May 2019

This was our Annual General Meeting. A new president was chosen and be members were voted onto the committee.

The evening included a quiz and of course some cake!

April – Yorkshire themed Fete

There were a number of categories into which members could enter. These included:

WI Victoria sandwich

Baking with a Yorkshire theme

Crafts and textiles


Decorated Eggs

The talent of the members was on display and the entires were many and varied. There were a variety of gift vouchers as prizes and the winners included Vanessa, Ruth, Jeni, Brenda, Wilma and Val.

Besides the competition there was Burglar Bingo and cake of course. A lovely evening of fun.

March – Music for the Many concert

Our charity of the year is Music for the Many, which is designed to encourage children to learn instruments and make music. Many of the instruments are donated so that children who could otherwise not have access to learning musical instruments are given an opportunity.

The orchestra came to our meeting with their teachers and their leader, in order to show us what they have learned and to express their thanks for our support. They gave us a demonstration of their talents.

There are a lot of children involved and there were many instruments played. They included: clarinet, trumpet, cellos (of which there were 8), keyboard, bassoon, strings, tabla drums, guitar, trombone, recorder, and flute. The children played solos and in ensembles, and there was also some singing.

Many of the childrens’ parents attended and it was a fabulous evening.

February 2019 – Tai Chi

Jonathon Foulger from Hebden Bridge Tai Chi gave us an insight into various aspects of Tai Chi

He explained that is has been used for 400 years in China where it initially started as a form of martial arts. Since then various moves have been developed, more moves added, and it has been shown to have health benefits. He gave us a demonstration of ChenStyle Tai Chi and then took through a series of moves

January 2019 – Drumming with Drum Machine

Adrian Todd from Drum Machine gave us a brief history of Drum Machine. The sounds and rhythms originated from Batala Music from Brazil and uses samba drums. One person, in Paris, developed the samba reggae music which is different from the original Batala Music that was played by the African slaves

Adrian, after working with the man in Paris, further developed the sounds to create a different sort of drum music which is based on European music styles. He created Drum Machine 8 years ago. There are now 42 players in the band

He had brought a selection of drums with him and by the end of the evening we were making fantastic sounds and rhythms that were probably heard all over Hebden Bridge. It was great fun!

See us in action!

November 2018- Christmas card crafting

Julie Stanley from ‘Just a thought’ at Brighouse came to show us how to make a special Christmas card.

It was a very nice evening and so interesting to see how different the cards turned out, especially since we all had access to the same things!  We all went home covered in glitter and full of cake! A lovely time sitting around tables chatting and crafting.

October 15th – Pumpkin Carving


This month we turned our thoughts to Autumn, the year ending and Halloween.  We all took along a pumpkin to carve but soon discovered that some had more talent in this field than others.

Vanessa won the prize for the best carved lantern. She is such a talented woman

The evening was good fun and it was lovely to sit and chat whilst carving and it meant that there was an opportunity to get to know our newer members

The committee did a good job of creating a festive atmosphere with spooky music  and we enjoyed festive nibbles and cake

The October Rag Market

Our Rag market was a huge success once again. We had another great day

We were at 3 venues this time and the day was opened by Mr X Stitch and we even had a stall where you could get your scissors sharpened

Each Rag Market raises funds for our charity and also our bursary fund

The next Rag  market will be in April 2019

September 2018 Sir Titus Salt

86EACE21-95F3-4992-B1C0-5AE94E40CC30Maria Glot gave us a fantastic talk about Sir Titus Salt. She has studied him for more than 40 years.  We were all issued with bookmarks bearing the names and addresses of people who lived in the village of Saltaire and worked for Sir Titus. Maria had researched who had lived in the houses, found out about the people and their families, and made the characters come to life by telling their stories  Maria was Ellin Dooley on her visit to Hebden Bridge WI

Sir Titus was born in Morley in 1803  He worked initially in his father’s wool business but developed a number of new processes over the years which led to wool that previously wasn’t used to be turned into cloth.   This included alpaca wool which was turned into cloth and then used to make clothes for Queen Victoria.  

Over 100,000 people from the Bradford workhouses worked for him but when poor conditions and poor water supplies led to illness and disease, Sir Titus, who was Mayor of Bradford, began to change things.  He moved from Bradford and bought the site at Saltaire.  There was a clean water supply, a railway and a canal.  He built a railway station and with the railway and canal developed transport links. He then built his mill which opened in 1853, and later houses, schools, churches, shops, parks and a hospital.  He named the streets after his wife, children and family members.

Though he is considered to be a philanthropist, the changes he made were primarily to keep his business going.  He made sure the houses and his workers were clean and put in many systems to stop pollution, and recycled and sold the waste from the factories!  Maria amazed us with information about him and his cleverness.  He developed drainage systems, fireproofed his factory, recycled the water used to supply the houses and even put the urine from the factory toilets to use for dying of cloth and leather!

Maria was also able to tell us about the restoration work that has been done in Saltaire to try and return it to the state it used to be in.  Her talk was fascinating and as a result, we are thinking of having a group visit to Saltaire to go on one on Maria’s walking tours.

It was a fabulous evening!


August 2018 – Blazing Saddles

Oh what fun we had!

Last night we had an amazing outing to Blazing Saddles in Hebden Bridge to try out their electric bikes

There was a mixture of excitement and nerves as many of us had not been on a bike for years!  The staff were very reassuring and efficient, adjusting saddles, handle bars and hats to fit all, as well as providing positive, encouraging words.

In groups of five we wobbles out the back of the shop to Calder Holmes Park.  There the fun began.  the bikes were amazing and so much more comfortable than the bikes many of us remember.  The electric power made handling the bikes very simple.  When we approached our first hill there were shouts and screams of delight as we whizzed up without any effort.  we were keen to do another circuit or two when we gained confidence .  Our speed increased as we experimented with the electrical setting .  Bells started to ring  and lights were put on as we became more confident and ready to try the various switches and attachments.

We returned to the slopes with more confidence and speed.  Feeling like Mr Todd from ‘Wind in the Willows’ we were just discovering the joy of bike riding and the exhilaration of speed out of doors when we had to return to the shop for the next group of five to have a turn.  As I passed a group of teenagers sitting on a bench I couldn’t help shouting ‘Women’s Institute on Wheels’, as we raced back to Blazing Saddles.

We had tea and biscuits and  Q and A in the shop after our trial runs, and were informed about charging distances and the maintenance of the bikes.  There were some really searching questions and we learnt a lot.

We are ‘geared’ up to have a future WI day out in the countryside on some hired bikes.  Blazing Saddles have also offered us a bike maintenance course too.

Thanks to the staff at Blazing Saddles for a lovely evening re-discovering the joy of bike riding

Jeni Wetton