September 2019

All kinds of things are “falling” into place now that we’re entering autumn: we have two subcommittees to start, tickets for Bee Crafty for Christmas to sell, not to mention a whole new programme to think about for 2020.

More immediately we have a full night planned for our next meeting: Confessions of a Vicar (not the one pictured above, it must be emphasised!), a plant and produce swap, the Hive library back open, a “just for fun” activity involving your holiday snaps, and – of course! – cake!

Keep reading to find out about all this and more!

September Meeting

“Confessions of a Country Vicar”

At last month’s meeting, a lady sitting at my table volunteered to keep Revd Haydock company during set up.

“His talk is going to be Confessions of a Country Vicar,” Jenny said from the front.

“That sounds fine,” said the lady at our table.

Two of us leaned forward and whispered, “You don’t know what he’s done yet!”

Reverend Canon Alan Haydock was ordained in 1965. That is quite a lot of time between now and then for antics and mischief.

We’re told to expect something more akin to stand-up comedy than an informative talk. One reviewer described him thus:

“When an elderly cleric (forgive me) stands up to speak one does not expect to hear a turn reminiscent of Norman Evans or Les Dawson. It was great.”

He’s no stranger to the WI circuit, either. Coleorton WI described him as “wonderfully joyous” when he visited them earlier this year in July.

Reverend Haydock takes his comedy very seriously and has raised over £100,000 for various charities and causes by donating the proceeds of his performances. These charities include Cancer Research, Alzheimer’s Care, and the QMC neonatal unit (who we regularly knit for).

Reading through Revd Haydock’s reviews on various websites you can see words like “local treasure”, “hilarious”, and “charming” often appearing.

Our meeting on flower arranging was one of our most popular due to the wit and humour of the speaker. This one looks set to be no different.

This Month’s Top Tip

Two for the price of none

Don’t Forget Your Deposit!

This is the final meeting when we’ll be taking deposits for our Christmas meal at Amores. The deposit is £10 and the full payment is between £21 and £26 for 3 courses (not including alcohol or a tip).

The meal is on the 11th of December at 19:30.

Just For Fun

Our “just for fun” activity this month is all about travel photos. Bring along some photos and see if members can guess where you were and what you were doing, or just to use them as a talking point. Old and new photos are welcome.

The Hive WI Library

It’s open!

We swap items that would be at home in any modern library. This includes books, DVDs, audiobooks, CDs, and quality magazines.

If a book catches your eye but you don’t have one to swap in its place, just pop a donation in our jar.

Any left over books will be donated to a charity shop.

Other News

Plant and Produce Swap

Bring your bulbs, blooms, berries, and bumper crops

Gardening is a hobby that can last throughout the year, not just the summer. September is the perfect time for planting bulbs ready for spring. If you have an excess, bring them along to our autumnal plant swap! Houseplants, too, are coming back into fashion.

We’ll also be swapping produce harvested from your gardens and allotments. If you have too many tomatoes, are overrun with runner beans, have plundered your plum tree, or have herbs galore, bring them along!

What would a Hive be without plants?

Bring a Friend for Free


The latest issue of WI Life magazine includes a flyer (pictured) for WI members to give to friends and family to encourage them to attend a WI meeting.

For the meetings in September, October, and November, guests are invited by The Hive WI to use a flyer in place of a voluntary donation for one meeting (one flyer per person).

If you know someone who might be interested, bring them along! We’d love to meet them.

Jumpers for Joy

Visit our stall at Green Fest

The Hive WI has teamed up with City WI, Beeston WI, Clifton Doves WI, and Birds of a Feather WI to organise a clothes swap at the Green Festival on Sunday the 15th of September.

Green Festival (also known as “Green Fest”) is now in its 27th year at The Arboretum. The aim of the event is to educate attendees about sustainable living and climate science. Organisers estimate that they had around 5,000 visitors last year. Impressive!

Our clothes swap aims to draw attention to fast fashion and clothing poverty. The money raised will go directly to Sharewear along with any leftover items of clothing.

The stall will be open from 13:00-18:00. We won’t be holding a collection at our members’ meeting but if you have something to donate but can’t attend Green Fest yourself, feel free to post on our Facebook group to see if someone can take it for you.

Square-y Nice of You

Crafting for the community

This month we will be collecting knitted and crochet squares for two different causes.

The Power of Smell

We’ve been supporting the neonatal unit since we first formed as a WI. We usually give hats and cardigans, but this time we’ve been requested something a bit different…

“Bonding squares” are provided to mums whose babies are in a neonatal unit. Each mum is gifted two knitted squares. One is kept with the baby and one is kept on the mother’s body. Every 12 hours the squares are swapped, so that the baby now has their mother’s square and the mother has her baby’s square. They help them to bond by smell in cases where they can’t physically touch.

As purple is the colour of the neonatal awareness campaign, we have been asked that the bonding squares be knitted from soft purple acrylic yarn in either 4ply or double knitting (DK) yarn.

We will be collecting these squares at our October and November meetings ahead of World Prematurity Day on the 17th of November.

Patterns for these squares will be made available at several of our subgroups, including the craft groups and the Cafe Society. You can also find some patterns available online in our Facebook group.

Please make sure your stitches are knitted tightly enough to prevent the babies’ tiny fingers get caught in the yarn, and remember to make two – one for the baby and one for the mother.

Wrap Up Warm

The Nottingham branch of the charity Blankets For The Homeless (BFTH) provide blankets for homeless people and newly housed people who can’t afford heating. These blankets are made by sewing together crocheted and knitted squares donated by charitable crafters, such as the ones pictured above.

As it takes 84 squares to make just one of these blankets, we’d like to give their collection a bit of a boost!

You can use any colour and any type of yarn. BFTH generally ask for squares that are a multiple of 6” but emphasise that they can make use of squares of any size. Strips are welcome too.

It is a fantastic stash-buster project and a great way to learn how to knit or crochet.

The charity also takes donations of completed blankets, scarves, gloves, hats, mittens, as well as any balls of yarn if you have any that you’d like to donate.

We will be collecting the blanket squares in October in time for the cold weather.

BFTH Nottingham meets up once a month in Beeston – you can find more details about these meetups further down in the newsletter.

You Voted “Yes!”

The seeds have been planted

In August’s meeting you voted yes to continuing to raise funds for The Hive WI in 2020.

You also voted to support a fundraiser at a community-hosted event (such as the Beeston Carnival) over a event we host ourselves (such as the Health and Wellbeing Fair). This will allow us to compare the two kinds of events as well as take part in a wider community project.

The theme that garnered the most enthusiasm was one that related to the environment.

If you’d like to be involved in working out what this might look like, committee members Hayley and Michelle have invited you to join them in forming a subcommittee that will be the driving force behind this event. The first meeting is on the 25th of November at 19:00. For more information, talk to Hayley at the September members’ meeting or email

Just The Ticket

Bee Crafty For Christmas pre-sale tickets available now

After months of planning we’re excited to say that the pre-sale tickets of Bee Crafty For Christmas will be available to buy at the meetings in September, October, and November. The cost of the pre-sale tickets is £5 while tickets on the door is £6.

Bee Crafty offers six different Christmas-themed crafts to try, a small selection of stalls, a raffle, and refreshments on sale. Both Hive members and the wider community are invited to join.

You’ll find us on the 16th of November, 14:00-16:30 at the Methodist Church on Chilwell Road.

A Good Yarn in Beeston

Meet up with Blankets for the Homeless

The Nottingham branch of Blankets For The Homeless (BFTH) meet on the second Monday of the month between 13:00-15:00 at the Bendigo Lounge in Beeston, where they have reserved a table.

This is not a Hive WI group but as it is something that several of our members have been to and several more have expressed a strong interest in it in our Facebook group, we wanted to give a shout out to this good cause in our newsletter.

The group meets to knit and crochet squares to be turned into blankets. “All the items made go to local charities which is fabulous,” they told us. Meetups were “a bit ad-hoc” but they now have set dates from September through to December:

  • 9th of September
  • 14th of October
  • 11th of November
  • 9th of December

What if you want to join in but can’t knit or crochet? “We have volunteers who are happy to sew up squares as well as those producing items,” they say on their Facebook page, so you can absolutely contribute even if you can’t make the squares from scratch. 

Click here to see their event listings on Facebook.

We will collecting squares to donate to their stash at our October meeting.

Wish You Were Beer

No winning but lots of giggling

The pub quiz team met for the first time at The Crown Inn this month. Group leader Trish said, “it went really well! We may not have won but we had a laugh. It was a really relaxed way to chat to people you may not encounter or have time to talk to at a larger meeting. In future, we will try and post where we are sitting before phones are put away when the quiz starts.

The next quiz is on the 3rd of October.

2020 Vision

What would you like to see on our programme?

Our Programme Secretary Hayley is inviting members to come forward to join the Programming Subcommittee. This is an exciting opportunity to really influence what goes on at The Hive WI.

This subcommittee will consist of two meetings: the first will be held on the 24th of September at 19:00 in Beeston, and the second will be either at the end of October or early November depending on the preferences of subcommittee members.

At the first meeting you will look at feedback from the Hive and create a list of potential speakers and guests. You may be be asked to contact two to three of these speakers to find out whether they are available and how much they charge.

You will meet again after getting more feedback and draw up a draft of the final programme.

If you would like to join us, please speak to Hayley at the next members’ meeting or email

Crafty Plans

Help us reach our goal

This weather does not at all make you want to think of Christmas, but we have an update on our Christmas community craft event Bee Crafty For Christmas.

Bee Crafty was approved by Hive members by vote at one of our general meetings earlier this year. The event’s primary aim is to raise funds for our craft subgroup. The subgroup relies on us being able to cover the fee of hiring a suitable room for the wide variety of arts and crafts that members bring.

Attendees will have the opportunity to have a go at up to six different Christmas-themed crafts, browse a small selection of stalls (including our Hive WI stall of handmade crafts – more on this below!), partake in a raffle, and enjoy refreshments on sale.

Both Hive members and the wider community will be invited to join.

Bee Crafty For Christmas is set to run on the 16th of November between 2pm-4.30pm.

As with the Health and Wellbeing Fair, we need your help. Currently we need help in two main areas: donations of craft supplies, and donations of handmade items to sell on our stall.

Donations of craft supplies: We’d be extremely grateful if you can donate any of the following:

  • Printed Christmas card stock
  • Ribbon loops off clothes – any colour
  • Beading needles
  • Sharp sewing needles
  • Needle threaders
  • Gold and silver card – any size
  • Standard paperback books (minimum 150 pages)
  • Rings from a curtain rail

Donations of any of these items will help to lower the running cost of the event, so please get in touch if you have any to donate. You can bring them to one of the monthly meetings or request them to be collected from you at another time. 

Donations to our stall of handmade crafts: To make this event really special, we want to hold a stall of handmade items made by Hive WI members. We appreciate the time and effort that goes into these crafts, and how personal they are.

You can submit any kind of craft but we can’t accept food. You’ll need to add your own prices. Any unsold items will be returned to you.

Nearer the event we will be looking for volunteers to set up and run the event, as well as to make cakes to sell with tea and coffee.

On behalf of all of us on the setup committee, thank you!

Regular Information

This Month’s Volunteers

Busy bees

Our star bakers this month are Sarah C, and Trish R. Please arrive early so we can slice and serve your cakes ready for 19:10. We also want to pay you back for the cost of the cake (up to £2.50 per cake) so please remember to sign for your reimbursement by seeing a committee member in the kitchen, too.

Lorraine D and Angie R will be helping out in the kitchens.

Jane B, Anne D, and Morag C will also be helping with setup and cleanup.

Michela D will be on sign in and Rebecca W will be welcoming our guest.

Thank you so much to our September team!


Drinks, cake, conversation

Cups of tea and slices of cake are 50p each.

If you’d like refreshments before we start, please come for around 19:15.

We will break for refreshments again later in the evening (do bring change!).

Please do not bring a cake if you have not already signed up to do so.

Bring your own cups if you can to save on washing up (though cups will be provided in case you forget), and wine if you would like it.

Time and Location

Our main monthly meeting is every second Wednesday of the month at 19:30 to 21:30 in the church hall on Foster Avenue, Beeston (opposite the library).

Parking and Transport

There is parking just outside the church hall as well as across the road next to the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Beeston’s transport interchange is excellent for regular trams and buses.

The interchange is just by Tesco and a four-minute walk from where we meet.

Non-Members and Guests

We’d love to meet you!

Guests are very welcome but you must reserve your place before coming.

There is an optional visitors donation of £5 to our charity.

Guests can come to up to three monthly meetings each year as a guest before being asked to join officially.

Guests can also come to many of our subgroups as a plus one.

If you sign up for membership that evening or in the seven days following the meeting, your donation will be refunded.

September Calendar

What’s on when

  • Wednesday 4, 14:00 – Cafe Society at Lady Jaynes
  • Wednesday 4, 19:00 – Craft ‘n’ Chat
  • Thursday 5, 21:00 – Pub Quiz at The Crown
  • Saturday 7, 13:00 – Walk ‘n’ Talk
  • Wednesday 11, 19:30 – Main Meeting: “Confessions of a Country Vicar”
  • Tuesday 17, 20:00 – Tuesday Book Club: The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Catherine Morris
  • Wednesday 18, 19:30 – Supper Club: Cottage Balti
  • Saturday 21, 14:00 – Crafternoon
  • Thursday 26, 20:00 – Thursday Book Club: How to Find Home by Mahsuda Snaith

Reoccurring Events

  • Walk ‘n’ Talk: Every first weekend of the month
  • Craft ‘n’ Chat: Every first Wednesday, 19:00-21:00 at the Methodist Church in Beeston
  • Cafe Society: Every first Wednesday, 14:00 (various locations)
  • PubQuiz: Every first Thursday from September at The Crown Inn, 20:00
  • Main Meeting: Every second Wednesday, 19:30-21:30
  • Tuesday Night Book Club: Every third Tuesday, 20:00 at The Star Inn in Beeston
  • Saturday Crafternoon: Every third Saturday, 14:00-16:00 at the Methodist Church in Beeston
  • Supper Club: Every third Wednesday, 19:30 (various locations)
  • Thursday Evening Book Club: Every last Thursday, 19:30 at The Star Inn in Beeston

Find Us Online

You can also search for us on Google Calendar using our email address.