Harlow Women's Institute

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

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Lost Gardens and Biomes

At the July meeting, we were treated to a talk entitled "Cornish Treasures".  In due course, we discovered that the "treasures" were two Cornish gardens - Heligan and the Eden Project.  And what gardens they are!

Our speaker, Robin Carsberg, clearly knows and loves these gardens.  His photographs were delightful and we all enjoyed looking at them.  He talked about Tim Smit, who is connected to both gardens and, in particular, was very largely responsible for enthusing enough people and funders to turn projects from paper dreams into reality.  
After his talk, Robin was thanked by Pat Stone (who admitted she had never visited Cornwall!), and agreed to judge the monthly competition, which was for 'something Cornish'.  This had been widely interpreted and resulted in entries ranging from tea towels to a Cornish pasty and a full 'Cornish Tea'.  Unsurprisingly, the Cornish Tea was awarded the prize!

The next WI event will be the Strawberry Tea on Wednesday 19 July at 2.30 pm.  Tickets, priced at £3.50 are on sale now. 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Photos

The Macmillan cheque -

and the old WI photograph (sorry it's in parts but it is a very long photo) -

Flaming June

Well, the June meeting on the 14th may not have gone entirely to plan due to the sudden unavailability of the speaker through illness, but the Summer Lunch was another matter.

Thirty-three members and two guests attended the Lunch today which was, as usual, admirably provided by Walker Catering Ltd.  In the extreme heat of the day, we were able to enjoy refreshing cold meat and salad followed by the famous vacherin.

Our first guest was Georgia Clark from Macmillan Cancer Support who was there to receive a cheque for the proceeds of our Charity Coffee Morning in May.  This amounted to £600 which will be spent locally (pictures to follow).    Once again we say thank you to our members, donors, local shops and customers who made this great total possible.

Our second guest was Mrs Lynette Abbott whose grandmother had been an early member of Little Parndon and Netteswell WI.  She brought with her an original photograph taken during the 1930s of that WI seated outside their WI hall.  It seems likely that the hall in question is now the Burnt Mill Snooker Club (if anyone has information to back this up, we'd very much like to hear about it - call 07712 848578).  Mrs Abbott talked to members, particularly our own local history buff, about possible connections and acquaintances.  Members enjoyed viewing the photograph.  Pictures will be posted shortly.

Altogether it was a very enjoyable event.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


 After a hectic first half of the month, things have now calmed down a little, giving us time to draw breath. 

Harlow WI held its AGM on Wednesday 10th when elections for the committee were held and Resolutions voted on.  As no new nominations for the committee had been received, it was no surprise when the existing committee were re-elected.  Christine Dellow remains President.

The two Resolutions to be debated at the NFWI Annual Meeting in Liverpool next month (Alleviating Loneliness and Plastic Soup: keep microplastic fibres out of our oceans) were unanimously backed.


After the formal business was completed, we were treated to a talk by Mike Levett, Education & Volunteer Officer, Harlow Town Park.  The Heritage Lottery Fund and Harlow Council have funded a programme of restorations, improvements and additions which have ensured that Harlow Town Park now has 'Green Flag' status, and is attracting increased numbers of visitors.  Pets Corner has been revamped and boasts a classroom for visiting schoolchildren where educational talks and lectures take place.  Spurriers House Cafe is under new management and is open for business.  Park Runs, both adult and junior, take place weekly, there are regular walks, and groups of volunteers work weekly and monthly in the Park (particularly the Walled Garden) and at Pets Corner.

Mike has done sterling work recruiting many volunteers, leading and enthusing them to achieve great things in the Town Park. The volunteers come from a wide spectrum - some retired older people, Harlow College Supported Studies, Writtle College, scout groups and school groups.  Mike entertained us all with photographs and descriptions of work completed, including some 'before and after' shots showing restoration of particular aspects of the Park.  Events are planned to mark the 70th anniversary of Harlow New Town and the 60th anniversary of the Town Park. 

After a thoroughly entertaining talk, Mike was thanked by Jean Wright.

Charity Coffee Morning

On Saturday 13th May, we held our annual Coffee Morning which we dedicate to raising funds for a local charity.  It was a highly successful morning, netting over £500.  Grateful thanks go to all those who made and donated cakes and other goods, to those who manned the stalls and the kitchen, and - of course - to all those who came and bought so generously.

Unfortunately, we have no photographs from either of the above events - our regular photographer was unavailable and the rest of us were so busy that photographs were overlooked!

Forthcoming Events

Play-reading Group - Thursday 18 May   2-4 pm
Craft Group - Friday 26 May open from 11 am until 4 pm
Book Group - Thursday 1 June   2-3.30 pm
County Quiz, preliminary round - Thursday 1 June   7.30 for 8 pm start
(There are still four vacant places on the teams - why not come along?)