Stanhoe Pit



WI Easter goodies

Surprise Easter goody bags give Stanhoe WI members a lift.


Stanhoe Parish Council Minutes

Stanhoe Parish Council Minutes - 11th March 2021


RAF collection back on show

RAF Bircham Newton Heritage Centre plans to re-open from June.


Stanhoe Parish Council Agenda

Stanhoe Parish Council Agenda - 11 March 2021


WI keeps in touch

Lockdown brings Stanhoe WI members together.


Derek says thanks

Derek Scales’s fine Christmas lights display raised £865 for charity.


From snow to spring in a week

A look back at the recent cold snap in Stanhoe.


Tide times

Wells 18 Apr
04:51 low (0.37m)
11:09 high (2.93m)
16:48 low (0.24m)
23:28 high (2.66m)

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Stanhoe & Barwick WI news archive


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8 April 2021

WI Easter goodies

Surprise Easter goody bags give Stanhoe WI members a lift.

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Stanhoe and Barwick WI members were thrilled to receive a surprise Easter bag, containing a multitude of goodies, put together, and in many cases, created, by the committee. Amongst other delights, the ladies will be planting seeds, making cheese scones, completing an art challenge and demolishing a creme egg! As one member commented, the bags managed to “cheer us on and give us a sense of togetherness”.

We have now held two Zoom chat sessions, quite a revolution in our one hundred years of existence! Last week’s, entitled Poets and Authors, gave members the opportunity to share favourite poems and to recommend, or not, their current reading matter.

Once warmer weather blesses us, we intend to start meeting again, initially in groups of six and outside, of course.

Stanhoe & Barwick’s Facebook page gives further details of our recent activities.

New members are always welcome! or phone her on 01485 576261.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 8 April 2021

20 February 2021

WI keeps in touch

Lockdown brings Stanhoe WI members together.

Stanhoe & Barwick WI have found new ways to keep in touch during the lockdowns. It’s been challenging, being unable to meet since March 2020 and with members spread across 11 villages. Nevertheless, the ladies kept in contact with one another, offering support and having a ‘mardle’. A rota ensures that everyone is phoned regularly and all have welcomed the opportunity to chat, many finding that they know one another so much better now.

Hand-stitched heart-shaped bookmarks made by Nicki Smith

Valentine’s bookmarks made by Nicki Smith

A successful Christmas raffle, with prizes donated by local businesses and members, raised over £180 for funds. This is now being used to provide little surprises for all members. Valentine’s bookmarks were made by Vice-President Nicki Smith and distributed to all 29 members, who warmly appreciated the thought. The committee are now hard at work organising an Easter gift.

In a first for S&B WI, a Zoom committee meeting was held recently. There was much excitement in viewing Lockdown Hair! The next step is to look at offering regular Zoom chats and Zoom speakers to our members.

Stanhoe and Barwick WI’s Facebook page gives further details of recent activities. New members are always welcome!

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 20 February 2021

11 November 2020

WI update

Stanhoe & Barwick WI remains active despite coronavirus restrictions.

WI members at a table in a garden on a sunny September day

WI members at a garden meeting in September

“Stanhoe & Barwick WI is alive and kicking even though obviously we don’t have any recent events to report,” says secretary Valerie Robson. Despite the coronavirus restrictions, Institute members have been doing all they can to support one another.

The 2020 Annual Report records how the WI began the year in fine style, with 29 members, only to have to cancel all meetings from April onwards. Following a spring and summer of mostly remote contact, at the start of September members held their first full face-to-face meeting – socially distanced on the playing field. Soon afterwards they were limited to groups of six, and now of course there will be no meetings at all until at least December.

“After our successful centenary year in 2019, this year has been all the more disappointing,” says the report. “However, we end 2020 with plans to meet whenever we can and keeping in touch with one another when we can’t. We even have one new member and more in the wings, awaiting better days, as do we all.”

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 11 November 2020

16 March 2020

WI cancels April

Stanhoe WI has cancelled its April meeting.

With coronavirus spreading in Norfolk, Stanhoe and Barwick WI has cancelled its monthly meeting on Thursday 2 April, secretary Valerie Robson reports.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 16 March 2020

5 March 2020

Back to Bangladesh

Stanhoe WI members are transported by memories of a childhood spent in Asia.

The speaker at the March meeting of Stanhoe and Barwick WI was Junya Lewis who spoke about her Bangladeshi childhood.

Junya stared by welcoming everyone in her native language and getting a Bangladeshi response, which really alerted the attention of members and guests. This was followed by reminiscences of the colours of clothes and spices and food, and the environment, as well as for the smells of the early mornings.

photos: Rosemary Brown

Junya Lewis and a friend demonstrate how to put on a sari

Her family lived in a hamlet of four or five houses, wooden structures with a mud infill and a corrugated iron roof if you were wealthy. It was a settlement exclusively for Moslems, with a Hindu village nearby which was banned to Junya and her brothers. But everyone helped each other, and her mother worked as the midwife and received payment in rice, or spices, or foodstuffs to nurture them. Junya did jobs within the community such as looking after the goats, and catching fish in the monsoon season.

Her father left the family to work abroad, which was a local tradition, when she was a baby and did not send for the family until Junya was eight years old. So she arrived in Britain speaking no English but with a firm grasp of the Koran, and managed to sail through school maintaining her Moslem roots, and became a teacher, and married an Englishman.

Junya Lewis shows off colourful sari fabrics

We were delighted to be shown garments similar to those worn in her childhood, to see Saris, and see a member elegantly dressed in one in front of our eyes, and to see a man’s Sarong, and traditional jewellery.

It was an entertaining and enlightening talk and made for an enjoyable afternoon for a room full of people.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 5 March 2020

7 February 2020

Signs and stories

Stanhoe WI members celebrate Norfolk’s village signs and their own Institute’s long history.

It was a happy crowd of members and visitors who attended the February meeting of Stanhoe and Barwick WI to hear Mike Weatherstone, a former policeman and keen photographer, give a presentation called “Norfolk, a history through its village signs”.

Inspired by an old publication about village signs, in recent years he spent 15 months travelling over 5,000 miles around Norfolk visiting 500 villages and looking at 450 signs. Eventually he created his own book from his images, with the same name as his presentation.

Mike Weatherstone starts his talk in front of a projected slide showing Stanhoe's village sign

Mike Weatherstone begins his talk

We were treated to a wide selection of images with stories behind them, from the Blakeney sign showing the galleons recording that three similar ships from Blakeney helped to defeat the Spanish Armada; Corpusty has a plough, recording as many do, the agricultural heritage of the village; and to our own Stanhoe sign carved from oak by a village craftsman and depicting a famous figure, Sir Hervey de Stanhoe, as well as country images.

It was a very informative afternoon.

After a tea break our business meeting outlined forthcoming events, and then gave heartfelt thanks to Frances Ulyatt for the hard work that went into the production of her legendary history book of Stanhoe and Barwick WI, and to Pamela Austin for her beautifully presented portfolio of events in our centenary year. The president celebrated both of these achievements with a very apt poem.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 7 February 2020

24 January 2020

WI history

A new publication celebrates 100 years of Stanhoe WI.

Cover of Frances's Stanhoe WI history book

For the past two years Frances Ulyatt has spent a great deal of time meticulously scanning the Minute Books and assorted memorabilia of Stanhoe and Barwick Wi to produce a beautifully presented booklet entitled “Trees, Teas, and Tablecloths; a brief history of Stanhoe and Barwick Women’s Institute 1919–2019.”

A copy was presented to every member to treasure at the end of the centenary year.

Beginning with the story of the WI’s formation in 1919, and with tales of the old WI Hut as the meeting room, the lavishly illustrated text takes us through the changing format of meetings, membership, outings, birthday celebrations, and good works carried out for the benefit of the village.

A great deal has changed in the hundred years of the existence of Stanhoe and Barwick WI, and it is so good to have it in print for everyone to read and appreciate.

Grateful thanks are offered to Fran for her hard work in producing this wonderful story and memento, a record of social history for everyone to appreciate. It provided a fitting conclusion to our centenary year.

To download a PDF copy of Teas, Trees & Tablecloths (1.3 MB) click here.

photo: Rosemary Brown

Frances holding a copy of her Stanhoe WI history book

Frances Ullyatt with a copy of her WI history book

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 24 January 2020

10 January 2020

WI gets needled

Stanhoe WI members learn about acupuncture.

Nineteen members and guests heard Nicola Porter give a very informative talk on acupuncture at their January meeting

There are many different forms of acupuncture, with the true form harking back to traditional Chinese medicine. It has many facets other than needles and is used to treat the person, not the direct area of pain. We were shown Moxa Balm, burning therapy, a seed on a plaster used via the ear, a therapy cup, pressure point bands and a special spoon, all of which are used in specific ways on the body.

Nicola stressed the importance of visiting a registered acupuncturist who will have a three-year degree training as well as supervised treatment sessions before being allowed to practise. Local practitioners can be found on the website of the British Acupuncture Council.

This created a great deal of interest amongst the audience and many questions arose for Nicola to answer very fully.

In the WI Business section afterwards members listened to the five Resolutions proposed for voting at the national AGM, and voted on the one that they felt to be most useful to be carried forward. Centenary Year Booklets were also offered, names were taken for various visits, and very importantly Smartie tubes were given out for members to refill with coins for the charity of the year which members will nominate for group support.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 10 January 2020

6 December 2019

Festive flowers

Stanhoe and Barwick WI learn flower arranging with local expert Gary Bocking.

At the December meeting of Stanhoe and Barwick WI the room was packed with members and guests to see Gary Bocking, a local flower arranging celebrity, create some Christmas flower arrangements.

photo: Rosemary Brown

Gary Bocking with his newly-made Christmas wreath, decorated in blue and silver

A self-taught florist, Gary was full of hints and tips on creating both a Christmas wreath for the door, and a table arrangement. These tips varied from preparation of the supports, where to buy them, wiring flowers and fruit, adding candles, and creating a ribbon bow. He used a wide range of foliage which was both varied in texture and fragrance, and he explained clearly the names of the various foliage plants used. Both frosting and glitter were easily added.

Everyone admired the stunning wreath and the table arrangement on completion. Generously Gary gave the table arrangement as a raffle prize, which was won by a lucky visitor.

After tea and delicious cakes members concluded the meeting with WI Business, and a presentation of a centenary booklet written by a member, and a centenary mug made by a local potter, was made to every member.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 6 December 2019

1 November 2019

Wartime letters

Radio Norfolk highlights Stanhoe WI members’ sleuthing skills.

Listeners to Radio Norfolk on 13 October had the chance to hear Stanhoe and Barwick WI members Valerie Robson and Nicola Smith explain how they have been tracing the families of local servicemen and women who wrote to the WI during the Second World War.

Out of 14 letters thanking the WI for gifts at Christmas in 1943 and 1944, only two writers’ families remain to be contacted, Valerie and Nicola told Breakfast Show host Anthony Isaacs.

“To start with it was quite easy, since a couple of the families still live locally,” Valerie said. “After that, it got to be rather more of a search.”

Listen to Valerie and Nicola’s conversation with Anthony Isaacs on BBC Norfolk. “We went into the BBC studios in the Forum and did the interview live,” Valerie said. “It was interesting to see how it all works and especially what a tiny space the producers and programme hosts work in. We were rather nervous, but it was all over and done with quickly.”

Their tactics have included scouring electoral registers and phone books for likely-looking names. “On one occasion, just googling the gentleman’s name brought up his death notice from a local newspaper. That had the funeral director’s name on it, so I asked if they’d pass on a letter to the family.”

Back in March we explained how WI members were trying to locate the families of Stanhoe people serving in the forces to whom they had sent wartime Christmas gifts of ten shillings (50p in today’s money). The story came to light when WI historian Frances Ulyatt turned up thank-you letters from several of the recipients in the WI archives.

Now 12 of the letters have been returned to the families of the people who wrote them. Still to be tracked down are Robert E Goodman and D Mayhew.

Robert was probably the son of Albert Goodman, the blacksmith. He had sisters Evelyn and Beryl, but seems to have moved away from Stanhoe by 1943.

D Mayhew wrote from the Salisbury area, where she or he was a clerk for the RAOC. Valerie and Nicola suspect that this was Daisy Mayhew, but have no further information.

The journey has been emotional at times, Valerie said: “When somebody turns up on your doorstep and says, ‘I think it’s my brother that you’re talking about,’ it rather takes your breath away. I’ve had one lady sitting in my kitchen in tears, holding her father’s letter, and that got me going as well.”

“A lot of the families didn’t know anything about the wartime service of their parents, brother or whoever, let alone about these letters. So actually to be holding something written by Father all those years ago was was quite something.”

“Some of the letters are very much as you can imagine someone being taught in school to write a letter. Others are very personal. One man’s writing from his ship, apologising for his bad handwriting because the ship’s in bad weather. Another is talking about how they celebrated Christmas late because ‘they were a bit busy’. You can only imagine what that meant during wartime!”

Nicola knows that her family have served Stanhoe and Barwick WI for four generations, but was surprised and proud to discover that it was her grandmother who had sent out the letters in her role as Secretary. “So it was my grandmother who received most of the replies, and that was a lovely connection,” she said.

The WI’s Norfolk Federation has helped to spread the word about the project, and in due course the researchers hope to locate the Goodman and Mayhew families too.

Our original story on the “ten-bob” appeal, with all 14 names

Stanhoe and Barwick WI Facebook page

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 1 November 2019

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