Ashley Welland Valley W.I.                                                       

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Hello and welcome to Ashley Welland Valley W.I. We meet on the first Wednesday in the month between February-December in the Ashley Village Hall at 7.30 pm.



Click here for the 2018 Programme.


Visitors are welcome at our speaker events £4.50


President - Jacqueline Buckby   

Contact -   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The WI is affiliated to the Northamptonshire Federation of Women’s Institutes:
Tel. 01604 646055 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Visit the UK Women's Institute website at:


We were originally founded in 1926 and were called Ashley with Weston-by-Welland WI. The group closed in 1939 shortly after the outbreak of WW2. It re-formed in 1950 but again closed for a couple of years in the 1960's. Because of the 11 year break, our start date is now counted as from 1950.

In 2013 we changed our name to Ashley Welland Valley WI. so better describing the make-up of our group. We usually hold our monthly meetings in Ashley Village Hall but have members from many of the surrounding villages such as Cottingham, Middleton, Weston-by-Welland, East Carlton and Wilbarston.


Click here to see July / August 2018 Newsletter items

Click here to see June 2018 Newsletter items

Click here to see May 2018 Newsletter items

Click here to see March 2018 Newsletter items

Click here  to see February 2018 Newsletter items


Forthcoming events and outings








News and Pictures from recent meetings, events and outings





















Guided Walk In Uppingham


Jill Collinge


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 We have thoroughly enjoyed walking with Jill through Oakham and Stamford, so when we presented our group with the idea of a guided walk though Uppingham we ended up with almost 30 on the list.

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Once again, a place that we thought we knew so well, proved to have more alleyways and secrets than we knew about.

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The group was told about the early origins of Uppingham and of how it fought off village rivals such as Lyddington to become the second town of Rutland.


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We didn't leave anyone in the old workhouse but instead decided to walk on to our pre-arranged lunch in The Falcon Hotel.

There we really did feel underdressed in the beautiful panelled room overlooking the Market Square.

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Here we had the problem of the prawn - but

after much debate and soul searching, our intrepid walk organiser sorted that problem out.

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Yet again, a great way to spend a morning, walking though a beautiful town with a knowledgeable guide and lunch afterwards with friends.

Once again, thank you Jill.



October AGM

We had elections at our AGM. Congratulations to 
Jacqueline Buckby

our new President.

Thank you to her and the members who are serving on our new committee.

Our new and exciting programme for 2018 was shown to members. We shall upload it before Christmas for everyone else to take a look and see what they are missing!!


One of the Resolutions passed this year was to try and help Alleviate Loneliness in our Communities.

We have teamed up with Voluntary Action South Leicestershire who have identified a fairly large number of people who have no or very limited contact with others.

After our AGM and over the coming weeks, members will be creating Christmas Cards. The cards will have a generic seasonal greeting inside them and VASL will then receive them from us and put names and addresses on the cards.

As VASL said, to receive even one card at Christmas would be lovely for many people - to receive a handmade card would be even better.

Most of us enjoy family and friends at Christmas, we hope that our creative efforts will bring a small amount of comfort to those more isolated within our community.




County Lecture

Good Fat, Bad Fat

 A number of our members attended the lecture at the Sir John Lowther Centre in Glendon. Judging by their enthusiasm, it proved to be an excellent meeting. Thank you to county for finding such an interesting speaker.


Blood Bikes  

 We welcomed Paul Stothard and his Blood Bike, "Margaret," to our September meeting. Paul's Blood Bike is named after the founder of the Emergency Volunteer Service, Margaret Ryerson.


SERV or Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers are a volunteer rapid response medical transport service. They deliver blood, platelets, plasma, samples, vaccines, pharmaceuticals, x-rays, scans, donor breast milk and any other urgently needed medical items, out of hours and free of charge to the NHS.


SERV saves our NHS thousands of pounds each year allowing hospitals to use their funds where they are most needed. Volunteer bikers take the place of taxi's or courier services, which the hospitals would otherwise have to pay for.


Paul gave us a talk that fascinated and educated even those of our members who had worked in the NHS. The behind the scenes details of how items are transported really showed how this vital service is no bikers free for all organisation. Some members help by being the co-ordinators of the transportation, others only ride bikes and a strict code of bike riding is enforced and conduct is monitored.


How can you help? Donations to fund the work of the volunteers is always welcome but others give their time, either to ride the bikes or to help behind the scenes with co-ordinating the volunteers. Others rattle the tins on fundraising days.


 A really great evening and a big thank you to Paul for coming along with Margaret.



Garden Meeting 

It was hit and miss with the weather, but we managed to get about 40 minutes to enjoy Andrea and Peter's beautiful garden.

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Some watched while others got on with the serious business of croquet! 


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One of these ladies has been seen before wielding a mallet, although in a previous picture she was aiming for a members head!


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We were finally chased indoors by the weather where we got down to some serious business.

Members had been asked to bring along their autobiographies - short points of interest, things we were proud of achieving, ashamed that we had done etc.

The autobiographies were totally anonymous and proved to be amazing. We had to guess who matched the scripts and what fun that proved to be!!

We have a member with a belly piercing - we just wanted to see that!

Someone who professed to be totally boring had worked on the County Nuclear Protection Plan, while another had organised a late night streak on the streets of Twickenham after an international rugby match.

Of course, owning up was the real eye opener. 

A great event and we now want to read the autobiographies again.

We followed this up by enjoying the plates of food that everyone had contributed to.


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A big thank you to members who shared their life stories and gave us an evening to remember.

A great big thank you

to Andrea and Peter who willingly allowed us to use their home for the evening.


Cake Decorating

Katie Paige 


Katie moved her career from a chef in busy kitchens to a cake decorator.

Clients now include large companies who ask her to create cakes as advertising eating material!

However, we only wanted to, "have a go."

We all managed to create beautiful roses which we then put on the tops of our own iced cup cake. Wonderful - we all acheived


We then ended the evening with an official blowing out of the candles ceremony for someone in our group who always manages to keep the committee in order.




Happy 21st Wendy! 

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The Old Rectory Gardens, Sudborough

 We visited on a lovely sunny day, but the beautiful 3 acre gardens have much to offer at all times of the year. 


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With a lily pond, a circular rose garden, woodland area, deep herbacious borders and a potager designed by Rosemary Verey, the garden has featured in many national publications.

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We had a guide for our walk through the garden and our many and varied questions were answered with expertise.


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We sat down to teas in the garden afterwards, although we think the heat had managed to get to one of our members.


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However, a cup of tea and delicious cake brought her back to her senses - we still have a full complement of members!

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May Walk

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Last year we had an interesting evening with Phil from Eyebrook Wild Bird Feeds. He had talked about the various environmental initiatives that the family had instituted on his farm.


We decided to organise a visit this year and walk with Phil over the farm.


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Phil talked about how the land use had changed in his lifetime and showed us tracks and markings made by animals and birds - we would not have noticed many of these.


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The views of the Welland Valley from the farmland were breathtaking.

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Many thanks to our Walks Organiser and to Phil Johnson for sharing his knowledge and farm with us. 




 Tales of a Wartime Housewife


We are constantly being reminded of the importance of re-use of resources, saving on energy and food etc.

This was the mantra that was of vital importance during the last war and Biff gave us a lively session when we revisited those times.




Biff brought along a great many artifacts for us to handle.






It was amazing how many we remembered seeing in our family homes.




An excellent evening - a reminder of how things never really change.



Medbourne cum Holt

Centenary Party 


The WI nearest to us is Medbourne cum Holt and we were delighted to have received invites to their 100th birthday party.


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We joined representatives from neighbouring WI's and Leicester County and were treated to a re-enactment of the beginnings of Medbourne WI.

An exhibition of early artifacts made us raise our eyebrows. We hadn't known that originally women had to be proposed and seconded to join a WI.

Holt laterjoined with Medbourne and their contribution to the evening was in the form of songs from one of the singers from the Holt Opera performing for us. Glorious!


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It is always good to meet and have social time with other WI ladies and the night provided plenty of opportunity for that. We were treated to a delicious cheese and wine buffet and that made our social time all the more convivial.


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Many thanks to Medbourne cum Holt for inviting us to their celebrations.

Best Wishes to you for the next 100 years.


Annual Litter Pick


Thank you to those of you who turned up to the Annual Litter pick.

The day before the clean up, something had deposited a very large amount of paper on the Ashley/Medbourne/Weston junction. With grabbers in hand that area along with the rest of the village  was cleared. Almost 20 people were involved on the day and we had a well earned rest, cuppa and cake afterwards in the village hall.


Thank You

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Spring Walk in Oakham

We joined Jill Collinge, a Blue Badge Guide, for a walk round Oakham on a sunny but cold March morning.

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Despite frequently walking and shopping in Oakham, the addition of a knowledgeable guide opens your eyes to the history and architecture of a place. A few saucy stories always lightens the mood and Jill had plenty to pepper her talk with, its amazing what you find out!

Last year we had joined Jill for a walk in Stamford and because she is so friendly and interesting we immediately booked her for this outing. We are already lining up a third walk with her later in the year. 

At the end of the walk we enjoyed a delicious prebooked lunch in The Whipper Inn on the market square.

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Oakham 3

Some of us even managed to do a little shopping!

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History of Wool and Spinning


WS 1 2017

From the Iron Age onwards we had a trip through the history of wool and spinning. We learned about how the words of the wool industry have made it into our everyday language - we found out why we are are both spinsters and wives and why men are "naggers". Wonderful!

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Trish brought many examples of wool types for us to examine although not many of us fancied having anything made from camel.


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We learned about the different types of sheep and many of us found out that we were washing our woollies all wrong.

It was when we discussed the many items that have been made from wool that we had our real surprise. We were all rather taken aback when Trish revealed an amazing item that was made from wool in the middle ages. Who would have thought!! Delicacy forbids the item being mentioned here but we rolled with laughter when we found out.

We ended with a hands on session. Having a go is always welcome.

Thank you Trish for a great evening.

WS 8 2017


Flamenco in Ashley!

 We started our monthly meetings this year with an evening of Flamenco! Swirly skirts to the fore, stamping and clicking - what better way to get through a dull February evening.

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"Bend your knee with attitude!" was one instruction. How to do that - well we all found out and now have knees that bend with attitude. Not certain where we can use our knees with credentials such as that, but I think a few of us will tell our surgeons when the replacements come along.

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By the time we finished, we had all worked our way through a passable Flamenco dance. It was great fun.

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We ended the evening with a glass of Flamenco flavoured Ribena and some Tapas. Ole


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January Social

The George in Ashley

 We don't have a meeting in January but like to get together for a social. The George is open again in Ashley and it was really good to be able to get together there for our January Fun evening. 

We started with a competition game. Despite some people believing that we were cheapskates, we had on offer a fabulous, all inclusive trip to Hawaii for the winner of our game.


 Wendy had organised a drawing game. We think she organised something that would make 2017 start with a bang - 30 women with plates on their heads was quite a sight!




Despite excellent instructions from Wendy, some members ended up with drawings such as this!

The winners of the All Inclusive Trip to Hawaii with over 40 points, came forward to be presented with their prize.


Unfortunately, just at that moment, we received a call from President Elect Trump.

Our prize winners had Mexican ancestry and were not therefore allowed into Hawaii.

What a shame!

However, we gave them lovely flowers for their hair as tokens of what might have been.

Never let it be said that Ashley Welland Valley WI don't try and give wonderful prizes to their members!


We followed this with a quiz and only one table managed to get the answers to the alcoholic questions right. They were presented with lips to be used for the rest of the evening.



The new landlords of The George, Chris and Carole, then served us with bowls of chips and sandwiches galore.

A great way to start the year.

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Local Pictures