Women’s Institute

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Contact Details


Pam Smith

Telephone: 015242 51318
E-mail: pamsmithataustwick@gmx.com


Angela Rogers

Telephone: 01729 823218
E-mail: angela_john@ringmat.com

Austwick W I hold their meetings on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm in the Parish Hall. We have some very interesting speakers, enjoy exploring the area on foot and entertaining in members gardens as well as helping at the Street Market and joining in the group Carol Service. we hope to resume our outings later this year.

In October 2021 as numbers of Covid 19 cases were beginning to rise in our area it was decided to hold the AGM  by zoom. Lindsey Smith stepped down as secretary and Pam Smith was elected in her place. Both Elise Wright and Jane Stockwell resigned from the committee and we thanked them for all their hard work.

At the November meeting held in the Parish Hall members welcomed Hanneke Dye. Hanneke was born in 1943, and shared her story of being brought up in Nazi occupied Holland. Her mother gave birth to her in secret, and Hanneke spoke about how the Germans searched her aunt’s house where she was hidden but they did not manage to find her. Her talk was illustrated by slides and artefacts that she had acquired when researching her story.
On a lighter note at our Christmas meeting we were entertained by magician Chris Winnock. He did magic tricks, balloon modelling and told amusing stories. Seasonal refreshments were served during the interval.
To begin the new year we had Les Chandler who gave an excellent talk on garden wildlife. His beautifully illustrated slides gave us an insight into what we can find in our garden and he gave us some interesting and amazing facts about each one.
Sarah Lister made a very welcome return to our February meeting. Her talk was about the absolutely fabulous women that she had traced whilst researching. Some familiar names were discovered and some of their exploits were truly amazing.
The theme for the March meeting was the Queens Platinum Jubilee. Debs Russell organised a Royal quiz which was enjoyed by all. It was followed by a tasting session of several puddings, made by committee members, to decide which would be ‘fit for a Queen’.
Chris and Judy Leeming were the guest speakers at the April meeting. During the last two years of the pandemic Chris has taken a photographic record of Austwick during lockdown. The stunning pictures accompanied by mesmerising music thrilled members and brought back many memories from those difficult times.
The May meeting was Member’s night, when the committee are rewarded with an event planned for them. Pat Broadhead organised an entertaining evening of wine tasting by Karol Ann Hewgill of Lekker Wines which was enjoyed by all.

Clare Douglas was the guest speaker at the June meeting. Her talk on essential oils was thought provoking and fascinating. Members were invited to test some of her products during her demonstration. Colleagues were thanked for their participation in the Street Market which raised a substantial amount towards the Parish Hall and Playing Fields funds.

In July we all enjoyed ‘A Summer Evening Buffet’ in the Parish Hall, courtesy of  the committee. We were entertained by Denise Lewis from Barnsdale who sang songs from Barbra Streisand and musicals.

Margaret Watkins joined us for our August meeting. After a brief introduction to her varied life, particularly that in the Salvation Army, she went on to describe how she had become in possession of ‘Aunt Edna’s’ hats. Members demonstrated the wide array of types, styles and sizes of hats that she had brought along and great fun was had by all.

Representatives from the Cave Rescue Organisation, based in Clapham, gave an illustrated talk about their work at the September meeting. All the work carried out is on a voluntary basis but it costs approximately £50000 a year just to ensure that vehicles and equipment are maintained and are ready to respond to a call out. As a charity they are funded through donations which they are extemely grateful for no matter the size of the gift.

Since Covid restrictions in the summer of 2020, Michelle and Iain of Cross Leigh Stores, have taken monetary donations on behalf of Austwick W.I. for our local area Food Bank and have raised over £3,000. The contributions have gone from strength to strength and Michelle and Iain are able spend the money at wholesalers so they can buy more goods for the money.

We are still keeping in touch via our monthly newsletter, as well as via our WhatsApp group, where members are sharing photos and their news with each other.

We do hope that you find the rest of this year’s program interesting.
October 13th      A.G.M and Supper
November 10th   Julia Chapman                   ‘From Page to Screen’
December 8th   The Kirkby Lonsdale Handbell Ringers

Sue Dewhirst ( press secretary)

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