Tour of the Natural History Museum


Members of Catford WI were given a private guided tour of the Natural History Museum on 12 October. The Natural History Museum cares for more than 80 million specimens spanning billions of years and aims to use its unique collections and unrivalled expertise to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today. A big thank you to Alex Hetherington for giving us such an interesting tour.


Our October Meeting


For our October monthly meeting, a group of Catford WI members prepared a delicious variety of savoury and sweet West Indian dishes for us to taste. A big thank you to Sue H and her team for their hard work in preparing these dishes.


Crossbow Shooting I


On 6 October, a group of members, friends and family had the opportunity to try crossbow shooting at the Harris Academy. A great time was had by all and quite a few centres were hit. A big thank you to Alan at Target Sports World for teaching us.


Archery Days


A great day of archery was had on 22 September at Bromley Archery Club. Both morning and afternoon sessions were well attended and even the rainy weather couldn’t dampen our spirits. Phoenix got the highest score in the morning session and Kay in the afternoon session.


Darts Tournament: Catford Sweet Peas vs Downe


Catford Sweet Peas played their first match in the 2018/19 West Kent Federation Darts Tournament against Downe on 18 September. Downe won the first game, Sue H got the winning double in the second game, so it was all to play for in the third and final game. Downe got the winning double and took the match 2–1. It was a good night of darts and lovely meeting the ladies of Downe WI darts team.

Our September Meeting


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.

Slappers of Southwark Walk


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.

Mini Cruise to Cherbourg and St Peter Port


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.


Riding the Zip Wire


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!


Our July Meeting


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



Painted Hall Ceiling Tour

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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.

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Afternoon Tea: Voting is a Piece of Cake


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.


Our June Meeting


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. 


Exploring Deptford Creek

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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.

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