Westgate and Birchington Inner Wheel Club
About our club
Westgate and Birchington Inner Wheel Club was formed in 1983. We meet once a month on the third Thursday at St Augustine's, Westgate. CT8 8NL at 7.00 for 7.30pm for a 2 course meal.
We also meet up to 'Come And Meet Each Other (CAMEO) 4 Coffee' (or sometimes something stronger!) at members' houses or at a local venue such as Quex Barn, the Turner Contemporary Cafe, The Garden Centre in Ramsgate or in the summer, at a member's beach hut. These CAMEOs can be mornings, afternoons or evenings. We like to give all of our members a chance to come to meet up with everybody, and our working members like to come to evening functions when they can.
We don't meet formally in August but usually get together for a social evening, sometimes with husbands or partners often at the beach or in a member's garden. Our club has 35 members at present.
The Inner Wheel club of Westgate & Birchington was proud to have a member of our club, Hazel Hedges, as District Chairman in 2016 to 2017. She is the third member of our club to have held office as District Chairman. Diana Taplin was District Chairman 1999 - 2000, and Margaret Hawkins was District Chairman 2010 - 2011.
(For more information please use the 'Contact Us' page.)
Club Officers for 2020 to 2021
|Christine March||Membership Officer|
|Susan Wade||Welfare Officer||Sue is standing at her door during lockdown!|
Programme for 2020 to 2021
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic President Jacquie has been invited to continue for a second year as President
International Women's Day 2021
During the last few weeks, to celebrate International Women's Day, as the spring flowers began appearing in the area, members of Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel have been giving small posies out as a ‘random act of kindness’. The posies were accompanied by a gift tag giving information about us and given with love and friendship.
Some members, who are ‘shielding’ and were unable to go out left posies on their garden wall, some being taken by men for their wives and partners, others being taken by passers-by who were delighted and surprised at the gesture.
Some members went out to donate their posies to ladies in both Westgate and Birchington. In this very tough year, we are delighted that small bunches of flowers brought a smile to so many faces. At a time when we can do so little for Inner Wheel it has given us pleasure to give others pleasure in these dark times.
2021 International Inner Wheel Day Celebration
In the past, Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel have held many events to raise money for a charity or to raise awareness of some particular sphere of life, both nationally and internationally. Events have included raising money by holding a ‘Pub’ evening in a local church hall, which raised money for the local charity chosen by the President, donating small posies to ladies around the villages of Westgate and Birchington as a ‘random act of kindness’, holding a coffee morning with funds raised going to a particular charity and a 70’s night complete with fancy dress and typical 70’s supper.
This year, as we have been unable to meet physically, but only on Zoom, we decided to join forces with the other Thanet clubs, based in Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate to hold an on-Zoom Quiz. Each club provided one set of 10 questions and all participants undertook to pay a voluntary ‘fee’ of £2.50 to the International Inner Wheel Charity, ‘Covid-19 Disaster & Vaccination Fund’ which aims to ‘save lives by ensuring safe vaccination for disadvantaged people anywhere in the world where it is unaffordable or not readily available.’
Some 16 members from the various clubs took part in a very pleasant evening, with each club presenting their individual rounds on the subjects of ‘Celebrations and Festivals’ from Westgate & Birchington, ‘Christmas’ from Margate, ‘Multi-choice questions on Winter’ from Ramsgate and ‘Sports and Pastimes’ from Broadstairs. With 48 points to be won, Margaret Hawkins from the Westgate & Birchington club was the eventual winner, having gained 35 points.
Westgate & Birchington are looking forward to our next social evening when we shall probably play a game of Bingo on Zoom. Our President, Jacquie Agnew has nobly stood for 2 years because of the unusual circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. She has chosen as her charity, ‘Beach Within Reach’ this year, and despite the many calls on our collective purses in this very difficult year, we hope to donate a substantial amount at the end of Inner Wheel year 2020 to 2021 in June 2021.
Blytheswood Shoe Boxes
We are taking part in the 'Blytheswood Shoebox' charity this year as we are unable to fundraise for our International charities in the normal way. Here are photos of Mandy with her shoebox for a small boy, and Carla with her shoebox for a lady, and Hazel and Mandy finishing off several boxes! Several other members also made boxes!
|Mandy with her open box for a small boy||Carla with her open box for a lady||Mandy and Hazel (socially distanced and masked!) with several Blytheswood boxes|
Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel club members have reason to be grateful to the Air Ambulance, as they were instrumental in saving a member’s life, after she fell and broke her neck. All the club members are happy to support this charity.
However, Chris Hedges, President of Westgate & Birchington Rotary club this year, has chosen two charities which reflect the help, support and treatment that his wife, Hazel, a Breast Cancer survivor received, namely the ‘Viking Unit’ at Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital, Margate, (where she had all her life-saving Chemotherapy treatment) and Macmillan Nurses, who were always on hand to help and support her. She got the ‘All Clear’ in March.
Therefore, Chris and Hazel plan to walk the 88 miles over 8 months to raise money jointly for the Air Ambulance and the Viking Unit. Chris and Hazel’s sponsored walk started on the 8th August and Hazel has already done 19 miles towards the 88 miles! Unfortunately, Chris has recently had surgery and at the moment is unable to walk far, but in his absence her daughter or friends accompany her! They try to go out most days & Hazel is now mostly managing a mile, & sometimes even 2 miles! When Hazel had the ‘All Clear’ she could barely manage a walk to the beach and back from her home in Sea Road, Westgate. They plan to split the money raised in half to go to the Air Ambulance & Viking Unit!
|Hazel walking on the promenade in the summer on her own and with the grandchildren.|| Now it has got more autumnal, Hazel needs her fleece on!
During the October half term, she and Chris visited Hever Castle with the grandchildren and enjoyed walking and seeing the Military Museum at the Castle.
Coffee Mornings during lockdown!
We held another coffee morning in October when Mandy and Iris were hostesses.
Unfortunately no-one remembered to take photos!
Sadly the idea of us all meeting in the garden was scuppered by the 'only 6 together rule' so we then decided to have several socially distanced coffee mornings in 3 different homes. Liz, Jacquie and Hazel hosted 5 ladies each and it was lovely to get together with just a few ladies face to face!
It was a very happy morning which everybody who attended enjoyed enormously! The names of the guests for each coffee morning, were pulled out of a hat randomly! Annoyingly, Hazel forgot to take any pictures but below see the other two coffee mornings! It was so much enjoyed that we plan another 5 guest coffee morning in October, (Corona virus rules allowing!). Hostesses next time will be Carla, Iris and Mandy!
|Jacquie's delicious cakes!||Jacquie's guests!||Liz's guests|
We don't usually have a formal meeting during the summer holidays anyway, but instead of our usual evening meeting on the 3rd Thursday of the month in September, we have decided on a Socially Distanced Coffee Morning on 17th September in President Jacquie's garden. We are keeping in touch with phone calls, a monthly newsletter and the occasional Zoom meeting!
Our charitable efforts during the Covid 19 Pandemic
Our Club has been busy sourcing and sewing ‘Scrubs’ for the NHS. Every month when we meet, we hold a raffle at £1 a head. All the profit from the raffle goes to our ‘Disasters Fund’, which is kept separately from the ordinary charity account. Then when there is a disaster or trouble of any sort we can donate a sum quickly. As we felt that the coronavirus pandemic was likely to be the most disastrous event probably in most of our lifetimes, it was important to help in any way we could.
A few of us joined the ‘Margate Scrubbers’ who were making ‘scrubs’ for the local hospital in Margate, The Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital, (known for short as the QEQM!). They were also making scrubs for ‘Hot Hubs’ where some local GP’s were gathering to deal with possible coronavirus patients, and several local care homes have been issued with the scrubs too! We donated £200 from our disasters fund and then several members generously donated who were not sewers but wanted to help which raised the sum donated to just over £400. We sourced 160 metres of royal blue material, tapes for the drawstrings and thread. This will make 60 sets of scrubs. Margate Scrubbers have taken orders for specific colours and sizes, so that they can conform to the usual uniform colours etc. The scrubs all have a 'Rainbow' logo on. The first 40 have already been delivered to the maternity unit at QEQM, with a further 20 going to the Pilgrims Hospice.
The nine foot bale of material being collected for cutting and distribution. As it was so long they were able to keep social distancing!
|Carla busy sewing scrubs!||A set of Pink Scrubs ready for delivery|
We also discovered that a local firm, which usually makes plastic signage, had started to produce, at their own expense, PPE visors for the NHS. When they ran out of their own materials they asked for some donations, so we donated £200 to them to purchase more plastic and other materials which were needed.
|President Jacquie Agnew and Treasurer Louise Stokes present the cheque to AllStyles for visor-making, and try them on for size!||The visors made by AllStyles with the rainbow logo.|
Our Welfare Officer, Sue, has been phoning everybody up on a regular basis for a chat and to enquire after their welfare. We have had several 'Zoom' meetings, both casual CAMEO's (Come and Meet Each Other) where we sat and enjoyed a coffee (or something stronger) and just chatted, and also a committee meeting. We had our first 'Zoom' Meeting when we enjoyed a Quiz organised by President Jacquie. It was held at the usual meeting time, and members dipped in and out according to their own wishes. Our maximum number at any one time was 18. We also had some members who do not have Internet access who phoned in, so that they were able to take part in the meeting!
In early March (just before the lockdown) we enjoyed a CAMEO at Millie's Beach Bar in Westgate. The bar overlooks the beach at St Mildred's Bay.
We welcomed DC Liz in February, and showed her our scrapbooks of our activities through the years. she was delighted to induct our new member, Judyn. It had been planned to induct Judyn at our Christmas meeting but unfortunately she had an accident, and was unable to come. Past DC Hazel reminded DC Liz that 'Although this year you are a peacock's feather, next year you are just a feather duster!' and President Jacquie presented her with a beautiful 'peacock feather' silk scarf.
We enjoyed a 'Fun and Games' evening in January, playing 'Articulate'. A small band of members met for a CAMEO at the Mad Hatter Cafe upstairs in 'The Queen Victoria's Parlour'. It was a delightful place to enjoy a cake and coffee.
We joined the other 3 Thanet clubs at Broadstairs Club's President Anni's home to enjoy World Inner Wheel day with friends, and raise funds for the DC's charity, Porchlight.
We enjoyed our Christmas Dinner on 5th December, and afterwards joined in singing carols and playing silly games! We entered the Christmas Tree Festival held at St Thomas Church in Minnis Bay as usual. Some of our members helped to decorate the tops of pillar boxes with festive knitted designs.
Our Pre-Christmas CAMEO was held as usual at the Garden Centre in Ramsgate. Every year there is a beautifully decorated 'Santa's Garden' complete with polar bears, penguins and of course, Santa! Several people took the opportunity to do some last minute present buying!
Our stall at the International Rally was a bottle tombola with every prize a winner! Although not necessarily wine or other alcoholic drink. Shampoo, shower gel, tomato sauce and lemonade also featured!
Some of the members at our bottle stall
Emma holding the giant bottle which was the first prize!
|Members decorating the stall!|
Our CAMEO in November was held at The Swan in Westgate. Some of those members who remembered ‘the old Swan’ were very surprised to see how lovely and welcoming it was. The coffee was hot and delicious and we all had a good chat. Karen brought her friend Val along, and we will look forward to perhaps seeing her again at another CAMEO or at a meeting in the New Year. Hazel managed to remember to take some photos, but felt she should apologise to Karen on the left of the picture, who had been obliterated by the sunlight streaming in the window! As Janet and Jean M arrived a little later, Hazel went to sit with them while Lily took the photo, so we were all included in it!
The ‘Horse’ that was donated to us by DC Liz Lister has already gone on a couple of journeys. He/she accompanied Jacquie to Ireland (left) and has been living the high life on a cruise with Christine M. (right) We want to compile an album of his/her adventures which we will give to DC Liz on her visit or at the end of her year.
|Jacquie with 'Giddy Up' in Ireland||
Christine took 'Giddy Up' on a cruise
on the 'Spirit of Adventure'.
Here he is looking at the harbour
as the ship leaves the port.
There was a chance to name the horse by paying £1 and writing your chosen name on a piece of paper, to go into the hat on November's club night. The first name out of the hat was the winner! Rose had submitted 'Giddy Up', so after that he/she was named! We don't know whether Giddy Up was a he or a she but for ease I shall refer to it as he!
The October meeting was taken by Vice President Gill Condron, in President Jacquie's absence. Lily and Margaret organised a fun Quiz based on place names. It was the last opportunity to bring donations for the International Rally stall. VP Gill needed a bottle of wine from each member and some small bottles of other liquids for the wrapped prizes! She hosted a 'wrapping session' in preparation for the Rally, at her home.
Our 3rd CAMEO of Jacquie's year was held at Paul's Cafe in Westgate. A good group attended and enjoyed coffee or tea and some people also enjoyed cake! It is always a pleasure to get together for a good chinwag!
Our first formal meeting in September took place at the Westgate & Birchington Golf Club as our usual venue was fully booked for a wedding. We were delighted to welcome our speaker Dr Gina May.
Dr. Gina May had recently arranged the recent Westgate Literary Festival and also leads courses about the truth behind myths which are based on history and have been passed down by word or mouth for thousand of years, as well as being a lecturer at the University of Kent.
Dr. May gave a very entertaining and interesting talk about Medea, the wife of Jason of Jason and the Argonauts fame, whose voice is one of those forgotten by history being that of a woman. She explained that Jason undertook his epic voyage to seek the golden fleece. The fleece is not a myth but was used in hunting for gold in the rivers. He met Medea who fell in love with him, but she was part witch so used her powers to help him in his battle with the monsters who protected the golden fleece. Dr. May told of us of the way Madea manipulated events so that she became Jason’s wife but when Jason fell in love with a Greek Princess Madea ultimately exacts revenge by putting poison on a robe which is carried to the Princess and kills her.
President Jacquie thanked Gina for an interesting and fun talk and presented her with a gift.The second CAMEO was held at the Heritage Centre at Westgate where Dr Dawn Crouch gave a short talk on the history of the area. The group were touched to discover that it was her 89th birthday that day, and she had nobly come along to talk to our group. Unfortunately there wasn’t a very large group of members able to come but fortunately some of Jacquie’s friends were able to attend to make up the numbers. She is hoping that some of them may be interested to join our club. It is a good way to introduce possible new members to our group, and less formal than the first approach being an invitation to a meeting. Westgate & Birchington club members never forget we are all Membership Officers!
Some of the smartly dressed heritage volunteers took groups on a short walk round the church and surrounding area! You can see one of the volunteers standing by the wonderful array of cakes!
A group of our members enjoying a talk with Dr Dawn Crouch at the Heritage Centre.
The wonderful array of cakes supplied by the ladies of the Heritage Centre. As you can see the ladies all wore very smart polo shirt uniforms.
Jacquie kindly invited members and partners to join her in her pretty garden in August to play croquet, and sample delicious canapes and Pimms. Sadly we were all enjoying the evening so much we forgot to take any photos!
At the committee meeting shortly before the Pimms evening. Jacquie talked to us about one of the community projects that she would like to support during the year. The Westgate Town Council has recently moved to new premises in Westgate, where there is more room to hold open mornings etc. One of the community initiatives that Jacquie has helped set up is a ‘Friendship Café’ which is being held on a Thursday morning in the Council offices. This gives lonely people a chance to socialise with others and to enjoy a relatively cheap cup of coffee or tea and some delicious cakes. This is beginning to prove very popular and the team are now looking for some support from volunteers to serve and welcome people on a rota basis.
Since the setting-up of the ‘Friendship Café’, the team have been asked if the local Thanet Deaf Group could meet at the ‘Friendship Café’ each week, on a different day of the week. Most of the members are reliant on ‘Signing’ and many of the Cafés locally cannot accommodate the numbers without causing problems for their regular customers. The team have offered the ‘Friendship Café’ for the weekly get togethers for this group, with no charge for the hire of the room.
However, there were not enough chairs and tables, or crockery to supply their needs. At our committee meeting we decided that Jacquie would pass round a collecting box at the Pimms event, for donations to help to purchase some of these items. Jacquie was delighted that £102 was raised that evening, which has enabled the purchase of 37 chairs and 3 tables, (sourced from a local school refurnishing!) and 40 matching white crockery cups and saucers and 24 mugs, (courtesy of a local boot Fair) which will enable both the ‘Friendship Café’ and also the Deaf group to meet regularly. The chairs have been labelled with our logo as you can see in the picture. Since the initial contact with the Deaf group, I understand that a similar voluntary group for the Blind is also interested in having a regular meeting place. It seems that the news is spreading fast!
In July, President Jacquie's year opened with a CAMEO at the Westgate & Birchington Golf Club.
Some of the ladies enjoying their afternoon tea.
Just a few of the delicious cakes on offer!
President Lily's year 2018 to 2019
President Lily was delighted to be able to present a cheque for £2403.84 to the Minnis Community Hub.
We held an Ascot Ladies Day at our International Officer, Gill Condron’s home and garden in Birchington, to raise money for our International Charity ‘Women and Girls Livinguard Technology’. This important small charity provides sanitary essentials for children and women in the Third World, enabling women to work and girls to attend school. We were delighted to welcome ‘HM the Queen’ and ‘HRH Prince Philip’ who helped with pouring champagne and generally bestowed a regal ambience to Gill’s garden! Any lady who arrived without a hat was fined, as in true Ascot fashion, no lady is allowed into the Royal Enclosure without a hat!
Gill provided Champagne and Buck’s Fizz, and afternoon tea complete with scones, and strawberries and cream, and the sun shone brightly! It could not have been a more perfect afternoon! To enhance the occasion £400 was raised for our charity.
|The ladies gather in their Ascot hats with champagne in hand!||
The 'Queen' pours the champagne
for hosts Gill and Roy!
|Everyone gathered in the living room to study form.|
|Afternoon Tea with champagne was served before the races began.||We were lucky with the weather!||We are nearly ready for the off!|
|A sweepstake was held before the race!||I don't think he was the winner!||Hooray! My horse won!|
The 'Frocks and Fizz' Fashion Show
‘Frocks & Fizz’ Fashion Show, was held at Kearns Hall, on Friday 17th May.
While guests enjoyed Prosecco and Canapes, six brave members of the club strutted their stuff on the ‘red carpet’. Brand New, Designer and Pre-loved fashions were shown, as well as a bargain stall of handbags, priced competitively at £5 for a clutch bag, and £10 for larger handbags. There was also the opportunity to purchase items from the sale rail at between £5 and £20 of which many people took full advantage.
Fashions were shown in four scenes, ‘Out for Afternoon Tea’, ‘Cruise Wear’, ‘Evening Wear’ and ‘A Wedding’.
Our MC for the evening was Vice President Jacquie Agnew, who had sourced the items for sale, introducing the models and describing the fashions being shown.On display for sale during the evening were some beautiful items of jewellery made by Daniel Wilds of Birchington. Daniel had previously very kindly donated a gold ‘Rose’ pendant (worth £85) as a raffle prize, and it was raffled during the evening.
A wonderful evening was enjoyed by about one hundred guests. The resulting amount raised was an impressive £1,238.73. This was added to the money raised during the year for the charity from a Quiz, and other smaller fund-raisers, making a wonderful donation from the club of £2,403.84, which will be handed over at a future meeting to the representatives of the Minnis Community Hub.
April's Joint Thanet Meeting
In April, we welcomed other local clubs for our joint meeting on Wednesday, 17th April for our Chinese night. Menu was a ‘Chinese Buffet’ followed by Lychees and Figs in syrup, and we held a ‘Pig Drive’ instead of a 'Beetle Drive', in due deference to the Chinese Year of the Pig.
On 21st March, we welcomed Charlie Brightling, President of Westgate & Birchington Rotary Club, to speak about 'Blood Runners'. Charlie is a volunteer motorbike courier for 'Blood Runners'.
SERV Kent. “Service by Emergency Response Volunteers”, also known as the ‘Blood Runners’ is a charity that provides emergency courier services transporting blood products, samples and other patient essential items for the major hospitals and hospices in Kent outside normal working hours. Without SERV Kent, deliveries would have to be made by other means, such as by courier or taxi, which has time, cost, reliability and suitability constraints, or by police or ambulance, which takes a valuable and much-needed resource out of service. The NHS Blood and Transplant make the daytime blood deliveries, but have limited availability at night and the weekends. In addition, SERV provides and maintains the blood supply for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulances enabling them to carry blood on board, therefore saving the lives of many patients.
He is shown here with President Lily.
A rather different meeting was enjoyed earlier, when 6 of us arrived at Bugsy’s Bowling Alley to make our bid to retain the District Bowling Championship, which Jenny Graf and Jan Harvey won for us last year. Much hilarity ensued as we got to grips with the weight of the balls and how to throw them properly. The final winning couple with scores of 131 and 117 respectively were Hazel and Mo, who will go through as the entrants for this year’s District competition.
Photo shows the team, comprising Jan and Jenny, (last year’s winning couple), Wendy, and this year’s winning couple, Mo and Hazel, minus Liz who was taking the photo!
At our February Meeting, we were pleased to vote for our new committee members. Jacquie will be our new President, and there will be two more new people on the committee. We were also delighted to induct Sandra (Sandie) Reed into our membership. She is the fifth new member to be inducted this IW year. She was introduced into the club by Liz Hobcraft.
On 6th February, Jacquie bravely hosted a CAMEO at her new home, (two doors up from her previous home!) only 2 weeks after moving in. We had a really good turnout with several people bringing guests. Jacquie had to rush out to borrow more chairs from a neighbour! As you can see, we were very much like sardines! After everybody had eaten their fill of sausage rolls, cheese scones and various cakes, Jacquie suggested a ‘silly game’, called ‘What am I?’ She was the first to go and she had to find out what her face mask represented, but she could only ask questions which could be answered by Yes or No. (We had to help a little bit by giving some clues!) Much hilarity ensued when she asked if she was a celebrity. She was actually a monkey! Then Lily had a turn and spent ages asking if she was an animal. When we had persuaded her that she wasn’t an animal, she was told that she was doing something, so she then tried ‘doing the washing’, ‘washing up’ and ‘hoovering’. We then told her it was something that she would enjoy so she promptly said ‘drinking red wine’ to gales of laughter! It was eventually revealed to her that she was ’eating chocolate’, which she wholeheartedly agreed she would enjoy too! We then did a memory game, where we tried to remember what animals had already been said and mimicked, which also resulted in a lot of laughter and fun, as we struggled to remember what had gone before, and to make the appropriate noise! Prizes were awarded to the successful people! Thank you, Jacquie, for a very successful morning, raising over £40 for the ‘Minnis Hub’!
At our January Business Meeting, we welcomed back Leonora Smale, who had been a member of our club some years ago but moved away. She has now returned to our area and we were glad to welcome her back.
On 10th January, World Inner Wheel Day, we held a 70's night to raise money for our charity.
Members were encouraged to dress for the part, and there was a prize for the best costume! As you can see Christine (on the right in the first picture!) really dressed to impress, and carried off the prize. Fish and Chips were served followed by traditional 70's desserts, trifle and 'Angel Delight'. Our 'disco' was kindly organised by Lester, Wendy's husband, and we enjoyed dancing to the well remembered hits of the 70's! How come we can remember all the words of our favourite songs from the era and yet cannot remember why we went upstairs?
We held an E Bay auction for this jumper in aid of the Minnis Bay Community Hub from 18th January till 27th January raising £27 for our charity.
This jumper was made for the Craft competition at the AGM in June. It represents the Minnis Bay Beach with its beach huts, view of Reculver Towers, and has a tassel fringe comprising miniature ice creams, shells and flip flops.
On 6th December we enjoyed our Christmas meal, and later indulged in a festive Quiz.
We participated in the St Thomas Christmas Tree Festival again as we did last year!
The first picture shows our tree, which was beautifully decorated by Jacquie, Emma and Christine. It contained baubles with the IW logo on, scrolls with our charity events from the whole of last year, and the 'fairy' on top is the International logo for this year. The other two pictures show some of the 20 other trees on display.
On 15th November we enjoyed a French style buffet meal and some of the ladies dressed up in French costume.
We were treated to Boeuf Bourgignon, Coq au Vin and Fruits de Mer a la Vin Blanc, with Ratatouille or Petits Pois a la Francaise, and Pommes Puree or Lyonnaise. For dessert we were treated to Fondant au Chocolat, Tarte Citron or Plateau de Fromages.
President Lily was delighted to induct another new member, Jean Beech, who is Iris Harvey's sister. Iris is one of three founder members who are still active in the club.
|3 French Ladies, (Or is one a man?)||Susan dressed up as a garlic seller|
|Lily reading the objects of Inner Wheel||Jean Beech becomes a member|
19 members attended the District International Rally on 7th November.
On our stall were the items made at our Craft CAMEO earlier in October. Our stall had a 'Coastal' theme. Items for sale included cards, key rings, jewellery, coasters, lighted bottles and items decorated with shells.
|Our stall with L to R District International Service Eastern Area Organiser, Rose, Club International Service Organiser, Gill, and members Carla and Barbara.||Our stall with a customer||Our stall waiting for the first customer|
On 18th October we were delighted to welcome 5 guests including our speaker, Daniel Wilds who has set up a new jewellery business in Birchington where he designs and remodels jewellery.
Daniel Wilds said he took over the jewellers in Birchington village from Stuart Bartlett about a year ago. He had brought with him for the evening a display of a number of pieces of his work, all of which he designs and makes himself.
He said he attended Herne Bay High School and then went on to Broadstairs College where, as part of an art and design course he undertook a jewellery project. He followed this with a jewellery course at KIAD in Rochester and then worked for an independent jeweller. He has been self-employed for the past fifteen years and as well as the shop in Birchington has had a hut on Herne Bay pier for the past six years. He said his main work comes from commissions and re-modelling but he also provides a watch repair and battery replacement service, though he does not do this personally.
Daniel spoke about the different qualities and benefits of varying types of gold, silver, rodium, palladium and platinum. He answered members’ questions partciularly concerned with cleaning jewellery.
There was an opportunity for members to view the jewellery on sale, and to discuss various commissions.
|Members making cards||A member making coasters||Members knitting keyrings|
|Members making jewellery||Members making photo keyrings||Members making lighted bottles|
On 20th September, we welcomed District Chairman Joan to speak to us. We presented Joan with a contribution to her charity, 'Riding for the Disabled', which was raised at the Cream Tea CAMEO held at IPP Margaret's home on 5th September.
FUND-RAISING QUIZ - September 1st
Our first fund-raiser of the year for President Lily's charity, was a Quiz held in Kearns Hall on September 1st. 8 teams from both Inner Wheel clubs and the general public cudgelled their brains to answer questions about such diverse subjects as Food & Drink, Literature, Numbers and Cumbria, (the last being for President Lily's benefit!) Two table rounds on Women in Sport and Places in Kent, proved quite taxing. Many of the Inner Wheel members were embarrassed to reveal that they had failed to recognise the Community Centre at Ditton where the District meetings have been held for the last 10 years! One Rotarian achieved the accolade of being the only person there to recognise 'Fanny Blankers Koen' as one of the athletes in the table quiz. The team from the Inner Wheel Club of the Isle of Sheppey were the eventual winners. Congratulations to them!
Presentation of cheques from the year 2017 - 2018
During the summer, IPP Janet was able to make a presentation to the Shelters and Amenities group to help with restoration of the shelters on the sea front. IPP Janet and IPP Margaret also made a presentation to 'Birchington in Bloom', to help to purchase planters and plants to brighten up the area around 'Dog Acre', in Birchington.
We don't have a formal meeting in August, but usually hold a CAMEO down at the Beach Huts in Minnis Bay, where several members have a beach hut. Members enjoyed the sunshine, sipping Sangria and eating canapes.
At her first meeting, President Lily Doody was delighted to welcome two new members to the club. Christine March and Emma Seckington. Christine was introduced to the club by her friend, Wendy Edmeades, and Emma was introduced by her mother, Ann Dallas. Emma’s induction brings us a second duo of ‘Mother and Daughter’ members. We already have one duo in Christine Wilkinson, a founder member of our club, and her daughter Rose Brightling.
L to R, IPP Margaret, Emma, Wendy, Christine, Lily with her back to the camera and IPP Janet
|L to R, Wendy, Christine, President Lily and IPP Janet||L to R, Emma, her mother, Ann and her cousin, IPP Margaret|
Joint Presidents Janet and Margaret hand over to new President Lily
Lily has chosen to support the Minnis Community Hub, which supports elderly and disabled people from all over Thanet, giving day respite care, assistance with bathing, washing hair and other personal care activities as well as providing social activities and a home-cooked meal every day.
Presidents Margaret and Janet's year 2017 - 2018
Here are reports on the latest events we have held
Our AGM and Handover took place on 21st June.
We were lucky with the weather which enabled us to have a Barbecue. Before Joint Presidents Margaret Hawkins and Janet Knuth handed over to incoming President, Lily Doody, they thanked members and friends who had contributed to the year in many different ways. Reports of the years’ events were given by all the officers of the club, and congratulations on a very successful year of fun, fund-raising and friendship were given by Immediate Past President Rose.A substantial sum has been raised by the club for local community projects, from three fund-raising events, a Quiz, an evening at the ‘Inner Wheel Spokes Pub’ and an Afternoon Tea and Flower Demonstration, as well as a good sum for International charities, Water Aid and BookAid, masterminded by Gill Condron, our International Officer. Many other items have been made, collected or donated for causes as diverse as the Bereavement Room at QEQM, (gowns for stillborn babies), knitted articles for children abroad, (Operation Sunshine), blankets for homeless charities, used stamps (Leprosy Mission), Pennies for Polio, printer and cartridges for the Red Cross.
Quilted 'Beach Bags' similar to the one made for the competition, were presented to the outgoing Presidents, complete with wine, a glass, flip flops, and other useful beach items! Then it was time to hand over to our incoming President Lily.
On 20th June, 10 of us attended the Summer District Meeting at Ditton.
We entered 3 items linked by a common theme of 'Beach Huts' for the Craft Competition, organised by DC Ruth. Our entries were 'Highly Commended'!
We were delighted to learn that we had won the 'Ten Pin Bowling Competition' and accepted the new trophy from DC Ruth. The two winning members, Jan Harvey and Jenny Graf were unable to be there, so three members of the team accepted the Shield on their behalf. At our next meeting the rest of the team were there, (except for Jan!) so we took a photo of the team and Margaret and Janet presented Jenny with the trophy.
Child's tabard with Beach Huts motif
Painting of Minnis Bay with Beach Huts
Quilted Beach Bag with Sunglasses, flip flops and wine!
On the 6th June, International Officer Gill Condron organised a ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ to raise money for our International Charity, BookAid.
It seemed appropriate to celebrate a very well-known and loved children’s book, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to raise money for a charity that provides books for children all over the world. They are committed to;
a)creating a world where everyone has access to the books they need to enrich and improve their own lives,
b)helping children discover books and develop a life-long love of reading and learning,
c)providing access to books for people forced to flee their homes or facing conflict,
d)supporting education from Primary School to University helping pupils succeed in reaching their full potential, and
e)providing medical and health care books to libraries, universities and hospitals around the world.
Gill opened her home and lovely garden to members and friends and provided a delicious tea. Guests wore ‘silly’ or fancy hats and a competition was held for the best hat! Raffle tickets were on sale for many wonderful prizes and at the end of the afternoon, a substantial sum had been raised. Earlier in the year, a raffle had been held at a Quiz evening, the proceeds of which also went to BookAid, a cheque for which will be presented at a forthcoming meeting.
We held our 'Afternoon Tea and Flower Demonstration' on May 14th
We did not have a formal meeting in May because we held our major fund-raiser of the year. We welcomed 130 guests to the Chapel at St Augustine's to be entertained by our guest speaker, Floral Arranger Alison Mount. During the afternoon, Alison made 7 arrangements which were raffled at the end of the afternoon, after our delicious tea. The proceeds of the raffle and any profit from the afternoon were towards two community projects; 'The Birchington Shelters and Amenities Group' and the 'Birchington in Bloom Project'.
President Margaret and Alison
President Janet with Gill and Susan checking arrangements for the tea.
Below are some of the prize winners with the arrangements they won.
Lily and Wendy selling raffle tickets before the tea started.
Our fellowship Italian evening was held on 19th April.
We enjoyed a huge buffet of 'Italian antipasti', followed by Tiramisu or Italian Meringue, which was delicious. After our meal, some members had arranged an Italian Table Quiz, and an Identify the Pasta competition. The winning table was awarded 'Ferrero Rocher'. (Oh Ambassador, you are spoiling us!)
We were delighted to congratulate Liz Hobcraft, one of our 3 remaining founder members, on reaching 80 years old, and she was presented with a bouquet by Joint Presidents, Margaret and Janet. She in turn kindly treated everyone to a drink, which was most appreciated!
National Conference in Bournemouth 19th to 22nd March
10 of us attended the National Conference in Bournemouth this year. We enjoyed the friendship and fellowship and particularly enjoyed the keynote speakers, John Benjamin, antique jewellery valuer and expert from the Antiques Roadshow, and Helen Sharman, CMG, OBE, the first British citizen to go into space. We also very much enjoyed the entertainment on the second evening of 'The Opera Boys'. District 12 met up with District 5 on the first evening and we had an enjoyable evening trying to crack the Table Quizzes, which DC Ruth had prepared.
We all gathered in Margaret and Lily's Room for drinks before we ventured out for our evening meal. Lily, Margaret and Hazel decided to dispense with glasses and enjoyed theirs straight from the bottle!
We weren't lucky enough to get to meet The Opera Boys but Liz's friend Angela did, so she sent us a photo.
Also not a very good photo of John Benjamin on stage with Assn. President Liz Thomas.
Thursday 15th March Club Meeting and speakers from the Minnis Community Hub
Two of the leaders of the Minnis Community Hub, Gill Newman and Sue Sykes, came to talk to Westgate and Birchington Inner Wheel at our March meeting and told us all about their work. Following supper Gill and Sue gave a talk about the services that they provide. The Community Hub takes service users from all over the Thanet area. They spoke about how, following the refurbishment four years ago, they offer services to help keep people living in their own homes for as long as possible. They provide a meeting place to avoid isolation and groups for sewing, singing, gardening, even bongo drums! Many people come to enjoy the meals provided in a social atmosphere. Some people take the opportunity to bathe in specially adapted baths and to have their hair washed or use the hairdressers and many use the clinic support, such as chiropody. At the moment they have fewer service users but they tend to have more complex needs. Gill and Sue asked if anyone was aware of someone in the community who may need their services to provide details to the Case Manager who would arrange an assessment of need and a financial assessment for them.
Although the centre is funded by KCC the members of staff run coffee mornings and other fund- raising events for their Amenity Fund which provides money for the garden, an annual pantomime and other activities. President Janet Knuth made the presentation to Gill and Sue of a professional hairdryer and brushes together with a cheque towards a camera. The money was raised through our ‘Supper at the Inner Wheel Spokes Pub’, when we gathered together to enjoy a supper and play typical ‘pub’ games, earlier in the year. Our group of 'Sing For Your Life' presenters were delighted to be invited to come to look round and bring our 'Music Box' to be enjoyed by the service users and we are looking forward to making regular visits.
Sue, our Welfare Officer, presented a bouquet to one of our members, Lynda MacGowan, who was celebrating her 80th birthday on that night. Lynda, very kindly treated everyone to a drink that evening.
The pictures show the ladies on the top table listening to the speakers, President Janet presenting the speakers with the gifts of hairdryer and money for a camera, and Sue presenting Lynda with her bouquet.
Thursday 8th March Bowling at Bugsy's in Margate. Seven of us gathered for the annual bowling evening to enter for the District Bowling Competition. None of us were very expert but we had a great laugh and enjoyed the evening tremendously!
After our games were completed, the winners who would go forward to compete for the prize were the two top scorers on the evening. We played two games, with very mixed fortunes. Some of us were definitely feeling the effects of having played the second game, and our scores dipped down, but others gained a second wind and improved dramatically with the practice! The most spectacular bowl of the evening was Wendy’s when she almost threw herself down, as well as the ball, and only by dint of a somersault onto the ground managed to throw the ball and get a strike after a nought on the first throw.
The two highest scores from the first game were Wendy Edmeades with 105 and Jan Harvey with 133; In the second game, Mo Reid scored 90 and Jenny Graf scored 112, so the two to be submitted will be Jan Harvey and Jenny Graf with a combined score of 245.
Wednesday 7th March CAMEO at Chris's home when Hazel and Jacquie showed their ideas for the 'Beach Bag' that they are making for the District Craft Exhibition.
Thursday 15th February Informal evening at the Fishbone Grill. We all enjoyed a supper of fish and chips, (or salad, for those members watching their waistline!)
Wednesday 7th February CAMEO at Hazel's home when the 'Sing For Your Life' team demonstrated the Music Box, and everybody enjoyed a sing-song!
Wednesday 10th January World Inner Wheel Day
We celebrated World Inner Wheel Day this year by a visit to a pub! Well not quite! For one evening only, Bay Church Hall, Minnis Bay, was changed into a venue for a delicious meal and the opportunity to play some traditional pub games! It was all done in the name of fund-raising for our community charities projects. Our ‘catering committee’ headed by one of our newest members, Wendy Edmeades, provided a delicious traditional ‘pub supper’ of ‘Sausages’n’Mash', with onion gravy, followed by ‘Apple Crumble Muffins’ and custard. Two of the brave menfolk, Rex Morley and Lester Edmeades, had their arms twisted to don ‘pinnies’ and bow ties, to wait on the ladies, so we kindly let them eat their supper afterwards! A very big thank you to both the catering team and Rex and Lester!
A true ‘pub quiz’ followed the meal, when questions were asked about every aspect of pubs, real and fictional, and drinks. Hazel Hedges won the quiz, with a worryingly impressive knowledge of pubs and alcohol, and was awarded a prize bottle of fizz! A giant Jenga tower was erected and 2 pairs of members. Lily Doody and Margaret Hawkins, and Mo Reid and Jenny Graf, started to demolish it in the traditional way. The tower was about the height of the ladies’ waists at the start and eventually built up to somewhere over their heads! Eventually Margaret Hawkins managed to cause the dramatic collapse.
Other members played bagatelle and there was keen competition amongst the group. Finally our two most senior members, Jean Munday and Jean Lewis, were judged the winners having scored two balls apiece in the 350 slot!
Money raised from the evening will be used to purchase items for the Minnis Community Hub for the elderly. The Hub provides personalised activities, group sessions and themed days, therapy and wellbeing services, including hairdressing, chiropody, a bathing service and home-cooked meals to mention just a few of the services on offer.
Wednesday 3rd January 2018
Liz Stefaniak hosted the first of our 2018 CAMEO's, and we all enjoyed catching up with the news, (and demolishing the last of the Christmas shortbread!)
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Friday 29th December
After Christmas all members and partners were invited to join Presidents Janet and Margaret for canapes and drinks.
Thursday 14th December
A group of our members plus Rotarians and other Inner Wheel club members get together as a choir each year to rehearse for the Joint Thanet Rotary Carol Service, formed by Chris Hedges of Westgate & Birchington Rotary Club. here is a picture of the choir with Chris to the right and Rev. Peter Russell, who accompanied us on the organ, to the left.
Thursday 7th December
We all enjoyed our Christmas Dinner, and rounded off the evening with table quizzes and puzzles. Our Joint Presidents Janet and Margaret gave each member a present of a special pen on which was inscribed our logo and club name, with which we were all delighted.
Saturday 2nd to Saturday 9th December
Our entry for the St Thomas Christmas Tree Festival featured gold and blue baubles with our logo and pictures of some of our activities, both social and charitable, and our blue and gold angels which were made at our Craft CAMEO in October. All donations from the Tree festival will go to ASSERT (Angelman Syndrome Support, Education and Research).
Thursday November 16th Fellowship Meeting with a 'Show and Tell'
We enjoyed a friendly meal together for our Fellowship Evening, and afterwards several members regaled us with stories of their activities. Jacquie appeared in Victorian costume to tell us about her 'acting' with the St Peter's Historical Walks, where the volunteers dress up to tell the story of Victorian St Peter's. Wendy showed us a beautifully bound and illustrated family history, and Sarah told us of her Norwegian background.
Wednesday, 8th November District 12 International Rally
16 members of our club attended the District 12 ‘International Rally’ in aid of ‘Water Aid’ at Ditton. We had been asked to wear ‘Blue’ which is the colour of Water Aid’s logo. We were very smart in our blue club sweatshirts or polos, and money aprons. Club President Janet provided a twig tree to display the wooden angels on and we had display shelves and boxes provided by Barbara and Gill, which made our stall look very professional! It was devoted to ‘Angels’ in many different forms, ranging from wooden carved angels, pottery, paper, knitted and peg doll angels to ‘angel’ key rings and Christmas cards, most of which had been made at our ‘Craft Day’. We were delighted to hear that the money raised will be match-funded by the British Government. There were several new stalls this year as well as our ‘Angels’ stall, and as usual we all toured the other stalls with interest, spending money on such diverse activities as ‘Christmas arrangements’, Tombola and ‘Lucky Numbers Wheel’. We shall be using the twig tree again for our IW entry to the St Thomas’ Christmas Tree Festival, which starts on 2nd December.
Thursday, October 19th Meeting
At our last meeting we welcomed our District Chairman Ruth Portway and Eileen Docherty. Eileen is Chair of the Thanet Group of Diabetes UK which is Ruth’s chosen charity for the year. Earlier this year, our Vice President Lily, held a Strawberry tea to raise money for Diabetes UK. She was delighted to present Eileen with a cheque. After the presentation, Ruth spoke to us about Inner Wheel, having obviously done some research on our own club. She congratulated us on our wide range of social and charitable events, and was keen to come to other events which we were holding, if she had the time. Presidents Janet Knuth and Margaret Hawkins presented Ruth with a book of pictures about Old Birchington, and she gave each of the Presidents, a Hebe, which she assured them was easy to grow even in our ‘salty’ seaside environment.
Pictures show Lily and Eileen with the cheque and L to R Janet, Eileen, Ruth and Margaret
Wednesday, 4th October Craft CAMEO
We assembled in the Bay Church Hall for a Craft Day CAMEO to make 'Angels' for our stall at the International Rally.
We were making ‘angels’ to be sold in aid of ‘Water Aid’ at the District International Rally, in November. The theme of ‘Angels’ was chosen because the Rally will be held close to Christmas, and we thought ‘angels’ could be used in many different ways at Christmas time. Several different forms of angels were made, ranging from knitted and ‘peg doll’ angels to Christmas cards. Members sewed, stuck, cut out and decorated, while chatting and enjoying frequent refreshments during the day. At the end of the day, a large number of peg dolls, numerous knitted angels and many packets of cards had been made, with many people taking materials to make more at home.
Some angels are also destined to decorate our entry for the ‘Christmas Tree Festival’ at St Thomas Church, Minnis Bay, which will be on show during the week, 2nd to 9th December.
On 21st September Speaker Raychel Mount from the 'King Street Greening Project'
We were delighted to welcome, as our speaker, Raychel Mount from the ‘King Street Greening Project’. She talked to us about her initial idea of making a ‘green’ area in King Street, Margate, ‘connecting people and nature in Margate’. The aim is to reintroduce plants, trees and all things green back into our busy town environment, with the aim of improving the well-being of residents and visitors alike. They want to create a nectar oasis for pollinating insects as part of the www.plantpotsforpollinators.org campaign and re-introduce life and nature in an urban setting for the benefit of all who pass through it. This initial aim led on to several other initiatives, the first being the Listening Wall. This is a vibrant, 28 metres long wall of plants, dedicated to providing a safe place for the public to share emotions safely. This is in two parts; The Loving Wall – Where messages of love, hope, connection, positivity and unity can be written and expressed on a large chalkboard heart for the world to see and enjoy and The Listening Wall – Where those struggling to feel the love, can express more painful emotions by posting private messages through letterboxes in the wall, to be read by a peaceful, respectful and non-judgemental Listening Group, enabling them to feel heard in a safe environment, and without hurting those around them. The group does not offer any advice or solutions; however, they passively lend an ear and appropriate space to people who need to be listened to. The idea then spread to introducing a ‘Help Yourself Herb Garden’ which encouraged people to use fresh herbs in their cookery, to encourage children to understand where their food comes from and that growing plants is useful for nourishment as well as for pleasure.
Since poetry is an expressive and artistic medium of communication, they decided to use it for their signboards on-site! The poetry signs were written by Adiroopa Mukherjee who is a poet and graduate student at the University of Kent. We were absolutely fascinated by Raychel’s talk, and were keen to be informed of any other initiatives that Raychel is involved with.
Highlights from previous years!
Past Presidents' Roll of Honour
Mrs D Boardman 1983 - 1984 Mrs J Jackson 1984 - 1985 Mrs D Abrahams 1985 - 1986
Mrs C Wilkinson 1986 - 1987 Mrs D Taplin 1987 - 1988 (Past District Chairman)
Mrs Daphne Fisher 1988 - 1989 Mrs Elaine Walker 1989 - 1990 Mrs Iris Harvey 1990 - 1991
Eileen Heigl 1991 - 1992 Elizabeth Hobcraft 1992 - 1993 Margaret Jones 1993 - 1994
Jean Lewis 1994 - 1995 Bobby Kulasinghe 1995 - 1996 Kate Morgan 1996 - 1997
Louise Stokes 1997 - 1998 Janet Harvey 1998 - 1999 Susan Wade 1999 - 2000
Wendy Mitchell 2000 - 2001 Iris Harvey 2001 - 2002 Bobby Kulasinghe 2002 - 2003
Gwennyth Hogsden 2003 - 2004 Angela Norman 2004 - 2005 Sarah Seyler 2005 - 2006
Margaret Hawkins 2006 - 2007 (Past District Chairman) Janet Harvey 2007 - 2008
Wendy Mitchell and Iris Harvey 2008 - 2009 Susan Wade 2009 - 2010
Kath Porteous 2010 - 2011 Lily Doody 2011 - 2012 Rose Brightling 2012 - 2013
Hazel Hedges 2013 - 2014 (Past District Chairman) Maureen Dunderdale 2014 - 2015
Angela Norman 2015 - 2016 Rose Brightling 2016 - 2017
Margaret Hawkins and Janet Knuth 2017 - 2018 Lily Doody 2018 - 2019
Jacquie Agnew 2019 - 2020