On 15 September, Kate Boyle led us around Parliament Square on a guided walk about the suffragettes.
For our September meeting, Kate Willoughby joined us to discuss her work as a writer, performer and campaigner. Kate describes herself as a proud Yorkshire woman and a part-time suffragette.
She gave a fascinating talk about her campaigning work and how she uses drama and creativity to inspire people to vote. At the end of the evening, Kate performed a powerful and moving speech as Emily Wilding Davison, a suffragette who fought for votes for women and who is, perhaps, most famous for her attempt to stop King George V’s horse at the Epson Derby on 1913.
On 7 September, a group of members, family and friends took part in an evening walk from London Bridge to The Globe Theatre, taking in the history of women along Bankside over the centuries. The evening was rounded off with a well-deserved supper at the Anchor Pub, Bankside.
Members had a fabulous evening at The Murder Express Pedley Street Station. The evening was described as: “Great company, good food and a brilliantly acted murder mystery.”
Between 31 August and 3 September, a group of WI members, family and friends set sail aboard P&O Arcadia for a mini cruise to Cherbourg, France and St Peter Port, Guernsey. Everyone enjoyed their time in the ports and the activities onboard.
Rumour has it, members are already talking about the possibility of another cruise some time soon.
On 21 July, a group of members, friends and family were brave enough to try out the world's longest, fastest city-centre zip wire at Archbishop’s Park, Lambeth. They ascended to a height of 35 metres and then rode the zip wire at speeds of up to 50kph. Well done!
We were delighted to welcome Freya Rodger to our July meeting for a talk about the Freyathlon, her attempt to try her hand at every Olympic sport that women were competing in at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Freya explained how, in the wake of her treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and her efforts to rebuild her health and fitness, she set herself the challenge to have a go at over one hundred sporting events, both individual and team, in sixteen months, with her goal to complete the challenge by the Olympic's Closing Ceremony in August 2016. It was fascinating to learn about just a few of the sports she enjoyed discovering, including beach volleyball, synchronised swimming, archery and BMX racing, and the challenges she had to overcome, such as her fear of the diving board.
In summary, it was wonderful to hear Freya talk so positively about the benefits of challenging yourself to try new things (perhaps things that are completely outside your comfort zone), meeting new people, and improving your health and fitness.
For more information about Freya's story, visit www.freyathlon.com.
On 7 July a group of members and friends ascended 60 feet to take a closer look at the ceiling in the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.
Everyone enjoyed the chance to examine the artwork at close quarters and learn a little more about the spectacular wall and ceiling decoration and its restoration.
On Sunday 1 July we held an afternoon tea to celebrate one hundred years since the Representation of the People Act (1918), which granted the vote to women over the age of thirty who met a property qualification. It was a delightful afternoon with members, family and friends enjoying delicious sandwiches and cakes, friendly conversations and political discussions.
We were fortunate to be joined by four wonderful women who acted as table hosts, making everyone feel welcome and encouraging discussion of all kinds of women's issues. Our hosts were Hannah Aina, a community and choir leader; Bridget Prentice, who was the MP for Lewisham East from 1992–2010; Annette Smith, the Chair of Kent–West Kent Federation of Women's Institutes; and Kate Willoughby, a writer, performer, campaigner and the co-founder of Emily Matters.
The afternoon tea would not have been possible without the help of many of our members. Led by a dedicated sub-committee, volunteers worked behind the scenes and front-of-house to make the day a great success. So thanks to our volunteers for – to name but a few of the tasks – making decorations, decorating and setting up the hall, baking cakes and making sandwiches, helping in the kitchen, serving the teas, selling raffle tickets, running a ballot and, of course, washing up and clearing away at the end of the day. Thanks also to everyone who bought a ticket , came along and made the afternoon such a fun and relaxed affair.
For our June meeting, Sian Rickard, a dancer and personal trainer, introduced us to Bollywood dancing – a style of dancing made popular by the Bollywood film industry. Sian gave us a dance display and the taught us a simple dance routine. Starting with some basic hand shapes, we slowly learned all the moves, until eventually we mastered the dance. It was great fun – and a good workout too.
We spent a lovely afternoon in the sunshine at Deptford Creek on 10 June. A big thank you to Nick and Sophie from the Creekside Discovery Centre for taking our group on an informative walk along the shoreline at low tide. Afterwards we enjoyed a lovely meal at Davy’s in Greenwich.
On 3 June a group of us visited the ‘Ocean Liners: Speed & Style Exhibition’ at the V&A. It was a glamorous experience. We learned all about the design stories of the world's greatest ocean liners, including the Titanic, Normandie, the Queen Mary and the Canberra.
A group of us were led around Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve on 18 May by Catford Wi-member Nicole, with Andrew in support. We were lucky enough to see a wide variety of birds including chiffchaffs, gadwalls and redshanks, as well as other wildlife.
On 17 May, a group of us went to see Noel Coward's Brief Encounter at at the Haymarket Cinema. It was a musical adaptation of the original 1945 film starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. It was brilliantly performed and still true to the original.
Catford WI is enormously proud of both its darts teams for getting through to the semi-finals of the West Kent Federation Darts Tournament 2017–18 at Tovil Working Men’s Club on 14 May.
In the semi-final, Catford A team played Swanley & Hextable and lost 2–0, and Catford B beat Lyghe 2-0 to make it through to the final.
In the final, Catford B team won its final match against Swanley & Hextable 2–1. It was a close match, with plenty of doubles play. Max got the double 1 on the first game and Kay got the winning double 2 in the third and final game.
Congratulations to both teams for getting through to the final evening of the competition, and an extra-loud cheer to the B team for winning the whole thing!
It was our annual meeting on 9 May. We began with regular Catford WI business and then moved on to the annual meeting. We debated this year's annual meeting resolution (Mental Health Matters), voted on three bylaws and confirmed the committee for 2018–19: Clare C, Hazel C, Bee C, Kay G, Max H, Sue H (Treasurer), Fiona J, Alyson M, Alison S (President), Caroline W (Secretary).
Thank you to Jean and Carole from the Federation and to Ruth and Elaine from Forest Hill WI for joining us on the night to act as tellers and confirm the new committee. We’re all looking forward to another successful year ahead.
Catford W I invite you to ‘Voting is a Piece of Cake’ – an afternoon tea to celebrate 100 years of the Representation of the People Act 1918. The event will be held at the Catford Sports & Cricket Club, Penerley Road, Catford, SE6 2LQ. Tea sittings will be at 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm and 4pm.
To book tickets – £11 ( WI members), £12 (guests), please email email@example.com.
Members enjoyed a fun – and competitive – morning of curling at Fenton’s Ice Rink on 5 May. This was followed by lunch, at the Black Horse, Pembury.
Catford A team played away on 23 April against Quarry Hill WI. Catford A won 2-1, with Sue R getting the double 3 in the first game and Sue B getting the winning double 1 in the final game.
Kate Boyle led a group of us on a really interesting walk around Blackfriars and Fleet Street. It was a beautifully sunny day, and we were delighted to discover so much history around every corner.