On a glorious sunny day a week ago hundreds of members and friends flocked to Denman College, the WI’s own college in Marcham Oxfordshire, to see something of what the WI has on offer. Set in beautiful gardens, lake and all, for the past 62 years Denman’s doors have been open to WI members to learn all manner of skills, from cooking and craft to literature and language, with music and history in between, not to mention fashion and food.
The college has a cookery school – food and the WI just go together so well, don’t they! And if you have a secret desire to know how to make that ubiquitous jam - Denman College is not only the place to learn how to, but it is also the place to show off your jam making prowess by entering our Jam Festival in November this year.
Following our 2009 national mandate, SOS for Honeybees, Denman has acquired its own hives, and I do believe Denman honey is now for sale in the college shop.
Body Fit Camp has also come to Denman - you could shed the pounds or just keep fit and healthy with this specially tailored course.
You do realise, don’t you, that you don’t have to be a WI member to have a place on the courses offered? Not so long ago a gentleman flew in from New York to attend an embroidery class.
In 1948, when the college was opened and named after the first NFWI National Chairman, I wondered if the members then expected that it would not only thrive into the 21st century but that hen weekends would be offered; a weekend where brides and friends can dip into different crafts or cookery, indeed, your choice of any of the courses on offer. Check it out – a hen party with a difference.