June and July events

Well what a busy couple of months  for FGWI.

We had the second supper club visit , baking for Forest Gayte Pride, cycling,  Processions 2018 , , camping(  twice !,) quiz night, the Mors Bag marathon,

Baking ( again ) for the Winchelsea Summer Fair, a visit to Ham House ,

London WIs brunch at Andi’s ( as in Andi Oliver, one of the judges on the Great British Menu ) PLUS our annual picnic in Forest Gate Community Garden , featuring Forest Voices who celebrated their 10th anniversary,

Processions  2018

A few of us attended this massive human art installations in June. On a hot, sunny day, we joined thousands of women and young girls to make history., and celebrate 100 years since some women got the vote. We were joined by East Edge Sisters, N1WI and Stow Roses WI. Wearing green,white or purple scarves, we formed a massive Suffragette flag which could be seen in all it’s glory from above. It was an amazing day. We felt very privileged to be part of it.




  • Cycle ride to Victoria Park,
  • Walk  around Greenwich ,
  • London WI brunch at Andi’s-
  • Supper Club
  • Forest Gayte Pride

The cycle ride to Victoria Park ( via the Olympic Park, ) proved to quite popular.

This was to celebrate one year since the launch of the cylcle club (/which is going from strength to strength with thanks to Kerena  from  Newham Cyclists . Kerena has encouraged a lot of our members to get back in their bikes, by  organising relatively easy rides to some interesting places .



Kathy our Blue badge guide took some members on a walk around Greenwich, taking in the iconic landmarks ( The Cutty Sark, The Royal Observatory, and the Naval college.


UWI London Federation

On the same  day , some of us ( along with members of the UWI London Fed Facebook group, ) went to Andi’s – a fantastic restaurant in Stoke Newington , owned by Andi Oliver one  of the judges on The Great British Menu. It’s a great way to meet other WI members from across London, and find out about other WI events in the capital.


Supper Club

FGWI Supper Club went to Mexicasa, a New Mexican restaurant in Stratford
Around 15 of us went and had a  great time, good food, great company ( a few of our new members enjoyed the evening.


Amongst all the galavanting, we still managed to bake for Forest Gate Pride,



Saw us camping, ( twice)  heading to Ham House , taking part in the Mors Bag  Marathon, running a stall at the Winchelsea Summer Fete., and enjoying Pimms and cake at our annual picnic .

FGWI camp at Debden   – lots of members come for the first time. We enjoyed football, ! Crafting ( some of us made power bracelets ) a great bbq , walks in the forest and forging some

Tea & Tents at Walesby Lincolnshire.

Adzovi went to Tea & Tents on her own, but come back making so many friends from around the country. She was adopted by fellow London WI group N1WI and Stow Roses WI. This camp has been going for the last four years, and has grown in size. Run by members of WIs around the country, it is a fantastic way to meet other WI members, learn new skills, habe fun  and be with likeminded women.

It inspired us to hold the annual FGWI camp at Debden, and has inspired other groups of WI members to start up other camps around the country.





Ham House , the Annual picnic and the Mors Bag Marathons

Forest Gate WI organised a lovely trip to Ham House in Richmond.

Fifteen of us ( plus a couple of SO) spent the day at this lovely stately home.

Situated by the Thames, we enjoyed walking around, with an unofficial tour led by Kathy . There was ample time to look around the house and grounds. Go for lunch, and purchase at the gift shop.

Everyone who went had a great time.


The annual picnic

This was well attended ( despite the national team playing that night). We were entertained by Forest Voices at Forest Gate Community Garden. 

We enjoyed a lovely picnic, and again quite a few visitors came , who are hoping to join Forest Gate WI. Pat one of our bakers made a beautiful cake in the Suffragette colours.  Some crafts were on display, made by the members – it was a very chilled and laid back evening, with a few members joining in the celebrations of the national team at the pub.

Mors Bag Marathon……HAS BEGUN

Back in October 2017, some of us went to the Great British Sewing Bee exhibition, and joined in a workshop to make Mors Bags- Mors bags are made of upcycled material, and are given out ( sometimes at random) to the public, to discourage them from using plastic bags. The newly formed campaign group  decided to tie in with last years NFWI resolutions,  ‘Plasic Soup’  and have embarked on a mission to sew 100 Mors Bagsto give to the Forest Gate community. Also to try and persuade local shopkeepers not to use plastic bags.

One sunny afternoon at Forest Gate Community School, some members came together, got out their sewing machines and made around fifteen bags. This is ongoing, and anyone can join in.

June Meeting- Self Defence

Brilliant meeting, with Ulrike Gerstenberg from Modern Arnis Martial Arts Club based in Newham.

Ulrike showed us some basic moves and ways to keep safe. Shouting ‘fire’  would attract more people.  We walked around the room, and had to follow each other. The purpose of this was to be made aware of being followed and what to do in that situation ( turn around and shout ‘stop’ .)

  • Being assertive
  • Stamping  on a would be attacker’s  foot,
  • kicking the person in the nether regions.
  • Bending back fingers ( if someone tried to steal your bag or rucksack)

Most people shared their experiences, and Ulrike took time to discuss tips and ideas around staying safe.

Next month’s meeting

Picnic in the garden.


May Meeting 2018 Human Trafficking



For our May meeting we welcomed Dr Isabella Girling ( Clinical Psychologist) who had recently completed a doctorate on Human Trafficking. Her talk was very thought provoking, with Isabella reading quotes from trafficked women, about their hopes and fears. There lots of questions from the floor, and discussions after the meeting. This talk tied in with one of the shortlisted resolutions.

We are hoping to follow on from this talk to see what has happened to the trafficked women.

We also voted on the current resolution ‘Mental Health Matters’ to go forward to the NFWI Annual Meeting which is going to be held in Cardiff next month. Phillip read out a brief reminder of the chosen resulting, and it was a resounding yes, for the vote to go forward.


March and April Meetings 2018

March Meeting – International Womens Day

This month to celebrate IWD we were privileged to have two of our local councillors and WI members Dianne Wall and Kay Scoresby who spoke about their journey into politics, (Rachel Tripp and Anne Easter were due to speak as well, but we unable to attend.)

Dianne told stories of being being inspired by her grandparents at an early age, arrested at a Springbok rugby match, and offering her house as a safe house for members of the ANC,

Kay spoke of her recent achievement in helping to launch Woodgrange Market which is now in its 7th Year. Both inspirational women for IWD.

we also had  Suffragette cake! Thanks to Phillipa and Steph, who made some amazing cakes.


April Meeting – Annual Meeting

At our Annual Meeting we invited Jane Williams from the Magpie Project ( one of the local organisations FGWI support ), who gave a lovely talk about the work that her group do https://themagpieproject.org

After her talk we got down to business to vote for the new committee for 2018/2019  ( with the help of our WI Advisors from Essex Federation,  Jan and Jo ). Phillipa Jones is our newest committee member, and Karen Kershaw is president for 2018/2019.


January and February Meetings 2018 Annual Quiz and How to get ahead in social media.

January Meeting

Annual Quiz

Welcome to 2018 and our annual quiz. Sharron was the Quiz mistress and made us use our grey matter in a big way.

As  usual,  the competition was fierce, but the Prosecco Princes were narrowly pipped to the post by The Big Brains team  .

There were also briefings read out by the committee for the NFWI 2018 resolutions.

’Mental Health Matters ‘ has been chosen to be taken forward to the NFWI annual meeting in June. ( No photos I’m afraid as we were enjoying ourselves too much ).

February Meeting

How to get ahead in Social Media.

We welcomed Lucy Flinter from our sister WI Stone Rangers, who talked through social media, how to enjoy it, and how to stay safe on line.

A very informative and enjoyable evening, stopping at 8pm to make a noise  in celebration of the 100 years since some women were given the right to vote.

November & December Meetings 2017 – Sing your heart out and Christmas Crafts


November Meeting- Sing Your Heart Out.

November saw us being Disco divas  for the evening. Lizzie Renihan founder of Natural Voices  www.naturalvoices.co.uk

Great night singing the old classics such as Car Wash by Rose Royce, and I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor . ( We got to dress up as well. )


December Meeting – Christmas Crafts

Our December meeting was a chilled affair. Antionetta Torsiello, Suzan Ipeklioglu, and Christine McGuiness led festive workshops.Antionetta, and Christine showed is how to make foam  print and decoupage cards, whilst Suzan led the Christmas decorations workshop.

(Christmas cocktails and ,mulled apple juice courtesy of Committee members Stella and Sally.)

September and October Meetings- Inspirational Women & Gardeners Question Time 2017

 September  Meeting – Inspirational Women

Our September meeting was about inspirational women. Freya Rodger, who battled non- Hodgkin Lymphoma decided to complete as many Olympic sports open to women before the closing ceremony in August 2016. What takes of inspiration.

Chtistine spoke about her moving story- married to a Hungarian refugee, Her life as a  teacher, and how that had to end with the  onset of her blindness,  Christine finished the talk explaining how she copes with  her everyday life the aid of technology, and her wonderful dog May.

October Meeting – GQT.

It was the return of our garden experts, ( this time Elaine Fieldhouse  Lisa,Alison and Christine joined Penny giving us sound advice on how to put our gardens to bed. )

The panel  gave insights on how they got into gardening and general gardening tips

Members asked various questions – how to make leaf mould, when to prune roses, what type of spinach to grow in winter, and the most important tip, no matter how big or small your garden is enjoy it. !





Camp-July 2017 Forest Gate WI style

For those of you who haven’t experienced  a FGWI camp you must – Again a hot sunny Saturday afternoon, we arrived at Debden campsite armed with barbecues, tents, sleeping bags , food, some beverages and friends.

After setting up, we enjoyed a lovely art lesson from Sybil amongst the trees.

After that it was time to get the barbecue ready.

( For those of us who had been to many a woodcraft camp,)  we set about collecting wood, for the fire pit . Once we’d collected enough, we set up a wonderful fire, and started preparing the barbecue. Lots of homemade delights,and a few G&Ts.

Next day leftovers for breakfast, then packed up and made our  home. It’s a great way to meet other members informally, and have a chilled and relaxed 24 hours under the stars .


May and June Meetings-Food Waste & Morris Dancing 2017

At our May meeting, Walthamstow based campaigner  Poppy Flint from ‘This is Rubbish ‘ and ‘Best Before ‘ campaigns, , gave us an insight on reducing food waste.  A very interesting and informative meeting, which made us think twice about throwing away food that had reached  it’s best before date. Members were so inspired that on 20th May at the Woodgrange Food and Music  festival we set up,a pop- up stall, gave away homemade bread and butter pudding with bread donated  by one of the local  supermarkets, plus bread found in the reduced items for sale  aisle at the Co-Op. This coincided with the WI’s weekend to reduce food waste which was the chosen campaign for 2016.

Our food Waste  bunting was also on display.


June Meeting

We were entertained by the Walthamstow based  Blackhorse and Standard Women’s Morris Dancers ( or Morris side which is the correct term).

Carol McGuiness  one of our members and a member of the troupe  explained the history behind Morris dancing . She explained that there are so many ‘Morris Sides’ around the country.

Carol’s group follow the North West dancing, which originates from the mills around Manchester and surrounding areas.

Plots of Q&A , then we had a go at dancing,(,which a pretty energetic workout)

. All in all a great evening.