Harlow Women's Institute

Member of the Federation of Essex Women's Institutes
Charity Registration Number 228992

Friday, 17 March 2017

Members Day

On the occasion of Members Day this year, the committee was treated to a day off whilst a volunteer team organised and ran the meeting.

The meeting was ably chaired by Lynne Hanrahan and followed the usual format with the routine business of minutes, notices and forthcoming events being dealt with first.  Then the speaker, Angela Keill, was introduced and gave a fascinating talk on life in the British Army during the 1970s.  As a young woman, Angela signed up for army life after trying a number of other occupations and finding that they didn't offer the challenges she was hoping for.  The initial basic training didn't prove too strenuous as she enjoyed marching, and the sporting opportunities which the army offered were eagerly accepted.  Travel was another bonus - she spent much time based in Germany with the chance to explore other parts of Western Europe.  On the downside, of course, was the obligation to accept orders without question; for a young person, the urge to ask "why?" is very strong.  However, she was able to adapt to the discipline and generally enjoyed Service life.  At the end of her talk, she was thanked by Jean Baker.

Then we had tea - and what a tea!  The selection of cakes was very impressive and they were all delicious - not a crumb left at the end.  The catering team had excelled themselves.

Then the raffle was drawn and Birthday flowers were presented to five members.  The competition, which was for a 'military item' was judged by Angela and the winning entry was comprised of a Field Postcard from France in 1944 and a set of 'dog tags' (see pictures below). 

The afternoon concluded with a reminder about the April meeting, and then the National Anthem was sung.

The entire afternoon was a great success and the hard work of the team of volunteers was much


Thursday, 9 February 2017


A packed meeting on Wednesday heard a very entertaining and funny talk from Graham Bendall entitled "The Gamekeeper's Year".  Although we only got a shortened version of the chronological events which go to fill the year, the talk was full of highly amusing anecdotes of the sharp and not-so-sharp shooters who make up the complement.  Along the way, we heard stories of Graham's three sons and his cricketing daughter. 

After the tea interval, Graham judged the competition which was for a nature photograph.  The winner was Jean Mallett with a picture of emerging bluebells.

Fifty-four members of Harlow WI have renewed their membership this year and two new members joined this month.  We also had six visitors on Wednesday whom we hope to see again.

In March it is Members Day when the committee sit back and let others plan and run the meeting.  All we can tell you is that the competition will be for a military item.  Come along and find out what it's all about.

Other events scheduled include the play-reading group on Thursday 16 February from 2 until 4 pm.  We're about to start the second act of Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward.  Then there is the Craft Group on Friday 24 February which is open from 11 am until 4 pm; darts and games are played every Monday from 1.30 until 3.30, and finally the Book Group is on Thursday 2 March from 2 until 4 pm.

Do join us for one or more of these events. 

Sunday, 15 January 2017


In the spirit of the season, this month of subscription renewals has been rechristened.

A Very Happy New Year to all members and friends, and let us hope for a fruitful and constructive 2017.

We started the year with a very interesting and informative talk from Mrs Margaret Rogers, entitled "The Silk Road", tracing the journey she and her husband took across Central AsiaTravelling mainly in Uzbekistan, her talk was of the caravanserais, markets and madrassas which mark the route to Samarkand.  The talk was illustrated with many slides of the beautiful and often colourful buildings which remain along the way.  The very early buildings, some from the 11th century, show less colour than later ones.  The people are friendly and often curious about the Western travellers, as travel outside Uzbekistan is not generally possible for them.  Many of the children learn English at school.  At the end of her talk, Mrs Rogers was thanked by Belinda Murray.

It was a busy meeting with membership renewals and the vote for a choice of Resolution to be debated at the NFWI Annual Meeting in June.  Harlow's current membership stands at forty-seven, with more to come we hope. 

Birthday flowers were presented, as usual, and the raffle was drawn.  The competition - for a silk item - was judged by Mrs Rogers and she chose an embroidered silk card (pictured below). 

Forthcoming Events:-

Play-reading Group - Thursday 19 January 2-4 pm (Blithe Spirit)
Craft Group - Friday 26 January from 11 am until 4 pm
Book Group - Thursday 2 February 2-4 pm
Darts/Games - every Monday 1.30-3.30 pm
Monthly Meeting - Wednesday 8 February at 2pm (talk A Gamekeeper's Year, competition for a nature photo)
All the above are held at the WI Hall, Garden Terrace Road, CM17 0AT
WI Fair - 29 March to 1 April at Alexandra Palace

Saturday, 31 December 2016

December with Music

With Christmas looming, Harlow's December programme was packed.  As well as all the routine events, there was the Christmas lunch on the 7th.  Catered as usual by the Walkers and their able team, the meal was as delicious as ever.  After it, we were entertained by a ukulele band with an excellent selection of music ranging from Christmas carols to country & western.  Many of the members present joined in and danced. 

Walkers' famous vacherin

A week later, the monthly meeting was also musical - Ray Bomber and friend, playing a variety of instruments, presented a musical quiz involving the names of tunes.  This was also an occasion for joining in with the singing. 


The competition in December was for a theatre programme.  Jenny Ford's entry was chosen as the winner.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 11 January 2017 at 2 pm.
The President & Committee wish all members and friends a Very Happy and Healthy New Year.