Thursday 13 August 2009

Dog days and holidays

Ahoy there!

We're cranking up the gramophone in preparation for August's meeting, where we will swish, swap, shimmy and sup to our hearts' content. Yes, time to sort out your bits and bobs for our first Swish (clothes swap), and bring along the things you no longer love but seem too good to charity shop or chuck away. Bring clean clothes, accessories and home wares (but no furniture or large items please, shoes must be unworn). Bring up to five items each and you can adopt five new-to-you delights - what could be finer?

We'll be asking for the history of your items too - it makes for interesting tales over tea - so have a think, tell us about your treasure, take a label and write about the item. Where did you get it? Why did you choose it? Why are you no longer in love with it? Tie the label onto the hanger (please bring a hanger per item).

We can't wait.

Ways with wool
September's meeting is a crafty one. Many of you said when you joined that you'd like to learn to knit, crochet or felt, and we are nothing if not obedient. There will be activities for all regardless of experience - from total beginners to craft heavyweights. (Actually, if you fit the latter, perhaps you'd consider helping to guide members along the way? We are especially looking for someone to assist our felting teacher to assist a small group of members, as well as those with knitting and crochet experience. Talk to us in August, or email And if you have knitting needles, crochet hooks, felt, yarn or even a project you'd like to display at the meeting, bring 'em along.

Museum of Bristol
We've been approached by a researcher for the Museum of Bristol (the new museum due to open on the site of the old Industrial Museum) who is investigating experiences of being part of a cultural, faith or interest group. And what do you know? He thinks the Women's Institute, and in particular Malago WI, would be an excellent example of such a group (naturellement). So he'd like to meet us, with a view to making one member the subject of a story to be included in the museum. Anyone interested? Email if you fancy making an exhibition of yourself.

Our birthday
As many of you know, Malago WI will celebrate its first birthday in October. Doesn't time fly? We are planning exciting surprises for the meeting on Wednesday 29 October, but as the party is also our AGM it's a ticketed, members-only event. But fret not, if you aren't yet a member you can benefit from our bargain 15-months-for-the-price-of-12 offer! See Jen at the next meeting for more information and to join. Members - we'll tell you more when we see you. In the meantime, we know you want to find out more about the available roles on the committee, so visit our new, updated committee section to see what takes your fancy. October will be the month for deciding who'll do what in 2010 - don't miss out.

Oh, and our Facebook group is looking a little lost without you - come and join us over there, it's awfully good fun. And don't forget to send back your questionnaire before the next meeting on Wednesday 26 August.

Swish you were here!
Malago WI x

Meet the committee

It's time for a cabinet re-shuffle, so if you're interested in getting more involved in Malago WI have a read about the committee and their roles.

All members of the committee are involved in recruitment. They also share the hosting and other responsibilities for the monthly committee meetings. The Malago committee all takes part in setting up the hall before each meeting. Committee members deliver information to the institute and organise fund raising activities. Other tasks include finding contacts for meetings, baking, and gathering materials for meetings.

Karen Bowers

Karen chairs the committee and member meetings. She oversees planning of all meetings and communicates with the local WI branches, and with the regional federation (so quite a bit of talking)! Banging the ceremonial rolling pin is also required.

Vice President
Lottie Storey

Lottie creates our newsletter and our website, sending regular updates to members. Other duties as vice president include chairing meetings and deputising in the absence of our President. Lottie helps with the programme, contributes to fundraising projects and events, such as Best of Bedminster and the Southbank Art Trail.

Jen Gill

Jen does the number stuff. This includes financial reporting and budgeting, and she reports on fundraising. She has links with regional & national branches and has a keen interest in WI campaigning.

Kirstie Wright

Kirstie deals with regional and national business, reporting and bookings. She files the minutes, offers fundraising support and advice on applications, and helps manage the WI database with Jen.

New members/visitors
Emma Squire

Emma welcomes new members and guests. 
She organises the register, maintains the membership
database and is the smiley face that greets you on arrival.

Creative Director
Alice Hendy

Alice is responsible for the flowers and styling for our meetings and stalls, and sources materials for events. Alice is our official photographer, responsible for our Flickr page, as well as the design and visual identity of communications, the noticeboard and events. She also manages our official email inbox and helps provide images and information for the website.

Tea Hostess
Carrie Fletcher

Carrie leads on refreshments at meetings, co-ordinating the rota for tea-making, washing up, and cake-making. Carrie relies on members to help run the kitchen and pour the tea. Her role takes her away from the meeting at times to disappear into the kitchen and attend to the urn.

Programming Officer
Angie Last

Angie leads the programming of meetings as well as social events and workshops. Angie confirms the attendance of our speakers and arranges the fee. She hosts our speakers, ensuring they have all they need for a successful meeting.

Campaigns Officer
Odette McBride

Odette keeps up to date with national WI campaigns and also works on the campaigns we choose to do locally, leading meetings that require a member vote.

Press Officer
Jill Reakes

Jill prepares and issues our press releases. She is the first contact for press enquiries and leads on the filing of press coverage received. She keeps an eye on regional and national press & stories.

Monday 10 August 2009



Malago Women’s Institute say no to Tesco.

Members of Malago WI last week voted overwhelmingly to support BERATE, the campaign opposing plans to build a Tesco superstore at Ashton Gate.

Malago WI vice-president, Lottie Storey, said:

Malago WI, a group for all women of south Bristol, has huge concerns about the impact a superstore of this size will have on our community.

“There are countless examples of areas in which new supermarkets have effectively killed off the local, independent traders – those at the centre of our community that have been so essential in maintaining and stimulating economic growth in much of south Bristol.

“This cannot be allowed to happen in an area held up by many as a shining example of local high street regeneration, and one with plenty of supermarkets already.”

The potential impact of a superstore at Ashton Gate would have dire environmental consequences for south Bristol, increasing traffic and congestion in the surrounding communities, making the roads less safe for pedestrians, as well as worsening air quality.

The group would like to see a proposal for the site incorporating affordable housing, leisure or sport activities, all of which would benefit the community in significant ways.

Malago Women’s Institute is set to celebrate its first birthday in October, and has grown from a group of 10 founding members to a membership of over 50. Made up of women of all ages, the group includes those who have lived in the area all their lives, as well as members who are new to the city.

The WI has a particular interest in environmental sustainability, and Malago WI has developed an environmental policy and action plan setting out its vision for minimising its own environmental impact and exploring ways to support local, sustainable projects.

For the second year running, Malago WI will be providing refreshments for the Best of Bedminster Show, the local urban village fair taking place on North Street Green on Saturday 26 September 2009 (organised by Climate Action Bedminster).


Notes to editors:

Malago Women’s Institute meets the last Wednesday of every month at 8pm,

Bedminster Methodist Church, British Road, Bristol BS3 3BW. All women welcome. Annual membership of the WI costs £29.

For more information, email or visit:

Malago WI’s environmental policy is available to view on the website:

Berate – Bedminster Residents Against Tesco’s Expansion into Ashton Gate - is the campaign group pulling together local opposition to the proposed superstore development at Ashton Gate. For more information visit:

The Best of Bedminster Show takes place on 26th September 2009, 10.30am - 3.30pm on North Street Green. For more information, visit:

For more information on Climate Action Bedminster, organisers of the Best of Bedminster Show, visit: