Gloucester Road WI

The WI for Bristol's most interesting and independent high street. Meeting the 3rd Tues monthly.

The Gloucester Road WI is a diverse group of women with some amazing skills and experience.

We formed in 2011, and currently have 80 members who meet monthly and engage in an activity or listen to a speaker. We also fundraise for local charities and participate in the national WI campaigns and initiatives.

Find out more about us

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Membership for 2018

We’re taking new memberships and renewals in January 2018, however we are also able to offer memberships fees on a pro-rata basis throughout the year. If you’d like to join our vibrant and active WI please get in touch.

Date of joining and new fees:
1 January – 31 March – £41.00
1 April – 30 June – £30.75
1 July – 30 September – £20.50
1 October – 31 December – £10.25

Find out more about being a member

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Our Next Meeting

  • 17 April: Store Cupboard Spa Night - When we meet in April we will be getting creative. We’ll be concocting our own beauty products with everyday ingredients that you will likely have in your kitchen cupboards. Your very own store cupboard spa! Ingredients will be provided but... Continue Reading →

Find out more about this year’s programme

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Our Last Meeting

Our previous meetings

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Programme 2018

16 January

New memberships & renewals plus a talk by Geoff Keogh, parkrun ambassador

20 February

Social with Savoury Recipe Share & Re-Gifting Auction

20 March

Celebrating International Women’s Day
Speakers: Bethan Evans (Lawyer) & Jane Duffus (Journalist & Author)

17 April

Store Cupboard Spa Night

22 May

Skill Share

19 June

Tasting Local Brews

17 July

Bowling & Pimms

21 August

Craft A Suffolk Puff

18 September

Bake / Make / Grow Off

16 October

Our AGM plus a Speaker

20 November

Drag Queen Storytime


No meeting but watch this space for details of our Christmas party.

Additional charges may apply for extra events or activities.
Programme may be subject to change at short notice for absolutely any reason.

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Where We Meet

We meet at 8pm on the third Tuesday of every month in the:

Bristol St Andrew’s Bowling Club,
Derby Road,
St Andrews,

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Get in Touch

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What we get up to

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Review March: Celebrating International Women’s Day with Bethan Evans & Jane Duffus

We were very pleased to welcome two speakers to our March meeting.

First up was Bethan Evans who came to Bristol to study law and stayed in the area and built up 35 years of experience, specialising in local government.

Bethan’s talk focused on women in the law and began by looking back at the history of women in the profession. In 1843 The Solictors Act defined the persons who could enter the profession, however at that time the definition of persons did not include women.
It was just over 100 years ago that Gwyneth Bebb brought a case against the Law Society to challenge this and it wasn’t until 1919 that the Sexual Discrimination (Removal) Act meant that women could become lawyers.

When Bethan herself graduated and took up a role as an article clerk in 1983 it was noteworthy that the three new article clerks at that firm were all female. The male-domination of the profession was further demonstrated by the fact that when law firms sent their article clerks to collect their post from Bristol’s Commercial Rooms only men were allowed in. When Bethan and her fellow article clerks undertook this task a special area was cordoned off for female clerks.

She went on to look at how the situation has and continues to change. She herself went on to become senior partner at Bevan Brittan LLP.

When it comes to recent figures:

  • 67% of those studying law are women
  • 48% of those entering the profession as solicitors are women
  • 33% of partners in law firms are women
  • 28% of judges are women
  • 22% of high court judges are women
  • 2 out of 12 Supreme Court judges are women

Finishing on a positive note, she highlighted some of the things that the law society and judiciary are working on to improve these statistics and also look to address the gender pay gap.


Our second speaker was Jane Duffus. Having trained as a journalist and worked on Fleet Street Jane come to Bristol around 10 years ago and became involved in women’s issues. She set up What The Frock, the all female comedy event to address the fact that comedy clubs were not booking women, is currently a Trustee of Bristol Women’s Voice and author of the recently published book The Women Who Built Bristol.

Jane wanted to write a book about some of the incredible women of Bristol, tell their stories and document their contributions to the city.
She went on to tell us about a few of the incredible women in the book. There was the first female solicitor Angela Tuckett in 1929, who was also followed into the profession shortly afterwards by her sister Joan. They were also international hockey players, held pilots licences, worked to build the membership of the communist party and in their later years busked to raise money for striking miners.

There was Frances Power Cobbe, a social reformer, anti-vivisection activist, women’s suffrage campaigner and lobbyist on education for women who arrived in Bristol aged 15 and found herself on the Leigh Woods side of the Avon gorge before the Clifton Suspension Bridge was completed. She and her brother bribed someone to use the basket and pulley system to winch them across the gorge to Clifton!

There were Emily & Mary Blathwayt, a mother and daughter who were actively involved in the Women’s Suffrage Society and Women’s Social and Political Union. They opened their house as a retreat for suffragettes who had been imprisoned and force-fed. They not only gave them a place to recuperate but also planted an arboretum. The suffragettes who stayed there were encouraged to plant a tree or bush in the grounds of the house.

Jane spoke about many other fantastic women and we learnt that the women’s police force & Red Cross boxes also came about because of some amazing Bristolian ladies. If you want to read about these women and many more you can buy Jane’s book, plus if you make your purchase from Bristol Women’s Voice then they will receive 100% of the profits.

17 April: Store Cupboard Spa Night

When we meet in April we will be getting creative. We’ll be concocting our own beauty products with everyday ingredients that you will likely have in your kitchen cupboards. Your very own store cupboard spa!
Ingredients will be provided but please bring a hand towel with you.

Photo credit: Designed by Freepik

Red Dragon Pie – Vegan


  • 1 onion
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Swede
  • 4 handfuls of dry brown lentils
  • Tin of tomatoes
  • Potatoes for topping
  • Curry powder
  • Garam masala
  • Nigella seeds
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Oregano


Chop all the veg into small chunks.

Sweat the vegetables in the oil until soft. Add the garlic and spices, then add the tomatoes.

Cover the lentils in water and boil until soft. Strain and reserve the juice.

Add the lentils to the vegetable mix and simmer until cooked through. Add lentil juice if needed.

Part blend and place in a dish.

Boil the potatoes and mash. Add to the dish as topping and grill in the oven.



20 March: Celebrating International Women’s Day

8th March is International Women’s Day so we shall celebrate this when we get together for our meeting on the 20th.

In what might be a first for Gloucester Road WI, we will have two speakers: lawyer Bethan Evans, and journalist and author Jane Duffus.


Photo Credit: Designed by Freepik

Review February: Social & Re-Gifting Auction

20 February: Social, Savoury Recipe Share & Re-Gifting Auction

A social evening to welcome members new and old. We’ll be donning some name badges, sharing savoury dishes and kicking off the fundraising for 2018 with a re-gifting auction.

Please bring along a savoury dish, along with the recipe if you’re happy to share that too, as well as unwanted items you’ve received as gifts to enter into the auction.

Photo Credit: Photo Designed by Freepik

Review January: Membership & parkrun

We started the year by taking new memberships and membership renewals. After that flurry of activity we had the notices and vote on this year’s resolutions. Of the five choices, Stop FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) got the most votes and has been put forward as the vote from Gloucester Road WI.

We were also joined by Geoff Keogh, parkrun ambassador for the South West and one of the volunteers that started Ashton Court parkrun, who spoke about how parkrun has grown both locally and around the world since it’s beginnings back in 2004.

The actual run has been described as the plumbing of parkrun with it becoming much more than just a run as everyone is welcome to walk, jog, run or volunteer. After the meeting one lady told us how, whilst she no longer takes part in parkrun, she loves to read the weekly newsletter as it is full of inspirational stories from across the parkrun community.

Photo Credit: James Bushnell via Eastville parkrun

Review December: Christmas Party

A flavour of the 2017 Christmas Party

16 January: New Membership, Renewals & parkrun Talk

It’s that time again: membership renewals and the chance for new members to sign-up to join.

We’ll also welcome Geoff Keogh, parkrun Ambassador for the South West, to tell us about the phenomenon that is parkrun which sees people of all ages walk, jog, run and volunteer in their local parks every weekend.

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