Women’s Institute


Contact Details


Pam Smith

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


Sue Dewhirst

Telephone: 015242 51190
E-mail: woodviewaustwick@gmail.com

Web site:  https://austwickwi.wixsite.com/austwick-wi

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 Christmas Celebrations. New members and visitors are always welcome.

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.

Check out our own website on the address above.


This January we hosted Jamie McEwan from Kingsdale Head Farm. Because we knew there’d be a lot of local interest, we made the meeting open to all and it was a great success. We welcomed lots of friends and the photos of the glorious Kingsdale wildlife made brilliant use of the new projector. Jamie is a passionate ecologist, but he emphasised the importance of choosing the right location and the right approach for these types of projects. Kingsdale Head is ideal for peat bog restoration (critical for carbon sequestration) because it’s relatively unproductive land, but it is not suitable for vast tree planting schemes as these would destroy the peat. He also believes that something is lost when people don’t live and work in these places and is pleased the project involves so many local contractors and volunteers. We learned a lot about damming drainage ditches, using pigs to break up the ground and the importance of just letting nature do its thing – but the biggest revelation was that cows can be herded with music.
Our annual members’ event on 8th February was an evening of Pies, Peas and Poetry (and stories and folk songs). It was a great success, with members bringing their favourite poems, some treasured from childhood. Pam Ayres, Jenny Joseph and Roald Dahl provided the laughter and Kate Clanchy’s anthology of poems written by refugee children nearly triggered tears. The big surprise (for me at least) was the group rendition of Owl and The Pussy Cat and the discovery that once learnt, a poem is never forgotten.
Dr Loretta Dolan gave a very interesting talk on Child Marriage in the 16thC in our March meeting. At a time when most marriages were pragmatic affairs, child betrothals could be used to arrange loans, protect land, and secure the social and financial standing of whole families. It was fascinating to learn about such different attitudes to marriage and yet hear such familiar emotions in the testimonies of the children involved.
April sees a complete change of tone with local artist Hester Cox running a printmaking workshop.
If you’re interested in joining the WI, you’re very welcome to come along.
Apr 11th          Fabric Printing                                                                Hester Cox
May 9th           Music to your ears                                                         Dr Paul Whittaker OBE
May 10th         Group Spring Event                                                        Nicola Mills
Jun 13th           Life in service in the 21st Century                                Rowena Lee
Jul 11th            Centenary Celebrations                                                Live Band and Buffet
Aug 8th            Minders and Mules                                                        Brian Topping
Sep 12th          Baker Mike                                                                      Mike Armstrong
Oct 10th          AGM
Nov 14th         Rivers Trust                                                                      Tim Pitt
Dec 12th         Christmas Entertainment                                               Kevin McSherry

Sue Dewhirst ( President)

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