30 WI members, suitably dressed to impress, joined the coach trip to the prestigious Midland Hotel in the centre of Manchester. We followed in the footsteps of many famous people, including Mr Rolls and Mr Royce, TV stars, sporting celebrities, politicians and royalty.
We split into 2 groups and had a fascinating tour of the inside and outside of this impressive Victorian building where our knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides explained the importance of the history, location, architecture and ownership of this beautiful hotel. You could almost imagine arriving by steam train at the busy Central Station, now an exhibition centre, and just crossing the road to be greeted by the commissionaire, welcoming you at the impressive entrance of this grand building while your luggage was taken to your large suite where wine, flowers, chocolates and luxury awaited you . . .
We finished our visit with an Afternoon Tea in the Octagon room before returning to Whitley. Many thanks to our organisers Ann, Lorna and Ann.
On a fantastic day, cold with the sun shining on us, eleven keen walkers gathered at the car park at Moore Nature Reserve.
The Reserve comprises of 200 acres of woodland, meadows, lakes, ponds and is home to many diverse species of plants, animals, birds and other wildlife.
Anne Marie and her colleague were waiting to give us a guided tour. On leaving the car park we followed the ‘West Walk” up an incline to reach the Sedge Hide which overlooks Lapwing Lake.
The highest part of the reserve, Raptor Watch Platform gave us a good view of the surrounding areas, in the distance, Runcorn Bridge and Fiddlers Ferry Power Station could be seen.
The paths meandered among the bushes and trees, down steps whose edges had been made out of recycled plastic bags to look like strips of wood. We found ourselves on the dry bed of a section of ‘Old Quay” Runcorn to Latchford canal, the brickwork lining of the edges of the canal could still be seen. We used a boardwalk to bridge a marshy area were butterflies are in abundance all summer. From the Feeding Station Hide, we saw blue tits and a nuthatch but according to the bird watchers not many other birds at the moment.
This was very informative walk and thanks were given to the guides
A well-deserved lunch was then enjoyed at The Stag Inn.
February, doesnt bring the rain… It brings our Birthday Meeting. 79 years ago this Institute was formed, which is always worth a celebration. Our Birthday Cake made by Anne O’Neil stole the show. It was cut by Joyce Astill, one of our members. Joyce gave us a lovely account of how she had moved into Whitley ‘just’ 50 years ago.
The Theme for the meeting was “Show The Love”
This is a National Campaign by the Women’s Institute to draw awareness to Climate Change and get Members talking about it.
Members had made and wore Green Hearts to show their Awareness and love for this planet of ours.
Our Speaker for the evening had been especially invited. Derek Poulson talked to us about “Love and Romance Through The Ages”
He is amusing and filled us in with many customs about Love and Romance which happen today, yet have meanings that go back to the Ancient greeks.
Confetti is a fertility symbol, Wedding cars used to be decorated chariots, and St Valentine, caused all sorts of problems, by helping Christian Couples to wed in secret, only to be martyred for this in 269AD, by the emperor Claudius II. During the meeting Derek won the hand of Janet for her knowledge of quotes from Brief Encounters. A lovely evening that finished with Derek on his knees proposing to Joan our President.
Heavy goods trains laden with salt once lumbered from Winsford to Cuddington to join the Chester/Manchester train line. THE WHITEGATE WAY is now a haven for wildlife and a very pleasant place to stroll at any time of the year.
Whitley WI sent out to walk along a section of this disused railway line for their January Walk. Walking in winter is very popular as we wrap up in winter woolies, get some much needed fresh air to combat the feeling of “cabin fever” which can make people feel gloomy in these short dark days. Chatter, about the sharing of Christmas activities and looking forward to 2017, made the friendship of this group special.
11 members enjoyed the outing, as well as the beautiful lunch served at the Plough Inn Whitegate. Thanks to our leader Ann, for checking out this route during the Christmas holidays, and also hiding behind the camera to take our photos.
Misty horizons over Budworth Mere
A photo stop by the canal
A cold and chilly. damp and misty December morning didn’t deter Whitley WI’s dedicated walkers.
We totalled 15 + a dog( Bonnie). The most people of all our walks this year.
In December there is always too much to do, with the shopping, the presents, the cards … but getting out and about was definitely top of today’s list. Marbury Park was our venue. We headed down to Budworth Mere, and disappointed the many ducks who thought we had come to feed them. Through the woods, to the canal, only stopping for an occasional photo opportunity.
Ann O’Brien our leader, then handed over to Anne O’Neil and her dog, Bonnie. They had the local knowledge which was used to guide us through parts of this lovely park we had never visited… Great!
Lunch is always on the menu of our walks… The Spinner and Bergamot in Comberbach did us proud (see Photo on the left)
So that’s it for 2016… 12 different walks with so many thanks to Ann O’Brien for her tireless dedication.