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Doynton and Wick Women's Institute

We organise garden visits, theatre trips and fundraising events during the year. 

WI News June 2018 at the June meeting, Bob Skelt told many fascinating stories about the people behind the WW2 codebreaking operation at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. As the storm clouds gathered over Europe, a small group of codebreakers from the Government Code and Cypher School (or “Golf, Cheese and Chess Society”, as it was irreverently known) quietly moved into a 19th-century mansion 50 miles from London. At its height, the top-secret centre was the base for over 10,000 codebreakers, translators, engineers and support staff. So seriously did they take the Official Secrets Act that some married couples were not aware that they had both worked at Bletchley until the secrecy was relaxed somewhat in the 1970s. It was hard, exhausting work, albeit a vital contribution to the war effort, but there was time for fun too, with amateur theatricals, concerts and croquet on the lawn. A detailed and intriguing account of the team of dedicated people Winston Churchill called “the geese that laid the golden eggs and never cackled”. Members of the craft group proudly showed off the ceramic mosaics they had made at their most recent special event, and presented President Tina Holbrook with a mosaic teapot stand. Members were reminded to bring their favourite recipe for the WI compilation which is being prepared. Next month’s meeting is the annual mystery outing. Meet at Doynton village hall on Wednesday July 11th at 6.50 p.m. Wear warm clothing and shoes suitable for walking, and bring a folding chair if possible.

WI News May 2018 Doynton and Wick, like many WIs, have many speakers over the year, but some seem to remain with you and touch your hearts and minds. This was the case with our speaker Martin Poole, with his talk about Haven Home, an orphanage in India. Martin seemed to be so ordinary, and yet so extraordinary when telling us of his involvement in the project. Our members felt moved to help. We raised £500 from the Cycle Race towards uniform for the children and members also felt like doing something practical. So we made 150 school bags – all different. We invited Martin back to collect the bags and the cheque this month (see the picture here), and he was so delighted with our efforts and invited anyone of us to join him on his next trip to visit the orphanage. We also had a very amusing talk from a midwife telling us many stories of different confinements which had us laughing out loud – what an amazing career she had. Next on a more serious note we formed groups to discuss the resolution to be put forward at our AGM in Cardiff. This was a resolution entitled “'Mental Health Matters”, which was passed by a good majority. Our President, Tina Holbrook, will represent a group of WIs at Cardiff in June and we look forward to her report. The meeting next month will feature a talk by Bob Skelt on Bletchley Park, the WW2 code-breaking centre that featured in the film “Enigma” and home to some of the world’s earliest computers. There will be an “on-the-spot” competition. All welcome at Doynton village hall on Wednesday June 13th, 7.30 p.m.

WI News April 2018 The refreshments at the cycle ride in March were a huge success, so much so that they have already booked next year's date – April 7th 2019 [have they started training too? Ed.]. The WI was able to fulfil our promise to give £500 towards school uniforms for the Haven Homes orphanage in India. We are also well on the way to making a kitbag for each child (150 in total). Our longstanding member and WI Adviser Maureen Crew is passionate about supporting the charity Associated Countrywomen of the World, which connects rural and non-rural women and their communities worldwide. Maureen is asking members to bring out-of-date coins, traveller's cheques, etc. to the next meeting. By doing this we will be able to help a project in Kenya to learn computer skills and also civic rights and responsibilities – especially using their votes. Michelle Fricker of Crust and Crumbs then spoke about her passion for baking. She started baking very early in her life and by the age of 15 her chocolate cakes were to die for. Five years ago she started a bread workshop and, with three children under the age of four and needing to be at home, she baked and sold her goods from home and still does so. One of her posters read “By doing business locally, you not only get personal service and real value, you also strengthen our local community economy”. She says she bakes because it makes her happy, and hopes it shows in her baking. Her bread included cheese and onion and marmite and we all had a taste. Michelle then demonstrated how to make a small white loaf. Another great meeting. Come to Doynton village hall on Wednesday May 9th (7.30 p.m.), when we will consider the annual national resolutions. The talk is by Dorothy Cook on “Midwifery”, and the competition is “A lovely baby photograph”. Don’t forget your unwanted coins!

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