New membership ....and plenty to do in 2018

Applications for new membership to WeyBay WI will open up on 1st February 2018. Please forward your details to with your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. 

The committee has put together a list of activities and events for WeyBay Members to do during the coming year.  These fun days out will give members the chance to meet other members and try new things. Check out the list on the 'Things to Do' page and get the dates into your 2018 diary.   There will be information sheets handed out at the next meeting.  So, as well as the usual Wednesday meetings and the established clubd, there will be plenty to do in 2018.  We're all looking forward to a busy year.


Thanks to the inventiveness of the committee, the WeyBay Christmas party is an evening that everyone looks forward to and it is always a full house.  The club is very lucky to have the venue of the New Vic - it is closed to the public on the WeyBay party night.  It has a very relaxed atmosphere and the staff are very welcoming but it is run in a proficient way and the food is of an excellent standard.  Over the years there have been some outstandingly successful parties and 2017 was no exception.  Some agreed, the best yet.  

The evening started with a choice of cocktails.  Not the ubiquitous glass of bubbly but something a little different - and the perfect way to get the evening off to a lively start.  WeyBay ladies were certainly 'glammed up' for the party and, in the opinion of this author, looked absolutely gorgeous.   The food was a traditional three-course Christmas supper followed by coffee and mince pies.  

The highlight of the evening was the arrival, not of Father Christmas, but of Elvis and the party got into a swing of dancing and singing along to the wonderful music of Elvis Presley.   Elvis didn't appear to be intimidated by being surrounded by so many lovely ladies as he gyrated his hips and performed the familiar songs.  A wonderful fun evening.

A very big thank you to the committee for their hard work in putting together the evening.   
Christmas celebrations started early for WeyBay members.  The lunch and supper group enjoyed meals at Vaughans on Weymouth Harbour in November and for December, at The Hayloft on Portland.  Vaughans have been doing a promotional Tuesday and Helen Harris took advantage of this to give the group a taste of this lively restaurant.  The Hayloft restaurant doesn’t open every day out of season, but Kate Austin organised for them to do special lunch and the group had the café to themselves.   On the top of Portland it was very windy but the restaurant was warm and cosy with a welcoming atmosphere.   A very good way to start the festive season.   Thank you to Helen and Kate for taking their turns to do the organising and coming up with these very good venues.

Another tradition which always makes it feel as if Christmas is truly on its way, is the Carol Services at Sherborne Abbey and Wimborne Minster.  This year a group of twenty WeyBay ladies enjoyed a tapas lunch in Sherborne and sang along to the carols in the Abbey.  Sherborne Abbey is a spectacular old building with impressive architecture and at Christmas with its large Christmas tree and the sound of its huge organ backing the WI choir, it is well worth a journey to north Dorset.  Thank you to Jo Skinner for organising the lunch and the cars.

The club is looking forward to the Christmas Party with a full turkey dinner and mince pies and dancing with Elvis.  It's always a successful party with members joining in and celebrating Christmas together.

Looking forward to the New Year, the exciting 2018 programme is now published.  Check out the meeting dates and speakers in the Meetings 2018 page and make a note in your 2018 calendars.


But WeyBay members have plenty to do in the coming months.  There are Christmas events being organised - a shopping trip to Bath on Black Friday, the very popular Christmas Party - this year featuring Elvis - and Christmas lunch at Milton Abbey, as well as the choir performing at Sherborne Abbey and Christchurch Priory.  This is on top of the usual meetings and monthly coffee get togethers.    Below is a report from the three thriving Book Clubs - with some very good suggestions for Christmas gifts - and the Lunch Supper Club has two events in the calendar.  Get involved by coming to the monthly meetings and keeping an eye on the What's On pages of this website.

The November meeting at the regular venue of New Vic on the Esplanade was a great turnout of about 70 ladies and they were treated to a cake icing demonstration by Angel Cakes of Poundbury, Dorchester.   Ange Cakes is a small family business started a mother and daughter team, later joined my second daughter.  They started with icing cakes and running a shop selling cake icing paraphernalia, but now concentrate on making wedding and birthday cakes, also doing classes in cake icing and modelling.  The meeting was treated to a demo of decorating a Fairy Castle which was made to look so easy. The delicious cake was later raffled. 

The Annual Council Meeting for Dorset was pretty special this year as 2017 is Dorset’s Centenary Year so Dorset’s trustees pulled out all the stops to make this meeting memorable.

It got off to a cracking start with your very own WeyBay singing their own version of ‘Cheap Flights’ – a very witty take on Ryanair.

The main speaker was Janet Street Porter who kept the 900 members entertained with her story of her journalistic life.  Most of WeyBay warmed to her and felt she appeared more likeable than she sometimes appears on the television.

Paul Connery was the afternoon speaker.  Not an easy gig after a long lunch but his talk on Well Being and Keeping Fit was well received by those who managed to stay awake.  Diabetes 3 is the new worry apparently and is what health professionals are calling Alzheimer’s which now has links to sugar consumption.  Your writer was made to feel that consuming sugar was as bad as smoking a cigarette!

All was well with the ending of the meeting in true fashion with an enthusiastic rendering of Jerusalem.

Report by Sandra Jones


With Christmas approaching how about looking at what WeyBay’s book clubs have been reading?  Lots of ideas for presents here or just treat yourself to one of their good choices.

Book club number 1 highly recommend The New Woman by Charity Norman.  It was an easy read despite covering an emotional subject area.  It covered transgender issues which impacted on family and friends and made the readers feel sympathy for all involved.  Their other good read was The Edge of the Orchard by Tracey Chevalier.  The story centres around a very dysfunctional family living in all consuming poverty in Ohio during the early to mid-1800s.  The family’s struggle to exist are very well described and terrible family events cause the family to separate and the book follows the life of one son who embarks on a fascinating life in California.

Spa Book club sometimes meet in the Ship at Upwey for a change, and their two “must reads” are The Dry by Jane Harper - a page-turning thriller and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman - hard to describe but top marks from all members of the Spa Book club .

The Bookcover Girls has been going for nearly 2 years and meet in The George on the Quay. They all enjoyed the Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier and think The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah would make an ideal Christmas present. This book was enjoyed by the Spa Book club too.

Alan Johnson ‘s trilogy This Boy, Please Mr Postman and The Long and Winding Road - the ex-Labour Party politician’s biography have been loved or on the list for all three book clubs and are another idea for Christmas gifts.

The forecast was optimistic but uncertain when we set out on the 2017 Trust-Me-You-Can-Do-This-Triathlon. The day previous had been wild, wet and blustery but that did not put off the 9 intrepid ladies who took part!

We gathered in bright sunshine at Greenhill near the paddling pool having been generously lent the use of a beach hut by Sue Bray.

The air was warmish - the water was not! However after a few strokes we acclimatised and warmed up bit - lots of chat helped us while away the 20 minutes in the water. Most of us swam gently parallel to the shore but Charlie struck out with a fine display of front crawl  - olympic style.

The sound of the whistle had us (reluctantly?) heading for shore to get changed and have our hot chocolate, coffee etc and homemade flapjack. More chat, photographs and a catch up with our supporters then it was time to head off on our bikes eastward into the gathering cloud.

2 and a half miles into the cycle we were hit by a short sharp shower which had us momentarily sharing a bus shelter with another cyclist before deciding to continue despite the rain which was beginning to slow.

A decision was made for early lunch at the change station at Carolyn’s house before setting out for the final leg - a circular walk through the reed beds and along the Preston Road Esplanade into very black threatening clouds. At this point we lost 2 members to more pressing domestic obligations.They promised to complete the final leg in their own time later of course

Halfway through our walk the clouds produced another short sharp shower which had us sheltering momentarily before heading out on the home stretch. The Triathlon ended with presentation of certificates and much enthusiasm for meeting up at next year’s event. Hopefully we can persuade a few more people to take part next year.

Speak to anyone who has done this Triathlon and they will confirm that Yes absolutely anyone can do it and it is great fun!

Many many thanks to Sheilah Mc Gregor and Yasmin Hellings for helping out with drinks and carrying kit to different stages


WeyBay WI celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Dorset Federation in style at Weymouth Sailing Club.  Previous years the club has enjoyed a summer beach party, but 2017 required something a bit special so it was arranged to have a BBQ on the sailing club's terrace with a toast to the Dorset Federation in Prosecco.

An amazing turnout of 92 WeyBay members spent the evening wining and dining with a stunning backdrop of the bay that the club takes its name from.  Committee member Sue Wormald decorated the clubroom in party style using a pink beach bucket theme and committee members followed the theme with a bright pink dress code.  No wonder that WeyBay is thriving with such enthusiasm.

President Sheila Vogwell led the toast and the members sang Jerusalem led by the WeyBay WI choir.  Cherry Bush gave details of a proposed walk to Lulworth Castle – details on the What’s On page.  August is traditionally a holiday month with no meeting, but members will have a lot to look forward to in September with a full programme of various events planned for the rest of the year.

It was a great evening and generally judged to have been a huge success.  Well done and thanks to the organisers.  And congratulations to Dorset Federation.  Enjoy your Weymouth summer.

Photo above shows committee members Maris Ronzetti, Belinda Sedgbeer, President Sheila Vogwell, Sue Wormald and Tracey Chevis

Although there was no August meeting WeyBay members haven't been idle !  Cherry Bush led 14 members on an eight mile walk and there were no blisters !  They trekked to Lulworth Castle from Wareham and passed the scenic Shag Lake where the photo below was taken.  After a break at the lake they set off for Lulworth Castle with the promise of an ice cream on arrival.  No such luck ! The Castle was closed preparing for the annual Bestival where some WeyBabes manned the tea tent.  This didn't spoil a wonderful walk - well done Cherry. 

Other active members enjoyed a mainly flat cycle ride from Lodmoor via Oasis cafe then along the Rodwell Trail  to the Sailing Academy for lunch - photo left shows them after lunch on the way to the Water Lily Farm for tea.  This was a brilliant cycle ride using Weymouth's cycle paths and was arranged faultlessly by Jan Summers. Thanks Jan. 

The lunch club met for a very convivial get together at The Market House Bridport away from the crowded Weymouth town centre.  The members take it in turns to book a venue.  The September evening meal with be at The Stable on Weymouth's harbour.  

Thank you to everyone who steps forward with ideas of walks, bike rides, lunches and lots more.  WeyBay is thriving because of you.

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. 


One of the more successful activities in WeyBay WI are the Book Clubs. Two have been running for a couple of years and now a third has been started. Each Book Club member gets the chance to recommend a book to the others and then it is discussed and the group decide on whether to recommend it. The meetings take place in a very social setting and they have spawned into doing other activities together. Go to the Things to Do pages to see what the groups are reading at the moment and what they have enjoyed most. You might get some ideas for Christmas gifts.

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!