Was that a chill we could feel in the air? No just wishful thinking as 8 of Whitley WI’s walking group met for their July walk.

It was a beautiful day for a visit to the magnificent expanses of Tatton Park; one to enjoy and remember.
Entering the park, a shady walk was appreciated, through tall trees and paths lined with rhododendron bushes.

The walk continued along the side of Tatton Mere where the summer drought had bleached the vast undulating surrounds of the Mere, to a rich golden colour.


Today there were definitely no “boggy” bits to avoid. Lots of dragonflies and butterflies were all around and the Canada Geese were happy to play and enjoy the water. A dip would have cooled us down, but the no swimming signs were obviously there for a reason.


It was hot and eventually we arrived at the Courtyard of Tatton Hall, where a sit down and some Cheshire Dairy Farm ice-cream cooled us and enhanced the picnic we had brought.

The long walk back started, which we knew (or thought we knew) would be through a path lined with Beech Trees to keep the sun off us as the temperature kept rising. It wasn’t our lucky day as the path had been fenced off to allow the young deer herd to enjoy.

We are a hardy lot, and with a couple of water stops in some shade we happily got to the gates of the park.
A walk through old Knutsford with a stop to look at some wild teasles with pollinating bees, led us back to our parked cars.




Thank You to Ann O’B for a lovely day out. Your leadership which is very much appreciated.


WI’s gardening group, along with a few Dutton WI friends visited the Garden of Viscount and Viscountess Ashbrook at their home, The charming Old Parsonage Arley Green.



The Viscountess met members at her door and took them for a long and interesting walk through her beautiful and mature garden.

She proudly showed us her sundial which was given to her in celebration for 30 years of opening her garden as part of the Cheshire section of the National garden Scheme (the most significant charitable funder of nursing charities in the country.)

Members fell in love with a very unusual iris, Dierama (Angel’s fishing rods) which seemed to grow out of the cracks in her patio …



                                 where can they buy one?



Further unexpected plants included a bush anemone (Carpenteria California), and a pinkish red smoke bush.







A large and shady, looking like a bean tree, added lots of  curiosity.

Pterocarya Fraxinifolia (Caucasisian Wing Nut) a member of the walnut family…The “beans” are really Catkins! These turn into nuts…lots for wildlife to eat.


The garden had a picturesque wild-life-friendly pond, and was that a Heron they could see?  It was… purchased many years ago from Altrincham Market, made by Africans from old pieces of car…recycling at its best.

So another successful visit… It is amazing where Whitley WI get to and how much they learn as well as enjoying good company and friendship.
Thank You again to Viscountess Ashbrook


Culture Club get to many interesting places.

Saturday was an “away-day” on the Virgin Pendolino to London, for a “behind the scenes” tour of The Royal Albert Hall.

So much atmosphere in this Historical Building, especially as The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra were rehearsing their planned Afternoon Performance of “Gladiator”

The knowledgeable Tour Guide, led members around some of the various tiers, pointing out many pictures of famous people and events which had played or taken part there. They sat in a box, but were only allowed to peep into the Royal Box.

They were allowed to view the Royal Staircase, and sit on chairs which had come from Buckingham Palace.
Queen Victoria had spent much of the money allocated to build The Hall on a Memorial to her late Husband Albert, which stands outside the building. The public (rich ones) raised the funds for The Hall by buying seats for £100 each. These are now worth a small fortune.

Following the tour, the group separated, to enjoy various activities.


A couple spent the afternoon with family members who live in London, two ladies went to the Afternoon Performance of “Gladiator”, the rest decided to head for The Shard and enjoyed a glass of champagne, as well as the wonderful views across London… Well it was one member’s birthday!


A walk around Borough Market ended the visit, as time had passed quickly and the train was waiting to take them all home.

June Walk at Hatchmere

We met at the Carrier’s Inn car park near Hatchmere (shown as 1 on the map) below.

We started walking through Hatchmere Park and the forest. Crossing Ashton Road (2) we continued down through the forest to skirt Blakemere Moss (3 to 4). Turning a sharp left across Blakemere Lane (4) we went back into the forest up a very overgrown path. As we were walking I thought I heard a man talking in a nearby field. Nope. It was actually my phone which was playing a video about football in my pocket. Obviously I’d accidentally clicked on something.

Emerging from the forest at Harthill Hatch (No 5 on the map) we had to walk through a field full of cows which thankfully got out of our way as we walked towards them.

We continued along the route past Flaxmere on a lovely leafy path and returned to our starting point at the Inn some two hours after we left. Just in time for lunch.

The food was as good as the company.

Many thanks to Ann O’Brien for organising the event.



Craft and Chat

At our first craft meeting we were all busy with stitching, sewing and nattering and some of the group made a duster dolly.

Annette Minor showed several members  how to make the dollies from kitchen items, the picture shows Chris Spittle and June Smither holding the ones they made.

Meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month; our next meeting will be on the 20th June at WVH at 2pm. Those wishing to make a pair of dishcloth bloomers will find the ‘materials’ all waiting; otherwise bring your sewing or knitting or just come along for friendship.