Denstone WI keeping everybody refreshed with homemade teas and cake at the local show.
August is traditionally our month off from WI commitments, but this was definitely not the case this year. Our members have thrown themselves into physical activities on three separate occasions. Earlier in the month we were invited up to Wootton Cricket Club by Rose and Ed Barker to enjoy our annual evening of outdoor games. Despite heavy rain earlier in the week, Ed had managed to provide us with a marked-out rounders pitch, a mini golf course, a croquet lawn, a fairway for those who enjoyed hitting golf balls great distances and other space to play more whacky games. The members had a splendid time hitting, throwing, catching and most of all laughing hysterically at each other’s antics. As light faded, we repaired into the club house where a mountain of food awaited us, and, as if this was not enough, board games, darts and highly competitive table tennis games followed soon after the feast. What a great evening it was!
A week or so later, twenty or so of our intrepid members met at the Ramblers’ Retreat in Dimmingsdale for an evening walk up to the Youth Hostel and beyond. The walk involved a moderately steep climb which everybody managed well, if a little breathlessly, before we broke out into the open and were able to enjoy beautiful views in the late evening sunshine. The evening ended back in Denstone where Mary Spencer and Jenny Richardson provided well-earned refreshments and drinks for all the walkers.
Then came the highlight of the month, when two dozen of our members met at Armitage Farm for a mystery walk organised by Joyce and David Boden. What a surprise they had in store for us! After a five minute walk we found ourselves being welcomed onto the new JCB golf course by Euan Grant the golf course manager and Gary Marks from JCB. There followed a most fascinating tour of the golf course. Euan gave us a detailed account of all that is involved in constructing a golf course out of farmers’ fields. His enthusiasm for the subject was infectious and we learnt huge amounts about landscaping, drainage, water supply, different grasses - for the greens, the fairways and the rough - the construction of bunkers, the linings for them, the particular sand used, and much more. The course itself looked stunning in the evening light, the sympathetic sculpturing of the landscape merging beautifully with views of the Weaver Hills beyond. We marvelled at the driving range with its high-tech equipment, and at the plans for Woodseat Lodge, and finished at the tee above the 17th hole overlooking the lake - a spot to make any golfer’s mouth water. This treat of a tour was then followed by refreshments and much talk at Armitage farm.
We are now looking forward to our meeting on 18th September at 7.30pm which will be a talk on the restoration of the Uttoxeter Canal. This will be an open meeting which friends and family are welcome to attend.
Glorious weather made it a wonderful day to cycle the Tissington trail and to have lunch with friends.
On completion of all the business matters, Amanda Emerson, from the charity, ARCH talked about the work of the charity which links services in the Staffordshire area aiding and supporting victims of Domestic Violence. Amanda talked about her personal role, working with the children affected by domestic violence and also outlined the work of Independent Domestic Violence Advisors and other agencies. She read two powerful poems written by a victim of domestic violence and then answered many questions members had about the work of the charity. Members presented Amanda with two boxes of toiletry items they had collected for the women affected by domestic violence and abuse.
We had our second visit to Denstone Bowls Club on Wednesday. Once again they were tremendously welcoming and helpful and we had a great time, many thanks to the club members who came along to support us.
Due to the third Monday of the month falling on Easter Monday, Denstone WI held their April meeting early on April 10th. It was an open meeting, friends, partners and all visitors were welcomed by Mary Spencer and Wendy Forrester introduced the guest speaker for the evening, Michael Betteridge who gave an illustrated and entertaining report on the history and current situation of The Royal and Ancient Game of Ashbourne Shrovetide. This was very topical as we were approaching the end of Lent and had just five weeks earlier experienced the Ashbourne Shrovetide Game. Many of the audience hailed from the Ashbourne area and remembered the importance of this event as children, when a day or two off school was a very memorable thing. Michael was assisted by Robert Todd and together they gave background information on the history of the event, humorous reflections and personal experiences, demonstrating a thorough dedication to ensuring this tradition continues. There were many questions from the audience at the end of the presentation, showing the level of interest in this very local topic.
Another wonderful lunch and good company. About £100 was raised for the Nightingale Ward at Derby hospital.
Seventeen WI members and partners joined in with the litter pick. The weather was perfect which helped to make the whole event enjoyable, particularly the cup of tea and biscuits consumed afterwards in the sunshine. A huge amount of rubbish was collected and the village was left looking very smart.
The New Year's party was very well attended. A quiz about cheese compiled by Gill and her husband followed by a play written by Jenny and acted by some of the members. The buffet, also provided by members was a gastronomic feast.
" oo...er Grommit, that quiz was a bit tricky and I thought I knew my cheeses" - Wallace
".. if they put much more food on those tables they'll collapse" - a husband
" such energy and drama - the thrills kept coming and everybody gave it their all" - branch member
" better than the murder on the Orient Express" - Robert