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

Are you making any kind of preserves with your autumn produce? If so, it would be great if you could put a few jars aside 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.

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.


Mah-Jong is fun, fast and keeps the brain cells active - something we all need to do! 

Jan Hamilton is hoping some members will be interested in playing Mah-Jong on a regular basis during the winter months. If there are enough people interested she'd be glad to get a new Special Interest Group up and running so please email her on jan@tuffleighhouse.com or speak to Jan or Patsy at a Clifton WI meeting.

This could perhaps run monthly, and it's envisaged that it'd be an afternoon group meeting in a local pub, but Jan would host the initial meeting or two and the potential membership could sort out the details between them.

LIGHT YEARS at the Watershed

We have been invited to a screening of a new feature film which was shot in and around Bristol and stars a local cast mixed with international artists, actors and singers - including Beth Orton in her first acting role.

LIGHT YEARS was made by local BAFTA-winning film maker Esther May Campbell and premiered at the Venice Film Festival. 

Esther recently ran a successful crowdfunding campaign and as a result LIGHT YEARS will now play at the Watershed on Monday - Thursday 26, 27, 28 and 29 September at 1810 each day.

Aware of the difficulties that women can face in the creative arts, and in particular film and television, Esther is keen to invite local WI members to watch the film and has negotiated with the Watershed for a discounted price. All you have to do is inform the box office by phone or in person that you're a member of Clifton WI and you'll get the concession.

Watershed: 0117 927 5100

8 August 2016

Alma Vale Summer Fayre

Thanks to all your many wonderful contributions to our stall in the Artisan Market, Clifton WI made £150 from this event. Home baking and preserving from WI members still has a particular appeal and it was notable how many of our customers stopped by and bought because of the WI reputation. It helped as well that our stall was the most attractive and vibrant one there, according to one customer!

Victoria spent much of the day recruiting in her usual inimitable fashion, and we confidently expect some new visitors as a result.

As for the dog show, our very own Jane Thomas confesses she was in doggy heaven as one of the judges. Jane reports:

Canine Chaos, but many wagging tails, happy owners and dog treats.
Canine comedy with 40 odd dogs all trying to do a quickest sit, and the best dog trick was won by one who could dance on her hind legs, followed by the husky who could woof on demand.
Odd how many people were proud to enter the owner who looks most like their dog! (AND THEY DID!!!)

August meeting - Wednesday 31st

Traditionally our August meeting is a social with "home-grown" activity or entertainment, and this year our programme co-ordinator Jill is presenting a quiz with a difference. Rumour has it there might be silly drawings involved, and pubs, and pasta. Do we know anything about pubs and pasta? We'll see!

These August meetings are great for getting to know other members, as we're in small teams around tables and there's more time to chat properly. It's a good opportunity for new members to integrate and for visitors who might be thinking of joining to get the feel of Clifton WI.

Nordic Walking

Our summer meeting was quite a novelty and over 30 members enjoyed Nordic Walking tuition from Bristol Nordic Walking and then a short walk on the Downs, before joining the hardcore (sorry, the key committee members who'd nobly foregone the exercise in order to meet and greet the returning walkers) in the Kings Arms.

It was a lovely evening and we ended up taking over half of the roof terrace in the sunset while we had a very relaxed and enjoyable social time.

14 July 2016

Light Years at the Watershed

One hot summer’s day, Rose (newcomer Zamira Fuller) longs to see her mum (Beth Orton) but nobody will take her.  Her father (Muhammet Uzuner), struggling to cope, disappears to work, her sister (Sophie Burton) waits to meet a boy on the local golf course and her brother (James Stuckey) is preoccupied at home communing with spirits online.
Taking destiny into her own hands she sets off alone deep into England’s forgotten edge lands to reach her.  Rose’s odyssey provokes her disconnected, fractured siblings and parents into a poignant reunion to face their challenges together.

Clifton WI has been asked to help support women in UK film-making by publicising a crowd-funding project. Light Years, made by independent film company Third Films, is directed by BAFTA award-winning film maker and photographer Esther May Campbell and features the acting debut of acclaimed singer/songwriter Beth Orton.

It is planned to show the film at the Watershed on Saturday 24 September, and in order to make this happen the promoters are seeking pledges of £12 for a ticket.

More details here - please read and pledge!

13 July 2016

Nordic Walking 27 July

Just two weeks till our next Clifton WI event, which offers an excellent opportunity to try out Nordic walking with a beginners' lesson amongst friends, led by the experts!
If you can walk, you can Nordic walk - but Nordic walking increases your fitness levels far, far more than 'ordinary' walking and not only burns lots more calories but will tone your entire body, especially waist and triceps, so what's not to like?
To ensure there are enough instructors and poles for everybody we do need numbers by Monday morning 25 July, so it's important that you let us know by emailing cliftonwi@gmail.com if you haven't already put your name down at a Clifton WI meeting.
For more information go to http://www.bristolnordicwalking.co.uk/nordic-walking/benefits

Walkers meet near Cafe Retreat on the Downs (just beyond the water tower) and tuition will start promptly at 7.30pm. If you're not walking you can join us at the King's Arms any time from 8pm for a social evening, and the walkers will join us later on.

11 July 2016

Durdham Downs Group meeting TOMORROW EVENING

There's room for a couple more from Clifton WI at the Bowls and Bakes event which Gloucester Road WI are hosting tomorrow evening from 7pm. Entry is £3 and it takes place at the St Andrews Bowling Club on Derby Road, which leads off Sommerville Road near the top corner of St Andrews Park.

You can buy tasting tokens and vote on your favourite entry - categories include several types of cake and bread, biscuits and pies, so what a great chance to try out some new flavours ... and isn't it always true that somebody else's home cooking is such a treat! (Plus I've heard a rumour of Pimm's ...)

Meanwhile you can lose a few of those cake-induced calories by trying out lawn bowls, tutored by the experts at St Andrews Bowling Club. You must wear flat shoes (or bare feet?) though!

Clifton WI monthly e-newsletter

The monthly e-newsletter is emailed to all current members, last year's members and visitors from this year and last year. We've had a number bounce back from the last mailing though, so if you think you should have received a newsletter but can't remember seeing it, please update your email address in an email to thecliftonwi@gmail.com

The newsletter is normally sent out the weekend before each meeting of Clifton WI and even if you're just looking at this website and haven't yet visited us, we'd be very glad to send you a copy so just let us have your contact details and we'll put you on the mailing list and hope that one day you'll come to one of our meetings!

No email addresses are ever passed on to anybody, and it's pretty rare that we'd send you more than the one email a month with the newsletter attached.

1 July 2016

July meeting

Our next meeting is an introduction to Nordic Walking. We've been taking names at the last two meetings but if you're not yet on the list would you please email and let us know you'd like to join in so we can ensure there are enough poles and instructors.

Walkers will meet at 7.30 on Wednesday 27 July outside Cafe Retreat, near the Water Tower.

After instruction and a short test walk on the Downs, we'll be quenching our thirst at the King's Arms on Blackboy Hill.

However, if you would rather just enjoy a social evening without the effort of Nordic Walking then Lorna and others will be waiting in the pub from about 8pm.


Bee thoughtful!

Bees are under threat, but their main problem in the urban environment is not colony die-back or the varroa mite, but starvation! This is what Clifton WI learnt from David Maslin of Bristol Beekeepers, who gave a funny, idiosyncratic and hugely informative illustrated talk. David explained that the increase in urban beekeeping had exacerbated an acute shortage of food sources lost to development, but we can help them by sowing wildflowers wherever we can find space. Surprisingly, it also seems that bees cannot access the nectar in many modern hybrid garden flowers, so very often we're not helping them as we think we are.
We also learnt that bees like blue flowers best, followed by yellow and white, but they do not see the colour red very well so they aren't attracted to red blooms.

26 June 2016

June meeting, Wednesday 29th

Learn all about bees - what makes them buzz, what threatens them and how you can help them. Buzz over to the "next meeting" tab for full details.

Durdham Downs Group

Durdham Downs Group events are a wonderful way to have fun and meet other like-minded women from different parts of our wonderful city, so whether you're a newcomer or have lived here all your life it's guaranteed that you'll make some new friends. What are you waiting for? Head over to the DDG tab to find out what's on offer for Clifton WI and our sister groups in the DDG.

23 May 2016

Women in Art at the National Gallery - Friday 25 November 11-3.30

NFWI have arranged a special visit to the National Gallery on the theme of Women in Art. Experts from the Gallery will cover a number of topics throughout the day. The cost is £18 and tickets are selling fast - speak to Paulene for further details or email Clifton WI.

21 May 2016

Durdham Down Group events

DDG have several great events coming up - click on the Durdham Downs Group tab for posters and full details.

Lorna needs YOU to put your name forward to play in the Clifton team - please speak to her at the next meeting or email her as soon as possible on lmtarr@hotmail.com

Gloucester Road WI are hosting a full evening's entertainment at St Andrews Bowling Club, where you can try your hand at bowls (with tuition if you need it) AND taste the entries for the baking competition and vote for the winners!  You can also enter one of several baking categories if you wish. Full details and poster over on the DDG page of this website.

House of Fraser invite all Durdham Down members to an "Autumn and Winter Wardrobe" event on Tuesday 27th September 2016 from 6 to 8 pm. This event is free but tickets are limited so there will be a ballot for Clifton WI members who wish to attend. Please let Lorna know if you wish to go.

20 May 2016

Alma Fair - Sunday 24 July

For the first time, Clifton WI will have a presence at the 2016 Alma Fair. We'll have a stall selling home baking and produce of all kinds, and we'll be grateful for any contributions you can make - baking, jams and chutneys, plants and seedlings, surplus garden produce (tomatoes? courgettes? Always either a failure or a glut!)

We would welcome volunteers to man the stall and the organisers, the Alma Tavern, are also looking for stewards (apparently you get a free drink in exchange for helping for an hour or two!)

Nearer the time we'll arrange a delivery point for your contributions but meanwhile if you can help, either as a general steward for the Alma Tavern or behind the WI table, do please let us know now. New members in particular will find it's a great way to meet lots of others!


David Maslen, President of Bristol Beekeeping Association

Bees have never been so threatened and their preservation has become of international importance. David Maslen will be telling us all about these miraculous little creatures.

24 April 2016

Clifton WI - Vacancy for Secretary

Lorna is still wearing two (or more) hats and is looking for somebody to wear her Clifton WI Secretary's hat! It's very fetching, one-size and easy to accessorise ... !

Please scroll down to a few posts ago for details.

At our next meeting the balloon will be going up!

Don't miss our very special and exciting speaker for this month - we are excited to be meeting Allie Dunnington, who will be telling us about her life in the world of hot-air balloons. Allie and Phil Dunnington run a niche company specialising in international filming from the unique perspective of a hot-air balloon, which comes into its own with wildlife filming and you will surely have seen TV footage filmed by Allie and Phil and their team.

As well as film-making, training balloon pilots and running adventure tours, their company, Gone With The Wind, is a consultancy on commercial ballooning operations and public events. This is going to be a fascinating and unusual evening - don't miss it!


Looking forward to seeing you - and you're more than welcome to bring a female friend along!

15 April 2016

WIRed (W I Redfield) - invitation to their meeting next Wednesday, 20 April

We've had a message from one of our fellow Durdham Down Group members, WIRed:

We would like to invite any of the  group members over next week to our meeting as we have a special speaker. 
Wednesday 20th April 7.45 st St George Community Centre. Our speaker is Ann Holloway, published poet, author and community activist originally from Bath.

It would be great if any of you could join us. You can find out more about Ann here

 And the venue here

29 March 2016


The 2016 May Walkfest, sponsored by the City Council, is launched on Thursday 28 April with a "compass walk" - four walking routes of about 10 miles each from four "corners" of the city, converging on the City Centre. Walkers can join the routes at any point - eg Cafe Retreat on The Downs at 3pm, or Redland Parish Church at 4pm -  and a general intro and info "reception" for everybody will be held at the Centre from 5 to 7.30pm

The May Walkfest features over 150 guided walks all over the city, all of which are bookable and most free of charge, but many fill up well in advance so don't leave it too late. The programme is scheduled to go online at the end of March, and leaflets will be available in libraries and information centres in early April.