The Festival

West Pennard Primary School


Womens Institute

Pilton Village Women’s Institute

President: Janet Ladyman

Secretary: Shirley Watt

All enquiries to 890224 and 899514

The new WI has gone from strength to strength with a membership that has increased to forty.  We have an enthusiastic membership of mixed ages and a friendly warm welcome awaits all members old and new.  We offer the opportunity to learn, develop and pass on new skills, to belong to something special, making friends, working as a team and having fun with events.    

Our WI meetings are held on the third Monday of the month at 7.30pm at Pilton Village Hall.  In addition we hold bi monthly coffee mornings in members’ homes and twice a year we meet for lunch at a local pub, restaurant or cafe.  We also arrange outings to local places of interest and these have included Cole Manor at Bruton and visits to Wyke Farm and Yeo Valley to look at the cheese and yogurt making processes.

Over the past year, we have enjoyed a varied programme, which have included a talk on the history of the local carnivals, Wine Tasting Evening by Majestic Wines and a taste of how the Scot’s celebrate Burns night (see below). Future events planned for 2017 include a presentation on the “History of Clarks Shoes”, and an introduction to Tai Chi, along with many other WI County Events available to members.

Why not come and give us a try, you don’t need to know how to bake, and it’s not all about Jam and Jerusalem!!

January 2017

It was Christmas Party Time for the Pilton Village WI at their December meeting.

After the formalities members gathered for an evening of fun, food and entertainment. Each member had brought in some savoury or sweet food for us to nibble on, but before we could sample the treats, Alison had arranged our entertainment for the evening – a music quiz through the ages.  Alison had music from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s,and 00’s, and played a few notes of each song, to enable us to try and recall the artist and the name of the song.  

There was a lot of brain racking and frustration, along with reminiscing and laughter.

It was a close call, but the winners were, Shirley, Christine, Joyce and Jane who took the title with a score of 79, bagging themselves a prize of a bar of chocolate!!

We then tucked into the food delights, which was followed by singing a couple of Christmas Carols and finally, the committee presented each member with a Christmas Gift.

                                                                                       Jane Marchant


Next came the “Piping in of the Haggis” which was accompanied with Alison and Lysbeth presenting the Haggis to “A Man’s a Man for “A” that”.


We were then served with our Haggis, accompanied by neeps and tatties,! otherwise known as mashed potato and carrot and swede, both mashed with a generous helping of butter. It appeared to be very much enjoyed, with lots of clean plates.  If that wasn’t enough, pudding, was a “Tipsy Laird” – trifle, with just a hint of alcohol added!


Whilst coffee was being served our member Daphne, recited a poem she had written about Burns Night with Carole, kindly giving all our members a gift of shortbread.


Our evening ended with the business matters, and the raffle of Marmalade and Chocolate being won by Pauline and Molly having raised an incredible £40.

February 2017

At our January meeting we were treated to “A Hint of Burns Night”.  This was an idea from our Scottish members, to show us English how Burns Night is celebrated!!


The committee members had set up the room, beautifully with table lined with tartan, and various Scottish decorations around the room, and our committee members having dressed up in their Scottish dress.


We were delighted to be joined by five guests, brought by Molly, for the evening.


The evening started with one of our Scottish Members, Lysbeth Ballantine, reading the Scottish Grace “The Selkirk Grace” before we were all served our starter of Rye Bread and Scottish Salmon.

April 2017

At our March meeting we were visited by Andrew McElwee who came to talk to us about the National Trust. He used to live in Kent where he was a surveyor but in retirement he took up a job advertised at Polesden Lacey as a manager. Polesden Lacey is an Edwardian house and estate located on the North Downs at Great Bookham, near Dorking, Surrey. It is owned and run by the National Trust and is one of the Trust's most popular properties.

Andrew spoke at length about his job interview to get the job and then about his time there, explaining one particular time when the property was suffering with a problem with bats that got so bad they had to call in a professional to sort the problem out. A Batman was called who just happened to be called Robin!!

As Andrew went on talking, one of our members, Molly, discovered that her daughter got married at Polesden Lacey during the time Andrew was there, which was a great coincidence. Andrew was very humorous with his stories, and the evening was completed with Sheila thanking Andrew for his presentation. Jane Marchant


Monday 23rd January. 2.00 – 4.00pm

Pilton Village WI invite you to join us on the Monday 23rd January (and every 4th Monday in the month thereafter), between 2.00 and 4.00pm at Pilton Post Office for a cuppa, cake and a chat.

Everybody is welcome, we look forward to seeing you.

May 2017

Our April meeting was “Members Night” and our members had arranged for a visit from Peter Lawrence who is an artist having spent many years working in the Middle East, drawing inspiration from the area for his water colour painting.

After the formalities, Peter introduced himself and explained how he has always loved painting and the arts, but his education took him down the engineering route, which lead him to work as an engineer for a sanitation company based in the Middle East. Peter spent many years in various difference countries, such Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Dubai, and in particular the capital city of Jordan, Amman.

As Peter had always loved to paint in watercolours, he started to paint, drawing inspiration from the area, such as the landscapes, where he painted the Ancient Lost City of Petra in Jordan.  He also painted many other scenes of the local ancient architecture, people and flora and fauna, all using vibrant colours and different techniques. Peter explained how many of his paintings hold particular memories for him, and reflect his mood at particular times.

Following a meeting with another artist, it unexpectedly led to the opportunity of publishing a book displaying his art work of Jordan.  This led to two further books published with his artwork, along with an exhibition displaying his work in Amman, Jordan, to which three Jordanian  Princesses’ attended.

Peter was obviously very enchanted with the area, particularly Jordan and the city of Amman explaining how the difficulties in the area, through religion and politics have not done any favours for the area.

March 2017

On the 18th March 2017, Pilton Village WI hosted their Afternoon Tea Event at Pilton Village Hall.

Our members had set up the room beautifully, with tablecloths, fine cutlery, china and flowers adoring the tables.

Our guests were treated to a selection of homemade dainty sandwiches and cake treats, along with scones with jam and cream, all served on three tier cake stands and with a plentiful supply of tea by our very smart WI waitresses for the day.

The afternoon was very pleasant with guests taking the time to sit, relax and chat, creating a lovely buzz in the room.

It was a lot of hard work, but well worth it, raising an amazing £350, with the proceeds going to the Pilton Village Trust and the refurbishment of the foyer area of the village hall.

June 2017

At our AGM in May the local WI Advisor, Anne Preston, attended to help with any queries or issues.

A skittles team is being organised by Clare.

There will be no meeting in June because of the Festival, but we shall visit Midney Gardens.

We were delighted that our Burns Supper appeared in the County News.

Several members recently enjoyed a performance of ‘Guys and Dolls’ at Strode Theatre by the Street Musical Comedy Society.

The next item on the agenda was discussion of the Resolutions. Celia spoke on ‘Action on Loneliness’ and Clarissa spoke about attempts to ban Micro Plastic Fibres. After hearing all the pros and cons, 21 members voted for ‘Action on Loneliness’ and 19 also voted for the Resolution on Micro Plastic Fibres.

Our secretary gave an account of our achievements over the past year and Janet, our president, thanked everyone for their help.

Janet was re-elected president; Shirley and Sheila will be secretary and treasurer respectively, and the committee members are Jane, Joyce, Tracey, Linda and Ann.

Celia expressed the members’ thanks to the committee for all their hard work during the last twelve months.

The evening closed with tea and cake.

Jane Marchant