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!


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