Today is the day….

In case you had missed it, the Women’s Institute is celebrating its centenary; and 100 years ago today the WI started in Llanfair PG, Anglesey.

The Sotonettes have been involved in cycling the Centenary Baton around Hampshire, held a traditional bunting-filled and cake-fuelled Afternoon Tea, and had a bacon-bap breakfast with the Mayor of Southampton in a Ferry Terminal. In Hampshire there has been a flash mob singing Jerusalem at the Romsey Show, and an amazing turnout of entries for the WI Competition “100 not out” at the New Forest Show (100 of which came from Sotonettes). Different Southampton WI’s have celebrated in their own ways, including yesterday when St. James’ WI had a one-woman drama and talk about the WI in Jubilee year 1965. The ways we have celebrated are as varied as the women who make up the WI.

Llainfair PG WI 1915

Llainfair PG WI 1915

Sotonettes 2015

Sotonettes 2015









I joined the WI because, well, there was a post on facebook and friend suggested we go along! Knowing nothing except I quite like craft and can be partial to jam and cake, I did not know what to expect. Three years on I’m President and proud to be part of a diverse group of women who have a range of interests and like to meet up a few times a month to craft, talk books and listen and participate in a monthly meeting on anything from burlesque to calligraphy (and anything else our members suggest!). Our competitive nature emerges at local show competitions, and the friendly nature of all local WI members is welcoming and refreshing to find.

We’d love to hear why you joined, or if you are curious to find out what we are all about you can find us in the Slug and Lettuce, Above Bar, Southampton on the last Tuesday of the month, or in the IKEA restaurant, Southampton, on the second and third Tuesdays crafting or talking book (and eating cake).

Here’s to the next 100 years, and I hope some us will still be around to celebrate (and reminisce) at any 150 year celebrations.

New Forest Show WI Tent Committee Autumn Get-Together

Sotonettes members have been invited to attend this year’s autumn catch up for all things New Forest Show-related, hosted by the New Forest Show WI Tent Committee.

Join us at Brockenhurst Village Hall on Wednesday 14 October 2015 from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm for a coffee and a danish pastry.

Trophies will be presented, and it will be an excellent opportunity to meet up with friends, have a chat and put forward ideas for the 2016 show.

Attendance is by ticket only: for more information and to request tickets, contact the Sotonettes Secretary Parking is available free at the hall, and the deadline for tickets is Friday 18 September 2015.

Surrey Federation Harvest Fayre – September 2015

For those of you who might like to travel a bit further afield, Surrey Federation will be marking the centenary of the NFWI by holding a Harvest Fayre on Saturday 19 September 2015, 10 am – 4 pm at Myrtle Courtyard, Hampton Estate, Seale.

There will be an emphasis on crafts, food and farming, as well as it being a family day with the chance to take part in workshops and watch cheese making, spinning, rag rugging, cupcake decorating, foraging, rural crafts, face painting, storytelling and other crafts and workshops.

There will be an opportunity to purchase a wide variety of quality crafts and produce and listen to the history of the Hampton Estate.

Entry is free for under 5’s, £1 for students and £3 for adults.

For further information, please see the event page here.