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Kibworth and Smeeton WI


At our February meeting Pamela Lenthall, a therapist practising aromatherapy and reiki, as well as crystal healing, showed us a wonderful collection of crystals and explained how different crystals react with the seven energy centres running down our spines called ‘Chakras’, a Sanskrit word, to give us positive energies and emotions.


Centenary Celebrations and Successes. On Saturday 10 March a large group of our members gathered at the Leicestershire and Rutland Federation’s Centenary Annual Council Meeting. Tickets are usually limited but this year’s special event was held at Hangar 42 Bruntingthorpe, an amazing facility which enabled about 1,400 to attend. Once the formal ACM business was concluded, our first speaker was Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Jennifer Lady Gretton, DCVO, JP. She gave us a fascinating insight into her very busy and fulfilling life in her role as official representative of Her Majesty, her part in organising royal visits and her work with a variety of young peoples’ and voluntary organisations. She is sometimes mistaken for the Queen by youngsters and was once asked if she was 'Elizabeth’s helper’!


Our second speaker was Mandy Hickson, a female fighter pilot who served in Iraq and took part in complicated manoeuvres over the Californian desert, flying among 100 aircraft, low under the radar. At 6 feet tall, Mandy is impressive in stature, personality, courage and determination, essential for a young woman fighting for her dream of living in a man’s world. Her sense of humour was never far from the surface as she recounted exciting, sometimes scary and hilarious stories of her life. Mandy is now a motivational speaker and a more inspirational one would be hard to find.


The lunch break gave us time to view exhibitions of the competition entries and to browse and shop amongst the many stalls where quality goods were on sale.


The afternoon began with presentations of trophies and certificates by Edwina Currie, our final speaker, and to our delight (and astonishment) we had much to celebrate.


Ann Holtum won the Federation Art Trophy for her beautiful painting of a celebratory bouquet. Sue Wareham won the Individual Cookery Competition for her 3 perfect Hot Cross Buns. Pat Sharman won the Chairman’s special Centenary Scrapbook Challenge with an embellished record of our activities last year - on behalf of our institute. Jean Chapman won 3rd place in the competition for photographs to be used in the WI’s County News, a monthly magazine, with a lovely photograph of St Wilfrid’s Church in autumn. Finally our president, Hazel Taylor, was presented with a certificate marking our own centenary.


Edwina Currie entertained us with stories of her life as an MP, when as Health Minister under Margaret Thatcher she helped to bring in screening for breast and cervical cancer and the MMR vaccine, as well as working on the team for the first AIDS campaign, all unfortunately overshadowed by the salmonella (or egg) crisis in 1988. Living in the Peak District and a member of her local WI, Edwina remains busy, writing books, appearing regularly on radio and TV - winning Celebrity Mastermind and Pointless. Who could forget her in the jungle, on the dance floor and in Hell’s Kitchen! Lively, warm and with an often cheeky sense of humour, she charmed us all. What a wonderful day!


Our next meeting will be on Thursday 12 April at 7.30 in the Grammar School, when Gary Farnfield will talk to us about Rainbows Children’s Hospice.

Pat Sharman


Illston WI


At our February meeting we were entertained by Roxanne’s Belly Dancing demonstration.


Originating from India where a group of girls, who we might call gypsies, started the dance and performed all over the globe, but every country put their own take on the dance. It was also called the ‘hoochi coochi’.


Roxanne explained that all the movements actually come from the knees and legs and not the belly and hips - which we had all assumed.


She showed us some magnificent costumes, including one particularly beautiful winged veil that lit up - fantastic.


Roxanne makes her living this way, not only doing talks, but weddings and classes. We are now considering her return to tell us about fire eating and snakes!


This really entertaining evening ended with delicious refreshments.


Our next meeting on reflexology is on 8 March.        



Pat Rees 


Illston on the Hill WI


Reflexology: What do we know about it? Well Illston on the Hill WI ladies are now better informed after an evening with Karen Joseph a member of the Institute of Reflexology.


Our meeting was on International Women’s Day and Karen started with a quiz to see how many special women we could recognise from her description. We got a bit over-confident as we answered the first three very easily, then we started to struggle.


But what a good day to have this demonstration.


We arrived at our hall to find it all beautifully prepared with lights, towels and soothing oils and creams. Karen is clearly exceptionally knowledgeable on this subject and after working in the pharmaceutical industry, has been practising reflexology for the last eight years. This is a complementary therapy, not an alternative. Among other things it offers stress relief and gives a wonderful feeling of wellbeing. Just imagine, our feet have 7000 nerve endings - all related to some part of our body.


Karen demonstrated on our hands and we then took a partner to work on. It was the most amazing feeling and we all felt so much more relaxed, although I think some of us were better than others!


We had a lot of fun and Karen is a very beautiful girl both on the inside and on the outside and we strongly recommend that other organisations invite her along. Her contact details are or check her out on line at

We had lots of fun and finished with some more yummy cakes - a perfect evening of pampering.



Jane Shute


Kilby WI


For our February meeting we went ‘retro’ and had a Beetle Drive! This has become a bit of a tradition for our first or second meeting of the year. The room was arranged with tables of 4 and everyone was given an A4 sheet with squares to draw our beetles in and also the scoring system (1 point for each part of the beetle drawn.)


Penny Holgate oversaw proceedings and timed each round. We had to throw a 6 on our dice to begin…and some of us took an awful long time to get going! There was much hilarity as we tried to complete our beetles within the allotted time.


The person achieving the highest score would be pronounced the winner - and by the end of the session we had joint winners; Maggie Smith and Julie Harrison. Penny gave out the prizes and also chocolate hearts to all who participated (as it was close to Valentine’s Day)!


We concluded our evening with a tasty supper including tea, coffee and, of course, cakes! Thank you Penny for a really entertaining evening.

Kilby WI meet in Kilby Chapel on the 3rd Thursday each month; for further details please phone Ann Stuart on (0116) 240 2514 - we’d love to see you there.



 Issue 400
March 2018

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