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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 Christmas Party


The Memorial Hall looked very festive with a decorated Christmas Tree and tables with holly, ivy and candles. Thanks were given to Ursula Davies for her wonderful arrangements. While members drank a glass of prosecco, they attempted to complete an interesting quiz with photos of influential and famous women, some of whom were quite difficult to name.

Joan Jolley gave a warm welcome and reminded members of some important items from News and Views. The Climate Change workshop, the Women’s Health and Wellbeing Day and The Historic Knitter were all worthy of a mention. Shiplake WI will host The Beechwood Group Meeting on 29th October and more details will be announced in the New Year. There was a gentle reminder that subscriptions will be due in January. The forms to vote for the Resolutions were in WI Life and Joan will have some extra copies at the January meeting. She encouraged all members to vote for this important part of WI business.

Sue Lines gave final details for the trip to Singing in the Rain at the Sonning Mill Theatre in January and promised more news of outings in 2020 at the January meeting.

The entertainment for the afternoon was a fun rendition of Seasonal Songs from Adrian Broadway. He sang and played a wonderful mix of winter songs, Christmas songs and ‘Happy’ songs. Adrian had brought with him a collection of eleven instruments which he played with amazing agility, swapping between them and singing and telling jokes at the same time. Two of the more unusual instruments were the Nepalese nose flute and the one string phono-fiddle. Most members had never heard these and were fascinated!

 A lovely Christmas tea was enjoyed by everyone and thanks were given to all the members who had contributed. The committee and a small band of volunteers did a wonderful job in the kitchen. The whole afternoon was rounded off with each lady taking home a small gift from the Secret Santa basket.

The speaker at the January meeting will be Fiona Barker who will be talking about The Wonderful World of Picture Books. More details about Shiplake WI are on the Shiplake Village website and visitors are always welcome.

Article created / last edited: 2 January 2020

Shiplake WI November Meeting


Our President, Joan Jolley welcomed members and began by telling the ladies that Shiplake would be hosting the Beechwood Group Meeting in October next year. Names were taken for the Christmas Lunch at The Baskerville. Joan also reported that the WI Team at the local quiz had done well but had not won!

Two members had attended the Mental Health Summit at Benson and two were going to the Climate Change Workshop in Goring. The date for the NFWI AGM had been announced as June 4th and members were asked if they would like to attend as observers.

A group of members had gathered at the Memorial to lay the WI poppy wreath on Remembrance Sunday and Joan thanked them for their support.

Sue Lines gave the final arrangements for the trip to Winchester Christmas Market and announced more details for the theatre trips to see Dolly Parton and Singing in the Rain in the New Year.

Shiplake Community Choir are giving a Concert with Indigo May at Queen Anne’s in Caversham on Friday 6th December. Tickets are available from choir members.

Joan then selected some of the important items from News and Views, including the report by Mary Gregory on women as Agents of Peace. The Health and Wellbeing day and the talk about the Historic Knitter and Pendell’s War at Benson also looked interesting.

The speaker for the afternoon was Jeff Rozelar whose talk was entitled An Actor’s Life for Me. He told about his early experiences on the stage and how important it had been to learn how to use his voice, his body, his walk and different accents to portray characters. He had produced, directed and performed in over 200 productions and he gave some examples of things that went wrong as well as the good times. He ended his talk with portrayals of some memorable characters from his repertoire.

The usual excellent tea was served and the tea hostesses were Rachel Lloyd and Pippa Hughes. The winner of the most popular ACWW flower was Pauline Watkins with a dark pink rose and the winner of the competition for a ‘Favourite Quotation from a Play’ was Rosemary Jones with a line from Oscar Wilde.

Next month’s meeting will be the Christmas Party and members were reminded to bring their contributions towards the tea and their gifts for the Secret Santa basket.

Article created / last edited: 29 November 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