WI Reports

Yoxall WI

‘Happy Birthday Yoxall WI’

Our meeting in June started with a very short item of business. All relevant details are in the Pot pourri anyway, which all our members receive. We have a new venue for the coffee afternoon, the Kingfisher Cafe at The Wolseley Centre.
Jerusalem was sung, and a toast was raised to absent friends and the Queen, on her Platinum Jubilee.
And then the festivities started! In line with recent celebrations the Parish Hall was decorated in red, white and blue bunting, Union Jack flags and tableware. It was a lovely warm June evening and all the members had dressed for the occasion. A finger buffet had been provided by all those attending, sandwiches, sausage rolls and quiche, followed by lots of sweet treats.
The entertainment for the evening was provided by Becky Gosling. We have booked her many times and she never fails to disappoint. Becky started with the popular songs of Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Cliff Richard etc. There was lots of opportunity for audience participation with hand waving , clapping and even a few ladies got up to dance. An ABBA medley was included and some songs from the 60’s.
Becky is a super entertainer and I am sure we will be booking her again.
Our next meeting is on Wednesday 13th July at 7.30pm in Yoxall Parish Hall. Our speaker will be Reverend Lynn Morris with a talk ‘Are you free next Friday Vicar?’ Do come and join us- the first 3 sessions are free!

Eccleshall WI

Long serving members Josephine Tapley, Eileen Gittens and Maureen Kirby celebrate respectively 54, 64 and 62 years membership at the Eccleshall WI monthly meeting in June, when they also reminisced with stories and pictures on the changing face of Eccleshall during their lifetimes. Personal photographs were put on to slides, and trying to recognise members when they were young caused much interest. And amusement!

 The evening ended with a glass of fizz and a piece of the special cake made in their honour.

Joyce Adnitt and Daphne Young pictured with long service certificates presented to them in their own homes by Eccleshall WI committee members in June. Daphne was also celebrating her 90th birthday. She is seen here holding the beautiful card made by Chistine Weston and signed by all the Eccleshall WI members

Etchinghill WI

For our June meeting instead of having a guest speaker we celebrated by having a party. This was a Jubilee party to celebrate the Queens 70 year reign and also Etchinghills own76th Birthday.

Our evening began with brief other business session led by our president Margaret Devey. We then started with a finger buffet which was followed by Eton Mess and a glass (or two) of delicious Pimm’s.

We finished with a slice of beautiful birthday cake which had been decorated with a fabulous picture of the Queen The honour of cutting the cake fell jointly to Bridie Heath and Heather Turner who are two of our oldest members of the Etchinghill group

The evening was a great opportunity for members to socialise and we then enjoyed our usual quiz which featured questions relating to the Jubilee.  All in all, this was a hugely successful evening unanimously enjoyed by all who attended.

Our next outing in July will be the canal boat trip from Penkridge with afternoon tea on the boat and also, a trip to the Police Museum in Birmingham is planned for September, something for us all to look forward to in the coming months.

Its great being back in the newly decorated village hall, where we meet on the second Wednesday of each month. Various trips are arranged throughout the year and it’s a great way to meet new people. New members are always welcome and as our president says Don’t be shy, give us a try. If you need any further information visit our email address: etchinghillwistaffs@gmail.com


Meeting 09/06/22

Before our meeting began, we all stood and sang the National Anthem to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Everyone had a glass of Bucks Fizz to toast this historic event. There are still places left for the outing on August 10th to Chillington Hall. Please put your name down if you wish to come.

Our speaker for the evening was Vicky Farmer who had come to tell us about being a quiz show contestant. As a child, she was always interested in trivia and used to love to read the encyclopaedia. She had a huge map of the world on her bedroom wall and would learn the capitals of each country.

As she grew up, she began to apply to be a contestant on T.V. quiz shows. Successful applicants have to attend auditions. Vicky told us that you would be asked about such things as hobbies and what you would spend the money on if you won. To be accepted you need to try to give interesting answers, and have an engaging personality. If you are chosen to be on a show that runs every day of the week, you are asked to bring changes of clothes as several episodes are be filmed in one day. You are instructed on what to wear as some colours or patterns don’t look good on camera. Vicki said that on one occasion the zip broke on her dress so she had to be sewn into it by the wardrobe mistress! Usually there is no audience and any applause is added later.

Vicky has appeared on several shows over the years including Impossible, Winning Combination and Tipping Point. She also appeared on one of the most successful shows of all time, The Chase. This quiz show began in 2009 with just 10 episodes. It now has 200 episodes a year with an audience of 5 million. Vicky brought a recording of the show she was on. She collected £9,000 in the cash builder and got back to her seat by beating the Governess, Anne Hegerty. Only two contestants made it to the final Chase, and between them they managed to get a score of 25, with Vicky answering 22 of the questions. It was amazing to watch how quickly she could answer. Unfortunately, Anne still managed to beat them. However, Vickys individual score has never been beaten and she still answers test questions for the Chase each year. Vicky was thanked for a very interesting talk, and we then had a slice of Jubilee cake with our tea.

 Next month Alan Peace is telling us about his 1000km walk. Do come along and join us at the Village Hall, Trysull on Thursday July 14th at 7.30pm

Contact : Diane Birks

Wetley Rocks WI – Press Report

Meeting date: 14th of June 2022

It is hard to believe we are halfway through the year, the time has flown by! Cynthia the president welcomed all the ladies to the meeting, members were asked to note the “Festival of Wedding Dresses” happening at St John’s Wetley Rocks from Thursday June the 30th, the WI would be providing Afternoon Teas in Village Hall from 10am on Saturday the 2nd to support the Church and local community.

As the ladies had arrived we had offered them a glass of wine or non-alcoholic alternative, and after the conclusion of business Cynthia proposed a toast to The Queen, to celebrate her 70 year reign. All the ladies joined in and having wished The Queen well we welcomed our speaker for the evening Jo Golby, who was discussing the life of a ladies maid.

Jo had gone to a great deal of effort, arriving dressed as an Edwardian Ladies Maid, her talk was entertaining and informative. It focused on Lady Daisy Warwick and Mary Curzon, who were friends and socialites, indeed Daisy was famous for her affair with Edward VII! Jo, really brought the world of the ladies maid and the social status they had being a between floors role to life. The talk wasn’t just informative and fun, but it was also interactive. Members were provided with a fan, so we could all have a go at the language of the fan!

The fans, the significance of a lone shoe and a half burned candle and the tales they all tell are definitely something that we will all remember, I would highly recommend Jo as an entertaining and informative speaker. Jo was kind enough to judge the competition which had been a “pick up” for a coronation mug.

Jo stayed for refreshments which was lovely, and she was treated to some of the jubilee trifle that the ladies on refreshments had made, whilst we all enjoyed a cup of tea and some trifle Cynthia came round and gifted all the members with a commemorative glass coaster in an organza bag. There was plenty for members to catch up and we also passed around the menu for the meal out in August.

Next month’s speaker is Kath Reynolds who will be giving a talk called “To love and Cherish” which ties with the Festival of Wedding Dresses, the meeting is July 12th at Wetley Rocks Village Hall from 19:30 onwards, members are also reminded to bring a £10 deposit for the meal in August. The competition is a home-made decorated spoon.

Meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 19:30 in Wetley Rocks Village Hall. New members are welcome, and the first three meetings are free.

Hayes Green WI Jubilee Celebrations

Hayes Green WI held a party to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on 7th June 2022. Five Ways pub, where we meet, did us proud putting on a delicious buffet for us and decorating the room with table cloths and flowers on each table and Union Jack bunting.

We had a Jubilee pass the parcel with a certificate and bottle of Prosecco for the winner, pin the crown on the corgi game and a quiz on the British royal family.

Raffle prizes this month included tins of Royal Jubilee Celebration biscuits.

Everyone made a great effort to come dressed in their best outfits and we even had a stand in for the Queen.                                We all had a most enjoyable evening.

Cannock Women’s Institute W.I. Press Release June 2022

Cannock WI celebrated The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee in style at their June meeting.

The members dressed to impress in pretty frocks and elegant head wear for our very own Jubilee party.

First, though, we planted a maple tree to commemorate the event as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy and installed a bench in the Community Garden beside St. Luke’s church, complete with commemorative plaques.  We hope both will give enjoyment to visitors to the garden for years to come.

The tree planting was followed by a concert performance from Songbirds in Harmony who sang songs from each decade of The Queen’s reign finishing with a medley of rousing Queen songs and the national anthem.  There was also lots of flag waving and a little eye dabbing going on!

Then there were photo opportunities for those who wished to have their photograph taken with Her Majesty; it was actually a very impressive life-sized cardboard cut-out, but it was a very popular activity which engaged the members while the finishing touches were made to an amazing buffet lunch.  The committee served drinks to members and Her Majesty was toasted in bucks’ fizz.

A Jubilee themed raffle followed, at which the star prize was one of the new David Austin Elizabeth roses created especially for the jubilee.  To top it all off a celebration cake was cut for members to take home at the end of a lovely meeting.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 14h July 2022 when our speaker will be Rev. Lynn who will return to give us more insights into the lighter side of a vicar’s life.

Our meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month 10.30 am at St Luke’s Church Centre. Visitors are always welcome and updates and details can also be found on our Facebook page or by contacting Staffordshire Federation of Women’s Institutes.

Cannock Women’s Institute Further information email: cannockwi@gmail.com  and www.thewi.org.uk/staffordshire  www.facebook.com/oakleafstlukes


At the June meeting of Mucklestone WI president Ruth Lloyd welcomed members and after conducting the business introduced visitors  Ros Hegarty, from Blore Heath Farm and known to many of us, and Nicky Edelstyn.

 Ros, and husband John, support The Brain Tumour Charity and Nicky Edelstyn,  professor of neuropsychologist at Keele University, had come to explain to us the detailed structure of brain tissue and the problems of treating tumours there in.

It was a fascinating talk and judging by the questions afterwards many members really enjoyed being taken back to a lecture hall. It felt like a proper WI meeting, and although Nicky had to leave for another engagement discussions continued as we enjoyed refreshments.

The village triangle has been tidied and a dwarf, silver leafed, cypress tree  planted to commemorated The Queens Platinum Jubilee.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday July 6th  at 2.00pm.

Our email address is mucklestonewi@gmail.com

Etchinghill WI

For our June meeting instead of the usual speaker we celebrated by having a party. This was a Jubilee party to celebrate the Queens 70 year reign and also Etchinghills own 76th Birthday.

Our evening began with brief other business session led by our president Margaret Devey. We then started with a finger buffet which was followed by Eton Mess and a glass (or two) of delicious Pimm’s.

We finished with a slice of beautiful birthday cake which had been decorated with a fabulous picture of the Queen The honour of cutting the cake fell jointly to Bridie Heath and Heather Turner who are two of our oldest members of the Etchinghill group

The evening was a great opportunity for members to socialise and we then enjoyed our usual quiz which featured questions relating to the Jubilee.  All in all, this was a hugely successful evening unanimously enjoyed by all who attended.

Our next outing in July will be the canal boat trip from Penkridge with afternoon tea on the boat and also, a trip to the Police Museum in Birmingham is planned for September, something for us all to look forward to in the coming months.

Its great being back in the newly decorated village hall, where we meet on the second Wednesday of each month. Various trips are arranged throughout the year and it’s a great way to meet new people. New members are always welcome and as our president says Don’t be shy, give us a try. If you need any further information visit our email address: etchinghillwistaffs@gmail.com



            “The present fashion is always handsome”, goes the saying, so we were bang up-to-date in presenting the newest fashions at our June meeting. Brave members volunteered to model the clothes brought by S.O.S., and made it look so simple!

            We were all dressed in red, white and blue, to offer a late celebration of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. The lovely clothes made splashes of colour as the models walked up and down the improvised catwalk in the centre of the room. Later there was an opportunity to buy the clothes, which were factory over-production for the most part – and great bargains, to boot!

            This being a W.I. meeting, there was tea and home-made cake to revive us after the concentration of viewing the clothes. The competition was for a flower arrangement in a jug, and produced some truly stunning entries.  This had been an open meeting, at which we were very pleased to welcome guests; this is always the case, and we love to see new people at our meetings.

            Ladies, why not come to a meeting? We meet at Aston-by-Stone Village Hall on the second Wednesday of the month, at 7.30 p.m. Our next meeting will be on July 13th, when Ruth Taylor will make flower arrangements using British flowers. If you would like to know more about us, please contact us at astonbystonewi.secretary@gmail.com

The Ridwares WI

JUNE Press release

Our Platinum Jubilee celebrations got off to a cracking start this month on 2nd June with a fabulous Jubilee Tea. We were all assigned tasks by our President who had earlier that day masterminded the decoration of the hall. This looked simply magnificent inside and out. Members got to work ensuring the afternoon was a memorable one for the 70+ local residents who attended.

Behind the scene members plated up a scrumptious tea for everyone whilst others prepared our fantastic and much anticipated huge raffle, and trade tables.After our friends and neighbours had enjoyed their tea we all enjoyed a rousing sing along before ending the day with us all standing to sing God Save our Queen.

On Saturday 4th June our members played a key role in our Jubilee Fun Day. This was a joint community effort.  Our main role was to organise a host of competitions for all ages to enjoy. For this we hired a huge marquee, a team of ladies decorated this in red, white and blue rosettes and bunting. On the morning of the event entries began to flood in for competitions all with a Jubilee theme. Everyone had worked very hard to produce entries of a very high standard indeed. We also organised the street party, crafts for the children and made jellies for the Teddy Bears Picnic.

We had fantastic stories, posters, gardens on trays and some incredible robots made with up-cycled material from local children. Adults entered cup cakes, Jubilee decorated Hats and flower arrangements worthy of county standards.

You can see the absolute delight on the faces of some of the children who won, pictured with their winning entries.

All the winners were presented with a commemorative Jubilee crown.

During the afternoon children enjoyed making a range of crafts with some of our very talented members.

Throughout the day we were royally entertained with some fabulous music and enjoyed a picnic street party. The day rounded off nicely with a challenging quiz.

After weeks of preparation it was delightful to see so many friends and neighbours enjoying themselves at both events.

The Ridwares W. I. organise many events every month. In June is our Take a break café on 7th Coffee, chat and crafts over zoom on 13th  and 27th   Our monthly meeting is on Tuesday 21st June, this month our speaker is Ruth Lowe talking about ‘Mary Quant’.

All events are in Ridware Village Hall. Visitors and prospective new members will be given a very warm welcome. For further details please see our web site here. http://theridwareswi.co.uk 

Gnosall Jambusters WI

Gnosall Jambusters celebrated the Queens Platinum Jubilee by holding our own indoor jubilee street party during our normal monthly meeting

The hall was decorated  with bunting, flags & pictures of the Queen,everyone dressed up in costume from regal, to red white & blue outfits.

One of our members downloaded music from the 50’s through to present day which was played all evening with some people partaking  a bit of dancing.

We had a best made crown competition won by Charlotte Astley who had made her crown using a number of Pom Poms that she had made & a corgi drive our take on the beetle drive game!
Our wonderful committee & 4 of our members provided  sandwiches, sausage rolls crisps dips cakes & trifles, members were asked to bring a glass & a tipple or soft drink of their choice

We ended our evening with a toast to the Queen & everyone  joining in singing the National  Anthem accompanied on the piano by Phyllis another of our members. A great time was had by all.

To end our village celebrations one of our talented members June Frost made a spectacular floral arrangement using a model horses head for the local church as a tribute to the Queen depicting her love of horses & horse racing.
I am proud to be involved in such a wonderful village W.I
Wendy Mills

The Ridwares WI

As usual a very busy fun filled month for the Ridwares W I. Our ever popular ‘Take a Break’ coffee morning in the village Hall was a well attended monthly treat eagerly looked forward to by local residents.

8th May saw Some of our ladies were drawn to the glitter ball & spray tan of ‘Strictly – the Professionals at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. This was a really fabulous and memorable evening enjoyed by one and all.

Our recent AGM was well attended – not only face to face but also via zoom. Karen Parsons our Secretary gave a fantastic presentation with all our many achievements over the past year. Peppered with lots of lovely photos evoking memories of the many and varied events and activities we had all enjoyed either face-to-face or over zoom during the year.

Highlights included the work we had done to help our community during lockdown with shopping, collecting prescriptions, taking people to appointments and doing odd jobs. Also collecting knitted items for local hospitals and items for our local hygiene bank and collecting several bags to support the people of the Ukraine. The hard working committee kept members involved throughout the year organising goody bags to be delivered for each of our 53 members, and monthly craft and chat sessions over zoom led by our Craft queen Gaye.

Events included our November ‘Ridware Remembers’ which saw our community gather around our “Tommy’ outside the village Hall in remembrance of those fallen. We also hosted our ever popular ‘Tinsel & Trimmings evening, our first community event indoors since 2019. The hall decorated by our creative President Karen looked very festive strung with fairy lights and Christmas decorations. The response from the community was fantastic. The evening was enhanced by the consumption of copious amounts of mulled wine and mince pies all enjoyed to the carols played by the brass band. Our homemade crafts and produce stall was once again very popular. Paper copies of the presentation were provided for everyone.

The business of the night included a presentation of the financial report by Anthea our treasurer who reminded us of a breakdown of monies taken by SFWI and NFWI. Anthea does a brilliant job of managing our funds, which remain very healthy.

Our secretary Karen Parsons took us through this year’s Resolution. This concerns the provision of detection and help for girls and women with ADHD and ADD, our vote will be given by Angela Lycett at the AGM in Liverpool. There was no rest for Karen P who took us through the vote for President. Everyone was delighted for Karen Wakefield to continue as our very effective President is an inspirational leader, she works with enthusiasm and huge commitment.

We warmly welcomed two new members this year, Dot Cotton and Marianne Hall.

Two members of the committee stood down this year, Angela Robins and Viv Adams who have served us well with their ‘can do’ attitude for 16 and 5 years respectively. Four our new members were elected to the committee, Carrie-Anne Smith, Chris Gates, Chris Seward and Kath Parson.

The evening rounded off with a talk about the history of the Ridwares WI given by another committee member Meryl Mattey. Meryl provided a huge range of photos and newspaper clippings for us all to browse through as we enjoyed our traditional cheese and wine supper.

Last but not least, a special thanks were given on behalf of all our members to Alan Wakefield, Bob Tayler and Chris Ewing for their demanding work and total dedication in supporting the W I.


Our President Joy, welcomed everyone to 11th May 2022 meeting which was well attended.  She announced the committee members for the coming W.I. year and thanked them for their support.

Joy discussed all the correspondence that had been received and invited members to think about entering some of the W.I. competitions and perhaps consider participating in one or two of the taster sessions to be held at Cornerstone Stafford.

On 22nd April 2022 the W.I. started a 52 weeks Earth Day Challenge;  the aim was to make small actions which generated big results.  The ladies talked about what our W.I. could do and several suggestions were made such as sowing wild flower seeds, be a collection point for blister packs or aim to undertake a weekly litter pick in the village.

Other matters discussed were volunteers needed to help with the Jubilee decoration of the Blore Suite in the Memorial Hall, selling of tickets to a Fashion Show we were hosting on 13th June 2022 at 7.30pm and final arrangements for our Queen’s Jubilee Celebration afternoon tea arranged on 8th June 2022 in the Memorial Hall.

Our speaker for the evening was local lady Kelly Hubbard, a Tropic Ambassador who sells freshly made skin pampering products and make up direct to the public.  Kelly told us that Tropic was founded in 2011 by Susie Ma, the products were made in the U.K. and were sustainably sourced using naturally derived ingredients.  The business success of this skin care range has enabled Tropic to focus on and donate thousands of pounds to charities including Young Women’s Trust, Winnie Mabaso Foundation, Trussell Trust and United World Schools.  The donated money made huge differences to the lives of so many.  Kelly finished her presentation by passing Tropic skin care products around our ladies so that they could sample some of them.  A very enjoyable and informative talk was given by Kelly.

The very welcome refreshments were provided by Jean Lowndes and Margaret Hesketh and the raffle winners were Joy Critchlow and Margaret Hesketh, before the meeting closed.



Well over twenty six members attended the May meeting, which proved to be a most interesting evening.  President Jenny Fletcher made her usual greetings to members and guests, with the help of the London Philamonic orchestra (recording), Jerumsalem was song,

 Jenny then introduced us to  Colinn Hodgkins,  a volunteer from The Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire Blood Bikes, which is  a Registered Charity and run by volunteers.  Colin  arrived on his bike and wearing his leathers, which looked quite awesome.  He became a volunteer after having a serious accident in Stafford some years ago, when he suffered serious injuries.  He now devotes his  time to Blood Bikes,  This is a volunteer service providing transportation of blood products, free of charge to all NHS hospitals across the three counties.  They can be called out at all hours, early hours in the morning, late at night and during the night..  If a hospital urgently requires blood the bikers are there to help. There are three different types of  volunteer members: They welcome riders with their advanced certificate and offer guidance to those who wish to obtain it.  An advanced certificate is necessary to ride for the charity.  They are asked to undergo a short informal assessment by one of their own assessing team.

Riders are expected to commit to rota shifts, during the day, evening and night.  The expectation from the riders is that they are able to do at least  two shifts a month. Once accepted you are able to to ride a group of………..Bike and carry a variety of urgent medical supplies between the hospitals served.  They do not carry organs , although they have blue lights they do not need to use them.  This service is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, not only over the three counties but can go beyond to  hospitals have differeing requirements, they pride themselves on flexibility.

Control Volunteers are required for morning, afternoon and evening shifts and night for 7 days a week and 365 days  a year.  They are responsible for answering calls for hospitals and despatching riders in response.  again they are expected to do at least 2 shifts a month.  Communication between controllers and bikers is paramount.  Training is providedand a Duty Committee is always on standby.

As It is a charity run by volunteers, they are also fund raisers.  Not all members ride, or control, can also make a valuable contribution by attending and holding events to raise funds.  These funds help to run the fleet and offer the service for our local hospitals.  Members agreed Colin had given a fantastic, interesting talk.  Vote of thanks was given by Sue Beck on our behalf.

If you are interested in this valuable service and you think you can be of some support contact:-Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire Blood Bikes,  Watling Chambers, 214 Watling Street, Cannock, Staffs, WS11.0BD.

The competition of something in red, white and blue was won by Chrissy Bull.  Several prizes were won in the raffle.  Refreshements were served,

A pub evening meal  was being arranged.  Several members are visiting Ann Wright  a flower demonstrator.  A trip to visit Tutbury Castle is being arranged for a summer outing.  Lots of nice things in the pipeline, Watch this space  .Afternoon Tea at David Austin Roses.

There will be a meeting on Monday June  13th at 8.p.m Glynis Miles will give a talk on Have fun with sign language & deaf awareness.   Competitionn; A Summer Scene – picture.

July meeting will be held on the 11th at 8.p.m. when Kay from SinCH will give a talk. The competition will be: A Recycling Idea.  A pub Lunch.

There will be no meeting in August.  A trip to the National Memorial Arboretum is arranged for 8th August.  Hopefully  there will be a talk, a tour and a meal.

Wow – Kingstone WI is 104!

Yoxall WI

Our May meeting was a very busy one, so our visitors had first hand experience of the activities of our group. Final arrangements were made for the May Market. We had a report back from the Homes and Gardens outing. The 3 speakers had been excellent and there had been plenty of opportunity to purchase goods from the stalls set up around the hall.

Voting for the Resolution also took place. Only 1 resolution this year, Women and Girls with ASD and ADHD, under-identified, under-diagnosed, misdiagnosed and under-supported. The vote was unanimous for the resolution.

June is our Birthday meeting. Following the theme of the Queen’s Jubilee we are having a ‘street party’ evening. We will all be wearing red, white or blue and enjoying a ‘bring and share buffet’. The entertainment for the evening is Becky Gosling. This promises to be a lovely evening.

Our speaker for the evening was Joanne Massey with a talk on being a maid to Lord Lichfield. Joanne described how she got the job, having previously worked in a bank. At the interview Joanne described herself as being trustworthy, tidy and house proud; perfect qualities for the post as maid to Lord Lichfield.

The job entailed helping out at the shooting weekends. Learning on the job was essential. The guests would arrive on Friday and the house needed to be perfect, curtains drawn, fires set and candles lit. Guest’s suitcases were taken to their rooms and unpacked. Betty, the cook, would be helped, perhaps with preparing the veg. Arthur, the butler would need help laying the dining and breakfast tables. The meals were not silver service, the guests would help themselves to food offered. Fridays dinner was often ‘ fish and chips’ – but not as we know it -Perhaps Dover sole instead of cod!

During the meal the bedrooms would need to be tidied, bins and ashtrays emptied. Beds were turned back, night clothes put out, carafes filled with water and pots filled with biscuits – for those midnight or early morning snacks!

The following morning the ladies would usually have a breakfast tray and the men would go down to breakfast and then on to the shoot. Betty would provide sausages and soup for the mens 11’s and a picnic lunch of salad and quiches, when the ladies would join them.

Saturday night was a more formal occasion, everyone in evening dress and a later finish to the evening. Sunday lunch was served from a sideboard, Joanne would pack the guests suitcases and then they would leave.

Joanne clearly loved her job and Lord Lichfield’s partner, Lady Asquith always thanked everyone for their hard work. She met some famous people in her role as Lord Lichfield’s maid. Sadly, Lord Lichfield died in 2005, but Joanne still keeps in touch with Lady Asquith. Joanne finished her talk by reading a letter from Lady Asquith thanking Joanne for her condolence letter and saying that she loved the idea that the community thought he was a lovely man.

This was such an interesting talk, Joanne is an engaging speaker and we loved the content of the talk. Our next meeting is on Wednesday 8th June, but this is for members only. We will meet again on Wednesday 13th July when we will have Reverend Lynne Morris giving a talk ‘ Are you free next Friday Vicar?’ Do come and join us. We meet at 7.30 pm in Yoxall Parish Hall, you will be made most welcome.

Waterfall Women’s Institute – May Meeting Report

Our Vice President Rose Dyche opened the meeting with apologies being taken. Our secretary Pam Coates then read the minutes from our March Meeting.

Matters arising –

Leek Show – members were reminded that the show will be on Saturday 30th July, this year at Longsdon. Rose asked that as many members as possible to please enter the competitions.

County Correspondence was discussed –

June Meeting – Menu’s for our next meeting were handed out, this being a Mystery Tour setting off from the village at 6.30pm. Please contact Rose Dyche for further details.

Anniversary Greetings Cards were given out to Elizabeth and Graham Brammeld who are celebrating a special anniversary this year and Josie and Brian McCarthy on their Weddings Anniversary.

Our speaker Sally Moseley was then introduced to members. Sally is a Peak Park Advisor at Bakewell and she also writes for the Derbyshire Life Magazine. Her talk was entitled A Year in the Peak District including slides where she took us all over the peaks meeting loads of wildlife on the way including a couple of bulls together with beautiful wild flowers – Sally was warmly thanked by Kath Walker for an entertaining and informative talk.

Our competition for the evening was 3 Bakewell Tarts –

1st Ann Dewsburys   2nd Jackie Danford      3rd Jo Allen                                                                                                                                                                       

All three are new members of the institute, which is a fantastic achievement.

The Raffle was won by Brenda Higton.

Please note that Craft Club has been cancelled in June due to all the Jubilee Celebrations in the village.

The Institute is holding a Floral Art Demonstration on 24th June at Cauldon Lowe Village Hall. Doors open at 6.30 and  tickets are £10. Everyone is welcome.

Rose then wished everyone a safe journey home.


The Salt History of the Trent Valley

Judy our president welcomed members and Mr Tim Moss our speaker for the meeting, it was nice to welcome back Pat who has been unable to join us since lock down. The business part of the meeting was quickly dealt with as all the information from National and Staffordshire Federation is sent out to members by email.

Judy introduced Mr Tim Moss the speaker, he had set up a screen and video of the area around Shirleywich and Weston, the main area in Staffordshire, where the Salt Works was mainly based. Salt is an essential chemical for all living creatures and humans would die if there was no sodium in their blood. There are different types of salt, rock, sea and brine, in the Trent Valley the salt deposits of brine extend from Droitwich all the way to Middlewich in Cheshire. There were many salt pools or large puddles all around Pasteurfields and Shirleywich. In 1680 Earl Ferrers, the land owner, decided he would start panning the brine spring on his estate. The climate at that time was very hot in Britain and the salt dried naturally in the atmosphere. By 1796 salt was in such demand that it had to be dried in large pans with a furnace underneath, fortunately with coal mined on Cannock Chase the fuel for the furnaces was readily available. It was extremely hard work stoking the furnace and combing the dried salt from the pans. The hotter the brine was heated the purer the salt was and Shirleywich salt was off the highest quality and commanded a top price. Other land owners saw how profitable salt was and Lord Talbot of Ingestre decided to start his own Salt Works, from Ingestre to Weston. As Britain started to expand its navy and conquer the seas the navy used an enormous amount of salt to preserve it’s meat and fish for the sailors diet needs. Each sailor was given a ration of 4 pounds of salt beef a day. The government soon realised they could increase the tax on salt to pay for the cost of the sea battles. In Shirleywich an enterprising man Thomas Moore decided that as brine was so good for bathing he would open a Spa and market it as a relaxing way to soak away all your ails. He built a row of small cottages with brine baths and rented them out.  After 200 years the brine was losing its power and it was no longer profitable the salt works all closed, apart from some salt pools in the fields there is no evidence that this industry ever existed in the area. A very interesting discussion with Tim continued with questions and answers.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 15th June at 7-30pm in Sandon Parish Room when we will celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubilee Party. The competition is A Royal Souvenir.

I am going to start this month by quoting a member of the West Newton WI branch near Sandringham. Queen Elizabeth II started to attend WI meetings back in 1943, taking over as President from the Queen Mother. Her commitment to the WI mirrors her lifelong sense of duty, and her pledge, that her whole life whether it be long or short should be devoted to service, sees Her Majesty the Queen celebrate 70 fabulous years on the throne.

When she spoke about the WI in our centenary year she stated,

“Women have been granted the vote, British women have climbed Everest for the first time and the country has elected its first female prime minister. The Women’s Institute has been a constant throughout, gathering women together, encouraging them to acquire new skills and nurturing unique talents.”

Broughton WI have been a constant in our local community for 101 years and we continue to embrace new skills, knowledge, and opportunities to take an active role in the heart of the community. You just cannot stop the inspiring work of the WI and most importantly our ambition to stay up to date and to reflect the lives of women today. This is true of our January meeting, when due to Omicron we couldn’t meet in the Parish rooms. Realising it was vitally important to keep in touch and knowing we had an important decision to consider regarding our annual national resolution, we used our new and improved knowledge of zoom to hold a virtual meeting. We discussed and debated the 5 shortlisted resolutions. Sharing information to support our members to select one concern to become a national campaign, backed by the whole of the WI. As a group we choose to support the campaign to tackle digital exclusion which directly affects our local rural community. This became very apparent during the pandemic, when we all had to turn to technology to have equal access to online services and to be able to keep in touch with everyone, especially the vulnerable. We await the results of the national vote, we are proud and excited to have the opportunity to support this year’s campaign and make a difference to local people, a great reason to be a member of the women’s institute. We will share the results of the national vote in our next update.

This year we have attracted several new members and what better introduction to the joys of being a part of Broughton WI, than to attend our February, 101 years birthday party meeting. Our guest speaker was comedienne Pat Hall. They say that laughter is the best medicine, add to that a beautiful birthday cake, lovingly created by member, Pat Kennedys daughter, you have the perfect recipe for a memorable evening. It was so uplifting to see a room full of smiling faces and it is proven that laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster to lighten your burdens, inspire hope, and connect you to others, which is why we always have an incredible mix of speakers and activities included in our annual program. There is something for everybody, humour, education, crafts, well-being, volunteering, and socialising. There is no one size fits all approach to WI meetings, but you can be sure to receive a warm welcome, homemade refreshments, lively conversation and a whole group of new friends. In February, our members had the opportunity to win a Bursary (Boughton’s Passport to Learning) this year the lucky winner was Michelle Bugliarello, she is going to use the funding to learn Macrame, we cannot wait to see her first creation.

So, with the start of the spring season, not only is our centenary Pear tree in blossom, we are also feeling revived and reinvigorated and ready to take on new events and challenges. First was the SFWI quiz night on the 25th April, and for our team there was never a truer phrase than, It’s the taking part that counts! For the food lovers of the group, Brenda Howe has established a group called Gastronomi-Gals, experiencing the best local restaurants. If you love getting out and about in our beautiful countryside, we have a walking group called the Broughton Bimblers.  We also continue our Craft club and organised trips, the most recent being Homes and Gardens Day at Stafford County showground.

This year will see the long-awaited return of many local shows and events which were previously cancelled. The country will also come together to celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubilee. This will be a time of street parties, cake stalls, competitions, and shows. The WI will be at the heart of these events, as organisers, providing refreshments, entering competitions, running stalls and working to make every event, special and memorable. We start at the County Show on the 1st and 2nd June followed by Eccleshall street market from the 2nd to 5th June. We would love to welcome you to our popular Jar-bola and cake stall. There is never a dull moment in the WI and you really do get to participate and support others by contributing your skills and your time. Which is why we value our wonderful, diverse, talented, and generous members. It was the idea of one WI member to create The ‘Where’s WInnie? ‘ Interactive craft project, which will see WI members knitting corgis and hiding them in their local communities, bringing joy to the people who find them. This is a national event, and you will be encouraged to report your find on the WI website. There will be several Corgis hiding in the local area. We hope their new owners love them as much as we do!

Amidst all the planned celebrations we have also taken time to consider how to tackle issues which will impact future generations. We spent our April meeting sharing ways to reduce waste and make simple, cost-effective changes in the products we buy, favouring eco-friendly and reusable items. We discussed recycling and repurposing household items which would otherwise find their way into landfill sites. We even set about giving a 2L plastic milk carton a face lift, its truly amazing the ingenious but practical items you can create. We encouraged all members to share their top tips, because sometimes it’s the small changes which can make the biggest difference.

In July we will hold a garden meeting at the historic Charnes Hall, the same place in which we held our first WI meeting 101 years ago. We continue to gather women together in friendship and shared interests. Sadly, we must sometimes say our farewells to members. Stella Day, a pillar of the community, active member of the church and WI, a previous Broughton WI President, has sadly passed away. Stella was an active, cheerful, and supportive lady and she will be greatly missed by all at Broughton WI. Our thoughts and prayers are will her family at this sad time.

From the very first WI meeting held in Anglesey, grew a strong, respected organisation which brings women together and makes a difference to the lives of everyday people. From one young woman’s dedication to service and duty, Her Majesty the Queen became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms, and the Commonwealth. From each new member of the WI, we learn new skills and inspire others from generation to generation.

Remember that from small acorns, mighty oaks grow.

We have an exciting and interesting program of events for 2022. Broughton WI meet at 7.00pm at the Broughton Parish Rooms on the second Thursday of every month. We also organise trips, theatre visits and activities/workshops for crafting, walking, photography and, well, pretty much anything our members would like to try!

We actively welcome new members, take a look at www.broughtonwomensinstitute.weebly.com

Wetley Rocks WI – Press Report

Well, what an exciting week we have all had! We started off with an outing to The Quarter @ The Potbank for Afternoon Tea for VE Day on May 8th. It proved to be a fantastic afternoon out. The food and the entertainment were superb, and it was clearly a win with members, everyone enjoyed themselves and it was lovely to get dressed up and have a dance and a sing-a-long. The outing was well attended with over half the group able to make the date, hopefully they will do something similar next year.

Tonight’s meeting was opened by Pat, her last as President. We read the minutes and shared news from Stafford before introducing the evening’s speaker, Beverley Clenell who was here to show us different ways of styling scarves. Beverley talked about the history of scarf wearing in different cultures and how they were used to signify rank before becoming more of a fashion statement in the later part of the 20th century and early part of the 21st.

Beverley gave members lots of tips and there were a myriad of styles that she talked us through including, knots, twists, cinnamon buns and roses. I love the way she showed us how you could use curtain rings and bangles to assist in tying the scarves, when she did turbans, we joked that we would be reading the tea leaves during refreshments. All in it was an enjoyable evening and it made you realise how you could use a scarf as a statement, not just around your neck, but as a jacket, a head covering or to spruce up a handbag.

After the speaker we held the AGM where members voted for both the committee and for the President. We were given yellow slips for the committee and green slips for the president which were handed out by June and Cynthia. The committee and a new president were voted in.

After we had completed all the business, we had refreshments. Gill, our new treasurer cut the cake which had been made by Paula. Her fruits cakes are famous, and all the members enjoyed a piece, I am sure they will be glad to know that there will be enough left for June’s meeting too! The buffet gave everyone a chance to catch up with one another’s news. Next month’s meeting on June 14th has a Jubilee theme “The Life of a Ladies Maid” and will be given by Jo Golby, we are also starting competitions and next months will be a “pick up” where members are invited to bring a Coronation Mug. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 19:30 in Wetley Rocks Village Hall. New members are welcome, and the first three meetings are free.

Kingstone WI

David Wilkinson, the speaker at Kingstone WI’s May meeting, was certainly a fount of knowledge on his subject ‘Chartley: Village, Castle and Hall’. 

Everyone in the room was, of course, familiar with the attractive site of the castle ruins as they travel along the A 518, and many had some idea of various aspects of its history, but it is certain that everyone learned a great deal that they had not known before David’s talk.

The name Chartley was spelled ‘Certelie’ in the Doomsday Book; ‘Certe’ meaning woodland or scrubland, ‘Ley’, clearing. A little thought brought to mind many places in Staffordshire ending in ‘ley/leigh’.

It was interesting to see the aerial view showing clearly the motte and bailey. The first castle  was built by one of the early Earls of Chester, about 1100, as a safe stop-over for their journeys to places such as Tutbury. There was, in fact, an inner bailey containing the main buildings, and an outer bailey with the stabling and workshops, with bridges linking these with the castle. The mound was made using soil from the dry ditch and was topped by a timber tower. It was rebuilt in stone in 1220 by Ranulph de Blondeville, ( what a great name!) 4th Earl of Chester. Substantial remains of this are still present today. The other side of the castle is overlooked by higher ground, so is the most vulnerable side, but money spent on defences was put into the externally visible features including the two towers on the curtain wall, which face the road. As our modern road follows the line of the medieval road (which was one of the routes to the Welsh Marches and Chester) we still have a splendid view today.

Ranulph died in 1232 and the castle passed, by marriage to William de Ferrers, 5th Earl of Derby, and remained in the Ferrers family for more than 200 years, passing, in 1453, to Walter Devereux, through his wife Anne de Ferrers. After he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. The castle was abandoned as a residence, and Chartley Manor, a moated and battlemented timber mansion, was built nearby. It is often heard said that Mary, Queen of Scots was a prisoner at Chartley. The fact she was held at this manor house, rather than the castle, was an interesting new piece of knowledge for many members. Her jailor, Amias Paulet, came from Tutbury Castle to view the manor in September 1585 and saw the house was just big enough to accommodate both his and the queen’s households, “somewhat straitly.” Chartley manor was preferred over alternatives because the house had a deep moat, though the moat was quite narrow in places. ‘The moat also helped security because the queen’s laundry could be washed without her maids leaving the house’!

The house was destroyed by fire in 1781.[3] What is now known as Chartley Manor was in fact known as “Chartley Manor Farm” until the 1980s.

What an interesting talk this was.

The business part of the meeting included arrangements for the WI’s Birthday Party on Friday 13th May, the Well Dressing and WI stall at the Church Fair as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations in the village, and the outing to Redfearn Cottage, Uttoxeter on the 20th June. A busy time ahead.

The July Meeting (with a talk on Community Policing) is on 11th July.  Visitors are very welcome.

Longdon WI

At our May meeting we hosted the Rose and Shamrock Group which consists of Rugeley, Etching Hill and Gentleshaw.  Glenys Richard’s proposed a toast to Longdon WI who this year celebrate their Centenary.
The invited speaker, Ruth Lowe, gave an interesting talk on the influence of Mary Quant on the fashion world. Members enjoyed being reminded of their youth from the many items that Ruth brought. 

This was followed by a Parade of Posh Puds which members had prepared. The desserts were mouth watering and enjoyed with a glass of Prosecco! We ended with a mini competition to sketch a Mary Quant flower.

It was lovely to have so many ladies attend and Jerusalem was sung with gusto with Minna Andrews on the piano.

Etching Hill WI

This month our meeting at the village hall coincided with Etchinghill WI 75th birthday. Apologies were read out for those not attending and birthday wishes were passed on to Chris Stinton and Celia Wright. We had two visitors namely Karen Mission and Robbie Roberts who we hope to welcome as future members. Something for our diaries, two exciting outings to look forward to, firstly the canal trip from Penkridge with afternoon tea, in July and, a proposed visit to the Police Museum Birmingham in September.

Margaret Devey welcomed our guest speaker, Abdul (he likes to be known as Abz) Jalil whose talk was The Raj 1919 to Birmingham 2019.This interesting talk took us through a brief history of what it was like for his family during the turbulent times of the partition period. Life was extremely hard and to enable them to provide a better life for their children his parents took advantage of a UK Visa immigration system as workers were encouraged from abroad to assist with the rebuilding of this country’s infrastructure after WW2. The family initially settled in Leeds and his father stared working in a factory sharing a house with other families. This was hard on Abz’s mother who could not speak English. Moving with work his family ended up in Birmingham. Abz admitted that he wasted his early years hanging around with friends rather than concentrating on his education and subsequently left school with no qualifications. Realising this was not going to get him success in life he enrolled in a college and restarted his GCSE’s. This led to an interest in higher education resulting in him obtaining a BA in business management. Abz has since had a varied career, got his master’s degree at the third attempt and now classes himself as a successful entrepreneur. He currently gives inspirational talks to younger people at schools and colleges to show them that knowledge is a vehicle for success, and you should never give up

Heather Turner gave the vote of thanks

Our monthly competition was based on an item associated with India and was judged by Abz. Lynn Baxter won first prize with a small model Indian elephant and second prize was won by Christine Travis Brooks whose entry was a silk hanging from her travels in India. We then enjoyed birthday cupcakes and a glass of wine. Next month’s meeting will be a celebration of the queen’s platinum jubilee and we will enjoy a finger buffet for our party.

As usual our evening finished with a quiz from Ann Ingleby based on remembering the 1950s.

Our group meet on the second Wednesday of each month at the village hall, and we would welcome anybody interested in Joining us. please check us out at etchinghillwistaffs@gmail.com


Meeting 12/05/22

Our May meeting began with a discussion of this year’s resolution, which is that women and girls with ASD and ADHD are under-identified, under diagnosed and under supported. The NFWI calls for more research and funding to diagnose and manage these conditions in women and girls. It was decided that our institute would ask our delegate to listen to both sides of the debate at the Annual Meeting and vote accordingly.

Sue Bicknell is organising a visit to Chillington Hall on August 10th. There will be a tour of the house followed by a tractor ride down to the lake and lunch. A list will be available at the next meeting for anyone interested to put their name down.

Our President, Sue Cotterell then introduced Jenny Matthews, who had come to show us how to make gift boxes. She had brought samples of her lovely craftwork and different designs. Jenny handed out sheets of card in various colours that she had already cut and creased for us. We were then shown how to fold and glue the card to make a box. A piece of ribbon was threaded through the top to hold it together and there were colourful decorations provided to finish it off. Everyone was very pleased with their handiwork and Jenny was thanked for all the work and preparation that went into making a most enjoyable evening.

Next months meeting is on Thursday June 9th, when our speaker will be Vicky Farmer telling us about being a Quiz Show Contestant. We meet at 7.30pm in the Village Hall, Trysull and look forward to welcoming members and visitors to what should be a very interesting evening.

Hayes Green WI AGM 3.5.2022

Hayes Green WI were pleased to welcome Helen Newman, Federation Chairman, to our recent AGM. There was a good turnout of members to the meeting and Val Lomas was elected to continue as President. Sue gave a report on behalf of the Committee in which she outlined how she was proud that Hayes Green WI had managed to keep going throughout the last 12 months despite the difficulties presented by Covid restrictions. Members voted in favour of the current committee remaining in post.

The Financial statement for the group was adopted by unanimous vote at the meeting.

Val explained in her President’s report how in 2021 members had managed to meet online, on walks, in gardens, cafes and people’s homes depending on the Covid regulations in place at the time. As Hayes Green WI meet in Five Ways pub which had a high level of Covid safety measures put in place we were able to begin our monthly meetings again in person from August 2021. We are very grateful to Five Ways pub as they allowed us to meet without having to pay a room hire charge for a few months in order for the group to build up membership. We were a small group of 16 members pre lockdown and in the last year our membership has risen to 28. New members have been recruited through local networking by members and from enquiries through SFWI. A full programme of varied activities is going ahead at Hayes Green WI. We have had speakers on a range of topics, games nights, craft evenings and a mediation taster session have been held, and meals and nights out have been enjoyed by members at local venues.

Members were invited to a number of upcoming Staffordshire WI events by Helen, and encouraged to volunteer when attending to lend a hand in the running of these events.

An invitation to hold future meetings at Hayes Green Community Centre was considered by members. The committee presented members with the pros and cons to moving to the Community Centre and to staying at Five Ways pub. After discussion a vote was held and it was unanimously decided to remain at Five Ways Pub.

There were a good number of entries for this month’s competition where members had been asked to bring a decorative key ring.  Chris’s keyring won; it had a number of silver hearts each one bearing the name of one of her children. Jan’s llama came second and Chris H’s nanny keyring made by her grandson was third.

Denise won first prize in the raffle.

Members were then asked to complete a fun “Find Someone Who?” quiz by going round the group to find a person who for example still had a toy from their childhood, or who had been on a cruise, or had broken a bone. This was enjoyed by members and promoted lots of discussion.

Cannock Women’s Institute W.I. Press Release April 2022

This month saw Cannock WI hold its annual meeting.

We had the opportunity to review the year just gone and look ahead to plans for the coming year.

As we also appoint a committee and a president, we were joined by WI advisor Verity Connor who ensured that all the procedures were followed correctly.

Once all the votes were in and counted Meena was unanimously re-elected as president, and the committee remained the same with the addition of three new volunteers: Linda, Claire and Sharon.  The meeting then continued under Meena’s leadership.

Jill, our secretary, gave a summary of the activities and events during 2021/2022. Who knew we had been so busy!  We were reminded about speakers ranging from Midlands Air Ambulance, to ‘Tales out of School’, Hindu weddings, funny stories from a vicar, and ‘Show and Tell’ puppets; with other topics thrown in.  There were tea parties, Christmas lunches and coffee mornings, plus walks. We especially remembered the Murder Mystery Trail around Cannock!  coach visits and even a WI holiday to Babbacombe.

WI is a national organisation and every year chooses an issue for a campaign which is presented as a resolution to be voted on at the annual meeting, held this year in Liverpool.  Verity guided us to further information about the resolution for this year, which is to campaign for quicker diagnosis of women with ADHD and ASD, so that our vote can be a considered one.

Returning to Cannock business, the winner of the Eileen Bowden badge and a monetary prize for the most points earned from our monthly competitions was presented to Debbie Orme; and a new member’s pack to Linda Onions, our latest recruit.  President Meena was presented with flowers to thank her for the year past with the hope that she will enjoy another year in charge.

Next month we have planned a “Speed Dating” evening; we have quite a number of new members so this will be an opportunity to get to know one another, and to winkle out a few secrets from more established members!

Our meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month 10.30 am at St Luke’s Church Centre. Visitors are always welcome and updates and details can also be found on our Facebook page or by contacting Staffordshire Federation of Women’s Institutes.

Rugeley Women’s Institute

Annual Meeting 27th April 2022

Rugeley WI held their Annual meeting on 27th April.

Barbara Coppard was elected as President for the coming year and the Committee members remained unchanged.

Barbara thanked the previous President, Ann Stewart, for her time in office and wished her well. 

Barbara also thanked all the committee members for their work and supporting her in a difficult year.

The presentation by the President of the ‘Competition Cup ‘and the’ Social Time Cup ‘was held. The winner of the Competition Cup was Margaret Bennett, 2nd Barbara Palfreyman.  Joint winners of the Social Time Cup were Trish Turner and Wendy Holland.

Members enjoyed a ‘Bring and Share Supper‘: a raffle and a quiz were held during the evening.

Our speaker for May will be Jess Boyden about the RAF.

If anyone would like to join our WI group they would be most welcome to come along.  Rugeley WI meet on the last Wednesday of the month in St Paul’s Community Hall, Rugeley at 7:30 p.m. Please contact Barbara Coppard on 01889 804889 for further details.

Yoxall WI April Press Report

After the moving forward of the clocks to British Summer Time it was lovely to walk into WI in the light, with no need to draw all the curtains. We had lots of visitors, obviously coming to see our famous speaker. It was subs night so there was additional admin for our treasurer Ann. We were reminded that tickets for the Homes and Gardens day were available and the Village Jubilee celebrations were noted.

Our May Market is on Saturday 14th May at 2.00pm in Yoxall Parish Hall. The stall rota was finalised and we were all encouraged to bake cakes, donate raffle prizes and items for the tombola, games and jigsaws for the various stalls. This is our main fund raising event of the year and everyone is very welcome.

Last month our speaker talked to us about Buddy Bags, we raised a fantastic £175.00 that evening which means 7 children will have a buddy bag when they arrive at a safe centre. One of our members, Judith, has also been busy sewing 25 wash bags and is now making pencil cases.

The competition table was full of small antique items which gave a clue to our speaker for the evening – Charles Hanson. Charles is an auctioneer and television personality, best known for his appearances on the television programmes Bargain Hunt, Flog It! and Antiques Road Trip. He started his career at Christie’s as a valuer and founded Hansons Auctioneers and Valuers , based in Etwall, Derby.

Charles introduced himself and then went on to tell interesting and amazing stories of items that he had sold in the past. Objects from the past come alive and they make you wonder what they could tell us. Charles enjoys the TV work and has partnered Terry Wogan and Britt Ekland in Antiques Road Trip.

We were advised that brown furniture values are on the rise and the new markets are Gameboys, Pokemon cards and Harry Potter books, how thing have changed!

Charles then went on to go through the items on the competition table. He described each item, spoke to the owners for a bit of background and then made a valuation. We had items ranging from a Doulton vase and enamel patch box to a splendid silver and glass cruet and Roman coin. Each object led to stories of previous items Charles had come into contact with.

The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all present, Charles is very enthusiastic and passionate about his career. We were all enthralled by his stories and probably came away wondering what we may have hidden away in the attic which may be of value!

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 11th May when we will have Joanne Massey talking on ‘My Life as a Maid to Lord Lichfield’. We meet in Yoxall Parish Hall at 7.30pm and visitors will be made very welcome. Further information can be obtained from Penny Bailey on 01543 472756.

Report of April meeting of the Ipstones W.I.

Joy welcomed the members to our Annual General Meeting, and we were delighted to have three new members to join our committee. Our very welcome members were Pauline, Margaret and Jean. Since we had a large amount of business to get through the minutes of last month’s meeting were left out for members to read during refreshment time.

All the correspondence was included in our newsletter, but special mention was made of the 52 week Earth Day Challenge which will be discussed at a later date. There were some great suggestions made as to what we might get involved in. Our speaker for the May meeting will be Kelly Hubbard who will demonstrate Natural Skin Care Products and speak about the charity that the company Tropic promotes. Sheila Leeson and Jean Lowndes will provide refreshments at that meeting.

Our President Joy gave her President’s address in which she described the way in which we had all coped with the problems of the past tumultuous years. She made special mention of our new members and her confidence that they may encourage some new ideas and initiatives. Joy thanked the committee for all their hard work and presented them with flowers.  She thanked, a long-standing friend, Mel Smith, from Cheddleton W.I., who had come along to help with the voting etc. Mel gave us a little insight into how her own institute had coped with Covid.

The Officers were elected, and Joy retained her position as president which she carries out brilliantly.

The financial statement was read and duly proposed, seconded and accepted with a feeling of relief that we are still solvent.

The raffle was won by 1st Rosie and 2nd Jeanne.

The welcome and excellent wine and cheese refreshments were then brought out and enjoyed by all.  Thank you our Committee.


Twenty ways to lift your spirits.

The April meeting of Aston-by-Stone W.I. began by celebrating achievements: Judith Webb and Julie Hughes received the Competitions Cup, and Denise Yates was presented with flowers to thank her for sterling efforts in the kitchen. (How would we manage without tea and cake?)

  Our Speaker, Jan Mitchell, then told us of 20 ways to lift your spirits. Start by going outside: garden, park, footpath: anywhere. It doesn’t have to be the Japanese “forest bathing”, just the great – and local – outdoors. Seeing sky is good for us.

Many of the 20 ways are just good sense: wear something you like, not simply that old jumper with even older joggers. Listen to music with a strong beat. Sing along! If your voice is not operatic standard, who cares!

Lights and colours affect us, so wear bright things, look at colourful pictures. Watch and uplifting film, or something which makes you laugh. Read, de-clutter, stroke your (or someone else’s) pet – anything which will make you feel better. There is certainly enough in the news to make us feel down, but don’t think about it all the time.

Perhaps the best way to lift the spirit is to see and talk to others. That’s just what we do at W.I.! It’s a good place to meet people and make new friends. There’s time to socialise as well as listen to the Speaker, and the home-made refreshments are always popular.

 We will soon celebrate our 97th birthday, and April’s refreshments naturally included a beautiful cake made by member Anita Murphy. Our next meeting will be on May 11th, at our usual meeting place, Aston-by-Stone Village Hall at 7.30 p.m., with a Speaker from the House of Bread.

If you would like to know more about our W.I., go to astonbystonewi.secretary@gmail.com, or phone 01785 615662.

Etchinghill WI

This month our meeting covered the annual AGM, which incidentally was the first one held in person for two years. Margaret Devey welcomed Helen Mancey the SFWI Chair of the Member Support Committee to the meeting. Although no speaker was booked for the evening a full agenda ensured a busy night.

Apologies were given by those not attending and birthday wishes sent to Jan cotton and Joyce Sanders.

The nights programme went on to include a review of the Byelaws and appointment of Auditors for the coming year. Glenys Richards gave a presentation of the financial statement which was subsequently approved. Margaret Porter gave the annual report with a recollection of the various speakers attending our zoom meetings throughout the year. Following this Margaret Devey gave the President’s Address and reminisced how wonderful that despite the covid restrictions over the last two years members embraced modern technology such as zoom to ensure the group kept going and allowed people a way of staying connected with each other. We all showed our support for Margaret by re-electing her as our President for the forthcoming year.

Our delegate for this year’s annual meeting in Liverpool to discuss the NFWI Resolution -Women and Girls with ASD and ADHD not being recognised and under supported, is Margaret Ford, who will use her discretion to vote on behalf of our members

Our evening finished with a fun quiz courtesy of Ann Ingleby. This tested our memory and took us back to childhood days as it was based on old time nursery rhymes.

New members would be very welcome to our friendly group. We meet on the second Wednesday of each month at the village hall. If you are interested in joining us, please visit our website at etchinghillwistaffs@gmail.com

Kingstone WI

The ladies of Kingstone WI don’t hold back when it comes to preparing delicious food, and the Afternoon Tea, held on 22nd March, was no exception! The atmosphere in the hall was a happy one, with a gentle buzz of chatter and occasional laughter. Savories and cakes were served as a buffet, with tea and coffee pots brought to the tables. Pam and Pat presided over a raffle table loaded with prizes. A very relaxing couple of hours was enjoyed by everyone.

On Monday April 11th, the Annual Meeting was held in Kingstone Village Hall. The formalities included the adoption of the Financial Statement and the Annual Report, the appointment of IFE for the coming year and the election of the Planning Committee. Members agreed to continue with a Team Presidency. The overall results of the competitions for this year were announced. Pauline Goodwin, who chaired the meeting, thanked all the officers and everyone else who had worked so hard during this difficult year, to build back our fellowship whilst keeping members safe.

Meetings had resumed in June with a picnic supper outside, but prior to this, although they could not meet together, to keep members connected, card making kits had been delivered to members linked with a Zoom demonstration and, for the following month, sunflower seed planting kits were distributed to grow for a competition in September. Jean Gallimore and Della Laflin were thanked for the great amount of work this had entailed. When restrictions eased Jean’s Craft Workshops had been particularly enjoyed.

The Programme for the next year was read out and sounded very interesting and varied.

Since the last meeting, as well as holding the Afternoon Tea, WI had been represented at a Promotional Evening in the Village Hall, designed for clubs and societies to show what they had to offer. The Jubilee celebrations were approaching and members were reminded to bring prizes for the WI stall at the Church Jubilee Fair. The well-dressing is in hand, as is the flower arrangement for the Flower Festival.

The Birthday Party (on Friday 13th May!) would be catered for by Woodland Caterers, renowned for their superb food and friendly efficiency, and members were encouraged to invite friends and family.

The meeting ended with refreshments.

The May meeting of Kingstone WI is at 7.30pm on Monday 9th when David Wilkinson will talk on Chartley; the Village, Hall and Castle. The competition is a photo of a local landmark. Visitors are always welcome; why not give WI a try?

Wetley Rocks WI – Press Report – Meeting date: 12th of April 2022

April is here along with the showers and true to form it rained the evening of the meeting. We started the meeting with the minutes from last month, these were read by Cynthia, approved by the members and signed by Pat.

Pat reminded us that the Homes and Gardens tickets were now available, and she confirmed the booking for the VE Day Afternoon Tea, 14 of the members will be going so that is a good turn out. In addition, activities from other local WIs to which members were invited, were also mentioned. Pat then introduced the night’s speaker, which was a hand on demonstration for Card Making, by Sue Robinson.

There were 4 pre-planned that members could follow, or they could make their own arrangements with the pre prepared pieces. There was a demonstration on card cutting too. It provided an opportunity for members to explore their creativity and how they would arrange shapes they were given. There was also an additional social aspect as were we able to chat whilst we created. There was a cost of £1.50 per individual for materials. It was a good to have a change and have a more activity-based meeting as it provided a contrast to the more usual speaker.

It was subs night so there was additional admin for both Cynthia and Pat, as well as the usual raffle draw and refreshments.

We look forwards to our AGM and a talk on Scarf Stying on May 10th at 19:30 in Wetley Rocks Village Hall. New members are welcome, and the first three meetings are free, for further details please contact Cynthia on 01782 551077



SPRING… in the Haywoods and Colwich this year has been so beautiful. The grounds in  St. Stephen’s Churchyard in January and February were covered in  a  carpet of white snowdrops, quite stunning. At present there are daffodils, primulas and tulips scattered throughout the villages, and the blossom trees are now coming into bloom.  We are so fortunate to live in such a lovely area,  let’s hope it can stay that way.  We have a dedicated hard working team of volunteers who keep the villages looking cared for.

MARCH… saw our Annual Meeting, there were no changes to the committee.  Our  membership is still increasing,  three new members had put their names forward to join the committee and this was agreed by members, so welcome to Kathleen, Jayne and June.  President Jenny took us on a journey through memory lane and reminded us of the events that had taken place over the last twelve months.  Christine Hill, Treasurer gave details of  the bank balance, we are still solvent. This was then followed by a very tasty cheese and wine evening. Our very own member Tracey Nixon, brought along photographs and gave a talk of her experiences of voluntary work in Africa.  She helped to build a school for the village children, laid bricks, painted the walls blue…lots of blue and also helped teach the children, who were very eager to learn. One boy travelled nine miles to be at the school on Monday and then had to live in what seemed like a shed, he would then travel back to his village after school on Friday.  She said she had loved every moment.  During the evening we were asked  what kind of things we would like to do, this  would be discussed at our next meeting.   The evening  proved to be very interesting and entertaining..

APRIL… meeting was  opened by President Jenny Fletcher.  There were 38 members in attendance five of whom were guests.  Our speaker for the evening was Hayley Mival, the General Manager of the Shugborough Estate.  She gave a very interesting and informative  talk on the first five years of the National Trust at Shugborough:

 Shugborough Estate went back into the full care of the National Trust on the 1st November 2016.  The aim of the National Trust is to restore Grade listed properties.  In the winter a programme of improvements was made to the visitor facilities and to open up a better access to the site.  Shugborough re-opened to visitors on the 21st March 2017.    Hayley took us through  the history of Shugborough.  Considerable outdoor work was carried out, reducing fencing, introducing new walks, this will enable visitors to walk up to the Triumphal Arch to admire the views.  Essential tree work is part of the conservation work and will be ongoing for sometime.  The local Anson School have also been involved helping plan the ‘Explorer’s Wood natural play area.    Local families have been involved in a ‘Family muck in day’, moving logs to create important wildlife corridors in the Arboretum.  Conservation work has been carried out inside the mansion.  Visitors are invited to embark on a journey to explore the  ground floor of the mansion and learn more about Admiral Anson’s circumnavigation of the globe.  There is conservation work being carried out on the Lichfield apartments to protect the collection as well as assuring visitors safety. Hopefully, this will be ready to be opened to visitors later in the year.  Other improvements to visitors facilities include a new car park, Visitor Reception and the refurbishment of both the Park Farm Cafe and the Mansion Tea-Room.

The previous Visitor Reception building adjacent to the Walled Garden has become a Plant Sales shop, selling produce from the Walled Gardens.  The National Trust shop has also been refurbished.  The work of restoration will be ongoing for some considerable time, lots still in the pipeline.

Shugborough is an incredible, beautiful place……on our doorstep, certainly worth a visit.

Our next meeting will be held at the Memorial Hall on Monday 9th May 2022 at 8.p.m. Do come and join us, even just for a visit…find friendship and inspiration.  We have a lot to offer…….pub lunches, theatre visits, interesting speakers, learn a new craft.

Maureen Broom..