Please note that from January 2022, COVID restrictions permitting, we will meet at Bradbury House every 3rd Wednesday of the month, but at 12:30 to 3pm.

During the COVID pandemic we took the decision to suspend our regular meetings, especially as a number of our members were “shielding” themselves and their families. However, we have now restarted our regular meetings, held on the third Wednesday of each month, in Bradbury House, where greater spacing is possible. We look forward to welcoming both existing and prospective new members to join us and get socialising again!

By Diana: We have received a lovely note from Helena on behalf of the Chernobyl Children’s Project for whom we held our annual party in July. Her note reads:

“Thank You all so much for the lovely party you put on for the children this year. They had a wonderful time as always, and it was a great thing for their first day here.

“I attach a Thank You poster, which I hope you can share with your members.

“As I’m sure you know, our group is part of a fantastic National Charity which is run from Glossop (by my Mum, Linda), hope you will take a look at our latest Newsletter by clicking here – it’s full of lots of happy holiday pictures!”

By Diana: The newly installed statue of the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst inspired members of Glossopdale WI to a rousing rendition of Jerusalem.  It stands in St Peter’s Square.  Apparently Queen Victoria is the only other woman with a statue in Manchester!

By Diana: The Anderton Boat Lift, a masterpiece of Victorian engineering near Northwich in Cheshire, was the destination for a study tour for Glossopdale W.I. The tour included the excellent on-site exhibition and an expert commentary on the ride on the boat lift itself and the trip along the River Weaver.

The Anderton Boat Lift was constructed in 1875 to improve the flow of goods between the River Weaver and the Trent & Mersey canal. Salt from the Cheshire mines was shipped along the river to be exported via the port of Liverpool. Pots from the Staffordshire potteries were shipped along the Trent & Mersey canal and thence to Liverpool. The Boat Lift connected these important trade routes: with its 2 caissons the Lift could raise the boats arriving from the river to the level of the canal and simultaneously take boats arriving by canal down to the river.
The original hydraulic system was replaced with an electric operating system in 1908, to cope with increased trade. However a subsequent drop in trade, lack of investment and patchy repairs led to closure in 1983 on safety grounds.

After a public campaign money was raised for a complete restoration using the original hydraulic system and the Lift was re-opened in 2002. It now provides an enlightening and enjoyable tour, much appreciated by our members. The next meeting of Glossopdale W.I. is 9.30-12 noon on Wed Sept 19 at Glossop Labour Club. Visitors are welcome.


By Diana: Glossopdale WI welcomed Dawn Mackenzie to their Christmas meeting to hand over some ‘Twiddle Muffs’.  Dawn works for the Derbyshire District’s Citizens Advice Bureau and she told us about their efforts to make their advice centres more dementia friendly.  Some clients find Twiddle Muffs a good way of relaxing – and our members found it an enjoyable way to help their campaign.

A campaign run by Citizens Advice during National Consumer Week this year, is called,
Know what you’re signing up for“.

The campaign is based around knowing what you are signing up for and what to do if you have signed up for something you didn’t realise and want to get out of it. Research shows that this issue affects women more and, as consumers, we are often persuaded with misleading language like, “ you only pay for postage” or, “free sample” then, before we know it, we are signed up for a subscription.  We have linked to a summary page which lets you know what the campaign is about.  Click here for more information.

By Margaret:  Glossopdale Womens’ Institute has had a busy and involving autumn.  In October Wendy Wilkie (who helps to run the Dressing Up Box shop) gave a hugely original and entertaining talk on her passion for vintage clothing.  She brought along many beautifully crafted items including coats, dresses, shoes, hats and handbags which she has keenly collected over the years from many sources.  The items were greatly admired by the Members, but then it was their turn.  Several of them had brought vintage clothes of their own and they talked about the happy memories the items invoked.  Wendy was somewhat nervous about giving her maiden talk, but once launched her bubbly enthusiastic approach resulted in a delightful occasion, one of the most stimulating events of the year.

Shortly afterwards Members were involved in some regular activities; a Scrabble playing session and the usual Knit and Natter meeting, whose name neatly describes their occupation.  A little later a large number of Members gathered at the station, a bit apprehensive as to whether the train would run as their outing clashed with the day’s rail strike.  But their train did turn up and took them to Manchester for their prearranged visit to the Exchange Theatre.  They were able to explore not only the stage and auditorium, but also the back stage dressing rooms and the fabulous collection of clothes from previous productions, while rehearsals for the next show went on in the background.

Participation was certainly the ‘Name of the Game’ in November when Joanne Griffiths came along to lead the Members in a Singalong.  But they had to get it right first with a series of exercises on how to breathe to make the best of the sounds they produced.  Songs, arranged in parts came next and the gentleman outside the building making a delivery to the Labour Club kept looking up in amazement (or horror!) as the various sounds emanated from the building.  Members certainly felt they had earned their mid-meeting break at the end of an unusual and exhilarating session.

All in all, an interesting and involving couple of months.  In December it is a social gathering for Members, culminating in Christmas lunch at the Golf Club.  The next normal meeting is on 17th January at 9.30am at the Labour Club when Sheila Conchie will be telling Members about ‘All Things Indian’.  All ladies are welcome to come to visit and see if a lively and friendly daytime group would enhance their lives.

By Sheila:  The Glossopdale Women’s Institute entertained visitors from Chernobyl to a party this summer.  The families who played host to these children and their mothers also accompanied  them to the party  and some brought their own children.  Some W.I. members set up a play area with a variety of toys for the children, some of whom were as young as 2 years old.  The thirteen children made a beeline for the craft, the colouring books and the train sets.  They even played “pass-the-parcel” in exemplary fashion.

A buffet lunch was served at noon and the children were given attractive party gifts; their mothers were each given a W.I. tea towel as a memento of their visit.  The Chernobyl mothers said they were delighted with the welcome they had received.  Our local MP had a meeting upstairs and popped in to say hello to everyone at the celebration.

This branch meets every third Wednesday of the month at 9.30 in the Labour club.

By Margaret: Our first question was: ‘Where is Clayton Hall?’ the answer was: ‘In Clayton’. A few members admitted to knowing where and what it was but we concluded it must be Manchester’s best-kept secret.  That’s a pity because we had a thoroughly enjoyable and informative trip, hosted by friendly volunteers, who also provided home-made cakes and soup.

To begin with, a few facts.  In the 12th century the Byron family built a moated manor house and farm by the village of Clayton.  The moat was for self-defence in turbulent times and it is still there today, though a little overgrown.  The drawbridge has been replaced by a stone bridge, which now gives access to the building.  In 1620 the Byrons sold the property to Humphrey and John Cheetham, who were wealthy fustian manufacturers, staunch Protestants and Parliamentarians.  John died soon after but Humphrey became High Sheriff of Lancashire, refused a knighthood (for which he was fined £25!) and left plans and money in his will for a school and library.  Cheetham’s School still flourishes today and is named in his honour.

In 1896 the property was transferred to Manchester City Council.  However, it was not well maintained and even threatened with demolition.  Then along came an enterprising and committed group of local volunteers, who became the Trustees.  With the help of local residents and businesses and a few modest grants they rescued the building and created a museum full of interesting objects and activities.  Archaeologists and archivists have been involved throughout the process and are still unearthing more of the history.

We went on a private tour but the Hall is open to visitors on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Details on their website.

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