Upcoming meeting: Thursday 4th January 2018


Hips don’t lie – let’s samba with Valerio!

Happy New Year everyone – do you know how us Roses like to see the New Year in? With a meeting that involves dancing and prancing, of course! Get ready for our first ever dance themed meeting with the talented Valerio who will be teaching us all how to Samba having impressed some of our Committee at a District Meeting last year.

Shimmy your way to Woolwich Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich, SE18 6HQ from 19:30 on Thursday 4th January 2018 to join what we think will be a really fun meeting.

Yup, it’s membership renewal time

The start of the New Year brings hope and promise, yes, but it also means it’s time to renew your membership if you’d like to stick with us or join for the first time.

If you’re joining for the first time, you will need to complete a membership form at the meeting and hand it in to our wonderful Membership Representative, Elain McAlpine.

The fee for the year for 2018 is £41 payable in cash or cheque and will not only allow you to be a member of the Woolwich and Plumstead Roses which offers 11 varied meetings per year but also entitles you to 8 copies of WI Life and discounted rates to courses at The Denman.

WI members can belong to more than one WI, by paying the full membership fee to the first WI, and a further £20 to any additional WIs at any time of the year. There is no pro-rata rate for dual membership

The return of the cake rota

We had a few months off the cake rota at the tail-end of 2017 with all the meetings we had which involved us gadding about. However, like ‘The Terminator’, the cake rota IS BACK and we’re looking for bakers to join us and spread the joy of baked goods.

Huge props to Liz McCormack, Lucy Sterling, Pauline Blackwood, Maggie Rastall and Tasneem Sharrem for getting involved in supplying baked goods to the membership last year!

Any takers? Imagine the endless adoration you’ll receive each time you bring something along….
Also, we don’t propose beginning the Rota this month so would welcome anyone who is up for baking for this Thursday 4th January 2018 bringing something along, it’d be massively appreciated.

Unwanted Xmas prezzie raffle

Hands up if you have an Xmas prezzie that isn’t quite something you’ll ever use but is still nice enough to be something someone else might like? Hands up if you want a quick and easy way to get that prezzie out the house while also feeling fuzzy about donating it to a good cause? Well, look no further than the Unwanted Xmas prezzie raffle that we hope to host at our meeting this Thursday!

Bring your unwanted Xmas prezzies on Thursday and we’ll raffle them off to raise funds so we can arrange more fun stuff for you all in 2018 #winning.

100 Banners for suffragettes project

Committee Craft Chief, Pat Lumsdale, is heading up our involvement in the 100 Banners for Suffragettes Project that London WIs can take part in if they wish to mark 100 years since women were granted the right to vote.

We have been given a basic pack with a backing fabric cut to size. It is now up to us how we design and make up the banner. One of the things the organisers – Digital Drama – would like to see incorporated in the banners are pieces of fabric that have a special meaning or memory to the person donating.

If you have any fabric to donate – only needs to be small, we think we will use it to make our lettering – please bring to the January meeting.

Committee Craft Chiefs Pat Lumsdale and Maggie Rastall, will be getting together very soon to plan the design. If you would like to be part of this process let them know ASAP as the banner needs to be completed by mid-February 2018.


The Roses festive social options – you choose!

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There’s been A LOT of talk about this Festive Social and it’s not even November yet but that’s what we’ve gotta do to get this sorted! Trust us, it’ll be here before you know it…

In a nutshell, we want to know where you’d like the Festive Social to be held. The two options we have narrowed it down to are The Star in Plumstead and new contender, Art Fix, in Woolwich.

Below is the information for both options – once you’ve had a read, please cast you vote.


Artfix is a relatively recently opened creative hub and café in central Woolwich on Powis Street. It is community focused and the venue offers a range of workshops, as well as performance/exhibition space and co-working options (more for reference/context than necessary for a party!)

Food and drink they would offer

Think sophisticated canapés: charcuterie sharing platters, little sticks with small mozzarella balls and tomatoes, crostini (little toasts) topped with various things (fish, paté, etc.) They are flexible to meeting our requirements, food-wise. Drinks would be on a pay-as-you-go basis.


  • Central location with lots of transport links – easy for people to come to straight from work, as they can walk to the venue from either the mainline or DLR stations.
  • An opportunity to support a new business in Woolwich and build exciting new links.
  • The creative vibe of the venue could appeal to the significant number of very creative members we have in our midst.


  • Because the venue does not have a late licence, the latest we could probably stay there is 22:00.
  • The only toilets in the venue are up steep stairs with no handrail at present which could present an accessibility issue for some members which is similarly the case if the party takes place upstairs.
  • To our knowledge, we would not have the option to bring along any homemade baked goods if we wished to.

The Star

The Star is a well-known neighbourhood pub in Plumstead on Plumstead Common Road; we have previously held craft meetings in the upstairs room and in the downstairs bar. It has character and on the occasions we have been there, the atmosphere has been convivial.

Food and drink they would offer

Classic party buffet fare, such as chips, sausage rolls, pigs in blankets, and we’re sure some further vegetarian options upon our request. We would be free to bring along our own baked goods if we wished to. Drinks would be on a pay-as-you-go basis.


  • The Star are willing to allow us to occupy half the bar downstairs, which would help where increasing accessibility is concerned.
  • With The Star being a pub, we have the option to stay there until 23:00, which could encourage further socialising.
  • Since the majority of our meetings are in central Woolwich, it would make a nice change to do something in Plumstead.


  • While The Star is well served for bus routes, it is some distance from the train station, which could make it slightly trickier for those coming straight from work.
  • We have been to The Star for things previously, so it’s not somewhere new, which some people might prefer.
  • The food on offer is similar to the style of food we had at our Festive Social last year and, again, people might want to ring the changes on this front too.

Cast your vote here. Voting will close on Monday 30th October as we need to get rock and rolling! Many thanks, The Roses Committee.

Upcoming meeting: Thursday 5th October

Getting spooky ahead of Halloween – our next general meeting is a ghost tour of the Arsenal.

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Having had such a splendid time on our Women of the Arsenal Tour back in March for International Women’s Day, we’ve asked Royal Arsenal Tours to do a ghost tour for our next general meeting so we can all get into the Halloween spirit!

Members can come along to this event for FREE. On this occasion, however, we will need to charge guests more than the usual £5 simply to cover the cost of the tour itself, we would not make any profit at all from this. Guests can come along on the night for £12 and this includes a free drink of house beer, wine or a soft drink at the Tap Room where we will all meet which we think is pretty good value and still cheaper than if you booked directly with Royal Arsenal Tours to do this very walk.

The other option for potential guests would be to consider becoming a member on the night if that doesn’t feel like too much pressure! At this point in the year (1st October – 31 December), the membership fee is a mere £9.75 and you wouldn’t have to pay for the walk as it is free to members. Do what is right for you though 😉

We will meet at The Tap Room, 15 Major Draper St, Royal Arsenal, SE18 6GD at on Thursday 5th October 2017 at 19:30 and the walk itself will commence at 20:00.

Feel free to dress up spookily if the mood takes you 🙂

November general meeting – trip to Houses of Parliament

It wasn’t our intention to have two general meetings in a row that are out and about but when local MP Matthew Pennycock offers to host you at the Houses of Parliament, it seems churlish to refuse so that’s where we are heading on Thursday 2nd November 2017!

If you wish to come to this trip, we need to know as far in advance as possible so we can finalise a list for security. Please could you drop us a note if you haven’t already done so to indicate your interest in attending by Friday 6th October 2017.

We advise members and guests to get checked in through security between 18:30 – 19:00 so we can kickstart our meeting off promptly at 19:30. If you do get through security quicker than anticipated, then kill some time marvelling at Westminster Hall and/or helping us set up the room. If anyone is up for bringing along some baked goods for the event, we would be incredibly appreciative and happy to reimburse you for the cost of ingredients if you bring along your receipts.

We’re dropping the C-word…Sorry…!

We know it’s only just switched up to autumn but we are already thinking about the Christmas Social!ma

The Members Only Christmas Social is an optional extra that we organise as everyone enjoys a festive knees-up with friends. The cost of this is not included in the Membership Fee as we still meet in August but we will aim to keep the cost as reasonable and accessible as we can.

Please keep Thursday 7th December 2017 free in your calendar and we’ll update you with further details as soon as we have them.

Upcoming meeting: Thursday 7th September

The Woolwich & Plumstead WI Birthday Bake Off!

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Rejoice, it has been one whole year since we became the *official* WI to Woolwich and Plumstead – hurrah! We are marking the occasion with a Birthday Bake Off and while there will be judging involved, it’s all for a bit of fun and a way to shake baked goods with friends.

We have three categories for the Birthday Bake Off:

Twist On A Victoria Sponge

We all know a Victoria sandwich cake involves two plain cakes sandwiched together with jam (no cream if you’re playing by WI rules!). Now that’s all well and good but we want to see your twists on the theme: feel free to flavour the sponges, put cream or icing in the middle, on the top, wherever you fancy. Maybe you might want to pour some syrup on your sponges? Get jazzy with it and see what you come up with.

  • Please bake an 8” cake that can cut into at least 8 slices if you plan to enter this category.

The Cheesy Whatsit

With sweet must come savoury and in this category, we are asking you to bake something involving cheese: you could do cheese straws, cheese biscuits, a cheesy tear & share, have some cheese before bedtime and see what baked good you dream up. We’ve emphasised the savoury but if you turn up with a cheesecake, we definitely won’t say no!

  • Please make a baked good that incorporates cheese and allow this to serve at least 8 people.

Tasty Traybake

For those of you who love catering en masse, this category is for you! Like Victoria Sponge, traybakes are a quintessential part of the WI baked goods armoury at a fair so show us what you’ve got! Perhaps you bake a brilliant brownie or a mean millionaire’s shortbread? Or maybe you bake some kind of wonderful jammy coconut topped affair that reminds everyone of school dinners from bake in the day?! Whatever you do, make your traybake très tasty :

  • Please bake your traybake in a tin sized 12” x 9” and allow this to cut into at least 12 squares

How the Birthday Bake Off will run

The Birthday Bake Off will take place on Thursday 7th September 2017 from 7pm.

If you wish to enter a baked good into the Birthday Bake Off, you must deliver it to the designated room in Woolwich Town Hall between 7pm to 7.30pm and you must bring a piece of paper/card which has the ingredients of said baked good written on it. DO NOT LABEL YOUR BAKED GOOD WITH YOUR NAME!

When you enter the room, your baked good will be assigned a number and you will be invited to place it on a table for judging.

Our judges on the night will be Helen and Sarah from the Greenwich Clandestine Cake Club and trust us, they know a good cake when they see and taste one!

The judging will take place from 7.30pm to 8pm.

Marks out of ten will be allocated for:

  • Taste
  • Appearance
  • Creativity
  • Texture

Once the judging has been concluded, we will award 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize to each of the categories and then…

We will eat all the cake!!!

Upcoming meeting: Thursday 3rd August

Love food, hate waste

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With food waste costing the average family nearly £700 a year, it’s time to get food savvy in the kitchen!

The Greenwich Cooperative Development Agency (GCDA) with Good Food in Greenwich are teaming up with the Woolwich and Plumstead Roses for an evening of tips, hints and ideas to use up the last of the sorry looking veggies in your fridge, the wallowing crust in the bread bin, or the food approaching its use-by date.

We’ll be rustling up a few tasty dishes to show you how to divert some of these delicious morsels from the bin onto your plate too, some come along and find out why food isn’t rubbish!

Raffle round-up

The summer months inevitably mean more members on their hols and a slightly lower turnout than other points in the year so, for this reason, we’ve pressed pause on the raffle at the last couple of meetings.

This is OK as we raised over £500 at the Plumstead Make Merry (!) but, even so, we can’t afford to be slack on the fundraising front.

We want to hold a fabulous big raffle at our first birthday do on Thursday 7th September 2017 so urge you to look for some extra special prizes to donate to that if at all possible to bring the raffle back with a bang! Get your thinking caps on…

Plans for our November meeting!

We’ve got a very exciting meeting lined up for November which is a change from what we published in our programme earlier in the year.

In a nutshell, local MP Matthew Pennycock would like to host a visit for the Woolwich and Plumstead Roses to the Houses of Parliament!

Timings for this are yet to be confirmed but:

  • We want people to be in Parliament and through security by 19:30 ideally (awaiting final timings from Matt’s office but we may have the room from 19:00).
  • People can go straight to Parliament if possible (advice would be to aim to get there between 18:30 and 19:00 to clear security. Early birds can kill time by looking at Westminster Hall/helping set up the room).
  • We are looking at arranging a coach from Woolwich Town Hall at 6pm (so say 17:30 for 18:00?).
  • We are looking at arranging a coach back to Woolwich at the end of the event (21:30/22:00).
  • The venue/ meeting can accommodate 60 people. If the coach can accommodate, we can extend entry to guests.

So, in order to press ahead, we need to know the answers to these questions:

  • Who would be interested in this event?
  • If we arranged a coach to leave from Plumstead to go to the Houses of Parliament, who would want a lift there?
  • If we arranged a coach to return to Plumstead from the Houses of Parliament who want want a lift back?
  • If there was space, who would like to bring a guest?

The best way to give us responses is by filling in this online survey, it’ll take you two minutes.

The Roses approach their first birthday

Can you believe it has almost been one whole year since we officially formed?

Cake and birthdays go hand in hand (of course!) so how better than to celebrate than with a massive BAKE OFF!

Further details to be revealed very soon but the more cake, the better, and it’ll all be done with lots of good humour, we’re sure.

Upcoming meeting: Thursday 6th April

Let’s have a lark with a Mudlarker

We are so thrilled to confirm that Nicola White, from Tideline Art will be joining us for our April meeting. She’ll be talking about the fascinating objects she’s found while mudlarking and beachcombing the banks of the River Thames, the Thames Estuary and the River Medway.

Any of you who follow her on Twitter under @TideLineArt will already be aware of the infinitely interesting things she finds and the history attached to them.

You’ll be pleased to know that Woolwich is one of the main areas that Nicola mudlarks at so it’s really rather fitting she’s coming along to talk to us and hopefully bring along some of her Thames treasures.

We think this is going to be another cracking evening so join us from 7.30pm on Thursday 6th April 2017 at Woolwich Town Hall to learn more.

Please be aware: Change of venue for May meeting

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we are EXTREMELY LUCKY to have the support of the council in being offered free room hire at Woolwich Town Hall to run our meetings. It’s a beautiful place to meet and we’ve been able to build our group and our funds while not having to worry about paying for a hall. Win/Win.

The flipside of this is is that on occasion, we may not be able to meet at the Town Hall when other business there takes precedence and we respect that.

So, just to give you some advance warning, our May AGM will NOT be taking place at Woolwich Town Hall but will be taking place at another local venue which is yet to be confirmed. Rest assured, the Committee are on the case and we are keeping fingers crossed that our alternative venue will also be in central Woolwich due to the extensive transport links. We will keep you posted.

Upcoming meeting: Thursday 2nd March

Wine tasting with Biddenden

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Our talented Treasurer, Emma Yeomans, isn’t just canny with keeping an eye on our accounts but she is incredibly well-connected too and was able to persuade Kentish wine producer, Biddenden, to run our long-anticipated wine tasting meeting this Thursday 2nd March, 7.30pm – 9.30pm at Woolwich Town Hall. Huge thanks Emma!

The Biddenden crew will be bringing along their Ortega, Ortega Dry, Rosé, Sparkling White, Sparkling Rosé and their Red Love apple juice for non-drinkers.

Given that we do like to be environmentally friendly, we strongly urge you to bring along your own wine glass to this meeting, but rest assured, rinsing facilities will be available on the night.

If you’re not a member yet but thought you’d like to dip a toe in and see what we’re about, this relaxed meeting might be the one to pop along to and honestly, where else could you go along and do wine tasting for a fiver as a guest?! Those of you who are members will not pay a penny – what a perk!

Trust us, we’ll keep the business section of the meeting short and sweet this month!

Thursday 2nd March, 19.30 – 21.30 at Woolwich Town Hall. Free to members, £5 for guests.

Upcoming meeting: Thursday 2nd February 2017

We’re not horsing around….


For our February meeting, we’ve arranged a talk on natural horsemanship with Morag Wightman. Many of us may have heard of this as ‘horse whispering’, as explored in the plot of that well known book/film of the late 90s, ‘The Horse Whisperer’. Natural horsemanship is a philosophy of working with horses that focuses on tuning into the horse’s natural instincts and methods of communication; it also works on the basis that, rather than learning from fear or pain, horses learn instead through pressure and the release of pressure. This is about us much as we know about natural horsemanship so roll on the next meeting and the opportunity to learn more!

Next meeting: 19:30 – 21:30, Thursday 2nd February 2017 at Woolwich Town Hall, Wellington Street, London SE18 6HQ

Show The Love 2017

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the NFWI are encouraging members to get behind the wearing and sharing green hearts to raise awareness of climate change. Committee Members Maggie and Pat have organised a craft session for members to come along to so they can make their own fabric green heart badges. We encourage you to bring along trimmings/beads/jewels to embellish your creation and make it as unique as you. If you’d like to come along, head to the upstairs room of The Star, 158 Plumstead Common Road, SE18 2UL on Wednesday 8th February 2017 from 19:00 onwards.

Let them eat cake!

The start of 2017 has been a bit of a crazy one, let’s be honest. Do you know what we could with more of to help us through it?! That’s right, CAKE. We love to be able to offer cake to our members at all our meetings but it really does need to be team effort. We are looking to instigate a Cake Rota as soon as possible and would be hugely grateful for members to sign up as Cake Champions who are interested in baking regularly for meetings. We are happy to reimburse for ingredients if you provide a receipt. Heck, even if you don’t have time to bake but buy a cake from the supermarket and bring a receipt, we’d be grateful! If you don’t want to be on the rota but do want to bring a cake along to a meeting when the urge takes you, please don’t be shy of doing so 🙂

More fun to come

We are finalising our programme for the year and we will be sharing it very soon but rest assured we’ve tried to keep it varied with talks, crafts, socialising and even a potential trip or two ;). Watch this space for more news…

Thursday 3rd November: Craft Mingler

On Thursday 3rd November 2016, we’ll be meeting again at Woolwich Town Hall and finally having a meeting with a craft focus as it’s been on the cards for some time and many of you expressed a desire for this to happen.

Since our room booking was made many moons ago before we became an official WI, we’ve unfortunately been unable to change it which means we can’t run as many practical sessions as we initially hoped as we just won’t have the space.

On the upside, dedicated member, Cherry Kent and volunteer, Alison, will be on hand to teach knitting and crochet basics. We are also asking members to bring along examples of crafts they’ve made that they wouldn’t mind sharing and talking about with the group. Talented committee member, Maggie Rastall, will be there to talk about plans to form the craft-sub committee with fellow committee member, Pat Lumsdale, who teaches textile craft at the Denman College!

Our brilliant Treasurer, Emma Yeomans, has managed to book us double rooms for our meetings next year so there’ll be plenty of scope for lots more crafting to happen in the future 🙂

The Christmas Social

Enough of the serious stuff, the exciting news is that we’ve booked a venue for Thursday 1st December 2016 and if you’d like to come along, it’ll cost £15 which will cover a buffet and exclusive venue hire so we can all really get to know each other properly and have a great knees-up!

The Christmas Social will only be for those who are official members of the Woolwich and Plumstead Roses and we’d be grateful if you could bring along a deposit of £10 at the next meeting to reserve your spot.

Lots more details to follow so watch this space…

See you all on Thursday 3rd November at 7.30pm. Free for members and £3 for guests.


Upcoming meeting: Thursday 6th October

We are delighted that Diane Hill, Acting Inspector with the Greenwich Local Policing Team, will join us this Thursday, 6th October, at Woolwich Town Hall to talk about her work in the borough as a police officer.


Total Policing is the Met’s commitment to be on the streets and in communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. Diane will highlight some of the changes she has seen in the cases and the force in the area over recent years and give her personal insight into the job, its challenges and the “wins” and commendations secured as a result of the work of the local policing team.

Members and guests

For members of the Woolwich & Plumstead Roses WI, meetings are free to attend. For those who paid their membership fees at September’s meeting you will be given a receipt. If you included any extra money in your envelope this can either be returned to you on Thursday, or you can add this to our funds as a donation. Please let us know on Thursday evening.

Guests are welcome to attend up to three meetings before they must become a
member, the cost per meeting for a guest is £5.

We look forward to seeing you all this Thursday at Woolwich Town Hall.