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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 February Meeting



Vice President Sue Lines, took the meeting in Joan Jolley’s absence and started with news of the continuing village walks and the Cancer Research Quiz which had raised over £1,800. Joan has been invited to the Centenary Event planned by Shiplake Bowling Club. The next Group Meeting will be on the 24th April hosted by the HoT WI. There will be a showing of the film Military Wives at Denman and members were reminded that the film will also be shown at the Regal.

Sue directed members’ attention to their copies of News and Views. Of particular note was the holiday to Chatsworth, the trip to the London Postal Museum and the talk by a forensic pathologist. She was keen to point out the article (with two photos) about Shiplake WI and the centenary posies we gave away outside the Corner Shop back in July.

Sue then gave details for the trips to Dolly Parton the Musical in April and to Polseden Lacy in June. She is also planning a visit to the Fairmile Winery in Henley in August.

The speaker for the afternoon was Graham Horn who gave a talk about The Royal Wives of Windsor. Graham is a Blue Badge guide at Windsor Castle and certainly knows the history of the Royal families over the last ten centuries. He told us about the different Royal Houses, from the Plantagenets through the Tudors and the Stuarts to the Windsors. He explained how the wives of some Kings did not become Queens and he named some that we had never heard of. He talked of those who were very powerful and of those who never even set foot in England. It was interesting to hear the various stories attached to each marriage. The talk was enhanced by an excellent display of photos and slides.

The winner of the competition for a wedding photograph was won by Anne Mee with an amazing picture of her grandparents’ wedding in a circus lion’s cage in South Africa. And yes, two lions were actually in the cage! The winner of the ACWW flower was Frances LeFebure.

The March meeting will be the AGM and members who had won cups last year were reminded to bring them in. More details about Shiplake WI are on the Shiplake Village website and visitors are always welcome.

Article created / last edited: 26 February 2020

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

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