July 2020

Welcome to our third month of online meetings!

Guidelines are easing and so we’re having our first in-personal meet up since we sang with the Rockabillies Choir in March. You can find the details for our socially distanced picnic further down in the newsletter.

For those of you who attended the Samba drumming workshop last month, we will be sending out a questionnaire from Art Beat to ask how you think the session went. Please fill it out if you get the chance; I’m sure Nikki would really appreciate it!

Onto the news!

July Meeting

“Just the (Gin and) Tonic”

We’re having a talk with our very own Jennifer Loxton!

Jen has been in the gin and tonic industry for several years, including running gin tasting workshops and foraging for wild ingredients to make handcrafted tonic water. She won two Great Taste Awards in 2019, one for her health and gorse blossom tonic water, and another for her Douglas fir, oak smoke, and birch leaf tonic water.

Jen will be teaching us about the history of gin as well as be discussing non-alcoholic alternatives.

There will be two “follow along” recipe for those who would like to join in:

Thyme for Gin:

  • 2 sprigs of thyme*
  • 1-2 slices apple1-2 slices lemon**
  • 6 ml/4 tbsps gin1 tsp honey
  • 75ml apple juice***
  • 75ml fizzy water***
  • Ice 


  • * Rosemary, basil, mint, or another fragrant herb to garnish.
  • ** Lime, grapefruit, or other citrus fruit
  • *** If you don’t have any apple juice or fizzy water, you can use 150ml of either apple cider or ginger ale.

Misc Mixer:

  • 25ml any gin
  • 50 ml any gin liquor
  • Lemon juice or lime
  • Tonic water

No shakers needed or specialist equipment are needed. You will just need a teaspoon, tablespoon, and a glass.

Supersonic gin and tonic!

On the Tables

Media swap, Just for Fun, and prizes

If you are on Facebook, head over to our member’s only Facebook group for a virtual version of this month’s “On the Tables”. Threads about these topics on the day of the meeting…

  • Media swap: We’re swapping media recommendations rather than physical items this month. Have you read or watched anything good lately? Are you hoping to get your hands on a particular box set? Have you discovered any good new music? Let us know!
  • Just For Fun: Our Just for Fun this month is Sea Creatures. You can share videos, photos, facts, or craft projects you might have done on our Facebook group.

Don’t Forget!

What to bring to the next meeting

Photo by Venkat Ragavan on Pexels.com

What you need to join us online:

  • The link to our meeting (please see the email that this PDF came attached to);
  • Optional: The ingredients and tools you need for the gin recipe if you want to have a go at making it along with Jen during the meeting;
  • That’s it!

Other News

Picnic in the Park

12th of August, 19:30

Last week we had 12 responses in favour of a socially distanced picnic at Dovecote Lane Park.

The picnic will be in place of our usual monthly meeting on Wednesday the 12th of August at 19:30.

It is an “unofficial” meeting as August is our month off this year.

We will be sitting in groups of no more than six with a minimum of one meter between us.

Please let us know if you’d prefer to sit two meters away from people rather than one – we totally understand the concern!

Bring your own food and something to sit on. Unfortunately, we have to discourage the sharing of food at this time.

As it would be a good idea to organise seating arrangements ahead of time, please email thehivewi@gmail.com if there is anyone in particular who you’d like to sit with.

Denman Online


There are nineteen online courses on the Denman college website, all at £5 each.

Denman College was founded by the Women’s Institute in 1948 and offers courses in cooking, crafts, history, and domestic sciences.

Covid19 has meant that the college has had to close its doors for now, but their website is well-worth a look for anyone interested in trying one of their classes at home.


The results of our poll

Last month we sent out an email and posted a poll on our Facebook group asking what subgroups members were interested in attending on Zoom.

After looking at your responses (thank you, by the way!), we have decided to put a temporary hold on the Wednesday Crafternoon and the Supper Club.

We are also exploring in-person options for the Cafe Society now that we can meet in small groups at a safe distance.

All other groups will carry on as usual on Zoom. You can see a full list of our activities at the end of the newsletter and on our website.

Please get in touch if you have any questions, including if you need any help using Zoom or joining us online.

Three More Months

Member subscriptions

Because of the effect that Covid19 has had on our usual activities, the National Federation of WIs has extended member subscriptions by three months.

This means that rather than renewing member subscriptions in January as we usually do, we will be renewing subscriptions in April 2021.

This also means that you will get three additional months for free with your current membership. Great news!

In future, a 12 month WI membership subscription will last from April to April.

Plastic-free July

…and C.A.K.E

At the beginning of 2020, an idea for a new subgroup focusing on WI campaigning was proposed by several of our members. Unfortunately the first meeting (which was attempted in February) had to be cancelled, but they met for a spontaneous Skype call this month to give the group a second chance.

The group is called C.A.K.E Fighters, with C.A.K.E standing for Community Action, Knitting, Etc. Very WI!

The first C.A.K.E Fighters event will focus on Plastic-free July, a campaign that is promoted by the NFWI.

The event will take place at the end of July on Zoom with a guest speaker from the charity City to Sea“an environmental not-for-profit on a mission to stop plastic pollution.”

The date of the event will be emailed out when plans are finalised.

This event will be open to all WI members from anywhere in the country to maximise outreach.

C.A.K.E Fighters will meet on the first Monday of the month at 18:00 to make plans and share ideas. Any Hive member is welcome to join this meeting.

Apart from meeting on the first Monday to clarify plans, the main C.A.K.E Fighting activities are unlikely to have a regularly repeating spot on the calendar. The range of activities they will be taking part in will mean that meeting times will change depending on what they are doing. For example, litter picking during the day in September and marching in the evening with Take Back the Night in November (Covid19 allowing!).

Because of the current circumstances and health concerns of members, the CAKE Fighters will try and couple every in-person meeting with a complimentary online equivalent.

Anyone can be a Fighter. Come and join us if you fancy some C.A.K.E and a slice of the action.

Regular Information

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 Zoom.

Non-Members and Guests

We’d love to meet you!

Guests are very welcome to come.

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

Guests can also come our subgroups as a plus one, or visit each subgroup up to three times as a visitor.

The Hive’s MONTH Calendar

What’s on when

  • Wednesday 1, 13:00 – Crafternoon
  • Wednesday 8, 19:30 – Main MeetingJust the (Gin and) Tonic
  • Thursday 9, 20:15- Publess Quiz
  • Wednesday 15, 19:30 – Supper Club
  • Saturday 18, 14:00 – Crafternoon
  • Tuesday 21, 20:00 – Book Club: Go set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  • Thursday 23, 20:15 – Publess Quiz
  • TBC: Wednesday 29, 14:00 – Cafe Society
  • Wednesday 29, 18:30 – Committee Meeting
  • Thursday 30, 18:45 – Book ClubThe Outrun by Amy Liptrot

Recurring Events

Your shortcut to the subgroups

  • C.A.K.E Fighters: Every first Monday, 18:00
  • Craft ‘n’ Chat: Every first Wednesday, 13:00-15:00
  • Pub Quiz: Every first Thursday, 20:00
  • Walk ‘n’ Talk: Every first weekend of the month on alternating Saturdays and Sundays – times vary
  • Main Meeting: Every second Wednesday, 19:30-21:30
  • Tuesday Book Club: Every third Tuesday, 20:00
  • Crafternoon: Every third Saturday, 14:00-16:00
  • Supper Club: Every third Wednesday, 19:30
  • Committee Meeting: Every fourth Wednesday, 18:30
  • Cafe Society: Every last Wednesday, 14:00
  • Thursday Book Club: Every last Thursday, 18:45

Please get in touch if you would like to lead a subgroup.

For a list of the reading lists for our book groups, please go to our website or check the reminders on our Facebook group.

Walks for the Walk ‘n’ Talk will be listed on our website as soon as they have been planned.

Find Us Online

  • Email: thehivewi@gmail.com
  • Facebook: facebook.com/thehivewi
  • Facebook group (members only): facebook.com/groups/thehivewi
  • Twitter: twitter.com/thehivewi
  • Website: thehivewi.com
  • You can also search for us on Google Calendar using our email address.