All posts by sallybartlett

July 2019

We celebrated PEWI’s 12th birthday this month and an evening full of fun began with a glass of wine or soft drink.  This was followed by our speaker, Elaine McGregor from the Nordoff-Robbins organisation. Elaine told us that the Nordoff–Robbins music therapy charity is grounded in the belief that everyone can respond to music no matter how ill or disabled. Elaine enthralled us with her stories and the video clips she showed us upheld their view that the unique qualities of music as therapy can enhance communication, support change, and enable people to live more resourcefully and creatively.  Elaine works with people of all ages and issues.  Elaine had brought along with her a selection of instruments: drums, rattles, cymbals, and so on and before her talk finished we all joined in accompanying Elaine as she played a few well-known songs and from the smiles on members faces no further proof of the efficacy of music was needed!

Elaine McGregor from Nordoff-Robbins

Members accompany Elaine McGregor from Nordoff Robbins






The next part of the meeting was for the Breast Cancer Appeal. Members brought along delicious cakes for us to purchase and enjoy with our refreshments (or to take home) and also items for our bring and buy trading table and from the proceeds of this and our raffle ticket money £177.00 was raised for this very worthy cause – a great result.  The evening was a great success.

Our W.I. has a number of individual groups where members get together to enjoy a shared interest and these include cinema and theatre visits, trips to events put on by Cambridge Federation or at Denman College, crafting groups and so on.  A favourite which usually draws around 20-25 members is our monthly lunch and in July we met up for delicious food at Johnsons Farm at Old Hurst and members were able to take time to look round the shop and grounds.

We will be holding a Prosecco and Cupcake evening on Friday 16th August at the Studio by the library and all the ladies of the village, young (over 18) and old, are warmly invited to join us to sample an evening with the W.I. to see what we do. Members will be available to show the things we get up to: patchwork, embroidery, crochet, painting, knitting, card making, and so on.  Please feel free to come down and join us and have a look at what goes on.

Early in the month a few W.I. members together with our President and Liz Barrett’s husband gathered for a short ceremony to plant the rose “Lovely Lady” in memory of Liz Barrett who had always been so supportive and encouraging to our W.I.  The rose is growing in the bed beside the library and is now flourishing and has been flowering profusely.

Why not bring your friends and family along to our open meeting with “RAF Marham – Past Present and Future”  to be held at the Village Hall on Friday 27 September 2019 at 7.30-9.30 pm.  There is a £5 charge for refreshments and a donation the youth organisations in the village.  Tickets for this are now available.


June 2019

Our speaker at our meeting this month was the wonderful Dr Tim Wreghitt who spoke about Building a Stand for Chelsea Flower Show.   Dr Tim is a Consultant Clinical Virologist who walked us through the many stands that he was involved with at Chelsea in conjunction with the Royal College of Pathologists, many of which were awarded silver, silver gilt and gold medals. The themes of the stands were centred around plants and their role in medicine, explaining the link between plants, diseases and remedies. The stands always attracted many celebrities, and was a favourite stop of Her Majesty the Queen. We were all enthralled by Dr Tim and we all left with lots to think about the plants living in our gardens.


May 2019

It was with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Liz Barrett.  Liz had always been a very good friend and support to Papworth W.I. from its very beginnings and was always ready with a friendly greeting and big smile to give us help where it was needed.  We will forever be grateful to her for her support of our W.I. over the last 11 years.   Liz obtained permission for our W.I. to have a small part of a bed near the library in which we have planted roses in memory of the Members we have lost and we felt it would be fitting that, although Liz was never a member, we would add a rose there in her memory.  The rose we are purchasing is called Lovely Lady which is how we all remember Liz.

Beware Sharks!  Keyth Rooney, who was our speaker at our May meeting, certainly came with plenty of advice to help us make good decisions with estate planning, wills and Powers of Attorney.  Keyth lives locally in Willingham and is an Estate Planning Consultant.  He, himself, has had personal experience of dealing with the estates, wills and PoAs for his own family members.  His own mother suffered with Alzheimers and we are delighted that his “fees” will be passed on to Alzheimers UK.  Despite the negative nature of this kind of planning, Keyth assured us that we would feel a sense of relief when we had put plans in place.

His talk gave us an overview and basic advice and covered the problem of the fact that with rising house values, probate costs have been increasing year on year.  He illustrated the differing probate fees depending where properties are located and other factors which can cause fees to escalate.

He encouraged us all to make sure we had up-to-date Wills and gave advice as to who to appoint as Executors.  Will writing is unregulated and he related some warnings where fraudsters had stripped assets from an estate and related some stories of contested Wills such as Prince Rogers Wilson whose estate of $100 plus $200 in unpublished music attracted 700 claims and advised us to be like David Bowie who had an excellent Will and probate easily obtained.  His talk also covered Inheritance Tax, Sideways inheritance, and ownership of a property, Care Home costs, Gifts made before death, and funeral planning. All serious subjects but Keyth put it over in a very interesting way with excellent slides and examples.

Beware Sharks – Talk by Keyth Rooney

Members have also been asked to vote for the Resolution which they would like the Federation of Women’s Institutes to take forward from the short list of two: Don’t Fear the Smear and Call Against the Decline in Local Bus Services.  Both are important issues and it will be interesting to see which gets the top vote.  Whichever it may be, I am sure both issues will be progressed further.

Other activities in May included some of our members attending the Centenary Annual Council meeting at which Baroness Foella Benjamin was the speaker and our monthly lunch which was held at the Three Horseshoes in Gravely where members enjoyed chatting as we relaxed over our lunches. Next month we are off to Bourn Golf Course for lunch.


Members enjoying lunch at the Three Horseshoes Graveley
May 2019 Lunch at Graveley

April 2019

Love Hearts, Candy sticks (once known as Sweet Cigarettes), wine gums, dolly mixtures, sherbet fountains, flying saucers and other old fashioned confectionery were the prizes at our April meeting which our guest speaker, Bob Jones, handed out. Bob had us racking our brains to remember faces, shows or catch phrases and there were plenty of cries of “oh what was his name”.

Bob Harding-Jones, to give him his full Equity title, came along to remind us or, for the younger members, tells us about the greats of British comedy.


Bob’s talk entitled “A Personal Pick” and illustrated by photos or film clips, started with Tommy Handley and a recording from ITMA of “That’s my weakness” from September 1928 and included “Can you hear me Mother” (1930), “The day war broke out” 1940, Arthur Askey, Richard Murdock, Hattie Jacques who played in so many comedy shows (1944), Much Binding in the Marsh, The Glums, Percy Edwards, The Goons, Fawlty Towers and not to forget Dad’s Army.  There were plenty of others and the list is a long one.   And Bob kept us so well entertained and amused.

Our Easter Bonnet parade and competition followed with Yvonne Gover’s hat being voted the best and Yvonne received a pot plant as her prize.

At the end of the evening all the members received a chocolate bunny so no one went home empty handed.

Some members are attending the Centenary Annual Council meeting at which Baroness Foella Benjamin will be speaking.  Most of us remember her from Play School but these days she is busy looking into primary education on behalf of the Liberal Democrats and lending support to many children’s and health charities.

Our April lunch held at the Wheatsheaf at Perry was again a great success and as always we were well looked after there. For the May lunch we are returning to the Three Horseshoes at Graveley who are under fairly new management and feedback reports tell us they serve one of the best Sunday lunches locally so it should be good.

The choir continues to rehearse ready for the ‘Afternoon of Music and Song’ to be held in the Village Hall on 9th June.  Tickets £10 each are on sale now and children under 12 are free.

February 2019

At our W.I. meeting in February, we had the great pleasure of having the author, Peter Murphy, as our speaker.   He has written a series of books (they could be on your TV soon) with the main character Charlie Warden reminiscent of Rumpole of the Bailey.

Peter Murphy was born in 1946. After graduating from Cambridge University he spent a career in the law, as an advocate and teacher, both in England and the United States. His legal work included a number of years in The Hague as defence counsel at the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal. He returned to England in 2007 on his appointment as a judge of the Crown Court.  He lives with his wife, Chris, in Cambridgeshire.

We were totally enthralled as he recounted the course of his career, the ideas behind the plots to his books and hinted at his thoughts on other topical issues.  Peter has written a series of books based on a character called Ben Schroeder with the action placed in the 1960s and early 1970s set against the backdrop of ethics, capital punishment, terrorism and so on, also an American series and the Walden series which are the books which feature his “Rumpole” character.

At the end of the meeting, all the books he had brought with him displayed on the table were completely sold out and we kept him busy signing them all for us.  I am sure many of us will be purchasing other titles from Amazon etc. and maybe there will be a bit of book swapping going on

On the night we also celebrated a special birthday for Shirley Baxter and presented her with a gift and card. We were delighted to hear that we had raised £90 for Sue Ryder in memory of Janet Kemp in lieu of sending Christmas cards to one another.  Also our donations of old spectacles have been gratefully received by Rosie Blencowe for onward transmission to Africa.

Before we meet again for our AGM next month when we will vote in the new committee and also welcome Sally Kingman, our Cambridge Federation Chairman, we have a social get together for lunch to look forward to at The Windmill at Somersham.