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.

January re-gifting raffle

Recycling is the buzz word, and I bet we've all received something over Christmas that secretly we would be happy to part with ... well don't leave it hanging about and getting in your way, bring it to the January meeting for the raffle! It's sure to be just the right colour/size/perfume/ flavour for somebody else!

15 January 2017

New handbag for Spring?

In March we'll be having a talk on millinery, and our fundraising activity will be a handbag and scarf sale. So if you're treating yourself to a new handbag for spring or adding to your scarf collection for a change of accessories, please weed out any handbags or scarves that you no longer wear and bring them along to the March meeting. Or indeed you could wait till then and buy your new accessories at a very reasonable price from the 'pre-loved' accessories table! Better still, both! - buy some new, donate your old and then buy some new-to-you as well! That way you get double the accessories AND help raise funds for Clifton WI.

26 December 2016

Re-gifting with Clifton WI

Very few people can get it right all the time, and maybe somebody has very kindly given you a present that isn't really 'you'. Perhaps the colour doesn't suit you, or you aren't too keen on the perfume, or you're trying to give up eating chocolates ... whatever it is, please put it aside for the upcoming "re-gifting stall" at Clifton WI. Bring something that's not quite right and go home with something that you love!

More details later: meanwhile, a happy new year to all!

20 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

Very best wishes to all members and potential members and their loved ones from Clifton WI. We hope you have a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year filled with the friendship, interest and fun that WI brings.

6 December 2016


What a brilliant success! £181 was the final figure for Clifton WI funds, and our thanks go to Sally Meadows and Gill Gardiner who set up and ran the stall, and to every single member who helped or contributed in any way.

The money goes into our account to help towards paying for speakers and general running expenses, and at the end of the year the surplus is donated to our chosen charity. Well done everybody.

2 December 2016

MS Study participants wanted

We've received the following request from Bryony Bennett-Lloyd at The University of Bristol Clinical Research and Imaging Centre (CRIC) who seeks to recruit female volunteers. Several members at the November meeting were interested, and if you'd like to be part of this study please arrange things direct with the University department as requested below.

"We are doing a brain imaging study to look at the parts of the brain involved in attention and fatigue. Our aim is to find an objective and quantitative measurement of fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis, therefore improving diagnosis and clinical care for MS patients suffering from fatigue.

"We are recruiting female healthy volunteers in or near the South West to participate in our non-interventional study and wondered if your members might be interested or might know people who would be.The participants we require are females, ideally aged between 45 and 70.

"The study would involve lying in an MRI scanner for 55-60 minutes and having your brain scanned whilst you do a simple attention task. Travel expenses will be covered by the research team, and the study has been fully ethically approved.

"For those who meet the criteria and are interested in taking part in our study please email cv13365@bristol.ac.uk or call 0117 342 1505 for further information."

Clifton WI Charity Donation for 2016

The three charities shortlisted were:

SARSAS (Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support) - SARSAS.org.uk

Bristol & District Tranquilliser Project  http://www.btpinfo.org.uk/

Hartcliffe Youth Project  http://www.southbristolyouth.org.uk/hartcliffecyp

Members present at the November meeting voted overwhelmingly to donate our £500 operating surplus from the past year's accounts to the Hartcliffe Youth Project.

1 December 2016


Grateful thanks to all those who brought lovely home-made goodies to last night's meeting, and we'd just like to remind you that we still need lots of freshly-baked deliciousness for Sunday. So please, please, get baking on Saturday if you can - muffins, biscuits, fruit cakes, Victoria sandwich, brownies, whatever you love to make. Christmas cakes, puddings and edible decorations, of course - or how about a little box of gorgeous truffles from the recipe in the new post below? WI baking is always in huge demand, so we can sell as much as you can bring us!

We'll be setting up from 10am on Royal York Crescent (our stall is opposite no. 20 RYC) so please bring your contributions there between 10 and 12.

If you can't bring your goodies on Sunday please email Sally who can arrange for alternative delivery.

All profits from the whole year's fundraising (after our operating expenses are paid) are given at the end of the year to a local charity that you, the members, vote for. Next time it could be your pet charity so please give generously!

Last night's meeting - origami boxes - and chocolate truffles to put inside!

We had a lovely crafty time at Clifton WI last evening with guest speaker Judith Laing, who had set up a display of her jaw-droppingly intricate and lifelike origami sculptures and gave us a brief talk about how her hobby began a good many years ago, and more lately turned into a business when she was made redundant from her 'day job'. Since then she's travelled the world to give demonstrations and tuition, including an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii!

Judith then provided us with the materials and guided us in making our own simple origami objects - a Christmas tree, a six-pointed star and a little presentation box. She suggested the box could be filled with treats as a small gift, and lo! as if by magic brand new member Marianne Stewart, a professional pastry chef and cookery teacher, kindly gave the following recipe.

Chocolate truffles:
makes approx 50. 

300g double cream 
300g dark chocolate (ideally 60% cocoa)
1tsp honey or glucose 
optional flavouring: 1tb alcohol e.g. Brandy, Cointreau, Rum, 1/2 vanilla pod split in 2, zest of 1 orange

1. Chop the chocolate roughly & place in a heatproof bowl. Warm slightly in microwave (this helps prevent truffle mix from splitting) - it doesn't have to be completely melted.

2. Heat the cream and honey/glucose (and vanilla or orange zest if using) until boiling point. 

3. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. (Strain if you added vanilla or orange zest). Shake the bowl so the cream covers all the chocolate evenly and let it sit for 1 minute. 

4. Stir the mixture together gently using a balloon whisk until the chocolate and cream are evenly mixed. If adding alcohol, stir it in at the end. 

5. Tap the bowl to release any air bubbles and cover the surface with cling film. Let cool then chill in the fridge until firm (around 1 hour).

6. Use a teaspoon or melon baller to scoop out large teaspoons of the mix and roll into balls before dusting with cocoa powder. Or melt a little dark chocolate and using food gloves roll each truffle with the dark chocolate to coat. Let set on baking parchment. 

7. Truffles should keep in a cool dark place for up to 2 weeks. Can also be refrigerated but check they are in a well sealed container so they don't absorb other flavours. 

27 November 2016


The resolutions for 2017 are published in the current issue of WI Life (pages 43 - 45) and via this link

Every WI member is invited to vote for the resolutions they wish to have shortlisted for presentation at the next AGM, and a vote will be taken at the January meeting which is then submitted as the Clifton response to add to the Avon Federation of WIs.  

Before the January meeting, please look at the Resolutions, complete the voting form on page 45 of WI Life and bring it with you to the meeting.

November meeting - Origami and charity selection

Lots to get through, so we'll be starting a bit earlier to fit it all in. Please arrive by 7.30 if you possibly can - and don't forget to bring scissors for the origami workshop with Judith Laing. Click on the "next meeting" tab for more information about Judith's talk and a link to some fabulous photos of her incredible origami.

Before Judith's demonstration, however, you will receive a very brief introduction to the three charities shortlisted by the Committee to receive our donation from Clifton WI's surplus funds from the past year.

21 November 2016

Royal York Crescent Christmas Fayre Sunday 4 December

A reminder that we're running a stall at the brilliant RYC Christmas Fair, selling home-made goodies of all kinds. This is such a great festive event with lots to do, see and buy - and this year it'll be bigger than ever, with several choirs performing Christmas music and a fun dog show.

We welcome donations of all kinds of home baking - cakes, biscuits, mince pies, Christmas cakes or puddings, edible tree decorations - or jams, chutneys, mincemeat, brandy butter, Christmas crafts - even a prettily-tied bunch of holly or mistletoe from your garden. It'll all add to the festive home-made goodies on offer and raise funds for Clifton WI and our chosen charity for 2017.

Please bring any non-perishable donations to the next WI meeting on Wednesday 30 November, or if you can't make the meeting - or if you're kindly doing some fresh baking - then you can just bring your goodies along on Sunday morning - Sally and Gill will be setting up from 10am and the fair opens at 11. You'll find our stall opposite no. 20 Royal York Crescent.

If you have a problem getting your donations to us either on Wednesday or Sunday, please email thecliftonwi@gmail.com and Sally or Gill will get back to you to arrange an alternative.

It would be hugely helpful if you could bring your donations in cardboard boxes or other disposable packaging but if this isn't feasible then any tins or other containers you leave with us can be collected at the January meeting.

9 November 2016

Change of Address and WI Life

If you move house, don't forget to let us know your new address by emailing thecliftonwi@gmail.com - otherwise you'll miss out on your monthly copy of WI Life.

24 October 2016

Meeting this week

Do you drink wine? If so, are you QUITE sure you have enough wine glasses to take you through the festive season?

No? Well your luck is in because we have a surplus of wine glasses to dispose of so at Wednesday's meeting you can buy a box of four John Lewis Basic wine glasses for just £2.

Also, don't forget that Christmas party tickets will be available so please bring £15 cash or cheque (payable to Clifton WI).

Lastly, Lorna will be collecting donations to make up hospital/prison packs for the One25 project, so please think about what a difference you can make to women who are trying to get off the streets in Bristol. The following items are needed to make up each pack:

Items for hospital and prison packs

(new items only in sizes 6-16, individual items or made-up packs)

Prison pack: pyjamas, two tops and leggings, a pack of 1st class stamps, 3x knickers, 2 pairs of socks
Hospital pack: pyjamas, two tops and leggings, slippers and a wellbeing item i.e. wordsearch puzzle, colouring book and pens etc.

11 October 2016

October Meeting

October is the month for our Annual Meeting, and as you'll know if you're a longstanding member our AM is legendary for its brevity! This does, however, depend on everybody taking a little time to read through the Annual Report and look at the Financial Report which our Treasurers have so diligently and expertly prepared, and which will be emailed to all members at least a week beforehand.

If you have any queries at all about either of these reports please, please email cliftonwi@gmail.com or speak to a committee member WELL BEFORE 26 OCTOBER so that somebody can answer your question in advance.

As soon as the business is over and glasses have been recharged, we have a treat in store with a singing workshop led by Ian Towers.

Full details are under the "next meeting" tab - hop over and check out Ian's credentials!

Christmas Party

Lots of you have already put your names down for the Clifton WI Christmas Party at Channings on Wednesday 14th December, so please remember to bring your £15 to the October meeting to receive your ticket and confirm your place.

If you wish to bring anybody, you're most welcome to do so - as long as they're of the female persuasion - the more the merrier!

25 September 2016

One25 - Step Away from the Streets

One25 is a Bristol charity which helps women to leave sex work. One of the many ways we can help them is by donating complete or partial hospital or prison packs, comprising a specific list of items which you will find here.

Lorna will be collecting donations at the October meeting so if you'd like to help this highly-valued charity you have a month to collect the items they request. If you can donate a complete pack, please bag and label it accordingly - maybe you could get together with one or two friends and assemble a pack between you? Otherwise, individual items will be gratefully received for One25 to make up packs.


Royal York Christmas Fayre - Sunday 4 December

Are you making any kind of preserves with your autumn produce, or are you about to make mincemeat or Christmas cakes or puddings? If so, it would be great if you could make extra for the Clifton WI stall at the Royal York Christmas Fayre in early December. Last year this was a big success both financially and in publicising Clifton WI and we gained several new members early in the new year, so we'll be running a stall there again this year selling all kinds of home-made baking and preserves.

The WI ethos of home baking and preserves still counts for a lot, and people couldn't get enough of our lovely home-made provisions at the last two fetes, so we'll be counting on your generosity in the run-up to Christmas to pile our stall high!

But not everybody loves to bake or make preserves, so if cooking isn't your thing, then don't be shy - come and buy!

18 September 2016

Theatre Group

Grateful thanks to Jane Golding for starting the Theatre Group several years ago now, and for running it ever since with calm efficiency. Jane has now retired from this role and passed the baton (usherette's torch?) to Paulene Denyer.

If you have any ideas about future theatre visits Paulene would love to hear from you. Meanwhile, three new Hippodrome shows are on the horizon:

The Commitment - featuring over 20 classic soul hits (February 2017)
Sunny Afternoon - memories of The Kinks in their heyday! (March 2017)
Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes (April 2017)

If you're already a member of the Theatre Group you'll have received details directly from Paulene, and if you would like to be then you need to email her without delay on psdenyer@gmail.com.

See under the Special Interest Groups tab for contact details of the other groups' organisers.

Bristol Fashion Week

Would you like to join other Clifton WI members and attend a catwalk show at Bristol Fashion Week? The event runs from 28 September to 2 October at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, and you're invited to meet up for the 6pm show on Friday 30 September. Tickets cost £8.95 and can be booked online here

The catwalk shows last 45 minutes and M&S are sponsoring goody bags and refreshments on arrival. If you'd like to go, please book your own ticket and let Barbara Quin know by emailing her on barbaraquin@email.com 

Barbara will wait at the fountain in the central atrium from 5pm and will need to know who's turning up, then the plan is to join the queue by 5.40 as recommended, and go in together. Afterwards if you don't need to hurry home you may wish to browse the new trends in the shops.