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.

We Will Remember Them

wi poppies




The NFWI guidelines allow WIs to donate money to a poppy wreath on remembrance day so that members can remember family and friends lost in any war and the work women have done fighting for their country either overseas or on the land.

Many older members talk about caring for evacuees, canning and preserving fruit, making pies or moving out from cities to work on the land and joining their local WIs after the war.

Lady Denman was chairman of the NFWI but also of the Women’s Land Army and many of the women she worked with in the NFWI helped to feed the nation in our time of need.

Cheshire Federation of WI’s Prepare for War

The WI coped with war

Chesire Womens Land Army

Cheshire Land Girls


It was a battle with no guns and few casualties but it was one of the most vital of the Second World War. At its height the Women’s Land Army had more than 80,000 at the “front” – farm workers who took the place of men to help save Britain from starvation. They were called the Land Girls.

Gertrude Denman summed it up: “The land army fights in the fields. It is in the fields that the most critical battle of the war may well be fought and won.”

Baroness Denman, suffragist and public service veteran, had helped run Britain’s first Women’s Land Army as president of the Women’s Institute in 1917. In 1938 the Ministry of Agriculture asked Gertrude to do it again – this time as honorary director – and in June 1939 the army was re-formed.

The 54-year-old set up HQ at her home, a Victorian pile in West Sussex, and by December 4,500 Land Girls were at work. They fought with hoes, spades and tractors. Around 6,000 joined the Timber Corps, chopping trees and running sawmills.

When conscription began in December 1941, women could choose between the military and the Women’s Land Army. Earlier that year, as U-boats wreaked havoc with Atlantic supply convoys, Britain was days away from running out of food.

The Land Girls were mainly aged between 17 and 30, from middle and working class backgrounds, and a third came from the big cities. They lived at farms or hostels and learned on the job.

There was an agricultural training school which land girls were sent to, in Holmes Chapel and a dairy school at Reaseheath.


A WW1 land girl training at Cheshire Agricultural College, Homes Chapel

The uniform, with wheat sheaf badge, was not compulsory although many wore it – the Women’s Land Army was the only service that allowed trousers. There was also a magazine and a song:

Back to the Land, we must all lend a hand,
To the farms and the fields we must go,
There’s a job to be done,
Though we can’t fire a gun,
We can still do our bit with the hoe.

A government slogan proclaimed: “For a healthy, happy job, join the Women’s Land Army.”

The reality could be different; hours were long and pay was poor. In 1939, women got 28/- (£1.40) for a 50-hour week, 10/- (50p) less than the average farm wage. Half of that went on food and accommodation and as the women were paid by farmers, they often received even less.

Many rural areas had no piped water or electricity.  WI members took in evacuees from the towns and the Stockport area and Acton & Reaseheath took children and teachers from Guernsey.


Ill feeling was rife at first; male workers resented women doing “men’s work” and local females felt threatened. But as the Land Girls proved their worth, problems fell away. Almost all looked back on their service fondly, revelling in the independence of leaving home and earning money.

The Duchess of Wessex dedicated the memorial to the land girls at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire.


Our Members Laid Wreaths to Remember

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

Members visit WI House

WI House, Chester

CG visit the house Jean with Cale Green

Photos of Cale Green WI members Jeanette Paton, Jyoti Prayag, Jean Harding, Stella Campion and Sue Doyle at WI House

WI House has been visited over the last 2 weeks by some of our Cheshire WIs namely Runcorn (Ferry Girls) WI, Heswall Honeys WI and Cale Green who all said they had had a wonderful time.

Runcorn The Ferry Girls visit the house

Why not come along yourselves fellow Cheshire WI members and have a tour!


Posted in Members News



We have copyright on our Cheshire News and online copies can only be viewed on one computer and not printed off to protect this copyright for members who buy their own copy.

You need a Licence to reproduce music for your meetings.

Did you know there is also copyright on photos and material on the internet?  Material published online is generally copyrighted to the publisher of the information but you must be careful not to reproduce someone else’s pictures and literature unless it is free for use and it will state whether or not you can reproduce it.

You must ask permission from members if you are going to publish their pictures and many WI’s obtain permission to do so.

NFWI has sent us some guidelines to share with you all.

NFWI advice for using images

Below is a use of photographs permission form you can adapt for your own use

Use of Photographs Permission Form

Government Guidelines on Copyright

Posted in Members News, WI News

Coming Up To Christmas


There are lots of events arranged for members to enjoy in the run-up to Christmas.  We look forward to seeing you there:

Christmas Flowers

Carol Service


Posted in Members News, WI Events

Autumn Council Meeting



News and pictures have been posted as a new event

Autumn Council Meeting

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

Your WI – A Year in Photographs


Elizabeth Bell photographic competition

Written by: NFWI Science & Leisure Committee

Inspired by member’s talent and love of photography, the NFWI Science & Leisure Committee invites WIs to submit a collection of photographs depicting a year in their WI for the 2017/18 Elizabeth Bell Challenge.

Running from January – December 2018, WIs are invited to compose a selection of no more than 12 photographs which represent a year in their WI. Photographs can be taken monthly or at various events and activities attended or organised by the WI throughout the year.

For more details, download a copy of the competition schedule below. You can also download an individual booking form.



Posted in Members News, WI News

Kate Bliss at Poynton Civic Hall


Kate joined us at the Civic Hall in Poynton for a lovely evening.

As Margaret Gradwell from Gee Cross WI said ‘Kate Bliss from Bargain Hunt, & many other Antique programmes gave a talk on special finds and how her career took off by being in the right place at the right time.’

It was a superb evening and I wish to thank all the members who attended and made the evening a great success.

Thank you also to all those who helped and to the staff of Poynton Civic Hall.

Jean Harding, Federation Chairman


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

Gee Cross WI Well Dressing

Well dressers at work

This year’s well-dressing was a wonderful affair but tinged with a little sadness.  As most of you know we lost our long serving joint President and friend Margaret Eddowes last November and as the well-dressing was very dear to her we knew we had to make a special effort.

Our theme was the R.N.L.I. in honour of Margaret as this was a charity she held very dear to her heart.

The ladies of Gee Cross WI worked extremely hard to produce a beautiful picture.  The day dawned with beautiful sunshine and we all assembled at 1.45 pm ready for the off at 2.00 pm.

We had the Denton Brass Band which led us round the wells and our heroes the Blood Bikes kept the traffic at bay as we made our way round.  We were very pleased to have the Lady Mayor of Tameside Mrs Joyce Bowerman and her consort with us, and they thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon, never having done anything like it before.

Margaret’s three Sons and their families also joined us much to our delight.

There was short entertainment in the chapel by the Brownies and some of their young people and then tea, coffee & cakes were enjoyed back at the Chapel Hall.

I think Margaret would have approved of the successful day we had.

Lynne Schofield-Secretary,

Gee Cross WI

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

Cheshire Visit to Denman

Cheshire Denman Weekend

Cheshire Federation visit to Denman 22nd and 23rd October, 2017


2 places on the Federation visit to Denman on 22/23rd October have become available. The cost is £182 for this Taster Visit where you have 4 hours of tuition, a night at Denman, all meals from afternoon tea on 22nd to afternoon tea on 23rd and coach to and from Denman included in the price.

If you are interested please contact me, Lyn Hand, on 01244 375283 or email tomhand@btinternet.com 

Please contact Lyn ASAP if you are interested as details need to be sent to Denman.

Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News

Chester & Manchester Pride Marches

With Mayor of Chester

Georgina with LSS

This was the first year CFWI had been represented at Chester Pride.  The Public Affairs team had an information stand in the welfare Marquee on Castle Square on Saturday 19th August.

Despite the dreadful weather Little Sutton Sapphires WI braved the rain and took part in the march through the city along-side many other organisations .

Our information stand attracted lots of interest and I felt honoured when the organisers of the day thanked the WI for being part of the day and acknowledging the Pride movement  .
Georgina Denny

chair public affairs CFWI

WI stand Pride march


2017 marked the 5th year of the City of Chester, celebrating the inclusion and diversity of the LGBT community. Cheshire Federation WI Public Affairs committee members Georgina Denny & Vicky Downie from The Iron Maidens WI, worked along with Sue Prince, Kerry Lee, Lucy Irving, Sandra Oldfield, Clare Burns, Ruth Jones, Helen Dunne & Elaine Wynne from Little Sutton Sapphires WI and joined in the celebrations. Even though it rained during the parade most of the ladies took part, and walked with other groups to enjoy the event which was both colourful & entertaining. This being the first time the Cheshire Federation has taken part in the event, it was met with positive support and encouraging comments from the LGBT community. Many women personally thanked the WI for attending the event and mentioned that they looked forward to the WI’s presence at the event in the future.

Lynne Callister

Secretary Little Sutton Sapphires

 Chester pride march


Over 100 WI members took part in the Manchester Pride march

WI Win

BIG NEWS…… The WI won The Spirit of Pride- Manchester 2017. Congratulations to over 100 women who represented their WI’s, Cheshire and Lancashire Federations and were taken to the hearts of the people of Greater Manchester and beyond. All women are always welcome.

WI win

The Manchester Evening News captured our members on the parade

MEN pride

Cale Green

Cale Green

Social Lites (Flixton)

Social Lites (Flixton)

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

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