WHITLEY WIs Star-Spangled Evening!

The 4th July 1776 a significant day in the history of the United States. The declaration of Independence was declared and thirteen American colonies were no longer subject to rule by Britain.
In America Independence day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, carnivals, picnics, family reunions, and concerts.
Whitley WI had looked at this meeting date and decided that if the USA could party…so could we!
The unsuspecting members ( many dressed up for the theme) were truly entertained.
Cheer Leaders from Warrington Cheer Storm led the party with acrobatic dancing, some of the girls reaching the dizzy heights of the Village Hall Roof. What a pleasure to watch these agile young ladies perform, all with a smile on their faces.
The WI is about educating women…so Sally led us through the historical events which led up to Independence Day with an illustrated talk to set the scene.
Irene recorded her experiences of visiting the USA by sharing her happy memories of time spent in “Dolly Parton Land”.
The stage was set for the arrival of a celebratory… Who would this mysterious American be?
All was revealed when The Statue of Liberty walked into the room…. Our President fully transformed into this iconic legend.
Candle Fireworks were lit, illuminating the room and wonderful cake…decorated with stars and stripes as well as numerous American flags…

What a talented President we are lucky to have.

No picnic tonight but what a delicious supper for all to enjoy, beautifully themed and organised by leader Lorna … meringues, cheesecakes, sandwiches, sausages and many other themed nibbles.

Thank you to all tea ladies for this.
No educational evening is completed without a quiz… three joint winners Jonty, Helen and Melanie. (our quiz team for next year?)
Fun was had by all… then like all good WI meetings it was back to the Business, Back to the UK with the singing of Jerusalem.

Warrington Food Bank Update

Whitley WI have donated for months and the donations are very appreciated.  

Unfortunately, some items have depleted.  

We see families and singles who are struggling to feed the family and themselves.  If you could bring an item below list, that would help many people.

  • Cream crackers
  • Tinned potatoes / mash potatoes
  • Sugar
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned spaghetti
  • Evaporated milk
  • Semi milk
  • Fruit juice
  • Small coffee
  • Sponge puddings
  • Shaving foam

Click here for the full list of products needed .

THE TIME IS RIGHT ….. Pat and Susan head to Westminster to lobby MP’s.

The time is now to fight for our climate, nature and people. We are the first generation to know we are destroying the world, and the last that can do anything about it.
With this in mind Pat and Susan headed to Westminster to join a mass lobbying of MPs, to help them understand and urgently act now to restore nature and stop climate disaster.

(Note Susan’s Placard)

Many environmental groups were represented, from Green Peace, The Friends of the Earth, The Cheshire Wildlife trust, The Butterfly Society, as well as The WI.

On arrival we headed to the Victoria Tower Gardens and joined the North West Contingents to wait for our various MPs.

Ester Mc Vey our Tatton MP had answered our request to meet. She happily appeared and listened to all we had to say: Discussion ranged from the WI resolution to improve local buses, what is happening to HS2 in Cheshire, to talk topics at the forthcoming G20 summit.
The whole world needs to get involved, not just Whitley WI!
She answered with interest, but in the noncommittal way that only MP’s can….. Note Susan’s Placard now.
It was a peaceful protest, following which we reduced our global warming and carbon footprint, by eating ice-cream, watching the changing of the Guard at Horse Guard’s Parade, and viewing Constable and Gainsborough Paintings in the National Gallery.

meeting the “locals”

Back then on the Virgin Pendolino to Bank Quay Station… It was good to be back to the familiar welcoming smell coming from the adjacent chemical factory!


Yes Our Fair Ladies did enter the 2019 Royal Cheshire Show!
The theme of the year was “The Silver Screen”, and we turned up… happily pleased with the judging, and now realising how good we are. Standards at the show are exceptionally high… our members rose to the occasion.

Led by Annette and against close competition, a combined craft entry, entitled “My Fair Lady” achieved Third prize… well done to our craft team, with special mention to Susan’s dainty metallic knitted evening purse… 19 ½ …Brilliant.

Ann and Dorothy… both in the “Naughty but Nice” Category… Joint Second, and what delicious looking cakes.

Jonty wowed the photography judge… Her action -paced picture…another second.

A third prize for “another opening of another show”… Eileen with her first ever show entry.
So with a few other nearly there entries, it was one of our best ever results.
I repeat that the standards are really high, and Whitley WI is up there competing with the best, that Cheshire has to offer.

Finally a major thank you to our cake bakers… The refreshment tent received 22 cakes which were on sale to the huge queue of punters, stretching at times outside the refreshment area.

NORON PRIORY SUMMER OUTING… It never rains but it pours!

 Norton Priory, originally Norton Abbey, founded in 1115, is a historic site near Runcorn, comprising of the remains of a Medieval Augustine Abbey, which moved to its current site in 1134, where it is now a museum. This Grade 1 National Heritage listed building is considered to be the most important monastic remains in Cheshire, if not in the whole of Britain.
In unseasonably wet weather Whitley WI enjoyed their Annual May Outing (in June this year).
We were welcomed by Claire our guide, whose knowledge of the area was extensive. Yes she could answer all the difficult questions, from some of our own gifted local historians.
Closure of The Priory occurred in 1536 under Henry VIII, during his dissolution of the monasteries. The events surrounding the fate of the abbey are complicated, and included a dispute between Sir Piers Dutton, who was in a powerful position as the Sheriff of Cheshire, and others.

So much to see

What can we see?

Meet Geoffrey Dutton, safely back from the Crusades.

The Dutton family were great benefactors of the Priory, even having their own chapel.
The Priory was eventually sold to the Brooke family in 1545, who built first of all a Tudor House then a beautiful Georgian mansion on the site. The Brooke family left the house in 1921, and it was almost completely demolished in 1928 with rubble from the house being used in the foundations of a local chemical works.

extensive excavations

Its too wet to go outside

In 1971 archaeologist Patrick Greene was given a contract to carry out a six-month excavation as part of a plan to develop a park in the centre of Runcorn New Town. Greene’s initial findings led to a further 12 years of major excavation of the site.

The area excavated exceeded that at any other European monastic site. In 1975 Norton Priory Museum Trust was established, with the current modern museum being opened in 2016.

Christopher, don’t drop the Christ Child

One major artefact on display is the 1391 medieval sandstone statue of St Christopher, at 11.1ft tall, carrying the Christ-child on his shoulder. He was associated with the abbey because of its proximity to the River Mersey and the dangers associated with crossing the river.

Following the talk and a delicious sandwich lunch, many members departed for home. Needless to say, some of our hardy members fought the elements and couldn’t resist walking to the walled garden which had been restored in the 1980s. It includes an orchard, fruit and vegetable gardens, ornamental borders and a rose walk, as well as the national collection of tree quince.

Who says its raining? We’re having fun!

So an outing to a historic site, close to home, yet full of untold stories.
Thank You to Ann for your hard work and determination to ensure Whitley WI members enjoyed their day and learnt lots!