2016 Christmas Crafternoon Results
This afternoon The Heatons WI raised £400 for our local charity, Stockport without Abuse. Our Christmas Crafternoon was well attended by members and friends from 8 WIs. Well done and thankyou to the organisers, bakers, crafters, helpers and visitors for a very relaxing and enjoyable afternoon!
The 8 WIs represented were The Heatons, Fulshaw, Cheadle & Gatley, Higher Poynton & Middlewood, Busy Bees Mcr Uni, Great Moor, Bollington & Lowerhouse, Ludworth & Mellor.
Thank you so much to everyone for making this afternoon such a success. Everyone seemed to have a great time. So much so that they didn't want to go home at 5pm! I spoke to one lady who managed to visit all the tables and made all five crafts but I'm not sure if many of them managed to do them all. We raised a good sum for our 2016 nominated charity, Stockport Without Abuse, the final figure is yet to be calculated. Thanks again to everyone.
2016 Linus quilts made by our crafts group
The Heatons WI
2016 AGM in Brighton
We had a wonderful time in Brighton. We stayed Friday and Saturday night in a lovely holiday cottage with Wendy Morris (President of FulshawWI), only 10 minutes walk from the centre of Brighton.
We met the Brighton Belles WI on Friday night for a treasure hunt around Brighton and it was lovely to reunite with WI friends from previous events such as Tea & Tents.
The Annual Meeting on Saturday was interesting, report to follow.
To update you on the resolutions:
Appropriate Care in hospitals for people with Dementia: carried 3305 for 856 against, a 79.4% majority.
Avoid food waste, address food poverty: carried 5146 for 1080 against an 82.7% majority.
Let the campaigning begin and I expect one campaign could be to change the resolution process.
Next year's Annual Meeting is Wednesday 7th June in Liverpool and I thoroughly recommend you apply for an observer ticket (£20, from Cheshire Federation) as it is wonderful to see that our WI is part of a much larger group, all with the same values.
PS The official WI video of highlights of the day can be found here on You Tube
Singing in the choir
A couple of years ago at book club, the conversation went off on a tangent (we never seemed to stick to discussing the book!) and we ended up talking about singing, and how much we'd like to join a choir. Nothing happened after that, but it stuck in my mind and when I ended up helping at Laurel Lane, the children's choir at Tither Barn School, I realised that Alex Whinnom, the wonderful, enthusiastic, committed man who leads the choir, would be the ideal person to lead a Heatons WI choir - and he agreed to give it a go! So we met for the first time on Saturday (21st May 2016), 14 brave women, most with little or no experience singing, and an even braver choir master, and do you know what? We actually sounded OK - no, more than OK, we were really good for beginners! Alex had us singing in rounds, parts, traditional songs, show tunes, and world music. We have decided that this is the way forward, and are trialing our new choir project every 1st and 3rd Saturday, 2-4pm. If you'd like to join - it's not too late! - contact me (Jo) on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Little Black Dress by Tiff
Lindsey, mum and I went last night to visit Cheadle and Gatley WI. It was the first time I had visited the group and I was surprised by what a wide age range of women they have. There were lots of visitors from other WIs to, Disley, Fulshaw, Hale, Didsbury.
It was very well prepared and a very jolly evening. We were greeted warmly, and we had decided to take an orchid as a donation as we knew there would be a raffle, in true WI tradition! They were little market stalls to shop at, a free glass of fizz and nibbles, a huge raffle, stand up bingo, and two sketches by the Cheadle and Gatley drama group.
The speakers were absolutely amazing. It was a group of women from a Lancashire WI, who had designed and made a black dress for a competition. They used vintage dresses donated by their members, which featured zips at the sleeves, so the dress could be transformed from a daytime style into an evening gown!
The aspect I enjoy most about visiting other WIs is that you start bumping into the same people, and getting to know what other WI groups are up to. It's also a great way to get ideas to improve our own WI. For example, last night we had a good chat with Wendy from Fulshaw and Marilyn from Didsbury about what prices our members pay as entrance fees to a regular meeting.
The next big event is the Heaton Park centenary picnic, on 27 September, so do try and come along if you can. It is organised by Cottonopolis, the latest new WI set up in Manchester, and features a 'craft relay'!
During the last few months of 2015, our craft group had fun making and decorating twiddle muffs, knitted muffs specially decorated with extra 'twiddles' for dementia sufferers to fiddle with. Some of the muffs were made with repurposed squares from our yarn storm in the summer. The muffs were given to Bo who is passing them onto the Guidepost Trust, for their support of people with dementia.
Tiff's visit to the WI Centenary Royal Garden Party
Tuesday 3rd June 2015.
What an amazing day. It was wonderful to see so many different dresses, hats, fascinators and shoes and everybody looked stunning. We had a little bit of sunshine and it was rather windy, and quite a few ladies' hats got blown across the lawn!
I travelled on a coach from Macclesfield with lots of other Cheshire ladies. Hardly anybody knew each other so we all made friends on the coach. I sat with Gill from Penketh, and we then spent the after at the party together. She was very chatty and great fun.
We had to present our admittance card to the police at the gate, with photo ID. We were shown through a gravelled courtyard and through two grand rooms to the garden, where we saw a beautiful wide sweeping lawn surrounded by trees, and 8000 women dressed in every colour of the rainbow.
Shortly after arriving, Beefeaters moved into the crowd to create a wide path, and they were followed by Camilla, Sophie Wessex, Princess Alexandra, and the Duchess of Westminster with their ladies-in-waiting, all beautifully dressed.
Camilla and Sophie moved along the path, shaking hands and speaking to a few lucky chosen ladies.
After that we headed for the tea tent, where there were many short queues and we were able to fill our plates with dainty cucumber sandwiches and delicious tiny cakes.
It was easy to get chatting to other ladies while we were milling around, and we spoke to people from all over the country, in particular a very friendly group from Surrey (who similarly to us had not known each other at the start of the day).
There were two military bands playing on opposite sides of the large lawn. To mark the end of the party, after the Royals had left, they played the National Anthem, and following that all the ladies spontaneously broke into a unaccompanied rendition of Jerusalem. It was really very moving and a lovely way to end the party.
It was such a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, stroll around the grounds and soak up the atmosphere of the palace garden. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a day that has left me with long lasting memories that I will cherish forever.
New Wave Weekend at Denman 2014.
I went to the WI College at Denman in Oxfordshire for the NEW WAVE WEEKEND at the end of November 2014. I was accompanied by Chris, Tiff and Lindsay and we enjoyed a fantastic weekend of fun and friendship and learnt several new skills.
The accommodation at Denman is in single, ensuite rooms and each room is furnished by a different federation. My comfortable room was furnished by Staffordshire and was located in Beech Cottage.
On arrival we were served tea and cakes and, after settling into our accommodation, we had an introductory talk. This was followed by cocktails, served in the bar, and then a three course dinner in The Lady Denman Restaurant. Food played a big part in the weekend and it was all delicious! There was plenty of choice and variety, and all diets were catered for. The bar was open each evening, before and after dinner, so that we could have a drink and socialise with other WI members from all over England and Wales.
The weekend included three workshops. I attended Making a Vintage Corsage; Meringue Making; and Fabric Christmas Decorations. All materials were provided, the tuition was excellent and we all had great fun! Entertainment was provided each evening. On Friday there was a cookery demonstration, given by Peter Lien, the director of the WI Cookery School, and on Saturday evening, Zumba and a quiz.
I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend at Denman. I had lots of fun, learnt new skills and met members from all over the country. The 2015 New Wave Weekend is already in my diary and I am also hoping to attend another course in the spring or summer so that I can enjoy the beautiful gardens.
I would urge all members to consider a visit to Denman.
How lucky we are to have a college in beautiful Oxfordshire where we can learn almost anything we please. Four members of the Heatons W I travelled to Denman in November 2014. It was a'New Wave' weekend where we could choose short taster sessions across the weekend, were very well fed, and entertainment and a cookery demonstration were included.
After an easy train journey, we arrived and were greeted with cocktails during the afternoon. Our rooms were all very comfortable - we had a single room each to provide a little quiet time after long busy days.
Highlights for me included the Bollywood dancing session, paper cutting, iced biscuits, the quiz on Saturday night, and a tour of the stunning house where we looked at the Cheshire room with other WI members from the Cheshire Federation.
I would really urge you to try and go to Denman if you can. There are several bursaries available and it really is a wonderful place where you will feel rested, entertainment and thoroughly spoilt. I can't wait to go again!
I would like to and that the other WI ladies were so friendly and it was great fun! The quality of the tutors and equipment was excellent.
Denman on a bursary
What a lovely place Denman College is. An attractive house in beautiful grounds, with extra accommodation and teaching areas in modern units, so tastefully scattered among trees and bushes as to be scarcely noticeable. From being collected by their taxi at the station to being ferried back with new friends at the end, I felt looked after and cared for during the whole weekend. The food was great and plentiful, (I must have put on pounds), and served up at frequent intervals; the teaching was excellent and well-paced, if a little daunting – after a Friday evening session and a full day Saturday we were all shattered – and that was just from sketching! I felt a little sorry for those on the baking course, they were on their feet all day and hurried back to their meringues after dinner on Saturday. They did produce lots of lovely dishes which we all got to taste on Sunday morning.
We also got to see some beautifully intricate work in the Celtic knot patchwork class and the machine embroidery pictures were just incredible. Our results were displayed for them to come and see, and I was amazed at the skill level that tutor Michele Floyd managed to raise us to.
At one point I looked up at a display across the room and couldn’t believe that my still life actually looked quite good. Michele was effective, positive and very encouraging; she made us all feel that we could do it. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes, and the biscuits and cakes at break times were very more-ish.
Shropshire Federation chair, Sue Bradley was a brilliant host/mum and for me everything went very smoothly. Any problems and Sue sorted them out. I had a lovely weekend away although I do need another weekend to get over it! I stayed in a room decorated by East Sussex Federation and it was calm and tasteful, a haven after a busy day. Looking back the things that stand out in my memory are the friendliness of everyone around me, lots of chattering, the peace of the grounds for a stroll and the shortbread biscuits, a staple of tea breaks. Would I go again? In a heartbeat. I am so glad I applied for the first timers bursary and I can only say that if you haven’t been you should consider applying for one. You've nothing to lose and lots to gain. It was a privilege to attend Denman and I was sorry to leave there on the Sunday.
Tea and Tents
Looking back over the last month I can't quite believe how much WI fun we have had!
From attending the Annual Meeting in Leeds, to our amazing Cheshire Show results, to our stall at the Heatons' Festival and ending in the brilliant weekend 'Tea and Tents'.
At the end of June, Lindsey, Jo, Carolanne and I joined 270 other women in a field near Buxton for the first unofficial WI camping weekend. The idea of the weekend was to bring like minded women together to camp, have fun and do a bit of crafting.
There were events all weekend, and anybody could offer a talk, workshop, or event by putting their name on a timetable on the Tea&Tents website. On Friday night there was a 'Fuddle' (pot luck supper) which worked brilliantly, although it was chilly and the ladies who turned up with steaming hot sausages were very much welcomed! There was also a sewing bee challenge, which was something we knew about before the weekend so we had plenty of time to prepare. The challenge was to transform a plain t-shirt into something completely different, using any style and size of t-shirt. The winner had bunting and a window in her tshirt!
Of course it wouldn’t be a WI get together without cake, so of course there was a bake off competition, with lots of different categories to enter and I was thrilled to win the flapjack category with my sticky lemon flapjack!! We learnt to make a flower crown, played rhythms on our biscuit tins, and admired the Alice in Wonderland themed yearn bombing. Others joined in with rounders, quidditch, spinning, jam making, knitting, etc, and Lindsey and I ran a feltie class to make a little keyring, which everyone seemed to enjoy. Jo and Carolanne joined in the marketplace with a stall of crafty goodies.
I can’t even begin to describe the fab atmosphere of the weekend, no pressures, inspiring talks and activities and the feeling of being able to be who you wanted with no one judging you. The committee who organised it did a fab job and I know everyone can’t wait for next year to do it all again! Why not join us? www.teaandtents.co.uk to find out more!
President's visit to Denman
I was so excited to be awarded a share of the Lois Parker bursary from the Cheshire Federation and had already selected the course I would like to attend ; the 'New Wave' weekend aimed at members of newly formed WIs, which gave a taster of other classes. Slightly nervous about attending alone, but delighted to be given the opportunity to go, I enjoyed the train journey and was met by a (paid-for) taxi at Oxford Station. The train is direct from Stockport (about 3 hours) and couldn't be simpler.
My first impressions of Denman stood up to my expectations as it is a grand, stone built Georgian building, with bar, shop and dining room on the ground floor and bedrooms upstairs. We were greeted with coffee and cupcakes, then had time to unpack before a three-course meal and cookery demonstration of petits fours which we all could taste - delicious!
Each bedroom is furnished and 'looked after' by one of the Federations of England and Wales. My bedroom was the West Kent room and had tapestries, sketches and paintings of local scenes on the walls, and a stunning hand pieced quilt. Most of us took the opportunity to have a guided tour of the main building which was fascinating - lots of donated antique furniture, the history of the house itself and how it was named Denman. There is a little shop for souvenirs and niknaks, and a craft shop full of donated fabric, wool, knitting needles and kits etc. Every weekend has a 'college host' who is a volunteer WI member, there to help and support the delegates - our host was Chris from Northamptonwho was lovely.
Saturday started with a full English breakfast and my first class - Christmas cupcakes, set in the state of the art WI cookery school. We learnt how to colour and pipe icing to make a Christmas tree and snowflake cake, then some tricks to make a pretty bow and Christmas pudding cupcake too. After lunch was 'Pick n mix dance' with a hugely enthusiastic dance teacher who taught us salsa, Bollywood and line dancing - all to songs from the 70s! After another 3 course meal there were musicians to entertain us and a bar (proceeds from the bar pay for keeping the carpets clean so we were positively encouraged to visit the bar!)
The tutor for the fascinator class on Sunday was calm and very thorough. Everybody came away with a professional looking finished piece! All too soon it was time to leave and I had a quick stroll around the grounds, where there is a beautiful lake, well -tended beds and a blackboard of in formation about which birds or plants are of interest this week.
Everybody on the course was so friendly and I had no problem finding people to sit with and chat to, and compare notes about our WIs! We all agreed we would like to visit again. I would love to go back and do a millinery or cookery course. Please do have a look at the courses on offer. I can guarantee you will have a wonderful time.
President, The Heatons WI