WI meetings

Me, the police, the Queen and other mishaps

Guest speaker Lilian King, ex-Chief Superintendent of the GMP entertained the members  with flair and confidence. Telling stories from her professional life; she introduced the many facets of her extensive experience – embracing the audience with anecdotes that caused much laughter! Lilian was a huge success with her natural ease and charm. A highlight was her meeting with the Queen and a slight misunderstanding of the conversation –  but all went well!!  The members loved her!

The evening was well attended with a large audience, creating a happy atmosphere… but that might have been thanks to the wonderful collection of cake created by the Willows Bakers!! It gets better each meeting and it was noticed that it all went!!! Lovely stuff ladies!! Thank you.

The Willows charities still flourish –the food bank contributions were outstanding!

The next meeting is 27th November  and will be the AGM – See you there!

Marie Dixon

Food & drink, Health and wellbeing, social, WI meetings

The cheese lady returns!

Another packed house on Wednesday 25th September – this time many members had experienced the entertaining delivery from Leagram’s Organic Dairy last year.

Faye Kitching presented the Fayre of delicious cheeses and she reminded us that her father was the mind behind it all and that the jokes included were his – and she relished in this. Her slick professional style was directed with fun and knowledge on the very subject of cheese. In a space of 40 minutes we witnessed the finished article in a net bag reduced from the size of a very large football to hand held cheese. The normal timing for this finished product takes up to 9 hours!!

There were many flavours and shapes and sizes and taster pots for all – an absolute joy and so entertaining and throughout this we were constantly aware of the love of cheese and their value to society – the evening was a huge success and enjoyed by all.

In addition the Baking Team added wonderful cakes and selections of sweets that turned a cheesy evening into a banquet feast! The year has passed so quickly and the Willows WI is preparing for the 2020 programme- that promises to be interesting and varied.

Best wishes to all readers and see you at the next meeting on October 23rd.

Cheers, Marie.

Health and wellbeing, social, WI meetings

Wellness and wellbeing event

by Marie Dixon

The Willows WI arranged and presented an evening of wellness and well being, and the members were delighted to be advised and pampered by
professionals demonstrating their crafts, including crystal healing, body
conditioning, massage, reflexology, an introduction to BSL sign language to
stimulate the brain. The room was filled with busy areas of people engaged in information to increase their wellbeing.

This followed last year’s successful wellness event, and it is proving to be popular – maybe more in 2020.

As always the members enjoyed the wonderful cakes provided by this month’s baking team – and the raffle completed the evening’s entertainment.

The Willows WI continues its journey in the community providing friendship and communication for women and rejoice that they have a full happy membership. Plans are well in hand for the programme into 2020 – details to be announced soon.

See you all at our next meeting – Wednesday 25th September!

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