Coleshill WI November meeting

The photo shows the results of our previous spring bulb planting.

At our Annual Meeting in November, the second to be held at the new time of 2pm rather than in the evening, we had a good turnout and were pleased to welcome several visitors interested in joining the WI, including one who signed up as a member. Several gave us useful tips on how we could appeal to a wider cross-section of women from a variety of ages and backgrounds as we try to expand our membership.

During social time we enjoyed planting bowls of bulbs for spring flowering, with a range of varieties including fragrant jonquils, daffodils and hyacinths. All the bulb fibre and bulbs were supplied by the WI and everyone went home with a bowl of planted bulbs, looking forward to seeing the first buds peeping out in March next year.

Our longest-standing member Joy Hancock, who joined Coleshill WI in 1956 and was on the Committee for over 20 years, won the competition for ‘A Memory from Coleshill WI’ with her lively account of the highlights of her time there. These included victory in the Meriden Road Safety Quiz, learning handbell ringing and a variety of crafts, numerous celebration meals and entertainments plus taking part in the County ‘Olympics’, in which four of our members won gold medals for indoor games like Scrabble and darts. Christine Jones was second with the array of silver cups and trophies awarded to our members at Coleshill WI’s produce and handicraft shows, for cookery, gardening and crafts. According to the early records, many of these shows attracted over 100 entries in the different classes.

Jane Mills was third, remembering her origami demonstration of how to make a perky penguin from folded card.

Anyone interested in joining or finding out more about the WI is very welcome to come along to any of our regular monthly meetings at 2pm on the second Tuesday of each month at Coleshill Town Hall and there are many different social events and activities to try as well as the camaraderie and interest of being part of a vibrant local group. Members have the chance to learn a variety of skills from handcrafts, local history and public speaking to different styles of cookery, singing and literary appreciation through courses at the WI’s own residential training centre, Denman College in Oxfordshire. We also enjoy monthly lunches at different pubs in the area, Scrabble sessions each month and darts and other traditional games every Monday afternoon, all organised at members’ homes.

For more details contact our President Elaine Partridge on 01675-462621 or Secretary Jane Hewitt 01675-430157

Christmas 2019

The late night shop for Christmas 2019 Light Switch On will be on Thursday 28 November as organised by Love Coleshill. The Mayor, Cllr. Adam Richardson will be present to switch on the lights.

Christmas santa

On Saturday 30 November, the Town Council will be organising the Christmas Fayre in the Town Hall from 1pm-4pm. If you wish to book a stall please contact Helen Whittaker on 01675 463326.img_3537

Coleshill WI June meeting

At our June meeting Warwick Hospital cardiologist Dr Roger Beadle, of Spa Healthcare, gave an interesting presentation on Heart Health. He described some of the main diseases affecting the heart valves and muscles and symptoms including arrhythmia, palpitations and swollen ankles and also explained how conditions like diabetes and thyroid problems affect the heart and how to identify potential risk factors.

Dr Beadle emphasised that prevention is key to keeping heart disease at bay, strongly recommending his patients to give up smoking, take regular aerobic exercise and do several sessions of resistance training, stretching, flexibility and balance control each week. He stressed the importance of keeping a healthy weight, trying to get a good night’s sleep and eating five portions of fruit or vegetables a day.

Although the body needs some fat within the diet to keep the cell walls strong, he recommended that everyone should limit their intake of meat and dairy products because the cholesterol these lay down in the a rtery walls can lead to heart disease and strokes.

Our President Elaine Partridge read out the report from our representative at the WI Annual Meeting in Bournemouth which passed the two national resolutions. The first called on the Government and local authorities to improve rural bus services which have woefully declined over the last few years, preventing many people in isolated areas getting easy access to medical facilities, workplaces, shopping areas and entertainment. The National Federation asked for an increase in subsidies and partnership arrangements with bus companies and community transport operators to provide adequate services. The second resolution ‘Don’t Fear the Smear’, emphasised the importance of smear testing in catching cervical cancer early and saving lives of women of all ages.

In the competition for a book review of under 150 words, Jane Mills was first with her lively account of the award-winning children’s novel “Ways to Live Forever” by Sally Nicholls who wrote it in 2008 aged only 23. This charts the life of 11 year old Sam McQueen who has terminal leukaemia and shares the story of his life, his family and his illness, in diary form. He knows he’s going to die and that he has at most a year to live but he makes light of it and the diary is often unexpectedly humorous and offbeat.

Christine Jones was second with her review of the comic 1920s cult novel “Miss Mapp” by EF Benson. This tells the story of the scheming, rivalries and twitching net curtains of genteel small-town life in Tilling based on Benson’s own experience of living in Rye. Miss Mapp observes her neighbours comings and goings with her opera glasses from the bow window of her delightful period house and when she meets her dashing neighbour Major Flint, she is intrigued and hopeful that she might still be in with a chance of matrimony.

During social time we played standing bingo amid great hilarity: instead of filling in a card with a cross, everyone stood up until one of the numbers on their bingo card was called at which point they sat down. Last woman standing was the winner and the proud recipient of a small bar of chocolate.

At our next meeting on Tuesday July 9th, we shall be making colourful suncatchers as part of a demonstration from Beadelicious Beads. The competition is for a vase of herbs and/or edible flowers.

Coleshill WI bead-making                        Coleshill WI bead unicorn bracelet

  1. Making bead jewellery with Beadelicious Beads – this will be the activity at the July Coleshill WI meeting
  2. A unicorn bead bracelet – a typical bracelet threaded during the jewellery-making session.

Our meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month in Coleshill Town Hall at 7.30pm. Visitors are always welcome and we have a lively and varied programme of talks, activities, quizzes and social events as well as regular get-togethers to play traditional games, enjoy Scrabble afternoons and pub lunches  – please come along and give it a try.

For more details ring Jane on 01675-430157 or Elaine on 01675-462621.

Coleshill Country Market has a double cause for celebration

Coleshill Country Market has a double cause for celebration. It has just received a Communities Grant of £1000 from Warwickshire County Council in recognition of its role in bringing the local community together and providing a friendly welcoming atmosphere as well as high-quality home-made produce.  The money is being spent on a brand-new gazebo, smart new aprons, signage, table runners bearing the market logo and further publicity to let more people know about it and to appeal for new producers to meet growing demand.

Market 3 apron line

Market producers showing their new aprons 1

Market apron line

Market producers showing their new aprons 2

This month, it also celebrates its 50th birthday with a grand anniversary party featuring  home-baked cake and a glass of fizz or a cuppa, during the Market on Friday, April 26th at 10.30am in the Parish Room, 132, High Street, Coleshill –  everyone welcome.
“We’re very proud that we’re still going after 50 years thanks to our loyal producers and customers,” said Market Manager Janet Reilly, a gardening expert who together with Martin Cross supplies many of the plants and flowers for the Market each week. “We’re now one of the longest-running attractions in Coleshill. The market is very friendly and a great meeting place. Lots of people come in to have a chat and meet their friends while they browse and make their purchases. We recently started offering a ‘special of the day’ which has proved extremely popular – free samples of different home-baked treats. One week it might be mouth-watering chocolate roulade, another week coconut tartlets or cheese scones still warm from the oven, a speciality of one of our accomplished cooks Sue Lappin.

We have some lovely stuff – from jams, eggs, honey, cakes, cookies and savouries to plants, hand-made jewellery, greetings cards, crafts, knitting and woodwork. We’re also taking orders for seasonal treats like Easter cookies, chocolate nests, cheesecakes and mouth-watering Simnel Cake with its gooey marzipan filling and 11 marzipan eggs around the top. These represent the 11 ‘good’ Apostles – Judas doesn’t get one! We are also selling unique hand-made cards and gifts.

Market Mum Neris

Christine Jones serving loyal customer Nerissa Boardman

We love welcoming new producers and of course customers from all over the area, so we hope the celebrations will help spread the word and encourage more people to come along to browse, buy or find out more about us and, if they  enjoy cooking, gardening or crafts, to consider becoming one of our producers or helpers themselves. It’s friendly, fun and we’ll help newcomers choose what to produce and how to package it. Everyone is paid for what they sell at the end of each month after we have taken a small fee to cover the cost of running the Market. We take orders for all our produce including children’s clothes and crafts.”

Janet and fellow-producer Sue Lappin have helped boost sales and attract still more customers recently, by delivetring produce to customers in the shops and offices in the High Street where the scent of freshly baked lemon drizzle cakes, quiches and sausage rolls has proved irresistible.

Market Mum marmalade

Christine Jones with her new season’s marmalade

Coleshill Market’s only remaining founder member, Christine Jones, 91, is renowned for her marmalades and cakes and still produces trays of baked goods and preserves every week. She enjoys serving at the Market each Friday and has hardly missed a week in 50 years.

“We started in April 1969 as Coleshill WI Market,” she recalled. “At our first market we had 20 different producers and in those pre-decimal days took £29-12 shillings, a lot of money then. We’ve kept mementoes and press cuttings showing many of the Market highlights over that time, including the day we opened all those years ago – and we’ll have this on display during our celebrations, so older Coleshillians will probably recognise some familiar faces from 50 years ago.”

Christine is also taking part in the centenary of the national Country Market Movement at Staffordshire Showground on April 30th, when she and one of the country’s youngest producers will be cutting a celebration cake together for the cameras, representing the wide range of ages attracted by  marketing.

Anyone interested in visiting Coleshill Country Market, ordering produce or becoming a producer should pop in any Friday morning, or ring Christine on 01675-462012, Deanna on 01675-463239 or Sally on 07860-346878.

Coleshill WI February Meeting

The winning bowls of bulbs in this month’s competition

At our February meeting we discussed our choice of resolution to be debated at the National Federation of WIs Annual Meeting at the Bournemouth International Centre on 4th-5th June. The six items included a call against the decline in local bus services, planting trees to improve the national landscape and  ‘Don’t fear the smear’, the need to make cervical smear tests less daunting to ensure that more women will have one. We handed in our votes for these resolutions and after a nationwide ballot, one or more will be chosen for debate at Bournemouth. We also discussed the Warwickshire WI County Federation meeting which is being held Monday, March 18th at the Dallas Burston Polo Club near Southam.

Warwickshire WI members will have the chance of a coach trip and day out in Winchester on July 29th. Last year’s visit to Lincoln proved an interesting and enjoyable day.

After the business of the meeting, we enjoyed a Games Evening including typically “intellectual” pursuits such as ‘Rabbits’, sitting in a circle with one member waggling both hands like rabbit ears while her neighbours either side waggled just the hand nearer the ‘rabbit’, until she suddenly pointed to someone else to become the rabbit instead. Anyone not waggling the correct ‘ears’ at once was eliminated amid great hilarity. We then played an entertaining drawing game with one member given a long strip of paper with the subject written at the top, for example ‘Giving a Dog a Bone’ . She then had to draw a picture representing the subject before folding over the paper and passing it onto the next person who had to write a description of what they thought the picture meant. The next woman then had to draw a picture to represent that description, before her neighbour in turn wrote a description of the new picture. By the time the paper had circulated a few more times, the latter pictures bore little resemblance to the original subject, like a pictorial Chinese Whispers


We have been invited to the Spring Group Meeting on March 21st hosted by Curdworth WI at their Village Hall when the speaker Lady Ann Foley will give a talk entitled ‘A Soldier’s Wife’.

Coleshill Country Market which was founded by our WI in April 1969 will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on Friday 26th of April at the Parish Room. Everyone is invited to tea, coffee and cake during the Market from 8 am to 11.30 am at the Parish Room, 132, High Street, Coleshill..


Our President Elaine Partridge won the competition for a bowl of home-grown bulbs with her trio of tall blue and white hyacinths. Christine Jones was second with her bowl of sweet-smelling pink spikes, with Jane Mills third.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday, March 12th in the Town Hall, when our speaker Steve Allen will be taking a Musical Trip through the 1800s, The competition is for something your mother used to say. The competition for our April meeting is for a home-made Easter bunny and our speaker from Coleshill Civic Society will be telling ‘The Story of a Restoration’.

Our meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month in the Town Hall at 7.30pm. Visitors welcome as always.

Coleshill WI January 2019 Meeting


1. The silver bird which Steven Bruce brought to show us


2. Some of the curios he appraised during the Roadshow.

At our January meeting we enjoyed a version of the ever-popular ‘Antiques Roadshow’ when auctioneer Steven Bruce showed us examples of affordable items worth collecting, including  1950s Dinky Toys in their original boxes, sets of valuable Maundy coins in their leather bags, presented by the monarch and a silver bird worth £600.

He revealed that among the most collectable items are out-of-date banknotes, especially sets in consecutive order, pillboxes with their inscriptions and postcards still with the address, stamp and clear postmark. If an item is in good, unworn condition, he said, it can boost its value considerably. He also recommended checking in chests of drawers and down the backs of sofas in case old coins and notes have been mislaid there and might be worth far more than their face value. Mr Bruce stressed the importance of making a will and stipulating exactly how particular possessions should be distributed, to avoid potentially costly disputes among heirs.

After refreshments we had a Cryptic Quiz on the theme of Shakespeare Plays and heard about the WI County Federation Meeting which will be held at the Dallas Burston Polo Ground near Southam on March 18th, bringing the Warwickshire WI’s Centenary Year to a close in style. Among the speakers will be TV naturalist and conservationist Simon King, Vintage Singer Cathy Morris and the popular ‘Cake Lady’ Kath Ryan  from Hall Green – who has been baking treats for injured war heroes being treated in Birmingham for 10 years.


At our next meeting on Tuesday, February 12th we are holding a Games Evening and the competition will be for a bowl of home-grown bulbs so members are reminded to look out their planted bowls. Our meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month in the Town Hall at 7.30pm. Visitors welcome as always.