Women’s Institute

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Contact Details


Lindsey Smith

Telephone: 015242 51649
E-mail: lindseyinaustwick@gmail.com


Angela Rogers

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

Our W.I. meets in the Parish Hall at 7.30pm on the second Thursday of the month. Why not come along and see what is on offer? Visitors are always welcome.

The 2019 programme began when the Rev. John Davies gave a thought provoking and interesting talk about ‘Celebrating the Ordinary’. The talk, which began with the Mass-Observation project in the post war years concluded with his time spent on a housing estate on the edge of Liverpool. The talk can be found on bit.ly/johndavies-ordinary-talk.

Members enjoyed an interesting and humorous talk by Richard Aubrey about his role as a clinical psychologist in a hospital setting. Richard’s job involves meeting with clients, identifying problems which may be emotional, mental or behavioural and through observation and interviews he is able to monitor client progress.

At the March meeting members thanked the Committee for their hard work during the year by organising an evening’s entertainment and refreshments. Ann Dyson gave a very interesting, illustrated talk entitled ‘two ends to the middle’ about her Journey on bike from John O’Groats to Austwick and Land’s End to Austwick. The evening concluded with a light buffet and drinks which had been organised by Ann and W I members.

Vic Heaney detailed his inspiring journey from a French village in the Pyrenees to his Lancashire birthplace of Blackpool to members in April. His talk was illustrated with slides describing his 21 miles a day trek for 70 days arriving at his destination for his 70th birthday. This was a fund raising event in aid of Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Cate Holland was welcomed to the May meeting. She brought along samples and slides of various buildings and scenes found in Settle that had been knitted by The Crafty Knitters of Settle.

Due to the unforeseen absence of the planned speaker for The Antiques Road Show in June members discussed the items that they had brought along. Angela Rogers then gave a very interesting and humorous account of her life in Zambia.

At the July meeting Austwick W.I. celebrated its 95th birthday.The Cobbydale Singers made a welcome return visit and entertained members with some well- known favourites and amusing songs. This was followed by a light buffet and a toast, which was given by the President Elizabeth Booth.

Heather Slater made a welcomed return, replacing the scheduled speaker for August.  She described her voyage and time in South Africa in the 60’s bringing with her interesting artefacts from that era.

Hellifield W I ladies gave a hilarious and mesmerising performance for the September meeting. Music from Abba and River Dance were some of the acts that were presented as well as a hysterical representation of synchronised swimming.

We were fortunate to have Sue Earl-Armstrong a W.I advisor present at their AGM which was held at the October meeting. The President thanked members and committee for all their help throughout the year. The Secretary’s report had been circulated earlier and Janet Huck gave an account of the finances. Elizabeth Booth stood down as President and Angela Rogers was elected as the new President. Lizz Cook resigned from the committee and new members elected were Hilary Brown and Debra Russell. Light refreshments provided by the committee were served at the end of the evening.

Clare Lardner was the guest speaker at the November meeting. Clare and  husband, Ronny, had undertaken a six month camping trip around Australia and Tasmania. Her talk and slides showed the variety of scenery, weather, wildlife, crafts and food they experienced.

At the December meeting members and friends were introduced to  Geoff Wood who gave a talk about ‘The Life and Times of a Sewer Rat. Geoff started his humorous and informative talk by saying he had spent all his working life in a sewer and what a fascinating job it was. He was the regional ‘Waste Water network operations  Manager ’covering all the 35000km sewer  systems from Crew to Carlisle. He gave an amusing insight of sewage throughout history, how in medieval towns chamber pots were emptied directly in the streets, he reminded us of ‘The great stink’ in the summer of 1858 in London. His talk was illustrated with interesting slides.

The next meeting will take place on Thursday January 9th at 7.30pm in the Parish Hall. Judy and Chris Leeming will be talking about their 1000 mile walking challenge which became an obsession.



Sue Dewhirst ( Press Secretary )






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