Pett WI meets on the third Wednesday of the month at Pett Village Hall, next to the Two Sawyers pub, from 7.30pm – 9.30pm. We enjoy interesting speakers, fundraising activities, theatre outings, and the objectives of the WI, which is NOT just about Jam and Jerusalem! Visitors welcome.

For more information, contact

Pett Women’s Institute – October 2019

The word “inspirational” can sometimes be used far too freely when describing some public speakers but in September we really were treated to not only an inspirational talk but a motivational one too from Fern Lulham.  Fern talked about her experiences of being blind and the link between her disability and her mental health but delivered with such great engaging charm and humour.  Fern is local to Hastings but travels extensively delivering her speeches far and wide accompanied by her guide dog Nancy.  She certainly gave members lots to think about and how we can face our own challenges.

After Fern’s talk we wished one of our fabulous members Marjorie Atherden a very happy special birthday with a rousing rendition of her favourite Jerusalem as well of course as Happy Birthday!  Marjorie was presented with a very tasty cake made by Sally Watson and a special card from members showing photos of Marjorie at various past WI events – she also received a voucher for afternoon tea for two at the Tic Toc.  Marjorie later described her birthday surprises as “wonderful!” remarking that she had such an emotional evening and gave thanks to everyone.
We are now able to give more information about our major fundraising event on Saturday 30 November at Pett Village Hall.   You will see the accompanying poster in this month’s news and can see that the event has now been called “Fitness Frolics!”  Members are being urged to participate and encourage family and friends to come along also – it’s going to be fantastic with a chance to partake in many different fitness and well being activities.  We’d love to see support from the community too as all profits will go to the local Rye & District Dementia Action Alliance.
Our membership is currently full but we may have some vacancies from January 2020 when on Saturday 18 January we will be opening our doors again between 11am and 2pm for our popular New Year’s Membership Renewal and Bucks Fizz Brunch event.   In order for us to keep in contact with you please put your name on our waiting list via our Secretary Jane at or contact us on our Facebook or Twitter pages.
Belinda Wood 
President, Pett WI

Pett Women’s Institute – September 2019

Instead of a meeting in August we usually hold a social event and this year it was kindly hosted by committee members Jane and Sara.  The weather was exceedingly kind to us and so we were able to explore their beautiful garden and views whilst nipping back inside their welcoming home to take advantage of the fantastic WI buffet that members had all contributed to.  Goodness when Pett WI party they do it so well!   What a wonderful evening it was – thanks to all who came along and especially to Jane and Sara for their warm hospitality.  Many friendships are being forged this year which gives me such personal satisfaction as the main reason I joined the WI three years ago was to make new friends and that has certainly happened as a result of my membership.  We are so pleased to have a lovely contingent of Icklesham ladies with us, many of whom knew each other before they came along but some who have made new friends in the village as a result. Other members come from Guestling, Fairlight, Hastings/St Leonards and Rye.

Some of our members meet up in between our monthly meetings including our Book Club who get together at the Two Sawyers.  This is a friendly, informal group set up by our fabulous Dawn Osborne who is keen to welcome new members to the clan!  We are always pleased to hear from members as to any other sub-groups that they would be interested in setting up – be it craft or purely social – theatre/cinema/supper etc. – you name it we can do it but we need members help please so don’t be shy in suggesting ideas but please be ready to help organise it.

As a new (and very small) committee  we strive to make our group as inclusive and interesting for everyone – not always the easiest task trying to keep everyone happy but we really try to do our best and are always keen to have feedback from members as to ideas for speakers/topics covered.

For the crafty members amongst us just a note that East Sussex Federation’s Patchwork Christmas Decorations Workshop will take place at Pett Village Hall on Saturday 16 November.  On the same day at Hailsham HQ there will be a Christmas cookie/biscuit workshop!  Federation are also organising a “Christmas at Hever Castle” outing to include Christmas lunch on Tuesday 17 December.  More details in this month’s newsletter and on ESFW’s website.

Closer to home our next fundraising event will take place on Saturday 30 November at Pett Village Hall organised by our EAT (Events Action Team) who are currently busy putting plans in place for a fun health and well being day.   Funds raised will go to the Rye & District Dementia Action Alliance which falls in line with this year’s national WI’s resolution to support and provide awareness of mental health.  So far classes will include belly dancing, Tai Chi, Tomboogie, dancing, pilates with taster sessions of Reiki and Indian head massage. I’m sorry to report there are no plans for a sitting down and just eating cake class but actually we might be able to organise something like that in between classes!    More details nearer the time but we do hope to see you there for what promises to be a great day and something to help us unwind as we prepare ourselves for the busy Christmas period!

Want to join us? We are expecting three new members by the time this newsletter is published and so if that is the case we will have started a waiting list.  We may be able to welcome new members as of January 2020 so please contact us if you would like us to keep in touch with you at

Belinda Wood

President, Pett WI

Pett WI usually meet the third Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm at Pett Village Hall.   Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Pett Women’s Institute – August 2019

Thanks to Pett News for making us cover girls last month!  OK albeit back-cover and it wasn’t actually any of us in the flesh so to speak (!) but we were nonetheless absolutely delighted to see our Dawn Timmins’ splendid Pett WI icon painting recreated there!

Our July meeting saw us gathering away from the Village Hall for a change and took us instead to the New Beach Club at Pett Level where we met up with local marine environmentalist Andy Dinsdale (founder of the Strandliners Community Interest Company).  Andy led almost 40 of us on a mini-beachcombing/cleaning session.  Andy explained about the marine debris some of which travels thousands of miles across our oceans and talked about the litter, searches for nurdles and biobeads among the microplastic and all the strange things that can be found on our strandlines.  After this we returned to the Beach Club for some tasty refreshments during which we had a bit of business and time for a social too.  Grateful thanks to Natalie and all at the club for making us so welcome!

Thanks so much to all members who helped at/attended this year’s Pett Flower Show and Fayre.  It was heartening to see it supported by so many stalwart locals and visitors despite the dismal weather.  Well done to our own Philippa Strickland and her team for working so hard to put on this popular community event.

A few years ago we were involved with a community project to aid the dementia patients of the MacDonald Ward at the Conquest Hospital when members helped produce “Twiddle Muffs”.  We were delighted to have been contacted by the ward matron again to see if we could help them with a new appeal to make bed runners by way of knitting/crocheting etc.  MacDonald ward is a frailty ward and many of the patients are 75 years and over.  Within this group of patients many suffer with a cognitive impairment and so help with orientation, and to make the ward look less medical and to reduce patient falls the idea is to make patients bed spaces as individual as possible for them.  Bed runners (also called bed scarves) can be draped over the end of the beds so that the bed spaces become more familiar.  The patient would then take these home with them.  We are hoping to encourage local individuals and community groups to take part as well of course as our own members.  If you are interested in knowing more about how to get involved please Hilary Dymott at who is helping to coordinate this project and she will be happy to tell you more about what’s needed.

As mentioned last month members of our EAT (Events Action Team) are currently busy putting together our next major event which is a health and well being day to be held on Saturday 30 November.   Funds raised will go to the Rye & District Dementia Action Alliance.  So far classes will include belly dancing, Tai Chi, Tomboogie, dancing, pilates with taster sessions of Reiki and Indian head massage.   More details nearer the time but we do hope to see you there for what promises to be a great day and something to help us unwind as we prepare ourselves for the busy Christmas period!  (Yikes I said the word sorry!!)

Our recently established Book Club continues to thrive under the guidance of member Dawn Osborne.  If other members wish to start off any club events themselves be it a supper, theatre/cinema or a particular craft remember like Dawn you don’t need to be a committee member to do this – just enthusiastic and happy to organise and coordinate outside of our regular monthly meetings.  Contact myself or Jane if you think you’d like to propose something.  Cake Club anyone?!

Finally for our next meeting, which starts at 7.30pm on Wednesday 18 September, we have secured a very popular on the WI-circuit speaker (she’s even won awards for it) by the name of Fern Lulham ( who lives close by in Hastings.  Prepare to get motivated and also fall in love with her guide dog, Nancy.  A perfect opportunity for you meet us, receive a warm welcome and join our friendly group – we’ll be cracking open the fizz too to mark a special event – and there will be cake (of course!!)   Contact us at or our social media pages or just come along – we’d absolutely love to have you join our local WI!

Belinda Wood

President, Pett WI

Pett WI usually meet the third Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm at Pett Village Hall.   

Pett Women’s Institute – July 2019

For our June meeting we had the pleasure of a visit to Breanross, the home of Libby and Tim Rothwell in advance of them opening their garden as part of the Pett Village Open Garden scheme for St Michael’s Hospice.  Libby and Tim kindly allowed us a preview of the garden and invited members to look around and ask questions about the plants.  Libby also showed us photographs of how the garden has developed over the years.   Afterwards we returned to the Hall for refreshments which were kindly provided by members Lisa Fisher, Ashleigh Fraser and Lisa Kerry.  These fabulous ladies were in charge of assembling the Pimm’s and also provided us with the most delicious homemade sausage rolls and strawberry and chocolate cake!  Members were also able to purchase raffle tickets for a bottle of champagne with the proceeds going to St. Michael’s Hospice.

Our East Sussex umbrella federation of WIs celebrate their centenary this year and gave a splendid garden party for an estimated 400 East Sussex WI members on Saturday 6 July at the equally splendid Fairlight Hall with house and garden tours, entertainment and refreshments.  Special thanks to Pett WI members who helped with the baking and volunteered to help on the tours and with refreshments etc.  notably Wendy Burgess, Heather Godwin, Wendy Hysted, Sharon Sellens, Phillipa Strickland and Sally Watson.  I would also like to thank Stephanie Gaunt, President of Hastings & Ore WI and her team for the work they did in organising the whole event.

As part of the centenary celebrations all East Sussex WIs (and there are over 100 of us) were invited to provide a suitably decorated material square to depict our WI on a Centenary Banner which will eventually be on permanent display at the East Sussex WI headquarters in Hailsham.  We are fortunate indeed that one of our members, Dawn Timmins, is a local artist and kindly agreed/had her arm twisted to do this.  We are thrilled with what she came up with and feel that when people come to look at the banner ours will stand out fabulously!

I’ll report on our July meeting next month but members are looking forward to another “out of the hall” experience to The New Beach Club, Pett Level with the ever-popular Andy Dinsdale leading us on a beach combing and cleaning expedition – and then coming back to the club for a bit of a social!

We have no formal meeting in August but a reminder to members there will be a social at Jane and Sara’s on Wednesday 21st August with plenty of food, drink and fun being planned!  Lifts are advisable!

The next WI craft workshop at Pett Village Hall will be Christmas Flowers and Wreaths on Saturday 5th October from 10am to 4pm at a cost of £33 to members including all tools and materials. This workshop involves learning how to make beautiful flowers from sheets of foam and then using them to make a spray or wreath.  Booking in advance is essential and this one will go fast so be sure to book soonest.

Another date for the diary is Saturday 30 November when we will be having a fundraising event for our cause of the year Dementia Awareness.  More details on that soon but all sorts of activities are currently being planned including belly dancing, pilates, Tomboogie, dancing for fitness, crafts and massage!  (I’m hoping there might also be a well-woman cake eating session being planned too!)

Contact us at or our social media pages to find out more about being a member of our vibrant and active group!

Pett Women’s Institute – June 2019

Our 8th Pett Big Village Lunch on Sunday 2nd June gave us the opportunity to get together with friends old and new over our community lunch and very popular feast of puddings table!  Although not as well attended as previous years attendees all seemed to have a good time.  The icing on the cake this year was the performance by Sammy-Lou (Samantha Hallam) who had put together for us a perfectly-pitched and suitable set-list which she delighted us with.  Her naturally warm bubbly personality put everyone at ease.  If you are interested in engaging Sammy-Lou for your own event she comes thoroughly recommended and can be contacted via her Facebook (where you can see her sing too) or by email at    As a result of this community event we raised over £400 and I’ll report back next month how we plan to share this amongst local organisations.
Putting these events on takes a lot of planning and effort and although it’s always dangerous to name names for fear of missing people out but I must give my sincerest thanks to my fellow committee members and in particular Sara Dann and Jane Sweaney, together with helpers Pam Burgess, Wendy Burgess, Phillipa Strickland, Lin Benn, Betty Harknett, Trish Walker, Sharon Sellens, Marjorie Atherden, Amanda Dellar.  Also I must not forget to thank the hubsters Gordon, Ray and Dave who helped with the hall preparation and did things with stepladders and bunting that made me feel quite dizzy!  And all those that pitched in and helped clear away on the day too!   Warmest thanks to members who kindly made the delicious puds!  We are very grateful to Heringtons Solicitors, The Royal Oak Pett, Tic Toc Hairdressers, Northiam Dental Practice, Concepts of Rye, Paiwa Loves Nails, Alison’s Aloe, Phil and Eve Button and many WI members kindly giving us prizes and cash donations.  Thanks also to Pett Butchers and the Tic Tocery for helping us with advance ticket sales.
Last month’s meeting speaker was Trudy Smith of the Chain Lane Cake Company in Battle. Trudy spoke to us about her passion for cake decorating and how she turned this into a business.  She also showed an incredible range of the cakes she has made for family, clients and competitions. We then split into two groups so that Trudy could demonstrate some decorating techniques to half of the company while the other half enjoyed refreshments including the entries in the apple pie making competition.  The two groups changed places later in the evening.  Increasingly we are finding members appreciate the opportunity to move around during our two hour monthly meetings and have the opportunity to get to know each other better.   To me this is one of the best things about being involved with the WI – as well as the chance to learn and better understand wider issues, be inspired to try new things and help with community-led projects – plus the cake (and wine) of course!
So much going at the moment! I attended the National WI Annual Meeting held in Bournemouth in May as a link delegate representing not just Pett, but also Brede, Westfield and Ore/Hastings WIs too.  It was my first experience at this annual meeting at which 4,000 WI members were present at the vast Bournemouth International Centre.  The meeting consisted of a mix of general AGM-type business, informative speakers, and also gave us the opportunity to listen to the resolutions that we were being asked to vote on namely the decline in the local bus service and ways to turnaround the fall in women taking up the chance to attend their cervical screening appointments.  As you might imagine there were many strong and emotive opinions shared.  Both resolutions were passed and so the WI will now look at how these two new mandates can be worked on nationally.
At the time of going to press for the Parish News our June meeting has not taken place and so anyone reading this via Pett on the Net if you are interested in becoming a member of your local WI come along on Wednesday 19th to Pett Village Hall between 7 and 7.30pm where we will then be walking the short distance to friendly neighbours at Breanross for a visit of their beautiful garden.  After this we will return to the Hall for Pimm’s and other refreshments and finish with the regular part of our meeting.
On Saturday 6th July some Pett WI members, together with those from many of the other 100 WIs in East Sussex, will come together at a very special garden party to be held at Fairlight Hall.  The occasion is to mark our East Sussex Federation’s centenary year.  Pett WI are helping provide cakes for the event and some of us have volunteered to help too.  Members can expect house and garden tours, live entertainment, Pimm’s & bar tent, some interesting trader stalls for a little optional shopping, and hands-on craft opportunities too.  Let’s just hope for the sunshine now!
A Kirigami workshop due to take place at Pett Village Hall on Saturday 13th July is currently under-subscribed and will not go ahead unless more people sign up for it – so if you have been meaning to book please get in touch with either Secretary Jane or myself and we will email you an application form for you to send off to our local federation who are organising this event for us.  Kirigami is the Japanese art of cutting and folding paper. This workshop is for all levels of expertise. Ben Courtney will help you make up to five projects to take home.  This event is open to all by the way –  WI members pay £25 and non-members £30.
We look forward to a meeting with a difference on Wednesday 17th July as we converge at the New Beach Club (watch out Beach Club members we’re coming and may even entertain you with a rousing rendition of Jerusalem!) enabling us to incorporate a beach clean overseen by Pett WI friend and previous meeting speaker Andy Dinsdale. We then return to the club for due refreshment and socialising.
On Saturday 27th July many of us will be participating/attending at the Pett Flower Show – so if you see any of the stallholders or tea tent ladies sporting a sunflower, WI badge or apron do say hello!  And please show your support for this annual summer time special event!
We have no formal meeting in August but we are planning a get-together nonetheless and more next month on that.
Contact us at or our social media pages to find out about being a part of our WI.  Also as we start to consider our Annual Programme for 2020 please contact us if you have an interest/skill that you think would make a worthy talk for one of our meetings.  We’d love to hear from you!
Belinda Wood
President, Pett WI

Pett Women’s Institute – May 2019

As the actual printed version of the magazine arrives in your hands there may still be a chance to get a ticket to our Jun8th Pett Big Village Lunch on Sunday 2 June at the village hall.   Depending on what the next committee decide this may be the last of the Big Village Lunches going forward so we are hoping to ensure that if that is the case it is a befitting swansong! We are confident it will be with the return of our very popular “Feast of Puddings” serving table groaning under the weight of the delights upon it and also with the vocal talent of Sammy-Lou providing the entertainment.  Tickets are £10 each and can be obtained via email to and from Pett Butchers and the Tic Tocery.  You just need to bring with you your plate, cutlery, glass, drink and main meal.  Bring some money for the raffle too of course! This event is not just open to our WI members but the whole communities around and about – it’s a great opportunity have an early summer get together with family, friends and neighbours and an easy way to entertain without having to clean your own home beforehand and after!
Both Sharon Sellens and Sally Watson delivered two emotive talks back in April when they spoke about subjects close to their hearts namely dementia awareness and deaf awareness.  This month we were inspired by Trudy Smith from the Chain Lane Cake Company in Battle who talked about how from simple beginnings – creating her children’s birthday cakes – her passion for cake decorating grew into a successful home business and winner of many national awards with her amazing designs.  After her talk she then demonstrated a couple of sugarcraft techniques which members were able to have a go at themselves.  Trudy did us the honour of judging our apple pie competition – well done to Pam Poling who won but as she is unable to recreate her winning pie for the East Sussex Federation of Women’s Institute’s centenary garden party event this July the runner-up Wendy Hysted will be doing us the honour instead.
During the May meeting members also considered presentations outlining the two resolutions that are to be debated and voted on at our National Federation of WI’s Annual meeting in Bournemouth on June 5th.  They were “A call against the decline in local bus services” and “Don’t fear the Smear” I’ll report back next month on what is chosen as our next national campaign.
Outside of our monthly meetings Dawn Osborne has started the new Pett WI Book Club.  Members will meet at the Two Sawyers every six weeks to choose what they are going to read and then discuss afterwards.  Dawn told us that they didn’t talk just books during the first meeting which of course is turning into a great way to socialise and get to know each other.  If other members wish to do so they are more than welcome to put forward for consideration their own interest groups – cake club and supper club are two ideas that came up for suggestion last year for example, but the committee would expect members to then organise these sub-groups themselves as Dawn has done.
Some of us enjoyed a visit on Saturday 11 May to the stunning Leonardslee Gardens near Horsham.  These Grade I Listed gardens on a 240 acre estate feature outstanding scenery especially this time of the year when the landscape is splashed with colour from the many azaleas and rhododendrons in flower and of a carpet of bluebells throughout the woodland.  We saw a rare colony of wallabies in the new Australia gardens and when the weather become a little unpredictable we were mesmerised as by an extensive dolls house collection depicting the Edwardian estate and neighbouring villages at 1/12th scale, with landscapes and characters acting out day-to-day activities. Exquisite in detail and accuracy, a six-foot-tall person is recreated as six inches in height!  That alone was worth the entry fee we thought!  Some of us are planning a return this autumn.
More social events are currently being planned including at least one other garden visit, trips to the cinema and to local arts festivals plus a hoped-for West End musical too!
I would like to thank my fellow committee members Jane Sweaney, Sara Dann and Sally Watson for all the hard work and dedication they give to our WI and to everyone who helps us out at meetings and events.  You’re simply the best!
Contact us at or our social media pages to find out more about getting a ticket to the BVL, donating a raffle prize or becoming a member. Also please contact us if you have an interest/skill that you think would make a worthy talk for one of our meetings.  We’d love to hear from you!
Belinda Wood
President, Pett WI

Pett Women’s Institute – April 2019

And still our membership grows – so much now that as of early April we were only able to take two more to our group which means a waiting list will soon come into operation!   Thank you to everyone who continues to support our vibrant and friendly group.

At our March meeting Alison Mathias from Alison Wonderland Photography gave us an interesting insight into how she became passionate about digital photography and shared many tips with us as well as putting on pop-up photo studio which proved very entertaining!

At the time of writing this report we were looking forward to hearing from members Sharon Sellens, supporter of Rye & District Dementia Action Alliance and fellow committee member Sally Watson talking about deaf awareness.  At our next meeting on Wednesday 15th May we welcome Trudy Smith from the Chain Lane Bakery Company who will be giving us a cake decorating masterclass.  The keen bakers amongst us are being asked to bring along their own homemade apple pies for judging by Trudy (and then sampling by the membership massive!)  We will then be asking the winner to kindly bake the same recipe again but this time for the East Sussex Federation of Women’s Institute’s centenary garden party event this July at Fairlight Hall when county-wide WIs will be meeting and during which the ultimate Apple Pie contest will be judged!  Come on Pett we can do this!

Our events team now are focusing on plans for our biggest event of the year the 8th Pett Big Village Lunch to be held at Pett Village Hall on Sunday 2 June.  Tickets will be on sale via our Secretary/Treasurer Jane Sweaney as of 1st May and also from our fab friends at The Butcher Shop and Tic Toc Hairdressers.  Entry is £10,   Your ticket price includes entertainment from the very talented local singer Sammy-Lou (who also made the final 100 of the X-Factor!) and helping yourself to our now famous Pett Women’s Institute Feast of Puddings! You just need to bring with you your plate, cutlery, glass, drink and main meal. We will also provide the welcome, camaraderie and fun that we are known for and a grand raffle too – and if there are any individuals or companies who would like to donate a prize we would love to hear from you.  Proceeds of the event including the raffle go to local good causes and our WI funds too! A reminder that this event is not just open to our WI members but the whole communities around and about.  But please be quick – with just 90 tickets available and nearly 50 in our membership alone these are going to be the hottest tickets in town (or rather the village!!)

Contact us at or our social media pages to find out more about getting a ticket to the BVL, donating a raffle prize or becoming a member. Also please contact us if you have an interest/skill that you think would make a worthy talk for one of our meetings.  We’d love to hear from you!

Belinda Wood, President, Pett WI

Pett Women’s Institute – March 2019

So lovely to welcome yet more new members since my last report!  Please note our monthly meetings will now start at 7.30pm instead of 7pm. This may vary once or twice during the year but if that happens all members will have plenty of advance warning and details will also be on our social media pages etc.

If anyone has found one of our suitably decorated pebbles/rocks which have been left out and about by members during our February meeting please post to our Facebook or Twitter pages! We had a lot of fun doing this activity, which is officially called “Rocking” by the way, and it gave members the opportunity to get to know each other too.  The activity was to mark the Climate Coalition’s #showthelove campaign highlighting climate change.

Members were also impressed with the latest report presented to us by Emma Bell from the Hastings charity SafeHaven Women which is one of the charities we support locally through our Pett WISPA campaign (Pett Women’s Institute Sanitary Protection Appeal). SafeHaven Women offers a cosy, comfortable space to relax with food, tea and coffee, nail bar, craft sessions and a clothes bank. This safe place is a chance for women to come together and hang out, to chat and to be listened to over a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

Thanks to everyone who has donated clothes and other products to this charity which meets at the Holy Trinity Church in Hastings, together of course to our other supporting charity Seaview.  The charities are always in need of sanitary towels (not tampons), underwear (new not secondhand), toiletries and warm clothes. So if you have any unwanted Christmas gifts, are having a spring clear out of your sock drawer, or you just pop an extra tube of toothpaste in your trolley at the supermarket, please bring any items along to our meetings.  You can do this at any time during the year and Hilary, or one of the WISPA team, will make sure the items are passed on to where they are needed.  Alternatively you can drop some change in the donation tin when you come to the meeting and the team will do the shopping for you!

Our EAT (Events Action Team) and ACT (Appeals Co-ordination Team) met recently and have started planning an exciting mixture of social and fundraising activities for the coming year which will be publicised as we go along.  Our first main focus is this year’s very popular Pett Big Village Lunch event which will take place on Sunday 2 June at the Pett Village Hall. Full details of this event will appear soon but please get the date on your calendar now.  This is open to not just WI members but the whole communities around and about too – although Pett villagers and subscribers to the Parish News etc. are hearing about it here first of course!

Our April meeting is on Wednesday 17th when members Sharon Sellens, supporter of Rye & District Dementia Action Alliance will explain more about dementia and committee member Sally Watson will talk about deaf awareness. There are also plans for a couple of Easter related events too.

Contact me at or our social media pages to find out more about becoming a member or pop along to our next meeting.

Belinda Wood 

President, Pett WI 

Pett Women’s Institute – February 2019

We were blown away by the fantastic response to our meeting back in January – as a result of which we welcomed 11 new members on the day with several others contacting us to say they wished to join too!   Thanks to all who helped on the day and especially to Sara Dann for organising us so beautifully – and the fabulous Pauline Gibb for helping cook and serve up such a delicious brunch!  The Catharine Hollman room was filled with laughter and fun that day as some of the details of our annual programme were announced and new friendships were made.

Our membership now consists of a variety of ages, backgrounds and interests with many working either part or full time and coming from not just the surrounding villages but Hastings & St Leonards and Rye too!

To celebrate February’s #showthelove campaign to highlight climate change be sure to keep an eye out for suitably decorated pebbles by our members around the villages!  If you find one please post to our Facebook page @pettWI or Twitter @WI_Pett

At our March meeting on Wednesday 20th at 7pm we will be welcoming Alison Mathias of AlisonWonderland Photography who will be giving a lively presentation  “Behind the Click” – and don’t worry there isn’t any talk of a repeat of “The Calendar Girls” (at this time!)  Outside of our regular monthly meetings our Events Action Team (EAT) are currently working on ideas for trips out, new social and fundraising events, with the emphasis on fun, that will benefit not just Pett village, but hopefully all our membership’s localities too.  As well as our own Pett WISPA campaign (Pett Women’s Institute Sanitary Protection Appeal) we get involved in WI campaigns at a national level with a wide range of social and environmental issues.

Contact me at to find out more about becoming a member or pop along to our next meeting – you can be absolutely assured of a very warm welcome – with tea and real coffee (forget the instant!) and usually a bottle (or three!) of something cold and refreshing being uncorked too!  Ladies – welcome to the WI!

NB Be quick – we are very close now to capping our membership and starting a waiting list – how exciting!

Belinda Wood

President, Pett WI

Pett Women’s Institute – January 2019

Thanks to everyone who helped with preparing, cooking and serving the refreshments at the Christmas Pudding Dash at the Hall on 22 December where we served up a considerable amount of bacon rolls with head of our Events & Activities (EAT) Group, Sara Dann, ensuring everyone knew what they were doing and when!
Belated thanks too to all at the Two Sawyers who as usual gave us great hospitality when we held our Christmas Supper there on Wednesday 12 December!

At the time of going to press we have not held our first meeting of the year which was planned for Saturday 19 January when we were welcoming existing and new members along to our new year’s brunch kick off meeting.  However from the interest received by people looking to join us at the end of last year we are expecting a buzzy membership this year!

In January members were asked to consider the National Federations suggested campaigns for 2019.  The WI’s democratic model means that every member has a say over our national campaigns and every resolution stems directly from members’ concerns.  Every member is asked to consider six resolutions and select the one they would most like to go forward for further discussion and voting at the Annual Meeting in June 2019.  This year they include improving plant biosecurity in the UK, trees – improving the natural landscape, pelvic floor education, suffering in silence – why we need to end the taboo around menstrual health, a call against the decline in local bus services and don’t fear the smear.
Due to our February meeting speaker having to rearrange for later this year we will be welcoming a mystery speaker along on Wednesday 20 February at 7pm.  In March we look forward to what has been promised to be an interesting, informative and fun presentation called “Beyond the Click” by Alison Mathias of Alison in Wonderland Photography (Wednesday 20 March at 7pm).  If you have a profession/interest or subject that you think would engage our members please email for my attention to
Keep up to date with us on our Facebook page @pettWI
Belinda Wood
President, Pett WI

Pett Women’s Institute – December 2018

It gives me great pleasure in wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and to thank Heather Godwin for all she has done during her time steering Pett WI so brilliantly over the past six years. I am excited and honoured to be taking on the responsibility of President with the support of a fabulous committee and a growing and diverse membership.

This month’s meeting is slightly different to our regular ones, which are usually held on the third Wednesday of the month at 7pm at Pett Village Hall.

This month we will meet at the hall on Saturday 19 January at 11.30am when we look forward to welcoming existing and new members – and anyone interested in joining part of the UK’s largest and most successful women’s group (nationally over 210,000 members!) – at this special get-together where we will be hearing more about this year’s annual programme and collecting annual subscriptions which this year is £42 (just £3.50 a month!)

If you think the WI couldn’t possibly be of interest to you can I mention that if you aren’t into cooking/baking, cocktail masterclasses, creative digital photography, crafting, friendly debating, theatre/cinema and other outings, local fundraising, fun and friendship, (did I mention cocktails?) then yes, it really isn’t for you! However, for those whose interest we may have piqued please do join us on the 19th for a Bucks Fizz New Year Brunch meeting (mmn, you can see we’ve ditched the “jam” – although some of us do make a mighty fine one I have to say!) You do not need to live in the village to be a member and you will receive the warmest of welcomes!

NB Due to the space of our meeting room at the Hall if our membership reaches capacity we may need to start a waiting list and therefore we may be unable to open our meetings to guests; so please if you have been meaning to join for a while take advantage this month to do so! Look out for us on Facebook for more info.

(Our February meeting will take place on Wednesday 20th at 7pm when our guest speaker/demonstrator will be baker/decorator extraordinaire Trudy Smith from The Chain Lane Cake Company, Battle.)

Belinda Wood, President Pett WI

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Pett Women’s Institute – November 2018 – A personal contribution from Heather Godwin

Well!   Little did I know, a year ago, that a sketch on a piece of scrap paper would translate itself into the wonderful display of poppies on all three churches in Pett and Pett Level which have been admired all over the world.

Pett WI would like to thank everyone involved in producing the 10,000 poppies on show: villagers, villagers’ friends and relatives, people from far and near, who knitted, sewed, and crocheted until those 65 metres of camouflage netting were full.

Particular mention must go to Wendy Burgess, Pam Burgess and Lin Benn who transformed my vision into the stunning displays you saw, and Hilary Dymott, my right hand woman, and to several husbands – they know who they are. They not only lived with camouflage netting, wool, material and endless discussions about the project for over a year, but were also pummelled into submission to help with the fixings and engineering!

Thank you to everyone who came along to the Fundraiser on the Saturday. At the time of going to print the amount raised for Help For Heroes and The Royal British Legion, including donations from the envelopes placed in the churches, is amounting to over £1,600, but we are still counting.  A final figure will be given in the January edition of the Village News and this page on Pett on the Net.

I was honoured to lay a wreath, so beautifully made by Jenny Grist, on behalf of Pett WI at the Remembrance Day Service where it was great to see so many local people..Project Remember certainly made the memorial a thing of beauty again.

Now to ‘business’:  this is my last contribution to the newsletter as I stood down as President at the Annual General Meeting last month. It’s been a pleasure to be on the Committee for seven years, six as President. In those seven years we have moved from afternoon to evening meetings, doubled the membership, created the annual Big Village Lunch, celebrated the Centenary of the WI, celebrated Pett WI’s own Centenary and now commemorated the Centenary of the end of the First World War in style.

I am handing the baton of President over to the capable hands of Belinda Wood. Belinda is Client Services Manager at Heringtons Solicitors and has been a member of Pett WI for two years.  Supporting Belinda on the new committee are Sarah Dann, Hilary Dymott, Jane Sweaney, Jan Tomalin and Sally Watson.

Members will be celebrating the end of this busy year with Christmas Supper at The Sawyers on December 14th. Details of the programme for next year will be available in the January edition of the Village News an on this page.

Photos and videos from the Poppies for Pett Remembrance and Fund Raiser held on Saturday 10 November can be seen here

Click  here to download the Poppies For Pett Leaflet above

Latest News

October 2018

We had a fantastic meeting in October with the wonderful Gary Enstone, General Manager of Bateman’s National Trust property. He was making a welcome return visit, and educating us with tales of Rudyard Kipling, the First World War and the tragic death of Kipling’s son, Jack, who was killed in September 1915 at the Battle of Loos, while serving with the British Army nearly six weeks after his eighteenth birthday.

It was a fitting talk as we are leading up to the culmination of a year-long project within the village – Poppies for Pett – creating 10,000 poppies for yarn-bombing the two village churches.  We have been overwhelmed with the support from villagers, and friends and relatives far and near. From the 1st November you will be able to view the results of our hard work at the Parish Church and the little Pett Level Church of St Nicholas.  Flyers are being distributed around the village to explain the project.  Do pick one up and invite family and friends to see the display.

Pett WI will also be holding a fund-raising event in the Village Hall on Saturday November 10th from 10 ‘til 2. There will be delicious refreshments, a raffle, the opportunity to sponsor a poppy and tie it on part of the Church display, write in a Book of Remembrance and support the two charities: The Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.

We are also offering a beautiful stained glass poppy (pictured) which has been donated to us for a silent auction. It measures 29 cm x 9cm. If you would like to own this, please send a bid to  or drop in a bid to 2 Brambletye, Pett Road, by the end of Friday 9th November. The winner will be the highest bid and will be announced during the fundraising event on the Saturday.

PLEASE support this project – hours of work have gone into it and it would be wonderful if we could raise a lot of money to say thank you for the sacrifices made in the past by servicemen and women.

Our next meeting will be the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 21st November at 7pm. A new committee will be formed, a new President voted in, as Heather Godwin is standing down after five years, and there will be the opportunity to decorate the paste poppies made at the October meeting.

September 2018

Our meeting in September was a ‘crafty’ one – ceramics artist Nicola Waters, who has a studio in Rye, gave us a brilliant hands-on demonstration of pinch-pots and we all had a go at making our own and some poppies. This was very appropriate as we are now approaching a figure of nearly 8,000 poppies for the yarn-bombing of St Mary and St Peter’s Church and St Nicholas’ Church in November.

The final date for accepting poppies will be Tuesday 16th October, so please make sure you deliver any you have made to either Phil at The Butcher’s Shop or to 2 Brambletye, Pett Road, or the Village Hall on Tuesdays between 9.30 and 11.30, where they are being assembled. If you have any problems with delivery please phone 01424 251849 and we will arrange to collect from you.

Several local organisations are coming together to commemorate the Centenary of the Armistice, and full details will be available in the November issue of the newsletter – just make sure you keep the weekend of the 9th/10th/11th November free to participate in the events – and keep an eye on the churches from 1st November!

Our speaker at the meeting in October will be the wonderful Gary Enstone from Bateman’s – the National Trust house which belonged to Rudyard Kipling. We enjoyed his talk so much last year he was invited back again with alacrity. Do come along on Wednesday 17th October at 7pm – you will be made most welcome.

August 2018

Last month’s speaker was Annie Whelan, the inspiring Chief Officer of Seaview in Hastings –an organisation with which Pett WI is very much involved. We were pleased to present Annie with a cheque for £200 – from fundraising for WISPA – to be used specifically for women’s projects.

Our promotional appearance at Fairfest was ‘rained off’ but we took the opportunity of glorious weather the following Saturday and had a stall at the Icklesham Fete – where many women expressed an interest in the free prosecco and cakes – and WI membership, of course!

The Poppy Coffee Morning at the beginning of August was a great success – thank you to all who supported us and bought the delicious cakes, scones and biscuits. Over £200 surplus was made which will be used to fund our yarn-bombing project in November and to the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.

Talking of the poppy yarn-bombing, with kind permission of Popps, every Tuesday morning throughout September and October several WI members will be found in the Catherine Hollman Room, tying on the 7,000 or more poppies which have been made by those in the village and beyond.  There will be more exciting news about the Poppy yarn-bombing in the October issue but, in the meantime, put the weekend of November 10th/11th in your diaries – and keep free!

By the time you read this our August meeting will have come and gone – accompanied by castanets and flamenco – as we had a Tapas Social evening which was a great success. Our meeting on Wednesday September 19th is entitled ‘Curious about Crafts?’ and welcomes Nicola Waters, a local mixed media artist who has a studio in Rye.  Nicola will introduce members to ceramics with a chance for members to get their hands on some clay and make a simple punch pot.  We hope to see you there at 7pm at Pett Village Hall.

June/July 2018

Well!  What a blast was had at The 7th Big Village Lunch on the second Sunday in June!  100 villagers’ – families and friends – ranging from 92 years old to 5 years old enjoyed a communal lunch and an Amazing Feast of Puddings accompanied by the wonderful sound of the band ‘Lipstick and Beatnicks’.

The theme was the celebration of 100 years of Women’s Suffrage – so the colour theme was green, white, and purple bunting, napkins and rosettes, and many of the ticket holders turned up in the same colours.  We were also honoured with Clare Calcott-James dressed in a real Edwardian Suffragette dress  – she won the prize for the best costume, naturally, which was presented by our very own celebrity Sophie-Louise Dann – West End star of the musicals Calendar Girls and Made in Dagenham – which appropriately both celebrated the Power of Women.

The members of Pett WI worked so hard to make this a success and over £400 was raised to be shared amongst local organisations. Thank you to all who supported the day with donations of puddings, raffle prizes, and to those who bought tickets, danced, sang, and generally had a great time.

Our June meeting was one of socialising – we have several new members to get to know – and of poppy-making for the November Yarn Bombing of Pett Church. We are getting closer and closer to the 5,000 total! We enjoyed a questionnaire on what members would like to see in the programme next year.

In July we welcome Annie Whelan the Chief Officer of Seaview – the wellbeing centre in St Leonards that offers help and inspiration for people living on society’s margins. Seaview is a project very close to Pett WI’s heart.  This is the third year of our supporting the organisation with donations from our WISPA project, and donations of clothes, too. The title of Annie’s talk is ‘Reaching the Furthest First’.  To listen to this inspirational woman please do come along on Wednesday July 18th at 7pm at Pett Village Hall.

Later on in the month on 29th July Pett WI will be having a stall at Fairfest in Fairlight , and another note for your diary – Pett WI, for one month only, is taking over the monthly Coffee Morning at Anne & Tim’s request (they get very busy down on the farm at this time of year). So we hope to see the regulars on Wednesday 1st August for scrumptious coffee, scone and cakes – see you there!

Patterns for Poppy Yarn-Bombing

Knitted Poppies

For the best finish, knit with a Double Knit (DK yarn). The size of needle you choose will determine how big the poppy will be, but we recommend 3.5mm or 3.75mm (UK9). If you have different yarn left in your stash, just use that and the appropriate needle size.

Easy ribbed poppy pattern – use size UK9 (3.5 or 3.75 mm) needles

Colour A: 1 ball red yarn (this will make a lot of poppies)

Colour B: Scrap of black yarn or black button

Body of Poppy:

Using Colour A Cast on 60 stitches

Rows 1 –10: K2, P2 across whole row (for a slightly smaller poppy do 8 rows of rib).

Row 11:  Knit 2 stitches together across the row (30 stitches).

Row 12:  Slip 1 stitch, Knit 2 stitches together then pass the slip stitch over… repeat across the whole row (10 stitches).

Break off yarn with very long tail and thread back through remaining stitches and pull tight and secure, leaving long thread for securing onto railings etc. Sew up side of poppy.

Centre of Poppy:

Using B, cast on 16 sts. Cast off. Coil into a tight spiral and sew base to the centre or use a black button and sew to centre of poppy.

Crocheted Poppies:

You will need some red wool and a black button. For the best finish, knit with a Double Knit (DK yarn).


  1. Three petal crochet poppy

with 4.5mm hook Ch 3, join with slst to form circle.

Ch 3, work 9 dc into the centre of the circle and join with slst.

Work the three petals separately.

Petal 1. Ch 3, work 1st dc into same st, work 2 dc into each of the next 3 sts. ch 1 work 2 sc into each st, tie off.

Petal 2. Work 2 dc into last dc of previous petal, work 2 dc into each of the next 3 sts. ch 1 work 2 sc into each st, tie off.

Work petal 3 as 2. Sew all ends in and attach button in the centre. Add pin

  1. Two petal crochet poppy

Rnd 1: With 3mm hook and wool, ch2. Make 10dc in 2nd ch from hook. Join with a slst in 1st dc. (10sts)

Rnd 2: *ch1 dc ch1 2tr in next st, 3tr in next st, 2tr ch1 dc in next st, slst in next 2sts. rep from * once again.

Rnd 3: *ch1 3dc in next 2 sts, 2dc in next 5sts, 3dc in next 2 sts, slst in next 2sts. rep from * once again.

Fasten off. Attach button in the centre. Add pin.

Stitch explanation:    st(s) = stitch (es)     ch = chain rep=repeat     dc = double crochet

 rnd=round     htr = half treble crochet    slst = slip stitch    r = row    tr = treble crochet

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