WI Reports

WATERFALL WI 75th BIRTHDAY PARTY

January 2021 Waterfall WI should have celebrated 75 years, so on 25TH September members got together after months apart to enjoy an afternoon tea with Pimm’s & lemonade, A birthday cake was also cut by are President Ellen Poole and our founder member Jean Salt, Jean said she as only missed a few meetings during the 75years.

Waterfall WI meet every 3rd Tuesday, at Waterfall Village Hall, time 7.30pm. all welcome

Picture:  Ellen Poole and founder member Jean Salt cutting the cake.

OCTOBER MEETINGS OF MUCKLESTONE WI

Wednesday 6th October saw us indulging in the first of our Centenary celebrations; yes Mucklestone WI is 100 this year. We gathered in the Peach room at Sugnall walled gardens for tea and cakes, we dealt with the business of the day first including the presentation of Thank You certificates to Liz Vallings and Sue Simmons for their efforts in keeping all our spirits up during Lockdown. The weather was glorious and after the cakes had been consumed some of our members walked round the gardens.

The following week on Thursday 14th October was the Autumn Group Meeting, we are part of the Rosamund Harrison Group of WIs along with Ashley, Broughton and Maer and District, this was our first chance to get together in 2 years. Broughton were the hosts, Ashley in charge of the raffle, Maer organised the competitions and Mucklestone gave the thanks. Mucklestone, Ashley and Broughton were all presented with certificates to commemorate their 100 Years Anniversary. It was a 40’s themedevent with many people dressed in appropriate style and we were treated to a magnificent beef pie and mash supper. Winston Churchill (played by Derek Herbert) greeted us on arrival and regaled us with stories of his life with a great insight into his sense of humour. A good evening was had by all.

Our next meeting is Wednesday 3rd November at 2.00pm at The Loggerheads.

If you are interested in visiting or joining the WI please contact our President Ruth Lloyd on 01630638632.

ETCHINGHILL WOMENS INSTITUTE PRESS REPORT OCTOBER 2021

Our guest speaker for this month’s meeting at Etching hill village hall was Mr Steve Booth. The subject of his talk was entitled Cannock Chase and its Hidden History.

Before he retired, Steve was a teacher at schools in the area and his knowledge of the history and royal connection with Cannock Chase was excellent. The talk started at Castle ring a large iron age hillfort which today offers a circular walk that take in amazing views 795 feet above sea level. Eventually the site was conquered by the invading Romans in 48 AD who then set up a Roman fort at Wall. The local area has been host to several famous people, for instance, the remains of Beaudessert were originally a fabulous house owned by Sir William Paget 1st Baron and Earl of Uxbridge.  Other famous people linked to the area are of course J R R Tolkien who lived at the Rock cottage in Great Haywood. Legends linked to this area include the story of Christina Collins and the Bloody Steps on the Trent and Mersey Canal the story of which was very loosely used by none other than Colin Dexter for his book The Wench is Dead. Many might remember this as an episode from the Morse tv series All in all this was a very enjoyable talk.

Birthdays mentioned for this month were for Mary Davis and Lynn Baxter.

A date for our diaries is the coffee morning organised by Mary Davies which will be on 27th October in aid of Ovarian cancer and MS held at the village hall where items from the tombola and cakes will be sold in support of the above charities.

To finish off a thoroughly enjoyable evening we had a spooky Halloween quiz set by Ann Ingleby.

New members are very welcome and more information about the WI and future meetings can be found on twitter@etchinghillwi, Instagram @etchinghillwistaffs or our Facebook page

KINGS BROMLEY WI

The speaker for the October meeting, Chrissie Whereat entertained members with recollections of her time spent dog sitting. Chrissie’s experience ranged from sitting with small dogs to much larger breeds.

The title of her humorous presentation was ‘Barking Mad’ which given some of her recollections, was entirely fitting.

The speaker for the 4th November will be Chris Knight and the title of his presentation will be ‘Aunty the War is Over’. Aunty found it difficult to break the habit of stocking up post war apparently – an action that resonates with current times?

The November Drop In café will be the usual third Thursday, which is the 18th and will be from 12pm until 4pm.  Some advance notice – we shall not be able to hold the planned ‘Drop in’ for 16th December as the hall is needed for election purposes.  The December date will therefore be the 9th.

Sadly, the WI committee has decided, following full consideration, that the planned ‘Bake Off’ which was to be held in December will not now take place until next year.

Pauline Greatrex Secretary

Woodcroft WI October meeting 

Everyone was in good spirit as they arrived and we looked forward to a lively interactive meeting . Our speaker was there with a box of props and a circle of chairs was soon filled and added to as numbers increased. We had an excellent turn out. One much missed member was Lynne, our secretary, who broke down on the way to the meeting with WI business.  

It was decided that we be entertained first so Anne introduced our speakers Val and Fran. Val was recruited by the Alzheimer Society in 2003 and has been connected with the society in different appointments ever since. Val loves working with dementia groups leading “Singing for the Brain”. It has long been known that music stimulates dementia sufferers and participating actively in musical activities benefits the whole group, including family and carers. WE began with short warm up singing games including tongue twisters and repetitive well known active rhymes. Then a session with musical instruments, rounds and partner songs. As we went along Val encouraged everyone to participate whatever their musical ability as she would in her group.  I’m sure her groups were like us with some members slow to give up their chosen instrument.  We finished the entertainment, using a song sheet, singing wartime and popular songs from the 60’s and 70’s. It had all been fun. Val and Fran were thanked by Anne.  

After a conversation with Lynne & other members of the committee Anne reminded us that SFWI news had been forwarded by e mail including an online quiz, archiving documents and a talk on this year’s resolution. We are holding a Coffee Morning at Trinity Church on Saturday 13th November. Volunteers and donations of cakes & craft items are welcome. The afternoon book club meets at the Foxlowe on Monday 2nd November at 2pm. 

Our speaker for November is Ray Perry who supervises Lakeside activities at the Dam Head at Rudyard. Tea hostesses are Joan, Sylvia and Eileen. We look forward to seeing you all at St.Luke’s Church room at 7.30pm, Nov.9th

TRYSULL & SEISDON W.I Meeting 14/10/21

This months meeting was our Fish and Chip supper and Auction of Goods. While we were waiting for Pauline to collect our fish and chips, Sue Bicknell gave us a demonstration of the book folding she is going to do with us in November. She had brought books and magazines with her and had folded the first couple of pages of each so that we could take them back home with us and fold them at our leisure. We will then be able to assemble and decorate them at our next meeting. There were beautiful Christmas trees and Christmas candles, we were spoiled for choice.

We then tucked in to a delicious meal of fish and chips followed by a cuppa, before Jo Johns led the auction. Everyone had been so generous with their donations and there was a wonderful array of items to bid for. Almost everything was sold, and quite a few people had some good bargains for Christmas! Thank you to everyone who helped put the tables out ready in the afternoon, to all who donated and bought goods and to everyone who worked so hard to make it such an enjoyable evening.

Our next meeting is at the Village Hall, Trysull on Thursday November 11th at 7.30pm. Sue will be showing us how to make our Christmas trees and candles. She has asked us to bring any small decorations, ribbon, etc., toilet roll tube for a base and tweezers. A glue gun would also be useful if you have one. Do come along and join us for what promises to be a festive evening in the run up to Christmas.

Kingstone WI October Meeting

Planting for Autumn Colour

Just when the lovely colours of summer are fading from the garden, members of Kingstone WI, entering the Village Hall for the October meeting, were greeted by a wonderful array of plants, suitable for creating fresh displays for autumn.

These had been brought from Lichfield Garden Centre by Byron Lewis, to illustrate his talk that evening. Byron is Retail Manager at G-Scapes Plant Centre which is located at Curborough Countryside Centre, Lichfield. He proved to be a very lively and entertaining speaker.

The Covid pandemic had caused great difficulties for the plant industry, as for many others. With the Centre closed, there was a real danger of many plants being lost, but the overwhelming number of phone calls asking for plants to be delivered began a process of working out how this could be achieved with just one van! Eventually, four vans were in action (including one belonging to the ‘Gin Lady’ from the Curborough Centre!) and one thousand, five hundred deliveries were made in five weeks. The problems of supply still remain. The Garden Centre buys in most of its plants and, as many nurseries supplying them sent their staff home, this resulted in many plants being lost and so in short supply this year. Byron’s advice was, ‘If you find something you would like, buy it, as there may be fewer available than usual’.

After presenting a selection of extremely healthy-looking shrubs, came a reminder to feed and water established shrubs, which many people omit to do. This is particularly important for plants such as camellias and Japanese azaleas when their buds are just forming in autumn. An occasional can of water round the roots now can ensure these buds not dropping off in spring.

To refresh baskets and pots, there was a very reasonably priced, mixed collection of small plants to use now and plant out into the garden next spring. Next came a selection of beautiful heathers, violas and cyclamen; again, some useful advice: do check whether your cyclamen is suitable for indoors only or will be happy outside. The final group was spring bulbs, including the ever-popular Tête-a-Tête daffodils, which should be planted fairly closely in groups, rather than one here and there.

The presentation concluded with an explanation of Orchid Water, and squirrel-proof bird seed! After Byron had answered a few questions, the mini Garden Centre opened for business ….and did a brisk trade in the very tempting goodies (not sure about the Orchid Water and chilli bird seed!) during refreshment time. Members were delighted with their purchases.

Over the past months, members had grown sunflowers. At the end of the meeting these were judged in two classes: overall height and diameter of the flower. These were won by Fiona Kerby and Wendy Loaring respectively.

An extra opportunity for members: the first of a series of monthly craft sessions for WI members and friends, was held next morning and was a card making workshop led by Jean Gallimore. The resulting Christmas cards delighted everyone and left them looking forward to the next month’s class. The November meeting of Kingstone WI is at 7.30pm on Monday 8th. The speaker will be Kate Woodhead on Madagascar. Visitors are always welcome; why not give WI a try.

Wetley Rocks WI – press report Meeting date: 12th of October 2021

Continuing the momentum built up last month we were back into the swing of things for our second meeting of the year. A stall with crafts and bric-a-brac had been set up at the back of the hall which was run by June and Jen, this enabled members to get some lovely handmade Christmas presents and stocking fillers that had been made by members, this was well received and in total we raised £50.50p.

Cynthia the secretary started the meeting with the minutes from when we last met, who then shared news from Stafford. Next up was President Pat who took a vote on the number of courses for the Christmas meal, confirming we would have the two course and the cost would be £23.00 with a £10 deposit payable this evening or the full amount next meeting. Pat also reminded members of the Christmas Present Collection for the local refuge. Pat then introduced the speaker Andy French who gave a talk on the life of Norman Wisdom.

The talk was entertaining and informative and was entitled “The wise fool” and provided insight into the life of the famous comedian. As is often the case we are shaped by our experiences, and it was eye opening to be made aware of the poverty and deprivation that Norman Wisdom grew up in. I certainly gained a new perspective into someone famous, and it really brought home how each of us has their own set of trials and tribulations to overcome. It was astounding to think that Norman Wisdom who was famous for his clown like slapstick comedy was the switchboard operator for Winston Churchill at the height of World War II! The talk was well delivered and funny, and it was lovely to hear the village hall ringing with so much merriment and laughter. It was a thoroughly entertaining evening that really brought the real Norman Wisdom to life. Andy spoke with real passion and knowledge on the topic and even shared small film clips as part of the talk.

When the talk had ended, we settled down to the all-important raffle and refreshments. The ladies clearly enjoyed catching up with one another and it was great to see new members coming back for more as well as some ladies who were attending their first meeting, we did our best to make everyone feel welcome whilst we enjoyed the cakes which were provided by three of the ladies. The social aspect of the meeting is something that is of renewed importance to everyone after prolonged periods in lockdown and it was lovely to enjoy ones another’s company whilst sharing home baked cakes and a drink.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 9th of November 2021 at 19:30 in Wetley Rocks Village Hall and we will be fortunate to have the guest speaker Pam Moseley from Quirky Flowers demonstrating “Autumnal and Chrimassy arrangements”. 

Wetley Rocks WI is an active growing WI group, we meet in Wetley Rocks Hall on the second Tuesday of every month, new members are gladly welcomed and the first 3 meetings are free.

GREAT HAYWOOD WOMEN’S INSTITUTE MEETING HELD MONDAY AT 8.P.M. ON 11TH OCTOBER 2021

The October meeting was held in the main hall of the Great Haywood Memorial Hall.  Twenty two members attended .  President Jenny Fletcher gave a warm welcome to members and two guests.  The evening was a to be a “Rainbow Quiz Evening”. Jenny introduced us to Bob Fletcher, our Quiz Master. He would be aided by Jenny and Val Smith. Members were split into groups of three at different colour tables.  There were five cards and  five questions on each card.  Questions were very interesting and varied, some were quite easy and some difficult.  They covered a wide variety of subjects.  The Green team with Kath Mackin, Angela Moody and Max Sims won and they each received a plant….lovely.    Jenny gave our vote of thanks to Bob and made a donation to the Samaritans, on his behalf.     Refreshments were then served.

Next on the agenda was W. I. business,  The names of members who were attending the Group Meeting on the 28th October were taken and finalised.  In November a group are going for afternoon tea at Marsh Farm.  It was announced that, unfortunately, the tree, planted in St. Stephens  graveyard by the Great Haywood W. I. several years ago, has died.  The Raffle was drawn and the following won prizes:-  Shirley – a W.I. Hessian bag,    Catherine – a plant,   Max – a Sandalwood candle,  Christine – a plant, Jackie – a plant,  Lois won flowers from Shirley’s allotment.

There will be a meeting on Monday November 9th 2021 at 8.p.m.In the Memorial Hall. The speaker for the evening will be Ben Gamble of Cuttlestones and the subject  ‘Auctioneering.’  The evening had been most enjoyable, everyone, as usual, had a lot to say.  If you would like to be inspired, take part and find our subjects interesting, do come along and join us,  We would be pleased to meet you, we are a friendly bunch and always pleased to see new faces.  Hopefully see you next month.

Maureen Broom.

CHEDDLETON WI OCTOBER 2021

Mal Smith

Mal Smith president welcomed members for the evenings meeting. 

In September there had been a social meeting mainly to discuss the way forward for the group.  Mal Smith was presented with a certificate from the group in the recognition of her hard work over the months in keeping Cheddleton WI alive. Members wanted to thank her for her lovely hand written cards, visits and phone calls which were welcomed in this trying time.

Stella Heritage was introduced as the speaker for the evening.  Stella had been to the group on several occasions before and everyone waited to see what delights they were to tackle.   She produced pots with sticks, packets of material circles and sewing needles (large eyes for those who struggled with threading) and announced we were to make Christmas Trees.  After some concentrated sewing a fine array of glittering trees were produced.  Everyone agreed they had enjoyed the challenge and thanked Stella for the unique idea and would be making more before Christmas.

Lynn and Fiona served tea and biscuits whilst there was a discussion about the venue for the Christmas meal, and lots of chatting to catch up with friends.

The photograph shows Mrs. Alison Beasley, President, third from left and other members of the committee of ‘Greenway Moor W.I

‘Greenway Moor W.I. enjoy their Harvest Supper.’
After  two years the members  of ‘Greenway Moor W.I’ were ,once again, able to enjoy their traditional ‘Harvest Supper’.
Each member had brought their own selection of vegetables, fruit or plants to provide a very colourful and varied harvest table.
During the meeting the ladies tucked into a delicious ‘fish and chip ‘ supper whilst trying to solve a quiz devised by two of their members.
At the end of the meeting the harvest produce was sold to provide funds for the institute.
President, Mrs. Alison Beasley, commented, ‘It was an extremely pleasant evening  and the members were delighted to get back to some form  of normality and to be able to connect with friends both old and new.’
Ann Bailey (for ‘ Greenway Moor W.I. ‘)

Rugeley WI held their meeting on Wednesday 29th September at St Paul’s Community Hall.  Barbara Johnson stood in for the President Barbara Coppard who was on holiday. Three new ladies joined us ‘to try us out’.

The speaker was Pat Tams who told members about her life as a journalist, particularly during her time with the Rugeley Times newspaper.  The Rugeley Times was published from 1945 until its closure in 1987.  Pat brought along a few old photographs which had been published.

Following refreshments Margaret Marriott held a quiz which was won by Barbara Johnson and Wendy Holland.  The evening ended with a presentation to Joyce Houghton, one of our members, who is leaving the area to be closer to her family. We wish her and husband Dave well in their new venture.

Rugeley WI also have a monthly walking group.  Members recently met up on a sunny September morning for a lovely walk along the canal in Fradley culminating in a very enjoyable lunch in one of the canal side cafes.

If you would care to join our WI Group, members meet up on the last Wednesday of the month at St Paul’s Community Hall at 7:30p.m. Please contact either Barbara Coppard on 01889 804889 or Barbara Johnson on 01889 586855 for further information.

Weston WI – Wednesday 8th September 2021 2.00pm

Ruth opened the new afternoon meeting and welcomed all the new members. Following months of having no meetings it was so lovely to be back at the Methodist’s

Hall with lots of old friends and new acquaintances.

National Federation and Staffordshire Federation have also gone through months of having no meetings etc. and as such, very little communication has been received from either of them. The most important of course is the Resolution campaign. A 99.48% majority vote carried the resolution for work on the recognition of the early signs of Ovarian Cancer. NFWI now has the mandate to go forward to lobby the Government.

WI Day and the Hundred Heroines being celebrated on 16th September were amongst the few items placed for reflection by all and Raffle Tickets were sold for the National Annual Raffle 2021.

The Speaker for the afternoon was John from The Buddy Bags Foundation, who talked to us about Buddy Bags being supplied to the 48,000 children in the UK, after being removed from their home following domestic violence or worse, sometimes in the middle of the night and mostly, having no possessions, clothes, or comforts. Then being sent to a new place far away. How is this happening in a civilized society?

Each Buddy Bag costs £25.00 to produce and contains pyjamas, underwear, toothbrush and paste, a teddy, toiletries, crayons etc. Everything is either donated or funded by industry and celebrities etc. Not only are the Bags funded, but everything involved with the foundation, even office space. AMAZING!

A 20,200-bag target has been set for this year, with 197 Buddy Bag Brigades, 3,505 volunteers, 454,320 items packed into 37,860 bags and delivered to 325 refuges throughout the country.

We can all help in many small way by knitting teddies, (patterns available) collecting items or funding, making toiletry bags, (10”x10”) becoming a volunteer or just raising awareness of this charity.

The problem of domestic abuse covers all demographics of society and domestic violence has doubled during Lockdown. There are 37,860 children currently in emergency care. John asked, “Are you ready to make a difference?”

Following coffee and wonderful cakes (the standard hasn’t dropped during the break!)  a casual chat with John produced a small team of ladies who will be knitting, sewing and badgering people for donations.

LITTLEWORTH AND KINGSTON HILL WI

September 2021 was the first meeting for Littleworth & Kingston Hill WI since the beginning of COVID 19 in March 2020 and welcoming two visitors to our group this evening.

How lovely it was to see so many smiling faces – it was great to get ‘back to normal’ as so many of us had missed the WI meetings.

As we wanted our first night back to be relaxed we kicked off the meeting with the business of the evening, which we tried to keep to a minimum, but after 18 months there was a lot to catch up on. 

We then began our fun evening with a little ice breaker ‘Solve the Anagram’.  This was followed by a quiz which had the following categories – The Year 2020, Famous People and General Knowledge.  Thanks to Janet Shaw for compiling this quiz.  We now realise that we have some very clever members in our midst!

Refreshments followed after which we gave the answers to the quiz and awarded prizes to the winning teams.   Can’t wait for our next meeting in October!

UNBEARLIEVABLE – OVER 1,000 TEDDY BEARS KNITTED FOR THE BUDDY BAG FOUNDATION BY COLTON WI
Monday 6 September, on a sunny afternoon, John Wilson representing the Buddy Bags Foundation    collected another set of reused banana boxes.  These boxes contained 170 more lovingly hand    knitted teddy bears for children taken into care. This brings the total number of bears knitted by the group of eight to 1,000!  What a mammoth     achievement for Colton WI ladies.  In response to John Wilson’s grateful thanks, Julie Thorn pointed out that although it was utterly tragic the need to take children away from families, it had given the ladies a worthwhile task to do during the pandemic and meant that there was something positive to show for the time spent in lockdown. The group of eight consists of Karen Hill, Angela Lycett, Jude Knowles, Linda Lewis, Jane Parks, Ann Nunn and Beryl Stubbs plus Julie Thorn as co-ordinator.  A few were also knitted by           contributing friends. Three years ago the group originally met on Fridays, either in the lounge or the summer house of Julie’s home at The Taft.  From July 2020 until October and then from this April onwards they met up separately, socially distancing on different days under a large covered barbecue area outside, although several times they had hailstones and once a somewhat alarming thunder and lightning storm.  Following improvement in the weather this year, members of the group have continued meeting up socially distanced for a chat and to encourage one another with the project. The Buddy Bag Foundation supplies various care and respite places with back packs of suitable items for different age groups (2 to 16) and gender.  Everything in the bag is new with the teddy bear laying across the top to greet the child. Following the photographic session it was time to enjoy a nice hot drink and an iced          shortbread cut as a teddy bear with lemon   coloured icing.  Everyone then continued     knitting towards the next batch of bears. The group received thanks and congratulations from the founder of the charity Karen Williams who is amazed at the achievement and an   invitation to the annual awards ceremony and 200th Buddy Bag packing session.    

                          ‘August Meeting of ‘Greenway Moor W.I.’

After not being able to meet for 17 months ‘Greenway Way Moor W.I ‘ were able to resume meetings in August. The committee had decided to make this a social occasion where members could meet in a safe environment and get the opportunity to have a chat and a good ‘catch up’.
This was the first meeting for the institute’s  newly elected President, Mrs. Alison Beasley, who kindly provided the members  with a glass of Prosecco and a delicious cupcake.

It also gave the members an opportunity to thank and to give a presentation to the retiring President, Mrs. Gwynneth Walton. Mrs. Walton has been a member of the institute for twenty twin years and the President for twenty.
Mrs. Walton was presented with two planters ,filled with beautiful flowers , from the members of the committee with the remainder of the members giving a donation.
In her ‘thank you ‘ speech Mrs. Walton emphasised how honoured she has been to have been the President of ‘Greenway Moor W.I.’, how many friends she had made over these  years and the importance of friendship, especially in these difficult times.

The photograph shows the presentation with, left to right, Mrs. Olwen Sproston, treasurer and vice- president, Mrs.Gwynneth Walton, retiring president, Mrs. Alison Beasley, newly elected president, and Mrs. Jan Sherwin, secretary and vice- president.