March Meeting

To mark International Women’s Day we are joined in March by Bee Rowlatt, journalist and author, to talk about Mary Wollstonecraft. Bee chairs the Mary on the Green campaign which has been campaigning to memorialise Mary Wollstonecraft in Newington Green, and she is a founding Trustee of the human rights education charity the Wollstonecraft Society.

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights. Until the late 20th century, her life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships for the time, received more attention than her writing. Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her work and her life as important influences.

Wollstonecraft is best known for writing A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.

Plus tea and cake of course.

Don’t forget any donations you might have for Solace Women’s Aid, we collect toiletries every month to donate to the women and children living in their refuges.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Our usual knitting and book groups information are on the relevant pages on the website.

March 7th – a group of us are taking the banner on the International Women’s Day March in central London – there is a sign up sheet but if you can’t make the meeting and would like to join us email us at the usual address

April 19th – in the lead up to the start of our BST walking group commencing this year we are taking a trip back to Rickmansworth and the gravel pits to see all the baby birds, more information is on the walking group page

Looking ahead to June and July we are planning a day trip to Hitchen Lavender Fields where we can pick our own lavender and enjoy a lovely day in the country, there will be a sign-up sheet for 2 alternative dates and we will go with the most popular one. Again if you can’t make the next few meetings then do email in to let us know you would like to join us. The dates proposed are June 27th and July 18th. Check out their website at http://www.hitchinlavender.com

 

February meeting

It’s Fabergé for February as we welcome Geoffrey Munn who will be talking about Fabergé in the court of King Edward VII. Geoffrey Munn is a jewellery specialist, historian and writer, best known as a television presenter on the BBC Antiques Roadshow, where he has been a specialist contributor since 1989.

Some of his most notable discoveries include a Saxon gold ring found in the roots of a hedge. At the Black Country Museum in 2017 Geoffrey discovered a study of pear blossom by Carl Fabergé in enamelled gold set with diamonds that he valued at £1,000,000. This was one of only two or three similar discoveries in the entire history of the show. He has written extensively about antiques, including many articles about Gustav Faberge and the art of Fabergé.

The House of Fabergé is a jewellery firm founded in 1842 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, by Gustav Faberge, using the accented name Fabergé. The firm was famous for designing elaborate jewel-encrusted Fabergé eggs for the Russian Tsars, and for a range of other work of high quality and intricate detail.

It’s a busy month for us as we will also be voting on next years resolution shortlist, do bring along your voting slip from WI Life. All the resolutions on the short list are on the campaigns page of the website and in the November/December issue of WI Life on page 24.

We will also be voting on how to use our profits from all our fundraising from last year.

And we will be collecting our usual donations of toiletries for Solace Women’s Aid.

Plus tea and cake, of course.

All our regular winter specialist interest groups are back check the website pages for more details.

 

 

In January we had a fantastic trip out to the world’s first bricks and mortar museum dedicated to vaginas, vulvas and gynaecological anatomy in Camden, to see their Muff Busters: Vagina Myths And How To Fight Them exhibition. If you weren’t able to join us do go along and visit The Vagina Museum at Unit 17 and 18 at The Stables Market, it is such an informative exhibition and it’s free. The exhibition is on until the end of March. Here’s some pictures from our jaunt.

 

January Meeting

 

Next month….

 

 

What a fantastic start to the year as we all explored the creativity and joy of mindful embroidery with Cordwainers Grow, who run community embroidery evenings every Monday at their base in Mare Street. We learnt how to embroider some lavender stems with two simple stitches and also heard how craft activities such as embroidery can have significant benefits in terms of mental health and our capacity to engage in mindfulness through activity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A huge thanks to Debbie and Jacqui from Cordwainers Grow for leading us in the workshop.  Cordwainers Grow are a Hackney based community interest company focusing on connecting people with the natural world in creative and collaborative ways. They evolved out of Cordwainers Garden, a community growing space on land belonging to the London College of Fashion in Mare St. Wanting to make the link with what the staff and students were doing inside the college to the outside, in 2011 they started growing plants for dyeing and to make fibre. The garden closed in April 2019 but Cordwainers Grow continues and they champion community growing in the face of increased competition for space through their involvement with the Union Of Gardens.  We will continue to post information about upcoming events they are involved in on our Facebook page for those that are interested.

 

 

December Meeting

 

December was our annual Brainy Birds Quiz

Our quiz masters  fiendishly devised new categories and rounds for our December meeting which saw the return of our Brainy Birds Quiz.  We had a a fun and festive social rattling our brains as we frantically tried to remember events from the past year. There were prizes.  We ate loads of cake and mince pies while supping mulled wine and desperately trying to remember the whole of the London Underground and Overground system in an attempt to name all the stations representing by the pictures… .  T

We collected a bumper package of gifts for the women and children staying with Solace Women’s Aid this Christmas and also had a hugely successful raffle, all proceeds going to Solace.

 

Monthly groups, all information is on the relevant pages of the website.

 

 

October Meeting

We certain got crafty at October’s meeting when we learnt all about the art of macramé and made some very impressive pot holders and all had a huge amount of fun knotting and twisting. Macramé is a form of textile produced using knotting (rather than weaving or knitting) techniques. We learnt some basic knots and how to put them together to create a holder. A huge thanks to Lilly for coming along and teaching us all. And thanks to our technical members who got the live feed going so we could all see what we were meant to be doing!

Plus tea and cake, of course.
We are continuing to collect toiletries for Solace Women’s Aid – so bring any shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste etc for the collection. If you have any miniature bottles left over from holiday then do bring these along as they are incredibly useful for those women who are currently homeless having fled violent relationships. They all go into a basket at Solace HQ where women arriving for appointments can grab what they need to take away.

 

 

Coming up…

September 28th: It’s the end of our BST Walking Group and as ever we will be taking one final long walk this year. This year we are going to go to Rickmansworth, and will be walking about the gravel pits and along the River Colne and a canal. It was Irene’s idea and it is one of her wild swimming walks. There are no plans to swim. If you would like to see some of the treats in store our valiant walking group leaders, Nichola and Debby did a dry run and have posted some beautiful pictures on our Facebook page. We will be leaving together from Moorgate station but do email us if you would like to join us and are not on the list.

October 22nd Book group will be meeting to discuss Jonathan Coe’s Middle England. 8pm at the De Beauvoir Arms but you do need to have read the book.

October 23rd We have a planned outing to Sutton House for a Ghost And Prosecco Tour. For those of you who are not familiar with Sutton House, it is the oldest domestic residence in Hackney and is also alleged to be haunted. The cost for the tour is £12 and we will be taking names and cash at the October meeting so if you would like to join us bring the necessary cash. If you can’t attend October’s meeting and would like to come along then email us at the usual address.

 

And finally…. thanks to all who helped out, baked and made jam for the Flower & Produce show this month. We sold a staggering 187 jars of jam – who knew De Beauvoir could eat that much jam. And our Blackcurrant Jam won first prize in the hotly contested Jam category in the show itself. We won the group prize for Domestic Delights as our chutney and pickles were also marked first prize. Congratulations as well to all our individual members who won in the competition.

 

September Meeting

October’s meeting and it’s all about Macramé…..

Rachel Kolsky, author of among others, Women’s London, joined us at our September meeting to talk about the many and varied stories behind the Votes For Women campaign including the contributions of many local Hackney women.

Before embarking on a highly successful career as a Guide And Lecturer, Rachel worked in the financial services industry for 25 years. A degree in Politics and Modern History and love of research, particularly social history, led her to train as a guide, firstly as a City of London Guide, then as a Clerkenwell & Islington Guide and in 2004 Rachel gained the Blue Badge for London. In 2005, together with a colleague she launched Go East London to encourage people to venture east of the City . Now known as Go London Rachel leads tours all over London and beyond focusing on the ‘human stories’ behind the buildings.

Rachel gave us all an incredibly informative and interesting talk covering the many groups that were influential in the campaign for the vote, from the suffragettes, to suffragists, those who refused to pay their tax as a protest and many more. It was a great meeting, thank you Rachel.

“Rachel Kolsky’s Women’s London is a literary lap of honour for the female pioneers who fought gender prejudice to leave their mark on the capital.” Ham & High, 8th February 2018

 

This month’s collection for Solace Women’s Aid will be general toiletries, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, shower wash, sanitary towels etc

 

Dates for your Diary
19th August – knitting group is meeting, if you would like to join us email us at the usual address. If you want to learn how to knit, do come along. We are continuing to add to the plastic pollution yarn bomb which will be out and about in September

20th August – book group will be discussing A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles in the De Beauvoir Arms at 8pm

30th August – BST walking group will be striding out along the canal to Limehouse, and then onto Canary Wharf, catching the Thames Clipper back to London Bridge or Tower Bridge. £6.50 on the Oyster. Meeting at seven o’clock at the Crown, Grove Road, which is on the 277 route.

There are also two history walks taking place this month, on the evening of the 20th and on Sunday 25th August. Led by our very own expert, Lesley, who is a qualified member of the Clerkenwell and Islington Guides Association. She will be guiding us around Canonbury and Central Islington. Highlights: Highbury Corner to Islington Green, winding either side of Upper Street and exploring a 16C manor house, a 17C water course, theatres, two churches, agriculture, pretty Georgian terraces and squares, an art gallery, a few romances and more…. If you have signed up for this you should have already received a confirmation email. If you are interested in this, and haven’t signed up do email us – there may be spaces. There is a £5 charge per person for this walk payable in advance

SAVE THE DATES
11th SEPTEMBER
Stone Rangers are hosting the Middlesex Federation East London WI group meeting and we are all invited to a 50s themed evening of rock ‘n’ roll and jive. There will be a dance class (tailored to all abilities), 50s themed food and other 50s themed activities. This will take place from 7.30pm in the private function room at The Plough & Harrow Pub, 419 High Road, Leytonstone, E11 4JU. We have a sign up sheet if people would like to go along together – 50s dress optional. It’s a quick bus ride from Stratford Station.

15th SEPTEMBER
De Beauvoir Gardeners Flower & Produce Show is on 15th September, we will be running a WI stall at this event selling jams and preserves plus cakes and bakes. The infamous De Beauvoir Dog Show will no doubt be the highlight of the day, but check out the competition categories if you fancy baking, or crafting and entering the competition, you can find information about all the categories here. We are looking for bakers and also people willing to help out on the stall during the afternoon – do get in touch if you fancy either or both at the usual email address

28th SEPTEMBER
As ever we end our summer walking group with a day trip, this year we are heading out to Enfield and a circular walk around the countryside taking in gravel pits, wild water swimming spaces and more…

 

 

 

August meeting

After the hustle and bustle of July which saw us having our most successful stall yet at Party In The Park, plus further fruit picking and jam making sessions throughout the month, our August meeting was a chance to kick back and unwind and catch up with everyone plus meet some new friends at our summer social at the Scolt Head pub.

 

 

Some pictures from Party In The Park 2019

 

yes we really did sell all that cake!

 

 

 

 

Dates For Your Diary

26th July BST Walking Group will be walking round Abney Park cemetery, and then along to Springfield Park, to enjoy the view over east London. Meet at the Cemetery Gates on Kingsland Road at 7pm promptly

19th August – knitting group meet – do check out the relevant page on the website for confirmation and venue details as lots of our knitters are taking their needles and wool away on holiday this month – our collaboration with local yarn bombers De Beauvoir K2P2 was a success and we may be looking at further projects together

our collaboration with De Beauvoir K2P2 at Party In The Park

Book group – if you are interested in joining the book group check out the relevant page on the website for updates on the next meeting

SAVE THE DATES

11th SEPTEMBER
Stone Rangers are hosting the Middlesex Federation East London WI group meeting and we are all invited to a 50s themed evening of rock ‘n’ roll and jive. There will be a dance class (tailored to all abilities), 50s themed food and other 50s themed activities. This will take place from 7.30pm in the private function room at The Plough & Harrow Pub, 419 High Road, Leytonstone, E11 4JU. We have a sign up sheet if people would like to go along together – 50s dress optional.  It’s a quick bus ride from Stratford Station.

 

15th SEPTEMBER
De Beauvoir Gardeners Flower & Produce Show is on 15th September, we will be running a WI stall at this event selling jams and preserves plus cakes and bakes. The infamous De Beauvoir Dog Show will no doubt be the highlight of the day, but check out the competition categories if you fancy baking, or crafting and entering the competition, you can find information about all the categories here. We are looking for bakers and also people willing to help out on the stall during the afternoon – do get in touch if you fancy either or both at the usual email address

Finally,
If anyone is passing through or by West Drayton where the Middlesex Federation office is based can you let us know. They have a number of free woollen de-fuzzers we can pick up and distribute among our membership but unfortunately, they need to be picked up by hand as they are unable to post these out.