Saturday, 15 November 2014

Ah, it's been too long! The problem is that South Street WI has been so busy that we haven't had time to write about it! Here are just a few highlights.


Shutterbugs is the photography interest group. We meet once per month and discuss photography, take photos, share photos, and have a good time on our outings. In September we had some fun at the seashore:

Each month we have a specific topic, such as Reflection, Autumn, etc. Each member brings one or more photos depicting that topic.

In October we went to Quex Park to find evidences of Autumn. Unfortunately the weather wasn't too cooperative and the real colours weren't out quite yet, but we still managed to have fun.

 This little acer tree (above) was probably the most colourful specimen in the park, but we managed to find a lot of other interesting things to photograph, too, such as the beautiful butterfly below.

And of course, we always wind up with a nice hot cup of tea or coffee and maybe a little extra after a few hours of photographing.

October Meeting

 Our regular monthly meeting in October (sorry, no photos!) was a beautiful slide presentation titled "Phantasmagoria" by Jeff Wagner. We asked him back for the second year as his presentation was so popular last year. This was just as popular!

Quiz Night

On 31 October, we had a quiz night with a genuine quizmaster and lots of laughter. It was well attended and everyone is keen for the next one now!
 The quiz was opened to members and guests. Each table was provided with a bounty of pate, cheese, and bread. Attendees brought their own drinks, which everyone seemed quite happy to share with their table mates.

Our quiz master, Brian, kept the laughter going with his light-hearted banter and jokes.

We've just elected a new President, following in the footsteps of our very popular and successful past President, and our membership is growing. We've recently welcomed seven new members and are thrilled to have them join us. Unlike some local WI groups who are oversubscribed, fortunately our meeting venue is large enough to handle even more. We have many special interest groups and activities so why not give us a try! If you want to see our newsletter, please go to our official website at and you can download the latest one in a PDF form.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Day Out: France

Thursday 4th September2014 was a bright sunny morning as we set off through the Channel Tunnel for our day in France.  The autoroute was as quiet as usual in France  and we had the opportunity of seeing that most of the summer crops were harvested and the autumn ploughing was well nigh completed.

Our first destination was to the ‘Location de Barques’ at ‘ Au Bon Accueil’ at Salperwick. This is the area of marshland near St.Omer which is a UNESCO designation site of 3,400 hectares furrowed by 160 kilometers of waterways. Here we rested in the sunshine on the Bateaux Promenade with our coffee whilst waiting for our boat.

Our boat accommodated all our party. As it was an electrically driven boat we glided silently through the marshland able to appreciate the tranquillity of the scene and wonder at the lives of the inhabitants of these water-locked areas. We saw the postman delivering the mail by boat! We sighted coots, moorhens, ducks, cormorants, the flashing by of a kingfisher and a swimming grass snake on our hour on the marsh.

It was then time for lunch which we had at the Relais d’Artois at Houlle –  a kir, three courses, wine and coffee – a typical French way to pass the early afternoon!

After lunch we made a short call at the Glass factory shop at Arques before taking the evening Tunnel shuttle to Folkestone and home.  

(text contributed by Eddie Oldfield)

Garden Visit: Tram Hatch

This WI is non-stop, even during the summer!

Following on from the birthday tea (see the last post), our WI's garden group had a lovely day out at

Tram Hatch, a  three acre garden, near Ashford on Monday 18th August. We were shown around the  wonderful garden by the owner Pam and her husband. They have lived  in the house and worked on the garden for thirty years. 

The garden is laid out in rooms and there were surprises round every corner. 

The weather forecast was not good but we were very lucky as the rain did not come until we got back to Whitstable. This was our last visit of the year but we are already planning our Spring visits!  
(text contributed by Jenny Roberts)

Friday, 15 August 2014

A Most Perfect Afternoon

On Wednesday, the South Street WI celebrated its 60th birthday with a delightful afternoon tea, held in our usual meeting place of All Saints Hall, Whitstable. The meeting was well-attended and included a few visitors and some of the East Kent Federation women, also.

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The committee and planners really worked very hard to make it look as perfect as possible. Each table had its own vase of flowers, as well as a tray of sandwiches and another of cupcakes.

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Our master baker, Sally Cook produced these little cupcake beauties. We also had a lovely tray of scones, cream, and jam, so no one had to feel hungry or sugar-deprivation!

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Just before we had tea, we heard stories from Peter Barnett, a former entertainer on cruise ships for several years. His stories were really humorous and made us all laugh.


Peter gave away three of his CDs in a sort of quiz format. Peter sings, dances, and directs shows in various venues. He really gave us all a lift for the afternoon.

We also had a raffle, which provided a lot of good healthy produce as prizes, as well as a box of chocolates. We hope the next 60 years will be as successful for South Street WI as the past 60 have been. We always welcome new members and hope they’ll come and grow with us.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A Bit Behind

Oh dear… this blogger is a bit behind in posting some of our goings-on lately. The truth is that we’ve all been really, really busy! So busy in fact that I’m not sure I can get it all in on today’s post!
First, apologies to our most active garden group for the delay in getting these outing photos posted. These ladies are really whirlwinds and seem to be on the go all the time! This first group of photos is from their day out in July to Godinton Gardens. Here’s what Jenny Roberts had to say about it:

“Twelve of us set off in three cars to meet with the head gardener Viv at two o' clock. The weather forecast was not good, but the rain held off until we got home.
Viv took us on a tour of the gardens. She also told us the history of the garden and what she was planning for the future. There was also a very interesting sculpture exhibition, but were we not tempted to buy when we saw the prices! After the tour we headed to the tea room for a drink and cake. Before we went home we looked round the walled garden and greenhouses. I think everyone had a good afternoon.”

Looks as if our garden group had a lovely afternoon.

A London Trip

On 6 August, our WI went on a City and Guilds tour to London. We boarded the coach at 8:30am and our first stop was St. Paul’s Cathedral. On the way across Tower Bridge we were stopped when the bridge opened to let a tall ship pass. Our coach driver said it was the first time in 14 years of crossing this bridge that he’d seen it go up — and we were right in front!


Then once we crossed the bridge, we passed the WWI display of ceramic poppies.  Once this display is finished, there will be a poppy for each life lost. The sea of poppies is currently 25% done, yet it stretched all the way around the Tower of London. It’s quite sobering to see this and contemplate the huge number of men (and a few women, too) who died in that conflict.

At St. Paul’s we only had time for a quick cup of coffee in the crypt and a “comfort stop”, then off to South Bank for lunch.

London mall
But the reason for our trip was the tour of Buckingham Palace. This shot was taken as we drove through the park down the mall to the Palace.

Inside the Palace, we were able to tour all the magnificent state rooms, including the incredible dining rooms where kings and queens and presidents have dined. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take any photographs inside the Palace, but we were all very much in awe of the beauty. There was a lot of gold, silk, and more.

We did get to walk through the gardens in the back when we were finished. Some of our happy shutterbugs got some lovely shots of the gardens, but at that point I was wondering if I’d make it out alive so my camera stayed put!! We made our way back to the coach about 5pm, tired and warm (the sun had come out) and feeling we’d had a very full day.

Here are a few more scenes of London and memories for a wonderful day spent with good friends:

Thursday, 26 June 2014

A Crafty Little Event

Yesterday was our South Street WI Craft Fair. We wanted to celebrate our 60th year by showing some of the things our members get up to.

Judging by the comments of those attending, it was a resounding success. It also revealed what a wealth of talented crafters we have, as well as how varied are their crafts!

The doors opened for setting up at 11am, so the first two hours were a flurry of activity. Display tables were arranged and set up, pictures hung on stands and walls, the tea area was set up with its colourful green and white tablecloths, the exhibits were unpacked and carefully displayed, and the cakes for sale were set up.

It all looked very festive and bright for such a beautiful summer day.

The exhibits included everything from flower arranging to jewellery making to needlework to photography and all sorts in between: wonderful tailored garments, scrapbooks in a variety of sizes and styles, handmade greeting cards, artwork, and more.

Everyone was impressed with the amount and the quality of the exhibits. 

Members even had a few moments, once all the tables were set up and the displays finished, to sit, chat briefly, and rest our feet (and backs!) before our visitors arrived.

When 2pm came, we were really ready to show our goods. And the visitors did come by the carload. The admission was only 50p and that included biscuits and coffee or tea. It was a good opportunity to chat with friends and meet some new ones. Our visitors looked, they bought cake, they had tea or coffee, and they chatted.

And who could resist these lovely cupcakes? Not many as there were very few, if any, left at the end of the day.