Intrepid as always!


Marshall’s Arm was designated in 1998 as a Nature Reserve located in Hartford near Northwich. The area got its name from the Marshall Family who have lived in Hartford since the 1700’s. The “Arm” refers to the old course of the River Weaver, which was “cut-off” when the river was straightened and locks built, to allow large vessels along the Weaver when the area’s salt industry was at its height.




A friendly heron

A walk on the “wild side”

This was the location for the September walk of Whitley WI, which 12 of our members thoroughly enjoyed in surprisingly good weather.

Leaving the main road, a path took us through woodland, rich in vegetation, up and down steps and paths, eventually reaching the river with its rich wildlife and plants that had made up for the summer’s drought with fresh and lush new flowers and new growth.

Part of Vale Royal Locks

The Historic Locks were crossed and admired, although we questioned how the huge growth of pond weed might be removed, as it could rot and cause extensive river pollution.

A time for “reflection”

There was time to stop and reflect on how lucky we are to have such beautiful places on our doorstep. Engineers in past times really made structures to last.

Beautiful Hartford Hall

Arriving at Hartford Hall for lunch, the staff were very welcoming. Hartford Hall is a gorgeous country hotel, set in a haunted 17th century nunnery, which is the oldest civic wedding venue in Cheshire.

Birthday Girl

We enjoyed our lunch and then “surprise surprise” a birthday cake for Ann’s Special Birthday appeared. We all sang “happy birthday” and ate far too much cake!

Thank You Ann… you have put so much energy into Whitley WI during the last 10 years. All your walking group send love and Best Wishes.


Busy August, holiday time, lots to do in the garden, and thankfully the hose pipe ban didn’t happen.
Whitley Gardening Group enjoyed two lovely outings… both in drizzle!! But it didn’t dampen the experience.

Laskey Farm, Thelwall was a great place to spend a Saturday Afternoon.

The home of Wendy and Howard Platt. Wendy a former Art teacher took a degree in Garden Design, starting first with her own garden, an oasis of vibrant colour and hidden treasurers.

A tree house (sorry no picture), and an island with dinosaurs! Waves of different grasses, and perfectly manicured borders. There was music in the garden and homemade cakes of every type. The garden shed (huge) was hung with the painting of local artists, and other local crafts were on display.



The Southport Flower Show was our second destination… easily reached by public transport, with no stress of annoying sat-navs and traffic jams.

There was so much to see, with Whitley WI members re-judging a lot of the produce and plants…






The show gardens were easily accessible, which was why we’d gone early to miss the crowds. “I like that one, no I prefer this one” were common components of the conversation.


We marvelled at a magic garden, with a smoky cauldron effect, yes it did deserve the gold award, viewed from all sides it had totally different effects.




One of the main themes was to include living walls in your garden; they looked good, but would need hundreds of plants and careful management… maybe not for me!

Summer is now heading into autumn… get those pruners out… Autumn pruning leads to room for next year’s spring flowers to grow and show off.

August Evening Outing

On Wednesday 1st August 2018 we went to “The Moorings” overlooking Anderton Marina for a social evening organised by Anne O’Neil.

We were treated to a lovely two course meal followed by a quiz. We were tasked with putting names to famous faces. Our group thought we’d done well but we made a mistake with a photo we thought was of Mr and Mrs Macron; it wasn’t his wife he was kissing it was Melania Trump!

We all had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.


Fun and chatter…was it the proscecco?


A View which can be savoured every day of the year

Summer in Whitley…usually with mixed weather is a good time to see the best of a country garden.

As all know this summer has been exceptionally hot and dry, hose pipe ban still to come.

Whitley WI had planned a ‘garden party’ or a ‘party in a garden’, give it the title you choose. Early in the year Jean P had happily offered us her garden for this very sociable event, and what a wonderful evening it proved to be.

Nearly all the garden group arrived, clutching buffet food of an excellent standard… Yes it was an evening where we could enjoy each other’s company, share good food and chatter but most of all look at Jean’s garden and what I can only describe as a “Visa” not just a view of the distant Cheshire countryside with the Welsh Hills just hiding on this unusually non-sunny summer evening…..at least we didn’t sizzle which had started to become the norm.
Jean apologised that the garden was dry…no apology needed as her garden looked like an oasis in the desert that Britain had become.
Jeans husband Fred, told us how he had made the garden from scratch on his potato field. The pond with some very big Koi-Boys was formed what remained of a large pit. … It contained so many healthy fish that you could watch them all day.

highly scented jasmin…delightful

phlox of a vibrant colour

A new “baby” for the garden..It will thrive and flourish. xx

A welcome of a scented Jasmin was special, as were the huge clumps of coloured perennials. Happy members enjoyed each other’s company, or did the prosecco help out?
A thank you gift of a Hydrangea Paniculata Bobo was given to Jean and Fred as a thank you for their wonderful welcoming hospitality… we all hope it grows, but knowing the green fingers of our hosts, it will thrive and flourish.

Thank you Jean and Fred for letting Whitley WI enjoy your garden on a very special summers evening

CULTURE CLUB… Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester

Culture club’s latest outing was into Manchester to watch “The Queens of the Coal Age” a play at the Royal Exchange Theatre.
This told the 1993 story of a quartet of miner’s wives ..Including Anne Scargill, the wife of the infamous Arthur, in their quest to stop the closure of Parkside Colliery, Newon -le Willows, the last working pit in Lancashire.


These political, passionate, activist women didn’t succeed in this quest…but at least they gave it their best shot, by raising awareness on behalf of their men folk.
Yes …the WI is about educating women and Culuture Club learnt a lot of local history in this beautiful old pink marbled Manchester building. 

Thank You to Chris for organising this outing.

PS….sorry if some devices open the pictures upside down.. They were put in the right way up…technical hitch!!