Previous Meetings

October 2017

Our new name seems to be popular and at Octobers Meeting we welcomed 10 guests as potential new members.  Our speaker during the evening was a representative from the  Medical Detection Dogs charity, who spoke to us for almost an hour about the fantastic research being done into using the dogs' amazing ability to detect the scent of potentially lethal conditions.  We were all fascinated to hear about this pioneering work and gladly spent money on items brought along by the speaker and sold in aid of the charity.  This was followed by the usual refreshments where everyone made an effort to make our guests feel welcome, and then by our craft session where we all made felt poppies, the proceeds of which were donated to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

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August 2017

After a break over the summer, when instead of a meeting, the Committee organised a summer outing to Caversham Court Gardens and a couple evening social events, our regular monthly meetings resumed with a speaker from the Metropolitan Police Crime Investigation Service. We were treated to a brilliant talk from a former employee based at Scotland Yard, and following this a practical craft session where we were all taught how to make corn dollies!

The members were told about the exciting events we have planned for the coming year, including a relaunch as Woodley Central WI rather than The Wonderful Women of Woodley - slightly less of a mouthful and the result of a desire distinguish ourselves from the other Woodley WI's.  Plans were discussed about the coming Winter Extravagaza and members were encouraged to start thinking about making things to sell.

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July 2017

Our July meeting revolved around a really intersting talk by a researcher from the university of Reading who's work involved cocoa plants.  He spoke about the history, cultivation, development and future of the coca plant and chocolate.  He brought with him samples of the plant. pods and seeds and then ansewred questions from the audience. Our competition this month was to make something out of chocolate!

Our craft session this month was led by janet who showed us all how to meake beautiful and realistic roseds out of coffee filters, dye and double side sticky tape!

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2017 June

Our meeting this month was all about bread!  Our speaker , Lucie from Bread Angels talked to us about the history, development and process of making soda bread.  She passed round delicious samples of her home meade bread and sent us home with a sample of the starter and good intentions to have a go ourselves! She was then kind enough to judge our competition, and encouraged us all to take part in one of her courses on breadmaking.

Following this we all started making a rag wreath.  Led by our craft expert Juliet, we were all shown how to construct these amazing decorative wreaths.  No one managed to finish before then end of the meeting, but photo's to follow of the amazing results once completed at home!Image may contain: flower, plant and outdoor

May 2017

Our speaker for May was a representative from the Berkshire Air Ambulance Service who gave us a very interesting talk on this vital and life saving operation.  We were fascinated to learn it is funded purely through donations with no government backing, and this made us all realise just how lucky we are to have the service covering this area.

Following the usual refreshments we all took part in a craft sessionin which we were shown how to make a lovely folk art hanger.  We all made our own to take home!

Instead of a competition ths month we had a bring and buy sale - lots of members brought unwanted items to sell and the money made has boosted our funds considerably.  It was so successful we may decide to do it every month.

April 2017

Our April speaker treated us to a talk about reflexology and encouraged us all to take part in a very interesting demonstration of her techniques, using one of our membership as the model.  We all came out of the session very well informed and eager to put into practice all the information we absorbed. Following this we had the usual break for refreshments and chatter and then our president led a practical sessionwhere we were shown how to make and decorate sugar paster roses,  Everyone had a go and produced varying results, but a good time was had by all and the general opinion was that we should do it again!

March 2017

This was our annual meeting and after the official business of voting in a new committee and president, listening to the annual report from the secretary and to the treasurers report  we listened to a one of our members concluding her talk on LIfe In France.  Our new programme of events was unveiled and proves the committee has worked very hard over the last few months to select a varied and exciting range of speakers with somethig for everyone.

February 2017

Our birthday meeting - we were joined by visitors from several local WIs.  Our speaker tonight was a local member who very kindly stood in at the last moment as our planned speaker had to cancel at short notice.  We were treated to a very amusing and entertaining talk about the speaker's life, her early adoption, and her recent search for her sister.  Following this we had a short quiz and some party games, together with nibbles. bubbly and birthday cake!

January 2017

Our January meeting welcomed a speaker from the berkshire Museam of Aviation who spoke to us for the first half of the meeting about the history of aviation in Woodley and Reading. Following this we spent time planning our next meeting wich will be our first birthday meeting!

December 2016

Our Christmas meeting was well attended and we were enetertained during the first half of the meeting by a very talented hand bell ringer who treated us to a demonstration of Christmas music and carols and then allowed us all to play with her very expensive hand bells!

Following this we celebrated the beginning of the Christmas season with bubbles and seasonal food, and we then invited to have a go at several christmas crafts beign demonstrated by members of the committee.  With varying results!

A fantastic Christmas Hamper was raffled, together with a smaller cosmetic selection and several floral arrangements, and members were sent on their way with a gift from the secret santa!

November 2016

Our November meeting was a lively and sociable one with all members taking part in a practical session getting all the goodies made by our members ready for sale.  

Our president had kindly made a large number of Christmas cakes which members were invited to decorate. These were then wrapped in cellophane and decorated ready for sale. 

Another large group went to work making the dozens of pots of jams and jellies/pickles and chutneys made by our members look fabulous.  They all now have a colour coordinated cover and hand written label and look fantastic.  Just right as gifts, very professional and perfect for Christmas.  A third group of ladies spent the time packaging up all the lovely hand knitted toys and novelty items, making item also look lovely. It was a really good sociable session with even the visitors joining in, and we were all surprised by just how much we now have to sell.  All we need now is good weather!!!

October 2016

In October we were treated to a demonstration by Janice Tattersdill, a member from another local WI, who talked about her experiences as a florist and showed us lots of different techniques for creating autumnal floral arrangements.  These were then used as raffle prizes and much appreciated by everyone.  Following this we spent time in our craft groups with many finishing off items for sale at the Christmas Extravaganza

September 2016

September's meeting was well attended despite the appalling weather conditions!  We paddled into the hall through the flooded carpark carrying our crafting equipment and welcomed Fiona Birchall who came to talk to us about Storytelling.  We enjoyed a very interesting half hour and were all enthralled and inspired by her amazing talent.

During the refreshment break we were encouraged to inspect the entries for the 'Flower Arrangement in a Tea Cup' competition, and placed our Pennies for Friendship against the one  we thought was prettiest, obviously having a nice cup of tea and piece of lovely cake at the same time!

Following this we split into our crafting groups and had fun learning new skills and perfecting old ones. The meeting ended with a much drier walk home!

August 2016

August's meeting was well attended even though it is peak holiday season.  Our speaker during the evening was one of our members who treated us to a very interesting talk about Life and Travels in India and Nepal.

She spent a number of years in both India and Neal when her children were small, both working and travelling around, and we spent a very happy 3/4 of an hour looking at the slides and photographs she took on her travels, and listening to the detailed descriptions of the culture, history and architecture of the countries she visited. 

Following this and after a break for refreshments (of course!), we split into our craft groups and spent the rest of the meeting teaching and learning new skills to great effect.  Flowers were arranged, wool was knitted and crocheted, paint was painted cards were made and photography techniques discussed. A great evening was had by all!!

July 2016

This month's meeting featured a speaker who is a  milliner in her spare time and who assured us that 'Everyone Can Wear A Hat'!  Thanks must be sent to Julie from Temptation Hat Hire ( for a great evening and for proving that indeed we all can!  We all had great fun trying on lots of hats in  different colours, shapes and sizes, and following her guidelines, found the perfect ones to suit,.  See our Facebook page for pictorial evidence!

June 2016

In June we were very lucky to have the opportunity to hear a speaker from the Friends of Reading Abbey telling us all about the history of the Abbey and the work being done by the Friends to maintain and protect the Abbey for future generations.  We were all enthralled by the lecture and slide show and are now looking forward to visiting once the ruins are opened up once again to the general public.

May 2016

Our May meeting also featured two speakers.  The first from Wokingham Borough Council talked to us about all the exercise and activity classes available in the Wokingham area and encouraged us all to give them a try - we were treated to a sample session of seated exercise which made us all laugh out loud!  It seems there is plenty available for those who are looking for a challenge and many were encouraged to give a class a try.

The second speaker was a former air stewardess who founded the charity Dreamflight. Many had not heard of the charity before, but having been told about the fantastic opportunities the charity offers to disabled children, many were inspired to go home and spread the word via friends and family, and hopefully support it in some way in the future.  A brilliant evening was had by all.

April 2016

The April meeting at Chapel Hall was very interesting and left us all wanting more!

We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to listen to one of our members talking to us about  French Village Life.  She was kind enough to bring along lots of samples of local food and wine for us all to enjoy whilst we listened to a brilliant description of the trials and tribulations of buying a french house, moving in and getting to know about a different country, culture and slower pace of life.  Unfortunately, due to a packed schedule, we ran out of time and so are looking forward with great pleasure to French Village Life - Part Two sometime soon!

Following refreshments we were treated to a talk about the resolutions proposed by National for this year.   Being a new WI we have not been involved in the resolution process this year, but look forward to voting at the next meeting, having listened to a very in depth analysis of the pros and cons of each resolution.