- 18th September - 8:00pm : ‘The Abel Label’ - By Katie Ellis.
- 16th October - 8:00pm : ‘Fire Safety in Your Home’ - By Melanie Quinn.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Joe Carpenter & Son - An English Nativity

Just Before Christmas 2010, Keith Harris directed GRAHAM CLARKE's nativity in Hollingbourne Church, with a cast of 'thousands' The WI served Mulled wine and mince pies.

The Angels were Angelic

David Absom told the 2000 year old tale

Mary and Joseph and the Babe recreated the wonder.

The Wise Men spoke in strange tones, to make themselves appear Wise
and the Cast of Thousands and the audience enjoyed themselves
including Ex Rev Norman in his new Career of Gabriel ( A Postman Extraordinary)
Happy New Year to you all

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


Happy ChristmasOur Christmas Party held on 14th was enjoyed by all - A hot meal of Chicken casserole with Jacket Potatoes and peas, followed by Sweets and mince pies - with no washing up! Alan and Peter (WI husbands )wielded the tea towels with gusto.

Next we welcomed all of our guests, and opened Christmas cards with individual poems composed especially for the occasion.

then....then....then.... the Play reading began.(some actors had run this through together once; others never; two even got their parts on the actual day at a moment's notice and weren't even WI members. )

It was a Victorian Melodrama called LADY AUDLEY'S SECRET

A tale of a faded beauty of a barmaid, an elderly and Rich Lord Audley, a Scheming jumped up Lady Audley, and a long suffering maid.

George, a sad widower(or so he thought), a rough fellow(luke) and Robert Audley (Lord Audley's nephew) played their parts with feeling, and moustaches and sideburns.

A true action shot, with Luke (supported by two other village wenches) dying twice . Lady Audley and Robert Audley transfixed by something off stage.

Lady Audley was the villain of the piece. She was a bigamist, attempted Murder three times, committed arson, and finally went mad and killed herself. - ALL LIFE WAS THERE!

The Audience were also transfixed (ha ha)
The full cast taking a final bow - note the hand clapping by the audience.

We all finished off by singing Silent night, and A Way in a Manger. A lovely evening.

(Note - we apologise for the mystery circles appearing on some of the pictures they are entirely accidental and have no hidden meaning)

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

West Kent Carol Service at Rochester Cathedral

On Wednesday 8th December Hilary Lucette and Margaret Weaver joined hundreds(literally) of West kent Members in the County Carol Service. It was a wonderful service of lessons and Carols. We were led by a special WI Choir ( formed for this event) which included our president Val Williams -
Second from the right, with her mouth open - in full voice.
As well as old favourites that we all sang, the Choir sang modern carols by John Rutter, Michael Barrett. A few Men had been asked to join the choir which added to the tone and included one carol by these gentlemen only - Processional Alleluia by Victor C Johnson.

Margaret and Hilary also enjoyed a couple of hours in the High Street, taking the opportunity to spend quite some time in the various craft shops with a quick stop for a sandwich in the Visitor Centre. A really good day!
We discovered free parking near Rochester Castle, which has a German Christmas Market over this period which we are sure is worth a visit.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

WI Meeting -18th January 2011

After our Information session - at 8.15pm

Mary Henderson is to lead us in ' Keep Fit for all' Mary asks us to wear something comfortable and easy to move in. We will do easy movements where everyone works to their own ability, with music. Bring a scarf, either long or square, as we will introduce working with a scarf which helps you to move to a further extension of the body as well as being fun. It will not be too difficult and you can even do it sitting down. At the end of the session you should feel the benefit of movement and learn something you can carry on doing at home.

Our January Competition will be to design (not make) an Olympic Pennant for an Athlete competing in the 2012 Games. It is not possible to use any of the Olympic Logos in the design but it could depict sporting activities or perhaps something unique to the maker.Pennants can be any shape or design using any textile media. The basic shape is 12" by 16".
The winning design will then be made by a group of members in the next few months.
The finished one will be on display at our July 2011 meeting and submitted immediately afterwards to the organisers.
More information is to be found on


The National Federation of WI's gave a challenge to all WI's to complete a triathlon of 5 mile swim, 20 miles cycle, and 50 miles walk - to be a joint effort not individual.

23 WIs in West Kent completed the challenge and of these Hollingbourne was chosen to go forward to the National Competition. - this was because we had the highest proportion of members participating - 100 % - all 21 of us. - We now have to wait and see how we match up to others around the country.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Christmas Card Making. November 2010

Following a request by members we organised a ' hands on' card making session at a Mary Henderson's house. Nine people tried their hand at the four designs and Hilary Lucette and Margaret Weaver supervised. The results were very good, and everyone was pleased with their afternoon's work. We hope to have another session making Birthday and Aniversary cards in the Spring, so if you are interested please let Hilary or Margaret know.

Fungi Walk, Shorne Woods Country Park, Nov.2010

This walk was organised by West Kent Federation, and was on a lovely autumn day.Our guide, a mycologist showed us dozens of different Fungi

They were all shapes and sizes -

our problem was --
Is it a Magic Mushroom?

or a delicious delicacy?

or perhaps a poisonous plateful?

Shorne Woods Country Park is on the A2 between Gravesend and Rochester and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 300 acres. You will surely enjoy a walk along the walking trails and can visit the visitor centre, shop or cafe.

16th November WI meeting

The Story of English Country Cheeses will be told by Mr D J Marsh, and he will be bringing along examples for us to try.
The meeting starts at 7.30 and the Talk is at 8.15. so if you would like a taster of both the cheese and the WI come along and join us.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

October 2010

There has been a lot on offer this month. -

The North Down District Autumn Conference was held in Bearsted and Thurnham WI Hall, where all 10 Institutes gave a report on the interesting things they had done this year, and the Competition was for a HARVEST BASKET. The winners were Stockbury WI whose basket included a Dundee Cake, a delicious looking loaf, jams, fruits and vegetables

Hollingbourne WI came third, with a basket arranged by Marion Pring. (above) Chinese lanterns grown and supplied by Mary Henderson, Chillies grown and supplied by Margaret Weaver, some pastry mice made by the School Children in Hollingbourne School, wheat from a local field, and various greenery and fruit from Marion. We were very pleased with the way it looked.
75 members from the 10 institutes attended and the chairman was Sue Mc Rae our local WIA (W.I. Adviser) We had a talk from John Pearce and his wife who were dressed in American WW2 Service Uniform, on 'Glen Miller lives on', with slides and music to illustrate and it was a very pleasant evening.


A cookery demonstration and tasting was arranged by West Kent County Federation. Luckily for us it was in Hollingbourne Hall, with the recipes being 'A Taste of Autumn'. It was held on two afternoons and around 200 must have been there to see Julia Davies work her way through seven recipes. No only was she an excellent cook, but a great reconteur and we had lots of fun.
The shortest recipe is given, there may still be some fruit not touched by the frost - so have a go.

450 G (1lb) sloes, 225g (8ozs) caster sugar , 1 Litre ( 1 3/4 pints) Gin.
1. Wash ,dry and prick tough skins of sloes 2. Put in a sterilized jar.
3. Pour in sugar and gin. Seal and Shake
4. Store in a dark, cool cupboard. Shake every other day for a week.
5. Then shake once a week for two months.
6. Strain and ENJOY. Don't forget that the fruit pulp can be sieved and used as a sauce for ice cream, thinned down with a little sloe gin if required.

ART and CRAFT days at Ditton

There were two days at Ditton this month arranged by West Kent Federation .
Each day had the same three speakers.

1 Dinah Warnick spoke on
She illustrated her talk with slides and we saw the changing restrictions imposed on the female body with corsets bustles and hobble skirts. We also had a few laughs at men's fashion in the 70's.

2 Anne Shearn told us all about Dying wool with the natural dyes she finds in the countryside.
She finds its fascinating, but it seemed like a lot of hard work to me.

3 In the afternoon Dawn Cameron-Dick, an american living in England, spoke on ONE WOMAN'S QUILTS. ~ She showed us around 35 quilts, explaining how she made each one, and why she made it, and at the same time told us hilarious tales of her family and adventures in the middle east, Belgium, Canada, America and UK. If you have to chance to hear her, or join one of her classes please take it - even if you are not 'crafty' she is a joy to listen to.

Around the hall were tables showing craft that WI Members had made, and courses that were being arranged for the future, as well as commercial Craft stalls selling all the bits and pieces you could ever want for Cards , Scrapbooks, ribbons, kits etc. a lovely way to spend a day with friends from institutes all over West Kent.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Some of us may be a little long in the tooth, but none of us was around the join Hollingbourne WI in 1925 - however we are happy to celebrate. Instead of 85 candles we had 85 flags displaying the new WI Logo. - YES we are all inspiring Women, and YES the WI does inspire women!

Nearly all of us here for this group picture, with the cake in the middle, and on the table the embroidered tablecloth sent to us many years ago by our Link Institute in Whakatane, New Zealand.
Top row Elsie Pack, Janice Butler, Margaret Weaver & Val Williams
Second row. - Marion Pring, Sarah O'Connell, Debbie Aiston, Gill Lever, Sarah Cheetham, Joyce Walker, Joyce Riggall, Jane Deaves,Hilary Lucette & a visitor.
Front Row - Rita Moon, Sue Weightman, Eileen Jenkins, Jean Hall, Ann Stout(sitting) Jean Talboys & Mary Henderson.
(Just 3 missing - Jean Kelly, Lesley Long & Sylvia Snowdon.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

SPEAKING WITH CONFIDENCE- 19TH OCT. 2010 8.15 pm Village Hall.

Do you know what you want to say, and then when you say it, nobody listens?
Do you know what you want to say, but are just too scared to say it?
You are not scared, but feel that you could create a better impression when talking to others.

If any of these are true why not come along to our next meeting and listen to Jude Lawton, who will put you at ease, and explain how to deal with these situations. She is an excellent speaker and a professional trainer, who will put you at ease as well as keeping you amused.

Our meeting starts at 7.30 pm when we catch up with current WI events - then at 8.15 'Speaking with Confidence', and finally a cup of tea and a surprise!

Friday, 1 October 2010

DENMAN COLLEGE West Kent WI September 2010

DENMAN COLLEGE is the W.I's own Residential College near Abingdon. It runs all kind of courses throughout the year using the best tutors available from around the country. The courses run from one day to five days, are intensive, and anyone -member or not, can book a course and receive, tuition, full meals, ensuite accomodation and friendship from others who are also there to learn. This can be done on an individual basis, or Counties can book the whole college for themselves for a period. This September West Kent were here for four days. We had a choice of 6 courses which we had to book in advance , and had Coach transport to and from Kent.

The House is a beautiful classical style set in lovely grounds.
Each course will have a volunteer Hostesses - in this case Chris Klempau and Mary Clarke from West Kent, who smoothed away any problems that might occur, and gave us our room pass keys, name tags and room destinations

Inside there is a wonderful staircase in this lovely country house

and outside across the grass is the state of the art teaching centre.

The grounds are well tended and a delight with flowers and trees which must have been here for many many years.

The entrance hall is big enough to sit and relax in.

This plant had us all spellbound, and the gardener was asked many times for its name

Those undertaking the Great British Baking Course must have thought they had gone to Kitchen Heaven. Not only did they have their own 'cook station' with, fridge, cooker, hob, microwave, knives, chopping boards etc, but - like a TV chef - the ingredients came ready measured! Admittedly sinks and washing up had to be shared one between two, but is not much of an imposition. There were hands on sessions for soups, meat dishes, desserts, cakes and pasties and there was also a freezing facility to freeze the cooked items to take home.
Sneaking in to take photographs, the Chelsea buns and scones were already in bags, and by the way, you are never to old to learn. The oldest lady on this course was 90! She said she did learn a lot, but might not do it all when she got home!
(see separate part 2)

Denman college continued

The other courses were -
HAND BELLS - by then end of the week ,it seemed to the rest of us that they had mastered their craft, and gave a fantastic performance
PHOTOSHOP - by the end of their week, they had learned how to enhance ancient pictures; made black and white pictures into coloured ones; made pictures more perfect by removing unwanted telegraph poles or even unwanted people. In fact, they will never believe any picture in future!

Two courses enable people to get out and about -
with Shakespeare Country the Tutor gave illustrated lectures on the countryside, history and architecture of this beautiful shire county with trips that included Stratford on Avon and Warwick Castle.

Those who chose 'Autumn Getaway' had exercise , healthy eating and stress management, as well as talks on posture, healthy management and stress management plus two rambles on the Ridgeway and alongside the Thames. Line and country dancing , relaxation and Massage completed the course.

Richard Box was the tutor for 'Picture it, in Collage and Stitch' , he was inspiring, enthusiastic, helpful, quite a philosopher and a good laugh. Other Members from our District were from Hollingbourne, Bearsted and Thurnham and a mother and daughter from Detling. None of us had done this kind of collage, but all were converted by the end of the course

We had plenty of space to work , and to spread the equipment we had brought with us. - Sewing machine, scissors, and as many scraps of different coloured fabrics as we could bring with us.

We started with a 'simple'project - Primroses. We were given the pattern, the fabrics, the glue, and any cottons we wanted.

We cut the first petals out tentatively, a) the cut petals , and other shapes were stuck with glue to the hessian.
b) these were zigzaged very roughly to the hessian.
c) we hand stitched(large needle, large stitches)
d) we machine stitched (without machine foot, with gold thread)
and all of a sudden we had finished.

2 people were still working theirs when this photo was taken - We were very pleased with the results, and with a mount and a frame they will be worth a small fortune!
This project continued throughout the course, but in addition on day two we started our own individual masterpieces.

We each chose our own design and worked away enthusiastically glueing, sticking, sewing and exchanging fabrics with one another to ensure we had done as much as possible before having to carry on the project at home

This one was started by a Bearsted and Thurnhan Member and may not look much like the picture on the left, but that is where the inspiration came from.

The Hollingbourne member chose seagulls on a beach.
The cut out shows the original plan.

Wavy strips of fabric in sand and water colours were stuck and sewn across the hessian. The hope is that the largest seagull is to be a gleaming bird in whites greys and silvers- we shall see.

In this lovely example by a member from Stockbury , the background is made up of small scraps of odd shaped fabrics which will be machine, and hand stitched. The Insect is still 'work in progress' and already gleams far more than is apparent from the picture.

In the next year we are hoping to run a District Collage course using Richard Box's methods, packs of patterns and fabrics, and his DVD, if you might be interested please ring Margaret Weaver on 01622 880497
DENMAN is open all year , any one can take advantage of the numerous courses available and you don't even have to be a member( though non members will have to pay slightly more.) Husbands can join in some of the courses, and you will find information at click on Denman. - YOU WON'T BELIEVE THE VARIETY OF COURSES AVAILABLE - from one day to 5 days.
If you are reluctant to go on your own, it is hoped to arranged another West Kent study trip in two years time, and Mary Clarke of Stockbury WI is the West Kent Representative to contact.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Safari Competition winner Delia Roberts

The person who visited the most sales, and correctly wrote down the name of the 'picture' on each one, received the prize of a cake stand (donated by MollyBlog) - full of fairy cakes made by the WI.
Last Year's winner rode around on his bicycle - this years winner Delia Roberts walked all 53, including those out at Greenway - CONGRATULATIONS - don't eat the cakes all at once!

Saturday, 18 September 2010


37 Garage sales last year- This year the sign says 45, but in the end
WE HAD 55 (Fiftyfive) What a day- the sun shone, around 500 people came into the village, and had a great time.
The NEARLY NEW BOUTIQUE with its Bridal Display was run by Janice Butler, Mary Henderson and Jean Kelly and had over 550 items on sale and was a great success.
The place was buzzing all day, the changing room and mirrors in great demand.
Three local WI's from Bearsted and Leeds sold delicious homemade cakes and craft from the Lance memorial Field and all cakes were sold out long before closing time.
Edna and Anna selling their well known Jams Preserves and Chutneys from Tanyard Green
Plenty of time to stop and stare at this hand worked wood, during this slow shopping day (also on Tanyard Green)
At Jack's Lane we found the Young entrepreneur of the year.Getting to know the neighbours and their bric a brac, in an area unknown to most residents.

In Hasteds Mary and Barbara, had punters finding their bargains underneath the stall.

Some sellers were lucky and some not so lucky,( but naming no names), we understand that one stall holder - sold a Piano and another her entire collection of 45's records - (for undisclosed sums) and made enough profit for a decent celebration.