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Shiplake WI

Shiplake Womens Institute has around 60 members. We meet at 2.30 pm on the third Wednesday of every month (except August) usually at the Memorial Hall in Memorial Avenue.  The afternoon's programme includes a talk by an invited speaker and a splendid tea prepared by members.  Interesting trips and visits are also arranged throughout the year.

Contact: Audrey Simpson 01491 410256

WI January meeting


Shiplake WI members were treated to an excellent talk at their January meeting – Sarah Smith, who is a local Medical Herbalist and Holistic Massage Therapist and specialises in women’s health, fertility and pregnancy care. She explained how she started her training and gained her degree in Herbal Medicine. She now works in Treatment Rooms in Henley after spending some time working from a caravan in a friend’s garden.

She told the ladies how she uses the herbs to treat various ailments and how the herbal treatments can be administered as creams or lotions, as capsules or as tinctures in alcohol which can be made into teas or infusions.

She has chosen thirteen herbs which will improve women’s health and can help many conditions of the skin, joints and breathing. Each treatment is specialised to the individual as she also considers the emotional and social aspects of the patient.

She went on to explain the various herbs, their particular uses and where they are grown or made. It was a most interesting talk and the members were keen to ask many questions.

Before the speaker gave her talk our President Joan Jolley had welcomed two new members and reminded everyone that subs were due. She announced that the votes for this year’s Resolutions should be made and submitted. The Committee have decided that Shiplake WI will take part in the 100 miles walk as part of the Centenary celebrations and anyone interested could meet up at the Corner Shop on 15th February (9.45 for 10am) to embark on the first walk. Stoke Row WI have invited two of our members to attend their Birthday Meeting in February.

Sue Lines gave the final arrangements for the trip to see Guys and Dolls and announced that she was considering some future trips to Cliveden and to the Recycling Centre.

Items of interest from News and Views were then discussed including the Annual Meeting at the Kassam Stadium at which Helen Sharman will be one of the main speakers, the talk by Peter Lawrence at Denman College and the Speakers Selection Day.

Members were reminded that tickets for the Shaddo Pantomime – Merlin, a spellbinding pantomime – were on sale at The Corner Shop. And there will be a Quiz at the Memorial Hall on Friday March 1st and it is hoped a WI Team will enter.

After the speaker, members enjoyed an excellent tea. The tea hostesses were Sue Evans and Lynn Boros. The winner of the most popular ACWW flower was Joyce Vernon with a hellebore and the winner of the competition for an Old Pot of Medicine or a Herbal Remedy was Wendy Channel with a tin of Zambuc!

The speaker at the February meeting will be Simon Jones who will be talking about Antique Valuations. More details about Shiplake WI are on the Shiplake Village website and visitors are always welcome.

Article created / last edited: 26 January 2019

Shiplake WI December Meeting


“Tis the season to be jolly”, and no-one does ‘jolly’ as well as the WI!

December is Christmas Party month and our committee make sure that it is the very best start to the Festive Season.

A superb tea is served on beautifully decorated tables, and one or two seasonal brainteasers are set to get us thinking and conferring.  Nothing is more competitive than a WI quiz I can tell you, answers are very closely guarded!

There is a very tempting raffle and our Christmas card post table saves members that extra few stamps. 

This year our entertainment was both enlightening and very amusing.  Richard Anderson came along with an amazing array of bizarre antiques for us to guess what they were used for. I can’t describe the contraptions (you had to be there), but they all gave rise to very silly, sometimes slightly risqué, suggestions.

My favourites were the tummy warmer for mail-coach drivers and an alarming looking “ball” for the relief of constipation.

Richard is an ambassador and fund raiser for PolioPlus, a Rotary Charity attempting to eradicate poliomyelitis worldwide.

Since 1988 the number of polio endemic countries has declined from over 125 to just three in 2017 (Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan).  Richard has personally helped raise £42,000 and his speaker’s fee goes to the fund.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if 2019 was the year that polio became extinct? 

President, Joan Jolley, closed the party with thanks to all who had contributed to the festivities, and wished everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

Article created / last edited: 5 January 2019

National Federation of Women's Institutes

Shiplake Women's Institute is part of the National Federation of Women's Institutes which is the largest voluntary organisation for women in the UK. The National federation has approximately 230,000 members in around 7,000 WIs throughout the British Isles with broad aims to educate women and to enable them to provide an effective role in the community, to expand their horizons and to develop and pass on important skills. 

Article created / last edited: 4 January 2014