Smisby Village

Smisby WI Events

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.


Smisby WI visit Charlecote Park


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.