25 March 2018

Clothing from recycled materials

Our speaker at our March meeting is Linda Thomas who will explain how she uses recycled materials in the designs she makes.

Have a look at her website and this blog to see what she makes from her Bristol base.

25 November 2017

NY Times
January 2018 is a time for resolutions and not just those related to eating well.  

WI resolutions should reflect the view of Clifton Members by the end of this month.
The shortlist of resolutions will need to be voted on at the January meeting on the 31st or by posting the voting slip in your copy of WI Life directly to the NFWI.

Here is the shortlist as a reminder:

1.         Positive body image in a digital age
This meeting urges every WI and the NFWI to campaign to ensure that government and the media industry promote healthy body images and ensure diversity is represented in the media.
2.        Stop female genital mutilation
Almost 200,000 women and girls in England and Wales are affected by or threatened with the risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). This figure rises to 200 million worldwide. FGM is illegal in the UK, but it is still happening. We urge the NFWI to use its collective voice and influence to raise wider awareness of the traumatic health consequences of FGM and support and partner with agencies that are working to end this practice in the UK and worldwide.
3.        Raising awareness of modern slavery in the UK
Modern slavery affects thousands of people in the UK every year, and leaves them facing servitude, forced or compulsory labour, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. This meeting calls on every WI and the NFWI to raise awareness of this important issue and to lobby for more effective support for the physical and psychological health of victims of this crime.
4.        Mental health matters
Mental health matters as much as physical health. The NFWI urges all WI members to recognise the importance of parity between mental health and physical health, and take action to make it as acceptable to talk about mental health issues as much as physical health issues, and to lobby government for better support for mental illness.
5.        Healthier Mouth, Healthier Body

Health research suggests that there is a link between gum health and serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and even dementia. The NFWI calls upon the government to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and the impact that it can have in preventing life changing acute and chronic health conditions.

Clifton WI have been asked to highlight these messages from good causes we have supported in 2017

The Marmalade Trust - 'challenging loneliness, one spoon at a time'

On Christmas Day local Bristol charity, Marmalade Trust, invites older people who are on their own to join them in restaurants in Bristol and South Glos for a free festive lunch. Every guest is made to feel very welcome and part of their own Marmalade family. 

They will be collected from their home by a Marmalade volunteer who will drive them safely to and from the restaurant, accompany them inside and introduce them to the other guests. The groups are kept small and everyone is very friendly.

Marmalade Trust want to highlight this opportunity whilst also seeking volunteers to assist on Christmas Day.  For further details: https://marmaladetrust.org/

SS Great Britain - Being Brunel

As you may be aware  a new national museum, Being Brunel, will be opening alongside the ss Great Britain at the end of March next year. 

 The new museum will be based in redeveloped, previously derelict, 20th century buildings on the water front including Brunel's original drawing office. Being Brunel has been designed to be interesting, engaging and fun. 

The SS Great Britain Trust needs around 80 volunteers to bring it alive, hence this message to Clifton WI members.  For further details:

24 November 2017

Christmas is just around the corner - some dates for your diary

November Meeting, Alma Church Hall Weds 29th November at 7.30

Louise Bastow from Best of the Bunch will be showing us how to make a table floral decoration at our next meeting on Weds November 29th. She has kindly agreed to donate the decoration as a raffle prize to help with our fundraising.  If you would like to have a go at home she will have some of the necessary supplies for sale to help you.

Clifton WI Christmas Party December 20th 7.30 at Channings Hotel, Pembroke Road 

This is instead of a monthly meeting in December, we had a great time last year so decided to give it another try. Tickets (£15.00) are only available in advance for our annual party and you are welcome to bring female friends to see what we get up to when we are being festive!  

Clifton WI at Royal York Crescent Christmas Fair Saturday December 2nd

We are repeating our stall selling home made baked goods and preserves plus other festive goodies at this event.  We would welcome contributions for any of you either at the fair on Sat 2nd or at the meeting on Weds 29th November.  Come along and say hello it would be good to see you.

Other local WIs

Westbury Park WI are supporting the Westbury Park Christmas Charity Concert on 9th December at St Alban's Church by providing cakes

18 October 2017

Crafty appeal for the Bristol Heart Institute - make a heart, save a heart!

We've received this appeal from Above & Beyond, the charity for Bristol  city centre hospitals:

The BHI Appeal is a new campaign looking to raise £830,000 for vital equipment and facilities across the Bristol Heart Institute, making a real difference to the 40,000 patients treated at the hospital every year.

As part of this Appeal we will be holding a BHI ‘Yarnbomb’ in February 2018 and are looking for lovely crafters  to knit / crochet hearts of any colour (the more bright and beautiful the better, and a great excuse to use up odds and ends in your yarn stash!). The hearts need to be about 4-5 inches in width but apart from that feel free to be as creative as you like!

There's a wealth of inspiration here with links to crochet and knitting patterns so please take a look, get inspired, and get creative!

In February, we will be hanging the hearts from the trees in the Heart Institute Atrium and people will be able to make a donation to hang a heart with a message of love, support, hope, remembrance or thanks.


9 September 2017

Your WI needs you!

Keeping a fresh approach is important to us at Clifton WI and we actively seek at least a couple of new committee members each year. Committee meetings are relaxed social occasions hosted once a month by a volunteer committee member (but nobody is expected to host and there's no pressure at all if it doesn't suit a member for any reason).

As a committee member you have the opportunity to help shape Clifton WI and make it what you want it to be. None of the duties are onerous, and helping to make the monthly meetings run  smoothly gives a heightened sense of involvement and belonging - not to mention more contact with all the members.

We are looking to form a small subgroup to help us celebrate in style for our 10th anniversary in August 2018.  Please talk to any of the committee for further information or send us an email thecliftonwi@gmail.com 

Autumn bounty?

If you're making jams or chutneys this season please set aside a jar or two for our stall at the Royal York Christmas Fair. We're operating a jam-jar collection and distribution so please bring any spare jars to any meeting, or indeed take some away to fill with lovely preserves for Clifton WI.

The Christmas Fair is a very lively and entertaining event and it's held in our heartland so we do have a pretty high profile here and we need all the goodies we can lay our hands on - but whatever it is, it MUST be home-made in keeping with the WI tradition.

23 August 2017

Cookbooks wanted

At the September meeting we'll be having a cookery book sale, so if you need to make space on your kitchen bookshelf for all that gorgeous food porn you can't resist adding, or if you've been given recipe books that aren't really for your sort of food, this is your chance to de-clutter!

Please put any cookbooks aside to bring to the September meeting. Thank you.

21 August 2017

August meeting Wednesday 30th

As always in the silly season, our August meeting is a relaxed homespun event giving us all time to get to know each other.




We'll be setting aside some time to make the name badges that we'd like to wear at meetings - we're a big group and we think newcomers and longterm members alike will find it helpful for all of us to have reminders. There will be lots of craft materials (and bling!) available so let your competitive streak out over a glass of wine/cup of tea and a chat round the table, and create (or finish off) a badge to wear with pride! It can be plain or fancy, silly or practical - perhaps it will reflect your main interests, your aspirations or your personal style?

Following the name badge competition there's a welcome return to the regular August Team Challenge to continue the theme of fun and friendship.

20 August 2017

Gloucester Road WI's Big Fundraising Quiz

Can we get a Clifton WI quiz team together for the Gloucester Road supper and quiz on Friday 6 October? Ticket price includes a delicious supper at The Station Kitchen, and the bar will be open all evening. This is Gloucester Road's main fundraising event for their charity of the year, The Hive.
There's a poster over in the 'Durdham Downs' section of this website - let's do it!

20 June 2017

Looking ahead with Clifton WI

Our July meeting is, as always, a summer's evening walk followed by drinkies. This year Patsy Rose will lead a half-hour walk entitled "Clifton High Street and other little-known facts".  Afterwards we'll meet at the Port of Call for drinks (and perhaps food if you wish).

August is chill-out month when we have a sociable home-grown meeting and this year we'll have the name badge competition (see recent post) followed by a team challenge, organised by Jane Thomas. For the badges, we'll be providing various craft bits and bobs so we can sit around companionably with a glass of wine (or a cup of tea), gossip and create. If you've already made your badge well then, you'll just have to gossip and drink. Sorry!!

More details on both meetings later.

5 June 2017



On Tuesday 15 August Brislington WI are hosting a fantastic Group Social with a boat tour of the city waterfront - with full commentary - followed by a meal at The Stable near Cascade Steps.

All Durdham Downs Group WI members are invited, but places are limited and it's strictly first come, first served so you're strongly advised to book SOON!

You're welcome to attend either the boat tour or the meal, or both. You'll need to pay in advance for the boat (£10) and pay a deposit of £5 for the meal, which of course will come off your bill at The Stable.

Full details are over on the DDG tab, including how to book and pay your deposit and a link to Brislington WI for queries.

4 June 2017

A volcanic evening!

Dr Carina Fearnley's talk was exceptional! Lots of members and guests turned up to hear Carina's fascinating account of natural disasters from the distant and the more recent past, and how so many factors come together to shape the advance warnings that are given by the authorities all over the world when something's about to blow. Who would have guessed that the traditional folklore in some cultures leads to a much better response to evacuation warnings, or that a city's survival can be jeopardised by a self-important leader who ignores all the advice of the experts? (Actually, scrub that last bit, that's happening right now ... )

Thanks to all the gardening members who brought herbs and flowers, seedlings and plants, gardening books and magazines which found eager buyers for the Clifton WI fundraising effort.

30 May 2017

Calling all badgers!

Clifton WI President’s Competition
30TH AUGUST  2017

What’s in a name?

The WI is all about friendship and the very first step in the journey of getting to know each other and forging lasting friendships is learning each other’s names. This competition is all about this first step.

We invite you to bring your own homemade name badge to our meeting on 30 August. You can use any materials to make the badge. It can be complex or simple; made over weeks or knocked together the night before the meeting; funny or serious; neat and tidy or rough and ready…
The only rules are that it should include the name you wish people to know you by, in easily readable print, and be between a credit card and a mobile phone in size. 

We hope that you will all have a go. If you have no time, we will bring some bits and pieces and you can make something on the night. If you don’t fancy it, that’s fine too. 

There will be a prize of a bottle of fizz 

for the best badge!

Judging will be done by members, using an established WI technique – the silver vote. Bring silver coins with you and then vote by putting silver coins beside the badge or badges you want to do well. A bottle of fizz will be awarded to the maker of the badge which has earned the most!

A prize for the silliest badge, judged by the committee. This will be judged during the evening and the prize will be a free drink at the bar.

All participants will get a free piece of cake!!!!

What’s not to enjoy??????

So get crafting!!!!!

25 May 2017

Has the summer REALLY arrived?

We've had one brief summer already, in early April, but this time let's hope it's here to stay. When you're out in the garden this Bank Holiday weekend, please pot up any surplus plants or seedlings ready to bring them to WI next Wednesday for the sales table!

We'll be welcoming absolutely anything garden-related for sale - ok, perhaps not your old plastic flowerpots! -  so whether you have a surplus of gardening books, a spare trug or a packet of seeds you've had second thoughts about, please bring them along. Or how about a bunch of flowers, some fresh cut herbs or some rhubarb?

20 April 2017

Breast surgery - UWE research programme

We have been asked Georgia Treneman-Evans, who's a research assistant at UWE, to publicise a research programme helping women who have had breast surgery.

"Many women who undergo treatment for breast cancer can feel unhappy with their body and appearance, and this can have a long-lasting negative impact on their daily life, even following recovery. We have developed a group programme to address such concerns and to help women feel more accepting of their bodies following treatment. We are inviting women to attend the programme and offer their feedback."

If you have had breast surgery, or know somebody who has, please follow this link for lots of interesting information.


Next meeting

Hop on over to the "next meeting" tab to see what's happening at Clifton WI on Wednesday 26 April.

19 April 2017

Theatre Group - Romeo and Juliet, English National Ballet

Paulene Denyer reports that there are still two tickets available at £37.00 for English National Ballet's Romeo & Juliet on Thursday 23rd November @ 7.30 at Bristol Hippodrome.  Payment needs to be made at the May WI Meeting.

Please contact Paulene on psdenyer@gmail.com for further info, and note that theatre trips are also open to non-members in order to reach the group discount numbers.

9 April 2017

Quiz Night with WI.RED

WI.RED cordially invites all members of the Durdham Downs to join them at their Quiz Night on Friday May 5th at St George Labour Club, 8.00pm. Tickets are limited and cost £2 per person and available by emailing hellowired@yahoo.co.uk. Come as a team or on your own, we can join you up on the night!

Further details on Clifton WI's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/280788382060890/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED and on the WI.RED page https://www.facebook.com/events/613406965526688/

Pre-loved accessories

Huge thanks to all of you who brought and bought at the last WI meeting! As a result of all your kind donations and purchases Clifton WI funds received a boost of some £90 which will help towards future hall hire and speaker costs. For more information of where your subs go and how Clifton WI is funded, see under the "finance and fundraising" tab.

26 March 2017

March fundraising

As the subject this month is hats, our fundraising takes the form of a sale of pre-loved accessories. We've all got scarves and handbags that still look good but we're just bored with them, or we want to have a different colour pop for the new spring season. Please bring them in and give somebody else an opportunity to love them anew - and help with Clifton WI funds in the process.

Bags, scarves, belts, jewellery - any accessories really except hats, please.

Milliner Tricia Hamilton, our speaker for March, will be bringing a few of her own hand-made creations for sale at specially reduced prices so don't forget your cheque book or purse.

20 February 2017

Mahjong group

The next meeting of the new Mahjong group is on Monday afternoon 27 February at 2pm. They have a nucleus but would very much welcome more members, so if you'd like to give it a try then please speak to Patsy at the meeting this Wednesday, or email her on rosepatsy@hotmail.co.uk for the venue.

19 February 2017

Ideas please!

We haven't had an away-day for a while! Do you have any ideas for an outing of some sort? In the past we've had private guided tours of the Palace of Westminster and a Gloucestershire manor house and visits to galleries and museums.

Obviously we'd be delighted if you'd be willing to organise something, but the main thing is ideas and if you can't commit to making the arrangements we'll find somebody who will take it on. Over to you.

17 February 2017

Wednesday 22 February

Our February meeting will be particularly fascinating - an illustrated talk on the SS Great Britain, her construction, her history, her fate, her famous return to Bristol and her restoration.

Details under the "next meeting" tab.

If you can arrive at 7.30 and help to set up the room for the meeting we'd be very grateful - now we can no longer get in to the hall half an hour beforehand, it's a bit of a rush for the committee to get everything ready.

23 January 2017

Wednesday's meeting - change of speaker

Unfortunately Dr Abigail Fraser has been admitted to hospital and will not be with us on Wednesday. We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to hearing her talk at some time in the future.

Meanwhile we are very grateful indeed to our substitute speaker, who has kindly stepped in at very short notice to give us a talk we've had in mind for a while:


Ken Simpson
The Bristol Pound

We'll have an opportunity to purchase Bristol Pounds 
which Ken will be bringing with him,
together with directories of all the
Bristol shops and businesses
that accept our very own local currency.

17 January 2017

MS research

I'd like to remind you about the appeal we received (see post from 2 December) for volunteers to assist in a study connected with MS research in case you didn't have time to consider it in the busy pre-Christmas period. They're seeking mature healthy women to undergo tests aimed at measuring how performance in simple repetitive cognitive tasks is affected by tiredness.

The whole procedure took a little under 1.5 hours altogether, and the experience was very interesting. I can't pretend that the brain scan was actively enjoyable, but it was OK and the paper tests before and after the scan were quite fun.

Please do consider volunteering - you might well be giving a valuable gift to somebody unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with MS in the future. Thank you.