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


A boozy November

An hour after the flood alarm siren and amidst a howling gale enough intrepid WI members managed to stagger to the Town Hall for November’s WI meeting. Sadly many members were still stuck on trains and buses or worse, carrying their belongings upstairs in case the river burst its banks again. Fortunately Hebden got away with localised surface flooding thanks to the quick response of many residents and council workers clearing the drains and culverts of autumn leaves.

Those of us that managed to make the WI were in for a treat. We were given a mini wine course and tasting (that wasn’t quite so mini!) by wine educator and advisor to restaurants and hotels, John Butterworth. John had had an awful journey himself to get to us from Wetherby but he quickly got down to the vital business of educating us about wine.


We learned how to Swirl, Sniff, Slurp and Swallow our wine while breathing out for taste – not as easy as it seems. We had a practical session of doing this with white and red wines. We learned how to read a wine label and store and serve wine. John also gave tips on matching wine to food and gave us a good background to the differences between Old and New World wines. In between our slurps we enjoyed olives and cheese nibbles provided by Sakinah.


Many useful things were learned, for example cellar temperature is 10 degrees while room temperature means 16 degrees and £2.50 for every bottle you drink goes directly to the Treasury – ouch! But perhaps most useful was being reassured that one can enjoy good wines from supermarkets, even the discount ones, as long as you go for their premier own labels such as ‘taste the difference’ or ‘exquisite’. If any of you are looking for the best English sparkling wine for your Christmas table he recommends the award winning Nye Timber which can be purchased from Waitrose and has won over Champagne in recent years.


For those of you who are disappointed that you missed the good recommendations, John said Christine Austen who writes for the Yorkshire Post gives excellent recommendations of latest offers from the supermarkets. And he said M&S do good 25% discount promotions that are worth keeping an eye on.

After a really interesting evening we again staggered out but this time it probably wasn’t just the outside storm.

Written by Jeni Wetton

Hebden Bridge WI Bake Off

On 21 March 2016 we celebrated our 5th birthday, and what better way to celebrate than with lots of cake in the form of a bake off?

We kicked the evening off with canapés & fizz, and enjoyed a culinary quiz whilst the serious business of cake judging got underway.

The village fete style competition included five baking classes – the Victoria Sandwich class adhered strictly to the time honoured WI recipe,  no icing sugar or buttercream in sight, please!

We were delighted with both the quantity and the quality of the bakes, our members and guests did us did us proud!


Jen assisting with the registration.

We welcomed Mike and Moira, from our local ‘Love Grows’ Tea Rooms as our guest judges. They recently secured a Deliciously Yorkshire award in the ‘Best Afternoon Tea’ category so we knew we were in good hands! They did an excellent job in channelling their inner Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood in the taste tests, and presenting the awards to our winners.

And the Results are in…

Our lovely member, Brenda Alderson, was crowned ‘Show Champion’, winning a bottle of bubbly, and an afternoon tea for two voucher. Brenda had a great night, also winning a Highly Commended in the ‘Free From’ class, as well as First Place in the Victoria Sandwich competition, a star baker indeed!


Class First Place Highly Commended
Free From Fliss Johnson-Standley Brenda Alderson
Savoury Polly Williams
Biscuits/Flapjack/Traybake Jeni Wetton Ruth Gosden
Decorate a cupcake Ruth Gosden
WI Victoria Sandwich Brenda Alderson Vanessa Kay

With ‘Guess the weight of the cake’, and ‘Guess the number of sweets in a jar’ competitions, and donations from the bake sale at the end of the evening, we raised almost £90 for the Women Centre in West Yorkshire, our nominated charity of the year.

It was lovely to have so many representatives from other WIs to help us celebrate our big day, including friends from: Siddal, Wadsworth and the Mytholmroyd Marmaladies. Special thanks go to our Bake Off mastermind and organiser-extraordinaire Karen Cunningham.


We all thoroughly enjoyed our 5th birthday party – we’re already looking forward to our 6th birthday celebrations, and, many more to come!

Invite: Christmas Party

Hi everyone,

I know this time of year is hectic but I hope you’ll find the time to come along to our Christmas party on Monday 21st December. As usual, we’re in the Waterfront Hall in Hebden Bridge Town Hall, doors open around 7pm for a 7.30pm start and guests are welcome to attend for £3.

We’ll provide the drink but as it’s a party, please bring food to share and please label your contribution if it contains any allergens like nuts, gluten or dairy. There will also be a quiz and activities, so it should be a fun, social and informal evening.

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Bees in June

We’d been keen to do a talk on beekeeping for a while because the health of these important pollinators has been an ongoing WI concern since our SOS For Honeybees campaign in 2009. Fortunately, our talented member Jen Kaines keeps bees and she kindly agreed to do a talk for us.

We like to give our members the opportunity to do talks or organise meetings. It’s certainly not compulsory but we regard public speaking as part of the WI’s remit of developing skills, so we do like to encourage it. After Sarah Long’s excellent talk on Mental Health back in March, it was Jen’s turn to impress us with her expertise and she certainly did.

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Invite: Recipes of Resistance

Hi everyone,

The next HBWI meeting is on Monday 16th February and doors open at 7-ish for a 7.30pm start. Guests welcome for £3.

Hilly Fletcher of The Halifax Friends Of Palestine is our guest this month with a varied and delicious presentation about the work they do with Jameela’s Kitchen, a women’s co-operative in Gaza. We’ll get to watch authentic Palestinian dishes being assembled and then get to taste them, which I’m sure will be popular.

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Sticky Sugar

In November we went old-school WI and put our pinnies on for a fantastic sugarcraft demonstration with Mandy Hurd.

Mandy was an excellent demonstrator and we highly recommend her to other WI’s in the area. Incredibly, this was the first time that she’d done a talk on her sugarcraft, although she is an experienced needlecraft demonstrator which obviously helped.

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Invite: Christmas party

Ah, it’s that jingly time of the year again. Are you ready? I’m not!

This month it’s our Christmas party and it’s a Jacob’s Join so please bring along a dish to share – either sweet or savoury, it’s entirely up to you. We’re providing alcoholic and non-alcoholic fizz and there will be quizzes, games and hopefully much merriment. If you remember, bring a pen and paper. Dressing up is entirely optional but I shall be putting on my glad rags and of course, a new hat!

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Invite: Getting sugary in November

Oooh er, get your buns out, missus! (You have to imagine that I did that in a very bad Sid James voice.)

Yes, Monday’s meeting on November 17th at 7.30 is all about the art of sugarcraft. We’re delighted to welcome Mandy Hurd who’s going to teach us how to decorate cupcakes using butter cream and sugarpaste. This is a hands-on meeting, so bring an apron and a rolling pin if you have them. Apparently smaller rolling pins are best. You may also want to bring a box or bag to take your decorated cakes home.

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