Smisby WI Past Events
Pie making visit
On the 13th of September 2016 nine members and one husband had a very enjoyable evening at Brockleby's Pork Pie
manufacturers. After being greeted by David we had to put on aprons and of course the very fetching hair nets in order to have a tour of the factory. David gave a very informative talk about the company and the range of pies that they make all being free range and sourced locally.
Now to the best bit, making the pie! David first of all showed us how to make the base with prepared pastry, wrapped around a wooded block after putting the meat in, the lid was put on but only with five indentations to attach the lid to the base.
A fantastic time was had by all, all ten pies looked totally different, but Sybil's pie was chosen as the one that looked most like a Brockleby's Pork Pie.
Beaumanor Hall Visit on Thursday 28th July 2016
Eighteen members and six husbands enjoyed a morning visiting Beaumanor Hall a stately home and park in the small village of Woodhouse on the edge of Charnwood forest.
We were greeted by Margaret who was our guide for the morning, Margaret told us that the hall has been in the Herrick family since 1595 when Sir William Herrick was a government official under Elizabeth 1 and later a member of parliament for Leicester. There have been three halls on the site but the present hall was built over a seven-year period by William Railton (who designed Nelson column and Grace Dieu) between 1842 and 1848 in the Jacobean style. The floors were constructed using stone from Derbyshire and the floors of marble from Ashover.
Just before the Second World War in 1939 the Herrick family owned the park the hall and 6,500 acres of land, Beacon hill the Hanging Rocks and many more workers houses and cottages. In 1939 the War office requisitioned the estate when it became a listening station where encrypted enemy signals were intercepted and sent to Bletchley Park by motorbike for decoding. Beaumanor for the duration of the war was the home of the War Office Y group.
Please click to enlarge the photos
After a very comprehensive tour of the hall, kitchens, and cellars we made our way via the Victorian School Room to Morse Cottage which is where some of the morse code was intercepted, and passed to Bletchley, the huts on the estate that had to be camouflaged from enemy planes as a row of cottages, greenhouses, a cricket pavilion and stables.
The Hall and some of the park is now a Conference and Education Centre run by Leicestershire CC. Coffee and biscuits were a welcome break half way through the tour, but we also enjoyed a very nice lunch at the Curzon’s Arms in Woodhouse Eves, where the service was very slow but the company and food was excellent. Everyone said how they had enjoyed the visit and we will be going back to learn more about the Hall’s help towards winning the second world war, and of course we will have to have afternoon tea at the hall.
Houses of Parliament and the London Eye Visit on Friday 20th May 2016
Forty-one WI members and friends boarded the bus at Smisby for the journey to London. As we wanted to miss the traffic hold ups on the M1 we started out at 10a.m and it proved to be the right decision as there were no hold ups to our first stop for lunch at a garden centre near St Albans.
After a very enjoyable lunch at the garden centre it was back on the bus for our journey to the London Eye.
As anticipated the going was slow due to prayers finishing at the London Mosque in Regents Park and of course the lunch time London Traffic, but we arrived in plenty of time for our 3.30.p.m slot on the London Eye. This wonderful piece of engineering is quite magnificent and many in our party had not been before so it was quite awe-inspiring for them as we travelled at a very slow speed to view the London skyline.
Twenty minutes later we walked to The houses of Parliament with time for a quick coffee and cake, then into the magnificent Westminster Hall to meet our tour guide. We were told that the Hall is the oldest building on the Parliamentary estate, having been built in 1097 by the son of William the Conqueror, and completed within two years, and to this day survives almost in its original form.
The hall has seen many historic events, from the trial of King Charles 1st the coronation of James 11 and the lying in state of many notable people.
From there we were taken to the House of Lords the second chamber of the UK Parliament which works with the house of Commons, questioning Government and debating issues and policy. Three days before our visit the Queen had opened Parliament and when you see the house of Lords on TV it looks quite large, but we were all surprised at how small it was when we were standing there. (We could not sit down in either the Lords or Commons)
The tour guide was very informative about all the various rooms including the House of Commons, and gave us a good in site into the daily working of this magnificent building.
After a very good journey home we arrived back in Smisby at 10. 15p.m having had a wonderful day enjoyed by all.
Photograph supplied by Pat Barnes.
Smisby WI gratefully thanks the Parochial Charity for the grant which made this visit possible
Although the Deryshire County Show was cancelled in 2016 because of the waterlogged field at Elvaston castle, the Derbyshire Federation still ran the WI competitions from their headquarters in Derby. The theme was Midsummers Night dream and Marie won the art competition with her painting, see picture
Shardlow Walk and Supper (provided by Shardlow WI)
For a number of years Smisby WI has had an Open June evening walk in the local area with refreshments afterwards.
As we have a very thriving walking group that meets every second Thursday of the month we are finding it difficult to find walks that all members are able to participate in. We have been to Calke Abbey and had a talk about the Lime Kilns, and a tour of Smisby Church with supper at the village hall.
This year ( 2016), an open walk was organised to visit Shardlow an inland port just a few miles from Smisby. The visit was arranged with Shardlow WI, to tell us about the history of the village and canals, finishing with a light supper.
All thirty-three of us duly arrived at Shardlow village hall looking very warily at the weather as it had been a dreadful week weather wise, see photos and click to enlarge.
We set of in small groups with our guides and gathered round as they started to tell us about the history of Shardlow and how it was to become a unique place in the history of the country. The 18th century canal port, with all its associated wharves and warehouses, developed greatly with the opening of the Trent and Mersey Canal in 1770 for the transfer of goods from wide boats on the River Trent to narrow boats on the canal, where goods could be shipped to other parts of the country. We walked past warehouses, houses and the old Methodist Church (no longer in use) to the new bridge over the canal and then the heavens opened. The various groups dashed to shelter under trees and the bridge and there we stayed, as the rain thunder and lightning raged all about us, and the roads and pavements flooded.
Our guides were very good and tried to keep our interest but the weather was just getting worse and after thirty minutes it was decided to make a dash for the village hall.
Once at the hall we were greeted by the lovely Shardlow WI ladies who had prepared a supper of sandwiches and homemade cakes, and of course a very welcome cup of tea or coffee.
After we had dried out we thanked the ladies for their wonderful hospitality and the evening finished with a short quiz on the Tudors and even though we got completely soaked it was a night we will always remember.
Thornton Chocolates visit
In May a small group of members visited Thornton's chocolates, see photo. Click to enlarge.
Latest Visit: Button maker and Jewellery Museum
The WI travelled to Smethwick to visit the last remaining mother of pearl button factory in April and enjoyed an entertaining talk by the owner and the opportunutiy to buy some of his beautiful jewellery made from shells. The museum in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham was visited too. Click to enlarge the photos.
The Derbyshire Federation and the Harpur Crewe Group occasionally organised sporting evetns for members. Several of the Smsiby members took part in the Archery taster duing 2015.
Visit to Charlecote Park
On 12th September 2013, Smisby WI visited Charlecote Park, a beautiful Tudor house.
The visit was supported the Parochial Charity.
Our coach journey took us through some out of the way places and pretty hamlets. The weather held and members enjoyed the house, gardens, interesting outbuildings and Victorian cookery demonstration.
A delicious tea was provided by a local WI before we set out for home.
Visit to Hough Mill
On 22 August 13 members, with family and friends met at the George Inn.
A 2 mile walk included some of the historic mining sites in the Swannington heritage old mining area. We then met our guide Bill Pemberton at Hough Mill.
Bill gave us a fascinating guided tour of this Swannington heritage trust site, explaining how mining has changed through the ages. This tour included the rare heathland in the Gorse field, once heavily mined in medieval times; the remains of the Califat colliery and the partly restored windmill, Hough mill. We were able to go inside the windmill and learn how it used to operate.
A short walk back to the George Inn was followed by a delicious lunch.