The new year started with an illustrated and informative talk by David and Karen Griffiths from Griffiths’ Mill, Sudbury.
David outlined their journey from working in the legal system to setting up their business, Griffiths’ Mill in Sudbury, in 2009, as sheep farmers in the early days to all stages of processing yarns from rare breed sheep and producing wonderful knitted garments. Karen modelled a beautiful coat made from many different wool breeds and passed around the group a knitted evening dress and a wedding dress along with other items she has created over the years. They have attended twenty eight shows in the last year and been instrumental in setting up Ashbourne Sheep Fair. They demonstrated an extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for all things “Wool”, which was thoroughly appreciated by the members.
Many thanks to Wendy and Richard for the excellent walk and ensuing refreshments, on Saturday 13th January. Twenty two members and friends set off from Calton to Ilam where lunches were delivered before the afternoon return walk, a circular route of 7 miles through beautiful countryside.
It was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in Denstone Village hall when on the first Monday of December, Denstone WI met for their Christmas Party.
The first fun activity was a Christmas Quiz, twenty five questions with all the answers containing the traditional colours of Christmas, Red, Green, Gold and Silver.
This was then followed by a picture quiz with over sixty photos of famous women, challenging members to dig deep to “Name that face”.
Refreshments for the evening were homemade mince pies and warm mulled wine.
The evening continued with light hearted games involving team cooperation and no movement, despite the name of one, Racing Categories.
There was no secret Santa, as like last year, members decided instead to bring along items of toiletries to donate to a local women’s refuge for Christmas.
In the delightful setting of the Christmas lights twinkling outside the windows of Denstone village hall, the evening ended with a selection of carols sung by all, and sent us cheerfully on our way to enjoy the festive month of December, with Denstone WI wishing all a very merry and peaceful Christmas.
Andrea Davies, a young local florist, gave a wonderful and extremely competent demonstration of her skills in arranging a hand held Christmas bouquet. Andrea managed single handed to assemble, cut, tie and wrap a water filled arrangement, displaying dexterity which, as she said, comes with years of practice. She then proceeded to show us how to make a table decoration for the Christmas table using seasonal flowers and decorations.
On the LINKS page is a link to the NFWI page with the 5 new resolutions for 2017-18.
You can click on the links on the web page for information and media links about each of the resolutions to enable you to make your choice before voting for one.
The topics are:-
Mr Simon Wilson, from Wilson Butchers in Abbots Bromley, gave a talk and demonstration on pie and sausage making. Wearing an apron emblazoned with “Serious about Sausage”, Simon introduced himself, his sausages and his pork pies to an appreciative audience. His skill and dexterity displayed in hand linking the sausages was watched in amazement. Samples were available of his award winning products and entertaining anecdotes of the serious nature of Pork Pie competition rules and regulations were shared.
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.
Mary Spencer is our current President