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

Saturday, 30 December 2017

WI News December 2017

Our final speaker of the year at the November meeting delighted members and visitors alike. Simon Ginnaw’s superb presentation ‘A year in the life of Mote Park' combined beautiful photographs with a soundtrack of birdsong of the Park's resident birds.

He told us about the history of the Park and its buildings, including long tunnels which open up in the estates beyond its borders. Simon's knowledge and love of Mote Park were so well communicated to us in this brilliant talk - making us realise what a gem we have on our own doorstep.

As members of Hollingbourne WI we are entitled to join workshops and themed days organized by our West Kent Federation; which is why we could enjoy a Home Economics Day at Sevenoaks, featuring a very sophisticated Floral Art demonstration, and 'Sloe Seduction' which used the humble sloe combined with chocolate and gin to make delicious treats.

We visited Bearsted WI Hall to enjoy a Christmas Cookery Demonstration (with samples) and we sang carols at All Saints Church, Bearsted, where Jenny Cox read a John Betjeman poem.

Another early celebration of Christmas was enjoyed at The Great Danes 'Mamma Mid party. Our varied interpretations of Abba outfits got us into the mood to enjoy the singing and dancing. There was a Christmas dinner, shopping and more dancing. Our thanks to Sue Woodhouse who organized for twenty of us to have a great time together.

Not such good news on the Darts tournament. We lost to The Farleighs 2 0 and then to Yalding by the same score. The consolation was that we did spend some time with some old friends and we enjoyed two wonderful suppers.

We hope that you all enjoyed the results of the leaflet drop, jointly completed with the Meadows Trust, and that you will support our local businesses and charities.

Six of us got together for our annual Christmas wreath-making morning, using local greenery and all looking very different. As I write we are in full preparation for our Christmas Party followed by a long lie down.

The Pancake race is on Thursday 8th February 2018 - see announcement.

Our first speaker of the year truly lives up to the WI motto 'Inspiring Women’. Philippa Joyner is a working mum of two who commutes from Hollingbourne to her place of work in Mayfair. She uses her journey time to write books for children, basing the protagonists loosely on her own family. 

In her illustrated talk, THE ANOUKA CHRONICLES - A CONTEMPORARY NARNIA, Philippa will tell us how she became a published author and she will also read from her books. Being read to is one of life's pleasures and we are looking forward to our first treat of the year.

Tickets are £3 on the door. We start after 8pm when the business part of our meeting is over. We hope to see you there.

Report by Val Williams
Secretary Hollingbourne WI

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Safari Market

Many people visited Hollingbourne for the Annual Safari Market organised by the Women’s Institute and the Hollingbourne Meadows Trust.

 Janice Butler looking after the knit and natter stall. All the items were made by W.I. members.

Other stalls in the Cardwell Recreation Field.

Mary Henderson and friend on their second shift in the Cardwell Pavilion kitchen. Many bacon and sausage rolls were made and sold.

Janice Butler (Right centre) standing with the Meadows Trust Car Park Team. From left to right, Sam Shaw, Ben Williams and Simon.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Royal Hospital Chelsea Visit

On the 15th of September the Hollingbourne W.I. along with the Royal British Legion visited the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London.

It was an interesting visit with so much history, and a lovely environment for the retired gentlemen. Surprisingly there were three ladies in residence as well!

 Aerial view

Our Guide Dave

 Three views of Courtyards

 The Great Hall - the dining hall 

The Chapel completed by Christopher Wren in 1687

Towers of remembrance - The Chelsea Pensioners have unveiled their very own ceramic poppy display to commemorate the centenary of the Great War.

"Pensioner on a Bench" purely for tourists! 

As demonstrated by Christine!!

Friday, 18 August 2017

Trout Farm Visit (Harrietsham)

On Friday the 18th of August we visited The Parkwood Trout farm in Harrietsham, where we enjoyed a picnic, before being treated to an interesting tour by the owner. The Trout Farm is run by a Mother and Son team.

Jane Deaves and Mary Henderson trying out the swing near the picnic area.

Before the guided tour we all decided to take lunch (self-provided picnic) by the lake. Tea was kindly provided by the owner.

The guided tour begins...

Feeding time! The owner threw in some food for the fish which gave the impression the water was boiling 

I wonder who's feeding the ducks?

Ah, it's Penny and Mary...

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Games afternoon at the pavilion

Playing French Boules in the gravel court next to the Cardwell Pavilion.

Joy and Edna play Jenga, whilst Jane watches on.

Janice and Joyce playing 'Four-In-A-Row' whilst Jenny watches on.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Beetle Drive

W.I. Members spent an enjoyable evening sampling delicious food taken from our "90 Cook Book", which was put together to celebrate our 90th anniversary last year by Margaret Weaver and Lesley Long. The evening ended with a hilarious Beetle Drive!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Make Up for the Forever 40's

We had an interesting evening with Helen Tobias who used Sadie as her model.
She showed us how “less can be more”...

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Hollingbourne W.I. At The Fete, & “The Hook A Duck Stall”

Sandra Robinson at her machine making the Minnie Mouse skirts.

Val Williams, Mary Henderson and Janice Butler decorating the 
Hook a Duck Stall.

Some customers… Lesley Long and Gill Lever (Both dressed as 
Minnie Mouse) organising the children hooking the ducks.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Higher Halstow WI 60th Birthday Party

Higher Halstow 60th birthday party held at St. James Church Cooling.
Penny and Christine attended.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Duck making morning at Janice’s

The duck badges are for the Hook a Duck stall in readiness for our stand at this year’s Hollingbourne summer fete.
 Pictured above (Left to right) are Val Williams, Jane Deaves & Mary Henderson
 Dotting the "eyes"
And just the beaks to colour in to finish them off!

Monday, 8 May 2017

New Zealand Troops Visit to North Downs Villages in 1940

Venue: All Saints’ Church Hollingbourne (May 10th 2017)

This is a summary of a presentation given by Jean Talboys and Val Williams of Hollingbourne WI.

We welcomed North Downs WI’s and many other friends to share memories of The New Zealand Expeditionary Force visit to the North Downs in autumn 1940.

The New Zealand flag which hangs over the tower door of the church was presented by a New Zealand Officer, Haddon Donald, in 1943.

After the evacuation from Dunkirk, 700 New Zealand Troops from the 22nd Battalion were stationed in slit trenches in Warren Wood from 5th - 11th September when heavy rain forced them to move to barns, fields and billets in Hollingbourne.

Warren Wood is bordered by Hospital Road, Greenway Court Road and A20 and is now crossed by the high-speed railway to Ashford. 

 The shield of the New Zealand 22nd (Wellington) Battalion

HQ Company was settled around the Church and Upper Street.  The CO stayed at the Vicarage (now the Old Vicarage), with the Vicar, Rev Newman, who were both keen rugby players. The Troops attended the church service each Sunday. The Six Bells was the officers mess.

The Officers were billeted in Grove House, Hollingbourne Manor, Penn Court, and Mr Watson’s Farm which has now been replaced by the Church Green development.

The men camped in the fields around the Church, Monks Pool and Snagbrook.

They used the Kings Head (now The Dirty Habit) as their ‘watering hole’. 

‘A Company’ first went to Greenway Court where they were provided with fruit, eggs, crockery etc by Miss Gray, a First Aid instructor for Maidstone and Major Forbes who commanded the Home Guard. 

‘B Company’ 200 men were first housed in Greenway Court barn but were later moved to empty buildings in Broad Street.  After most of the troops had moved, a bomb fell on the barn killing Private Ian Holmes who was first buried in Hollingbourne Churchyard and after the War was moved to the Commonwealth War Graves area in Maidstone Cemetery.

‘C Company’ were camped first around Broad Street and soon Mr Steed arranged for them to move into the empty houses, including Brushings Cottage, that residents had evacuated due to frequent bombing and anti-aircraft fire targeting nearby Detling Airfield. Mr Steed also organised hockey matches.  They used the Hook and Hatchet as a ‘watering hole’.  Mrs Chapman brought her van with tea, tobacco and chocolate. Buses were hired to take the men to Maidstone swimming pool, Canterbury, Gravesend, Rochester, Tunbridge Wells and Tilbury.

‘D Company’ officers were billeted in many of the houses and the school house in Eyhorne Street. The men camped in the school fields, Snagbrook and Eyhorne Farm including Athelstan Green. Grove Meadow was used for football and hockey, cricket matches were organised on the Cricket Field.  The Windmill and Sugar Loaves were their watering holes. The Thomas Family of Eyhorne House and General Vernon of Eyhorne Cottage provided hospitality for the officers and organised tea dances. Haddon Donald was billeted in Eyhorne Cottage.

Each schoolboy befriended a New Zealand soldier. Gordon Cook’s soldier left him a bike!

Photographs from 1940 of the troops in the village.

Leeds Castle was used as a Red Cross hospital some of the nurses were Hollingbourne residents. Lady Bailey invited the troops to Leeds Castle for hot baths.

The New Zealand Troops left Hollingbourne 5th November 1940.  Residents lined Eyhorne Street to bid the troops farewell and the Vicar suggested that Eyhorne Street should be re-named Taranaki Street.

Personal Reminiscences from local residents in 1940

Early in 1940 Eileen Jenkins (nee Hutchinson) and her mother and sister moved from Folkestone to Leeds to live with her grandfather.  During hop picking the girls met members of the 21st Battalion including Len Harkins (Curley) and his brother.  Both brothers were later sent to the middle East and Curley was taken prisoner.  After the War, Curley returned to Leeds and married Eileen in Leeds Church.  After the birth of their daughter, Linda, Eileen joined her husband in New Zealand, sadly Eileen was not approved of by her New Zealand Mother-in-Law and after two years returned with Linda to England and subsequently married Sid Jenkins of Hollingbourne.  Curley returned to England on several occasions to see his daughter and built up a very happy relationship with Eileen and Sid.

Eileen’s NZ Sister-in-Law sent her a beautiful model boat about 10 inches tall with iridescent sails made from Paua shell, a marine snail indigenous to the coast of New Zealand.

Other New Zealand Troops were stationed at Leeds, Kingswood, Pluckley and Maidstone.

The NZ troops with a Bren Gun carrier in Leeds.

Audrey Browne of Forge Cottage in Leeds where her Grandfather was blacksmith and farrier.  She was 8 years old in 1940 when New Zealand Troops were billeted in the cottage and used the oast at the bottom of the garden as a cookhouse.  Children had gathered around the cookhouse for goodies and listening to one of the troops playing his ukulele, when a damaged Spitfire was heard descending on the village.  The troops rapidly gathered the children away from the flight path and Audrey was given the Ukulele to carry.  She was later given the instrument to keep and she still treasures it.  The plane fell on Burgess Hall which was later demolished to build the houses in Burgess Hall Drive.

Rosemary Clarke of Spout Farm Caring Lane continues to run her family farm. One day during the autumn of 1940 her mother found that all the eggs had been hard boiled!  There were NZ troops camping in their orchard!

Gordon Cannon was aged 12 in 1940 and lived with his uncle and aunt in Woodcut Farm.  Gordon looked after the chickens, feeding them before school and shutting them up at night.  Numbers dwindled and a fox was suspected. One night, Uncle found the remains of a fire in a nearby wood with the bones of 30 or 40 chickens.  He went to the HQ and a Maori officer came to the wood and agreed it was his men and wrote a cheque immediately.
Walter Parks who worked on the Farm told Gordon about fighting between the troops who all carried large knives. On one occasion fighting resulted in one Maori being killed.

The Hollingbourne WI has been linked with Wokatani WI in New Zealand since 1935.  They gave the Institute a table cloth that is used for all meetings and a recipe for a fruit cake that are being used today.

The WI minute book records that on October 14th 1940, Captain Hurst, New Zealand Padre, gave a most delightful description of New Zealand, it’s people and habits.

Many people have helped collect these memories of 1940 including Janice Butler, WI President and David Lyne of Kingswood. Ian Talboys prepared the illustrations.

The WI is grateful to the Church Wardens for allowing us to use the Church for this happy occasion.

Colour photos were taken in 2010 & 2017, black and white photos are original images from 1940.