The WI visits Roberts Bakery

As baking has long been synonymous with the WI, then going to visit our very own local bakery in Northwich was something that was well overdue; and we were not disappointed. What a treat it was not only to see how a sliced loaf was made, but also visit Little Treats where they make decorative novelty biscuits for many of the major supermarkets.

However before we were allowed to enter the bake house we had to don special shoes, a high vis. jacket, disposable white coat and hair net and then perform their three stage regime for getting our hands clean. They weren’t taking any chances with health and safety!! I did think of taking a photo of us all in our full regalia but decided I might not exactly be very popular.

After our tour we were given a very informative talk on the history of this family business which was founded in 1887 by Robert Roberts. He had trained as a baker and bought a grocery business in Castle, Northwich. As his business expanded he then moved to new premises in Lostock which just happened to have a small bakery attached. He decided to expand the bakery side of the business and in 1952 Frank Roberts bought the present site at Rudheath and from there he and his sons made the company into a multimillion pound business.

The company believes strongly in looking after their staff as well as their customers. 

We were shown an old poster of theirs with a lion and the caption ‘The Customer is King’.

On leaving we were presented with goody bags.


Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

In the dead of night, under a spooky sky, Whitley Witches WI celebrated Halloween early, with their spell-binding, nerve-tingling, spine-chilling, devilish and petrifying Halloween Bingo night! This was held in the shadowy, haunted, moonlit and mysterious Whitley Village Hall… Would their wizardry and scary shenanigans literally raise the roof off the building? One witch left her broomstick, so how did she travel home? A tarantula was spotted, in a dusty cobweb, realistically decorating the gruesome darkest corner of the room. Was it keeping guard over a poltergeist, or considering a devilish attack on an unsuspecting black cat.

The cauldron was ignited, gruel goodies were devoured with giant pitchforks, allowing the hocus pocus of trick or treats to continue.
All was not lost! Superhero Robert came to our rescue, he took control of the proceedings, sampled some mind-blowing red liquid, (was it Hobgoblin?) and made sure the nightmare and howling spirits disappeared before dawn.

This was a really fun event. Thanks go to all our Organisers. Chris, Sue, Anne O’N Ann O’B and Anne K

As well as Pat for the hotpot and the Village Hall Committee and Pre-School for letting us use the Hall for the evening.

The greatest thanks go to Helen for lending us her Super-hero Husband Robert.

OCTOBER WALK around Stockton Heath and Walton

When you drive through Stockton Heath and Walton, there is so much you don’t see. Jean W was in charge today and had organised us a walk on paths and trails just off the busy main roads. The weather was perfect, following the previous day’s storms… Whitley WI attract good weather.

Leaving the Forge Car Park, we headed along the Trans Pennine Trail stopping to admire the canal-side houses along the Manchester Ship Canal, as well as an ancient lock with plans to be renovated.

From here the trail took us towards Walton where we had one of the best coffee and cake stops ever at Walton Lea Walled Garden. Here, under guidance, disabled people grow plants, make bird boxes, arrange flowers, recycle furniture and bicycles. It was a haven of very interesting artefacts and objects… NOTE go back there to do some Christmas Shopping.


Jean found a good viewing place to show us where the new Warrington Bypass will be built.
Heading back, along the edge of Warrington Sports Club, we entered Walton Gardens, finally getting on to the Bridgwater Canal tow-path at Hough Bridge.

Chris found her very own personal number plate on a parked tractor.
We are a nosey group, enjoying looking at the interesting houses and gardens along Birchdale Rd then back to the car park… and having eaten too much cake, we couldn’t manage any lunch!

Many thanks go to Jean W for her organisation and snippets of interesting knowledge along the way…something you wouldn’t realise, and views you wouldn’t see if you were driving.

Photo shows: Ann O’B , Jenny, Annette, Jean L, Jean W, Chris, Yvonne, and Ann C.  Pat took the photo!


MEMBER’S NIGHT…. The October Meeting

Member’s Night is always a huge surprise. 10 members plot together to compile a really interesting meeting. Helen acted as president with Sue as her very able secretary. Annette ran the raffle and had produced some beautiful seasonal table decorations. Eleanor and her team (Joyce, Barbara and Mary) organised refreshments, with Ann and Jane running the Trading Table. Susan was a perfect Speaker’s Hostess.

This year was a hugely kept secret, so secret that even when the Speaker (Gordon Farr) started his talk there was no idea of where it might lead. Gordon introduced himself and talked about his career as a Primary School Teacher, eventually becoming the Head of Willaston Primary near Nantwich.

Managing the school budget had become difficult, with the school being short of funds, when a enterprising staff member came up with the idea of “Worm-Charming”. From this idea the first ever World Championship for Worm Charming was born. This year was the 37th year of this event run by IFCWAP (International Federation of Charming Worms and Allied Pastimes).

A new world champion was crowned this year. Sophie a year 5 pupil at Willaston Primary with the magnificent total of 567 worms, charmed out of a 3m X 3m plot in just 30 minutes.

After the competition all the charmed worms from 144 of these plots are returned at night, so they can wriggle back into their holes, before they can be eaten by any hungry roosting birds.



Whitley WI would not be the same with out you and all our other members.