WeyBay coming out of lockdown …

Good news that the lockdown is beginning to ease and WeyBay WI committee has had its first socially-distanced but face to face meeting since lockdown at a harbour cafe on 22nd July.  Unfortunately not all Committee members were able to attend the meeting. 

Currently the New Vic bars are still closed so unfortunately there is no news on when we will be able to resume meetings, but we will keep members informed when we have any news.  The Committee are hoping to organise a September picnic at the Nothe Gardens, more details will follow nearer the time.  

The book clubs continue to meet using Zoom and the walking group has started up again.  To comply with lockdown regulations it is restricted to six people per group.  Jo White the organiser will send out weekly messages to members offering dates, on a first come basis.  

Photos show what a wonderful part of the world WeyBay is lucky enough to have on the doorstep. The walking group had a good view of the cruise ships currently anchored in Weymouth Bay.

 We received notification yesterday that Denman College (the WI Centre for learning) will close, it has been struggling to operate for some time.  This will be sad news to members who have enjoyed the courses and events .

In the meantime, we have some photos of what lockdown has meant and we invite any member to contribute a photo or some text of how they are spending this lockdown period.

Sheila Vogwell sent this lovely photos taken during her daily exercise.  A lot of members will have appreciated being in this wonderful part of the world and having nature on the doorstep.  And a really beautiful shot of her window decked out with flags and soft toys for the children as they take their walks.

What can I say about being in Lockdown and the Coronavirus bug,
The worst bit is not seeing the family and just having a hug.

I’ve spent lots of time in the garden, it’s now worthy of a Silver Gilt,
I’ve even knocked down a shed and a new one I’ve built.

My housework’s been left as the weathers just been to sunny,
I’m now as brown as a berry, right down to my wobbly tummy.

So to me the lockdowns has really not been too bad,
But for others who are lonely it’s been rather sad.

I miss seeing all you ladies at our Monthly WI meetings
So can’t wait for the hugs, and for now Sue sends you her greetings.❤️  Sue Wormald
The Spa Book club has had their last two meetings by Zoom and everyone was present which is a first!   Usually there’s one or two on holiday or with something else on but of course we’re all at home in lockdown!
Two very good books were reviewed and we all had time to read them !
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is about an autistic guy looking for a wife.  He had a tick list for his dates which surprisingly did not go well!  It is a very funny book but poignant as well and all 11 members of the Spa book club loved it. 
The other book was the Salt Path by Raynor Winn. It’s a true story about Raynor and her husband Moth who became homeless in their fifties and decided to walk the South West Coast Path with very little money and Moth with a serious illness.  We all recognised lots of the places they travelled through and admired their grit.  Raynor Winn is discussing her latest book The Wild Silence at the Dorchester Literary Festival in October and Spa Book club hope to go.   Surely, we will be out of lockdown by then! 
She Taylor took some photos during a walk over the Easter weekend and got these shots of empt
y streets and the beach.  Easter 2020 will go down in history and be remembered for long after life goes back to normal.

Julia Gorman sent this message from her lovely home on the harbourside.

As seen, I have been painting table and chair to look cheerier for this bleak time. I expect you can also see I am growing from seed lettuce, courgettes, and cucumber just because I have time. This is all something different for me. That is what life is at the moment different. So, to keep well it has to be embraced. As you already said we are lucky with so many good walks.  although becoming increasingly difficult with so many people about.

Thank you for the opportunity to share some of my pursuits. Happy days to all WI 

I have found my garden to be a haven during these strange times.  I have taken up more vegetable and fruit growing and helped with two garden projects, establishing a new fruit plot where raspberry canes are flourishing and building a new brick paved area from where we can look directly at the White Horse (as I live in Osmington Village). 

Photo shows the new bricked patio with me 'fussing' with my tomato plants. The new fruit plot is to the right of the steps and the two garden chairs.

Gillian Stockley


President Sheila Vogwell gave the result of the 2020 resolutions voting by WeyBay members.  The choice of resolutions are produced by the national WI and voted for by all the members across the country.  WeyBay gave 'End to modern slavery' the most votes with 'A call to increase potential stem cell donor registration' a close second.  These results will be send to regional office to be included in the national count.  Thank you to everyone for taking the time to vote. 

Jo Skinner is still continuing to work hard on the County Events committee and provided the meeting with an update of things being planned for the coming year.
20 March Quilling at County Offices, Poundbury. Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. Well worth looking up on Google to get a better idea

The February speaker was Martin Fielding a well known local vet, now retired.  Martin gave the meeting an amusing review of the many unusual, funny and challenging clients that he had encountered over the years - mostly human ones proving the most difficult.
The January speaker was Mladja Nikovic (MJ) from Zone Fitness on the Granby Estate, who gave a lively inspirational talk on how to be a little healthier, fitter and motivated. Just what was needed after the Christmas indulgences.
Free day passes for Zone Fitness were issued by MJ so that all members could visit and see what they offer.

WeyBay members left the meeting determined to get active, join in with the multitude of WeyBay and County events that are planned and start the new decade with a spring in their step.


As well as monthly WeyBay meetings, members enjoy regular events organised by the Dorset Federation. Jo Skinner from WeyBay is a member of the Dorset Events committee and planned a very successful day out in the historic Athelhampton House.  WI ladies from across Dorset listened to Michelle Brown from Kingston Maurward College talk about the college’s garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2019 which won a prestigious Silver Gilt award.

 The stunning garden was inspired by 70 years of land-based education at the college and was supported by horticulture students and teachers and local sponsors. Showing photos of the project Michelle described the huge amount of commitment and planning that is required before setting up a show garden and the hard work and long hours. No wonder she was overwhelmed when she was awarded the Silver Gilt. 

The talk was followed by lunch in the Long Hall and a chance to look around the gardens of Athelhampton. Thank you to Jo for this very successful day out.

WeyBay members celebrated in the last meeting of the 2019 with a tasty Christmas supper at the New Vic Bars on Weymouth’s Esplanade and a return visit by popular request from the one and only Elvis.  The evening started with hot glasses of mulled wine and continued with a brilliant party which got everyone on their feet dancing the night away to Elvis and his legendary music.

Well done to the committee for organising the brilliant end of year party.  

Money raised from the raffle is being donated to the Wyvern Academy, a local specialist school for children with learning difficulties.  Thank you to everyone for their support.

The committee has put together an interesting calendar of meetings for the 2020, now available to view in the Meetings page.  A new decade, new resolutions and as always good friends and lots of support from WeyBay WI.  Don't forget that subscriptions are due in January. Details have been sent out by email.  If you want to join details will be post on the website in February. 

The Country Fayre looks like becoming an annual event.  A very successful Country Fayre was held in the October meeting.  The various categories of photography, patchwork and knitting, floral art, crafts, cakes, jams and drinks were well advertised in advance and attracted a lot more entries than the previous year.  They were congratulated by the judges Sarah Simpson, who judged the crafts and flowers and Neil Coad who judged the food and drink.  Sarah said after the meeting that the work was very creative and imaginative, and it was a pleasure to do the judging.  

President Sheila Vogwell thanked everyone for their contribution and thanks must go to the committee for spending the day collating and exhibiting all the entries.  A lot of work but everyone agreed it was well worth the effort.

But WeyBay continues to enjoy a variety of meeting and outings. Twenty five WeyBay members enjoyed a fabulour trip to Ford Farm on the Ashley Chase Estate, makers of many cheeses but famously Coastal Cheddar. Ford Farm are now one of the biggest cheese producers in the country, all made by human had not a robot to be seen.

The ethos of WeyBay relies on members joining in and contributing to the programme.  These smaller groups are a good way of meeting other members in a relaxed way.  Find out what is happening by checking the website for updates and getting contact details from the monthly meetings.

The Spa book club usually have their August meeting outside and previous August meetings have been at Greenhill and Ringstead. This year was spent beside the lake at Littlebredy and a suggestion of a game of rounders was well received!  The game of walking rounders was harder than it sounds with teams penalised for running for a ball but the game was still a lot of fun with no balls or fielders ending up in the lake!

The game was followed by a scrummy picnic and they even managed to discuss this month’s book which was Michelle Obama’s Becoming.  This had mixed reviews - some felt Michelle’s account of her life and time in the White House was rather boastful but those who had bought the audio book read by Michelle Obama herself, really enjoyed it.  It is a long book so the audio is an easier option.  One book that all the book club enjoyed was Should You Ask me by Marianne Kavanagh. It was based around Wareham in the Second World War and we all loved the interesting story made even better by references to all the local places.  The current read which is proving a hit is a Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman.  Photo below shows the Book club and friend at the lake at Littlebredy.

On Wednesday June 26th seventeen members of WeyBay had a fabulous evening tasting 5 different wines with assorted cheeses. Carl from Delicious on Custom House Quay, Weymouth, showed them how to taste, smell and enjoy the different wines from varied countries. It is hoped to run another course later in the year.

On Wednesday 23 May, 13 ladies had a wonderful morning making Wheat and Lavender Wreaths with Catherine Nix from My Scented Home at the New Vic Bars.  
Eight  members of  Weybay WI walked from  Sandsfoot Castle along the Rodwell Trail to  Portland, stopping for a welcome drink at The Boat that Rocks at Portland Marina.  Members enjoyed  the walk in the sunshine taking in the beautiful views across to Portland.  The walk was led by Jo White, the organiser for this group.  If you are interested in joining please contact Weybay-WI@hotmail.co.uk or speak to Jo at the monthly meeting. 

The lunch club has become active again with a programme set for the rest of the year.  The WeyBay WI lunch/supper club met at the new Mexican Restaurant, Loco Lobo situated in The Cove in Weymouth harbour.  Ten members enjoyed a delicious lunch, wonderful Mexican dishes with lovely views to the harbour.  May's venue is the newly refurbished John Gregory pub.  
Thank you to Anne Neil for organising this group.  

It might seem that there is an tendency to chatting eating and drinking in these groups and it has to be said, the meetings.  We make no apologies for that. WeyBay WI has always had an important proviso - that members enjoy themselves! 

Have you checked out our Things to Do pages?  The WeyBay committee have been busy arranging trips and get-togethers for WeyBay's lucky members.  In the next weeks there are a cycling day in the New Forest and a visit to Morton Church planned as well as the monthly 'coffee mornings with a walk' and newly formed Lunch Club.  Keep an eye on the website to see what's going on or find out details from the monthly meetings.  

WeyBay members have joined an institution that was started 1915 and now has 205,000 members in 6,800 WIs.  It is the largerst voluntary women's organisation in the UK.  WeyBay is part of the Dorset Federation based in Dorchester. 

Each WI is self-governing within the framework of the WI constitution and rules.  

The WI is a diverse organisation open to all women with WIs in towns, cities and villages.

Denman College is an adult education centre in Oxfordshire run by the WI and courses run there are available to all members.

Regional events are organised and advertised in Dorset WI News which are handed out at meetings. 

Members have the opportunity to learn new skills, to take part in wide-ranging activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.  The possibilities are endless.
WeyBay WI adds one other important proviso - that members enjoy themselves!