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.
Rose Barker is our current President