Houses of Parliament
Thursday 11 October 2018
On Wednesday 11th October a small group of Harold Wood members met at the station to travel into London to visit The Palace of Westminster. The invitation had been issued by Julia Lopez who is the sitting MP for Hornchurch and Upminster following her election in 2017.
On arrival at Westminster we walked to Portcullis House and entered after passing through airport style security. We were met by Julia and her aide, who supports her in her work as M.P. both in parliament and the constituency. They took us into the very impressive large reception area which contained 12 Fig Trees, 2 Water features and a controversial glass roof. This area also contained a cafe and ample sitting areas. We continued upstairs to a meeting room where we could get to know one another. Julia was interested to find out about the Women's Institute and then in more detail about the Harold Wood Branch and our reasons for being members. We were told by Julia that 2017 was especially memorable for her as not only was she elected to Parliament, she also got married and made her maiden speech in Parliament. After a good half hour of questions and answers we moved downstairs again and walked through a tunnel, eventually arriving at the entrance to Westminster Hall.
This vast austere hall which is the oldest building on site was used in earlier days for trials, notably Guy Fawkes and Charles 1st but is now open to the public. It is also used for commemorations, lying-in-state of Royalty and famous public figures. Passing though the length of the hall we climbed the steps to St Stephen's Hall. This passageway is decorated with paintings and statues of past Members of Parliament and leads into the Central Lobby where members of the public can meet their MP's. At this point the Commons' Chamber and the Lords' Chamber go in different directions but as we were unable to enter the Lord's Chamber we continued into the Commons through the Member's corridor and chamber. Here most of the media are to be seen reporting and interviewing MP's. Statues of David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher are also displayed. We entered the green upholstered Commons' Chamber, past the Speaker's chair and Julia answered all our questions relating to protocol within the Chamber. We also saw where the Mace usually sits on the vast wooden table and found out that only about two thirds of all members can be accommodated at one time.
We past through several more rooms but my descriptions do not do justice to their beauty so I would suggest that a visit is the best way to experience what is a really fascinating day out. The experience of travelling with fellow WI members who we may not have spoken to previously was an added pleasure.
Spring Group Meeting
Sunday 20 May 2018 at 2-6 pm
The Walled Garden, Stubbers Adventure Centre
Ockendon Road, Upminster RM142TY
A 'Pants' Afternoon cost £12 plus a pair of pants
This was a very enjoyable afternoon meeting up with friends old and new from all our local branches. The sun shone which was a bonus. There were stalls for retail therapy, we were entertained by a very good singer rounded off by a very scrump0tuous cream tea. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Memorial Hall, Gubbins Lane, Harold Wood
Wednesday 21st March 2018 at 7.30
We had a great turnout for this event. The ladies Dosey doed their partners
at the Harold Wood WI Barn dance. This was followed by a lovely spread which included burgers, hot dogs, salsa dips, nachos and popcorn all washed down with sarsparilla and other soft drinks. It was great fun and enjoyed by all.
100 Years Celebration
Picnic in the Park 17 June 2017
On Saturday 17 June members met in Harold Wood park for a picnic in celebration of our 100 years, and to have a community day out.
The weather was glorious, and a good spread was shared from salads, meats, sandwiches and of course Cakes!! It was nice to meet up and get to know members in an informal setting and the afternoon was very enjoyable.
Cockney Night 26th April 2017
Harold Wood WI held a social night, were joined by ladies from other nearby WI's and even had a few men join us. We had a Good Ol' knees up, singing along to many well known and loved songs. We were given Union flags to wave by our Pearly King and Queen and waved them patriotically when we sang along to Land of Hope and Glory.
John, the Pearly King sang and played a guitar both before and after the interval he and Terri entertained us all evening and their traditional outfits were a sight to behold. The pearl buttons made a wonderful sound as they walked amongst the audience.
Pie & Mash or Sausages and Mash were provided for dinner along with drinks. The pies and mash came from the well known east end shop Cooke's. The evening was rounded up with a traditional WI raffle.