An early birthday present from my husband in December 1981 was a BBC A computer. It arrived by post; I unpacked it then and there, connected it to a TV monitor and to a cassette player as a data storage device. How excited, proud and up to date I felt! My experience of a computer up to that point had been at housed in a locked room the size of a semi-detached house at university.  All that it was capable of was cataloguing the library books!

Today, microprocessors are central to our everyday life — whether it be in the mobile phone, washing machine, car or even a toothbrush! For many of us, the word processor has replaced pen and ink, the internet the encyclopaedia and dictionary, and social media personal interaction, enabling communication at high speed. We access the internet for a weather forecast, a route to a destination, suggestions for holiday choices and even recipe ideas. The internet offers us information and connection to others at a speed that we could never have believed.

So you can imagine how delighted I am to tell you that from the beginning of this month, our rather dull current Federation website hosted by NFWI has been replaced with an ‘all singing, all dancing’ lively and engaging new SFWI website which you can access at

This is the brainchild of Jane Randell, who with the expert advice of Toto James and the professional copy-editing skills of June Green, have been beavering away on its creation. My grateful thanks to them all.

Federation trustees and those with other key roles have also collaborated in the pooling of a vast amount of information and images detailing everything you would ever want to know about SFWI in an eye- catching and friendly manner. It will be a source of information as well as a promotional tool, and will celebrate all that is Surrey Federation of WIs.

Make time to browse the website and you will be rewarded for your efforts — if you have an interest in SFWI, then there will be something for you. You will no longer need to search for details of the event or workshop you are attending or look for the document you need that you know that you have somewhere. Everything will be in one place — on our new website.

As we move into our second century it seems a logical and fitting step to take. It will enable us all to keep in touch in a way and at a speed that has never before been possible.

Food for thought: I wonder how SFWI will be communicating with its members in 2119? I suppose we will never know.

Dr Carol A. Gartrell, Federation Chairman


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