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Shiplake WI

Shiplake Womens Institute has around 60 members. We meet at 2.30 pm on the third Wednesday of every month (except August) usually at the Memorial Hall in Memorial Avenue.  The afternoon's programme includes a talk by an invited speaker and a splendid tea prepared by members.  Interesting trips and visits are also arranged throughout the year.

Contact: Audrey Simpson 01491 410256

Shiplake WI April Meeting


Reduce, re-use, recycle; if in doubt put it in your black bin. Two tenets we took from a recent visit to the Ardley Energy Recovery Facility. Oxfordshire C.C. is, believe it or believe it not, at the forefront of municipal waste treatment in the country and this facility diverts at least 95% of the county’s non-recyclable waste from landfill, and generates sufficient electricity to power 53,000 homes! If you have the opportunity, do visit.  Near Bicester, it’s only an hour down the M40, it’s free to enter, clean and non-smelly and very well worth it.  Our thanks to Sue Lines for arranging the outing.

On a lovely Spring afternoon, President Joan Jolley welcomed lots of members with he news that Shiplake had been awarded a two-night Denman Centenary Memorial Bursary. Because we all wanted to go there was a draw, and the lucky winner was Stephanie Blake.

Our speaker was Peter Halman, a member of the Berkshire Local History Association, He gave us a very interesting talk on The Thames from Oxford to Windsor. When compared to the Nile or Mississippi, our river is almost insignificant, but to this small island it has provided an effective political and social boundary, a direct source of food, irrigation for crops and opportunities for specialised employment.

Up until the middle of the nineteenth century the river had always been a main highway for goods, people and ideas.  With the coming of the Great Western Railway this traffic soon ceased, but it created the opportunity for riverside towns, such as Henley, to develop the leisure and recreation industries we have today. A lovely tea was hosted by Beryl Lawson and Brenda Lea-Cox, and although “she never wins anything” Joan won both the ACWW Flower of the Month and the Competition!

Article created / last edited: 23 April 2019

Shiplake WI March Meeting


March is the month for WIs to have their Annual Meetings but before the AGM President Joan Jolley made some general announcements. The Bulb Catalogues have arrived. The first of the ‘100 miles for 100 years’ walks had been a great success and would continue on Friday mornings.

The Beechwood Group Meeting will be held at Harpsden on Monday 8th April and the speaker is Brian Cummings MBE who is a Chelsea Pensioner. The first details about the grand Centenary Lunch Beechwood Group are planning on the 11th June were given.

Members were asked to vote for the candidates of the NFWI National Board. Then Joan encouraged members to read the News & Views and discussed some of the items of interest – the Art Taster events, the Trip to London and the talk by Carolyn Robb.

Sue Lines gave the final arrangements for the trip to the Ardley Energy Recovery Centre. The trip to Kelmscott was proving very popular with many ladies booked to go. Reminders were given about the Henley Arts Trail on the May Bank Holiday weekend and the 1st Shiplake Scouts Community Tea on Sunday 24th March.

Joan then began the AGM and introduced the whole committee. Rosemary Appleby, the Treasurer, read the Financial Report and said that £128 would be going to ACWW. The Catering report was read by Barbara Rowlett and she announced that the new tea rotas would be issued next month.

Ursula Davies read the Competition Report and the joint winners of the Grace Philips Salver were Susan Partridge and Wendy Channel and second was Viv Ellis who won the Southam Cup. The winner of the Burge Cup for the ACWW competition was Frances Le Febure. Sue Lines read the Outings Report listing the many exciting trips that had been made this year.

Joan then gave the President’s Report and reminded members of the Christmas and Summer parties, the Beechwood Group meetings and other events that had filled a busy year. She then thanked Lynn Boros for planning and booking the speakers over the past five years and announced that she would be standing down and Banba Dawson would be taking over this important task. She thanked all the committee especially Audrey Simpson, the secretary and Rosemary Appleby the treasurer. She also thanked those members who were not on the committee but who helped on a regular basis including Joyce Vernon, Ursula Davies and Viv Ellis.

The ten members of the committee were willing to stand for another year and the nominations were proposed by Janet Matthews and seconded by Joyce Vernon. The members voted unanimously in favour and the AGM was closed.

Janet Matthews has been archiving the old committee minutes and read out some of the most amusing items. It was quite surprising to hear some of the rules that were in existence in the1920s.

The usual excellent tea was enjoyed by members and guests. The tea hostesses were Wendy Channel and Jill Irwin. The winner of the most popular ACWW flower was Pauline Watkins with a stunning branch of mimosa and the winner of the competition for a Dressed Doll was Ursula Davies.

The speaker at the April meeting will be Peter Halman who will be talking about The Thames from Oxford to Windsor. More details about Shiplake WI are on the Shiplake Village website and visitors are always welcome.

Article created / last edited: 29 March 2019

National Federation of Women's Institutes

Shiplake Women's Institute is part of the National Federation of Women's Institutes which is the largest voluntary organisation for women in the UK. The National federation has approximately 230,000 members in around 7,000 WIs throughout the British Isles with broad aims to educate women and to enable them to provide an effective role in the community, to expand their horizons and to develop and pass on important skills. 

Article created / last edited: 4 January 2014