Around the societies: May 2018

May 01 2018
Around the societies: May 2018

The latest news from local organisations.


TWO plants which sum up the flamboyance of a warm summer border are peonies and irises.

The blowsy blooms of the former and the statuesque elegance of the bearded iris are part and parcel of the old-fashioned opulence of gardens bathed in summer sunshine.

Wells Gardening Club are delighted to welcome Susannah Applegate of Langport to give her excellent presentation on these two plants. Susannah has worked at Kelways Nursery and she is holder of a collection of bearded iris. This will be a welcome taste of summer and an evening to look forward to.

A bonus to the event will be the Gardening Club Plant Sale with a variety of plants with which to stock pots and borders.

All this takes place on Thursday, May 10, in Wells Town Hall.

The Plant Sale starts at 6.30pm and continues through the evening. Admission free.

The presentation will start at 7.30pm, visitors £3, members £1.

Everyone welcome. More details: 01749 679182.

Pip Harwood


A LIVELY group of poets has been meeting monthly in and around the city of Wells for 16 years. There is usually a guest poet in the first half, time for drinks and conversation in the interval, and readings from the floor in the second half. These do not need to be pre-booked; just turn up and you will be made welcome.

The charge is currently £3. Meetings start promptly at 8pm and finish about 9.45pm. They are friendly and informal. There is a lot of laughter and occasionally a few tears. We listen in a spirit of respect to every poem, whether it comes from a published poet or a complete beginner. Each reader gets a chance to read two (shortish) poems. Some people come just to listen, and some listeners become contributors.

Our next meeting will be on Bank Holiday Monday, May 7, from 7.45pm-9.45pm at LOAF.bakehouse, 38 Market Street, Wells BA5 2DS. Please arrive in time to order your drinks before we start at 8pm. The guest will be the young poet, playwright and actor Conor Whelan from Bath.

The contact is Ama Bolton, 01749 672911, or visit the blog at


MEMBERS leading on working towards a Wells free of plastic litter gave an update about their efforts to engage with supermarkets to reduce unnecessary packaging, and urged the group to keep up the pressure.

The resolution that proved most popular with WI members nationwide was the same one that proved most popular with Wells WI at shortlisting stage: Mental Health Matters. This will now be debated further at the National WI AGM in Cardiff in June. If approved, resources will be devoted to a major WI campaign to make it as acceptable to talk about mental health as it is about physical health, and to lobby government for better support for mental illness.

Now the days are longer, some members have started going for walks, mainly in the evenings, although a recent walk to pick wild garlic followed by a pesto making session proved so popular it had to be repeated.

A new book group has been set up – the first book to be read and discussed will be The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton.

The group enjoyed an entertaining talk from the very experienced and knowledgeable Nicky Houston of Killens Auctioneers. She explained how objects are evidence of social history and that, because fashions come and go, the current craze for post-war furniture has made 18th and 19th century pieces much more affordable. She told us about collectors paying high prices for battery robot toys, why auctions are the best places to buy jewellery, and explained the new legislation around trading in ivory.

To celebrate the centenary of the WI, hundreds of women from local WIs were due to parade with banners through Wells on Saturday, April 28.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 1, at 7.30pm at the Mendip and Wells Museum. This will be the AGM, at which we need to elect a new president and secretary. Members are urged to come along and vote, or to get involved – if you might be interested in leading this friendly group with the help of a very supportive committee, get in touch for a chat.

New women are always welcome and can attend as a guest before deciding to join. More details are on our Facebook page

Veronica Howe

• Picture: Wells and Wookey Hole WIs were displaying banners at the Somerset WI centenary parade that was due to take place in Wells on April 28. The Wells WI banner is brought out on special occasions and depicts WI members with a variety of crafts. Wookey Hole WI created a banner for the parade honouring the bravery of the Suffragettes by adopting their colours: purple for loyalty and dignity, white for purity and green for hope.