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Matfield Women's Institute
Matfield Women's Institute is a friendly group of about 45 members with a wide range of interests. We meet on the 1st Wednesday evening of each month in Matfield Village Hall as well as holding a variety of activities and outings. For our meetings, we choose varied speakers, some to inspire, some to entertain. Coffee and chat gives us the chance to get to know one another and to find out about forthcoming events. We welcome visitors to any of our meetings and the programme for 2016 is shown below.
We started in October 1921 and Teresa Sassoon, mother of the wartime poet Siegfried, was one of our founding members. To read more about the first 90 years of Matfield WI, click here.
Our programme this year has a good mix of topics, including 'My Life as a Tiller Girl', 'The Grand Tour - Travelling Toffs' and 'Weird Wills, Funny Funerals & Eccentric Epitaphs'. Each month we also arrange outings and activities. This year, our days out have already included a tour of the Cook frozen food factory, a day of dance at the Hextable Studios, a theatre trip and a visit to Matfield House, followed by cream teas all round! 2016 is the 95th anniversary of our WI and we had a special celebration dinner at Hadlow Manor in October.
Separate clubs and activities within Matfield WI are varied and all members are invited to come along to any which interest them and which also involves tea and cake and the odd glass of wine!
• Our book club meets once a month to discuss the book we have read the month before - then time for a chat!
• The two darts teams meet once a week and enter annual inter-WI competitions.
• The knitting group meets monthly to knit our own projects, baby knits for Pembury premature unit and recently, knitted bands for dementia patients. This year we knitted a Noah's Ark and animals for a competition at the Horticultural Society Summer Show in July and won first second and third prizes!
• Sally's walks - monthly local walks, recently around Pembury visiting churches en route and Lamberhurst, stopping halfway for tea and cake at Scotney Castle.
• Our Matfield singers performed at Darenth Music Fest in October. We are now busy practising carols for the Christmas service at Brenchley Church in December.
• We also have a group which plays ten pin bowling, sometimes competing against other local WIs.
• NEW! Mahjong - we are learning how to play at monthly get-togethers from November.
At this year's village fete on 16th July, we again served teas and home-baked cakes from the pavilion, as well as running a plant stall. The money raised helps to contribute to St Luke's Church and the Hospice in the Weald as well as adding to our own funds. We have also become quite famous for our afternoon teas and ploughman's lunches made for visiting groups on several occasions every year.
Each year local WIs are invited to submit entries for the Barratt Cup competition at the Horticultural Society's summer show on Matfield Green. This year, the theme was "A Parcel from Home to Flanders Field" and we won first prize.
Yes, the WI has been going strong since 1915, so last year was our centenary and we celebrated it in style, with some of our members attending a WI Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Two days later, some of us also went to the Royal Albert Hall for a special AGM, opened by the Queen.
We belong to Goudhurst District which consists of eight WIs in the local area. Events are organised so that we meet our neighbouring members. The County Federation has its Headquarters in Pembury and organises conferences, workshops and events on a variety of subjects including craft, sport, home economics, the environment and public affairs. The West Kent Federation page on the WI website can be found here.
The National Federation of Women's Institutes has its website at www.thewi.org.uk. The NFWI runs Denman College ( www.denmancollege.org.uk ) which is the WI's own residential Adult Education College near Oxford. It is a Georgian House set in seventeen acres of beautiful gardens. Courses cover a vast range of subjects and are open to all members.
An enjoyable visit to Matfield House
Celebrating 95 years of Matfield WI at Hadlow Manor - October 2016
For more information contact Amanda on 01892 823280 or Aileen on 01892 722515