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South Tonbridge   5 November 2016

President's Welcome

Hi ladies,

We had such a positive response to Ringpull Man that we've had some volunteers to organise ongoing collections from us but who were also inspired to collect in their wider lives. More info below. This month our speaker is Angela Cosgrove - you may remember her using her wine expertise for wine tasting last year. This time we will be gin tasting! And we're hoping to use some local gins too.
There is some good news too and tickets are now available for friends and family to the District Carol Concert. There has been lots of hard work put in so far by Helen Wadey, Helen Williams, Ruth Davies, Karen Wilson, Katherine Hougham and Jane Byde who have been putting it all together behind the scenes and it is certainly going to pay off come December 4th. Tickets will be available to buy from the next meeting for £3.50. There is still time to join the choir too, send us an email or speak to Katherine and Jane at our next meeting. It is going to be great!
See you Tuesday,

Members Meeting: Gin Tasting

Tuesday, 8 November
19:30 - 21:30  Angel Centre, TN9 1SF

You may remember Angela Cosgrove from our May 2015 where she managed a wine tasting for us. As a woman of many talents, this time, we will be doing a gin tasting!

With 8 years’ experience in the wine industry, Angela has managed the wine bar in Selfridges London, worked as a Sommelier in Melbourne, Australia and currently manages and runs tasting events for Oddbins. She has also just completed her degree in wine business and 4th level WSET (Master of Wine qualification) at Plumpton in East Sussex, part of the University of Brighton.

Previous Meeting Minutes

Ringpull Collection Continues

Following RPMs talk Lyn Green and I were inspired to organise a collection at our monthly meeting. Please continue to collect them and bring them to our meeting and we will deliver them to him. Please send us any pictures or stories of how you are collecting them. 

Helen Wadey, Committee Member

All you have ever wanted to know about the structure of the WI but were afraid to ask

In response to some questions (and blank faces!) about how STWI fits into the wider WI structure I wanted to explain how it works locally and nationally. There are more ways you can get involved in the wider WI special interest groups and we'll be telling you about this in the new year.

You may have heard reference to the local 'District' and the 'Federation' - or The Feds as we fondly call them - at meetings and in the newsletters. Our WI sits with Tonbridge District which is made up of North Tonbridge WI, Cage Green WI, West Peckham WI, Hadlow WI, Lyghe (Leigh) WI, Golden Green WI, Hildenborough Afternoon WI, Hildenborough Evening WI and the new kid on the block, us! The District is not a formal WI status but something that our local Federation has done historically. In a recent meeting, I agreed to serve as interim Secretary and Karen Wilson agreed to serve as interim Treasurer, as the current ladies felt they couldn't continue to serve. Above the district structure comes the West Kent Federation with their office at Pembury. The whole country is divided into regional Federations all with their local offices. The National Federation sits at the top of this structure and has an office in London. Our local Federation has a board of trustees which includes a Chair and a Treasurer.

Becky Lamb, STWI President/District Secretary

Treasurer Update

As we are coming to the end of another great year I am pleased to inform you that we have a healthy balance in the bank of £4,596. As we started the year with a balance of £4,700 you can see our costs are comfortably within our income.

Because of this the committee thought it might be a nice idea to have a draw at our Christmas Party for one of our members to get a bursary towards a course at Denman College. If you do not know of the WI training centre in Oxfordshire take a look at They do a wide variety of courses in cookery, craft and lifestyle for the lucky recipient to choose from.

But this is your WI and your funds so we will be asking you to vote on this at our next meeting.

If there is anything you ever want to know about our finances just ask!

Lesley Mason, Treasurer

Quiz Night Updates

Thank you everyone for making the annual quiz night another success! We sold 97 tickets - more than last year! - and made a profit of £292! Well done!

WI Kipedia won the best team name and they also won the quiz so received fabulous prizes of WI bags complete with WI Stawberry jam (yes, the labels were spelt like that and the WI have been informed).

Ruth won the pound game, one of her friends, Carol, won the raffle and Ali from Helen Wadey's Rock Choir table won the pamper hamper. 

Member Updates

April Clark
April has had a recent spell in hospital with Pneumonia. She is home now recovering. We wish her a speedy recovery and hope you are completely better soon.
Alison Batchelor Collection
At last months meeting, everyone really pulled out the stops for the raffle and we made £127! This has been donated to AgeUK in Alisons name and we recieved the lovely thank you letter from them. Click the image to read the letter. Thank you! 
If you know of any births, engagements, illness or any other big life events, let me know so we can reach out and support each other,

Karen Wilson, Member Coordinator

Subgroup Update

Book Group 
We met at Wetherspoons last night to discuss 'A man called Ove'  by Fredrik Backman. It's translated from Swedish. The universal view was that we all loved this book and would highly recommend it as a good read.

The next book choice is 'Bel Canto' by Ann Patchett. It won the Orange Prize for Fiction about 15 years ago. We will meet on Wednesday, 23 Nov. 19:30. Everyone is welcome, so start reading!

Make sure Doris has your email on the list to keep up to date -  

Walking Group
There are a few walks currently being planned, please contact Thushara at for more information.
Supper Club – The next at Gaab Kao (Thai) at 19:30 on Tuesday, 15 Nov. Places still available so contact to sign up.

 Ruth Davies
Subgroup Coordinator

Handicrafts Workshop: 31 January

Would you like to try out cross stitch, or are your skills rusty and in need of a refresh?  The handicrafts group are running a cross stitch workshop on Tuesday 31st January to make a pretty valentine’s heart.  There will be two patterns to choose from - one which is straightforward and one a little more challenging - and by the end of the workshop you will have a lovely item to take home with you.  The cost is £5 to cover the cost of materials.

Please email Doina at by the end of November to sign up. There is a Facebook event page set up where we will share information about the workshop but please do email to confirm your place. Please note that the workshop is limited to 12 places. 

Fay Carradine
Handicrafts Group Member

Crochet Scarf Workshop: 11 December

Forsyth Hall
Sunday, 11 December


It is safe to say that I'm not particularly gifted on the handicraft front! However, I'm always up for giving it another go and when I saw this scarf on a blog recently I thought I'd rope in my lovely pal (and STWI Secretary!) Laura to help me make it. It is apparently just one simple stitch repeated. What I like about it is it looks COOL because, honestly, often 'easy' stuff can look a bit rubbish! Anyway, I thought there might be some of our members who'd be up for a morning of basic 'guided' crocheting and so we've booked The Forsyth Hall for Sunday 11th December 10.30 - 12.30. It'll be nice to have tea and mince pies and some Christmas tunes to jolly us along as well. Please bring a couple of quid to contribute towards the hall hire. They'll be a sign up sheet at the next meeting and no limit on numbers. Experience crochet-ers also very welcome to help us all along. We won't finish the scarf in the time but you'll be able to bring it along to our next meeting if you've gotten stuck or want to ask a question.

You will need to bring with you:
Roughly 5 balls of super chunky yarn 
10mm crochet hook
A large wool needle

If you've seen a 'crafty' thing you'd like to have a bash at but don't know how to, let us know and we'll see if we can organise someone to show us all how and book a room to do it in!

Becky Lamb, President
District Carol Concert
4 December, 14:00
St. Saviour's Church

Dry Hill Park Crescent, Tonbridge TN10 3BJ
The concert will be based on a traditional Nine Lessons and Carols service with each WI in the District having a reading and nominating a carol. We have two readers because Golden Green WI are without a reader. The STWI readers will be Jenni Hewett and Sheila O'Mahony. We have organised a WI choir especially for the event and we have volunteers from lots of our other district WIs too. 
Each WI is providing a dozen mince pies so we are looking for a volunteer to rustle these up for STWI. We will also need some volunteers to help make the teas and coffees at the end too please. We really need your help and there will be a sign up sheet at November's meeting.
Tickets are now open to friends and family too and tickets are £3.50 including programme and refreshments available at our November meeting.

Upcoming Events

Check the calendar for full details and the list of Federation Events
  • STWI Members Meeting, Angela Cosgrove, Gin Tasting!, Angel Centre, 8 Nov., 19:30-21:30
  • STWI Walking Group, 12 Nov. walk to Farleigh WI Table Top Fair
  • North Tonbridge WI Christmas Coffee Morning, 19 Nov., 10-11:30, Wesley Room, Tonbridge Methodist Church, Higham Lane,  Tonbridge, TN10 4JG  
  • STWI Book Club, Wetherspoons, 23 Nov. 19:30-21:30
  • District Carol Concert, St. Saviour's, 4 Dec., 14:00
  • Crochet Scarf Workshop, Forsyth Hall, 11 Dec. 10:30-13:00
  • STWI Members Meeting, Christmas Party, The Old Fire Station, 13 Dec., 19:30-21:30
Member Profile: Sheila O'Mahony

Age: 66
Where are you originally from?
How do you spend your days?
Recently retired so still adjusting-spending my time with my partner, travel, walking, reading, garden, choir, cycling!
What is your favourite thing about living in Tonbridge? I actually live in Tunbridge Wells. I like the countryside all around and the town centres.
What unique skill or area of knowledge can you share with our members? My work area of expertise was in safeguarding children.
What is your theme tune? Harvest Moon by Neil Young

Quick Links to Information on our Website

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Created by Secretary, Laura Olley and

  Assistant Secretary, Katherine Hougham
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