It's been a long time coming …

It’s been a long time coming – and we are not talking about the football.  It has been 18 months since members have been able to meet up face to face.  But finally, and in line with government regulations WeyBay WI members were able to get together for a summer picnic at their new venue The Angling Club, Commercial Road, Weymouth.  

They celebrated an historic moment in the country’s history when the NHS was born bringing free healthcare to everyone, 73 years ago. 

Forty-six members brought their own picnic of delicious homemade cakes, scones with cream and jam many other nutritious goodies.  The Committee organised a special NHS cocktail for all members to raise a glass to the NHS on their special day and a collection was made for Joseph Weld Hospice and the Dorchester Hospital Cancer Ward.

Despite the lockdown the membership of WeyBay has remained buoyant.  Some new members joined in with longer standing members for a first 'normal' meeting for a long time.  Everyone was very excited, catching up on news and enjoying their first visit to their new home on the beautiful harbourside.  

Thank you to the committee for organising this historic meet up.  

There’s a lot to look forward to. 

Photo top right shows President Sheila Vogwell and members of the committee and the birthday card to the NHS.

The sun shone again for WeyBay’s summer cycle ride. Twelve members donned their cycle hats and cycled to Portland for a coffee stop at the Frontline Café.  Just past Portland Castle, it has good coffee, tasty cakes, and plenty of seats.  A jammed bike chain was soon dealt with, and they returned via the Rodwell Trail to the Turk’s Head in Chickerell for lunch.  An outside shady table, a tasty lunch, and a few glasses of rosé - what’s not to like.

Huge thanks again to Jan Summers for leading a cycle that was not only enjoyable but catered for cyclists of all abilities.

Photos show the whole crew posing with their bikes and the historic Mulberry Harbour in the background.

The newest book club to be formed in WeyBay, the 'Well Read Book Club, has met for the first time.  The meeting was set up by Marisa Ronzitti and held at her home - and 'yes' the patio doors were wide open.  The first book that they are reading is 'Where the Crawdad's Sing' a well received debut novel by Delia Owens. 

 The existing book club, now called 'The Cover Girls', has been running successfully by Jill Thomas and has continued to meet on Zoom during the restrictions.  Jill has sent us a lovely article about the club which has been reproduced on the Things To Do page and including the current reading.
We should mention other clubs that continue to meet although not all the members are currently in Weybay.   

Reading has been an important diversion during the last year and we look forward to having more recommendations of new books from the book club members to pass on to you. 

WeyBay committee have been meeting using Zoom throughout the restrictions and the book club has continued in the same way.  With normal meetings looking unlikely in the near future a series of Zoom meetings for all members have been arranged.  

On St Patrick's Day members got together for an Irish based quiz organised by committee members. The second meeting was a 'visit' from Baroness Bolsover - 'Join the Victorian Baroness Bolsover as she demonstrates the essential DO'S AND DON'TS of Afternoon Tea Etiquette. Bring along a napkin, teaspoon, cup and a saucer and learn how to become the Crème de la Crème of the Tea Party. Take a step back in time as the Baroness recollects her Afternoon Tea experiences in the reign of her beloved Queen Victoria and discover the answer to some of life’s most difficult dilemmas, Milk or Tea first? Her Ladyship looks forward to answering your questions at the end of her presentation after which Afternoon Tea will never be the same again!'  Thirty nine members enjoyed the Baroness' lively presentation and thanked WeyBay President Sheila Vogwell for making it happen.  There is certainly a contrast between the formality of Victorian tea parties and our own habit of throwing a teabag into a mug but the pleasure of meeting up with friends to exchange news and a smile remains the same - although for the moment we will have to rely on Zoom!
There have now been a meeting Face Yoga with Polina.  In this workshop club members learned all about Face Yoga, a natural method of exercising your face to lift, tone and sculpt your facial muscles.  Sounds fun.

The celebrations for the ten-year anniversary of WeyBay WI in 
April 2020 were suddenly and very disappointingly put on hold (it is still hoped to have some celebrations in 2021) but it was decided to put together the memories of the first ten years into a photo book.  What a lot of memories and a lot of work to put them together into a coherent format to reflect the diverse activities, and the fun that everyone had.  The photo book is now published and will be available to see when the WI is able to have its next meeting.  But reminiscing over the past years has reminded us again of  how important WeyBay has become for so many members and the certainly that it will continue to provide this support to members again as we come out of the pandemic. 
Photo shows the original poster in March 2010 inviting everyone to come to the first meeting and a memory of the first venue at The Clipper in St Thomas St.


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!