Thursday, 11 May 2017

Our WI had an outing to Pashley Manor on Friday, 5th May.... we had a coach full! Although the weather was a little cool, everyone still enjoyed themselves. Fortunately, there were still more than a a few of the lovely tulips about. After all, it was the Tulip Festival!

These photos were all taken by Tracie Fulton, one of our members. She did an excellent job of capturing the day and the beauty of the gardens.

Pashley Manor is a privately owned garden, started in 1550, enlarged in 1770, and developed into today's gardens by the current owners and residents, Mr and Mrs James Sellick, who opened the gardens in 1992. They open the gardens to the public from April to September. Visitors can enjoy the cafe and gift shop also. For more information, go to

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Garden season begins!

Our WI garden group had a wonderful visit to Pheasant Farm in Oare, near Faversham on Monday, 10th of April. Although the wind was a little chilly, it was sunny and beautiful when we found ourselves sheltered from that wind.

Pheasant Farm is owned by the Neame family and they opened it for the National Garden Scheme (NGS), which operates in Kent every Spring. Most of the gardens in the NGS are privately owned and graciously opened to the public for donations to various charities. It's a real treat to be able to look into these lovely settings, so carefully and passionately prepared by their dedicated gardeners.

Next to the home is the picturesque church with fabulous views overlooking the estuary.

There were about 13 of us and were left to wander and wonder at our own pace.

Unfortunately, the timing was a bit off as the daffodils were fading, soon to be followed by the tulips. We saw some gorgeous tulips, though, in borders and pots and dramatically dotted around the gardens.

Here Ann was looking out to the estuary. What is not apparent from this photo, however, is that just a few feet beyond where she stood, the ground dropped sharply down to reveal a small orchard just below her.

Just liked the look of this keyring on the kitchen door!

This view was from the kitchen in the house. We thought it might be just a bit too chilly to sit outside for our lovely cream tea (see below) but I took this photo from the dining table where we sat inside, nice and snug and warm! 

And who could resist this lovely assortment of homemade jam, scones, bread, and brownies! Our WI certainly knows how to pick the best places to visit and to EAT!

Friday, 24 March 2017

East Kent ACM

This week was the annual East Kent Federation ACM in Margate. As usual, we alternate years between the Winter Gardens in Margate with Leas Hall in Folkestone. It's difficult to find a venue in Kent that can hold over 1,000 WI members!

This year we were privileged to have as speaker Terry Waite, who was held hostage for nearly five years in Lebanon. He served as the Assistant for Anglican Communion Affairs for the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, in the 1980s. As an envoy for the Church of England, he travelled to Lebanon to try to secure the release of four hostages but in doing so, he was himself kidnapped and held captive from 1987 to 1991. He explained that for much of that time, he was in solitary confinement, not allowed anything to read any books or newspapers or to listen to any news until the end of his five years when a sympathetic guard brought him some books to read. Unfortunately, the guard didn't read English so brought him whatever books in English he could find. Mr Waite found humour in the first selection, "Great Escapes", and later in "The Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding." I wish I had a recording of his speech or had at least taken notes, but I think we were all enthralled with just listening.

Mr Waite gave a wonderful inspiring talk, the gist of which encouraged everyone to never give up. During the lunch break, he patiently signed some of his books (for over an hour), which completely sold out.

Please excuse the very poor photographs! I was using my small camera which used to take fair photos but lately it's been acting up. Mr Waite was very gracious to pose for his photo.... he didn't know how bad my camera was!

There were over 1000 of us attending and we were all caught up in his talk! Even the next day, we were talking about it.

The  second speaker was from Pilgrim's Hospice and she gave a very thorough overview of what that charity does and how they help beyond the hospice care. This year there was no entertainment as there was in previous years, but it was a good day out and for catching up with many friends and for hearing Terry Waite!