For our January meeting, Nicola Dunn introduced us to the art of calligraphy. She demonstrated some basic letterforms and explained the fundamental rules for forming an alphabet, then gave us all some a simple ‘pen’ (made from stiff card and a piece of J-cloth) and some ink and encouraged us to have a go.
On 4 January, the ‘Magnificent Seven’ wrapped up in many layers to walk Stage 6 of the Capital Ring. It was a beautiful, bright, crisp winter’s day, just right for the walk. We set off through Wimbledon Park, then on to Wimbledon Common, passing the landmark Windmill (last remaining hollow-post flour mill). After a few high jinks, we entered Richmond Park, passing the oddly named Spankers Hill Wood, before stopping off at Pen Ponds Cafe for a cuppa and great bacon butty. Moving onwards, with bacon-filled contentment, we took a short detour to visit Henry’s Mount to look out over London and at St Paul’s Cathedral, some 10 miles in the distance (a protected view, no buildings can be built to obscure it). After leaving the park, we walked alongside the Thames to Richmond Bridge, where the 7-mile walk finished.
On 28 December, seven ‘merry’ women and one ‘merry’ man set off to tackle Stages 4 (Crystal Palace Station to Lewin Road Streatham) and 5 (Lewin Road Streatham to Wimbledon Park Station) of the Capita Ring. It was great to have Karrie from St Mary’s WI on the Isles of Scilly (twinned with Catford WI) join us on the 9.5-hour walk.
We started at Crystal Palace Station, walking through Westow Park, Biggin Hill Wood and onto Norwood Grove. There is a Grade-2 listed building at Norwood Grove, built in 1840, as well as the Grade-2 listed Rookery Gardens. We walked onto Streatham Common, finishing the Stage 4 route at Lewin Road.
One ‘merry’ women less, the group continued on to Stage 5, walking past Tooting Bec Lido and through Tooting Common. We stopped for a lunch break at the Sam Remo Cafe on the common – the dull sky cleared and we had a well-earned cuppa under a bright blue sky. After lunch, we continued on to Wandsworth Common, passing Du Cane Court in Balham, built in the Art Deco period, Wandsworth Prison and Cemetery, then walked through Earlsfield, before finishing at Wimbledon Park Station.
On 11 December, we held our end-of-year social – and what a great evening we had. Everybody was in party mood and seemed to enjoy the Christmas buffet and drinks. We had a great turn out of members and we were especially pleased to welcome our Federation Chairwoman Annette Smith and our long-term WI Advisor Jean Gibbins, as well as several members of our waiting list and our Treasurer’s mum, visiting from St Lucia.
Thanks to our members’ generosity, our raffle raised £230.31 for St Christopher’s Hospice.
On 9 December, the 'Steadfast Six' walked Stage 3 of the Capital Ring Walk. Following many hysterical attempts at taking the start-of-walk selfie, the group set off along the Railway Children's Walk, which took us to the Downham Woodland Walk, where we caught the little wooden train! We stopped and enjoyed a hot drink at the White House (no, not that one!) in Beckenham Palace Park before moving onto Cator Park. Along the way, we became seven when we were joined by Sian and her bicycle. We had fun with an unplanned stop in the park to have a go on the zip wire. The final stage of the 8.5-mile walk took us around Crystal Palace Park, where we saw the amazing foundations of the Crystal Palace. In true Catford WI style, we ended the walk with a celebratory cuppa and slice of cake in the Crystal Palace station cafe.
On 7 December, a group of members, friends and family had a great day out at Lullingstone Country Park. When we arrived the weather was less than friendly, but 15 of the group set off on a pre-lunch walk around the park. Rangers Mark and Freya took us round and gave us lots of information about the location and woodlands. After the walk, the walkers joined the others for a very tasty Christmas lunch.
On 3 December, the Catford Thundercats played its last first-round away match against the Flighty Frogs of Istead Rise. Caroline got the winning double 2 for the Thundercats in the first game. The Flighty Frogs threw a winning bull’s-eye to take the second game. The final game came down to double 1 and the 5-minute rule was imposed. Neither team could get the double and the captains had to throw nearest bull to win the match. Unfortunately for the Thundercats, the Flighty Frogs threw nearest to the bull and took the match 2–1. A big thank you to the Flighty Frogs of Istead Rise for being great hosts, making an enjoyable evening and putting on a good spread.
On 1 December, undeterred by the weather, the ‘Fearless Four’ set off from Falconwood Station in the rain. Once again, we took a selfie before we started the walk. Still not grasping exactly how it can be done, Tom from Southeastern Trains rescued us and took a picture. Thanks Tom!
Early on in the walk Kay and Audrey tested the anti-climb paint on the bridge over the A2 and can attest it works! We walked past the old water-supply system to Eltham Palace and continued on to Mottingham, walking past farmland, parks and playing fields, meeting the odd horse and donkey along the way. Ever-ready Ursula, armed with secateurs, started collecting Christmas decorations. We finished our 4-mile walk at Grove Park by the Quaggy River.
On 28 November, Catford Thundercats played its away match to Frindsbury Extra and won 2–0. The first game was won on double 1, thrown by Caroline. The second game came down to needing 65 to win. Sue B threw 15, which meant a bull’s-eye was needed to win the match. To everyone’s joy, Sue B hit the bull’s-eye with her third dart. What a finish! Thank you to Frinsbury Extra for hosting the match.
On 23 November, four members walked Stage 1 of the Capital Ring Walk, setting out from a foggy Woolwich along the Thames Path. A short distance ahead of us was The Thames Barrier, shrouded in fog. We walked on to Maryon Wilson Park, where there is a small children’s zoo and through Charlton Park, where Charlton House is situated. We walked across Woolwich Common to Oxleas Woods, where Sevendroog Castle is situated. We finished our 7-mile walk at the Oxleas Meadows Cafe, where we enjoyed a welcome hot drink and bite to eat.
For our November monthly meeting, Jean H taught us how to make beautiful paper baskets, ideal for holding gifts – especially with Christmas fast approaching – or as a decoration. Thanks very much to Jean and her helpers for making the evening a great success.
On 31 October, Ightham WI darts team hosted a first-round match with Catford Sweet Peas. It was a close competition but Catford Sweet Peas won the match 2–1. Well done Linda for getting the double needed in the second game and Kay for getting the double in the final game.
Catford Thundercats played Gravesend in a first-round home match on 16 October. It was a close match with good darts played from both teams. Gravesend won the match 2 -1
An good evening of tenpin bowling was had on 15 October. Scores of 100 or over were achieved by quite a few of the members.
Another group of members, friends and family enjoyed a great afternoon of crossbow shooting at the Harris Academy. Again, thank you to Alan at Target Sports World for teaching us.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.