July 2018 – Pextenement Cheese Company

Pextenement Cheese Company is based in Todmorden and produces organic cheese.  It was established in 2008.

All the cheese produced by the company is made from organic milk taken from their own cows.  The cows are fed organically – organic grass and feeds only with no unnecessary antibiotics or medication used.

The company has won many prizes and most recently won 1st prize at the Great Yorkshire Show for their Devil’s Rock Blue and their Pikes Delight won the 2nd Prize

The evening consisted of a talk relating to how Cheese is processed and was followed by some cheese tasting.  There was an opportunity to buy some delicious cheese to take home  The evening was a huge success and was enjoyed by the members present


June 2018 – Flamenco

Patricia Skeet gave us a fantastic insight into Flamenco. 


She told us about its origins in Spain and how it has remained an important art form. Her explanation of the art – the singing, hand clapping, music and dance – was really interesting. She showed us some lovely old film footage of the Guitanos and also some film of modern day flamenco/ ballet fusion.

Patricia demonstrated flamenco dancing to us and then explained the clothing and shoes worn by men and women. She explained the differences in the male and female hand movements and the importance of the gestures and skirt movements used

She encouraged us to dress in some of the clothes that she brought and then, of course, showed us some movements which we put to music.  There was a lot of foot stamping and clapping which made it sound fantastic.


May 2018. Annual General Meeting

Fliss, our president, gave her address

She talked about the highlights of the year, which for her were:

The Race for LIfe which several members took part in and raised money in memory of Janet Blackburn

Burglar Bingo, which many of us enjoyed.  She reminded us of the spotty package, which everyone became determined to try and win!

The  Summer party and the games that we played and the laughter that we shared, not to mention the cheating that occurred during some of the activities!

The talk by Steve Morgan who had been a Greenpeace photographer for his career.  He shared wonderful experiences and photographs with us.

Fliss has been a fantastic president for 2 years and was presented with a gift from the members


Sarah Louise Long gave a review of the year and an annual report. She included photographs to remind us of the year we had shared and what we had done

Libby Wood gave the Treasurers Report and the accounts were reviewed and approved.  Libby also told us that we had raised £1200 for Overgate Hospice.

April 16th – A visit to the Egg Factory


We went to the Egg Factory where Amy and Sue Mellis guided us to create some lovely items.

We were all given an embroidery hoop and some fabric and were shown how to transfer letters or patterns onto the fabric by way of screen printing

The prints were then embellished with stitches to create some lovely designs


It took a lot of concentration and even members who had little experience of stitching, made some lovely items


It was a really good evening, made better by the chat and friendship that we had sitting around the tables undertaking the task in hand.


WI Bursary 2018


Last time the bursary came round I put my name in the hat and was lucky enough to be a winner I was the last name out of the hat so the amount of money I received wasn’t huge but it was enough to push me into making the plunge to sign up for a sewing course.

I have been envious and in awe of people like Vanessa and Ruth in the WI who are so talented with a needle. I don’t come from a family of crafters and when I was a teenager in the 1970s (I know -before some of you were born) sewing lessons in school were very un-cool and I remember spending most of my time sulking and complaining that I should be allowed to do woodwork with the boys: as of course I should.

Anyway, since being in the WI, I’ve seen the light and took advantage of the free lessons offered to us by the lovely Jinny at Word of Mouth. Although it was obvious from that experience I had everything to learn it gave me the courage to go on a beginners patchwork course at The Quilt Cabin in Albert Street. I have really taken to patchwork and made several baby cot blankets and a quilt for my own bed. With that experience behind me I signed up for a month ‘Block of the Month’ course which teaches a different patchwork technique each session as is labelled as a ‘Quilter’s Rulers Masterclass’. It is for this course, which I am part way through, that the WI Bursary money
is being used. It has the added delight that one of the women on the course is Sophie Hudson.

I was nervous on the first session but all the other ladies on the course are friendly, encouraging and happy to share experience and equipment. Now I can’t wait for that day of the month to learn a new skill. Following each session I go over the lesson at home making a couple more blocks so that the new technique sinks in. By the end of the year I will have a enough blocks to join together to make another quilt. For my birthday last year my husband bought me loads of Kaffe Fassett fat quarters and it is this material that I use each month in the block.

I hope you enjoy looking at the photographs. I have included some of the work I have completed and the brightly coloured blocks alongside the rulers that I have been getting used to. I encourage all of you to put yourself forward for the bursary next year. The only condition is that it has to be educational in some way, and as the names are simply drawn out of a hat it is just a very democratic first come first served system.

Thank you to Vanessa and her volunteers for all the hard work that goes on in hosting the Rag Market, the profit from which, goes to the bursary fund.

Jeni Wetton

March 19th 2018 A beginners guide to the Camino Way – Miriam O’Keefe


Miriam is one of our members and came to give us a talk with slides, about her experience of walking the Camino de Santiago.  She described her journey in four words -WALK, EAT, SLEEP, REPEAT!

It was a fantastic talk.  Miriam explained the history of the Camino which was first walked by pilgrims in 821.  She explained that there were a number of Caminos which all finished in Santiago de Compostela, where the bones of Saint James are buried in the cathedral.  Miriam walked the Camino Frances which started in France and took her across the Pyrenees into Spain and across the north of Spain to Santiago de Compostela.  This is the most popular Camino and is 800 kilometres in length.

She did a lot of research prior to starting her 6 week walk.  She took advise relating to the rucksack she needed and how it should be worn, and most importantly, broke in her walking boots in advance of the journey.  She did a lot of training! She showed us the things she carried on her journey and explained the three stages of the journey which she described as- the physical stage, the mental stage and the spiritual stage.

She explained, with the aid of her photographs the places where she stayed en route, her footcare regime each day and the rituals that are done along the way.  She also told us of the many people she met and showed us her camino passport full of stamps collected along the route.

It was a lovely evening which ended with some Spanish Tapas type food. 

February 2018. Overgate Hospice

Harriet Eames came from Overgate Hospice to talk to us.  Overgate is our current charity of the year


Harriet explained a lot of things about Overgate including its history, how it started, how it is funded, the service it offers to people, and the plans for its future 

She explained why fundraising is so important to the hospice and organised a quiz to test how much we had been listening!

We had great fun playing Burglar Bingo and many of us took home nice prizes 

January 2018 Poetry and Creative Writing

Steve O’Connor came to run this evening for us

Steve who is originally from Manchester, teaches English and Creative Writing and has done poetry performances.  He has a book which is to be published this year

He explained lots of aspects of poetry to us – what it is, the themes that are often used, whether poetry should rhyme or not, rhyming schemes, and metres often used.

We had many exercises to try out and we all ‘had a go’ at writing

We shared our attempts.  The theme was ‘love’.  Many poems were amusing, some serious and thought provoking, and many demonstrated what talented women we have in our group

I think however, that my favourite on the night was Annette’s poem about the love her small son has for his tractor!

December 18th – A crafty Christmas Party

We had a fantastic night of festive fun.  Most of us made a good effort to look festive and Julia Ogden led the crafting by showing us how to make lovely paper stars and a whole host of other things

Our Christmas hamper raffle was drawn and won by Vanessa Kay. The  funds raised from the raffle are for our charity

We had outside caterers who provided a fantastic Thai buffet for us  and we all left the meeting feeling very full of Christmas cheer

November 20th 2017 Steve Morgan – 30yrs as a Greenpeace photographer

0C7D9C8C-273A-4608-A7B3-ADA7AAA6F481Steve Morgan was born in Hull and studied zoology at Leeds University, but his interest in photography led him to become a feeelance photographer.

He started working with Greenpeace in Vancouver in 1971 and with a group of journalists reported on his first protest which took place in Alaska, against nuclear explosions taking place there at the time.

His talk was set against some wonderful photographs taken all over the world.  He told us about the Greenpeace issues that he was photographing, and they mostly related to environmental issues, energy and pollution.

During his career he had many lucky escapes and brushes with both the KGB and FBI.

It gave us a fantastic insight into the work of Greenpeace throughout the world