Liz Valette

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Member of Southsea and former Trustee and Honorary Treasurer. I joined NWR in 2005 and have endeavoured to attend every conference since 2007. At my first meeting I was made very welcome, I took to NWR like the proverbial 'Duck to Water'. If only I'd known about our wonderful organisation when it launched in the sixties, I hate to think of all those years I missed. After having served a stint as a U3A chair I felt confident enough to offer myself as trustee so I could give something back to our wonderful organisation.
These days I use my IT skills to assist the groups with entering programme details and news items.

NWR Perth's Monthly Daytime Event

NWR Perth's Monthly Daytime Event

Some of Perth's members enjoying their monthly daytime event. In March 2020 they visited the Signet Library, Edinburgh where they had a tour and a meal which was arranged by one of the group members, herself a designated Writer to the Signet.

They coincidentally had member celebrating her birthday so she was presented with a wee cake

The Society of Writers to Her Majesty's Signet is the oldest legal society in the world. It is a private society of Scottish solicitors. The Society dates back to 1594 and is part of the College of Justice. Writers to the Signet originally had special privileges in relation to the drawing up of documents which required to be signeted, but these have disappeared and the Society is now an independent, non-regulatory association of solicitors, most of whom are based in Edinburgh.

The Signet Library is situated in the very heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, is the epitome of prestigious, Georgian elegance. Steeped in history, the building, with its Lower and Upper Libraries, was completed in 1822 in time for the celebrated visit to Edinburgh of King George IV, who described the Upper Library as “the finest drawing room in Europe”.



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'Bring an Object' Meeting


Bury St Edmunds group held a 'Bring an Object' meeting which always provides an opportunity to learn something and have a bit of a discussion.

Objects are deposited in a bag and then they are picked out one at a time and members try to work out what it is, what it's importance might be, and who it belongs to.

The tems shown are a cherished 'Brumas' toy bear, a St Thomas' hospital nurse's badge, a Lincoln Imp brooch, Fitzroy Storm Glass, butter curler, walking stick ferrule, Romanian egg ornament, Dorset button rings, and tiny metal sticks to draw peg numbers on a shooting party. Quite a mixture!

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Canterbury Group Two Celebrating 60 Years of NWR

Celebrating 60 Years of NWR


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NWR's Interview on Woman's Hour


On Friday 28th February 2020 our National Organiser Natalie Punter and Trustee Jo Thomson were interviewed by Jenni Murray in the BBC Studios London.

So after many years of being a "Best Kept Secret" with recommendations passed around by word of mouth, we've been given nationwide publicity. 

It was a wonderful and inspiring interview capturing the ethos of NWR. 

Listen to the interview by clicking on the link

Jo Thomson Reports on Her Experience

"On Thursday, 27th February, Natalie and I discovered that we were to be on Woman's Hour on the following day.  This invitation had been sparked, I think, by the extensive interview in the Guardian on Thursday with Maureen Nicol.  We were contacted on Thursday afternoon by a BBC producer who gave us some idea of what we might be asked, and we duly presented ourselves at Broadcasting House on Friday morning. 

We thought we might be nervous, or perhaps find that we had nothing to say, but we were shepherded up to the Green Room and had our photographs taken, as well as chatting to others who would also be included in the programme, so that there wasn't really time to think about how we were feeling. 

One of those we chatted to was Helen Lewis, author of "Difficult Women", on the subject of feminism, who was most interesting, and she in turn was intrigued by NWR.  In due course we were taken up to the recording area where we waited for the previous item to finish, and then it was our turn to be ushered into the studio in front of Jenni Murray.  She very kindly put us at our ease immediately with that lovely warm tone of voice, and we found that we had plenty to say, managing to cover all the topics we had meant to mention.  It was all over in no time, and almost as soon as we left we started receiving congratulatory messages from all and sundry, which was very gratifying.  We certainly very much enjoyed it, and hope it benefits NWR too."


Recent comment in this post
Liz Valette
Think that is Trustee Jo Thomson sheltering from the rain under the umbrella
Sunday, 01 March 2020 14:27
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National Celebration Of Our Diamond Anniversary


February 26th 1960 was the day that a letter was published in the Guardian suggesting that women at home with young children might benefit from meeting up with lively minded women for more than just chat about babies and housework!

The National Housewives Register - later to become the National Women's Register - very quickly took shape.

On Wednesday 26th February members celebrated our 60th Anniversary. All over the UK celebrations were held in regional venues big enough to accommodate large groups of ladies. Lunches were served and glasses were raised for the toast to our founder - Maureen Nicol. A nationwide live link allowed members to view an interview with Maureen while she reminisced about the early days. Maureen is still a member of the Kenilworth Group!

As always, when you get NWR ladies together, the camaraderie is evident and lots of ladies were catching up with people they had seen in other years at the National Conferences as well as getting to know new ladies and finding out about their groups.

NWR was a lifeline for young Mothers back in the 60s, 70s and 80s. But times have changed though with most of today's Mums going back to work after having had their babies and now getting their mental stimulation at work.

However the women who have had demanding careers and are now retiring, the ladies with empty nest syndrome or the Grandmas who have moved house to be near family can all benefit from becoming an NWR member !

Our 60th Anniversary has generated a lot of interest with letters and an article was published in the G2 section of The Guardian. Added to that Natalie Punter, our National Organiser and Jo Thomson, one of our Trustees were interviewed by Jenni Murray on Woman's Hour on Friday 28th February 2020!

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The North East Region Diamond Day Celebrations

The North East Region Diamond Day Celebrations

The function took place at the Priory Street Centre York where almost 100 members attended

In the morning we heard about the history of diamonds and were able to see some beautiful examples.

At lunchtime a lovely meal was provided by the venue. After that, via the live link, it was good to actually see and hear from our founder Maureen Nicol.

In the afternoon we had a fabulous talk about Rebel Women, we heard about some specific women from the 19th century to the current day who were pioneers in their different ways. The talk was illustrated by some wonderful clothes from the time.

During the event members participated in quizzes and the day ended with tea and cake!


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Celebrating 2020 - Our 60th Anniversary Year



2020 Vision is the theme for our 60th Anniversary Year

We'll be looking at where we have come from and where we are going, and celebrating along the way with a full programme of events.

Our country for 2020 is Finland. Independent since 1918, it is the most sparsely populated country in the EU. Other random facts, the country has the largest number of official lakes, almost half of its MPs are women and Finns are the world's biggest coffee drinkers. It is also home to Father Christmas, the Moomins, and Angry Birds.

Our national conference 2020 will have the theme Precious Gems, to celebrate our Diamond Anniversary. It will take place between the 11th to the 13th of September at MacDonald Burlington Hotel, New Street, Birmingham.

We will have fantastic speakers, exciting workshops, a Friday Night Quiz, a Saturday Night Conference Dinner and lots of brilliant Wrap Around Activities.

Booking Will Go live in January 2020. Watch out for more details. 

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A Weekend Trip To Cardiff

Happy Members

Twelve of us, eleven members from the Aston and the Rotherham groups along with a former member from Dudley NWR made their fourth annual city break to Cardiff in early May 2016. On previous trips we have visited Glasgow, Bath and Newcastle.  

We travelled by train, arriving at our hotel early Friday afternoon. Some of us took the Hop On/Hop Off bus as an orientation tour whilst others set out to explore the city on foot. We all met up for dinner then some of us went to the cinema to see the Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins - highly recommended - while the others walked to the waterfront.

On Saturday morning some visited the Millennium Centre then went on to visit the Welsh Assembly where they were lucky enough to see a new MP being sworn in. Others did a 2 hour historical walking tour while the rest visited the National Museum of Wales.  After getting together at a rather nice Bohemian cafe - Garlands - to sample delicious Welsh delights in the form of Welsh Rarebit and Welsh cakes then everyone visited The Castle

Saturday evening we ate at a Turkish restaurant - The Bosphorus - overlooking the harbour. Sunday morning the group visited the green heart of the city - Bute Park - then took the Aquabus down to the harbour where we ended our trip with a long lunch or a walk along the barrage,

We were all pleasantly surprised by what Cardiff has to offer - far more than we were able to fit into a weekend -  and the friendliness of the Welsh people. It was well worth a visit.

Happy Members


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April Fool 2016

April Fool 2016

This too good to be true news article was published by "Strong Island

"Construction has commenced on the Solent Stone Bridge, a development which will see a free-to-use bridge installed between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. The four-mile bridge will be built entirely from boulders which were discovered beneath Portsmouth City Council's Civic Offices during a recent archaeological dig conducted by the University of Portsmouth. Professor Doug A. Hole, Head of Discovery at the university, will work with Professor Christopher C. Christopherson, Head of Reusability, to plan and build the bridge. "We found a bunch of dusty old rocks at the Civic Offices," Professor Hole told Team Locals, "and we figured, why not put them to good use?"

Unlike traditional bridges, the Solent Stone Bridge will be a long stretch of tiny stepping stones, as opposed to a continuous stable platform. Due to a design which puts unobstructed shipping lanes forward as a key priority, the bridge will only be accessible for a few minutes each day, at the lowest of tides. Councillor Jobs, Cabinet Member of Attempts at Innovation, said: "The stones are tightly-packed enough to be traversed by car." When asked about whether cyclists will be able to use the bridge, Councillor Jobs said: "Cyclists?" Solent Stone Bridge, a project that is being privately-funded by Rocky Ideas Ltd., will span from the shoreline beside the Pyramids Centre to the seaward end of Ryde Pier. Commercial spaces will be available for lease along the bridge, with a Subway and three Costa coffeeshops already expected to open.

Randal Young, a local resident, praised the development, saying: "It'll make it much easier to cross to the Isle of Wight. I'll be popping over to Ryde a lot more now, so I can look back at Portsmouth and contemplate how pretty it looks from afar." Mr. Swanson, another Portsmouth resident, seemed less ecstatic about the Solent Stone Bridge, telling us: "I know there's something I dislike about this idea. I'm not one-hundred percent sure what it is yet, but I'll definitely be thinking of something to complain about." Solent Stone Bridge is set to open to the public on 31st September 2016"

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Southsea Group's Programme January - June 2016

Southsea Group's Programme January - June 2016

January 11th - Women architects

Choose a female architect to discuss. Do they have different ideas about design to men?

January 25th - Does the BBC have a future?

Let's talk about Auntie Beeb. Outmoded? Irrelevant? A waste of money? Air your opinions on this great institution and let's plan it's future together.

February 1st China 

Research an aspect of this interesting country. Geography, Politics, Economy, Flora and Fauna, Society, Arts and Culture, History.

February 15th - Our Favourite Bird. 

Choose a bird to talk about.

February 29th - Book Review

Introduce us to your latest book recommendation

March 14th - Theme is 1944 
It is Polly's birthday. Let's celebrate with her.

March 21st - Children's Toys

Have a look at some toy shops online of in the town. How do they market toys? How have toys changed? Do you still have a toy from your childhood?

April 4th - Garden Design

Have you had your garden designed? How did you go about it? Have you plans for a garden? What designs work in our area? What is your ideal garden design? Bring sketches if you can!

April 18th - Coincidence

Two men sat near to each other on a train and they were identical in looks. In 1930 a baby fell out of a window and was saved by a man who saved the baby's life again the following year. Any uncanny coincidences in your life?

Suggested reading  "The Drunkards' Walk ; how randomness rules our lives " by Leonard Mlodinow

May 9th - Transgender

What do we understand by transgender? Research the history processes and the psychology behind this and share your research and anecdotes.

May 23 - Planning
Bring ideas for topics and speakers as we plan our next programme..

June 6th - Mental Health - Psychology

Speaker TBC

June 20th - Pets

What are the benefits of having pets? What pets have you had and how did they contribute to your life. Have you any stories about unusual pets. Bring photos if you wish.

July 4th -  Summer Walk

Liz to organise.

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Southsea Group's Meetings ~ June - December 2015

Southsea Group's Meetings ~ June - December 2015

June 29th Summer Walk - An evening walk then we will adjourn to a pub. Meet at 7pm

July 13th - A Significant Day. Tell us about a particular day that is significant, either personally, nationally or globally. Meet at Lynne's

July 27th - Diets. Which diets work, which don’t and which are downright bad for you. Have any worked for you? Meet at Polly's

Aug 10th - Refugee Crisis. How can we solve the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean? What are the options and moral implications? Meet at Denise's

Aug 24th - USA. Research a state in the USA and tell us about it. Meet at Margaret's

Sept 7th - Portrait/Artist. Find a portrait or artist that interests you or is a favourite and bring a copy along to share. Why does it interest you? Meet at Jane's

Sept 21st- Shades of Mary Berry. Bake a cake where one of the ingredients is a fruit or vegetable. We will try and guess what is in it...Meet at Trish's

Oct 5th - Medical Ethics. How should the NHS and the medical profession view cancer patients who smoke, drunks in A&E, too old for treatment, end of life care, placebos, assisted suicide, patient confidentiality, organs for sale, abortion and IVF etc. Meet at Sue's

Oct 19th - Craft Evening. Shirley will help us make something crafty!!!! Meet at Shirley's

Nov 2nd- Planning. Bring along ideas for the next programme. Meet at Lynne's

Nov 9th - NWR Telephone Treasure trail, our exciting national quiz. Will be held at Trish's house

Nov 16th - Folk Remedies. Folk medicine, herbal remedies, old wives tales and alternative medicine. Research some alternative cures and remedies or tell us what your granny would do. Meet at Uta's

Nov 30th - Tell me something I don’t know, about anything you like, or something you think the rest of the group will find interesting. Meet at Pip's

Dec 14th - Christmas Party. We’ll go out for a meal and festive celebration.

Jan 11th - Meeting

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Southsea's Programme January - June 2015

January 5th - Flooding. What can the environmental agency and householder do to protect against flooding like we experienced last winter? Is it avoidable? Have you taken any steps to defend your property against rising water? Look at particular places such as The Somerset Levels and the Thames Valley? Venue - Denise

January 19th - Japan, our theme country. Research food, culture, belief, industry, economy, history, Geography, leisure. Bring Japanese food and drink if you can. Venue - Shirley

February 2nd - Languages. Let’s discuss the various languages we learned in school, the languages we can speak, and the ones we would love to learn. Did you learn Latin, has it proved useful. Share tips for learning new languages. What is the history of our own language-English? Venue - Trish

February 16th - Dementia. Family doctors in England are to be paid £55 for each patient they diagnose with this condition. Let’s talk about the reasoning behind this. Bring research and personal anecdotes to inform a discussion of this important topic. Venue - Pip

March 2nd - Poetry. Discover your inner poet with help from our resident muse! Venue - Lynne

March 16th - An Inspirational Person. What woman inspires you? Did you have any childhood role models? Venue - Jane

March 30th - Agony Aunt. Let’s play agony aunt and solve some problems either real or imaginary from papers, magazines or your own imagination. Venue - Polly

April 13th - Rivers, do you know your Arno from your Elbe? Rivers play a very important part in the water cycle carrying water and nutrients to areas all around the earth and acting as drainage channels for surface water. Rivers drain nearly 75% of the earth's land surface. Venue - Uta

April 27th - Collaborative brain storming to plan our next programmeVenue - Lynne

May 11th - Trees. What do we know about them? They are undeniably important for our environment in providing clean air, cooling us down, preventing soil erosion and are also used in a large variety of products. Venue - Margaret

May 18th - The Shipping Forecast. Have you ever wondered about Dogger and Bailey? Who was FitzRoy? Just what is German Bight? Is that how you spell North Utsire? Where are these places and how did they get their names? Choose one to research. Venue - Shirley

June 1st - Fracking. Share your opinions on fracking and any research you can do and lets have a heated discussion! Venue - Sue

June 15th - Magna Carta. 2015 marks the 800th anniversary. What significance does it hold and what was it? What would you put in a modern day magna carta? Venue - Pam

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