Storm clouds were gathering, but eight members of Whitley WI found themselves on top of the world (or should I say on top of Runcorn Hill) for their festive December walk.

Blowing away cobwebs!

Runcorn Hill Park and Nature Reserve had originally been a sandstone quarry, producing stone for building works as far apart as Liverpool Cathedral and New York Harbour.
Woodland walks, with a network of footpaths and bridle ways, as well as North Cheshire’s largest surviving stretch of heathland welcomed us.
Modern industry interrupted the view of the River Mersey, but from high up lots could be seen.
Historical significance was apparent with many artefacts along the way. These Wagons (or bogies) were used to transport quarried sandstone to Weston Docks where it was loaded on to ships for exportation….

On WI Walks we learn a lot!
So the wind blew, the rain stayed off and our hardy walkers appreciated the warmth, hot coffee and exceptionally good food at Esposito’s Deli, not to mention the company, chatter and support of each other.

Our 2019 walks have come to the end… Thanks to Ann our dedicated leader, we go to great places and look forward to all our walking adventures in 2020.

Christmas Party 2019

Chris Jones’ first year as President of Whitley WI was rounded off by a wonderful Christmas party.

We had a delicious cold buffet which was provided by Rachael from Country Kitchen together with a range of drinks. After that we were entertained by Ray Owens with his music, singing and comedy.

At the end of the evening we sang Auld Lang Syne and departed with a Secret Santa present.

CHRISTMAS IS COMING…the goose is getting fat!

Two weeks only until Whitley WI’s Christmas Party
Hope you have all got your tickets!

Craft Group made sure preparations were well on the way, so no last minute panic..

Table decorations completed… with fun and happy natter.
YES Team work matters and lots was learnt. Members often think they haven’t got suitable skills, but a bit of encouragement works wonders.

Thanks to Annette and Melanie for their forward planning.


Marshall’s Arm is a loop in the old River Weaver, which meandered towards Northwich until the early 1700’s, when the growing salt trade demanded a canalised waterway to provide faster and cheaper transport.

Since 1998, this hidden gem has been a nature reserve and part of the Mersey Forest.
The Rain had abated and lucky Whitley WI headed out in that direction for their November walk.

We were greeted at the entrance, by a gateway adorned with a cascade of poppies, a tribute left to commemorate Armistice Day. What a colourful sight in the watery warmth of the morning’s sun.

Autumn leaves escorted us throughout our walk in this Woodland full of wildlife and a wide variation of trees. We took care, the paths up and down were slippery, but happily nobody had any disasters.

A unique spherical sculpture stopped us in our tracks… This ball cast from Cheshire red stone had been inspired by the wildlife living in Marshall’s Arm.

Leaving the woods, and along the river bank, puddles galore made one realise how lucky Whitley had been to escape the terrible floods which had happened in various parts of the country.

Arriving at Vale Royal locks, the torrent of water reminded us of how fierce the flow of moving water can be… you could feel the force, even standing well away.

Time flies when you are having fun, but still to come was a great lunch and further chatter was enjoyed at the Hartford Hall Hotel.

Thanks go to Ann O’B…we couldn’t do this without you.

WHITLEY WI DIG DEEP… A Centenary Tree for CFWI is Planted

Plant a tree in ’73…..plant one more in ’74!
Yes we have heard this all before, but still more need to be planted.
It’s Cheshire Federation of Women’s Institutes 100th Birthday in 2020.
Jean Harding (the Federation Chairman) Challenged all Cheshire WIs to plant a tree to Celebrate this Milestone.
As usual Whitley WI rose to the Challenge…What to plant, when to plant, where to plant were all essential questions and let’s face it that tree could still be around in the next 100 years.
With the help of our caring and hard-working Parish Council, a site was chosen within The Whitley Nature Reserve on Raddle Lane, where it could also be viewed from the road.
Taking expert advice a bare rooted native British Tree (grown in Cheshire) called Sorbus Joseph’s Rock was chosen. It will be a tree for all seasons, with creamy white flowers in the spring, to attract wild life especially bees, feathery green foliage in the summer, autumn colours of copper, purple, red, and orange and bright golden berries for birds to eat in winter.

The best time to plant a tree is when it is dormant in the late autumn, so on Saturday Morning 9th November four of our members made it to the plot… more members would have been welcome, but it was just about freezing with heavy drizzle. The hole had been difficult to dig as the previous use for the site had been the local tip, plastic bottles, tarmac and even a pair of trousers were removed…but hey-ho a suitable hole was dug.Planting the tree was the task of President Chris, (she is now an expert) with help from the others.
Passers-by stopped to see with interest what was happening… They could have offered help!

Finally a feeling of satisfaction, a job well done, time for a “selfie” and a treat for all to share into 2020 and way beyond.