Our Latest News


With thousands of members across the county there's always something interesting going an and so much we want to share with you. Keep up to date with all our latest news and check back regularly for updates and details of events and meetings.

Jean Harding visits the Palace

WI goes to the Palace

Yesterday, The Queen hosted the second of four garden parties to be held this year.

This one took place in the gardens of Buckingham Palace with 8,000 guests to dine on the 27,000 cups of tea and coffee, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake.

Joining Her Majesty were two of her grandchildren, Prince William and Princess Eugenie.

Also in attendance were the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra.

Prince William donned a top hat, while Queen Elizabeth wore her signature matching hat and outfit, this time in a powder blue. She finished the ensemble with white gloves, sunglasses and pearls.


The garden parties have been held since the 1860s to help recognise public service. This time around, guests were serenaded by the Band of Royal Logistics Corps and the Band of the Household Cavalry.


Photos of the Day

Margaret Carter – Federation Chairman, Northumberland

Eight of us were honoured to be invited to the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace yesterday. It was wonderful but the best bit was sharing the time with mostly hitherto unknown other WI members. I had a great day girls and enjoyed your company enormously!

An incredible day , the weather was warm and sunny and rain free. Great company and an experience I will always remember. The military band, squirrels and ducks in the beautiful gardens, The Queen , Prince William and his cousin Eugenie, beautiful hats and dresses, uniforms and national dress, Beefeaters , Top hats and friendly policemen. Ice cream and tiny cakes with chocolate crowns, finger sandwiches and milky tea, tired feet and taxi queues! A million happy memories.

Edit: The invitation did say we were allowed a small camera or camera phone please don’t think I would be so disrespectful as to use a camera when not allowed. ;-)

Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News, WI News

Waterside Walk


As part of the Climate Coalition Week of action from 30 June to 8 July, Sue Bentley the CFWI climate change ambassador is inviting Cheshire WI members to go for a waterside walk and pick up some plastic.

In Cheshire we don’t have a lot of coastline to keep plastic free, but we DO have miles and miles of beautiful canal sides and river banks covered with rubbish.

Why not go for a walk with your fellow WI members and pick it up? Grab a hessian sack or cloth bag each and improve a bit of your local environment. Make sure you separate the plastic rubbish into its own bags then you can take it to the local recycling centre when you are done.

Raise Awareness of plastic pollution

Use this as an opportunity to raise awareness at the same time by decorating your sacks with green hearts and taking photographs and videos on your walk. A well-placed image of some WI ladies emptying their heart covered hessian bags into the recycling bin at the local refuse centre will go a long way on social media.

Involve your MP and local councillors

Invite them to come too. They like a walk as much as the rest of us, and by getting close to the plastic rubbish scattered over our beautiful county they will be reminded that this is something that needs to be dealt with.

Help and Advice

You can get useful information about organising your WI walk on our dedicated Climate Change microsite:


Email Sue on sue.bentley@fightclimatechange.org.uk and let her know if you have a walk planned.  She would be delighted to offer help or advice if needed.

Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News, WI Events

All you need is a little faith, trust… and pixie dust!

Peter Pan

Birmingham Hippodrome and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI), invite WI members, friends and family to an exclusive performance of Peter Pan on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

Launching at this year’s Annual Meeting, WI members are being given an exclusive opportunity to attend a one-day event at the Birmingham Hippodrome.  With specially tailored workshops, craft activities, speakers and tours, members, friends and family, have the chance to be a part of this new, exciting and unique event!  Ticket sales will go live at 11am on Friday 8 June 2018 – don’t miss out.

Starting at 10.30am (doors open at 10am), the pantomime adventure will start with a variety of exciting activities including magic acts, comedy, arts and crafts as well as specially created heritage talks, exhibitions, storytelling and behind the scene tours. After a morning of delight and excitement, take to your seat at 2pm for a special, magical performance of Peter Pan.

  • Cost to attend is £40 each; this includes all pre-show activities, seat for the performance as well as a programme and tub of ice cream.
  • Tickets go on sale at 11am on Friday 8 June 2018 and can be booked online using a unique promotion code (to be announced shortly) via the Hippodrome website birminghamhippodrome.com.
  • Members can book up to 9 tickets in a single booking.  For members wishing to book 10 tickets or more, please call the Group Sales Team on 0844 3387000.
  • All members who book tickets to the event will be asked to provide an email address; this is so the Hippodrome can keep in contact prior to the event regarding arrangements for the day, including a standard pre-visit email which will be sent out approximately 2 weeks before the event.
  • All tickets will be posted by the end of October 2018.
  • A selection of pre-show activities will go on sale (on-line and by phone 0844 3385000) on Friday 14 September 2018 at 11am. These are included in the ticket price but must be pre-booked due to limited spaces.
  • A variety of hospitality options will be available to pre-book on a first-come, first-served basis. Choose from a three-course meal or festive afternoon tea to special, themed hamper packages, there really is something for everyone. Hospitality can be booked on-line or over the phone from Friday 14 September 2018 at 11am.
  • Keep in touch with casting announcements, hospitality options, foyer activities, FAQ by visiting the website birminghamhippodrome.com

If you have any questions, please contact Helen Neal at the NFWI Unit, or visit the Science & Leisure display at the Annual Meeting in Cardiff.  Please note that this event will also be advertised via the WI social media channels and the My WI site.

With best wishes,

Helen Neal
Administrative Secretary
NFWI Unit, Denman College, Marcham, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 6NW
T: 01865 391788 ext. 285
Fax: 01865 391908


Posted in Members News

Congratulations to Prince Harry and Megan Markle


The Cheshire Federation of WIs have sent a card of congratulations and best wishes to HRH Prince Harry and Megan Markle on the occasion of their wedding at Windsor on Saturday 19 May

The Duchess of Sussex

Official Photographs



Posted in WI News

Rogationtide Service – Chester Cathedral

Leaving the Cathedral

Rogationtide Service.  A Celebration of Rural Life in Cheshire held at Chester Cathedral, Sunday 29th April 2018.

Yesterday several Board of Trustees and me were invited to attend the Rogationtide Service and give a presentation.  Sue Bentley, MBE, Climate Change Ambassador, Cheshire Federation gave an excellent presentation under the section “Celebrating the Economy in The Rural Area”.

Thank you Sue your presentation was superb and you did the Federation proud and I was so pleased to be part of the congregation to hear you speak.

Jean Harding

Federation Chairman

Posted in Members News

Dr Ruth Bromley – Spring PAL Meeting

PALs meeting 2018
There was a packed hall at Byley Village Hall to listen to Dr Ruth Bromley on Monday 23rd April 2018, 1.30pm – 3.45pm
PAL meeting 230418

“How are ethical dilemmas resolved in medicine ?”

• Doctors have to make very difficult decisions every day.
• How do they make these decisions ?
• Do we always, as patients, understand the nature of these decisions and the impact they have on the doctors as well as the patients ?
• This talk will inevitably contain sensitive subjects
Dr Ruth Bromley, our speaker, is a GP in South Manchester, a GP Trainer and Appraiser, the Lead for Ethics and Law at Manchester Medical School.
PAL speaker 2018
Very interesting and informative meeting. Congratulations to Public Affairs Sub-Committee for a very successful event.
Jean Harding,
Federation Chairman.
2018 Resolutions boards
Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News, WI Events

Literary Lunch – 19 April 2018 – Cheshire View – Christleton

Sarah signing books

The sun shone for the first time this spring which enabled members to enjoy a morning coffee in the sunshine looking out over the Kelsall Hills.

166 members from WIs all across the Federation enjoyed a three course lunch of melon, Salmon with a creamy sauce and a choice of profiteroles or fruit pavlova in the relaxed atmosphere of the Masonic Hall.

We had come together to listen to Sarah Ward, Fictional Crime writer, tell us about her life as a writer.

Sarah told us she had moved to Bramhall as a child but after meeting and marrying her husband in Iceland she now lives in Derbyshire and sets her series of novels there, weaving in the history of the industrial past into all her stories.

Sarah loved reading from an early age and found herself drawn to a love of crime writers from her early enjoyment of Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven and Agatha Christy, in the days when it was always the beautiful blonde, woman who met an untimely death.

Sarah has a website called Crimepieces and she reviews the work of other writers on there.  https://crimepieces.com/about/

She is writing a blog to give us the full list of writers who have influenced her.  Watch out for it here:


Sarah is now writing her fourth book which will be published in the autumn.  Her books are available in hard back, paper back and on Kindle.

The day was organised by the Cheshire News Editorial Team to who we all gave a round of applause at the end of a very enjoyable day.

Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News

Ludworth and Mellor – Celebrate 100 Years

Ludworth and Mellor celebration cake

Ludworth and Mellor celebration cake

Cheshire Federation’s oldest WI, Ludworth and Mellor has celebrated their 100 birthday.

I together with Selina Prescott, Vice Chairman and Vivien Lee, WI Adviser, was a guest at their afternoon tea with a suffragette theme. The celebrations took place in their newly refurbished Hall where the delicious food had been prepared by the Committee. There was a beautifully decorated cake (see photograph) and various pieces of memorabilia around the hall which brought back many happy memories to the members.

The members entered into the spirit of the day by dressing as suffragettes and they all looked the part, giving the afternoon such a lovely atmosphere. I feel sure that the ladies who formed Ludworth & Mellor WI all those years ago would have been extremely proud of the way the WI has been sustained over the past 100 years and will be I am sure, for many years to come.

Congratulations to all concerned in making the day so special.

Ludworth & Mellor was formed before Cheshire Federation, as were Audlem, Barrow, Chorlton & Cuddington, Dunham Massey, Kingsley and Utkinton all of whom celebrate their centenaries next year next year.

Cheshire Federation who will be celebrating its Centenary in 2020.

Jean Harding

Federation Chairman

Ludworth & Mellor

Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News, WI News

Annual Council Meeting 2018

Jean our Federation Chairman with Chris Lubbe

400 members packed into the hall of Sandbach Girls School on Saturday 10 March for the Annual Council Meeting for a day of meeting fellow members, business and speakers.

Wendy Morris from Fulshaw WI shares her report of the meeting:

I attended the Spring Annual Council Meeting at Sandbach and I am still feeling the impact from it.  My motto is that “I should learn something new every day” and Saturday could keep me going for weeks!

Jean Harding, our Chair, opened up the proceedings with her thanks to all involved in helping to run the Federation.  She also thanked the members for supporting the myriad of activities available to them.  Each member of the Board introduced themselves and gave a quick round up of events.

I was under the misapprehension that the morning speaker would be talking about hearing aids! I have no idea why but James Johnson from Independent Age was not only interesting but gave us some ideas for volunteering.  His talk was based around the small national charity who believes in keeping older people’s lives as independent as possible through advice and support.  This tied very nicely into our Resolution to combat loneliness in our communities. We can help support by being a visitor, telephone friend or even help on their support lines. James had a lovely caring manner about him and their website is worth looking at to hear what impact they have made.  www.indendentage.org

After having a lunch break and catching up with ladies from across the county we were excited to hear from Chris Lubbe.  He was a body guard to Nelson Mandela for ten years so he was undoubtedly going to be dropping the odd famous name or two but he was much more than that.  He went from one experience to another telling us the personal impact of apartheid and the distressing stories of his personal journey including his family, education, peaceful demonstrations resulting in imprisonment and torture and the journey to forgiveness. So many interesting, thought provoking and emotional tales resulted in a standing ovation for Chris.  I’m sure he touched many people that day.

The day ended with a rousing rendition of the national anthem with over 400 strong voices. I really enjoy attending both Federation and National events – it really makes you feel that you are a part of something much bigger than your Institute.  If you haven’t been I would really recommend going along and experiencing something very special.

Viv Evans from Timbersbrook WI played the piano for us

Viv Evans from Timbersbrook WI played the piano for us

Dorothy Monks from Lower Withington WI produced the wonderful flower arrangements

Dorothy Monks from Lower Withington WI produced the wonderful flower arrangements

Diane Coulton stepped down as Federation Treasurer after 10 years.  Jean thanked her for all her hard work and also thanked Judith Kennedy who has decided not to stand again for the Board of Trustees.

We thank them both for all their hard work for the Federation over the years

Diane Coulton Fed Treasurer for 10 years

Diane Coulton has been Federation Treasurer for 10 years and was thanked by Jean Harding

Judith Kennedy

Judith Kennedy has stepped down from the Board of Trustees

Jean presented a number of certificates to WIs in the Federation which were given by the NFWI:

The WIs to receive certificates were:

Boothesmere celebrating 50 years

Hartford celebrating 75 years

Woolston & District celebrating 75 years, and

Ludworth & Mellor celebrating 100 years

The morning speaker was James Johnson from Independent Age

morning speaker

James Johnson from Independent Age was the morning speaker

2018 Annual Meeting Report

Here are some of the photographs from a most enjoyable day

Members have been commenting on the meeting on Facebook and twitter

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Chris took photos of us from the stage


Members at the meeting

Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News, WI News

Christine Robinson – Handbridge WI

Christine in her garden

It was lovely to see one of our members featuring in the March copy of WI Life.  Christine has created a beautiful garden in Handbridge, on the outskirts of Chester.

Gardening Life

Christines beautiful garden

Handbridge garden

Handbridge members garden

WI Life

Does your garden have a story to tell?

Here at WI Life we’d love to hear from you if you think your own garden or perhaps a community garden or a WI project or an allotment has an interesting story that members would like to hear.

Please get in touch and email Charlotte at c.mcintyre@nfwi.org.uk

Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News, WI News

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