The NFWI will host its Annual Meeting in Cardiff on Wednesday 6th June 2018. The event will take place at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. Worcestershire will be running a coach for Delegates; please note that this will be a day trip only. Tickets will be priced at £20 each and will be available for sale to observers from federations at the end of October 2017.


MONDAY 30TH APRIL 2018 7.00pm


Number 8, Pershore.

Guest Speaker will be Graham Walton ‘My Life with Seven Women’




The Three Counties Showground, Malvern



We are part of Forest Group and will be meeting with other WIs in the group on at least two occasions. Dates to be confirmed when arranged.  The WI’s in the group are Abberley, Areley Kings, Astley, Bewdley, Callow Hill, Far Forest, Mitton and Rock.


10th JANUARY 2018

The 2018 Programme got off to an excellent start with a large turnout of members and visitors to hear a second, fascinating talk from Zaza on art interpretation. With humour and clarity she explained how the skills and style of classical Greek and Roman art were rediscovered and reinterpreted during the Renaissance, following the rather flat two-dimensional images of early Christian art. Using the Perseus and Andromeda Fountain at Witley Court Zaza retold the myth of Andromeda's rescue from the sea monster and subsequent marriage to Perseus. We learnt about the symbolism used to indicate different gods in paintings, the depiction of Venus as compared with the depiction of the Virgin Mary and the use of strong compositional lines to lead the eye or add dynamism to painting and sculpture. Images below include 'The Judgement of Paris' by Rubens and 'Perseus turning Phineas to Stone' by Giordano (both in The National Gallery).




14th February

With the aid of his stunning photographs Eric illustrated the wide variety of bird species that can be found in our local area, this includes permanent residents as well as summer and winter migrants.  During long patient hours of observation Eric has spotted many birds that the more casual observer would miss, from the chiffchaff in our gardens to peregrine falcons on Clee Hill. His favourite sites include the Shropshire Hills, Upton Warren brine lakes (managed by The Worcestershire Wildlife Trust) and Grimley lakes as well as his own back garden.  The most useful advice that we took away from the evening was to always carry binoculars when out walking! 


Martin gave us a lively talk on the first 600 years of Witley Court, starting from the earliest records in 1086. Following the Norman invasion the first known person associated with the manor was Urse D'Abitot, a powerful sheriff of Worcester. Through marriage with the Beauchamp family the lands and manor passed as a gift to the Cooksey and then Russell families. In 1655 it was sold to Thomas Foley and thus left aristocratic hands to become the property of the newly emerging entrepreneurial middle classes. The Foleys were prominent industrialists in the Dudley area and by 1657 were responsible for a quarter of all the iron produced in England and Wales. During this time Witley Court was remodelled and significantly extended, from the original house into a Jacobean Manor.  In 1793 under the third Lord Foley, John Nash designed substantial changes to Witley Court. This all led to immense debts and the estate ended up in  deep financial trouble and after 384 years of Foley family ownership the house was sold in 1939.  Sadly the talk ended here with a tantalising glimpse of what would happen next in the history of Witley Court - hopefully Martin will return to tell us the racy tales of love and adultery. 


Frances Benton returned to entertain us with another amusing talk on pearls, how they are formed (as a protective response to a parasite, not a grain of sand as we all had thought) and the relatively recent commercial cultivation which has made them available to a wider market. Farmed pearls have only been available for about 100 years, before then they were rare and precious and therefore a status symbol usually worn by men. We learnt the legend of the Tears of the Dragon - every evening a dragon in love with a beautiful maiden who would never see him, would weep on the sand where she had walked. His tears turned to pearls as they fell on the sand. The maiden made a necklace of the pearls and her warmth caused them to shine with the love with which they had been made. Demonstrating clearly how pearls absorb the heat of the wearer Frances bedecked the game male members of the audience with ropes of pearls - removing them some while later gave a clear indication of the hottest man in the room! The blushes of a well dressed gentleman have been spared with a little photo-shop work. A vast array of pearl jewellery tempted many members to treat themselves after the talk, the meeting went on for quite a while as everyone browsed. Frances donates all profits to a childrens' charity in Africa.



Rosemary will share with us her experience of working as a race-day tour guide at the famous Cheltenham racecourse, giving a behind the scenes glimpse  of the facilities and an insight into little known aspects of racing. She will conjure up all the excitement of the race-goers and the nailbiting dash as horses and jockeys charge down the final furlong.

11th  JULY 2018

 Garden Party Meeting

All members contribute


8th AUGUST 2018

 My Life and Hats

Catherine Clark


13th SEPTEMBER 2018

 ‘Life on the Funny Farm’

Claire Furness


10th  OCTOBER 2018

Sugar Craft

Sarah Coley


14th NOVEMBER 2018

 Annual Meeting including  ‘T & T in Malawi

with Tracy Robinson-Ballard and Terry Robinson


12th DECEMBER 2018

 Christmas Social Dinner

Venue and time TBA