Saturday, 30 May 2015

Spring Shenanigans and County Capers part 2

It's also been a busy spring across Hertfordshire with lots of events taking place.

April Group Meeting

April saw Herts Belles join seven other local WI's for our spring group meeting hosted by Bricket Wood WI. 

There was a presentation on the history of the Rothschild family and Waddesdon Manor illustrated by an interesting slide show featuring treasures from the collection and the stories behind them.

After tea and cake, the entertainment section of the evening featured a very energetic Zumba demonstration and a chance for members to join in and impress us with their moves.

Bec and Penny were brave enough to Gangnam Style and shimmy around the hall - to be honest the pictures do not do their dance moves justice!

But after lots of laughter, they were amply rewarded  for their efforts with prize-winning Zumba bags.

Hertfordshire Spring AGM

April also saw Dawn and Emma G attend the Hertfordshire Federation Spring AGm at the Alban Arena. Special guest speaker was Antiques Roadshow's Eric Knowles and the Belles met up with other new WI's including the Paper Dollies and Sugar and Spice WI.

Baton Day Celebrations

The WI Centenary baton reached Hertfordshire in May. Herts Belles joined the rest of our group on Saturday 9th May. 

The baton arrived at Redbourn Common and was presented to County Chairman Ann Hall.

The afternoon was filled with music from the Jolly Jazzers jazz band, dancing, ice cream and of course no WI event would be complete without tea and cake.

The fabulous Herts Belles cake stall raised £170 to go towards WI funds.


It was a fantastic day - thank you to everyone who baked, lent cake stands and came down to celebrate with some cake. The day ended with the baton being passed down the line of members and then on to it's next event in St Albans.


Happy Centenary!

Spring Shenanigans and County Capers part 1

It's been a busy spring for the Belles with lots going on at our monthly meetings and country events.

Our spring meetings:

Creative Calligraphy

March's meeting welcomed Cllr. Annie Brewster demonstrating her beautiful calligraphy skills and teaching us a trick or two. Turns out that writing the alphabet was a lot harder than some of us thought it would be! 

The meeting was unusually quiet as everyone was concentrating on pen angles and flourishes - with varying levels of success :-)


There was still time for plenty of tea and cake, chatting, a beauty raffle, the trade table and congratulations to Bec who was selected to represent Herts Belles at this summer's Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

Birthday Bunting

With April's meeting falling during the Easter holidays, lots of Belles regulars were enjoying some well deserved fun and family time. The meeting focused on the WI Centenary celebrations.

County advisor in training, Pam Kershaw, came to talk to us about her own experiences of the WI and gave us a short history of the Institute. 

The Women's Institute was formed in 1915 to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. Since then the organisation's aims have broadened and the WI is now the largest voluntary women's organisation in the UK. The WI celebrates its centenary in 2015 and currently has 212,000 members in around 6,600 WIs.

Pam used the cake stand analogy to illustrate how the different levels of the Institute link together: from individual WI's, to counties, and up National Federation. 

She quizzed us on the previous campaigns which highlighted how forward thinking and influential the WI had been over the years and how there is much more to the organisation than the "jam and Jerusalem" stereotype. A snapshot of past WI campaigns can be found on the official WI website:

Feeling inspired and proud to be a part of such a fabulous organisation, the Belles got crafty designing bunting to be used at our baton celebrations in May.

And of course, there was cake in WI colours - thanks Emma G!

Annual Meeting and Paper making

May was Annual Meeting time. The first half of the meeting was official business:

Dawn presented the Treasure's report,  seconded by Penny, which gave an account of the Herts Belles' finances.
Emma G presented the Secretary's report; seconded by Janet, which summarised the last year's activities including a trip to Luna Cinema to see BAck to the Future, volunteering at St Albans Fashion Week and our charity Clothes Swap.
Emma C was re-elected as President for the upcoming year and Kim was welcomed on to the committee.
The 2015 resolution was debated and the Belles voted to give Emma G permission to vote on our behalf at next month's AGM

After the official part of the evening was over, our guest demonstrator Louise introduced to the art of homemade paper making. Using pulp made from recycled paper, everyone had the chance to make their own sheets of decorative paper using flowers, sequins and lots of glitter.

Coming up:

June: Life Drawing
July: Mocktails and Dreams

Check our Facebook page for more information