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

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.