Tennis Lessons in Bodmin

If you’re in the Bodmin area, why not sign up for some women-only tennis lessons at the Leisure Centre? Now that the weather’s improving, it’s the perfect time to start getting more active!

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A New Garden Room at Denman

TV presenter David Domoney cuts the ribbon on the new Denman College garden room on April 9, 2018, with, left to right, Head of Denman Jane Dixon, NFWI board member Jeryl Stone, Everest marketing director Martin Troughton and NFWI board member Sue Wilson

A celebrity gardener officially opened a new garden room at the WI’s Oxfordshire residential college. The room was donated by home improvement company Everest.

David Domoney, who presents Love Your Garden on ITV, cut the ribbon at Denman in Marcham, on a rainy Monday as part of the college’s 70th birthday celebrations this year.

Speaking at the event he said: “I’m delighted to open this garden room in such a super location.

“It will provide a great opportunity for so many visitors to enjoy a wide variety of activities, such as writing, drawing or just enjoying nature. Generally speaking, being outside and in the garden makes us feel better and happier, so having a garden room like this at Denman means that visitors will be able to relax or learn new skills while benefitting from the surrounding views and nature.”

The garden room will now be able to host some of the many crafty courses hosted at the college throughout the year.

Head of Denman Jane Dixon said: “We’re thrilled to have the wonderful Everest Garden Room in the Denman grounds for all our visitors to enjoy.

“Some lucky students will be utilising the bright space for their courses in the coming months, but it’s also a wonderful addition for all to delight in.

“It will be open all year round for visitors to enjoy, providing a space for them to have lunch, meditate, or have a chat with a new friend.”

As with all rooms at Denman, the new space will also be available for public hire.

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Cornwall Village Book Reminder!

An older edition of The Cornwall Village Book

Has your WI been working on an entry for our upcoming Cornwall Village Book? If so, Editor Jane Dover has asked that you please submit all copy and images to her by the end of next week. Her absolute deadline is Friday 20th April.

If you haven’t been working on an entry and have a few free days between now and next Friday, why not write something about your village or town? Your work would be very welcome!

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Speak up for What You Love Today

Over the past three years, thousands of people across the country have come together to Speak Up to their MPs about how climate change is affecting what they love and to discuss the decisions they can make to help protect them. Today you’re invited to be part of this incredible movement inspiring our government to continue building a cleaner future

When we Speak Up together, incredible things are possible. That means everyone, from every walk of life: your MP, your family, your church, and even the neighbours you don’t know well yet. So bring them all together this summer, from 30 June to 8 July: Host a Speak Up Week event and have a heart to heart with your MP about how climate change is affecting the things you love—and what can be done about it.

Here’s how to organise an event to Speak Up.

Whether you host a small picnic or a party that takes over the whole street, your event will be a powerful way to show your MP just how many of their constituents support them taking action against climate change. The more we Speak Up, the more they’ll be inspired to become a champion for action to tackle climate change in Parliament.

Be the first to Speak Up in your neighbourhood. Start gathering your friends, family and neighbours and sign up to be part of the excitement this summer.

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When Emmeline Met Millicent: The Cause

How far would you go for what you believe in? The Cause is a new play inspired by an imagined meeting between Emmeline Parkhurst and Millicent Fawcett, two great leaders of the women’s suffrage campaign. They believed in the same thing, but their methods differed greatly.

The play’s tour begins on April 25th at Callywith College, Bodmin and runs through December. It will also visit The Acorn, Penzance on 3rd May, Ivor Potter Hall in Bude on 7th June, St Austell Arts Centre on 8th June, and Heartlands Pool in Camborne on 9th June. For details of the rest of the tour please click here.

Organisers of the tour would love the opportunity to work with any WI groups in the area, as they’re organising workshops, joining in marches, and holding Equaliteas as part of the tour. Particular areas of interest are Bodmin, Penzance, Bude, St Austell and Camborne.

If your WI is interested in getting involved, please contact Mary Culhane, Marketing Assistant, The Cause, by email at

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Find Out about Thomas Hardy’s Cornish Connections

Thomas Hardy

We’re all familiar with Thomas Hardy as the author of such novels as Far from the Madding Crowd, The Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

But did you know that Hardy also spent time in Cornwall? It was the North Cornish coast, the Valency Valley, where Hardy, met his first wife, Emma, in 1870. Both the place and Emma herself provided inspiration for Hardy’s works for years to come.

Hardy was a 30-year-old architect who came to survey the building and prepare the design for St Juliot Church and the rectory. It was there that he met Emma Gifford on 3 March 1870. Emma was living at the rectory with her sister, wife of the Revd Cadell Holder. Hardy’s first visit to the area lasted four days during which he visited Tintagel, Beeny Cliff and the Valency Valley.

The Rectory, St Clether

Hardy returned to St Juliot in August that same year when he stayed longer. As well as working on the church, he and Emma continued to explore the North Cornwall coast including Bude, Trebarwith Strand and The Strangles beach.

Other visits followed and the couple married in 1874. Thomas Hardy’s third novel, A Pair of Blue Eyes, was published in 1873 and Emma was the model for the heroine of the book. However, many places were deliberately disguised and created by Hardy as a fusion of great houses he once visited.

After Emma’s death in 1912, Hardy returned to St Juliot. There, he designed the memorial tablet to Emma on the north wall of the church, and had it made by a Boscastle stonemason.

As part of an event titled ‘An Evening Sabine Baring Gould and Thomas Hardy’, you can hear a talk about Thomas Hardy by Andrew Leah. The event will be held on Saturday 5th May 2018 at 7pm at Rosehip Barn, St Clether, Launceston. To find out more or to book your tickets, visit this website, or ring (01726) 879500.


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Take Part in a Women’s Heart Health Survey

Heart Research UK is conducting a survey of WI members. If you’d like to participate, you can either do it online or print off a copy of the survey here. If you’re using the print version of the survey, please return it using freepost to: Freepost RLYL-AGUE-SSBZ, Heart Research UK, Suite 12D, Joseph’s Well, Hanover Walk, Leeds, LS3 1AB.

The survey closes on 1 June 2018 so please submit your responses before then.

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Support the Women of eXXpedition!

eXXpedition is a crew of women embarked on ambitious sailing expeditions to raise awareness of ocean plastic and sample the water to see what damage is being done.

You may all remember Imogen Napper, a PhD student at Plymouth University researching the effects of plastic pollution within the marine environment, who spoke to us so movingly at last year’s Spring Countdown about our ‘Plastic Soup’ resolution. Imogen is now on tap to be the lead scientist for a leg on eXXpedition’s North Pacific voyage. To cover the costs, eXXPedition hopes to get part sponsorship for Imogen’s work.

As WIs you cannot donate funds to this national charity, but individual members are free to make donations. If you’d like to help support Imogen and eXXpedition, please click here.

eXXpedition has had quite a lot of publicity in the plastic world recently and is about to be endorsed by the UN Environment programme.

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Here’s Your Chance to Be on Television!

A producer working on a television programme for Channel 5 is looking for help from WI members!

The programme, ‘Celebrity 5 Go Caravanning’, will involve five celebrities on a caravan holiday across Cornwall in mid-May. The producer would like to feature the Cornish pasty in the programme and would like to sit down with some WI members and learn from those ‘in the know’ about how to make the perfect pasty, the history behind the pasty, etc.

If you’re interested in taking part, please contact Mike Watts, Assistant Producer, Celebrity 5 Go Caravanning on


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Jump in! Creative heritage project seeks participants to capture Jubilee Pool’s history

TP Roskrow
Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance
© The Artist’s Estate

An exciting new three-year creative project celebrating the history of Jubilee Pool, Penzance, will bring together Cornwall-based media production company awen productions CIC, artist Dr Jane Bailey and Jubilee Pool Penzance to deliver ‘Jubilee Pool: Then, Now, To Come’. With funding from Heritage Lottery, Arts Council England, the Tanner Trust and Falmouth University the project will look at the past, present and future of the

JJ Churchward
Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance
© The Artist’s Estate

Pool and will involve the local community, schools and volunteer groups.

The project is now looking to recruit a group of participants to help gather, record and understand the lido’s stories, photos and memorabilia.

awen director Lou Brett explains: “Centring around Jubilee Pool’s rich cultural heritage as a source of knowledge and inspiration, the project will create a new digital Jubilee Pool archive, exhibitions, films, screenings, talks and a new book.

We are now on the lookout for people’s photos and stories of the pool, as well as people to help us research the history of the pool and surrounding area.”

The Jubilee Pool is one of the oldest and largest salt water lidos in the UK and reopened in 2016 after major refurbishment and restoration following storm damage.

Garfield Hall
Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance
© The Artist’s Estate

Angie Butler of ‘Friends of Jubilee Pool’ says “Our wonderful outdoor Jubilee Pool has had its highs and lows since it was opened to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935. This year the tide has turned and we are reaching for the biggest high in its history. Not only with a geothermal future but an archive, films, book and digital presence, which will celebrate its past and document the stories and hopes of the people who love it.”

If you have an interest in local history or the arts, or just love the pool, and would like to join the Jubilee Pool research group, please email The opportunity will include training and research visits and the chance to help build a new archive. To keep informed, visit and sign up for the awen newsletter.

Jubilee Pool memories: Can you name any of the people in these photos? Do you remember the events at which they might have been taken? Let us know via email at .

For more information visit

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