COMMUNITY: Scotton Women’s Institute

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The newly elected president, Mrs Chris Sylvester, welcomed members and guests to the April meeting.

The president explained that future minutes would be circulated by email, while those members not having email available would get a hard copy. This will make for a shorter time taken up by ‘business’ and ensure that everyone is kept up to date with decisions etc.

The president welcomed Cath Fordham, the speaker for the evening. Cath spoke about a ‘Physic Garden’ situated in the grounds of Epworth Rectory.

The garden was created with a grant from the methodist church and the Creative Minds Project. Planting ideas were taken from John Wesley’s book Primitive Physic or An Easy and Natural way of curing most diseases, which he wrote in 1747. The garden which contains many of the herbs and plants he advocated was opened in 2006.

Cath gave an informative and very humorous talk supplemented with slides of the garden showing the area before, during and after the transformation. Cath also spoke about the influence John’s mother Susannah Wesley had on her son in the days when treatment for common ailments was expensive, John meticulously recorded what plants were used and for what ailment.

For the “Creative Minds” project the volunteers had to deliver 30 hours teaching to a class of children focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. As the project unfolded the making of the Wesley physic garden had a profound effect on the children as it challenged them to work across disability and culture. Now the garden is suitable for any visitor, with sensory areas providing delights of sight, sound and touch as well as giving easy wheelchair access.

Cath was thanked by the president, Chris Sylvester and the competition ‘A Picture of a Garden’ was won by Jean Renton.

More details available to plan a visit to the house and gardens can be found on

The next meeting of Scotton & District WI will be held on Thursday, May 12, in the village hall, Scotton at 7.30pm where new members and visitors are always assured of a warm welcome.

The speaker for the evening will be Madi Grout whose talk is entitled ‘Costumes Through The Ages’. Madi will be bringing a selection of costumes from the Normanby Hall collection.

The competition will be ‘The Best Dressed Hat’ and as always, refreshments will be served at the close of the meeting.