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

Monday, 12 December 2011


If you think that the front doors in Hollingbourne are looking particularly smart this 2011, it is because we have been to a Masterclass in Christmas wreath making at
' Hunker Down Daisy' (the florist and gift shop) in Bearsted

We started with a plain base
Added greenery we had collected in the village
Got lots of instruction and tips from the Owner(on the left) plus a glass of Mulled Wine.

Joyce here had obviously finished her wine and was slightly puzzled as to how to continue
Whereas Janice (the wise one) waited until she had finished
her masterpiece, to down her 'Mulled Wine'

We have our District Carol Service and Hollingbourne WI Party to took forward to

and wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Great New Year.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Christmas Sugarcraft 2011

Last year's course at West Kent HQ in Pembury was cancelled due to bad weather and when it was re-arranged Janice Butler and Joyce Riggall took the opportunity to learn all about Sugarcraft Plaque making.
Joyce is a dab hand at all kinds of cookery, and had made sugarcraft flowers before
-see blog July 2010. Janice however, was a novice, but was really pleased at the result!
(I will book her to do mine next year)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Denman November 2011

Short courses on an incredible number of subject continue throughout the year at the

WI Residential College in Marcham near Abingdon
One last week was Fabric Jewellery. Here cloth was cut, moulded & shaped with glue and became an unusual necklace

An outstanding design which sells in 'posh' craft shops at over £100. was also completed by students - some from West Kent.

Margaret Weaver from Hollingbourne had enrolled on a 'Pen Line and Wash' watercolour course,

The Tutor Wendy Jelbert, dashed off incredible picture in next to no time

and expected her students to do the same!!

You will find her on the internet demonstrating these skills.

Weeds at the side of a lake with Cobwebs. - here we learned to use the masking ink to stop background paint from running into the cobwebs.

White Daisies - which had a lot of other colours than white. We learned to use waterproof and water soluble pens and also soluble pencils - as well as watercolour paint and watercolour inks.

A Chicken and Cockrell were most people's favourite, using masking ink for the wire netting and being daring in our choice of colour on the cockrell.

Even those who had used watercolour before, learned new techniques, and as usual the whole 'Denman' experience is not to be missed. The food, while good before, is now extremely scrumptious with the evening meals being waiter served.

Try it yourself -you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


THANKFULLY - This is not the 2012 Calendar.
The 'lovely Rita' was taking part in the fun at Leeds WI, Seaside Party
At first glance it does appear that Val was taken by surprise in this picture, whereas Rita looks a serenely confident beachwear model. The party was full of fun and ended with Fish and Chips and an ice cream - just what you expect at the Seaside.

Darts WIN 2- 0 against Bearsted Green WI

Once again Hollingbourne have entered the County Darts Competition .
In this round we were drawn against our District Rivals - Bearsted Green WI.
Sue (our long time member and now Cheerleader . )
Joyce, Janice, Val and new team Member Sarah
Bearsted Green's local venue was not able to take then so The Sugar Loaves in Hollingbourne provided the Venue. We won 2 - 0 - Well done Hollingbourne
Bearsted Green Team

Monday, 31 October 2011


WEST KENT FEDERATION, organises lots of workshops and day schools for us to learn a new skill - today's was quilling, which has been done for hundreds of years. In the beginning the exponents had to cut the paper into thin strips - today it comes pre cut (see the red and green strips)
Everyone accomplished a Poinsettia, an Angel, some candles and a Christmas Rose -
plus lots of ideas for the future.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Flowers Food & Philanthropy

This week, West Kent Federation of WI's arranged a County meeting at Sutton Valence Village Hall. The hall was packed,and first we learned all about FAIRTRADE -how it was set up, who it benefits, and the progress it has made to ensure that workers (especially in the South of the World) get a fair price for the items they produce. This was followed by a WAITROSE telling us about their ethos, how their staff benefit from the profits made and how they look after their suppliers. It seems that their selling point is the really fresh and tasty food, and the good service by its staff.

After lunch we heard an inspiring talk from a local GP who with 5 others started a Charity which benefits villagers in Tanzania. A large proportion of the money raised goes to look after the 200 orphans (whose parents died from HIV) so that they can now go to school and even University.
Another major project has been to ensure that the villages now have water. The villagers have been very happy that this charity has provided continuity for many years -Previous charities had come and gone.

Finally a wonderful demonstration of Flower arranging was given by Jo of 'MoodyBlooms'.

The stunning displays then became part of the raffle. Hollingbourne had gone in a group of seven, and believe it or not 3 of us won a flower arrangement.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Blooming fields of Hollingbourne

SUDDENLY, after months of dry weather, the seeds planted for the wild flower meadow by the Meadows Trust have bloomed - in the Middle of October 2011. Go there as soon as you can!

The WI have already been there already -
with Joyce, Janice and Sue captured on camera by Val

Monday, 10 October 2011


In September during our District voyage on the MV Pocahontas we sailed through the Thames Flood Barrier to London - This Photo
On Sunday 9th October the Barrier was closed all the way across for the one day annual closure testing.
It is a very clever engineering feat. Each open section has a trough like shape which sits on the bed of the Thames, connected at each end to the Silver/Yellow up right sections. When London is about to be flooded by an exceptionally High Tide, the troughs are all swivelled upwards, the barrier is closed, and London is safe!
The closure gave a calm flat area of water above the barrier and Greenwich Sailing Club were making full use of it. There is a car park, cafe and visitor centre south of the Thames and entry is charged, but on the open day it was free. Look out for Next year's closure
It is also the start of the Thames footpath which goes all the way to the source, near Cirencester

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Cook and Eat September 2011

Our Cookery Demonstration was full of fun, and we were full of food at the end. Marianne Ball made some recipes on site, but also offered some she had 'made earlier' with last minute embellishments. Once each was completed, Mary (her lovely assistant) cut the dish into 27 portions and we munched our way throughout the evening.

Left Pear and Stilton Toasties - Right Peaches in Macaroon Meringue.
Marianne was not one for sticking rigidly to the recipe and said that we should be flexible especially in our buying - using foods 'on offer' or two for one, to get a gourmet meal at a budget price. Those of you who want to get all 13 recipes should come along to next Month's meeting, (Talk - Chile and Argentina) but here are two for you to try in the meantime - One very spicy and one deliciously creamy and refreshing.

Patatas Bravas (wild potatoes) - Serves 2.

Slice a 175g/6oz piece of Chorizo and dry fry in a large frying pan for a minute. Add 350g/12oz new potatoes and cook for 5 minutes until golden. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 seeded and sliced fresh chilli and 1 chopped garlic clove and cook for 2 minutes. Tip in a 400g can chopped tomatoes, and simmer for 10 -15 mins until the potatoes are tender.

Easy Lemon Ice cream Serves 4 (or more)

Finely grate the zest of 3 large lemons, and juice them. Place the zest and juice in a bowl, stir in 175g/6oz icing sugar and set aside for half an hour. Meanwhile whip 600ml/1 pint double cream with 2 tablespoons iced water until you have soft peaks, then beat in the lemon mixture until combined.( If you have an ice cream maker, churn and freeze the mixture according to the instructions) Otherwise, you can simply transfer the mixture to a plastic container and place in the freezer until firm. Remove 15 minutes before serving.

As they say ENJOY.......

Sunday, 18 September 2011

PRINCESS POCAHONTAS - The ship (not the film or the Native American.

Northdowns District has 9 W.I's and from Time to Time we get together to enjoy ourselves.
In September 2011 we took a trip on the MV Pocahontas from Gravesend, via Greenwich to Westminster on the River Thames. (plus return to Gravesend)
The Ship seems bigger than it looks with seats for all on one of three levels. Food and drink can be bought on board or packed lunches can be taken on board to enjoy as the day goes on.
Gravesend town may seem all one way streets and hussle and bustle,
but on the river all was calm.
though the River Police were zooming around and in this case caught up with people using skidoos too fast and in the wrong area.
We passed ships of all kinds - here a small container ship
A New view of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge (The Dartford Crossing)
What appeard to be a 'Rust Bucket' but was in fact a working dredger.
Several Thames Barges in full sail.
and we passed through the Thames Flood barrier with the gates open. Take the opportunity on 9th October to see the barrier closed all the way across. There is a car park on the south side of the Thames with a visitor centre which will give an excellent view. 5.25am to 15.25pm.
We stopped at Greenwich for travellers to get on and off. As it was exactly 12 we were able to see the Time Ball on the top of the Greenwich Observatory rise and fall to indicate the time.(see the small church like building above the trees in the middle)
ABRAMOVICH' yacht - The small one apparently) was moored in sight of a new building.(see next picture)
For those of you who don't know, he is a Russian, and the Owner and Chairman of Chelsea Football Club
THE SHARD - to me it looks like a glass windmill without the sails to see.- But no doubt people will pay millions to live in it.
Passing The Tower of London, WI Members from Lenham & Bearsted Green
(Lenham Institute are not in the Northdowns District but we had invited them along as well)
Beneath the London Eye, A Bearsted and Thurnham husband enjoying the view.
Inge from Lenham, passing Big Ben and The Palace of Westminster. This was as far as we went, as it was a high tide, and there river level was also high due to previous rain, and we could not get under Westminster Bridge.
Throughout the journey upstream we had a constant commentary explaining the names of the places we passed - their history, who had or had not given the agreement for planning (and whether our man agreed with them or not), where the RSPB sites were etc etc. The names and ages of the ships, the creeks and docks and so much more. He was a mine of information having worked on the Thames from around 1960. When we passed vessels such as The Portway above, our 'hooter' was sounded and they responded.

It really is a day to remember. The season ends this month, but make sure you take the trip next year, you will not regret it. - So much to see and you don't have to stand up or walk - what ever your age you will be sure to enjoy it. 01732 353448

SAFARI 2011 - ALL KINDS OF WEATHER but the stoic British carry on.

With 44 stalls on the map, plus a few late comers, this year's Safari promised much!
The weather also provided much - sun, rain, cloud, more rain, sun, more rain, but finally it cleared up at 3pm.- our finishing time, but just right for the Meadows Garden Party which started at 3.
There were stalls that grew and grew.
Stalls with great PR, which were determined to make themselves known,
even if they were 50 yards back from the main road
There were those that catered for children with indepth knowledge of each game.- and also realised that at some time or another that a Tent would be essential before the day was out.
There were all kinds of fabulous tents - one was not enough
and two more
In the Cardwell Pavilion Joyce Walker was cooking up tasty filled rolls - sausage or bacon. She roped in her daughter and her granddaughter to help and our thanks go to them.
The tea-makers, Hilary, Joyce, Jane, Rita and Janice provided a much needed service.
This year we staged an Art Display/Sale with exhibits from village and
Institute Members. Sylvia Snowdon's husband George brought along
some lovely examples of his watercolours.
Madginford WI provided a mouthwatering display of cakes in a Gazebo on the field, but when the rain came down retreated to the Pavilion.
Leeds WI had not only cakes, but pickles, jam and vegetables. -
They again found shelter on the Pavilion's verandah.
This picture says it all! with the stall holders Barbara and Edre, at the same time happy and disgusted. To fully appreciate their expression you need to get this full size on your screens.

The competition for the most visited stalls, was won by Ruby Jeffrey. Continuing the art theme, each stall had a picture of ' An Old Master' which the competitor had to note, and the prize was a JigSaw of THE MONA LISA.