Au revoir

Caroline, Bransgore WI

Caroline, president of Bransgore Evening WI had announced at last year’s Annual Meeting that she would be leaving at the end of the year.  What a year it has been!  Caroline’s vision, energy and enthusiasm has invigorated the committee. She’s been a tremendous influence on encouraging BEWI to be successful, progressive and innovative.  She reminded us in her farewell speech that the combined efforts of all the committee plus the many members who volunteer, assist and run the small groups all help to make our WI a huge successful.  Caroline thanked everyone and we also thank her for her time, leadership and friendship.  In coming president Ann presented Caroline with flowers.



Gardening Club Garden Visit

It was a lovely day when several members of the gardening club visited Sandie’s beautiful garden.

It has taken 16 years of enjoyable but hard work for Sandie and her husband to create their child friendly garden.  Learning how to develop a mostly dry shady back garden has been challenging especially as all the trees have TPO’s.  Mostly consisting of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, ferns and one of Sandie’s favourites, hellebores, the garden is at its most colourful in the spring, with colourful evergreen foliage also playing an important role. There is a bark covered play area with swings, climbing frame and monkey bars for their nine grandchildren to enjoy, as well as a tree house, garden gnomes and tiny animals to find amongst the undergrowth.

Dotted around are Pieris, Heuchera (lemon coloured to stand out in the shade), ornamental grasses, Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’, hydrangea, climbers and two herbaceous borders which get full sun most of the afternoon and evening.  The back and front lawns are Sandie’s husband’s domain!!

Knitting in the kitchen

With several members sitting around the kitchen table, the discussion was, what is the next project?  We heard a local group were supporting Ukrainian refugees and giving

young children a knitted teddy made in blue and yellow wool.  No more discussion needed, we started knitting.

Bransgore Fun Day

May Bank Holiday arrived.  BEWI committee members arrived too at 9am with car boots full of cakes and crafts, tables and bunting, pegs and string plus anything else we thought would be useful.  It was great to be back after 2 years.  As well as our traditional and much loved cake stall we had booked a second pitch to sell handicrafts made by our talented members.  With everyone working together the 2 stalls were set up and looked attractive.  Fortunately the public thought this too and the magnificent cakes sold out in record time.   Knitted owls and colourful teddy bears were a great attraction as well as the individually designed and made cushions.  President of BEWI Caroline said “A huge thank you to everyone for all your help and efforts, today and in all the weeks leading up to the Fun Day. Thank you for the baking, the sewing, the knitting, the crocheting, the cutting out , ironing and your fabulous skills in creating wonderful articles. Thank you once again, a huge team effort,”

Not just one Fun Day but lots of fun times.

A camel, A Tuk Tuk and A Blanket!

Well you never know what may turn up on the competition table.  This month’s speaker was the excellent Sandra Simmonds updating us on her life after Iran (the third in the series).  Each month’s competition links to our speaker so this time we asked members to bring along a souvenir of their travels and explain why they had chosen it.  Janice’s camel hair blanket plus photo and explanation of her travels to Iran won top marks with Joy’s Arabic script copper plate with the words ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ coming second.  Ruth’s yellow and green plastic Tuk Tuk reminded her of a hair-raising taxi ride in Colombo was the speaker’s third place choice.


Foxlease is a charming Georgian manor house set in 65 acres of beautiful countryside in Lyndhurst.  It is the home of Girl Guiding and celebrates its centenary this year.  What better time to visit for a tour of the house and a home-cooked afternoon tea.  Bransgore Evening WI were shown round attractive rooms with lofty ceilings, taken up a narrow winding staircase to the attic and given a comprehensive talk in the archive room.  The tea was served in a stunning room adorned with gilded plaster work, large mirrors and a big window over looking the grounds.  We even spotted a deer wandering through.  Lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Tea or Coffee?

BEWI monthly meetings are busy affairs.  There are other members to chat to, payments to be made for forthcoming events, entering the competition and raffle and, of course, listening to the speaker for the evening.  It goes without saying, a cup of tea or coffee is necessary and everyone takes a turn to be in the kitchen.  It’s another way to get to know people and an opportunity to have a laugh.  Several years ago we voted not to have cake (strange for the WI) but we need to watch those calories and there’s always a biscuit.  Thank you to all the members who have helped so far this year.

In a pickle?

Five members of BEWI certainly weren’t in a pickle as Sarah, professional chef, had everything organised and under control.  Our challenge was to make chili jam and onion chutney for sale at the forthcoming Bransgore Fun Day.  The produce looked wonderful although the thought of peeling and chopping a mountain of onions and bushel of peppers was daunting.  However, as with all things WI, it was fun because we were doing it together.  Like on all the best TV cooking programmes, the ingredients were weighed and prepared before any cooking started.  Soon delicious aromas filled the kitchen as Sarah put the ingredients together and the pots bubbled nicely and promised appetizing fare.  Very little can beat home made food prepared with love.

Catering team

Fruity, delicate and elegant

Not just a description of of Beaujolais wine!  This month the Wine Club’s focus was the wine from the lush, green area of France’s Beaujolais region.  Five wines were compared and served at the recommended 13 to 15 degrees.  Fleurie was popular as was the fruity, round and smooth wine of Brouilly from the southern most part of the region.  All wines were purchased from local supermarkets with the most expensive being £24 a bottle.



Flags galore

Our industrious team had another busy morning completing the Jubilee Bunting.  We now have 20 beautiful packs to sell at the Fun Day in Bransgore on Monday 2nd May.
Coffee and Coffee and Walnut cake was the reward once everyone finished of the mornings work,