In September we reached our 60th Anniversary, and held a party at the Swythamley Centre to celebrate this special milestone. Previous members were invited to join us, with partners. Our delicious buffet was provided by Liz Kemp and her team, and Brian Lightowler and his band entertained us. Alison Coombes made us a beautiful anniversary cake and we gave every lady a gift bag containing daffodil bulbs and summer flowering seeds. Our new WI tablecloth was revealed - designed by Christine Heath and hand embroidered by a lady from Stockport. It incorporated Wincle church and school and Danebridge , plus a sheep- all important features in our history. The raffle prizes were 2 framed pictures of Christine’s designs, luckily won by Carol and Sue from our committee!
Our October speaker, Valerie Jones from Tytherington Treacles WI, came to talk to us about ‘How we bared all’. And yes, it was the tale about the local ladies who made ‘one of those’ calendars to raise money for the breast screening unit at Macclesfield Hospital.
In 2018 the idea was floated with WI committee members and, after a meeting at the hospital and contact with a WI in Devon (who had successfully raised £5,000 from a similar calendar) it was decided to go ahead. Luckily, good friend Debs was in Public Relations and could help plan what was needed – a photographer, press releases, sponsors, a printer, a launch party. The idea was to have the calendar ready to go on sale in October. And it was May already. The WI does not allow use of its funds for this sort of project, so to cover the upfront cost of designer, photographer and printer a raffle was organised. A general letter targeting potential sponsors failed, but when WI members went personally into local shops and companies seeking raffle prizes - it worked, and raffle tickets began to be sold to cover costs.
So to one of the big questions. Who was going (to be brave enough!) to be on the calendar? Fortunately 12 ladies were willing and available and after much unresolved chat about a ‘theme’ for the calendar, the solution emerged. Shrigley Hall kindly offered to host the photo shoot, though this had to happen between 6am and 8am on 2 days. Each ‘model’ organised her own set and chose where she wanted to be photographed. Debs knew a lovely (lady!) photographer who took copious photos so that the ‘model’ could choose which one she wished to be printed for her month. And talking of printing, a printer in Macclesfield generously produced the first 500 copies of the calendar free of charge. Macclesfield Town Hall was chosen for a launch night and models, sponsors, people from Macc Hospital, the Mayor and local celebrity Rachel Burden (from Radio 5 breakfast show) were there. It was all go for the next couple of months. Raffle tickets and calendars were also sold on the Treacle market and the team had a great outing to see ‘Calendar Girls’ which happened to be on at the Lowry. At the January WI meeting, the raffle was drawn and the end result of raffle and calendar sales was revealed. An amazing £11,000 profit. Which continues to grow, because now Valerie is giving talks, so that the breast screening unit at Macc hospital is benefiting even more. This was a great talk given with much enthusiasm by Valerie. But I’m not entirely sure the idea will take off in Wincle!
Just 2 more events left in 2022. Our AGM will be on November 1st and then our Christmas party is on December 6th. Guests are always welcome at our meetings, held on the 1st Tuesday each month at the Swythamley Centre. For more information please contact either Suzanne Henshall on 01260 227209 or Judith Batley on 01260 253129