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Sounds good!

Singer Joan Hocking entertains Stanhoe WI members.


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Stanhoe Parish Council Minutes - 10 November 2022


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Stanhoe Road Closure - 6 December 2022


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Stanhoe Parish Council Agenda

Stanhoe Parish Council Agenda - 10 November 2022


Deep thought

Research in political science stretches Stanhoe WI members’ brains.


Remember the Jubilee?

A photomontage takes us back to more settled times in Stanhoe.


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Stanhoe & Barwick WI news archive


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2 December 2022

Sounds good!

Singer Joan Hocking entertains Stanhoe WI members.

At the December meeting of Stanhoe and Barwick WI the room was filled with sound, both from members chattering happily together, and then from Joan Hocking a classically trained singer with a soprano voice range who came to entertain us.

photo: Rosemary Brown

Singer Joan Hocking poses theatrically in front of a colourful backdrop

Joan Hocking welcomes her audience to the show

Joan always knew that she wanted to be a singer from a very young age, singing both at home and in the local Methodist church. Since being trained she has enjoyed performing with The Higher Octave for many years, and with other groups at venues all over Norwich, including the Theatre Royal.

She has a very strong soprano voice, and entertained us with songs from the shows, songs from films, and three renditions from operas, finishing with several Christmas melodies. She says that singing makes her happy, and she invited us to join in on several occasions.

After the singing Joan stayed on to enjoy our WI meeting, and to chat to many members in the room whilst refreshments were being served.

It made a very relaxing afternoon, and having been given Christmas wishes from the committee, and copies of the very full programme for 2023, members are looking forward to the year ahead.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 2 December 2022

3 November 2022

Deep thought

Research in political science stretches Stanhoe WI members’ brains.

It was a very different, brain-stretching meeting that Stanhoe and Barwick WI members had in November.

Sarah Tustin, a lively mature PhD student working out of Queen Mary University of London, but resident in Norwich, spoke about her research for a Political Science qualification, which she was conducting in Norfolk, asking opinions on how political decisions are made, and how people would like to see this changed if they had the option. So far 100 people have been asked and her aim is to ask 300 people altogether.

photos: Rosemary Brown

Sarah standing and speaking animatedly

Sarah Tustin: “What do citizens think ‘citizen-focused’ political decision-making should look like?” 

Of course we all took part in the research, which involved both a questionnaire and a complex statement sorting process. As many people as possible were given a bag of 43 tiles, each tile containing a statement relating to present and potential decision-making. These had to be sorted into three piles: Agree, Disagree, and No opinion. Then we were each given a large board with a pyramid arrangement of 43 squares, and we were asked to place our tiles on the pyramid in ascending order of agreement or disagreement, or noncommittal opinion. No squares were to be left blank, so much sorting ensued to find a considered placement of all 43 tiles.

A pile of tiles carrying statements such as: 'The winning political party should be able to enact its policies without interference'

Order, Order! Sorting the tiles

The result was photographed and will be put on computer and the results will be analysed and grouped into collectives of likeminded people. Sarah hopes to ask people of all ages their opinions to validate her research, and is visiting a wide range of organisations from schools, further education colleges, political groups, and special interest groups. She started her research seven weeks ago in the midst of our political turmoil and hopes to conclude it in the next few weeks.

It was a really thought-provoking afternoon, but after taxing our brains so much it was relaxing to be offered tea and cake and to participate in Institute business and to hear about upcoming events.

Read more about Sarah’s research here.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 3 November 2022

6 October 2022

Letters home

“I shall not be away long”: Stanhoe WI members hear voices from the Great War.

Stanhoe and Barwick WI members welcomed Andrew Tatham to their October meeting to refresh their memory of his first book “A Group Photo”, and to explain about the research which went into his subsequent book “I Shall Not Be Away Long”.

The group photo of 46 men of the 8th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment, taken in 1915 before setting off to fight in the First World War, started Andrew on his quest to discover who these men were, particularly as only 21 of them finally came back.

21 years later Andrew held a large exhibition in Ypres of work arising from his discoveries. This led to exposure on The Jeremy Vine Show on TV, and to the much increased sales of his resulting book “A Group Photo”. In March 2019 Andrew spoke to Stanhoe and Barwick WI about his work to date.

The covers of Andrew Tatham’s two books

The covers of Andrew Tatham’s two books on the First World War: more details here.

There were only two officers amongst the 46 men in the photo, one being Andrew’s great grandfather, and the other his second-in-command Charles Bartlett.

Charles Bartlett wrote home every day to his wife back in London. All of his letters were saved, and came to light from a family member during Andrew’s original research. The first letter contains the phrase “I shall not be away long”, which provided the title for the second book based on further research from all the letters. Some of the facts discovered, such as the provenance of Buzzards Dundee Cake, were amusing, but generally the facts about life in the trenches were much more serious.

It was a thought-provoking talk, and Andrew’s final words, “Life is constantly changing and you need to ask questions before it is too late”, rang true.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 6 October 2022

4 September 2022

Beetling about

A familiar game amuses Stanhoe WI members at their “retro” afternoon.

It was a very hands-on afternoon when 23 members of Stanhoe and Barwick WI met for a “Retro afternoon”. In order to mix us up and get everyone to chatter to new people our task was to play “Beetle”, a game that many of us remember from childhood. Only this game had new rules.

photos: Rosemary Brown

WI members enjoying a game of Beetle

Grouped at tables of four people we were each supplied with a pen and printed Beetle sheet, with scores shown for various beetle parts, and also individual spaces for one’s own total score of beetle parts, and the total numeric score, for each Beetle, as well as a space to draw your own if the fall of the dice for your turn at the table allowed this.

WI members enjoying a game of Beetle

Who knew that we could be so noisy? And so competitive! And get in such muddles when the winners at each table had to move tables in a clockwise direction, and the lowest scorers moved tables in an anti-clockwise direction.

WI members enjoying a game of Beetle

After four games had been played prizes were awarded for the highest total scores, and booby prizes for the lowest scores.

Tea and cake were well deserved, and having calmed down we listened attentively to the WI Business announcements before making our way home.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 4 September 2022

4 August 2022

A world of colour

Two skilled glass workers run a workshop for Stanhoe WI members.

The August meeting of Stanhoe and Barwick WI was a very practical afternoon. Janet and Mary, two of our members, who are experts in creating fused glass ornamental pieces had volunteered to run a workshop.

photos: Rosemary Brown

Mary, who originally learnt to do foiled lead stained glass work subsequently found a class teaching fused glass techniques, and was hooked immediately, bought a kiln, and joined with a friend to form “Mary Mary” a partnership which exhibited at craft events. Now working alone she specialises in hanging items, and takes part in Open Studios as well.

Mary with some of her work

Janet originally wanted to learn glass blowing, but finding a fused glass course more creative was also hooked, and bought a kiln, and started creating small items for sale locally. Janet likes colour, and makes very colourful free standing items, and also very creative cards.

Freestanding pieces by Janet

Our WI members arrived at the Hall to find tables set up with a square of glass and a cotton bud on a paper place mat at all the seating areas, and in the centre of each table a pile of sparkling glass squares of a myriad of hues. “Glass is sharp” was the warning. “Arrange squares of your choice on the plain glass square, and glue each one into place” were the instructions later on. Much concentration ensued around the room.

It was really interesting to see different colour schemes emerging, some carefully considered and exceptional, others really random.

Janet with her colourful creations

The squares, to become coasters, have now been taken away to be fired in the kilns. It will be really interesting to see the finished coasters returned to their owners.

A lot of happy, relaxed ladies went home after the August meeting.

More of Mary’s work

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 4 August 2022

8 July 2022

Sunny atmosphere

Stanhoe WI members pick a good day for their garden meeting.

Although the day started cool and cloudy Stanhoe and Barwick WI Committee had ordered sunshine for our July Garden Meeting in the beautiful garden belonging to our president Nicola Smith.

WI ladies seated and enjoying the sunshine

Enjoying the company and the sunshine

The sun came out on our arrival in the afternoon and the garden, divided into three seating areas, became full of chatting ladies relaxing in the warmth. In my seating area near the summerhouse it was positively scorching!

Nicola stands to give her report

WI President Nicola Smith gives the business report

There was a very short business meeting during which the author of the monthly meeting reports was presented with a lovely orchid as a thank you for her reports in recent Yyears.

Rosemary seated with her orchid

Your correspondent Rosemary Brown and her orchid 

Then members were invited to help themselves from a sumptuous feast of refreshments, both savoury and sweet, made by several members who really enjoy cooking. Accompanied by cups of tea or cold drinks this complemented our afternoon of friendly companionship.

Diane with a piece of cake


We all look forward to the future outings which have been arranged, and the very creative August meeting which is to be run by two of our talented ladies.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 8 July 2022

9 June 2022

A very special tea

Stanhoe WI celebrated the Jubilee in style.

The June meeting of Stanhoe and Barwick WI was organised as a Jubilee Tea in the Reading Room, to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 in style with our loyal members.

photos: Rosemary Brown

WI members and a table spread with food

A tea to remember

It all started off with each member receiving a formal invitation several weeks beforehand.

Official invitation to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee tea party

On the day, members arrived with plates of delicious food, both savoury and sweet, which eventually filled a table running the length of the room.

The room itself had been beautifully decorated by the committee with the WI bunting, Union flags and flower arrangements. The tables were dressed with the flowery WI tablecloths, and our vintage WI cups, saucers, and plates – too fragile for use at ordinary meetings – were used and much talked about.

Members assembled in small chatty groups around the room (it was suggested that about 40 ladies were present). The proceedings commenced with a medley of unaccompanied folk songs performed by Harmonise, a choir based in Fakenham, in which some of our members sing.

It was not long before everyone was invited to help themselves to food, accompanied by tea or coffee, and non-alcoholic punch. We all ended up being far too full of the delicious food eaten in a relaxed atmosphere.

More WI members and more food

…yet more food

Our president then woke us all up by announcing that a Jubilee quiz had been arranged, involving five questions on events that had taken place in the year of each previous Jubilee. Most of us struggled to remember accurately a great deal as we were so full!

Three seated members looking expectant

Waiting for quiz questions

Harmonise then treated us to a boisterous selection of melodies, for the last of which audience participation was encouraged. This consisted of three different songs sung at the same time, in relays, by different sections of the choir, involving both When The Saints Go Marching In and Old Man River.

A group of standing singers and their conductor

The Harmonise choir with leader Linds Bestwicke

When we all thought we could eat no more, a lovely celebration cake was cut and distributed.

And finally members were all invited to help themselves to any remaining food to take home, and they hurried away with serviette wrapped parcels for later on!

It was definitely a Jubilee Celebration as we formally acknowledged the Queen’s long reign before the afternoon’s proceedings commenced; and it was a WI celebration; and a day to remember for many years to come.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 9 June 2022

12 May 2022

Racy raconteuse

Stanhoe WI members enjoy tales of Hollywood.

It is always a nice surprise to find a room full of ladies at Stanhoe and Barwick WI meetings. Today we were told that we have 35 members this year, which is a wonderful expansion of numbers.

photo: Rosemary Brown

Susan Barnet

Hollywood expert Susan Barnet

For our May meeting we once again welcomed Susan Barnet with a very relaxed talk entitled ”Hollywood Royalty”. With speed she regaled us with often racy tales of the lives of Hollywood screen figures such as Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, Vivienne Leigh, Cary Grant, Mae West, Robert Mitchum, Olivia de Havilland, David Niven, and Errol Flynn. The film lovers amongst us hearing these tales of nostalgia were royally treated throughout the talk.

Afterwards we were invited to sign up for more sedate events; a “Women Walk The World” walk on the coast, a garden visit, a meal at a local vineyard with local wine, a tour of a flower bouquet growers premises, and of course for our Jubilee Tea in June. It will be a busy summer for members.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 12 May 2022

9 April 2022

Lighting the way

Stanhoe WI members learn about the history and charitable work of Trinity House.

A large group of members of Stanhoe and Barwick WI met in April to hear Karl Lumbers of Trinity House speak about the organisation, and 500 years of its history, as well as its present day activities. Having been invited, as a past ship’s captain, to be one of the 400 “Younger Brethren” of Trinity House, made up of previous members of the Merchant Navy and the Royal Navy, his presentation was full of interest.

photo: Rosemary Brown

Karl Lumbers of Trinity House

“Younger Brother”: Karl Lumbers of Trinity House

We learnt about the first wooden lighthouses, built in 1698. and 1708, and the first stone built striped one built in 1759, all individually lit by coal fires, and overseen by a lighthouse keeper. Originally Trinity House supplied pilots to take ships up The Thames, and other large rivers. Nowadays the pilots are more likely to work on “superyachts”, and the lighthouses and buoys marking dangerous places in the sea are powered automatically by solar panels and LED lights, and lighthouse keeping is a job of the past.

The modern Trinity House organisation has many charitable functions, and supports a range of seafaring charities, funded by levies on ships going into port, and by rents collected from farms which they own. One of their aims is to encourage young people to go to sea as a career. And Princess Anne is the hard working, supportive “Master of Trinity House”.

After this very interesting, professional, talk the meeting became very sociable, and notice was given of several outings for members to enjoy, and of future meetings, before members departed in a happy mood.

Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 9 April 2022

5 March 2022

Go with the flow

Seated yoga proves popular for Stanhoe WI members.

“Seated Yoga with Jean Clarke” was the theme for the March meeting of Stanhoe and Barwick WI. The room was absolutely silent as 29 ladies were taken through a range of yoga movements for hands and shoulders to help strengthen breathing and improve mobility.

We worked through rolling our shoulders, neck turns, and lots of hand exercises including “the flower”, but the jolliest was when we carried out arm exercises and sang along to “The Grand Old Duke of York”.

photos: Rosemary Brown

WI members with their hands in the air

Arm exercises carried out whilst singing “The Grand Old Duke of York”. He is at the top of the hill at this point!

For the business meeting several members offered information on collection points for The Ukraine Appeal donations, for which a number of packages had been brought along, and for a collection of postage stamps for the RSPB.

WI members relaxing with cups of tea

Relaxing with a cup of tea after yoga

To enhance meetings a voice amplifier has been purchased for the speakers voice to be heard in all parts of the room as subscriptions are due and we now fill the available space. And future events were explained, and finally we were shown by Julie, a red white and blue Jubilee Wreath created from scraps of fabric left over from making Jubilee bunting. Such an effective celebration item.

A happy band of ladies went home feeling very relaxed!


Posted by: Charles

Posted on: 5 March 2022

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