Report of Catford WI 2014
Another successful year has been marred by the sad death of one of our founding members, Susan Robinson, after a long and debilitating illness. We also said goodbye to our founding President and treasurer who both decided to step down.
Moving forward, January saw us change to our new venue to give us greater space and opportunities for a wider range of activities. Our current membership stands at 34 and the average attendance at meetings was 18 for the first 6 months and 26 over the last 6months, which hopefully shows we are doing something right!
Kay’s knee operation has meant the walking group has been quiet this year, but Nicole stepped in, leading a bird watching walk round the London Wetlands Centre in June and now the weather has improved, Kay is planning an exciting programme for the coming year.
The supper club have met for meals at Yak & Yeti, Chom Chom and Caspian, while Kay and Fiona, hosted another very successful cocktail evening and Julia hosted an afternoon tea in her garden. As always volunteers would be very welcome to host future evenings.
The theatre group have had 2 outings, one for an illuminating guided tour of West End theatres followed by a meal at The Strand Palace Hotel and the other to the Churchill Theatre to see ‘Hot Flush.’ A group of us also supported Debbie Patrick in ‘Out of Focus,’ another of her am-dram productions, where Kay presented her with her very own Oscar!
Our various outings have been extremely well attended by members and their friends and have included a visit to the Bank of England Museum followed by a fascinating tour of the Grocer’s Hall by Debbie’s husband, Mark; a return visit to the Kent Air Ambulance and a trip to the Museum of London to see the exquisite Cheapside Hoard. Sporty members enjoyed an evening of tenpin bowling in March, while the darts team joined Istead Rise district for a fun evening of darts, although they have yet to play a competitive match and three members even had a go at clay pigeon shooting – with mixed success.
As part of the Federation’s 95th Anniversary celebration in June at Aylesford Priory, we displayed both a pin cushion and our Big Walk, Little Splash journal and we were very proud of Sue Laughton who represented the London district with her flower arrangement celebrating the achievements of 2 important women in fashion – Mary Quant and Laura Ashley.
On the hottest day of the year we hosted our first major get together, also to celebrate the Federation’s 95th anniversary. Unfortunately the date clashed with several other events and attendance was lower than hoped for, but those who came all enjoyed themselves, especially the wonderful food and we even managed to make a small profit.
Our monthly meetings have seen us have a go at belly dancing, which had us all in fits of giggles, making zig-zag cards, china painting and corsage making as well as learning about metal detecting and how to taste chocolate – a challenge we accepted with gusto! We have also had interesting talks from former MP Bridget Prentice and from Gill Castle on setting up Omushana, her charity which helps children in Uganda.
This year we initiated a monthly President’s news email which we hope keeps members informed of what is going on even if they have been unable to attend the monthly meeting. Our website is now working well and this year we have also joined facebook and twitter. While our facebook profile is still very low key, we have over 260 followers on twitter. Both the website and twitter have attracted people to come along to a meeting and hopefully will continue to bring new members to join our vibrant group..