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!


Race for life -written by Jeni Wetton


Race for Life
Hebden Bridge WI is just six years old and throughout those six years we have had many highs and celebrations but March this year brought our first really sad event with the death of Janet Blackburn.
Janet had been an enthusiastic member of the WI. She was fun loving, arty and a fantastic dresser. She gathered people to her, and expanded the WI by bringing in new members with her enthusiasm for all we did, her beaming smile and her fantastic ability to talk to anyone.
Following her death at Overgate Hospice we put our heads together to try and think of a fitting tribute to Janet. We decided on having Overgate Hospice as our charity of the year and we have set a target of trying to beat our previous charity work by coming up with small fundraising activities through the year so in May 2018 we hope to be handing over a substantial cheque to Overgate.
But we also wanted to achieve something this year and something that we needed to work towards; something Janet would have encouraged us in, and be proud of us for doing. So we came up with running in the Race for Life for Cancer Research UK and raising money in Janet’s name. Eight brave members of the WI: Val, Emma, Fliss, Vanessa, Annette, Jilly, Libby and myself self-consciously put our hands up. We span an age range of 30 something to around 60 years old. Some of us have done running before and some of us hadn’t so we were a complete mix.
Last Sunday in temperatures reaching 23 degrees centigrade Team Hebden Bridge WI ran either 5k or 10k around Heaton Park, Manchester with a photograph of Janet on our backs, an intimidating Race for Life number on the front and a determination to do our best and not let Janet down.

We did it! And we did it for Janet. And so far we have raised over £800, and there is still money coming in. It seems fitting that others suffering from cancer in the North West region will benefit from our efforts. We know that Janet would be proud of us and have supported what we did.
Thank you to all those who sponsored us. If you would still like to donate click on the link below. It’s really easy. Thank you.
Jeni Wetton.


June 2017 – Summer Party


We had a really fun night with Games Fascilitator Hannah Merriman.

The evening started with our usual ‘stand up sit down bingo’ and also included a raffle with lucky dip prizes.  Hannah got us to play lots of different fun games and though we started off being reserved and rather shy, by the end of the evening everyone was fully involved and in some cases, cheating in order to win the team events!  It was a fantastic evening all told.

Everyone brought along some food to share and we had a lovely buffet supper to end the evening.


The Rag Market April 29th 2017


We held our Rag Market in April, which was a huge success again.  We raised £858.29 for our charities.


There were some fantastic stalls with so many fantastic things to buy and of course we had a cake stall at the Egg Factory which went down very well


The next Rag Market will be in October

April 24th 2017 – Modern calligraphy

Nicky Chadwick from Scarlet Starfish came to tell us about her current work with calligraphy.  She writes labels, place names, invitations and many more things for people for many different occasions.  Her work was lovely.

We were were given the opportunity to try doing the lettering ourselves. We borrowed her pens, nibs and ink and copied the lettering.  It was not quite as easy as it looked!  Many of us ended up with very inky fingers and blotted paper but some people made a really good job of it and invented their own a style of writing and drawing

All in all it was a really good evening

March Meeting WI CAN CRAFT

What a fantastic evening we had!  The evening was filled with topics related to crafting and included a competition open to all WI members.

The competition categories were:

  • Home knitting
  • Crochet
  • Soft toys
  • Something for tea
  • Upcycled Jeans
  • A needlecraft sampler
  • Quilt or patchwork
  • Water themed decoration for the WI Hebden Bridge Arts Festival tree

There were some fantastic entries

It wasn’t just about prizes though.

There was a quiz about crafting, a tombola and a guess the number of buttons in the jar competition

Even the cakes that were served with our tea and coffee were craft themed – decorated with buttons made from chocolate, and there were biscuits that looked like huge buttons too

There were prizes – highly commended and first prize in each section.  There was also a Star Maker prize which was awarded to Vanessa Kay who had submitted some fantastic pieces in every section

Everyone had a fantastic time and many of us left with inspiration for future  projects


August’s Meeting -Yoga & Relaxation

Tracy Davies from Blessingway Yoga led us in August’s Yoga Relaxation session. Tracy trained as a yoga teacher in India in 2006, returning to teach mature yoga. She encouraged us to be gentle with ourselves and listen to our bodies.


We had a large turn out for this meeting, but we just managed to fit into a large circle in Waterfront Hall! Tracy led us in some stretches and a Sun Salutation, and got us all sleepy and relaxed with breathing  exercises and guided meditation.


After all our ‘hard work’ we rewarded ourselves with some tasty cakes made my our talented members. 🙂

Kimono Capers

For our July meeting, Katie from Japan Crafts came to talk to us about the art and history of kimono wearing.  Katie has the envious task of travelling to Japan several times a year to pick up textiles and craft supplies for her business.  She also collects vintage kimonos and kimono accessories and she brought a selection of these with her along with some craft kits and Japanese fabric which were very popular with our members.

craft materials for sale

Fabulous fabrics from Japan

Katie has a kimono teacher in Japan so she really knows her stuff: she’s very knowledgeable about the history of kimono wearing as well as all the different styles of kimono and accessories that go with it. She began the kimono demonstration by dressing a mannequin in cotton underwear that looked like a dressing gown.

She explained that in the past kimonos used to be everyday wear but now they are kept for ceremonial and formal occasions, often to do with matchmaking, and are extremely expensive. Part of the reason for this is that the fabric is often handwoven and handprinted and can take a long time to produce. Katie told us that it can cost £2,000 to buy a handprinted silk kimono but could cost ten times more than that. Many kimonos are made of silk and they need to be kept away from the body because they can’t be washed.  We were surprised at how much padding goes underneath a kimono to get the body to the ‘right’ shape which is basically a rectangle.  The bust has to be flattened and the waist padded out and there are a number of ties that need tying around the various undergarments along with accessories to attach like collar stiffeners, so a kimono wearer may need up to 3 dressers to help her into her outfit!

There are different styles of kimono to suit the season and the summer one Katie dressed her mannequin in was deep red with multicoloured flowers.  She finished off the outfit with an obi which is a wide silk belt.  There are many shapes the obi can be tied into at the back of the kimono, and Katie showed us one called  ‘plump little sparrow’ which required a great deal of skill.

the plump little sparrow

Plump little sparrow

To finish off the outfit, the fashionable Japanese woman would wear white ‘tabi’ or split toed socks with wooden sandals.  The complete kimono ensemble looked amazing but for the wearer, maybe not so comfortable and not so easy to visit the loo in a hurry!the finished kimono

by Polly Williams


July’s HBWI Book Group

Monday 25th July

Tonight five of us met for book group in the White Lion at 7.30 until about 9.

Book group meets the Monday after the main WI meet. It runs as a book swap rather than a traditional book group, we bring books we have read, introduce them, recommend or not in some cases and others take them to read. There is no pressure to read them by the next meeting. We have book marks showing who brought the book and whether they want it back when finished or if it can be donated to charity.

There were a real mixture of books again tonight from Scandi-noir to historical novels. We had a bit of chat about Kate Atkinson – at the moment Case Histories,  Human Croquet and others are doing the rounds. Most of us have read some of Kate Atkinsons books, but some time ago so are thinking of re-reading as we all enjoyed them.

The meetings are always lots of fun so do come along to the next meet on Monday 22nd August if you fancy some book chat. We are going to set up the meetings as events on Facebook so if you are coming do respond just so no one is sat in the pub on their own in case no one can make it.