Harlow Women's Institute

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

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Still busy May

The 2018 Charity Coffee Morning was held on Saturday 12 May.  This year, the chosen charity was the Harlow Chocolate Run.

 A steady stream of people came in during the two hours of the Coffee Morning.  Stalls were well-stocked with gifts and handicrafts, cakes, books & games, bric-à-brac and plants.  There was the opportunity to guess the name of the soft toy, and the chance to buy raffle tickets.  Many of the raffle prizes had been generously supplied by local traders and we are very grateful to them.


Anna Bignell and Jo Busson came along from the Chocolate Run to explain how that organisation worked to help homeless people experience some social contact. 
The lucky winner of the "Name the Soft Toy" competition


Busy May

Wednesday the 9th was our AGM.  Members were treated to a full report of the past year (actually, the past nine months) and an explanation of the accounts.  Whilst the WI reported a surplus for the period, the Hall unfortunately made a loss due to the massive water leak which occurred in May 2017.  However, both accounts remain in a healthy condition.

In her report, the President Christine Dellow thanked all members and the committee for their support and hard work.  She mentioned Lilian Pedrick who had recently died, and who had been a long-serving member and tireless worker.

Voting took place for the 2018 committee, which turned out to look very like the 2017 committee.  Only one member, Betty Brittin, had decided not to stand again.  She was warmly thanked for her support. 

Voting also took place for the Resolution which will be debated at the NFWI Annual Meeting in Cardiff in June.  We were fortunate that our Link Delegate, Jill Ludlow, from Roydon Village WI was present for this and she helped explain the pros and cons of the Mental Health Matters Resolution. 

During a busy afternoon, we had a short talk from Mhairi of the Citizens Advice Bureau.  It was fascinating and very informative to hear of the vast amount of work undertaken by both paid and volunteer members of CAB staff.  Harlow has one of the largest CAB offices. 

Rather bravely, we had a competition for a home-made hat.  Judging by the small number of entries, members found this a challenge too far!

Friday, 20 April 2018

Saturday Coffee Mornings

As well as the annual Charity Coffee Morning, which this year is on Saturday 12 May, Harlow WI has decided to open the WI Hall on one Saturday each month for an informal coffee morning.  It will generally be on the third Saturday of each month and the Hall will be open from 10 am until noon for anyone who would like to come in for a sit-down and a cup of coffee.  There will be no entrance fee and a small charge for coffee and biscuits. 

There will usually be a table of donated books and goods for sale - items available will vary according to the season and what people donate.

Why not come along and have a look?  The first one is tomorrow - Saturday 21 April - and doors will open at 10 am.  You'll be very welcome.

Monday, 16 April 2018

April - and Spring at last?

After a long and dreary winter, it is delightful to feel the temperature rising and a little less rain.  The Spring flowers are fully into their stride after a hesitant start, and the birds are busy nest-building.

Since the last posting in January, Harlow WI has enjoyed an excellent talk on "Nature through the Seasons" by Roger Hance in February, and a very pleasant social afternoon in March under the banner of "Members Day".

Richard Thomas

The talk at the April meeting was entitled "A Day in the Life of a Tug" and was given by Richard Thomas, who spent twenty years on Thames tugboats.  Days on the tug were long - 6 o'clock in the morning until 10 at night, with exact timings depending on the tide.  It was a surprise to learn that the barges being towed downriver were full of rubbish!  This was collected from various points serving the busiest areas of London (Canary Wharf, the city, Westminster, etc) and towed downriver to the rubbish disposal plant at Mucking in Essex.  When empty, the barges were returned for refilling. 
Today's fleet of barges is smaller and sleeker and infinitely more powerful than the ones Richard worked on, and the disposal of rubbish at Mucking is now dealt with by state-of-the-art technology.  At the end of his very informative and well-illustrated talk, Richard was thanked by Jean Finch.

The competition, which was for "a boat memento", attracted many entries varying from a model yacht to an Airfix kit of the Titanic, via several nautical photographs and painted plates.  The winner was Linda Mitchell.