New season is fresh start for SWI

Scottish Women's Institute

Want to read more?

We value our content and our journalists, so to get full access to all your local news updated 7-days-a-week – PLUS an e-edition of the Arran Banner – subscribe today for as little as 48 pence per week.

Already a subscriber?


Problems logging in and require
technical support? Click here
Subscribe Now

As the Covid restrictions are being reduced the Scottish Women’s Institutes on Arran are keen to encourage all existing members, former members and hopefully some new members, to come together and begin to meet on a regular basis once more.

There is a series of events which it is hoped women on the island will be interested in, featuring some of Scotland’s best-known faces.

Many of the events are online and are open to members and non-members.

The #SWIBackTogether events are taking place from Monday September 6 to Friday September 10.

They start on Monday when nationally it is hoped there will be some ‘Back to Blether’ new session meetings across the country, including in Kildonan.

On Tuesday September 7, 7pm on Zoom, there will be an expert talk: Denise Mina author and former member, Denise, talks about her novels, inspiration and love of Scotland.

A Scottish crime writer, journalist and playwright, she has written the Garnethill trilogy and another three novels featuring the character Patricia ‘Paddy’ Meehan.

On Wednesday September 8, 2pm on Zoom there will be an expert talk from Ramsay McGhee on his involvement with this fantastic school changing lives in Malawi.

The Mountain View School for the Deaf encourages everything from woodwork and chickens to football and dancing.

On Wednesday September 8, 7pm on Zoom the expert talk will be from George Anderson on Beechgrove Garden.

George Anderson MBE was born into a family of keen gardeners and was the head of school of horticulture at The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh for nearly 38 years before retiring in 2004.

Thursday September 9’s 2pm expert talk on on Zoom will be Sheena Norquay, who will talk all things quilting.

Her work has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally since 1981, winning many awards along the way.

Sheena is particularly inspired by her birthplace, Orkney, with themes of seascapes, birds and Norse myths.

She is also interested in using quilted lines to create movement, sculptural shapes and patterns using free machine quilting, her specialty.

This is being organised for group viewing by Lamlash Institute at The Ormidale Pavilion, Brodick where anyone is welcome. Please let the secretary know if you are interested and hope to attend.

Also on Thursday September 9, 7pm on Zoom, Gary McLean, winner of MasterChef: The Professionals, will given an expert talk about life after the show, teaching, and opening his first restaurant in the St James Quarter.

Creel Caught will be a celebration of Scottish fish and shellfish in the heart of Edinburgh.

The final event on Friday September 10,will be the Institute Rural Ramble, arranged by local institutes.

Members will meet up for a walk or wander while wearing blue and gold, the colours of the SWI.

For Arran the proposed walk are Sannox shore, fairly flat, with a 10.30am start, and Machrie Moor Stones, also reasonably flat, with a 2.30pm start.

Both have good parking and are not too difficult, allowing people to go at their own pace and natter whilst walking.

People could bring flasks or go to suitable tea rooms, Machrie golf club or Corrie golf club, afterwards if they wish.

There are five SWI groups on Arran and for anyone interested in joining the contact details are below.


Meeting 2nd Thursday each month at 7.30pm, starting on September 9. Secretary Angela Scott, tel. 600475


Meeting 2nd Thursday each month at 2.30pm. Secretary Anne Pringle, tel. 810210


Meeting 1st Wednesday each month 7.30pm, Secretary Carole Stewart, tel. 860530. Additional afternoon tea at Shiskine golf club on Monday September 6 at 2.30pm.


Meeting 2nd Monday each month 7pm, starting October 18. Secretary Pippa Downing, tel. 870515


Meeting 3rd Monday each month 7.30pm, first meeting will be Monday September 6. Secretary Nancy Bremner, tel. 700233

To join the Zoom events go to the SWI website and follow the links. For further information please email or or the institute secretary.