WI Reports

Wetley Rocks WI – Press Report

Meeting date: 12th of July 2022

Having sought advice from Staffordshire, it was agreed this month’s meeting could go ahead. The tone was reflective and respectful. A bouquet of white flowers, a photograph of the Queen and a beefeater teddy bear where placed at the front of the hall as a memorial to the Queen. The meeting opened with Cynthia announcing a minute’s silence, and the sad passing of one our members Val. It has been a sad week. The one-minute silence to remember Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II was poignant as the Queen was The President of the Sandringham WI.

After the moment of reflection, the usual business and news from Staffordshire was read by Cynthia the president and the Newsletters passed around. Members were then invited to be served a pie and pea supper, table at a time with cheese and crackers to finish. A shared meal and reflection on the week’s events proved beneficial to members who were able to share in mourning and on experiences and to talk to one another about the week’s events.

After an enjoyable pie and pea supper, the raffle was drawn, and the competition winners announced. Members were invited to take part in an individual quiz which involved place names. Quiz sheets and writing material were passed around. Jen was the quizmaster and read out the answers. It was a close-run thing with Jocelyn winning on a tie breaker question. 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.



Great Haywood W. I. are now back after the summer break and it would seem have a lot to say.     In July a party of twelve had a Fish and Chip lunch on the canal at Penkridge.   In  August about twenty visited the National Arboretum at Alrewas,- members’ comments – “another wonderful outing”.  A group also paid a visit to Ann Wright  for an afternoon tea in her beautiful garden at Brocton.   Members Helen Lyons and Tracey Nixon came first and second place after competing in the BIG VILLAGE QUIZ which had been set  by the Haywood Society. They were presented with their prizes at the Memorial Hall coffee morning held on the 9th August. Quite a busy month. 

President Jenny Fletcher opened the September meeting welcoming members and  six visitors. We made our usual practice of ‘Jerusalem’, it is getting better, not ready for Eisteddford….yet.  Forty five people attended this meeting.   The Autumn programme is looking very busy, this will take us up to Christmas. Tonight was  a social evening.. There were several crafts on hand  to test our skills, learn to crochet and natter. There were some beautiful cards with a lot of glitter. The members were split into five tables of eight each one having a different item at which to try their hands. Everyone seemed to be very industrious and certainly had a lot to say.  

Five members will visit Stowe By Chartley W. I. for an Open Evening. There is a Group trip to Tutbury Castle.  We now have a book stall up and running, money raised this year will go to a chosen charity.  Several members had helped on the refreshment stall at the village  Flower and Vegetable Show on Sunday 17th September. They really enjoyed their day. 

Refreshments were served, lots of lovely cake.  It was decided to toast   our new King Charles lll…… as we had no alchohol  on hand he was toasted  with tea or coffee.  A minutes thought was given to our dear departed  Queen..  A condolence card, signed by all members of Great Haywood W. I., will be sent to the late Queen’s group in Norfolk.  There was a raffle and competion.  Finally the evening was finished by singing God Save Our King. Next meeting will be held at the Great Haywood Memorial Hall on Monday  October 10th at 8.p.m. Our guest speaker for the evening will be Ruth Williams from Staffordshire Gems.      Do come along, meet new people and make new friends.  We are a friendly group and would make you welcome.  Hopefully see you then.


Centenary Outing to Anglesey

 Wow, finally after a 2 year delay, due to Covid, members of Sandon WI were able to celebrate their Centenary Outing to Anglesey. On the beautiful summer morning of Thursday 1st September, 50 members and guests boarded a luxury coach and set off to LLANFAIRPG, where the first WI in the UK was founded. Our first stop was at the Village Hall where we were met by the President, and Audrey MBE, a former Chairman of the Anglesey Federation.  The hall is a former army hut behind the Toll House on the main road. The WI had prepared a lovely welcome of Tea, coffee, Barabrith and Shortbread. Following refreshments Audrey gave an interesting talk about Mrs Madge Watts, a founder member of Canada’s Womens Institute. Arriving in England to speak to the Agriculture ministry about the plight of Women in rural areas and the benefits of health care, sadly there was no interest from the men at the ministry. Feeling despondent Madge was preparing to go back to Canada when she was invited to go to Anglesey. There she met Sir Horace Plunkett, Colonel R Stapleton-Cotton and the Marquis of Anglesey, all involved in The Agricultural Organisations, they were very influential men and understood what they were hearing about the desperate conditions the people were living in. With their help and support Madge Watts had achieved her goal and the first WI was formed in September 1915. The WI was quick to get to work and they soon had a baby clinic set up and the area had the first District Nurse. There is a small museum in the hall which is also the Anglesey Federation Office and well worth a visit if you are holidaying in that part of Wales.

Back in the coach we went a few miles down the road to Plas Cadnant, Hidden Gardens. The owner Anthony Tavenor, welcomed us and gave a short introduction to Plas Cadnant, which he purchased 1996, where the garden had not been looked after for 70years. The first stage of restoration was removing all the Rhododendron to allow all the other trees space to grow. The site is divided into 13 different areas all with good paths round and signposted with either red or blue markers. The flower borders overflow with colour through the different seasons. There are spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and countryside from many different directions.

With a great tea room and lots of seating around the gardens it is easy to sit and relax in quiet and enjoy the tranquillity of nature. We were taken by Anthony on a guided tour of the private gardens where all the old farm buildings have been converted into holiday cottages each surrounded by their own pretty gardens. Sadly it was time to leave Anglesey for the long journey home. Everyone had enjoyed a great day out with friends and fellow WI members.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 19th October at 7-30pm in the Parish Room Sandon.  The speaker will be Andy French, ‘The life and Times of Billy Butlin’

Visitors are very welcome to come and enjoy the evening.

We are a friendly group of ladies from many different villages and areas near Stafford and Stone. Visitors are always very welcome.

TRYSULL & SEISDON W.I Meeting 08/09/22


Our September meeting was a sombre one as it had been announced that Queen Elizabeth had sadly passed away a short while before. The planned evening of indoor curling was cancelled and we all stood and sang God Save our Gracious King. It was decided that we would read out notices of forthcoming events and then finish early after refreshments.

An outing to Tong Church is planned for Saturday 22nd October at 2pm. There will be a guided tour of the church followed by afternoon tea. Cost £12.00

Once again, we are filling shoe boxes for Gambia and are meeting at the Village Hall in Trysull on September 29th at 2pm to assemble them. Please bring along toys, pens, crayons, notebooks, sweets, toiletries etc.

The group meeting, hosted by Tettenhall, is on 19th October at Wombourne Village Hall. It is to be a sixties evening, with a singer and finger food.  Members are asked to wear something from that era.

We are planning to decorate the war memorial at All Saints Church with a cascade of poppies. They can be crocheted, made of felt or knitted. Please bring your contributions to the October meeting so that we can have them ready for the Remembrance service.

In November we will be making Christmas wreaths, so will need to bring a base and decorations for them.

Our next meeting is a bring and share supper with a Halloween theme. If anyone has any pumpkins or Halloween table decorations, please bring them along together with a savoury or sweet dish. We will meet on Thursday October 13th at 7.30pm in the Village  Hall, Trysull. So do come along for a spooky get together.

Hayes Green WI meeting Tuesday September 6th 2022

There was a wartime theme to the latest meeting of Hayes Green WI, who meet at the Five Ways pub in Heath Hayes on the first Tuesday of the month. This month we were treated to a very interesting and informative talk on the WI in wartime by Miss Pitchy Patchy.

Our speaker came dressed as Mrs Johnson a member of the WI living in the countryside during World War II. She told us  that during World War II the WI was a very large institution and what a huge part ladies from WI groups all over the country played in efforts to win the war. The Government of the time relied on the WI to act as unpaid voluntary workers carrying out lots of tasks the Government required rolling out over the UK, with the WI becoming unpaid social services departments, and manufacturers of food and clothing amongst other things. We learned that without the huge amount of organisation and support WI members provided in the background the evacuees programme of moving children and other vulnerable people away from the cities being bombed to the safer countryside would have not been possible. Members of the WI became famous for being jam makers because they were tasked with the job of turning a very good wartime fruit harvest into tons of jars of jam that were taken the Government to be distributed to shops to sell to the public as part of their food rationing allowance. WI members knitted and sewed lots of items of essential clothing for servicemen and women. They also made pies which they would bicycle out to farms to sell to agricultural workers at lunchtimes to supplement their diets as the amount of food on offer via rationing  was not adequate for those performing manual labouring jobs – in factories workers’ diets could be supplemented by none rationed food in work’s canteens but this was of course not possible on farms.  At the same time as learning how to turn their groups into small scale voluntary businesses producing goods and services that the Government required many of the WI ladies were also responsible for running farms where the male workforce had gone off to be soldiers, airmen or sailors for the war effort.

Several of our members really embraced the war time theme of the evening. Two came dressed for the part, coming as members of WWII Women’s Land Army. Another member made us all carrot cookies using a recipe from WWII as this month’s competition was to find a wartime recipe. Our winner was Chris H who brought in her mum’s 1930’s recipe book.

Rugeley WI August meeting


For their August meeting Rugeley WI were treated to a very interesting talk given by Tony Lyons who is a Rugeley & District Community First Responder.

Tony came prepared for the evening with a very informative slide show, a mannequin and his pack of care equipment to show the group.  His equipment included a defibrillator, oxygen, monitors, suction kit and various dressings which he proceeded to show members how to use.

Tony demonstrated how to perform chest compressions and how to use a defibrillator.  He explained that as the responders are local to the area, they usually arrive before the ambulance. Baseline observations are taken upon arrival at the scene and reported back to the ambulance service.   The Community First Responders are trained by the ambulance service and are committed to 5hrs a week with usually 10 people in a group.  They wear blue uniforms deliberately so as not to be mistaken for paramedics who are in green.  Thanks to the recommendation of Rugeley people the Community First Responders were awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services in 2018.

Trish gave a vote of thanks and everyone showed their appreciation in the usually way for a very interesting and informative talk.

Refreshments were served during the evening and a raffle and quiz took place.

 If anyone would care to join our WI group or come along one evening for a ‘taster’ please contact either Barbara Johnson on 01889 586855 or Barbara Coppard on 01889 804889.  The group meet every last Wednesday in the month at St Paul’s Community Hall, Rugeley at 7:30p.m.

SANDON WI August 2022

The August meeting of Sandon WI was held at Aston Pool Farm by kind invitation of farmer, Matthew Weaver, to view his new Robotic Milking Parlour. We parked in the farmyard near a huge new building, very tall with some closed areas and the rest open sided. After a short introduction, we went into the parlour walked up a short metal staircase to the viewing platform. From there we could see the layout of the barn. There was one area reserved for any cows who needed extra care, where a mother cow and her new born calf, were resting. There was a separate bedding section

for the cows to sleep, which has a special sand base which is easy to clean. The rest is open space where the cows can roam about.

Going back downstairs we watched the milking machine in operation, the cow enters the pen, as she does a correct amount of feed drops into a trough in front of her, and the gate at the back closes. The machine starts by washing and gently massaging the teats, it moves away and the brushes are washed and sterilised, the machine then moves the cups into position with laser beams, in order, rear one and two, front three and four. When all milking is finished the gate opens for the cow to exit. The cups are then washed and sterilised, ready for the next cow. All the milking process is recorded on a screen attached to the pen. We were able to go in and walk around the cows, they were very calm and not bothered by our presence.

Going outside Matthew took us around the rest of the farm past the calf pens where they have lovely little chalet houses and straw yards outside with drinking/feeding trough on the sides. We came to a huge shed with large steel doors where the dry feed is stored, the first one had dried rape seed, the second dry chopped wheat, the complete plant, grown on the farm, the third had silage. The fourth area housed the mixing machine where the correct amounts of each component are carefully blended to feed the cows.

Going back to the main building we went up a different metal staircase where there was a generator working a huge tank of ice, which keeps the stainless steel milk tank at the correct temperature.

A fascinating evening with a host who is passionate about the welfare of his herd and modern farming practice.

Matthew had kindly provided tea and coffee for us and a chance to sit and relax.

Judy thanked Matthew for opening his farm for us and giving us the opportunity to see that change in farming methods is an important part of providing food in the future.

 Kathy Bradley Sandon WI

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

Cannock WI were entertained at the August meeting by Marion Baldwin whose presentation began with a description of her childhood in Barnstaple and how she managed to gain a place at drama school in London just after the war.

Marion brought with her a selection of hats which she used to illustrate her talk which took the form of vignettes and readings.  We heard first from a schoolboy evacuee from London wearing a yellow cap who was attempting to describe a cow to a radio audience.  Next came her mother’s wedding hat; followed by a very elegant hat of her own, once worn to a smart wedding.  Then came her grandmother’s funeral hat.  Each one giving life to a character or personal story.  These all led to The Red Hat used to help her characterise a clever rendition of the famous Jenny Joseph poem, accompanied by anecdotes of previous occasions when she performed the poem.

Marion is such an amusing and entertaining speaker that her allotted time seemed to fly by and in the best tradition of the theatre left her audience wanting more.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 8th September 2022 when our speaker will be Diane Foster one of our own members who will be telling us about the benefits of Life Long Learning.

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

Yoxall WI

Yoxall WI held their August outing at the Red Carpet Cinema. We all enjoyed a lovely lunch on a very warm day. Deciding to stay local, the Red Carpet looked after us very well.
Our meeting in September is back in Yoxall Parish Hall on Wednesday 14th September. We will have John Wilson with a talk ‘ Oh no! Not the Titanic ‘. We meet at 7.30 pm and visitors will be made most welcome.

Hayes Green WI August Meeting

This evening we had local author and a W.I. Member come to talk to us about how she became an author and her career in publishing Though there were quite a lot of members away due to holidays all the members who attended really enjoyed her talk.

She talked about how she became an author too and after the meeting lots of members have gone out and bought her books. After she had judged our competition which was to bring in a favourite book it prompted discussion amongst the members as to what their favourite books were.
We are quite a sociable group and meet between meetings to go out for meals, reggae evening and dance , and going to a local  music festival .

Ipstones WI

On an extremely hot evening Ipstones W.I. met in the Memorial Hall for our August Meeting. Since it was so very humid, Joy, our president suggested that our speaker, who was the owner of Staffordshire Cheese, and who was more usually known as “Mary from the dairy” should speak at the beginning of the meeting rather than after the business. This was an excellent idea since Mary had a lovely array of cheeses spread out with a good selection for us to try.

The firm, which is now based at Cheddleton specialise in making 3 cheeses; Staffordshire Cheese, Dovedale Blue and Buxton Blue but are also trying out a new cheese. Being country women, we all have an idea of the process of cheese making and one of our members, Hazel, could tell us of how her mum used to make cheese using up the left-over milk from the farm. Mary explained that the processes needed, although remaining very similar, were now much more mechanised and the quantity of milk that she regularly ordered was 1450 litres. On a typical cheese making day work started at 4 a.m. Mary told us about the changes in the cutting process for each cheese, the cultures added and the temperature necessary. She assured us that the Environmental Health Organisation was very watchful of the whole process.

After a thoroughly interesting talk we were encouraged to try out the various cheeses and the butter that the firm produced on the crackers that Mary had brought along. The unanimous decision was that, although some people dislike blue cheeses, each one was very appetising and would go down on our shopping list next time we visit Leek. I think that everyone went home with a packet of cheese or butter they had been able to buy. Mary from the Dairy, such a lovely title since her name really was Mary, was given a very warm vote of thanks before she left to get her samples into a cooler environment.

Of course, having had cheese and crackers we needed our tea or coffee which we enjoyed during the business. Jane read the June minutes, none for July since it had been our outing, and Joy read the correspondence which, among very many other subjects, explained the process of getting a resolution accepted. The resolutions are an important part of the W.I. work and each year a number are accepted from those submitted and all W.I. members can vote for the one they prefer and the overall winner throughout the country is supported throughout the year.  Other business included hearing of the speakers for the coming year, planning the competitions appropriate to each speaker, who would provide refreshments and raffle prizes and who would help with the W.I. stall at our annual Agricultural Show on the 27th of August.

It was another enjoyable meeting, especially so for Jane and Yvonne who won the raffle prizes.   Joan Mitchell.  

Kingstone WI

When Jan Jankoviskis and her husband, Lee, decided, in the 1980s, that ‘The Good Life’ in Australia would be a wonderful experience, they were blissfully unaware of what the next four years would hold. It was generally thought that land could be bought very cheaply and when they landed in Darwin, and stood surrounded with all their worldly goods in bags and cases (no wheelie suitcases in those days!) they were, although extremely hot and tired, optimistic and excited.

So began Jan’s talk to Kingstone WI, where she told the story of what turned out to be a much, much harder experience than they, in their youthful optimism, had bargained for.

They couldn’t have had a worse start in their new country – a mad taxi-driver, an indescribably awful hostel and a meeting with a friend of her brother’s whose ‘rubbery face looked to be a natural winner in a gurning contest’ and who took every opportunity to criticize the British -all in the first few hours.

After a brief holiday to acclimatize themselves, they set about finding some ‘cheap land’ to purchase. Of course, the only cheap land came with the huge disadvantage of being literally miles from anywhere, with no house, of course, and no power supply and the available water held in a hollow behind a dam until there was a drought…but with a breath-taking view.

To quote from Jan’s book, Missing the Kurrajong Tree, ‘Had we known what we were heading for in those early days, I think that we would undoubtedly have retreated back to Blighty, with great speed. As it was, our youth and innocence helped to lead us into what we would look back on as a great adventure’.

Illustrating her talk with photographs and readings from her book, Jan took her audience through their four years in Australia. The tin shed they lived in whilst building their house, the various creatures, welcome and unwelcome, which were part of their lives, and the birth of their son, Philip were woven into a fascinating tapestry of happy and hard times.

The spur for her to record these experiences in a book came on New Year’s Eve 2019, when reports were heard of serious bushfires in Australia. The most devastated areas were the very places where they had lived thirty years before. All that was left was a blackened wasteland. Stunned, Jan made a decision. She hoped that by recording her memories, she could bring back some life ‘to those communities and many beautiful places that were tragically lost’.

Signed copies of ‘Missing the Kurrajong Tree’ were available to buy and many members took advantage of this to read about Jan and Lee’s fascinating life in Australia in greater depth. Had they been crazy or brave? Perhaps a bit of both.

The business part of the meeting covered: the forthcoming Dining Cruise with Willow Cruises; suggestions to be put forward at the Preliminary Meeting to arrange the Group Meeting, which will be hosted by Kingstone in 2023; the latest news on the campaign to make Loxley Crossroads safe;  members who would like to accept Stowe-by-Chartley WI’s invitation to attend their meeting and a reminder that the September Meeting was ‘Music and Poems’, where members could contribute by reading or reciting a poem of their choice. This meeting will be on September 12th in Kingstone Village Hall at 7.30pm. Packs of information on Kingstone WI, its past and future, were distributed to members willing to take them to ladies who have moved into the village recently, to encourage them to give WI a try. Visitors are always very welcome.

Hilderstone WI

Instead of our usual evening meeting, we went to the soup kitchen in Stafford for a delicious afternoon tea, lots of nice food and conversation was enjoyed.


Our August meeting started with the president passing on birthday wishes for July and August to Margaret Ford, Joyce worth, Fran Brian and Sue Evans.

Margaret Devey then went on to welcome the speaker for this month, Ruth Lowe and her talk was entitled Mary Quant part two. Most of us remembered Ruth from our visit to Longden Wi group meeting where she gave the talk entitled Mary Quant part one. This time Ruth took us through the life of Mary Quant from the 1970’s onwards. Having given birth to her only son, Mary started working from home and branched out from fashion to design bed linen, homeware and textiles such as carpets. She also had a hand in designing the interior for the iconic mini car with her trademark colour scheme of Black White and Red. In fact, Ruth owned one of these cars herself for a time and took it to various car shows. Throughout her life Mary Quant was extraordinarily successful in her chosen field. From beautiful clothing to perfumes, costume jewellery right through to designing clothes for iconic films she became the instigator of trends which are still around today. In addition to her talk Ruth brought samples from her exceptionally diverse collection for us to browse through. Overall, a remarkably interesting talk. The vote of thanks was given by Margaret Porter.

Moving on to other business, we have many interesting trips out and fun meetings planned for the year ahead. First up in September is our visit to the Police Museum in Birmingham followed by lunch at Ask Italian. In October we will be hosting the Rose and Shamrock 70th anniversary party, celebrating with a cheese and wine party, also in October Mary Davis will be hosting her annual charity coffee morning. In November, the fashion show is booked, which has proved hugely successful in the past. We will be enjoying our Christmas meal in December at Beaudesert and, we even have a trip booked to Kelmscott house for July 2023. As I said a great deal of exciting events ahead.

Instead of the usual quiz to finish the evening we held a photo competition by asking members to bring a picture of themselves taken in the 60’s. This was judged by our speaker Ruth who based her decision on the fashion outfits worn by our competitors and the winners were as follows. First place was won by Eileen Jeffries, second place went to Chris Stinton and third place went to Kay Marshall. Well done to you all.

Our group meets on the second Wednesday of each month at Etchinghill village hall. If you would like to join us, please come along and join in or visit our website at etchinghillwistaffs@gmail.com


“…we may have the ride of your life.”

          The hot weather of August 10th didn’t deter the members of Aston-by-Stone W.I., who turned out to hear the Speaker, Jeremy Cadman, tell them about Blood Bikes.

            Unpaid volunteers, all of whom have advanced driving qualifications, deliver blood all around the country. They are on duty 24/7 and all year. This wonderful organisation receives no Government support, and relies on donations.

            They say: “One day, we may have the ride of your life”, and indeed many lives have been helped – or saved – by their help.

            Blood Bikes also deliver breast milk, too, for sick or premature babies, as well as bone marrow, platelets and medical notes. Several local groups have been awarded the Queen’s medal for Voluntary Service, the equivalent of an MBE for a charity.

            Look closely at a Fire Station when you next pass one: Blood Bikes are based there, and you may spot one of these £16,500 “delivery vehicles”.

            After the talk came refreshments: tea and home-made cakes. There was news of forthcoming events. We are looking forward to our next meeting on September 14th, when Ian Rogerson will give a talk entitled “Smile, please, say ‘cheese’” on what must surely be a national food favourite.

            We welcome visitors, Ladies, and meet every 2nd Wednesday of the month at Aston-by-Stone Village Hall at 7.30 p.m. Why not come to our September meeting, especially if you like cheese? We’ll be pleased to see you.

            If you are interested in the W.I., why not contact us on astonbystonewisecretary@gmail.com?

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

The speaker at Cannock WI’s July meeting was Rev. Lynn Morris, who has visited us before during the pandemic on Zoom, which meant that there were a number of members who had not been able to listen to her on that occasion.  It was a pleasure to welcome her back and meet her properly and in person.

The Rev. Lynn talks about the lighter side of her ministry and this time told us some of the amusing stories she has collected about weddings.  It is always the mishaps which make the funnier stories after the event, and we learned of more than one bride whose dress didn’t behave as expected!  One bride’s father also had a clothing mishap and had to swap clothes with the chauffeur after the wedding car needed a push.

Wedding guests are not always perfectly behaved, either, and quite a lot of us were left feeling relieved that our own family weddings had been less traumatic.

It is also worth noting that attempts to include the family pet do not always go to plan: one bride asked her brother to bring her dog to give her away. The dog thought it was going for a walk and took off at top speed dragging the brother behind him!

The names of the bride and groom can sometimes cause amusement too such as the Mr McDonald who was to be married to a Miss Berger.

During the main meeting Clare, Linda, Helen and Sue were thanked for their efforts at St Luke’s fete which were rewarded with a good sum of money to share between the church and WI funds.

Members were reminded about the mid-month meet-up: a coffee morning to be held at The Barns.  Also, Barbara invited them to consider the several outings suggested for the coming months.  These include a canal cruise; an autumn colour mystery tour; and Christmas Market at Ely Cathedral

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 11th August 2022 when our speaker will be Mary Baldwin who will be telling us about her life as an actress and how she built characters around the hats they wore.

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

Audley and District WI

Audley & District WI planted this Rowan Tree to commemorate HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee July 2022 in the grounds of the Pensioners Hall where we hold our monthly meetings
President Glenis Simpson is in the middle surrounded by fellow committee members

Yoxall WI

It was a lovely warm evening when we all gathered for our July meeting. President Penny thanked everyone for the wonderful food and company at our birthday meeting in June. The Summer outing in August was discussed. We are keeping it local this year and meeting up at the Red Carpet Cinema for lunch, with the opportunity to have a walk around the lakes and visit the shops at Barton Marina.

We were reminded of the Yoxall Summer Family Fun Day on Saturday 13th August 11.30am-4.30pm being held at The Golden Cup. There will be lots of activities including stalls, raffle, live music, tombola and all monies raised will go to the Alzheimer’s Society. This promises to be a really lovely day.

We then welcomed our speaker for the evening, the Rev Lynne Morris. Lynne has been a vicar for 35 years, working in the Midlands and latterly as a hospital Chaplain in a Birmingham hospital. It is a profession that involves meeting people of all ages and all walks of life, many memorable moments, some poignant and others very funny.

Many of her true stories could be grouped into ‘ Hatches, matches and dispatches!’

In the UK there are no name restrictions but apparently 18% of parents do end up regretting the names they have given their children. If your surname is Cart why would you name your child Orson! Terry Bull might also not be pleased with his parents.

As you can imagine wedding stories were abundant. Mobile phones going off for the wedding party, requests for unusual wedding themes such as Fairy tales, sea creatures and gangsters! When Lynne asked a brides mother if she was going to wear a hat to the wedding she replied ‘ No I’m wearing a fornicator’! The best man usually has responsibility for the rings but at one wedding the couple wanted an owl to bring in the rings. The owl should have flown to the best man, landed on his arm and the rings retrieved from ribbons. Unfortunately it flew up to the rafters and wouldn’t be enticed down. Perhaps the bride and groom were Harry Potter fans.

Funerals are sad occasions but again amusing things can happen. A colleague was conducting a funeral when a mobile phone rang- eventually they realised it was coming from inside the coffin. “ At least he’s not answering it” said the vicar! There is a saying ‘ he’ll be late for his own funeral’, well apparently you are now fined if you are late at the crematorium.

Lynne had so many stories, too numerous to mention them all here, all interesting and humorous.

She finished off her talk by telling us the music that people request to be played at their funeral. These include ‘ Always look on the bright side of life’, ‘ Match of the day’, ‘ Wake me up before you go go ‘ and ‘ Another one bites the dust’.

Our next get together is the Summer outing but we will meet up again on Wednesday 14th September in Yoxall Parish Hall at 7.30 pm. Our speaker will be John Wilson giving a talk ‘ Oh no ! Not the Titanic’. Do come along, you will be made most welcome and your first 3 visits are free. If you would like any further information please contact Penny on 01543 472756.

Kingstone WI

After two fascinating meetings focusing on history, Kingstone WI were brought right up to date, at their July meeting, with a talk on Internet Safety and Cyber Security. 

Those passing on such important information were Police Community Support Officers, Timothy Leathers and Haydn Dibb, who work alongside the Police dealing with community issues.

Importantly, this talk was relevant to members who did not use computers and Smartphones as well as those who did. The terms ‘phishing’, ‘vishing’ and ‘smishing’ sounded quite amusing, but are far from it. All these are methods of tricking people into giving personal information and are usually done to obtain money.

‘Vishing’, defined as ‘the fraudulent practice of making phone calls or leaving messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information such as bank details and credit card numbers’, often succeeds by creating panic.

The good advice was ‘Don’t be rushed and don’t be hushed’. Always challenge to know who you are speaking to and if in any doubt hang up. Don’t, of course, ever give out personal details. If you wish to take it further to check, wait for fifteen minutes and ring back on a different phone (the visher might still be connected to the first one) on a number you are familiar with for that company.

A ‘phishing’ attack is targeted at a large range of people through emails. Usually, the victim is asked to click on what is a malicious link. Fakes can often be spotted. Always check the email address carefully against the genuine one; these are usually very close but with small changes not noticeable at first. Be suspicious of ‘Dear customer’ rather than the email being addressed to you personally. Check for mistakes in spelling or grammar – these are unlikely in genuine communications. Don’t trust, ‘Forward this to as many people as possible’ or ‘You might win….’

Be very careful if using public or works WiFi. It is possible to access anything you look at, so don’t look, for instance, at your bank details.

The strangely named ‘smishing’ refers to the sending of text messages, again purporting to be from reputable companies in order to obtain personal information.

Finally, the importance of having a strong password was emphasised. Choosing three random memorable but unconnected words, using upper and lower case letters, then adding numbers and symbols to make it at least twelve characters long, is one tip. Other good ideas can be found on line.

All suspected scams can be reported to the National Cyber Security Centre.

So, hopefully, thanks to these friendly and down to earth Police Community Support Officers, Kingstone WI ladies are now safer and wiser!

There was plenty to be reported on and informed of in the business part of the meeting, including: the June outing to Redfern’s Cottage, which was enjoyed by all; a forthcoming cruise and fish-and-chip supper with Willow Cruises; a preliminary meeting to begin arranging the Group Meeting to be hosted next year by Kingstone; various SFWI future events and, most important to everyone, persisting with challenging relevant departments to find a solution to the ongoing danger at Loxley crossroads where another accident had happened.

The next meeting is on Monday 8th August, at 7.30pm in Kingstone Village Hall, when Janet Jankovskis will tell her audience about ‘Life in Australia’. Visitors are always very welcome. Why not come to a couple of meetings and give WI a try?

Brewood WI

” For our July meeting Brewood WI changed their venue to the beautiful canal- side garden, Chillington Wharf Cottagre,  situated a mile or so out of the village by kind invitation of Ann Richards and Phil Humphreys who both work tirelessly for the Brewood Dementia Support Group.

Members enjoyed walking around the gardens admiring an amazing variety of shrubs, trees and flowering plants,  sitting in the summer house and gazebos or exploring the newly created “wild garden”.

Some of us took a picnic while others feasted on homemade cakes and biscuits provided by Ann and her team.  Phil gave us an interesting insight into wine growing and we were delighted to sample his Bridge No 9 wine made from grapes grown in his small vineyard. 

All profits from the evening went to the Brewood Dementia Support Group whose work is so greatly appreciated in the village. Both Brewood WI and Brewood Afternoon WI are proud to support this cause which does so much to help and advise those with Dementia and their carers. 

Although the weather wasn’t as kind as we hoped, it was a lovely and worthwhile way to spend a summer’s evening with WI friends.”

Rosemary Thompson ( Secretary Brewood WI Staffordshire)



The build up to the June meeting had been very busy.Several members had manned a Tea and Coffee stall at the County Show and had had a most enjoyable day. Our star baker, Sally Ann Emery, had won third prize with her Victoria sponge cake.

 Members ran  a pre-loved items stall at the  very successful Platinum Jubilee Fete,  held on 4th June at the Jubilee Playing Fields. The money raised came to £180.  Half the proceeds  went to WI funds and  £45. went to the Little Laura Charity, This was received by Lisa  Thomas on behalf of the Charity and thanked us for our generosity. The other £45. went to Colwich in Bloom, Anne Clendon received this on their behalf and thanked all concerned for their help. The Fete had had an excellent turnout.  The community atmosphere, was lovely.

Our booked speaker for the meeting was unable to attend.  However,  one of our own members, June Oliver. a retired Prison Officer. saved the day. She  gave  an excellent talk on being a prison officer.

June became a prison officer at Winson Green Prison in 1990.   The time there was  horrendous, militant, sexist,  bullying and that was the staff!  Junior prison officers were treated worse than the prisoners.  In 1993 she moved to a newly built prison  at  Blakenhurst, which she said was quite a culture shock.  When it opened in 1993  there were 8,ooo prisoners, by 1994 this had increased to 12,000.    June told us  that, in 1990,  there were 46,000 adult male prisoners in the UK. It has now  risen  to 92,000. The U,K, has the highest rate of prisoners in the whole of Europe.  There were four categories of prisoner, Youth, Juvenile, Male and High risk (.they had to be monitored  at all times)…..The cost to taxpayers per prisoner is £44,780 each year.   At times there were only 2 prison officers to having to cope with 120 prisoners.  She  mentioned Strangeways Prison, which was faced with terrible consequences when prisoners  burnt down some of the buildings and  they  were out of control for 45 days.  For 8 years of her career she was on Therapeutic Education, which she had enjoyed. She told us some interesting cases.  She said that If you showed respect to the prisoners they usually had respect for you.  You had to have firm boundaries, never give way.  June had enjoyed her job, there had been sad cases… suicide… and other sad stories. She retired in 2016 after 26 years.  If you are like me( concerned about, t.v’s and mobile phones in prison cells) she gave a very good reason for this.  She was open to questions and one  was….did she ever feel threatened……   the reply to that was that  she felt more threatened now when walking in Birmingham at night.  Anne Clendon gave our vote of thanks to June for a most interesting talk.  For once members actually sat in awe of what was going to come  next. 

President Jenny brought us up to date with SFWI news and all that was happening in our Group over the next few months, pub lunches, visits and outings.

Helen won the competition of ‘a Summer Scene’.  She now has to keep the Dorothy Clews shield for the next month and polish it.!!!  There was a raffle and three prizes were won.


This meeting was a very happy one. Christine Hill had her birthday and shared it with us, cakes etc., lovely.  Thank you Christine.  Quite a few members attended,  even though the weather was hot.  President Jenny opened the meeting.  She then introduced us to Katie from….  ‘SINCH’…..(Sustainability in Colwich and the Haywoods).  She gave a very interesting talk to us.  The aims are to help the community.  Find ways to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle.  To reconnect with nature and enhance biodiversity.  Connect, socialise and support each other.  To be aware of the positive process which is happening.

The group was formed in Spring 2018 by locals Sally and Rob,  To make us aware of the damage being created and make Colwich and the  Haywoods a plastic free zone.  The aim is the  reduction of carbon footprint, reduce general consumption of  “stuff.”    Repair, reuse and re-cycle, cut out single use of plastics, support local businesses.  Grow your own.  Work with others to protect our green spaces.  Join groups and connect with others.  This is just a few of the things we can do to help reduce our carbon footprint within our society.  The talk covered a lot more.    Katie then passed around a paper with a quiz on questions of sustainability,  The talk certainly made us more aware of what  damage we are causing to our environment and  ways in which we can help  to reduce it. Members thanked Katie for her interesting and helpful talk.  If you are interested in learning more you are able to contact ….. SINch  by e.mail at:… info@sinch.earth.

Jenny brought us up to date with events which will take place during the summer break.  Visits, pub lunches etc.,   There was a quiz and raffle. plus of course refreshments.  A most enjoyable evening.  Next meeting will be on Monday 12th September at 8.p.m.. at the Great Haywood Memorial Hall.   This will be a Craft Evening when members can try different crafts including Poppy making. There will be a competition…An Autumnal Piece of Art.  Refreshments .  Do come along, It will be a most interesting evening, Lots to talk about, lots going on. .  Come along make new friends,  we are a friendly bunch and would love to meet you. 

Rugeley WI July meeting

Rugeley WI had a very interesting talk for their July meeting from Marie and David who run the Rugeley Foodbank.

The foodbank is part of a nationwide network supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK. Rugeley Foodbank has been running since 2012 and has approximately 20 volunteers working for it.

The foodbank works by donations of non-perishable food from schools, churches, businesses and individuals. The food is sorted to check dates and stored in a warehouse ready to be given to people in need when they visit the foodbank.

Foodbanks partner with a wide range of care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers and police to identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher. Clients then bring their voucher to the centre where it can be redeemed for emergency food.   Advice is also given to clients where they can obtain information about solving the longer-term problem.

As WI members enjoyed the talk so much, it was suggested that the group visit Rugeley Foodbank at a later date for a tour of their premises

A vote of thanks was given by Barbara Coppard for a very informative talk.

During the evening refreshments were served and a raffle and a quiz took place. Rugeley WI meet every last Wednesday in the month at St. Paul’s Community Hall, Rugeley at 7:30 p.m.  For further information please contact Barbara Johnson


Jane Austen and Staffordshire

Judy welcomed members and one visitor to the July meeting on a pleasant sunny evening after the previous extremely hot two days. The minutes of the June meeting were signed and members agreed the Jubilee Party had been a great success. The WI will be running the Cake Stall at Sandon Fete on Saturday 6th August and members were asked to bake, wrap and label cakes with full ingredients, because of allergies, especially gluten and dairy free. Members were reminded about the NFWI Cervical Screen Survey. An invitation from Stowe by Chartley WI for 8 members to attend their open meeting on Sept 13th has been received. The coach is almost full for our much delayed (due to Covid) ‘Centenary Outing’ to Anglesey on Thursday 1st of September.

Judy then introduced, our speaker Jack Barber, who talked about the life of Jane Austen. Jane was born in Steventon Hampshire, on 16th December 1775, she was the seventh of eight children, of Reverend George Austen and his wife Cassandra Leigh, they met when George was a student at university.  As a baby Jane did not live with her family she was sent to a family in the village. Although he was Rector of Steventon and Deane churches, George also farmed 3 Acres of land and ran a boarding school, to supplement his income. He had a library of 500 books and Jane was an avid reader of many types of books. He sent his own children away to school to make room for more boarders. Jane was sent to Abbey House School Reading. Jane played the piano, did needlework, embroidery, made patchwork quilts she also liked acting. Jane was reading and writing all the time.

When George retired from the clergy in 1801 he moved his family to Bath where Jane enjoyed visiting all the places of interest and the people she met.  Her father died in 1805, Jane her mother and sister Cassandra moved to Sidmouth in 1810 then to Lyme Regis. Jane, her mother and sister Cassanda were homeless they moved from area to area through the network of the clergy, cousins and their brothers they visited and stayed in big houses, in Warwick, Kenilworth, and Coombe Abbey. They cato Staffordshire to visit a cousin at Hampstall Ridware, they went to Middleton Hall, Lichfield, Yoxall, Cheadle, Chatsworth and Kibblestone Hall. Jane died on 18th July 1818 at age of 41. Jane had been a prolific letter writer, after her death, her sister Cassandra burned all her letters because they were spiteful and bitchy.

An interesting and informative insight into how a section of society lived in the 1800’s when they had no money or income.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 17th August at 7-30pm when we visit Aston Pool Farm, Stone to view the New Robotic Milking Parlour.

We are a friendly group of ladies from many different villages and areas near Stafford and Stone. Visitors are always very welcome.

Kathy Bradley press secretary.



July’s meeting was one with a difference. An outing had been arranged by our social co-ordinator Fran Brian to take afternoon tea on a cruise along the Staffordshire and Worcester canal courtesy of Georgie’s canal cruises.

We set off on a glorious day from Parkgate Lock ,Teddesley Road.  On boarding the beautifully decorated restaurant boat, we were greeted by our hosts and served our teas and coffees in very pretty China cups. This was followed by a delightful cake stand filled with an assortment of sandwiches, cakes and mini desserts, all of which were beautifully presented and there was more than enough to satisfy all appetites.

Whilst indulging in these delights we were able to take in the wonderful scenery along the canal waving to the walkers out enjoying the afternoon sun.

A group of people sitting at a table

Description automatically generated with low confidenceAll our members thoroughly enjoyed the trip and we all thought what a fabulous way to spend a summer afternoon.

Our meeting in August is back at the village hall and will feature Ruth Lowe whose talk is entitled Mary Quant part 2. Many of us will remember Ruth from our recent Rose and Shamrock meeting. Her talk that night was Mary Quant part 1 so we are looking forward to another entertaining evening and we also look forward to seeing members photographs of themselves in the 60’s for the month’s competition.

New members are very welcome to join us. We meet on the second Wednesday of each month, and we are a friendly bunch who enjoy lots of social fun and activities. If you are interested come and see us at Etchinghill village hall or you can visit our website at etchinghillwistaffs@gmail.com


Meeting 14/07/22

Unfortunately, there were a lot of absentees at our July meeting, but those of us who were able to attend enjoyed a most enjoyable and interesting talk by Alan Peace about his 1,000 km walk along the South West Coast Path.

Alan began walking in 2004 when his first wife died from breast cancer. To date he has raised over £46,000 for Cancer Research and is the ambassador for Walk all over Cancer. The South West Coast Path Association was formed in 1973 and the walk goes from Minehead to Poole. It is the longest coastal path in England taking 7/8 weeks to complete. It is also one of the most challenging trails as there are many ascents and descents. The total height climbed is said to be almost four times the height of Mount Everest, so as Alan told us, you need plenty of training to attempt this, especially carrying 17 kilos of kit on your back! He had done the walk previously in stages, but in 2021 at the age of 75 and having undergone a hip replacement he set out to complete it in one go.

Alan had brought slides and videos that showed us just what he had to endure at times. There were photos of his tent pitched on cliff edges with driving wind and rain. Other slides showed beautiful sunsets and wonderful beaches. Some of the paths were extremely narrow, covered by scree and next to a drop of 200 metres, not for the faint hearted! He also met with a lot of generosity and kindness. He had arrived in Carbis Bay during the G7 summit and was given food, a suite to spend the night in, and his clothes were washed and dried for him, all at no cost. He also met some characters along the way including one eccentric gentleman who had two sheep asleep in armchairs in his garden and a full-sized bar in the house. Alan spent a couple of hours with him which resulted in him missing his next ferry crossing. The last three miles are along the beach in Poole where his family had gathered to meet him. Alan finished his fascinating talk by saying how important it is to support research into cancer so that one day a cure can be found.

Unfortunately, the outing to Chillington Hall in August has to be cancelled but we are hoping to have an afternoon tea towards the end of September. More details will be given at our meeting on Thursday September 8th. We meet at 7.30pm in the Village Hall, Trysull and will be playing Indoor Curling. Those who have played this before know there will be plenty of laughter and fierce competition, so do come and join us for a fun evening.

Aston by Stone WI


            So wrote Milton, and these flowers of all hue came to Aston-by-Stone W.I. when Ruth Taylor gave her demonstration at our July meeting.

            Ruth used only flowers from her garden, and we felt that she must have a wondrous garden indeed to produce such beautiful and varied blooms. She demonstrated a hand-tied bouquet – like all experts in their field, she made it look easy – and told us how to make buttonholes sprays and wreaths, all from British flowers. It is so important to buy or use seasonal produce, and Ruth’s ideas left us more determined to do so. No “flower miles” here!

            Foliage included scented stems such as mint. Now the lamb joint will have to fight for the mint with our home flower arrangements! Lemon geranium too, makes a beautiful addition to a bouquet or corsage.

            Ruth very kindly donated her arrangements as raffle prizes, so several members went home happy.

            The evening also celebrated the success of members at the County Show last month. Anita Murphy won first prize for her whisky marmalade, Sue Mountford second in photography, and three members, Joan Jones, Jennie Brockington and Anita Murphy, were placed third in the joint produce class.

            Our next meeting will take place on 10th August, when we will have a speaker from the Blood Bikes organisation. We meet at Aton-by-Stone Village Hall on the second Wednesday of the month at 7.30 p.m., and all are welcome.

            If you are interested in the W.I., why not contact us at astonbystonewi.secretary@gmail.com ? New members and visitors are always welcome.

Wetley Rocks WI – Meeting date: 12th of July 2022

What a lovely summer evening for our meeting, bright yet not too warm. The meeting was convened by Vice President Pat as The President Cynthia was away. Pat reminded members that next month we will be having a social outing to “The Marquis of Granby” in Ipstones for a meal. A £10 deposit is payable and food choices needed to be made; Pat also reminded everyone of the Pie and Pea Supper in September and the “Bring and Buy” sale. Thanks was given to the members who had made cakes and served Afternoon Teas in support of the churches Festival of Weddings. It was a great success.

Barbara read out last month’s meeting minutes and the members agreed they should be signed, before taking us through the “News from Stafford”. Pat then introduced this evening’s speaker Kath Reynolds whose talk was entitled “To Love and Cherish”.

Kath is a highly entertaining and well-informed speaker; the talk was very interactive with members sharing humorous anecdotal wedding stories with one another. The talk was interesting as it looked at the traditions, ranging from what brought you luck, to the best day and what each month meant. It was all delivered with great aplomb and humour. The section on the meaning of flowers was also fascinating, there was something for everyone. The talk also covered weddings of the rich and famous, and Kath explained the relevance of colours for bridal wear. I think we all laughed lots and thoroughly enjoyed the talk. I would recommend her as an entertaining speaker.

After the talk, Kath was kind enough to judge the decorated wooden spoon contest and we all enjoyed lovely homemade cakes and refreshments and the raffle! 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.

The Ridwares WI

Our month’s activities began with a Take a Break café on 5th July, this was a very well attended community event enjoyed by all. A big attraction was the visit by Nisar Khan.

Nisar used to be the Postmaster in the village until he was caught up in the ‘Post Office Scandal’ involving the use of the Horizon computer software, introduced into the Post Office network from 1999.  This resulted in, what has been deemed, one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in recent times in the UK. 

Nisar and his fellow Postmasters were falsely accused of embezzlement, when account ‘discrepancies’ were, in fact non-existent and the result of flaws in the Horizon computer system itself.  As Nisar said: he’s been to hell and back and now came to set the record straight.

How lovely to welcome Nisar, It was so good to see him again – and wonderful to see so many villagers come to greet him, say ‘hello’ & catch up.  

What an amazing community spirit.  We are all very pleased that he has now been officially totally exonerated, and wish him and his wife a wonderful ‘new life’.  A lovely couple – sorely missed in our community

The following day our members enjoyed a fabulous outdoor skittles evening at The Shoulder of Mutton in Hamstall Ridware. Twenty four members were put into four teams with prizes for the best team, best overall score and of course the ubiquitous ‘wooden spoon’ for the chap with the lowest score.

Karen and Alan presided over the event with Karen cheering us all on and Alan keeping score. Alan also did a sterling job becoming ‘Mary’ for the evening to make up team numbers, as the real live Mary was unable to be with us.

Competition was fierce however this was peppered with lots of laughter and fun. The pub staff laid on an amazing BBQ with plenty of delicious food for us all to enjoy. This helped keep everyone’s energy levels up.

The best overall score went to Kath, whilst Chris seen here sporting a big grin, was the proud winner of the wooden spoon.

At our monthly meeting on the 19th we all look forward to hearing Rosie ‘O’Connor talk to us about Silk Art. As ever visitors and potential new members are always welcome to come along and join in the fun.

Lots of members are currently beavering away filling jars for the coming ‘Jarbola’ stall at the 2022 Menafest EveThis year it will be on Saturday 30th July at The Chadwick Arms in Hill Ridware. The event is to raise funds for Bone Cancer charities in honour and memory of Mena.

Our ladies are incredibly imaginative with carefully selected items to go in the jars. Each one is both intriguing and full of mystery and surprise.  Contents range from doggie treats, candles, sweets, smellies, jewellery, hair bands, miniature jigsaws, teddies, toys and chocolates.

The stall will be gaily decorated with bunting as can be seen in the photos taken at a previous Menafest.

This year we aim to beat our record of over 240 jars.

Being a member of the Ridwares W I there is always something to look forward to, there’s never a dull moment as we are such an active WI. August too is full of events for us to enjoy.

On Tuesday 2nd we shall have another Take a Break Café, on Friday 12th an evening with ‘The Cocktail Shaker Boys’ when we shall all be taught to make our own cocktails…look out for the alcoholic photos in next months press release.

At our monthly meeting on Tuesday 16th our speaker will be talking about ‘Yoxall Cider.’ To read this some may say the ladies of the W I have a great interest in alcohol related topics, I couldn’t possibly comment.

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 

Hayes Green WI meeting on 5th June 2022

This month a current member of the group, Linda, led a session on using doodling and drawing in a mindful way to help support good mental wellbeing. The group were given a selection of pencils, pens, crayons and plain paper and were encouraged to doodle as they listened to some classical music. They could draw any patterns or pictures that the music evoked in their minds as they listened. This is a mindful activity as keeping your hands and brain occupied doodling whilst listening helps keep your thoughts on the music rather than letting your mind wander. It could be a useful technique to try if you are feeling anxious, as a way of distracting your thoughts away from things that are making you worried or upset.Later in the evening the ladies were given some flowers to sketch. They were then asked to experiment with drawing the flowers in different ways: draw them however they wanted, only using a black pen to draw a flower, using three colours to draw a flower, using only 5 lines to draw the flower. Lots of members said they enjoyed these art activities and had found them relaxing.

Karen won this month’s raffle.

The competition was to bring a fancy pen. Val won with a pen in the shape of a very realistic looking Marc Jacobs lipstick, second was Lin with a pretty sparkly silver pen given to her at a family wedding, third was Chris with an oversized pencil brought back from a school holiday for her by one of her children.

Waterfall WI

Our June monthly meeting was a mystery tour commencing from Waterfall Parochial Hall. On a beautiful summer evening, we asked members to guess what would be the milage to our destination.  We then got underway and appeared to cover the whole of the Peak District as we experienced all the sights and sounds of the wonderful landscape that we have on our doorstep, before we arrived at The Pack Horse in Crowdecote.  The milage winner was Elizabeth Brammeld.

Following our meal, enjoyed by everyone, our president Ellen conducted the normal meeting business, letting us know about all the forthcoming events, and passing on birthday greetings to Carol Gibson and Brenda Smith.

The monthly competition for a coaster was won by Lynn Hubbard, 2nd Rose Dyche and 3rd Jenny Wilbraham.

Our next meeting will be held at Waterfall Parochial Hall on the 19th July, where the speaker will be Kevin Reynolds who will talk about Garden Birds. The competition being a photograph of a bird.  Everyone is very welcome.

Weston WI Members Meeting Wednesday 8th June 2022


Due to Ruth being ill, Lynn opened the meeting by welcoming the twenty six ladies present. She informed everybody about Ruth and wished her a speedy recovery.


Doreen Hynam, Jackie Hulse, Judy Ash,Toni Brayne, Lily Evans, Sue Hume, Poppy Llewelyn, Edith Schofield, June Watkins.

Fashion Show

Lynn talked about the Fashion Show which had a disappointing turnout. Perhaps next year we will hold it during the afternoon and change the format. Time for lots of discussion and thoughts before then. We still managed to raise £230 less wine expenses. Thanks go to all those who came or helped in any way.

Cardiff Day Trip

Sixteen places have been booked on a trip to the Cardiff German Christmas Markets on 18th November 2022 at a cost of £24 per person. Eunice will be going round with a list.

Marsh Farm

A Lunch/Afternoon Tea has been booked at Marsh Farm for 10th August 2022 instead of the Woolpack. A list is going round with Eunice.

Calendars & Diaries

Must be ordered with Dorothy today.

Next Month’s Speaker

Chris Statham, he plays the guitar in a band called, Fuego. His talk is about The Shadows, Hank Marvin and he will be playing some of their music.

Rugeley WI June celebrations

Rugeley WI members have had a busy and enjoyable month attending various activities and outings. 

To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations in Rugeley, the WI joined with other store holders to attend the Artisan Market with their book and plant store.  There was a joyful and happy atmosphere in the town and members were kept busy selling a large selection of their products for most of the day.

The walking group had a great morning out with their visit to Blithfield.   The sun shone and the group wandered through woodland and fields strewn with beautiful meadow flowers, eventually walking around part of the reservoir. To finish a very pleasant morning members stopped for lunch at Antlers Coffee House in Abbots Bromley, enjoying the view of the ancient Butter Cross in the centre of the village.


The WI’s annual summer outing took them to Curborough Countryside Centre. Members thoroughly enjoyed browsing around a variety of different craft shops which sold wonderful items and bespoke gifts.

After their busy shop WI members enjoyed afternoon tea of sandwiches, cakes and scones  at the ‘Thyme Kitchen’, finishing off what can only be described as ‘a very sociable and enjoyable day’. If you would like to join our WI group or come along for a ‘taster’, the group meet every last Wednesday in the month at St Paul’s Community Hall, Rugeley at 7:30p.m.

Kingstone WI – Visit to Redfern Cottage

It was a fine summer evening when the ladies of Kingstone WI visited this most interesting museum to be greeted warmly by the friendly hosts who ushered them into a charming courtyard garden. Chairs had been set out for them to sit and listen to the introductory talk on the origins of the building and the background to how the museum came into existence. It was obvious from the start that the speaker, Dave Marriot, was a true expert on the history of Uttoxeter, not just of Redfern’s Cottage! The opportunity to look at a copy of Peter Lightfoote’s map of Uttoxeter in 1658 gave a fascinating insight into the layout of the town at the time and certainly sparked a desire to know more. In fact, several members purchased their own copy to give them the chance to study it at leisure.

The group was then split into two and alternated between being served welcome drinks and yummy cake inside, as Dave’s most interesting talk continued, and being taken round the museum by knowledgeable, enthusiastic curator, Gordon Collins. The staircases were a bit of a challenge for some, but there was plenty to see and a comfortable place to sit for those who preferred to stay downstairs.

There is far more to a Redfern’s Cottage visit, with its friendly, well informed staff and volunteers than anyone had realised when they booked their place on the June outing. At the end of the evening everyone came away remarking to each other that they had had a really enjoyable time, one certainly to be recommended to other groups.

With that in mind, not wanting to spoil anyone’s future visit, I won’t give details of the interesting aspects of the town’s history learned from the lively talks of these two knowledgeable gentlemen. Even those who had lived here all their lives had quite a few surprises. Suffice it to say that Uttoxeter was, many years ago, the largest, busiest and most important town in the area! Who would have thought it?

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..