East Sussex Federation

Buxted WI

Where we meet

Reading Room, Church Road, Buxted, TN22 4LL

When to come along

1st Thursday of every month at 2.00 pm.

What we do

We are a friendly group of ladies from in and around Buxted. We currently have approximately 40 members. During our monthly meeting we usually have two competitions: 1) please see the current programme for details, 2) “Flower of the Month” – members vote for their choice by placing a coin by their chosen flower entry. Proceeds go to ACWW. We also have a Craft Group which usually meets every 1st Wednesday morning 10 – 12; a Quilting Group which usually meets every 2nd Monday at 14.00; a Book Group which usually meets every 3rd Thursday afternoon 2.30 – 4.30 and a Garden Group which usually meets every last Friday morning 10.30 – 12.30, (no meetings during the winter months). We are part of the Uckfield WI group. We occasionally organise outings to the theatre and local places of interest. We always welcome visitors and new members.

President – Hilary Quinn

Secretary – Kirsten Brown

Buxted WI meetings
11 January 2018Our Own Programme
Secret Auction
1 FebruaryWhat Makes a Superstar?
Simon Mott
1 MarchCentenary Meeting
Our own very special programme from 1pm
14 MarchCentenary Cream Tea
2.30 for 3.00 Horsted Place
5 AprilVictoria Palace Theatre, London
Dean Caston
10 MayResolutions and Cream Tea 12.30pm for 1pm
7 JuneRomania in the 1970s
Sue Nichols
5 JulyKent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance
Lucy Bird
2 AugustThe Bounteous Bees of Buxted
Peter Coxon
6 SeptemberBecoming a Writer - its Pleasures & Pitfalls
Helen Stockton
4 OctoberFlanders' Fields
Melanie Gibson-Barton
1 NovemberAnnual Meeting
Sale for Christmas
6 DecemberSeasonal Harp Music
Margaret Watson



Members making their way to the Buxted Reading Room for our second meeting of the year were pleasantly surprised that after all the recent bad weather this Thursday afternoon was not too cold and not too wet and windy. After being welcomed by President Hilary Quinn who gave us some news and information our Secretary Rowena Davies informed us of the forthcoming exhibitions and craft workshops, outings etc., that members could find useful. Birthday cards were given out to Adrienne Roles, June Vacher and Murial Brooker.

Hilary then introduced our Guest Speaker for the afternoon who told us all about the wonderful work done at The Chailey Heritage Foundation. Started in 1903 by Dame Grace Kimmins from Lewes to care for boys suffering with TB, Malnutrition and Rickets etc. It has grown into the wonderful establishment it is today renowned worldwide for the dedicated care they give to all children aged 3 to 19yrs who suffer with complex physical disabilities including visual and hearing impairments and associated learning difficulties. We watched a film and photographs from the archives showing the expansion of the buildings over the years and the work done during the First World War to soldiers returning from France with lost limbs. Also catered for were babies who were sole survivors of the London Blitz. It was truly inspirational and humbling to hear about the incredible work that goes on just a few miles from where we live here in Sussex. Rowena thanked our speaker very much for coming.

The Competition winners this month were Rowena Davies, June Vacher and Hilary Quinn. The Flower of the Month was won by Kirsten Brown, Hilary Quinn and Sandra Hatswell. The Craft Group meet every 1st Wednesday. The Quilting Group meet every 2nd Monday. The Book Group meet every 3rd Thursday and The Garden Group every last Friday. The next meeting of the WI will be in the Buxted Reading Room on Thursday March 2nd 2017 at 2pm. Our Guest Speaker is David Bramwell with a talk entitled The Trickster – an Explanation of April Fools’ Day. The Competition will be A Short Written Joke.

Autumn has arrived! We have enjoyed a beautiful late Summer with lots of lovely sunshine, now we turn to leaves tumbling from the trees, beautiful autumnal shades, chilly nights and evenings by the ‘Tele’! But we Brits are used to it and take it all in our stride. Our members refreshed from their holidays, made their way to Buxted Reading Room for our October meeting and were welcomed by Secretary Rowena Davies who gave us all the latest news and information about forthcoming events, outings, workshops etc.

Our Guest Speaker had unfortunately had to cancel due to needing to attend a funeral, so a sigh of disappointment went around the room! However, this was very short lived as we were introduced to a lady speaker who had valiantly stepped in at the last minute to come to talk to us. Wow! And did she talk to us!!!! Juliette Rinkle was a ‘tour de force’, she entered the room at an alarming speed, a small, cheerful, and extremely smiley lady dressed in full Nurse’s uniform worn in Hospitals in the 1950/60’s. She has had a career in nursing and became a very competent Theatre Sister helping save many a life. She told us of the strict training she had to go through in the early 60’s at Liverpool Royal Infirmary and London Hospitals and as Nurse Figgis (as she was in those days) she told us how hard she found it, as there were many strict rules to obey! And it was a 4-year training to become a qualified Nurse. She has an amazing sense of humour and told us many funny stories. Her talk was a joy and very much enjoyed by all of us.

After Juliette had rushed off to have her ‘Flu jab’ we all relaxed with a cup of tea and birthday cards were given out to Evelyn Smith and Pauline Bonner. The Flower of the Month competition was won by Hilary Quinn with Helen Reynolds coming second and Sheena Mickelburgh in third place together with Sandra Hatswell. The Competition this month was won by Hilary Quinn, second Jackie Fowler and third Sandra Hatswell.

It was the most lovely sunny afternoon, the first day of Autumn, when we met in the Buxted Reading Room for our September meeting. We were welcomed by Ann Tricker, Joint President and stood to sing Jerusalem in which we were joined with great gusto by our Guest speaker for the afternoon, Mr. Brian Braby.

Apologies for absence were given by our other Joint President, Hilary Quinn. Kath Warner then gave out the only Birthday card for the month to Sharon Mell as well as a belated one for Jackie Fowler who had celebrated a special one in July! Sandra Hatswell gave details of the Group Coffee Morning to be held at the Luxford Centre on Saturday 8th October between 10 and 12am to raise funds for the Carol Service.

After which Secretary Rowena Davies gave out notices, drawing members attention in particular to events and workshops to be held in the run up to Christmas. The Book group are in need of bigger premises so after September’s meeting they will meet in the Methodist Hall. Ann Tricker then introduced our speaker.

Mr Braby gave an illustrated and very detailed talk on Hops, Oast Houses and Sussex Breweries, tracing the origins of beer from as far back as 6000 BC, the beer brewing process and the importance of hops, particularly to our local area where harvest time became a ‘holiday’ for Londoners. We learnt about Real Ale, the rise of micro-breweries and now know that it is the female flower of the hop plant that is used in brewing!

The Competition, an item of Pub Memorabilia, was won by Sandra Hatswell with 2nd Evelyn Smith and 3rd Rowena Davies. The Flower of the Month was also won by Sandra Hatswell with 2nd Rowena Davies and in joint 3rd place Kirsten Brown and Sheena Mickelburgh.

The Quilting Group meet every 2nd Monday in the month at 2pm, Craft Group every 1st Wednesday at 10am, Book Group every 3rd Thursday at 2 30pm and the Gardening Group every last Friday at 10 30am.

Our members all gathered in the Buxted Reading Room for the August Meeting. Summer outings and holidays behind them there was much to discuss and as this month’s meeting was ‘Our own Programme’ and there was also a Jewellery and Accessories stall it was very busy in the Hall. Our Joint President Hilary Quinn welcomed members old and new, followed by Secretary Rowena Davies who gave out all the notices and information regarding future outings and workshops etc. Birthday cards were given out to Daphne Razzell, Anita Jobling and Mary Mustin. Evelyn Smith read us an extract from her diary dated Thursday 15th October – the night of the ‘Great Storm’ 30years ago! It was a well-documented entry and gave us all an insight and a reminder of the havoc caused on that night. Daphne Knight read us two of Pam Ayres poems which were lovely and very funny! Our competition winners were 1st Anita Jobling 2nd Rowena Davies and 3rd Hilary Quinn. The winners of the Flower of the month were 1st Sheena Mickelburgh 2nd Evelyn Smith with Kirsten Brown, June Vatcher and Rowena Davies sharing 3rd place.

Our Annual Outing – a visit to Rudyard Kipling’s home, Batemans, in Burwash.
The event was organized by Kirsten Brown and Hilary Quinn, two volunteer room guides at Batemans. Kirsten masterminded the organization of the day on our behalf. This involved many tasks: 1) collection and collation of the names of all the ladies who wished to attend, 2) finding out which of us would be willing to be drivers for the day, and matching drivers to passengers, 3) liaising with the staff at Batemans to ensure that our visit would be stress-free for us, and would easily accommodate us in what was likely to be a busy day there for the Batemans house tour, and 4) ensuring we were seated, fed and watered at lunch.
25 of us, including 22 Buxted WI ladies, two guests from Canada and one other guest from Somerset, journeyed there and we all arrived at the allotted meeting hour for Kirsten and Hilary to shepherd us through the entrance gate. The weather remained reasonable for us – cloudy, not too cold, with a few drops of rain – but not enough to dampen our spirits.

Buxted Outing
Buxted Outing

We sat down in the courtyard next to the café to enjoy our lunch, and also participate in our usual natter. We were then separated into two groups to ensure that we moved relatively freely through the rooms on such a busy day. Kirsten and Hilary were our leaders, and founts of wisdom.
Our overwhelming reaction to the house was that it was very much a well-loved family home, and had been a peaceful haven for Rudyard. The gardens were also beautiful. Some of us could not resist spending some money in the shop at the end of the tour.
It was a shame that the eventual rain prevented a visit to the mill, but we were really quite lucky with the weather.
Sincere thanks must go to Kirsten and Hilary for their endeavours.

Early June was cold and windy but this did not deter quite a large number of our members arriving for the monthly meeting in Buxted Reading Room! And by the time it was due to begin everyone was seated and ready to be greeted by our joint President Hilary Quinn. The usual business of the day dealt with, our Secretary Rowena Davies gave us the information regarding outings, workshops and events that members would find interesting. Birthday cards were given out to Rowena Davies, Hilary Quinn, Vi Adams, Audrey Gates and Merle Hammond. Our guest speaker Andy Dinsdale was introduced and his talk which was entitled ‘Beachcombing in the Southeast’ proved to be very interesting. Andy was very enthusiastic and had an amazing knowledge, so with the aid of slides and a large screen he kept us all enthralled for the next hour. The Competition ‘An item found on the Beach’ was won by Sue Ashton with Joyce Ford 2nd and Hilary Quinn 3rd. The Flower of the Month competition was won by Rowena Davies with Kirsten Brown 2nd Joan Buncombe and Evelyn Smith joint 3rd.

THURSDAY 12th MAY 2016
On a gloriously warm and sunny afternoon, Buxted WI met in the Reading Room to discuss our two contenders for the 2016 National Resolution, and to enjoy a ploughman’s lunch together.

Ann Tricker (Joint President) opened the meeting and we sang Jerusalem. Apologies were read out, including those for Hilary Quinn, our other Joint President.

Ann introduced the two Resolutions, the first being “Appropriate Care in Hospitals for People with Dementia” and “Avoid Food Waste, Address Food Poverty”. We discussed each of these in groups over lunch, and were then invited to vote to support or reject each resolution, having been told that this year we had the option of putting forward both if we felt strongly about each of them. There was a unanimous vote in favour of both Resolutions, so our views will be forwarded for the final vote at the Annual Meeting of the WI to be held in Brighton on 11th June.

The Committee was thanked for providing a lovely fresh meal including delicious home made individual cakes to accompany our tea and coffee. A plant sale, judging of our competition of “A Jar of Weeds” which served as table decorations, and our regular Flower of the Month fund-raising event were also undertaken.

Correspondence about courses and workshops was read out by our secretary, Rowena, with further details on the notice board. This included an invitation to join Forest Row WI for a visit to the Hampton Court Flower Show, and the making of 48 Forget-Me-Not brooches done in crochet to support an event being run by the Brighton Dementia & Alzheimer’s Group. Special thanks were extended to Sharon Mell for leading this initiative.

Rowena then presented a brief report on the East Sussex Federation Annual Meeting, held in Eastbourne on 9th April. During this report, Daphne Knight read out the poem she had written for the County Competition entitled “Didn’t We Have Fun………”. This was the winning entry and Daphne had been invited to go up on stage to receive her silver cup and a certificate during the Annual Meeting. Well done, Daphne!

Details were provided for forthcoming meetings of our four groups, Craft, Reading, Quilting and Gardening.

Our “Jar of Weeds” competition was judged by Ann, with first equal place being awarded to Kirsten Brown and Evelyn Smith, and second equal place to Helen Reynolds and Rowena Davies.
First place for Flower of the Month was awarded to Kirsten Brown, with Joyce Ford coming second and Joan Buncombe third.

It was a typical April afternoon of sunshine mixed with blustery showers when we met for our monthly meeting in the Buxted Reading Room.

Having been welcomed by Joint President Hilary Quinn, apologies for absence were given by Joint President Ann Tricker. Birthday cards for both April and May were then given by Kath Warner, our next meeting being a week later than usual because of the local elections. Kath spoke of the poor response to the recent Dabble Day and reminded members that when signing up for any such event, payment needed to be made, even if unable to attend on the day. After which, Secretary Rowena Davies told us of forthcoming courses and workshops, drawing our attention to the new notice board where details of these and other events could be found.

Kirsten Brown spoke of the planned visit to Batemans in the summer before introducing Guest Speaker Gary Enstone from the National Trust at Batemans which was the home of Rudyard Kipling for many years. After some initial technical hiccups and one wonders what Rudyard would have had to say, Gary gave us a very informative and well-illustrated talk on the life and times of this prolific and immensely popular author from his early childhood as the son of liberal parents in Bombay to his untimely death at the age of 70. We learned of the influences that were to shape him and of a life beset by tragedy, with the loss of a daughter in early childhood and later his son John, killed on his first day of action in the First World War. All of these events played their part in his enormous literary output but perhaps his most lasting legacy was his tireless but unacknowledged work for what was then the Imperial War Graves Commission and his insistence that in each and every town and village in the land there should be a memorial to those who had given their lives fighting for their country. Gary was warmly thanked and we shall look forward to visiting Batemans in July.

The competition ‘An item connected with Kipling’ was won by Sue Ashton with Kirsten Brown 2nd and June Vatcher 3rd. The Flower of the Month competition was won by June Vatcher with Ros Warriner 2nd and Hilary Quinn 3rd.

March came in like a lion this year bringing us cold, wet and very windy weather – but that was on 1st, by Thursday 3rd the wind had dropped the sun had come out and this made it a lot easier for our members to make their way to our monthly meeting. We were welcomed by President Hilary Quinn and Secretary Rowena Davies who gave us lots of information regarding forthcoming events, workshops and places of interest to visit. 0416buxtedcountycupCongratulations were given to our ‘Resident Poet’ Daphne Knight who recently heard that she had won the East Sussex WI County Poetry competition with her 100-word poem ‘Didn’t we have Fun’! – an excellent poem that certainly deserved to win. Daphne has been asked to attend the meeting in Eastbourne later this year to be presented with her certificate.
Birthday cards were given to Frances Brett and Ros Warriner. Rowena Davies then introduced our guest speaker for the afternoon – Anna Astin – whose talk was entitled ‘Managing Health and Beauty during WW2’ Together with slide photos on the large screen Anna’s talk was fascinating and very interesting. It really brought to our attention just how difficult it was for women left to cope alone bringing up their families and struggling with rationing not only food but clothes etc. But shining through all the difficulties was the indomitable spirit and cheerfulness. There were one or two members who were able to contribute with their experiences of being evacuated, some as many as three times! How hard this must have been for some mothers worrying if their children were being cared for well by strangers! But their efforts in the munitions factories and on the land were needed for the ‘War effort’! A hearty round of applause was given to Anna as everyone had enjoyed the afternoon very much. The competition ‘A Family photo from WW2’ was won by Sheena Mickelburgh with Kirsten Brown 2nd and June Vatcher 3rd. The Flower of the Month competition was won by 1st Hilary Quinn with Jane Godfrey 2nd and Hazel Lloyd 3rd.

THURSDAY 4th February2016
February has been wet and windy so far, and it was just such a day when our members met for the second time this year. But there was the usual buzz of excitement as we gathered together for what promised to be a very interesting afternoon, if our guest speaker had anything to do with it! After being welcomed by our Presidents Ann Tricker and Hilary Quinn we showed our four guests and ‘would be’ members how we can give a good rendition of Jerusalem! Secretary Rowena Davies let us have all the relevant information about outings, meetings and workshops etc. Our guest speaker Jane Ramsey went on to entertain us for the next hour with a fascinating insight into the world of antique dealing. Jane has been in the business for many years and passed on a few valuable tips to us if we are looking for a ‘bargain’! She brought several items with her to pass around for us to guess the value etc. It was a very interesting talk and much enjoyed by all. Jane judged the competition An Antique Item and Sue Ashton came first with Rose-Marie Caddick second and Hilary Quinn third. The Flower of the Month competition was won by Sheena Mickelburgh, June Vatcher second and Sandra Hatswell third. The ladies receiving birthday cards this month were Muriel Brooker, Adrienne Roles, June Vatcher and Joyce Ford. Our president, Ann Tricker, also received a card for her 40th wedding anniversary this month.

THURSDAY 7th January 2016
Members made their way to the Buxted Reading Room on a chilly, wet January day for the first meeting of the year 2016. The warm atmosphere inside soon thawed everyone out and we were welcomed by both of our Presidents now sharing the role, Ann Tricker and Hilary Quinn. Notices read out we then had Secretary Rowena Davies giving us all the information regarding forthcoming events, outings and workshops etc. Birthday cards were presented to Joyce Ford and Sheena Mickelburgh who celebrate January Birthdays. Members then spent sometime considering Resolutions for 2016, a very important part of the WI movement. We moved on to a little light entertainment with readings from Ann Tricker and three delightful poems read by Evelyn Smith. A Quiz followed which had everyone putting their ‘thinking caps’ on. The competition ‘My favourite Christmas Card’ was won by Pauline Bonner, Anita Jobling coming second and June Vatcher third. The Flower of the Month competition was won by June Vatcher with Hilary Quinn second and Ann Tricker third.