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


September 18th-The Secret Diaries of Anne Lister

We were given a talk by Christine Booth from Shibden Hall in Halifax

She gave an amazing insight into the life of Anne Lister who was born in 1791 and lived at Shibden Hall in Halifax.  She died in 1840, but achieved many things in her life.  She was a remarkable business woman, a traveller and mountaineer.

Though we were told about her family background, childhood and her schooldays, education, daily life and work, the focus of the talk was Anne Lister’s diaries.

Anne kept diaries from her schooldays throughout her life.  They were written in code, which was developed to keep the contents secret.  They detailed her daily life, education and work but also her relationships with women throughout her life.   This was all logged in both diaries and schoolgirl notebooks.  It is thought that the code was developed to keep the details of her raltionships secret from her lovers’ husbands.

October 2017 – Live Wild

Whittling and Foraging

We met on a tempestuous October evening among the swirling leaves to get in touch with our more natural selves curtesy of Leona and Leonie from Calderdale’s Live Wild. We started the session by going outside and standing in a circle and closing our eyes to open our senses to the natural world. It was a good night for it, with leaves scuttling around and the river babbling loudly nearby. When we returned in doors we split into two groups one group having a go a whittling.


This was social, good fun and surprisingly easy. So much so, that I am now the proud owner of a homemade Skirtle (a porridge stirrer for the uninitiated). We swapped groups half way through the evening and talked about foraging concentrating on what was available at this time of year.


Leonie introduced us to drinks made from Rowan and Elderflower berries and nettle tea.


There was even time for some of the more creative amongst us to make a bracelet out of nettles. Our evening ended as usual with cake and tea with the lovely edition of cheesy scones; thank you to Ann for those. Anyone wishing to pursue woodcraft further can get in touch with Live Wild at: http://www.livewild.org.uk or on Facebook: livewildcalderdale. Thank you to Live Wild for being such lovely company and opening up a little of what goes on in the woods in Calderdale for us.
Jeni Wetton.

August 2017 – Zumba!

IMG_0100Nicole Wickenden came to do Zumba with us.  What a fun night we had.

She told us the history of Zumba and explained that it started almost by accident in Columbia in the 1990s.  A fitness instructor arrived at his class without his usual music and improvised with some Latin dance music.  The people in his class enjoyed it so much that they asked him to use it again.  Zumba then spread to America and is now used worldwide

Nicole is a trained instructor and very gently took us through our paces.  She was a great teacher and made us all laugh a lot.  The workout gave us a good appetite for cake!