Annual Quiz with Peter Hillyard
In January we once again welcomed our legendary quizmaster Peter Hillyard who quizzed us on all manner of things in teams of up to 6.
Congratulations to The Pot Luck Club who scooped first prize with a whopping score of 60, the Incredibelles who came in second and High 5 who came in 3rd.
Wine Tasting with Dulwich Vintners
In February we were delighted to welcome Robin Eadon from Dulwich Vintners, a local independent, family-run wine merchant in Dulwich Village offering a unique range of interesting and high quality wines from around the World. Robin gave a brief introduction on wine appreciation before we tasted and compared a selection of French Old World vs New World red and white wines.
Dulwich Vintners also very generously donated a bottle of bubbly for our prize raffle. As as a result of member’s support in buying raffle tickets during the year, the cost of this event which would otherwise have been £5 per member was able to be covered from reserve funds.
International Women’s Day 2017 was celebrated around the world on 8 March 2017. At our March meeting we celebrated with a selection of members who spoke about a special woman in their life and the impact that they had in shaping their values, ambitions and aspirations.
Barbara is one of the women who uses the services of Link Age Southwark and, now in her 90s, has had a very interesting life including working as a coder with the Women’s Royal Naval Service during the Second World War. She was also a journalist and crossword editor and so spoke with us about her different experiences, particularly during the war which had a lasting impact on women across the country, changing the social norms.
Brian is well known to the EDWI and we have often enjoyed his fascinating local history talks while walking in Dulwich Village and East Dulwich. He spoke to us about local ‘headstrong’ ladies including Annie Besant, a prolific writer and political campaigner; Annie Horniman, the errant daughter of the tea merchant and founder of the Horniman Museum; and Eleanor Marx – daughter of Karl Marx – who lived in Sydenham.
Chocolate Tasting with Rococo Chocolates
In a last minute change of events, we welcomed Sam Smallman from Rococo Chocolates who provided us with an extremely engaging and enigmatic talk about the history and make-up of chocolate, Rococo Chocolate’s history (they’re based in West Norwood) and their involvement in developing a range of Roald Dahl inspired bars. Sam also provided us with a comprehensive selection of their chocolates to taste with everything from single origin dark chocolate squares, pralines, fondants and unusually flavoured ganaches and caramels.
AGM & Celebrating 10 Years of the East Dulwich WI!
May saw a special extended meeting to Celebrate 10 Years of the East Dulwich WI.
As well as the usual business of the AGM we voted to accept the resolutions to End Plastic Soup and Link Together and heard from Katie Arnold, founder of the EDWI about her inspiration for setting it up from other members and about her experiences over the years.
As an extra bonus we also welcomed special guest, Jane Beedle the 2016 Great British Bake Off finalist who told us about life on GBBO and her work as a local garden designer.
Glass Mosaic Workshop with Jo Veevers
In June we got crafty when we welcomed back local artist, Jo Veevers, who first introduced us to glass mosaic back in 2015 when we made mosaic coasters. This time Jo showed us how to make glass mosaic pendants using small decorative glass beads.
DIY Workshop with the DIY Doers
©Kim Haddon Photography
In July we were delighted to welcome Wayne Perrey and Steph Bron, The DIY Doers, who have featured on various TV shows including the BBC’s ‘Great Interior Design Challenge’. Wayne and Steph believe that being good at DIY is all to do with knowledge but most importantly, having the confidence to apply that knowledge. The aim of the DIY Doers, is to encourage people to pick up the tools and have go, so they can feel the self satisfaction of achieving and fixing those jobs around the house.
Wayne and Steph provided us with a ‘Discover DIY Workshop’ where they talked us through home safety and showed us how to turn off our electric, water and gas in an emergency as well as the basic functions of the drill. We also learnt about the different types of wall fixings and different wall types and how to hang shelves, curtain tracks and pictures.
Lawn Bowls, Picnic & Pimms
Our August Lawn Bowls event at Southwark Sports Bowls Club was a wash-out – you have to love the Great British Summer!! As it is not only the scouts who are always prepared, we didn’t let such matters put us off having a lovely evening and so our wet-weather plan was implemented. Our lovely host Martin provided us with a local knowledge quiz in the Club House and the picnic and Pimms went ahead as planned, albeit indoors!
Southwark Sports Bowls Club kindly invited our members back one Sunday in September to have another go at getting out on the green and reminded us that all members are welcome to attend their their social ‘roll up’ sessions which take place from 5.30pm every Tuesday and Wednesday until the end of September.
Visit to South London Botanical Institute
In September we headed back outdoors to the South London Botanical Institute for a tour around the house and garden led by Roy Vickery who also very kindly arranged tea, coffee and biscuits for us.
The house is a large double fronted Victorian house set back from the road. Inside are the library, lecture room and herbarium housing many thousands of specimens. Outside is a small beautiful botanical garden and pond.
After the tour we made our way to The Tulse Hill Hotel which is just opposite the Institute for drinks and a bite to eat.
Pickling Demonstration with Newton and Pott
© Kim Haddon Photography
We returned to the EDT in October for a classic WI evening where we welcomed Kylee Newton of Newton & Pott who has been making innovative homemade chutneys, pickles and jams in her flat in Hackney for the past eight years and is on a mission to bring preserves into the 21st Century. Initially she started making preserves as gifts, but they became so popular a business was born.
She is renowned for mixing flavours and being experimental, with alcohol being a key ingredient of many of her products! Hailing originally from New Zealand, she uses many exotic fruits that are grown in her home country, like feijoas and tamarillos.
With a stall at East London’s Broadway Market and a book on preserves published, there is no one better qualified to give us a demonstration of two different, tasty seasonal pickles! Kylee showed us how to make Gin Pickled Cucumbers & Whiskey Carrots.
There were free takeaway samples of some of Newton & Pott’s best pickles, jams and chutneys and the opportunity to buy more along with signed copies of her book; ‘The Modern Preserver‘, copies of which were also kindly donated for our raffle prizes.
A Night at the Oscars with Gareth Ellis-Unwin
© Kim Haddon Photography
At our super November event, we were incredibly excited to welcome our special guest star, Gareth Ellis-Unwin, to our Oscar-themed night. Gareth is the CEO of London-based Bedlam Film Productions and used to live on Lordship Lane. He is the Oscar-winning Producer of The King’s Speech, the highest grossing British independent film of all time. He walked our own red carpet at the EDT to talk about Hollywood, his film career, show some film clips and take part in a Q&A.
To give you an idea of how lucky we were to have Gareth at this event, his career has taken off rapidly – since the production of British thriller Exam in 2009 to record-breaking The King’s Speech in 2010, which won over 80 internationally recognised film awards with seven BAFTAs and four Academy Awards, including Best Film. It went on to make over $450m worldwide in theatrical receipts alone. Subsequently, Gareth produced the moving drama Zaytoun, the first film to be made under the UK-Israeli co-production treaty. It was selected to screen at the BFI London Film Festival and was awarded the Runner-Up Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
More recently Gareth worked as an Executive Producer on the BAFTA-nominated British war film Kajaki. The True Story. The critically applauded feature, which supports major military charities, was released nationwide in November 2014 and on DVD, Blu-ray and digital platforms in June 2015. Set during the war in Afghanistan and based on real events, it’s about a group of British soldiers who embark on a mission to save their trapped comrades after one loses a leg to a landmine – recently watched on BBC2 by the WI Committee, it is an incredibly harrowing and emotive film that has you on the edge of your seat! Gareth oversaw the direct distribution of the film in the UK, securing over 2500 screenings of this modestly budgeted war movie. Since it’s release Gareth has worked closely with Help for Heroes and donated his fee from our event to the charity.
In 2017 Gareth wrapped his latest film Steel Country, in Georgia USA. Starring Andrew Scott (Spectre, Pride), Bronagh Waugh (TV’s The Fall) and recent Olivier winner, Denise Gough (’71, Jimmys Hall). His journey from Lordship Lane to LA was utterly fascinating and we had an amazing evening full of glitz, glam, prosecco and paparazzi!
Festive Rubber Stamp Making & Printing with Jo Veevers
December saw our second visit of the year from Jo Veevers who helped us make some wonderful mosaic necklaces earlier in the year. For our festive meeting, Jo showed us how to design and cut rubber stamps to print our very own, hand made Christmas cards and gift tags – it was a great way to impress friends and family and add a personal touch to our Christmas greetings!