social, WI meetings

The Dog’s Trust

by Marie Dixon

A sunny summer’s evening and the holiday season approaching- the Willows WI members had a special treat from the representative of the Dog’s Trust who presented a most interesting account of the care love and attention to good health that the dogs receive and how many volunteers are involved in keeping the excellent policy of Trust.

There was a special guest – a member’s dog who behaved very well much to the appreciation of the members! Many gifts of food and toys were collected in support of the charity- this was followed by cake and coffee plus a super raffle- the next meeting is August 29th, when a Wellness programme is planned- see you there x

social, WI meetings

Leading Ladies

by Marie Dixon

On a lovely sunny evening the Willows WI met for their February rendezvous – with a full house and some new members and several guests – and the promise of ‘exciting ‘cakes – Amanda Brown the speaker discussed her personal journey in search of peace and mantra for life- encouraging the membership to discover theirs and believe in this.

The presentation was linked to interactive groups who were given instructions and guide lines to follow. This was well received by the meeting and questions and answers followed. The ideal in life is to find the positive over the negative and Amanda discussed the value of the word Love asking each group to phrase conversations using the word Love and this was to to a strict timetable e.g. 1min, 30secs.

Amanda –an author and Life Coach has found the value of positive thoughts and she asked the membership to believe in this; on a daily basis perhaps starting the day with a positive calm thought and aiming to continue this.

Confidence featured well in the presentation and it was decided that posture and body language – gesture and movement all suggested the measure of confidence in a person. Group work continued with the phrase ‘I Wish . . to suggest a wish for the future. Members were keen and responsive to the content of the presentation.

The evening finished with a wonderful raffle and the generous additions to the chosen charities – and maybe some ‘Ooom’ chanting and the promise of a peaceful night’s sleep!!! Thank you Amanda.


Highly Suspect Murder Mystery

by Marie Dixon

Happy New Year to all members! On a cold January evening a full house of members – current and new – plus several guests, arrived for a special evening of entertainment, with a most professional group of actors named – Highly Suspect – travelling from Carlisle. We were advised that we would need our pool of memory resources to discover the guilty party.

All members were totally involved as the players developed the theme and story of the plot offering intriguing clues. During this the members in groups created individual titles plus a limerick – most humorous at times – In fact it could be said – ‘somewhat risque’!

Then work sheets were given – hoping to discover the result. Throughout all of this, the actors ‘ played the room’ addressing each table as they did so- always in character and voice and dress. Each table was invited to suggest the guilty party and they did. The evening was a huge success – most appropriate for the first meeting of the New Year- and discovering that Highly Suspect has a varied list of performances – no doubt they will be returning in the future!!!

The meeting was full of news from the committee and the cakes were – scrumptious as always. New sub groups are now developing the most recent being the Theatre Club organised by Leila – all interested members keep in touch. The Willows WI Musicians is afoot organised by Julie, again if interested keep in touch.

Here’s to our next meeting in February- Best Wishes to all

social, WI meetings

Getting to know you

The theme for our October meeting was ‘Getting to know You” – (sure there is a song on this theme somewhere). The Membership recommended a more social session and the committee organised some mini workshops which proved most successful and entertaining – but most of all surprising – showing the talents and originality of the members.

After greetings around the bar and general settling, prepared game sheets, on the theme of Bingo, BUT not as we all remember – rather a fact finding mission and each member had to fill in their card with facts on other members, such as find someone who had appeared on the TV; someone making a plane journey that week – the list was endless and very humorous. Secretary Sue was in charge of the timing and kept the membership ‘moving’.

Following on from this was a building challenge, where in groups of six, members were given spaghetti and marshmallows to create a structure of impressive height and depth. This may sound impossible to some – but the talents of the Willows’ members were extraordinary; the intensity – laughter and results were well worth it all. It seems that Prince Charles was recently enthused about the idea of Spaghetti Structures??? Having seen a similar presentation elsewhere – does that mean that the Willows WI (Sale) has a Royal approval??


It is a good thought that all the used dried spaghetti was taken to a local nursery for the children to use in creative play. Any unopened packets of food were given as part of our regular food bank donation. It is worth mentioning that our record with the food banks is absolute in its sincerity and support and grateful thanks to all members for creating this fundamental importance to our local community.

With the development of the Willows, the sub- groups are now evolving and the members are choosing their subjects and then organising meetups to suit those involved, which recently included a trip to see Calendar Girls at the Lowry Salford.

The raffle was well supported as always and the cakes added to the overall enjoyment of the evening; Betty Crocker is entertaining again and a further report on this will be made in a future blog.

The Willows is now approaching its first AGM –looking back over the development of the first year –the large friendly membership not forgetting the Sale Rugby Club and facilities there is the satisfaction of a job well done and now with experience here is to 2019!

Cheer Ladies Cheers!!!

Health and wellbeing, WI meetings

Summer health and wellbeing event

Plans for our summer event meeting were disrupted somewhat by the climate and rain – however true to the spirit of the Willows WI, members surged in and took on board all the events that had been planned for the evening; and what a selection!!!!

The evening was themed ‘Health and Wellbeing’ with a full programme for the evening to whet the appetite of all, including:

  • Marta Beacon, a personal trainer demonstrating various techniques
  • Self-defense martial arts demonstrations and Tai Chi
  • Calm Connections a Community Project working with families to strengthen relationships – the experienced team with a teaching background, introduced mindfulness, good mental health and positive communication; the session was guided by Emma Jones.

Health and wellbeing was the forte of WI member Paula McGuire discussing how we can turn around ill health with the aid of nutrition and natural health – her aim is to inspire with her belief and passion in good nutrition.

A second WI member Elaine Benson introduced Sign Language to our group, and in a space of several minutes she had the group speaking to each other – signing their messages having mastered the alphabet!! It was quite revealing and fun.

Throughout the evening in various areas were situated Shoshana Beauty techniques – mini foot techniques and massage – situated at home in Sale Moor a beauty therapist and practitioner who has been working in this trade for thirty years –teaching and advising on beauty therapies- members fully appreciated her min workshops- and she was busy during the evening explaining her techniques and their results.

Paula Morris K O R E Therapy was specialist in complementary therapies seeking pain relief through muscle testing and the relief of pain locating the weaknesses of each client and finding the balance to suit.

All of these events were surrounded with the perfumes of oils displayed by Angela Roberts  doTerra Oils– most popular throughout the event –describing and demonstrating essential oils for emotional and physical well being.

And if you think that was enough all events were followed by the Raffle with terrific prizes and – just had to mention the cakes- again- just wonderful – generous and imaginative all baked by The Willows Bakery – this is a new title !!

In June 2017- a group of women met at the Bridge Inn Sale to set out a plan of action for a new WI- all unknown -and all keen- and so with great satisfaction it is good to note in August 2018 that the health and wellbeing event was an outstanding success- masterminded by President Kerry- supported by a thriving committee and a membership over 100 enjoying the spirit of The W.I – well done ladies. Cheers!!!

WI meetings

Mental health awareness

Members gathered  for the social event of the Williows WI Sale at the Sale Rugby Club on a beautiful Evening in May – looking forward to another evening conversation with friends, and mouth- watering cakes from the Willows Bakery! Together with an interesting presentation from one of our own members – it doesn’t get much better!

Mental Health Awareness; Speaker –  Angela Holt

The subject of mental health is a constant source of  conversation and at times discovery, as mental health can be found in many aspects of our society under the headings of loneliness; depression; eating disorders – just to name a few. Angela Holt , a member of the Willows WI outlined the many areas of this subject with the experience of her own practice and understanding. It was found  that  60% of the meeting had some experience of mental health issues in the 21st century of high powered speed and expectations.

The barrier to understanding the issues is often lack of knowledge – anxiety- embarrassment and training. With a lack of available resources and trained providers – we, the public need to be more aware of how our friends and families could be under stress.

Angela was empathetic to the need for understanding and positive attention from the public when observing the above mentioned outline – members found speaking about such experiences  brought a feeling of relief. A greater part of the presentation was discussing attitudes of recognising and accepting the problem – plus public reaction.

The meeting expressed appreciation to Angela – our member –  for sharing her experience and knowledge on this very personal subject.

Marie Dixon



A history of regional accents

The April social evening for the Willows WI Sale was again buzzing with energy – greeting new members, and a warm welcome for guests on the night. The speaker was Rob Drummond a linguist, specialising in accents and regions – who introduced us to the varying tones and styles of the English language and how areas alter the speech patterns accordingly.

He discussed the North /South divide and with the aid of videos he highlighted how in American films, the hero was usually American and the baddie was usually white  English! This even transcends to Disney films such as in the Lion King, where Mufasa has a deep heroic American accent, but his evil brother Scar is voiced by a very English Jeremy Irons! We also learned how the vowel sounds in areas completely alter the understanding of the word and also the shape of it.

Rob has strong interests in youth/urban speakers explaining that their sounds are the sounds of today and will be the sounds of the future resulting in a form of speech that would regard the current accents  as very unusual – he explained that it was fascinating to know that the young urban speaker can quite easily apply their speech to cover interviews and other areas.

It was a fascinating and humorous presentation. Rob had an easy relaxed manner and was well received by all present.

Committee members Julie, Tracy and Kerry with Rob Drummond

Once again refreshments baked by the members were very much appreciated – the raffle was successful and groups are quietly forming – with future visits to the Cheshire Show and Calendar Girls at the Lowry, and with a Tapas Evening at  Charley’s Corner Café to look forward to in May – a good night was had by All!!!

Marie Dixon

crafts, WI meetings

Easter arts and crafts

The Willows WI had their Easter social meeting on Wednesday 26th March at the Sale Rugby Club with an Easter Arts and Crafts theme.  There was evidence of activity, interest and much enjoyment. Many members agreed that the evening encouraged their creativity and they found great pleasure in their results. An abundance of felt flower brooches and attractive Easter wreaths of several sizes and colours were soon on display It was a most enjoyable evening!!

A beautiful wreath, crafted by Samantha Eisen

Sixty members attended and as usual, some delicious baked refreshments were provided by the members. A fun raffle with some great prizes added to the informal atmosphere of the evening and the meeting ended around 9.15pm.

The next Social Meeting will be Wednesday 25th April 2018.
See our upcoming events

Marie Dixon

WI meetings

Tax, care and toy boys

by Marie Dixon

On a bleak and cold winter’s evening, when most people stayed indoors, the members of The Willows WI Sale faced the elements and attended the social evening as planned. The President Kerry and the committee gave a warming welcome, followed by an outline of evening, information about new sub-groups to join, and the promise of a visit to the Lowry to see ‘Calendar Girls’. The food bank collection at our last meeting was enormous and well-received, and thanks were given to all who contributed for their generosity.

The speaker for the evening was Matthew Martin of Urmston – an experienced and informative presenter. His talk ‘Tax, Care, and Toy Boys’ featured the subject the making of wills and all of the ramifications – and how this could apply to younger people as well as the older generation. He noted that the Willows WI was quite a young group of ladies but advised that the subject of funeral planning, power of Attorney and all associated ideas were a most important feature in our current lives.

He explained the tax situations and how to get the best results – how to handle care homes where necessary, and how a lifestyle that involved a change of partner and the involvement of extended families could create many unforeseen problems. He explained ways to avoid this in a simple uncomplicated manner.

The members showed great appreciation and welcomed the information even if was for future years.

See our upcoming events

crafts, WI meetings

Christmas crafting and sign-up meeting

by Sue Robinson

22nd November was approached with a considerable degree of trepidation by the fledgling committee of the Willows (Sale) WI… We were so excited to at last be ready to officially sign-up the members of our new group and begin our WI journey together.

The trepidation?

How many people wanted to join us on the journey? Too many? We had had contact with over 300 people during our taster meetings and our proposed venues were not of that size! Too few? What if no one (or hardly anyone!) turned up?

We spent several hours wrestling with the above issues and several others, such as:

  • The WI rules were first come, first served (in person!) so there would have to be a queue What time would people start queuing? Would they bring tents and camp? What if it rained on the queue? “Umbrellas?” we said. “It’s a Rugby Club” said Brad at the Rugby Club, “They can sit in the stands.” Why didn’t we think of that?!
  • What if we had to turn people away – we would need a waiting list.
  • Would we have enough cake? How much cake would be enough? Can you have too much cake? That was one question we could answer beforehand – NO, obviously!
  • And always the awful thought – What if no one comes?

Signing up our membership

In the event, we didn’t need to worry (but oh my goodness, we did!) The queue formed in an orderly fashion (thank you!) and not too early. It didn’t really rain, but it was very windy (sorry!). Much to our relief, the queue was just the right size, not too big and not too small (thank you!) and we signed up 97 people on the night, with a few more added from those who contacted us after the night.


So, we are now FULL and do have a waiting list, but thankfully, we were able to accommodate all those who stood patiently in line on the night. Phew!

The evening’s entertainment

Once we were all in, the Rugby Club bar came into its own, providing us with suitable quantities of Prosecco, mulled wine, gin and anything else we fancied. Tea and coffee were there for the taking and the cake didn’t run out. Phew!

The evening’s activities centred around Christmas crafting, ably led by Janet Plumb, who convinced us that we all have a hidden ability to produce beautiful things (when led gently by the hand and provided with all the component parts ready and waiting for us!). Wendy Bingham’s crafts are shown below.

A Christmas quiz taxed our brains, especially the staff of the registration desk, who failed spectacularly as they did not realise the quiz continued on the other side of the sheet! Maybe others had the same problem, but among the staff on the registration desk was the secretary who had produced and printed said quiz sheets! She will add a PTO next time.

Cheesy Christmas music accompanied proceedings and there was of course, the raffle.

And cake – lots of cake. Thankfully it didn’t run out.


So, thank you all for coming and, hopefully, enjoying yourselves. We are very nearly up and running – the next step is our official inauguration at the January 24th meeting, then we are off on our adventure together.

Looking forward to it!
Secretary (yes, that one – it was me!)