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 www.freyathlon.com.



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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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.


Theatre trip to see Brief Encounter


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. 

Federation Darts Tournament Semi-finals and Final: Victory for Catford


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!



Our May meeting


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.


Voting is a Piece of Cake: An Afternoon Tea on Sunday 1st July

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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 catfordwi@gmail.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.


Urban axe-throwing


An adventurous group of members had a great evening of axe-throwing at Whistle Punks, Vauxhall on 16 April. What fun they have had – and all limbs were safely accounted for at the end of the night!


Our April meeting


One of our members, Vicky, talked about and demonstrated British Sign Language (BSL). We learned about the history of signing and what it means to be a BSL/English interpreter, and then Vicky taught us the fingerspelling alphabet and a few basic signs. 

Tour of Southwark Cathedral

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A group of members, family and friends enjoyed a guided tour of Southwark Cathedral on 24 March. Kate Boyle was our guide, and it was really interesting learning so much about the history of the cathedral and the local area. 

Our March meeting


Hannah and members of the Downham and Whitefoot Community Choir, including some of our own Catford WI members, were the highlight of our March meeting. It was very relaxing to listen to them sing, and after they'd performed we all had a chance to join in. Hannah led us in singing some rounds and it was great to hear everyone joining in.

Our February meeting

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Steve McGowan, of the newly formed London Search and Rescue, gave an interesting talk.

It is a charitable organisation that assists the police on the search for vulnerable missing people. We learnt how this volunteer organisation whose motto is, ‘100% professional in all but pay’, operates and is trained. He told us that every year in London 44,000 people go missing – equivalent to a small town.

Source: https://www.londonsar.com/