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Guarlford Women's Institute


January to December 2023

2023 was another busy year with a good variety of events and meetings.

We began 2023 with our usual New Year’s lunch out instead of a meeting in Guarlford Village Hall, which has undergone a lot of changes via the programme of regeneration, including marvellous new toilet facilities, with even more to come in 2024.

This is thanks to the excellent fundraising by the Village Hall Secretary and Trustees, who have spent a lot of time applying for grants and organising events, which our WI members try to support. For more details see the Village Hall pages of this website.

We do try to get involved with many community events in our village and charities in the wider area. At every meeting there is a box for donations for our local Food Bank and a tin for ACWW.

In February Neil Woods gave a very thought provoking talk on “Drug Wars”. Neil Woods is a former UK police officer, who worked undercover on drugs detection. He is now a supporter  of the international drug policy reform movement, and he made us think about our attitudes to drug legislation. You can read more in Neil’s book “Drug Wars: the Terrifying Inside Story of Britain’s Drug Trade”.

Book cover

Book cover of Drug Wars

Quite a contrast in March when Elizabeth Adlam came with a breath of Spring in her talk “Primroses and Bluebells”, and then in April members were led in exercises called “Armchair Challenges”. We learned more about the Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia in May, with a talk by Amnesty International on “”The Oromo of Ethiopia”. It was also in March that a photograph was taken of the members, to be put into a time capsule hidden in the new wall of the regenerated Village Hall.

Jules Hulland, a local magistrate, told us in June how to become a magistrate and related stories of her time on the bench. On a very wet summer evening in July we celebrated our Birthday Meeting with a “Posh Frocks Garden Party”. It was cosy in the marquee set up in the beautiful garden of one of our members, and Corinne, the accomplished cellist, who entertained us at our Christmas party in 2022, played a wonderful selection of music. This, with the delicious buffet, made an evening enjoyed by all, in spite of the weather.

Our local stately home is the famous Madresfield Court, and in August we had a talk about “The Estate, the House, and the Family”. Some members also took one of the popular private tours of this wonderful house and grounds. Members have enjoyed several outings this year, eg to the Worcester Porcelain Museum and the walled garden at Croome.

Madresfield Court

Madresfield Court

In September members were occupied with our own biennial Produce & Handicraft Show, entering the many classes which were judged by WI judges, who were impressed by the standards our members achieve. Our “Charity make” Class this year was sewing mini quilts for premature babies in our local hospitals. (Why not get your WI to have a similar show, and demonstrate to your local community what your members can do in gardening, cookery and crafts, traditional and modern?).

Our October meeting saw a representative come to tell us more about Maggs, a charity based in Worcester and Malvern, that supports the homeless and vulnerable. Maggs was founded in 1984 when a homeless man died after years of sleeping rough on the streets in Worcester, and members of the local church came together to provide sanctuary for the homeless. The Malvern Day Centre opened in 2020. The charity has Accommodation and Clothing Projects, and our members rallied round collecting warm clothing, blankets, duvets and cash for them.

You can read more on www.maggsdaycentre.co.uk/

Our WI belongs to the Worcestershire Federation Skittles League, and our squad enjoyed  playing their various matches. In October the Committee organised a Social Skittles evening with a Ploughman’s Supper, at the Madresfield Club, for members, husbands and friends.

After our November Annual Meeting members enjoyed making some Christmas crafts - and having a lovely chatty evening together.

The members of Guarlford WI were then very busy in the weeks running up to Christmas. We packed shoeboxes as Christmas Parcels for Teams4U to be taken to Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe, and we knitted angels for our Rector to distribute throughout  the Parish for families to find and take home. This year our WI Christmas tree in the Festival of Trees at St Mary’s Church, Madresfield, from November 25th, had decorations symbolising the titles of Christmas carols, many of them handcrafted, and was flanked by two knitted Victorian carol singers.

WI Xmas stall

WI stall at Christmas Fayre 2023

On Saturday 2nd December members were again in action, running stalls and providing refreshments at the Guarlford Christmas Fayre, raising further funds for the Hall Regeneration Project. The members of the Craft Group had been occupied for weeks making many and varied items, and the Cake Stall was full of tempting homemade treats; both stalls raised good sums of money for the Project.

Our Christmas meeting on December 14th was a truly festive event in the beautifully decorated village hall, when Phil and Mike involved and entertained us well in “A Victorian Christmas”. A tasty buffet supper followed, and the Secret Santa this year raised cash donations totalling £100 for Zest4Life: Conversation and Laughter, which meets at the Octagon Centre, Malvern.

 Our parish magazine is now back online, so if you want to learn more about our very friendly WI and the Village in which we are based, look for The Grapevine magazine which can be found here:-






Please contact us if you require further information.


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