Category Archives: Meeting

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.




Handling stress was the focus of our January W.I. meeting.  Sallie Crawley, our speaker, explained to members the difference between stress and anxiety and gave advice as how best to handle pressure by changing how we think and so turning the negative into positive.  Sallie has over 12 years’ experience as a coach and therapist.  She is a qualified Life Coach and H.M. qualified Executive Coach and Mentor, a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (N.L.P.)  and a trained Hypnotherapist and members enjoyed joining in the various situations discussed.  Sallie explained how to become calmer by controlling your breathing and at the end of the meeting members took part in an exercise by closing their eyes, placing hands in their laps and feet flat on the floor and while listening to some calming music Sallie talked members through a lovely relaxing process.

One of the tenets of the W.I. is to campaign to change things for the better and tackle issues that matter to members.  Each W.I.member plays a role in bringing issues into the national agenda through our public affairs and campaigning.  Over the years this has ranged from equal pay to climate change, from gaps in the midwifery workforce to the plight of the honey bee.  At this time of year members discuss 6 items on a short list and then vote on the issue that they would like to see go forward to regional and then national level.

After discussion and consideration members voted on the 2019 Resolutions.  These were:

  1. Improving Plant Biosecurity in the UK
  2. Trees – improving the Natural Landscape
  3. Pelvic Floor Education
  4. Suffering in silence; and the taboo around menstrual health
  5. A call against the Decline in Local Bus Services
  6. Don’t fear the smear.


Please use the link below if you are interested in reading more.

When the vote was taken, the issue of “the decline in the Local Bus Services” was the Resolution chosen.  Perhaps this reflects the recent problems there have been with the bus service in Papworth.

Despite these weighty issues, we have definitely not neglected the social side and a large number of members gathered on Saturday 19 January for a trip to see “My Fair Lady” at the Cambridge Arts Theatre and then on Thursday 24 January, afternoon tea at the Golden Lion Hotel, St Ives.


Members enjoying Cream Tea at the Golden Lion Hotel, St Ives on Thursday 24 January 2019

December 2018

In December,  W.I. members tucked in to Christmas fare at the lunch at Slepe Hall, St Ives, held at the beginning of the month with more laughter and fun at our Christmas social where again we enjoyed some delicious fare.

Part of the fun was taking part in two quizzes.  Each table formed a team and we were named after 6 of the reindeer.  Donner and Blitzen were the winners and the prizes were chocolate decorations.  The beautiful table decorations made by Lynne , a committee member and these were prizes in one of the raffles.  Mother Christmas distributed the Secret Santa presents and the Lyrical Voices Choir sang festive songs before we ended the evening with everybody joining in our favourite carols.  Our thanks to the committee for organising the evening so well.

The Lyrical Voices Choir from the Papworth Everard and Elsworth W.I.s had the privilege once more of singing in the Royal Papworth Hospital Charity Christmas Concert held at the beautiful Ely Cathedral, singing in front of the cathedral’s breathtaking Christmas tree.  Feedback was that it was our best performance yet and we thank our Choir Director, Jan Fletcher for preparing us so well and her friend Thania who was the stand-in conductor on the day as Jan was not able to attend and also Penny Hardy our accompanist.

The choir were also made very welcome at the Elsworth Parish Church Carol Service on Saturday 22nd December where they sang three pieces from the Christmas repertoire: “In Winter,” “Somewhere in my Memory” and “Starlight”as a “musical interlude” between the more traditional carols then raising a smile at the end by singing “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” before refreshments were served.


In the New Year many of the W.I. members are looking forward to a theatre trip to Cambridge to see “My Fair Lady” and also our January meeting when the speaker will be Sallie Crawley who will talk on Reducing Stress and Anxiety and guided relaxation.

Papworth Everard WI – September 2018 Report

We had our usual summer break during August this year but several members enjoyed travelling back to the golden age of luxury rail travel and indulged in a delicious cream tea at Carriages of Fen Drayton, Cambridge.  From the moment you step into the 1920’s station, you are transported back to this romantic era with all its luxury and decadence.

The highest attention to detail has been paid to creating this very special venue from the original Pullman style Carriages, separate armchairs, locally grown ingredients in the Victorian Garden and enticing menu of traditional English Afternoon Tea with a contemporary twist.

Members’ social evening to support a MacMillan fundraising event was the theme for our September meeting. Several members brought along cakes to purchase and eat on the night, or to take home and we enjoyed taking a chance and guessing the number of spots on the cake and another finding the pot of gold – a fantastic £150 was raised on the night.

Along with the fundraising our members tried their hand at Origami! Cutting out and making doyleys – it came quite naturally to some, but for others it was a hilarious disaster!

Members were very generous again this year bringing along bulbs to be planted in the Village so hopefully next Spring should bring much pleasure to the people of Papworth.

Our lunch this month was held at the Hartford Marina in Huntingdon.



Activities July 2018

July is the month when we celebrate the anniversary of the launch of our W.I. and to mark the occasion delicious cakes were served with our refreshments.

Our anniversary was not the only cause for celebration as during the meeting we celebrated the success of the Vintage Cream teas which we served at the Royal Papworth Hospital Centenary fete by presenting cheques to 4 local good causes.  The first donation was presented to Megan Sandford  from the Royal Papworth Hospital and she told us the money would be put to good use within the Critical Care department, a further cheque was presented to Rosie Blencowe for St Peter’s Church where it will help with emergency repairs to roof leaks  The third presentation was made to Jenny Howlett for the Papworth Day Centre and will be put towards their Christmas festivities and our final gift was presented to Joyce Burton for our own Papworth Everard and Elsworth choir, Lyrical Voices.


Cheque presented to Megan Sandford  for the Royal Papworth Hospital, Critical Care Department


Cheque presented by Clair Smart, Secretary, to Jenny Howlett for Papworth Day Centre Christmas celebrations

Cheque presented by Pat Martin, President, to Joyce Burton for Lyrical Voices Choir

In addition, our President, Pat Martin, attended Pendragon School Leavers’ Assembly and presented three £10 book tokens to the top 3 pupils in year 6 for the Endeavour Cup and as support to the school fete, a £20 Marks and Spencer voucher was donated as a raffle prize.

Our speaker for the night, Caroline Meyrick, came to tell us about Fine Cell Work, a charity which teaches prisoners in many British prisons to produce high-quality needlework which is made into beautiful handmade products.  This paid work boosts prisoners’ self-worth, instils self-discipline, fosters hope and encourages them to lead independent, crime-free lives.  It also enables the prisoners to fill the many lonely and frustrating hours spent languishing in jail.

Caroline has a group of 12 prisoners and the embroidery work they produce is incredible.  It was often difficult to work out which was the back of the piece and which was the front.  The embroideries are sent on completion to a warehouse in London where they are made up into cushions, wall hangings, lavender bags and other similar pieces.  The standard of the items that Caroline displayed was inspiring.  A proportion of the sale price is paid to the prisoners which they can use to help support their families or put aside for their release. Many of them go on to get formal qualifications to enable them to carry on in paid employment for example to become tailors or work in theatrical costume once they leave prison.  Supporters include Prince Charles and Camilla and Cornelia Parker, the artist. More information about this fascinating aspect of prison life can be found on their website. (


For our usual monthly social, we lunched together at the White Swan, Connington