Another busy month at Wheldrake WI, the March evening meeting was well attended by a large number of members.  Our speaker this month was Ivana Jakubkova, who gave us a really interesting talk entitled St Nicks: the green heart of York.  Her talk was entitled the “Green Heart of York”.  St Nicholas Fields is a nature park hidden between Tang Hall and James Street and home to over 600 species including plants, birds, butterflies, water voles and an otter.  This area was previously a rubbish dump and has slowly evolved over the last 14 years into a haven for wildlife.  This year marks the 20th anniversary of the charity, which also pioneers environmentally friendly and conservation projects in York, helping to keep our beautiful city green.

A visit to the rhubarb triangle inWakefield by some of our members proved to be very interesting.  The visit started in the candlelit sheds where rhubarb is cultivated and continued to the Wakefield Food Festival followed by a visit to Wakefield Cathedral.

W.I. members hosted and provided home made soup for one of the Lent Lunches in Church Cottage on the run up to Easter. Proceeds made will go towards supporting Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

A group of ladies (and a few husbands) went to support our Choir group, who joined other members of the Euphonics Choir to take part in the York Community Choir Festival at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre.  This was a very enjoyable mix of musical styles from 23 different York choirs over 5 concerts.


January 2018

We welcomed a large group of members to our first meeting of the new year and any post Christmas blues were quickly dispersed by Jude Robinson with her talk on “The Spirit of Laughter”.  This involved the use of laughter to promote both physical and mental well-being and she soon had us meditating, prior to some rather unusual exercises which resulted in a few giggles and then spread until the whole room was laughing loudly.  It was  perfect antidote for a dark and wet January night.

A large party of ladies joined Elvington WI to help celebrate their 21st Anniversary early in January.  It was an excellent evening with a splendid buffet, Prossecco and birthday cake.  The speaker, Meredith Towne, is a historian with a special interest in Costumes and she gave a fascinating talk on ladies evening wear from Edwardian times to the 1940’s.  She bought with her some beautiful dresses and accessories from the different eras, which she modelled for us, to illustrate the rapid changes that took place due to the influences of the two World Wars.


Christmas Party

Last night the christmas party was enjoyed by 45 women.  Good food and wine followed by excellent entertainment from the “Abbey Belles” an acapello group who sang a variety of christmas songs and current music.

Our retiring president Ruth, was presented with a book from the members as a thank you for all that she has done over the last nine years. The book had been signed by the majority of members with personal anecdotes and messages for Ruth.

We have had a very active 12 months, and look forward to an exciting new year.  We are always interested in any ideas or suggestions for activities and outings, so please let us know if there is anything you fancy trying and we will do our best!

Happy New Year!

November 2017

November 2017

Our AGM was well attended and we have elected a new committee for the the following year.  We said goodbye to three long standing committee members, including Margaret Brown who has been a WI member for 60 years! Retiring president Ruth has worked tirelessly for 9 years , she will remain on the committee along with retiring secretary Carole Snowdon.  Our new president is Deirdre Burchell.

We had an interesting talk on John Tradescant and his son, the famous 16th century plant hunters.

Autumn Council Meeting

The ladies had an enjoyable and interesting day, the Red Cross gave an interesting talk and display. Later the audience were giving a light-hearted entertaining talk by Peter Wright “The Yorkshire Vet”

Joan Whiteley won the Dorothy Wilkinson bursary for Denman College!! She has recently attended Denman and I ‘m hoping that she will write a small blog for us! Margaret Brown was lucky to win first prize in the raffle.

“Something Wonderful”

The ladies that went to Rowntrees Theatre had a very enjoyable evening.  We listened to songs from five Rogers and Hammerstein shows – Carousel, The king and I, Oklahoma, South Pacific and the Sound of Music.  A very good night out was had by all of us!


The October evening meeting was attended by a large number of ladies and we were joined by two new members. The business part of the meeting was followed by an excellent Speaker and the usual cake, coffee and chat, prior to the raffle being drawn at the end of the evening.  Our speaker this month was Bridget Karn, who is a local artist who now specialises in making felt pictures out of coloured merino wool which is blended into different shades and textures to create the finished felt picture.  Bridget gave a really interesting insight into her life and work with some beautiful pictures and cards on show to demonstrate her talent.  She was an exhibitor at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition in 2016 and holds regular workshops at her home.

The Autumn Council Meeting, held in Norton this year, was attended by some of our members who listened to interesting talks on the Red Cross and by Peter Wright who stars in the ‘Yorkshire Vet’ T.V series. One of our members was lucky enough to be awarded one of the five bursaries donated by the WI to members wishing to attend courses at Denman near Oxford. Another of our members won the raffle, so a most successful day out was had by all who attended.