table early.
 We were not disappointed, with the tables full and raring to go by This year Val Williams was our a question Master with Rita and Janice as the 'runners' collecting and distributing question papers, and Hilary and Margaret keeping the scores.    There was a buzz  of conversation throughout and Val was glad she had a microphone.
Halftime and the Ploughman's supper of Cheese, Pate, Tomatoes & grapes accompanied by Baguettes from Christopher's shop went down a treat.   
 After a second half with close scores,  the winners collected their prizes of a Bottle of Red  Wine each - Pam  led her team to victory but hid her head as she wanted no publicity. 
The losers, looked quite happy, as they received two chocolate cream easter eggs as a consolation prize.   Many thanks to all who helped. 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Excellent speakers - as usual at West Kent W! AGM

There were queues outside the Assembly Halls Tunbridge Wells yesterday -
and although the adverts outside were for 'The Full Monty' and 'Sex and Suburbia'  we were in for a much better show.

We started with the usual details of the last year's events and interesting new ones,  and plans to celebrate 100 years of the National Institute of Womens Institutes.
Before lunch our singers were the Farleigh Ladies choir, who  had won the County Federation choir competition and sang light and enjoyable songs ably conducted by their pianist 

We then were in for a treat - or a double treat come to that. 

 Our first speaker was Julie Summers an author.  - sound boring ? definitely  not.
For a start her Grandfather was the Officer whose was in charge of the soldiers who  built the Bridge on the River Kwai.  Her great Uncle was Sandy Irvine who was lost on Everest with George Mallory in 1924 - and her Grandma was a member of the WI.

 She has written several books, some of which are based around WW2.  She deals with subjects not so far thought about.  - WHEN THE CHILDREN CAME HOME is about the evacuees and what happened when they came home, and JAMBUSTERS covers the life of women at home during WW2.  The resilience, independence and practicality that they had.  It also covers the WI and how it supported the whole country following directives from the War office to make Jam, can fruit, knot string gloves, collect herbs to be used for medicines and many other initiatives.  She also dealt with the difficult time when men who had been away for up to 6 years came home - to a wife and children who hardly knew their husband or father. It seems that while attempts were made to help the men to adjust, nothing was done for the women.

NEWS - Jambusters is being made into a 6 part  ITV series called HOME FIRES and will be on TV in a few weeks time at 9.00 pm - a prime time slot.   The writer of Lewis, and the producer of Foyle are involved so look forward to a good programme (For a change)

Our afternoon speaker was Mandy Hickson. Ex RAF Tornado Pilot

Seen here in the front of her aircraft.

She told us of goals when she was in school, and when she started in the ATC women were not allowed to become fighter pilots.   Of her difficulties in moving on in her career.  - She was certainly able to fly fast jets, but not all the exams were passed first time (apparently later found to be because women's answers to questions were different to men's )

She also told us the time when she and  her colleagues rode bicycles in a Hanger to learn the various moves required in a jet. - with excellent results.

She flew missions in Afghanistan having to carry bombs and do in-flight refuelling, and finally of the time when leading a formation of 4 Tornados a missile was launched against her plane.   Luckily the navigator's eagle eyes saw it launched and immediately advised her,  so she could fire flares, and take avoiding action - seeing the missile hit the flares and explode.  Finally two  of team bombed the base that the missile had been directed from. A good job well done that day!

Then she was made redundant! - It happens to the best, especially when the Defence Budget is tightened.   She retrained as an airline pilot, but realised it wasn't for her and became a Motivational Speaker - and I can tell you, we were all motivated - however I don't think the RAF is looking  for several hundred over 65 year old fighter pilots.

A Great day.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

St.Patrick's Day & the McMannigan Dancers.

St Patrick's Day was well and truly celebrated by Hollingbourne WI this year. 
We were lucky enough to have McMannigan's Irish Dancers to get us in the mood. 
12 dancers whose energy and expert movements left us amazed.  Due to the speed of their dancing and twirling, the camera couldn't cope (so apologies for the blurring)

We saw them

from the front
 from the back

 Big ones
 and small ones
 a trio

and always in time, and together.  
Their trainer Nula McMannigan has danced with Michael Flatley, 
and some of our dancers had come 6th in world competition recently - we were so lucky to have them
you can find their website on
As you can see we decorated with Flags, balloons, and Bunting, and even wore Irish headgear .-
and the piece de resistance was 'Guiness cake' made by Val Williams. 

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.