Marshall’s Arm is a loop in the old River Weaver, which meandered towards Northwich until the early 1700’s, when the growing salt trade demanded a canalised waterway to provide faster and cheaper transport.
Since 1998, this hidden gem has been a nature reserve and part of the Mersey Forest. The Rain had abated and lucky Whitley WI headed out in that direction for their November walk.
We were greeted at the entrance, by a gateway adorned with a cascade of poppies, a tribute left to commemorate Armistice Day. What a colourful sight in the watery warmth of the morning’s sun.
Autumn leaves escorted us throughout our walk in this Woodland full of wildlife and a wide variation of trees. We took care, the paths up and down were slippery, but happily nobody had any disasters.
A unique spherical sculpture stopped us in our tracks… This ball cast from Cheshire red stone had been inspired by the wildlife living in Marshall’s Arm.
Leaving the woods, and along the river bank, puddles galore made one realise how lucky Whitley had been to escape the terrible floods which had happened in various parts of the country.
Arriving at Vale Royal locks, the torrent of water reminded us of how fierce the flow of moving water can be… you could feel the force, even standing well away.
Time flies when you are having fun, but still to come was a great lunch and further chatter was enjoyed at the Hartford Hall Hotel.
Thanks go to Ann O’B…we couldn’t do this without you.
Plant a tree in ’73…..plant one more in ’74!
Yes we have heard this all before, but still more need to be planted.
It’s Cheshire Federation of Women’s Institutes 100th Birthday in 2020.
Jean Harding (the Federation Chairman) Challenged all Cheshire WIs to plant a tree to Celebrate this Milestone.
As usual Whitley WI rose to the Challenge…What to plant, when to plant, where to plant were all essential questions and let’s face it that tree could still be around in the next 100 years. With the help of our caring and hard-working Parish Council, a site was chosen within The Whitley Nature Reserve on Raddle Lane, where it could also be viewed from the road.
Taking expert advice a bare rooted native British Tree (grown in Cheshire) called Sorbus Joseph’s Coat was chosen. It will be a tree for all seasons, with creamy white flowers in the spring, to attract wild life especially bees, feathery green foliage in the summer, autumn colours of copper, purple, red, and orange and bright golden berries for birds to eat in winter.
The best time to plant a tree is when it is dormant in the late autumn, so on Saturday Morning 9th November four of our members made it to the plot… more members would have been welcome, but it was just about freezing with heavy drizzle. The hole had been difficult to dig as the previous use for the site had been the local tip, plastic bottles, tarmac and even a pair of trousers were removed…but hey-ho a suitable hole was dug.Planting the tree was the task of President Chris, (she is now an expert) with help from the others.
Passers-by stopped to see with interest what was happening… They could have offered help!
Finally a feeling of satisfaction, a job well done, time for a “selfie” and a treat for all to share into 2020 and way beyond.
Annual Meetings of WI’s are the time to reflect on all that has happened within a WI during the year.
Yes… Whitley WI has done a lot!
To see all the activities, please read back in this Web Site or look at the slide show from this link:
At the meeting Members voted for their President for 2020….Congratulations to Chris Jones, elected for her second year in office, a year which we all are looking forward to.
In her Presidents Address Chris payed tribute to everything that the Committee had been involved with during the year, as well as the more than valuable contributions from our Members…
THANK YOU TO ALL …..We couldn’t manage with out you.
With Business over it was then time for a bit of fun as well as doing something creative.
Members sat at tables making labels for Christmas Presents… It was FUN and the smiles on the members’ faces show this.
Thanks go to Annette for organising this activity…she must have been cutting up red card for months!
Cathy one of our very new members needs a special mention.
The Competition was for a homemade item, she rose to the challenge and brought in a whole hamper of homemade items.. wow..we can learn a lot from Cathy.
2020 is shortly coming with lots of celebrating to look forward to, as this will be the Centenary of The Cheshire Federation.
Whitley WI will play its part, with plans now starting to take shape, so keep up to date by looking at our web-site.
19 members gathered in the car park and were met by a group of Amazon staff. Security was very tight. Once inside the building, one of 20 in the UK, we assembled in an upstairs reception room where we were introduced to our guide and his team.
We were each issued with a hi-viz waistcoat emblazoned with VISITOR and an individual intercom system. The intercom system was a very efficient way of each of us being able to hear what the guide was saying.
We set off into the working part of the enormous building the size of 3 football pitches. We were shown how the 1000s of items were sorted onto Tote, or black boxes, ready for packing. Every step of the way the extraordinarily complicated computer system kept track of all the items. If one of the humans omitted a step in the chain the computer pointed out their mistake and the process could not continue until it was put right. We were shown how the robots moved the stacks round the warehouse. Silently, hundreds of tall yellow stacks loaded with people’s orders were moving without colliding with not a human to be seen from where we were standing although we had been told that there were 600 employees per shift. Passing through the “Learning area” we learnt that employees are encouraged to follow further education and apprenticeships. Next was the packing department – once again computers giving the instructions. After being shown how it was done Chris Jones and Janet Patterson had a go with great efficiency. It was then off to the dispatch department where the labels to destinations round the world were applied by machines using compressed air. Throughout the process every parcel reaching its correct destination depended on machines reading the bar code labels. Conveyer belts whirred quietly all through our visit as they moved the items along. There were a lot of questions from the fascinated members ranging from being an employee to the company carbon footprint. Each year they have a chosen charity which they support and some unfulfilled orders are sent to charity shops – two of our members have experience of this. On our way out we all passed through a security camera as do all employees each time they finish their shift. Our guide made our visit fascinating, informative and fun and gave us plenty to think about.
This year’s member’s evening had a very “woolly” theme.
Our speaker Rosie Lee, the “Reluctant Shepherdess”, gave us a wonderfully energetic and humorous talk.
Many years ago her parents had bought a dairy farm which,
after her dad died, had been tenanted out. When the tenants left, her mother
challenged her to do something with the farm, and so her sheep farming adventure
began; so different from her former banking career.
This involved a four year agricultural degree course in
Countryside Management at Reaseheath College and the purchase of 20 shearling Shropshire
sheep plus one ram. A good ram, she had heard, is worth paying a lot for; so this
she did. It has to have a good physique with good strong back legs and
apparently testicles with a circumference of 40cms would you believe!
With the many ups and downs of this new vocation, her family
saw very little of her, starting in September with the breeding season and continuing
right through to the weaning the following June.
With conservation and wildlife in mind she has grown an orchard
of trees for the sheep to graze around. She specifically chose Shropshire sheep
because they don’t eat the bark of trees.
Students from Reaseheath on work experience have built fences for her, and she very much enjoys having groups of schoolchildren visit her farm. Over the years her flock has increased and she never fails to be fascinated by the personalities and behaviours of her sheep. She now wonders if her son will follow in her footsteps.
After her talk we had tea and a quiz about wool. The quiz winner was Liz.
The competition “Something made of wool” was won by Jen with her “Lambs in a photo frame”. Second was Janet with her jumper and third was Mary with a pair of slippers.
Many thanks was given by Chris to Anne, Sue and the rest of this year’s member’s committee for a fantastic evening.