By Diana:  A feast of fifties music delighted Glossopdale WI on Wednesday, starting with Elvis Presley’s spectacular breakthrough recording of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and proceeding through the great hits from white musicians in the US and the UK. Older members reminisced, younger members were enlightened – all were tapping their feet in time with the music.

Presenter Bill Judd, a lifetime fan of rock and roll, pointed out the origins of rock music with black musicians early in the century: the first mention was in 1922 in a Memphis recording arranged by Ike Turner. It did not take off as mainstream American pop, though, until Elvis and others such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly burst on the scene. It was certainly not to everyone’s taste: Frank Sinatra described it as degenerate and headteachers forbade its performance in schools. Rock and roll singers in the UK largely copied their American models, although skiffle singers such as Lonnie Donegan had a similar rawness to the early rock.

On a cold January morning a session of lively rock music was just the thing to warm us all up.

Glossopdale WI’s next meeting is on Wed Feb 18 at 9.30 at the Labour Club. Visitors and new members welcome.

By Margaret: At their last Meeting, Glossopdale Womens’ Institute were interested to hear Kate Dibble’s account of the life of Elizabeth Gaskell.  Born in London she was brought up by an aunt in Knutsford, a much loved lady who was the inspiration behind Miss Matti in Cranford.  At 22 she married the Rev William Gaskell, an apparently somewhat uneven alliance between a lively young girl and a more seriously minded older man.  But the marriage worked and lasted for her whole life.  It was after the death of her young son that William encouraged his despondent wife to pursue her interest in writing.  She published several novels; perhaps North and South is the best known today.  In it Elizabeth did, as in most of her work, try to show both sides of the argument, both the mill owner and his workforce together with a rural setting for her heroine’s early life.  Her publishing success introduced her to an incredibly wide circle of authors, scientists, including Charles Darwin, and politicians.  Her wide range of interests and contacts, together with raising her family and supporting her husband in his ministry has led Kate to define her as one of the first multi-taskers – a modern woman in our eyes.

The next Meeting of the Institute will be on Wednesday 17th December at 9.30a.m. at The Labour Club on Chapel Street.  As it is our last Meeting before Christmas, a social get-together will be followed by a celebratory lunch at the Golf Club.  The next ordinary Meeting will be at the same time and place on Wednesday 21st January, when all ladies are welcome.

By Margaret:  The speaker at the last meeting of Glossopdale Womens’ Institute was Pat Alker, who told Members about her trip to Uzbekistan.  The famed Silk Road from China to the West was, in fact, a series of journeys, with goods being sold and bought at various stages across central Asia.  What we now know is that Uzbekistan comprised  a number of independent khanates, some of the most significant of which were Tashkent (now the capital), Samarkand  (the main base of Tamerlaine, Bukhara, which at one stage was largely destroyed by Genghis Khan as his Mongols swept across Asia) and Khiva.  The latter is now basically preserved as a museum while the others are still thriving cities in the modern state.  We saw pictures of local people, the Uzbeks, dressed in black whilst the other major ethnic group in the country, the Tajiks, wear much more brightly coloured clothes.  Pat explained that she gives her various talks as part of her attempts to support a small school at Dukem in Ethiopia and her talk started and ended with pictures of the children in their recently acquired uniforms, smiling broadly as Pat and her husband paid one of their regular visits to the school.

The next regular meeting of Glossopdale WI will be at 9.30a.m. on Wednesday 17th September, at the Labour Club when Joan Newton will be introducing us to the art of pressing flowers.  All ladies are welcome to come and join us.

Poole_cavBy Sara Jayne:  Eleven members had a very enjoyable day out to Poole’s Cavern in Buxton on 9 July 2014.  We had an early start – 8:30am – to avoid the swarms of schoolchildren scheduled later in the day, but getting the first tour meant we had the cave to ourselves, which was a lovely experience.  Our guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining.  He told us many stories, including the story of the most beautiful thing Mary Queen of Scots had ever seen, and he also shared with us that the 1666 date someone had carved in one part of the wall of the cave was (according to a school party) the last time England won the World Cup.

After the cave tour,  we had tea and coffee to ensure that the cafe was up to snuff (it was), and then planned out the rest of our day.  Having emerged to a glorious day outside, one carload decided to hike up to Solomon’s Temple through the Woodland Trail; another carload decided to enjoy a fine lunch at the Old Hall Hotel; the last carload strolled through the Pavilion Gardens and greenhouse before enjoying a light lunch there.

All in all, a lovely day out, with many thanks to Monica for her fabulous arrangements – especially the sunshine!  You can see more photos from the trip in the photo album.

Buxton3By Sara Jayne:   Glossopdale WI members were in Buxton on 19 June 2014 to celebrate the arrival of the Centenary Baton, which is being relayed through every county and island federation in England and Wales in advance of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes’ Centenary in 2015.  Derbyshire’s week to host the baton came one-third the way through its travels through England and Wales.

In Derbyshire Federation [pdf], the baton has been fired over Creswell Crags, heard an organ recital in Chesterfield’s Crooked Spire church, met the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, seen The History Van serve up Suffragette lunches, been passed between members representing 10 decades of the WI at Long Eaton Carnival, made an appearance at the Derbyshire County Show, wound its way through several other villages and towns, and was handed off to Staffordshire Federation at the National Arboretum.  It travelled over 200 miles through Derbyshire in its 8 days here!

At this celebration in Buxton, we brought picnics and celebrated the camaraderie of the WI while we awaited the baton’s arrival.  We enjoyed the festive atmosphere created by our bunting, banners, sashes, hats, and also the Tideswell Male Voice Choir, which was in top form!  The baton arrived from Chesterfield on a vintage tractor, and was handed to the longest-serving member of Chinley WI, the oldest WI in Derbyshire, on the bandstand in the Pavilion Gardens.  The Town Crier read a proclamation about the event, and of course, we sang Jerusalem.

A good day was had by all – looking forward to the next one! 😉

By Margaret:  Barbara Davenport was the speaker at the last meeting of Glossopdale Womens’ Institute.  She talked to Members about her passion for singing, that has lasted throughout her life.  Concentrating mostly on her childhood  she told members how,  at 5 years old, she was determined to be the girl chosen to sing Papa Picolino at a school performance.  A little older she was heartbroken when another girl was chosen to perform, but delighted when her rival developed chickenpox at the last moment and she got her chance to perform in public.  She  revelled in the applause which resulted  – and had to be forcefully removed from the stage by a teacher in the wings!

Lively, amusing and illustrated by excerpts from many of her songs, she kept Members entertained throughout her talk.  To the disappointment of her coach, she decided against making a career in music, but it has remained a large part of her life.  Presently she is establishing a choir from Women’ Institiute ladies from all the local Institutes who just enjoy singing and several Glossopdale Members who have attended could confirm how enjoyable it is.

At their next meeting on Wednesday 16th July at 9.30 am  at the Labour Club, members will be going much further afield when Pat Alker talks to them about the Silk Road in Uzbekistan.  All ladies are welcome to come and share in the experience with us.

By Margaret:  In this centenary year of the start of the First World War, it seemed particularly appropriate for Glossopdale Womens’ Institute to invite Nigel Dunkerley to talk to them about the battlefields of the Somme.  Nigel explained that his interest in the subject had been aroused by accident when a car breakdown on a holiday in France meant that he had an enforced stay in northern France awaiting spare parts to be delivered.

It was a life changing breakdown – since then he has studied the history and personal stories, particularly of the Somme, and takes tours to the area.  His photographs showed many of the sites as they were during the battle and the calm rural landscape that they present today.  The seemingly endless rows of graves in the many war cemeteries, from the small to the immense, that are scattered around the area were particularly moving, especially for those members who had family members who had suffered there.

The next Meeting is on Wednesday 18th June at the Labour Club when Barbara Davenport will be talking about her life in music.  All ladies are very welcome to come along and meet us all.


By Joan:  In May 2014 several of our members visited Dunham Massey Hall which was recreated as  Stamford Military Hospital. It was one of the many hospitals created to treat wounded of the First World War.  Each room told stories of real patients and staff with actors providing an insight into the human side of the hospital.  The visit was interesting, but left you feeling emotional, horrified and amazed, but most of all proud of what these soldiers, staff and families went through.   It was nice to follow this visit with a walk through the beautiful grounds.

The “Photos” section of the site contains more pictures.

By Margaret:  This was a comment made by a visiting schoolboy on a recent trip arranged by his school to Willowood Hospice.  He’d obviously come expecting a sad time, but his ideas underwent a radical change when he saw the newly refurbished building, the friendly nurses and other staff, and the newly renovated garden.  At their last meeting the members of Glossopdale Womens’ Institute came to more fully understand his point of view after they had listened to John Fellowes, fundraiser at Willow Wood, explain the wide variety of activities carried out at the hospice for both day visitors and in-patients alike.  His enthusiasm for the work undertaken by the hospice was infectious as he explained how much they rely on local support to provide the excellent service given by their highly trained staff and small army of willing and supportive volunteers.  At the end of the meeting, John was given a cheque for £120 from the Institute and he issued a warm invitation to Members to come and see for themselves all that was done at Willow Wood – an invitation which they will be delighted to accept sometime in the next few months..

The next Meeting will be held at 9.30a.m. on Wednesday 21st May at the Labour Club on Chapel Street when we shall welcome another local visitor, Nigel Dunkerley who will be telling us about his research into Glossopians who were involved in the First World War.  All ladies are welcome to come and visit us for our contribution to the centennial memorial of that sad time.

By Margaret:  The speaker at the last meeting of Glossopdale Womens’ Institute was Ian Cheeseman who is a Sports Reporter for Radio Manchester.  Members were a little uncertain beforehand as to what to expect – after all, mainly retired ladies are not normally the most enthusiastic followers of sport – but Ian  gave us all a fascinating hour explaining  his ‘journey’  from  football-mad teenager to his dream job of Sports Reporter.  Amusing, informative and passionate about Manchester City he held us all enthralled for the duration of his talk.  Justifying a trip to the Hebrides for a City match which involved a stay of several days because of infrequent flights, he was required to develop a ‘blog’ about his experiences which proved so popular that he has continued with it ever since.  He certainly acquired some new fans at Glossopdale.

The next meeting is on Wednesday 16th April at 9.30am at the Labour Club, when we shall be having a visit from John Fellowes from Willow Wood Hospice.  All ladies are welcome to join us.

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