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.

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.

The AGM was held at the October meeting when the President thanked Ann Whitwell and Catherine Nicholls for their hard work as they retired from the committee and welcomed new members Margaret Barrington and Olivia Hawkins onto the committee. Angela Rogers was re-elected President and reports were given from the secretary and the treasurer. Light refreshments were served after the formal part of the meeting.
The WI would like to thank everyone who supported the coffee, cakes and craft morning in aid of the local Food Bank. It was a tremendous effort and £725 was raised for this very worthy cause.
Julia Chapman made a very welcome return to the November meeting. Her talk entitled ‘ From page to screen’ explained the processes involved in translating a book into a TV program. Julia described how ‘Date with Death’ from the popular Dales detective series has been made by a French production company into a 90 minute pilot. She showed illustrations of the locations and actors involved.

Avelina Wright sang Christmas Carols, with members joining in, at the December meeting as a prelude to a varied finger buffet accompanied by mulled wine.

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.


Tanya Carter from Limestone Books was the guest speaker at the first meeting of the year.  Her talk entitled ‘My Desert Island books’ discussed the books that had influenced her throughout her life and she described her interesting journey from school to her ambition of owning a book shop. The next meeting on Thursday Feb 9th at 7.30pm in the Parish Hall is a talk entitled ‘The Falkland Islands’ by Alison Webb.


Feb 9th                          The Falkland Islands                                           Alison Webb

Mar 9th                     Sir Peter Scott                                                    Les Chandler

Apr 13th                    Settle Shops, Past and Present                          John Reid

May 11th                    Members Night

Jun 8th                      Victorian Childhood Marriage                           Loretta Dolan

Jul 13th                       Summer Social at Beck House

Aug 10th                     Tales of a Customs Officer                              Brian Topping

Sept 14th                    Backstage at the Ballet                                   Hilary McCumiskey

Oct 12th                       AGM

Nov 9th                       Butterflies of the Northwest                        Chris Winnick

Dec 14th                      Festive Sketches                                           The Three Peaks Players

Dates of outings, workshops and walks will be announced throughout the year.

Sue Dewhirst ( press secretary)

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