News and Events



This month we followed the Coronation with a small celebration of our own.  A glass of Prosecco was offered on arrival and a welcome from our President, Judy Thompson.  This was followed by the usual business, including updates on the arrangements for WI refreshments at the Charminster Fete.  We are lucky that so many of our members have generously offered to bake and donate cakes, and help on the day.  It was so busy for us at the Fete last year throughout the whole afternoon – only a few slices of cake were left at the end!  On 9th June we will be helping out with an activity (based on the book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt) in the Church/Churchyard for local pre-school children.

Our Drama Group entertained us with amusing poems especially chosen for the occasion, ranging from an adaption of a Pam Ayres poem ‘The Diamond Jubilee’ to A A Milne’s ‘Buckingham Palace’.

Next month (13th June) we look forward to a talk aboutSculpture by the Lakes entitled A Year in a Botanical Sculpture Garden.  Roy Godwin (Assistant Head Gardener) will give a PowerPoint presentation and tell us more about this wonderful local garden.

We have welcomed quite a few new members recently so, if you think you might like to join us, please come along to one of our meetings.  It’s a great way to make new friends.

JUNE 2023

June has been a busy month for us!  As usual, we were a major part of Charminster Fete on 3rd June, supplying refreshments to the hundreds of people attending.  Busy baking cakes, scones, etc, beforehand and then serving from 2-5pm on the day, we needed to put our feet up and enjoy a cool glass of ‘something’ to recover!

The following Friday we held a Teddy Bear Hunt and storytelling session for Charminster Pre-School.  Inside the Church, Maureen read the story ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ to the children (actions included!), following which they did their own bear hunt looking for 10 named bears hidden around the Churchyard.  They were rewarded with lots of shiny stickers and seemed to have a great time.  Refreshments for children, helpers and parents were servedby our members (donated by the Church – thank you) and were very welcome on such a hot day.

At our June meeting we were given a talk and PowerPoint presentation by Roy Godwin, Assistant Head Gardener at Sculpture by the Lakes.  We were introduced to SBTL, including all the facilities it has to offer, and given an insight to all the events held throughout the year.  He also walked us through the seasons at SBTL, describing the many projects for developing the garden further.  They already have the National Collection of Forsythia and have just applied for Botanical Garden status.  With their 26 acres of glorious countryside, various lakes, thousands of trees & plants, and over a hundred sculptures, Sculpture by the Lakes is well worth a visit!

Next month we look forward to a talk by Charminster resident, Nigel Kay.  His talk ‘From Pigeon Racing to Parliament – thirty years in journalism’ promises to provide an entertaining evening!  You’re welcome to come along and join us – Tuesday 11th July, 7.30pm in the Community Hall.

JULY 2023

‘From Pigeon Racing to Parliament – thirty years in journalism’.  This was the intriguing title of our July talk, delivered by Charminster resident, Nigel Kay.  An extremely interesting and entertaining talk, in which Nigel told us about his fascinating history in journalism.  Even as a child, he had realised he wanted to be a journalist, and, at 18 years old, he was lucky to be offered an apprenticeship in the local newspaper in his home town of Leicester.  Over the years he progressed, working in broadcasting, especially BBC local radio, in different areas of the country.  During his career he interviewed numerous well-known figures including Margaret Thatcher, Brian Clough, and Eric Morecambe.  He was involved in reporting major events such as the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Brighton hotel bombing, the Hillsborough disaster, and the Manchester Arena bombing.  In more recent years he has travelled to many parts of the world advising governments on how to handle public information and the media during a crisis.  Nigel has agreed to join us again next year to tell us more about his fascinating career.

Keeping to the theme of journalism, our members’ competition was to find a humorous article from a newspaper or magazine.  Nigel judged the entries and the winner was Pat Tinker who brought along this quote from a church magazine – “The preachers for the next six weeks can be found nailed up in the church porch”.

Our next meeting (August) is our garden party in the beautiful riverside garden of one of our members.  We will be having a raffle in aid of Cancer Research UK, and enjoying an afternoon tea in the garden (weather permitting!).



We held our ‘garden party’ on Tuesday 8th August but, unfortunately, the drizzly weather meant we had to meet indoors.  We were still able to look out on Alison’s beautiful garden though! Grateful thanks to Alison for letting us use her house/garden for our August meeting every year.

30 members attended (out of our current total membership of39) which was a good turnout.  Everyone enjoyed a lovely afternoon of chat and excellent food.  The committee and our small catering committee worked hard to provide the various treats on offer, including sandwiches, sausage rolls and savoury scones, with plenty of cake and a cream tea!  As expected from WI, a real gourmet experience!

Maureen had devised a clever quiz based on the Scattergories game, using the letters spelling Charminster WI.  It kept us all entertained in any short lull between chatter and eating!  We also held a raffle with lots of lovely donated prizes.  £112 was raised and donated to our chosen charity, Cancer Research UK.

Our next meeting is on 12th September at 7.30pm in the Community Hall.  Our speaker will be local historian and author, Brian Bates.  His subject will be WW1 Nurse Annie Keats – experiences of a nurse who worked in Dorchester.

In October we will be holding a Harvest Festival for our members.  Supper will be provided (members bring a plate of food to share) and we hope to be able to have a sale/swap of produce.

Judy Bird

The walking group had a lovely day for their bus ride to Portland and walk around the end of the island.