Main Meeting May 2024 – Growing Herbs for Health and Wellbeing

Our speaker was William Woods talking about ‘Growing Herbs for Health and Wellbeing’. He runs Blackbrook Herb Gardens near Stockport and his love of herbs was evident from the start. He told us about how herbs have been and still are very useful for medicinal purposes (and which can be dangerous too). He also explained the culinary uses for them.

He had brought along a wide range of herbs, many of them unusual but all looking very healthy and strong. He picked them up in turn and told us the name, some cultivation advice and what they can be used for. A fascinating talk, much enjoyed by everyone. The competition was ‘A Posy of Herbs’

‘Village Group’ Spring Lunch

Our Village Group, consisting of 6 or our local WIs, held their traditional Spring Lunch on Thursday 18th April. About 70 ladies attended, with an excellent turn out from Whitley. We enjoyed a delicious hotpot and a range of deserts made by the different WIs. The usual ‘Bags and Scarves’ was replaced by a Bring & Buy and all of the proceeds were donated to St Luke’s Hospice.

A group of our members wore the corsages we had made the previous day at the Whitley Craft group meeting – they were much admired by other WIs, one of whom plans to invite our speaker along to do a similar workshop for them.

Craft Group April – Making a Corsage

Julie McGuire, a friend of Annette’s, showed 14 of our members how to make fresh flower corsages. Julie and Annette had brought along lots of fresh flowers/foliage (much of it from Annette’s garden).

Julie kept things simple for us and first showed us how to wire individual flowers/leaves so that they kept their shape. She then showed us how to plan our ‘buttonhole’ , using a variety of colours/textures of flower and leaf, and then used floristry tape to hold them together and make a beautiful corsage finished with a ribbon bow.

There was soon a buzz of activity as we all chose what we wanted for our own work from the wide variety available. We were all really pleased with the results – many of us had never attempted this type of floristry before. Maybe some of us will wear them for the Group Spring lunch.

Annette had made a beautiful and very tasty carrot cake for our refreshments and Julie was presented with a thank you gift of RHS flower soap and handcream.

April subgroup meetings

Book Club had a lively discussion about ‘Outbreak’ by Frank Gardner. A scary but exciting story, all agreed that book club is very good for introducing us to a genre that we might not choose ourselves. The book proved very popular

Walking Group – Unfortunately, yet again, our planned walk had to be cancelled because of the bad weather and very wet paths. Thanks to Ann for persevering – the weather has to improve soon!

Art Group met to think about ideas for an exhibition to be shown at WI House, Chester in September with the theme ‘Living in Cheshire’

Craft Group made corsages, there is a separate post for this, with pictures

Baking Beauties all made a ‘Bara Brith’, but using a variety of recipes and tins – it was interesting to see how different the final results were. It was a good practice for our entry for the Cheshire Show

Main Meeting April – An Evening in Northumberland

A team from our members had put together a talk about the Northumberland – the sights, the scenery, the history, the coastline, the wildlife, the tastes and the sounds of this beautiful county.

There was a great turnout of 36 members who were greeted by our very own ‘Magpie’ from the famous Newscastle football team. The raffle table had a great assortment of Northumberland related items.

Melanie opened the evening and reported on various WI business, including the President’s Spring Lunch which she attended. Subgroup leaders reminded members of their planned activities – details of all planned events are in the newsletter.

Jean then took us on a whistle-stop tour around the county, including pictures and information about many of her favourite places.

Chris, fully kitted out in her ‘Hogwarts’ outfit ,talked to us about Alnwick Castle and Gardens, especially the Harry Potter connections and the Poison Garden.. Anne introduced us to the friendly Geordie accent and some well known Geordies. Sue talked about Earl Grey, famous for tea but a great political reformer and owner of beautiful home and castle, not to mention the famous herd of Chillingham Cattle. Annette introduced us to the flavours of Northumberland with tasty samples to enjoy.

Melanie had made up a Northumberland quiz – many of the answers emerged in the course of the evening! The competition for ‘A UK Holiday Souvenir was won by Jean Pace with a bottle of Lindisfarne fruit wine.