I’ve recently had a wonderful long weekend at Tea & Tents, a camping and crafting festival organised by members of the Unofficial Women’s Institute facebook page. There were 500 WI ladies from all over England and Wales all staying at Walesby in Nottinghamshire, which is a big International Scout campsite. There were ladies of all ages, from all corners of the country, some had traveled for several hours to get there.The T&T hoodie listed all the WI’s present, I’m in Askwith with Weston WI…
People were in tents, camper-vans, dorms and a few like us were in caravans. I share with Donna from Cookridge Crumpets, we met at the AGM at Leeds arena a few years ago and we’ve been friends every since. We met up with Heather and Rachel from Killinghall too.
Three nights of WI camp – imagine Girl Guide camp with alcohol 🙂
At T&T everyone has to do their share of helping, either running a workshop, holding a talk,running an activity or just generally helping out around the campsite. There is a huge ranger of activities to choose from. Just to give you a taster, at 11am on Saturday morning you could be…
- Friendship bracelets
- Vintage brooches
- Poetry blackout
- Needle felting puffins
- Needle felting starfish
- Jam Jar tea light lantern
- Deaf awareness workshop
- Flower Crowns
- Cheese festival
- A history of Curry & Corsets; British women in India
- Patchwork Christmas baubles
- Park run
- Target shooting
- Tomahawk throwing
- Climbing Wall
- Yarn & Yammer
…and that’s just at 11am!!
There were walks, zumba, cookery demonstrations, a church service, swimming, beer swap, cocktail making…
This year I decided not to overbook myself, just one or two booked activities a day, leaving lots of time for relaxing and socialising.
I made a patchwork Christmas bauble from a polystyrene ball, squares of fabric and lots of pins…
I made a lovely felt rose, both these workshops were 1-2 hours, so I can definitely see a craft club afternoon activity!
I taught silk painting and CPR, not at the same time!
I went to the talk on Curry & Corsets about British women going over to India 1830 -1901, really interesting, another interesting talk was on Nepal where Kay went to Kathmandu to teach disadvantaged women to sew so they could support their families.
We had a WI talent show, a sing-a-long-a musicals, a great quiz, a WI market and lots of time to renew friendships and make new ones. We sat and star-gazed til 1am with the girls from the tent opposite, swopping jokes and ghost stories over a G&T or two!
There were competitions on jams and chutneys, knitting and sewing, best dressed tent and best campsite, and there was an amazing yarn bomb on the theme of under the sea.
Tea & Tents will hopefully next be held in 2020, it would be great to have a few of us from my WI, it’s a wonderful experience, I’m hoping others might be tempted!