April WI meeting

Our April meeting really started to feel like life returning to normal, and it was particularly good to see some faces that we hadn’t seen since the start of Covid. Melanie, our President opened the meeting and reminded everyone of the Smith’s nursery and Shrewsbury trips that we have recently been on, and all the many events planned for the next month or so. Our subgroups are all busy with preparations for the Whitley Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

We had some discussion about the National WI Resolution for 2022, relating to improving the diagnosis and support for Women and Girls with ASD & ADHD which is currently under-identified, under-diagnosed, misdiagnosed and under-supported. We agreed we should vote to support this.

Our speaker was Matthew from Tigermuffin Soaps, who came to us highly recommended. We were not disappointed, he gave us a very interesting and entertaining talk about the background to his family business, the history of soapmaking and explanations of the actual processes involved. He injected lots of humour into his presentation and gave us several lively demonstrations. Members were able to purchase his products during our break, it was great to be back to serving light refreshments to our members again.

Trip to Shrewsbury

25 members of our WI, with some friends, joined our long postponed coach trip to Shrewsbury on Wednesday 4th May. We were dropped off at the top of The Dingle/Quarry park, where a gentle downhill stroll took us the beautiful gardens (inspired by Percy Thrower who was Park Superintendent here for 28years), where we saw a wonderful display of sprint bulbs/flowers.

We continued down to the River Severn and along to the ‘Sabrina’ boat, where we had pleasant refreshments and a very informative and picturesque trip along the river loop from the ‘Welsh bridge’ to the ‘English Bridge. We then walked to the centre of the town where we split up so everyone could follow their own interests. Some walked through the medieval quarters and down to the Castle, with great views of the town, and all found interesting and different places for lunch – in Church tearooms, one of the many little eateries in the market area, or in the centre of town.

Retail therapy was another popular pastime, with Lakeland proving very popular. All remarked on the large number of independent shops, and the lack of the empty premises we see in so many places. A really enjoyable and sociable day out.

Trip to Smith’s Nursery at Lymm

A group of 15 WI members had a fascinating trip around Smith’s nursery in Booth’s Lane,Lymm, already a favourite with a few of them who had already discovered this successful local family business. The father of the current owners opened the business in 1959 on a 2 acre greenfield site which has now been extended to 5 acres of glass and polytunnels. They use modern highly automated methods for sowing, transplanting, potting and growing on, with a small team of workers. There is an increasing market as a genuine local nursery open to the public, but most of the production is for larger and long standing contracts across the North West – parks and gardens, other nurseries, scout groups etc.

April is the busiest time of year, with production lines busy and polytunnels overflowing with colourful plants. It was really interesting to see the whole process, and hear about the business from the enthusiastic and friendly owners. Thanks to Sue Burtonwood and Annette for arranging the tour.

March WI Meeting – Different Shades of Green

Our Positive Planet group arranged this evening for us. We split into small groups and 4 members visited each table for 15 min or so to lead a discussion on different aspects of looking after our planet. Pat showed us different potting composts, encouraging us to go for peat free options. Chris joined Kirsty from Weigh of the World in Northwich and talked about zero waste packaging.

Sue explained the life cycle of the huge Bumble Bee we see in our garden at this time of year and Gill showed us environmentally friendly bathroom/cleaning products.

A really informative and sociable evening, thanks to our group leaders for making it so interesting.

Members were given their programme for the coming year, and a pack of sunflower seeds – watch this space in September to see whose grows the tallest. The Darts Team were congratulated on winning the Group League – their trophy was on display.

A calendar of the different activities for the coming month or so was shared– a visit to Smiths garden centre, an outing to Shrewsbury, a garden party at Helen’s, the Cheshire Literary Lunch and meetings of our various subgroups, Lots going on to keep us busy.


Afternoon tea party.
On Wednesday 25th May, in conjunction with the garden group you are all invited to the garden of
Helen’s in Brookhouse Lane. Come along anytime between 2 and 4pm to have a wander around
her lovely garden and enjoy tea and biscuits.
Events of the afternoon.
A wildlife themed raffle. Proceeds to our WI.
A photograph competition of flora and fauna around the area. Please put your entry (a standard
size photograph please) in an envelope with your name on the outside.

Closing date for this is the 5th May the main meeting date of the WI. Please hand to Annette.
There will be no entry fee but a donation box to the wildlife trust in recognition of

60 years of the Cheshire Wildlife trust.
Please remember ‘The Planet’ and share cars wherever possible and pop a picnic chair in the back
on the assumption that it will be a beautiful sunny afternoon