October 15th – Pumpkin Carving

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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

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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

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

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

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

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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

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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

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

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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.

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WI Bursary 2018

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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

February 2018. Overgate Hospice

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

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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