Newbie Denman tutor Joanna Heptinstall joins Mary Berry, Linda Barker and May Martin at WI HQ
You know how autumn has that tingling anticipation? New term, new school shoes, new timetable… As October approached, I was ticking off days before my first ever stint as tutor of the How to Cover a Traditional Lampshade course at the Women’s Institute’s flagship centre of education, Denman College.
Denman was founded in 1948 in an era of optimism and new independence for women by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes at the elegant Oxfordshire 17th century manor house, Marcham Park. Its purpose was to “assist us to do the things we want to do…read books, enjoy music, grow flowers or vegetables well, decorate a house, do needlework, bring up children, and understand engines or the stars, or the laws of health and much else.”
Today it’s pretty much doing the same, offering day schools and residential courses to WI members and non-members alike in craft, cookery and lifestyle. Denman’s tutors include some of the best in their fields: food writer (and TV chef) Mary Berry, interior designer (and TV personality) Linda Barker and the BBC’s British Sewing Bee’s May Martin. And now me…
Read more about Joanna Heptinstall’s adventures at Denman College