District 12 Inner Wheel

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 6.30 for 7.00pm 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 20 members at present.

The Inner Wheel club of Westgate & Birchington was proud to have 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. Hazel is presently the Member of Council representing our District on the National Council.

(For more information please use the 'Contact Us' page.)

Club Officers for 2023 to 2024 

Name Office
Charity Supported

Margaret Hawkins


Lily Doody

Joint Presidents

Lily DoodyMargaret Hawkins  

Local charities


Kath Porteous Treasurer Kath Porteous

Hazel Hedges


  Club Correspondent


Hazel Hedges April 2021

Mandy Dallen

Assistant to secretary

  Mandy Dallen
Carla Latchford Membership Officer Carla Latchford

Lynda MacGowan International Service Officer
Book Bus 

PETA's Global Compassion Fund
                                          Programme for 2023 to 2024



Thur 21st Sept  Club meeting - Presentation of Macmillan cheque and talk


Tues 3rd Oct CAMEO @ Carla's @ 2.30pm

Wed 18th Oct  District Meeting @ Ditton 10 for 10.30am

Thur 19th Oct 40th Anniversary Lunch @ St Augustine's, Partners and Friends welcome, 12.30pm for 1pm 


Tues 7th Nov CAMEO @ Lynda's home @10.30am

Thur 9th Nov  District International Rally @ Ditton 10am - 2.30pm, Charity 'The Book Bus' (Book - 'Treasure Island' ) We shall be selling jewellery.

Thur 16th Nov Club Meeting tbc


Mon 4th to Fri 8th Dec  Christmas Tree Festival St Thomas Church

Thur 7th Dec Christmas Dinner @ St Augustine's 6.30 for 7pm

Fri 8th Dec Joint Rotary & IW Carol Service 6pm St Thomas Church



Wed 10th Jan World Inner Wheel Day celebrating '100 for 100' yrs

Joint Clubs Tea and cakes with donations for the food bank in Kearns Hall 2.30pm

Thur 18th Jan Club Meeting tbc


Tue 6th Feb   CAMEO @ Liz S's home @ 2.30pm

Thur 15th Feb   Club Business Meeting (Nominations)

Sat 24th Feb  Fundraiser Quiz @ Kearns Hall, BYO Food & drink £5 & raffle


Thur 7th Mar CAMEO @ Kath's home 'An Afternoon at the Theatre'

Thur 21st Mar Club Meeting tbc

Wed 27th Mar  District Meeting @ Ditton 10 for 10.30am


Thur 11th Apr   CAMEO A visit to Taddy's Barn (time to be confirmed)

NB No Meeting in April

Mon 15th Apr  IW Centenary Celebration Lunch in London

Fri 19th Apr Assn. AGM on Zoom

Fri 19th Apr  Fundraiser DNA Band Night @ United Services Club, Birchington 

Wed 24th Apr District Quiz @ Ditton 1.30—4pm 


Thur 9th May CAMEO at Mandy's home @ 2.30pm

Tue 7th to Fri 10th May International IW Convention, Manchester

Fri 10th May   Joint IW & Rotary 'Cocktails' evening fundraiser with French & German Contact Clubs, Kearns Hall.

Thur 16th May  Club Meeting tbc


 Tue 4th Jun  CAMEO at Pam's home time tbc

 Fri 14th Jun  District Rally @ West Malling Golf Club 11am — 4pm7 1RE GB 

 Wed 19th Jun District AGM & Handover

 Thur 20th Jun Club AGM & Handover

We enjoyed a visit from Elizabeth Martin, one of our 'Fab Four' Chairmen on 20th Oct.
We enjoyed an excellent speaker Carol Creasey, a local author on 15th September.
Carol Creasey's book about her son  Carol Creasey a local author
Carla hosted a very successful Macmillan Coffee Afternoon on Wednesday 7th September, raising £198.93.
It was also an occasion to present certificates to 2 founder members who have both recently retired from the club but love to support us at our events. Chris Wilkinson is shown admiring her certificate and Liz Hobcraft is shown being presented with her certificate.
Liz with her certificate Chris Wilkinson with her certificatecake plateBarbara, Helena and Kath at the Macmillan Coffee afternoon  

Our first fundraiser of the year was held at Kath Porteous's home. We invited friends and partners and we enjoyed the sunshine,
eating fish and chips and enjoying delicious home-made desserts donated by members.
Fish & Chips Supper

On our first meeting in July we were delighted to induct Nursemin Richardson to join us, and welcome back Christine March who had taken time off for personal reasons and is now able to come back.

Nursemin's induction Christine March
Here is Nursemin being inducted into our club by
President Lily Doody and Membership Officer Carla Latchford.
We welcomed back Christine to our club
after a short absence 

On 16th June we held our AGM and Handover.

Sadly President Iris started the Inner Wheel year in hospital with a broken hip and also ended the year in hospital having had a fall and broken her wrist. The AGM was taken by Margaret, the incoming Joint President. 

Here is our new committee. 

The new Executive for 2022 to 2023
The New Committee for 2022 to 2023 L to R Joint President, Margaret Hawkins, Assistant to secretary, Mandy Dallen, Joint President, Lily Doody, Treasurer, Kath Porteous, Membership Officer, Carla Latchford and Secretary, Hazel Hedges

Our incoming President Iris Harvey was a founder member of our club and has nobly volunteered to become President again. Unfortunately she was in hospital when the handover took place and we were unable to welcome her as President until the September meeting. the first to be held 'in person' for over a year. 

Iris's charities are the League of Friends for QEQM (Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother) Hospital and the Pilgrim's Hospice.

We raised money for the Ukraine Appeal.

During Jacquie's Presidency we raised money for the charity 'Beach Within Reach', a charity raising money for special wheelchairs on each beach which can go in the water and over the sand. Everybody thought it was such a good idea as we are a seaside club. However, after the lockdown and Jacquie's unprecedented 2nd year as President, we discovered that the charity refused our donations saying that they had plenty of money. A vote was taken and we decided to donate the money to the 'Ukraine fund at the Red Cross through the District Treasurer. To add to the £800 raised already, Kath made yellow and blue ribbon pins to be sold for the Ukraine fund and Carla sold her plants to make a donation of around £900.

Carla had Geraniums for sale Kath made ribbon pins for Ukraine
Carla sold her geranium plants for the Ukraine appeal Kath made and sold ribbon pins for the Ukraine appeal

Four members attended the District Rally this year.

Rally Picture 3 Kath sitting with Crayford and Danson and Tunbridge members at District Rally
L to R, Lily, Hazel, Margaret and Kath Kath sitting with members from Crayford & Danson and Tunbridge Wells. Hazel taking the photos!
Margaret and Lily with Janet Knuth at District Rally Top Table at Rally with DC Pat and Assn. President Betty
Margaret and Lily sitting with past member, Janet and her new club Cranbrook and Hawkhurst The top table with 
L to R Chris, Secretary, Visiting DC, Assn. President Betty, DC Pat, Visiting DC and Pat, Treasurer.

Liz H held a CAMEO at her home on 2nd June where the table and food and clothes were all decorated in red, white and blue to honour the Platinum Jubilee.

Liz H Barbara and Sue at Liz H CAMEO Margaret Lily and Carla at Liz H CAMEO

Our club outing was to the Italianate Glasshouse in Ramsgate's King George VI park. We enjoyed glorious weather and a delicious Cream Tea. Thank you Mandy for organising that, it was most successful.

Italianate Glasshouse cream tea table 1 Italianate Glasshouse cream tea with President Iris Italianate Glasshouse cream tea
L to R Barbara, Margaret, Lily, Liz H, Mandy and Leonora L to R Jan, Jean B and President Iris L to R Hazel, Sue, Carla and Kath

On 9th May we held an afternoon tea in aid of P Iris's charities, which raised £302. Again we were delighted to welcome Jean M who thoroughly enjoyed her tea and lots of conversation with old friends.

President Iris held a CAMEO at her home on 4th May, when we were delighted to welcome our dear Jean M. Jean is still a member and though frail and usually unable to come to meetings she loves to come to social gatherings if she can.

On 27th April, Margaret, Lily, Kath and Hazel formed the team for the District Quiz. We came 3rd only 2 points behind the 2nd team! This represents a great increase in our position from previous Quizzes, so we were very pleased with ourselves.

At our April meeting, some items of business were concluded before we enjoyed an evening of BINGO! Lucky winner of 1 line was Kath, winner of 2 lines was our guest, prospective new member, Nursemin, and lucky winner of the full house was Jan. Nursemin then went on to win the raffle as well! Jan and Nursemin are shown with their prizes. 

Jan Harvey wins the Bingo Full House prize Nursemin wins the raffle and the 2 lines Bingo

On 5th April, Jacquie held a CAMEO at her home, at which her husband talked about his recent trip to the Poland/Ukraine border helping refugees. 

Trevor is a retired Rally Driver, and he explained that the Motor Sports Groups in the UK had joined forces with local Polish & Ukrainian groups to bring supplies to the refugees in lorries kept in Vienna. With hundreds of women and children in each refuge, drinking water, bunks, washing machines and fridges are in high demand. Photos show a lorry loaded up with drinking water, the amount of water needed in one day in one refuge and one of the rooms in a refuge, with 50 children in one room in bunks.

lorry loaded up with water bottles
1 days water piled up bunk beds

On 17th March we had a speaker, Jeremy Voizey, talking about 'Mercy Ships', our International Charity for this year.

Jeremy and several other Rotary and Inner Wheel members had done voluntary work on the Mercy Ships, and he gave us a fascinating insight into their work.

On 12th March we joined forces with our Rotary partners to run a Race night with a Fish & Chip Supper

Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel combined with their partner Rotary club to run a Charity Race Night, with a Fish & Chip Supper, raising funds for our President's 2 charities, and for the 2 Rotary President's charities, The Viking Unit for Chemotherapy at QEQM and 'Hope for Tomorrow' (Mobile Chemotherapy in Kent.)

Local businesses were asked to sponsor races or horses. Many thanks to our local Westgate and Birchington business sponsors (in alphabetical order); Abacus Insurance, Ace Attire Printers, BB Brides, Brills, Cut & Curl, Dadd's Butchers, Eclectic Art Gallery, Fish Inn, Green Hare, Julia's Bistro, Little Brown Fairy Cake Company, Mandy's Deli, Miles & Barr, Natural Curves, Priceless, Prentiss Greengrocery, Sexy Shoos, Shoreline Partners, Vape Minds & Westgate Galleria.

We also wish to thank the many individuals who sponsored a horse with their choice of name. There were 6 horses in each race and 8 races. For the last race, raffle tickets were sold at £1 each to give punters a chance to be an 'owner' of the 6 horses. The first 6 numbers out were the 'owners' and the winning 'owner' won themselves a bottle of Champagne. The horses were 'hobby horses' moved by willing grandchildren, following a throw of 2 dice, the green one to give the number of the horse and the yellow one to give the number of spaces on the race-track.

Over £300 was raised in sponsorship before the evening and once the expenses had been paid about £1000 had been raised for the 4 charities. A very good evening was enjoyed by all.

Horses lined up ready for the off! race course on the night Throwing the dice

Three CAMEO'S were held one on 24th January at Hazel's home, one on 1st February at Liz S's home and one on 9th March at Mandy's home.

Our February meeting should have been for our 'Silent Auction' but it was cancelled due to the lack of support at that time of year. Instead we had a business meeting to sort out some internal issues. Sadly the charity that we had supported during the lockdown in Jacquie's two years as President, declined to accept our donation, and a vote was taken to give the donation of £750 to the Inner Wheel Ukraine Charity.

Our speaker for our January meeting was from 'The Pilgrim's Hospice'

We enjoyed a very interesting and sometimes emotional talk by Wendy Hills, who is the CEO of the Pilgrim's Hospice Group. She started her working life as a nurse, then specialised in 'end of life' and 'palliative' care. The Pilgrim's Hospice group is the only Hospice in Great Britain which has 3 Hospices in its domain. We learned a little about the work there and many of us were surprised to hear that it is also used frequently for respite, for ongoing treatment and for individual procedures to make life more comfortable for the patients. The whole family is involved with the Hospice and many families find it is a very valuable resource for help. The picture shows Wendy giving her talk.

Speaker from Pilgrim's Hospice

On World IW Day we joined with other Thanet clubs to celebrate with a walk, and a coffee morning.

International Inner Wheel Day Coffee Morning

Representatives from the 4 Thanet clubs, (Broadstairs, Margate, Ramsgate and Westgate and Birchington) met up for a walk followed by a coffee morning on International Inner Wheel Day, January 10th at the home of Anni Bignold, Broadstairs Club's President.

 Each member attending was asked to donate some food for the food banks locally and the entrance and coffee money and raffle were going to the national President's Charity, The Stroke Association.

 The photos show the produce collected on the day and another third has been collected since amounting to approximately £110.00 worth, and some views of the members enjoying their coffee. It was divided equally between Birchington food bank, The Storehouse, Broadstairs Food Bank and the Salvation Army.  £112.50 was raised for the Stroke Association. 

Food Bank contributions from IIW Day World Inner Wheel Day with members World Inner Wheel Day with some more members in another room

Christmas Dinner

We held our early Christmas Dinner at St Augustine's on November 29th. We enjoyed a traditional Christmas Dinner, with alternatives of Sea Bass or Vegetable Coubiliac, followed by traditional Christmas Pudding or Chocolate Tart or French Lemon Tart. Secretary Hazel had organised a fun Christmas Quiz for the tables and this was followed by IPP Jacquie organising 'Pass the Christmas Pudding', (a variation on the traditional Pass the Parcel). Each table had a 'Christmas Pudding' to throw round their table, and when the music stopped the person with the pudding could choose a prize from the array of 'Christmas Pudding' paper-wrapped prizes. There was a prize for everybody! We were delighted to welcome several guests. 

Photos show the members and guests enjoying drinks before the meal and some of the guests at the tables, the food at dinner, the 'Christmas Pudding', the 'Pass the Pudding' prizes and one guest on the table which didn't have a 'Christmas Pudding' to throw, but instead a green squishy ball, which we nicknamed the 'Vegan Christmas Pudding'!

Jacquie and Linda her guest Iris, Jan & Jean Anne Maria with Judy and Lily
Chocolate tart Christmas Pudding and Brandy Sauce guest wearing her prize xmas pud glasses
Christines guests Kath's table Sea Bass
Margaret & Leonora Christmas Tree with members and guests Sue
The Christmas pudding! Pass the Christmas Pudding prizes One of the guests with the vegan pudding
The Christmas Pudding! The table with the Christmas Pudding Prizes displayed! One guest with the 'Vegan' Pudding!

The Thanet Rotary and Inner Wheel Annual Carol Service

The four IW clubs and the six Rotary clubs operating in Thanet, always get together before Christmas to take part in the 'Thanet Rotary and Inner Wheel Annual Carol Service'. Many of our members join the choir which operates specially for the occasion, run by Rotarian Chris Hedges. This year it was held in Birchington at St Thomas Church at Minnis Bay. Unfortunately due to Covid restrictions, the usual 'Christmas Tree Festival' was unable to be held at St Thomas Church. Our club provided a decorated tree for the Festival.

choir singing at the Carol Service Christmas tree Inner Wheel Christmas Tree
The choir St Thomas Christmas Tree Inner Wheel Tree

Remembrance Day

It is traditional for the club to lay wreaths at both the Westgate War Memorial and the Birchington War Memorial. This year, Lily Doody laid the wreath at Birchington's Act of Remembrance and Hazel Hedges laid the wreath at Westgate's Act of Remembrance on behalf of President Iris. Knitters and crocheters had been out in force all over both Westgate & Birchington, decorating the area with poppies, and at the Westgate Memorial there were models of service personnel, standing 'sentry' over the memorial garden, made by local people. There are several memorial benches around the area.

Hazel was given a basket of hand crocheted poppies by a lady in Birchington to sell for the RBL Poppy Appeal. £77 was made towards the appeal.

(Picture shows Hazel laying the wreath and some of the models of service personnel and the basket of poppies)

Basket of poppy brooches Hazel laying wreath at Westgate model soldier in Westgate model soldiers on guard
The basket of poppy brooches Hazel laying the wreath at Westgate model soldiers in Westgate Model soldiers guard the gate to the memorial

Iris finally gets her chain of office

At our October meeting, President Iris finally got her chain. She is seen here being presented with the chain of office by IPP Jacquie Agnew.

In late October an international Quiz was held in Kearns Hall, Minnis Bay, to raise funds for 'Mercy Ships' our club's chosen International charity. About 70 people attended the Quiz, enjoying 'fish and chips' in the interval, and answering questions on a wide range of subjects, all with an international flavour. Thanks were given to  John and Margaret Hawkins for setting the quiz and asking the questions, whilst the club International Service Organiser, Kath Porteous, was responsible for all the organisation and for the wonderful raffle. Just over £500 was raised, which was match-funded by the charity to make £1000.(Picture shows Margaret Hawkins asking the questions and running the raffle)

Margaret at the Quiz with raffle prizes Margaret at the Quiz with raffle prizes
Margaret asking the questions Margaret running the huge raffle

On 22nd September, Kath, our ISO, organised a 'Working Day CAMEO' to make items to sell at the International Rally stall in aid of the 'Butterfly Tree at the District 12 International Rally on November 11th. ISO Kath had planned to make many items for Christmas including stockings, gift bags, bottle bags, tree decorations and much more. One member made beautiful Christmas cards whilst others sewed stockings, bags and tree decorations. 

2 Bottle bags Child's stocking Aprons, Bottle bags and Stockings
Two gift bags Child's stocking A selection of bottle bags and tree decorations
Christmas mats and coasters and stockings ladies stocking Our stall at the Rally
Christmas mats and bags lady's stocking Our stall at the Rally

These were then on sale at the Rally on our stall, with the profits going towards the District International charity, 'Butterfly Tree'. A raffle was also held for a lovely velvet Christmas stocking filled with £100 worth of beauty products, A child's stocking filled with sweets and an exquisite hand-made 'Christmas Bag'. Our stall raised over £350.

On September 16th we had our first 'proper face to face meeting' and we welcomed a new member, Chris Birnage, a refugee from the now defunct Herne Bay club. She brought a visitor with her, Debbie, who is the daughter of another new member, also from Herne Bay, Jane Gregory. Jane and her daughter Louise are looking forward to their first meeting with us in September. 

In the first week of September we had our first CAMEO of the year at Margaret's home. Again it was lovely to catch up with other members and friends. Margaret had made delicious cheese scones, and we enjoyed eating and chatting so much that she had a job to get rid of us!

Our informal get together, on 12th August, on the cliff top in Westgate was a slightly blowy affair, but it was good to be face to face with friends we haven't seen for a while! We all brought folding chairs but unfortunately Hazel discovered when she opened hers that it had a broken leg! It has obviously been sitting in the garden shed for too long being ignored! Carla efficiently saved the day though, by producing, like a magician, another seat from the boot of her car! Hazel was worried that if she got down on the grass she might never get up again!

Despite Iris's absence, we began the year with a fund-raiser. Christine volunteered to host a Cheese and Wine in her garden. Here is her report.

'Whilst we can never rely on the English weather, we can always rely on our Inner Wheel club to come along and enjoy an evening of friendship and fun.

I was delighted with the turn out for our first fundraising event of our new programme year which was held in our garden on Thursday 15 July in support of President Iris's two chosen charities: Pilgrim's Hospice and QEQM's League of Friends.

There's no doubt that the weather could have been kinder, but warned in advance to be prepared for a typical summer's evening our members and their guests all turned up suitably attired in clothing for a cool, damp evening. It's with grateful thanks to Rose and Charlie Brightling that the provision of their large gazebo provided suitable cover from some light rain. The cool moist weather didn't dampen our spirits though, and we all enjoyed a meal of four different cheeses accompanied by crisp, freshly baked rolls, biscuits for cheese plus some tasty nibbles, not forgetting some glasses of wine.

It was an evening of fun and laughter, with non-stop chatter, and we all agreed how good it was to be able to meet again face to face and to be able to socialise and  enjoy each other's company once more. An additional bonus to our evening of enjoyment was that we raised a very respectable amount of just under £196.00 as a donation to President Iris's charities.' Cheers!

Cheese and Wine in Christine's garden

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic President Jacquie was invited to continue for a second year as President

We enjoyed many meetings by Zoom, some meetings in a member's garden and finally our AGM in President Jacquie's garden where Vice President, Christine, on behalf of incoming President, Iris, (who was in hospital at the time), presented Jacquie with some fabric 'fat quarters', a voucher for a Craft and Material shop, a plant and a certificate to record 2 years as President.

AGM in Jacquie's garden

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.

  Posies for friendship

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! 

Blytheswood Box by Mandy for a small boy Blytheswood Box by Carla for a lady Me and Mandy with several Blytheswood 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

 Challenge 88

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 on seafront doing a mile for the sponsored walk

th Sept" alt="88 Challenge with grandchildren 13th Sept" src="/images/88_Challenge_with_grandchildren_13th_Sept.jpg">
More autumnal walkingday out with grandchildren at Hever Castle
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
Jacquie's coffee morning cakes Jacquie's coffee morning guests Liz S hosts a coffee morning

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. 

Scrubs material being taken off for cutting out. Carla sewing scrubs A set of Pink scrubs completed

 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. 

Cheque being donated for mask making AllStyle Masks with rainbow logo
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!

 st Zoom CAMEO meeting" alt="1st Zoom CAMEO meeting" src="/images/1st_Zoom_CAMEO_meeting.jpeg">

 Cameo at Millies

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.

DC Liz shows off her present Judyn Matthewman inducted by DC Liz

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.

Mad Hatters delicious home-made cake The tea tables at the Mad Hatters Cafe Queen Victoria's Parlour

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.

Joint Thanet Clubs World Inner Wheel Day Coffee Morning

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.

Christmas Dinner table 1 Christmas Dinner Table 2 Christmas Dinner table 3
Christmas Dinner Table 4 Christmas Dinner Table 5 Inner Wheel Christmas Tree 2019
Christmas Tree Festival 2019 guests enjoying refreshments Wendy's festive topper
Another of Karen's festive toppers

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!

our stall of bottles
Our stall with the helpers

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!

At The Swan for a CAMEO second photo at The Swan

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 Spirit of Adventure cruise
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!

CAMEO at Heritage Centre

A group of our members enjoying a talk with Dr Dawn Crouch at the Heritage Centre.

One of the ladies on duty at Heritage Centre

Cakes for sale at 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!

Chairs purchased with IW labels

In July, President Jacquie's year opened with a CAMEO at the Westgate & Birchington Golf Club.

CAMEO at Golf Club

Some of the ladies enjoying their afternoon tea.

CAMEO delicious cakes on table

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.

Handover of cheque at 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.

All the ladies2
The Queen pours the champagne
studying the form
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.
ladies who lunch
More ladies who lunch
Afternoon Tea with champagne was served before the races began. We were lucky with the weather! We are nearly ready for the off!
who is going to win the sweepstake
plastic horse
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

The whole team! (2)
Carla blue
Bags 4
Barbara black7
Mo maxi 4
Jenny 2
Christine 1
Carla hat
Hazel hat
The bride 2
Jenny black
Mo red 3
Carla in Silver
Barbara 7
Hazel 8

'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.

Year of the pig logo

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.

Charlie Brightling from SERV 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!

 The whole team

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.

Lily inducting Sandra 2
Lily inducting Sandra

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'!

Jacquie's CAMEO 2
Jacquie's CAMEO (2)

Jacquie at her CAMEO
Lily at CAMEO

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?

70's night with Wendy, Christine and Louise dressed to impress
70's night dancing
70's night 8
70's night 2
70's night 5
70's night 3

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.

Auction Jumper

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.

Christmas Tree Festival 2018 Inner Wheel tree 
Christmas Tree Festival 2018 01 (002)
Christmas Tree Festival 2018 02 (002)

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.

French night with 3 French ladies or is one a man
 French night Susan dressed up as a garlic seller
3 French Ladies, (Or is one a man?) Susan dressed up as a garlic seller
Jean Beech inducted by Lily
Jean Beech inducted by Lily
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 members ready to sell
Our stall with a customer
Our stall waiting for the first customer
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.

See website;  https://www.danielwilds.com 

At the end of the evening, he very kindly donated a pendant necklace, worth approximately £95 to the club to raffle for our charity.

everyday rose pendant from Daniel Wilds jewellery

We shall probably be selling prize draw tickets for this beautiful pendant, which will be drawn at our Fashion Show on May 17th 2019 at Kearns Hall, Minnis Bay.

On 3rd October International Service Organiser Gill masterminded the Crafty CAMEO for our International Rally stall, and a large quantity of items were made for sale at the Rally on our 'Coastal' stall. Pictures show members hard at work, making cards, coasters with sea views, shell decorations and jewellery, knitted keyrings, lighted bottles, and sea-view keyrings. A very productive day! Well done, Gill!

members making cards
knitted keyrings - Copy
Members making cards A member making coasters Members knitting keyrings
Pictures and jewellery making 1
picture key rings 1
lighted bottles 1
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

Presentation of cheques from the year 2017 - 2018
Cheque presentation to 'Shelters' Committee
Cheque presentation to Birchington in Bloom

Beach Huts CAMEO 1
Beach Huts CAMEO 2
Beach Huts CAMEO 3

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.

Lily inducting members at her first meeting
Christine's induction
Emma's induction

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.

Handover to Lily

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.

 Janet and Margaret with their presents  Janet and Margaret with their presents opened   


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.

Wendy's knitting

Child's tabard with Beach Huts motif

Picture of Minnis Bay Beach Huts

Painting of Minnis Bay with Beach Huts

close up of bag and contents

Quilted Beach Bag with Sunglasses, flip flops and wine!

Accepting the Ten Pin Bowling Trophy
Bowling team
Bowling trophy awarded to Jenny

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.

 general view 3  general view 4

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'.

Alison and Margaret

President Margaret and Alison

before the tea

President Janet with Gill and Susan checking arrangements for the tea.

Below are some of the prize winners with the arrangements they won.

Raffle Table 2

Lily and Wendy selling raffle tickets before the tea started.

Alison with the first arrangement

  Winner with arrangement 3   

 Winner with arrangement 4

 Winner with arrangement 2

  Winner with arrangement

Winner with bouquet

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!

 Liz Hobcraft with flowers and the two Presidents

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.

Chris and Penny at our own get together in Lily and Margarets room Mo and Jean and Liz 2
Margaret, Lily and Hazel having a drink before going out for the evening

Lizs friend Angela with The Opera BoysJohn Benjamin

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.

Ladies on the Top table listening to the speakers Janet with the two speakers from Minnis Community Hub Lynda with Welfare Officer Sue

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.

The Bowling gang Janet about to bowl Wendy in action
Wendy choosing the ball Wendy and Jan the first game winners Mo and Jenny winners of the second game

The winners Jan and Jenny

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.

Cheers! Cheers again The Gents
The start of the Jenga
Jenga 2 Jenga 3

 Jenga 4

Jenga 5 Jenga 7
The final downfall Jenga Bagatelle with Hazel and Gill Bagatelle Hazel going wrong
Bagatelle Hazel scoring Bagatelle Jean the winner Jean the other winner

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!)


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.

Joint Thanet Rotary and Inner Wheel Choir 2017

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).

Inner Wheel Tree on view at the Tree Festival

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. 

Members with the stall

Close up of wooden tree

close up of angels

close up of stall

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

  Margaret, Janet, Eileen and Ruth Lily and Eileen with the cheque for Diabetes UK

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.

knitted angels angels workshop again 3 peg doll angelsknitted angels workshop angels workshop again angels workshop

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.

Help yourself herbs at the living wall Happiness Board for messages at the living wall Margate Living Wall with Raychel Mount

  Highlights from previous years!

  The Club at the bench and table with the workmen

Jean, Rose and Hazel with certificate

Westgate and Birchington District Quiz team

Strawberry Cream Tea in Lilys Garden

Penny pausing on the walk

The ladies manning the bricabrac stall at the hospital fete

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

'Ascot Ladies Day' Charity afternoon tea graced by the presence of 'the cardboard Queen'

Programme for 2023 to 2024