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Ringing Bells for the Olympics

Members of the Women’s Institute are being invited to join in with a campaign to herald the start of the London 2012 Olympics. The Olympic Committee would like everyone to ring a bell across the country at 8.12am on Friday 27th July which is the time of the first Olympic event on the first day.

Any type of bell will do, in fact the strapline for the project is “Any bell, anyone, anywhere”

The idea belongs to Martin Creed, a Turner Prize-winning artist and musician who has been commissioned by the London 2012 Festival to produce a record-breaking piece of art that will allow every member of every community in the UK to mark and to celebrate the first day of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in unison called “All the Bells”.

For more information and to register your interest in taking part, click here

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The Story of a WISH Quilt

We are proud to show our first WISH quilt – the first project group that WISH members attended. One of our very talented members, Val kindly volunteered to head a group of 10 members to complete a machine sewed quilt in 4 sessions.

One of our members, Janine, recently gave a short presentation on what it was like to be a member of the first WISH quilting group:

“Our group met in a local hall on a Monday evening, eager but nervous about how we would get on. The only pre-requisite was that we needed a basic knowledge of how to use a sewing machine.

Val quickly explained that we would be working on 2 squares each and they would be compiled into one large quilt at the end of the project. All materials were supplied – we just had to work out which order to put the colours in and we had to design a small motif for each of our squares.

We all had a mini panic, but Val was very calm and patient and we soon got on with it. It was lovely to meet and get to know the other ladies, we soon started talking about things other than quilting and had a real bond.

At the end of the 4 sessions, names were put into a draw to see who would win the raffle & Kate was the lucky winner.”

Janine went on to thank Val and Sue (her helper) for their support and patience and encourage everyone to sign up for WISH events – She explained that she had got a lot from taking part and had thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Abbeywood Gardens Trip

One of the perks of being a WI member is that you get to go on trips to places that you haven’t heard of before. On Sunday 6 WI members and a guest met at Abbeywood Gardens in Cheshire. There was an introduction to the gardens by Jane, the daughter-in-law of the owner, then there was free time to roam the beautiful gardens before having afternoon tea. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon, especially as the sun made an appearance! Here are some highlights of the day











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Baking Tips

Another collection of great tips, this time all about making our scones lighter and our cakes fluffier! Thanks to everyone who contributed tips this month.


“Cinnamon is great to balance blood sugars and is very tasty! So put it in your baking and sprinkle onto porridge (delish!) add to vegetable curries too!”
Anne Russell

“When measuring out treacle or syrup wipe the measuring spoon with a small amount of oil for an easy glide”

“If you drop a piece of egg shell into your bowl, use another piece of shell to pick it out, the 2 pieces attract each other”
Deb Connor

“Use buttermilk and you’re guaranteed light fluffy scones!”
8 oz self raising flour
2 oz butter
1 1/2 oz fruit
100ml buttermilk
1 oz caster sugar

“when baking in the evening, why not have a gin and tonic? If you like ice and a slice have some sliced and frozen lemons at the ready. But don’t forget the baking!”

“When lemons/oranges are cheap, buy extra and grate/juice and freeze for lemon/orange drizzle cakes”
Maggie Smith

“Christmas bakewell tart – use mincemeat instead of jam!”
Maggie Smith

“freeze ready chopped lemon and limes”

“you can freeze buttercream”

“Chocolate cakes are more moist when they’ve been frozen and defrosted”


Get your thinking caps on for next month – tips for when going on holiday!

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Book Club: May 2012 – The Radleys by Matt Haig

Contains spoilers so if you are intending on reading the book, read this post afterwards!

Our second meeting of the WISH book club saw a healthy turnout as usual last month, all ready to start discussing our latest read, The Radleys by Matt Haig.

Set in a Manchester suburb, The Radleys describes the life of what first seems a ‘normal family’. It soon becomes clear that The Radleys are in fact, vampires and we follow the story of how Mum, Dad, and 2 teenage children carry out their lives. There are some grizzly scenes in the book (understandable when there is quite a bit of blood being consumed?), some humour and plenty of action towards the end.

Cara asked us what our overall impression of the book was and got a mixed reaction. A number of us did not know that it was a vampire book, with some saying they wouldn’t necessarily have picked it up had they known earlier. This didn’t necessarily mean that they didn’t enjoy the read though. Those of us who have previously read vampire fiction felt it wasn’t a particularly sexy look at vampires which made a change from some vampire books. Some of the group wondered if it was so hard to believe as Manchester is so local to us.

As a group we had a some questions about the author -

  • we wondered if it was written with being made into a film in mind?
  • we wondered if Matt Haig has always been interested in vampires? There seemed a lot of knowledge in the book – we particularly liked the celebrities being named as vampires too!

Here are what the members of the group thought.

Our next book is I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith. We will be discussing it on 18th July, 7.30pm at the Micklehead Pub. All are welcome.

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