Wi, Wi ,Wi Delilah

Steeple Aston Women’s Institute (WI) has been in existence for over a century, since it was started in 1918. The WI is non-partisan and takes no political position, but nationally it is a powerful agent for change in society, and has helped to bring about such things as equal pay for equal work, organ donation, and the provision of more midwives. Current WI campaigns include ending plastic pollution, and expanding the network of stem-cell transplant donors.

The Steeple Aston branch is affiliated to both the National WI and also to the Oxfordshire federation, and members are free to choose their degree of participation. Some may wish to get involved in the national campaigns, others are content to just be active in the village branch.

We meet regularly on the second Tuesday of each month except August. There are a variety of events scheduled throughout the year: speakers, social evenings, meals out, craft workshops, excursions and the occasional party. There is also a book group, a lunch club, walking netball group and a walking group who explore the local countryside and usually finish up at a friendly pub or café. And at every event, there is plenty of time to socialise, catch up with old friends and make new ones.

We are always ready to accept new members – any woman over 18 is welcome, young or old, married or single, parent or not, working or retired, of any faith or none.

Meetings are held in the Village Hall.  Details of WI events can be found below and in both the print version and the online version of Steeple Aston Life. Look out for the WI Report and for entries in the Calendar.

If you are interested in joining please call one of the contacts listed below for more information.


Julie Hillier – President

Tel: 01869 349185‬     Email: j.hillier3@hotmail.co.uk

Merrill Bayley
Tel: 01869 347802     Email: merrill.bayley@gmail.com

Website:  https://www.oxfordshirewi.co.uk/ (Oxfordshire Federation of Women’s Institutes)


Programme for 2024/25

March 12th.         106th Birthday Night – Speaker: John KinoryMy life and times as a film extra.

April 9th.               Speaker: Hildy Frenken – Lady Anne Clifford, a long distance walk.

May 14th                Speaker:  Hugh Warwick – Hedgehogs

An ecologist and writer with particular fondness for hedgehogs.

Book & Magazine sale.

June 11th               Summer Outing to Hook Norton Brewery.  

A tour plus tasing, followed by lunch in the Malt House Cafe.

July 9th                Speaker:   Neves Bees. Oxfordshire Beekeepers making 100% natural skincare products with a little help from their bees.  Product for sale.

July 13th                Church Fete WI Stand – promotional event.

August 25th            Steeple Aston Horticultural Show WI Stand

Fund raising event.

September 10th      Speaker:  Dr Katherine Bradley – 19C Women Travellers & Explorers.  CoFounder of Oxfords International Women’s Festival. Celebrating women’s achievements, interests in aspects of 19C & 20C  Women’s History.

October 8th             Speaker:  Rachel Hicks & Andrew Parsons – Skywave Gin, Bicester.    All about Gin, from its productions to its botanicals.  Taster samples distributed!

November 9th (Saturday) Workshop –  Chutney making with Sally.  In the Village Hall

November 30th (Saturday) Workshop – Christmas welcome Rings with Lynn Humberstone.  In the Village Hall.

December 10th    WI Christmas Dinner – Catering by S&J Cuisine – Plus Entertainment.

January 9th 2025        Speaker:    Stuart Cummins – “Left a bit, right a bit”.  Stuart’s early career as a Civil Engineer. With humorous anecdotes!

February 11th               Speaker:  Carol Shearman – Dogs for Good.

Training dogs to help people affected by disability, dementia, autism and other conditions and mental-health challenges – to live happier, healthier and more independent lives.  Not all dogs make the grade!

March 11th                    Speaker:  Lynda Warren – Sugar & Spice

The secret of spices is knowing when and how to use them. Find out the earliest users, follow the spice trail of Arab merchant and many other traders.

Our 107th Birthday Night!  

April 8th                      Speaker:  Dr J C Niala from the museum of the History of Science Oxford.  Remarkable scholar whose work intertwines global histories science and museology.