Smisby Village

Smisby Women's Institute




Smisby WI was founded in 1934 and we celebrated our 80th anniversary in  2015. A short history is available via the history page.  Also the WI organisation celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2015.


 Smisby WI are a small but very friendly institute and meet on the third Thursday in the month in various locations.

We have a varied programme with a speaker at most meetings.

Smisby WI meetings are usually held on the third Thursday of the month, 7.00 pm for 7.15 pm prompt start.


All meetings normally in Smisby Village Hall, Main Street LE65 2TY at 7pm for a 7.15pm start.  In addition, monthly craft sessions and walks aare organised on the first and second Thursday of each month respectively and also weekly canasta/card games on a Wednesday afternoon.


Subsidised Subscription 2017 is £37 and Dual membership with another WI is £17  

Refreshments are £1 per meeting


Guests (carers exempt) maximum of 3 meetings per year


A waiting list is now in operation for new members who live outside of Smisby parish.


Secretary;  Mrs Suzanne Jones 01530 415346


We are part of the Derbyshire Federation

DFWI Headquarters

“Derbyshire House”, Sherwin Street,

Derby, DE22 1GP

Telephone 01332 342596


Special events


November  WI Life Magazine

Laura was interviewed and photographs  taken of her with the Alpaca, and the article appeared in the November WI LIfe.


25th Jan 2018 First Aid and De fibrillator training by East Midlands Ambulance Service.

We have had a Defibrillator outside the village hall for some time now and the committee agreed that we need to know how to use it.


We approached the East Midlands Ambulance Service and Ben Ryrie. the trainer for EMAS kindly agreed to come along and show us how to  operate it. Ben gave an interesting and entertaining talk to an audience made up of the WI,  village hall users and villagers.


Ben told us that we must first assess the situation before approaching the casualty, and not to put oneself in any danger.

Call 999 if the casualty is unresponsive and not breathing

If the casualty is unresponsive to voice and collar bone taps and does not seem to be breathing, then phone for an ambulance immediately, by calling 999.

 If the person is not responsive and not breathing, then their heart has stopped working and they are having a  cardiac arrest. ( You can check if the casualty is breathing  by placing your face close to the nose to detect air movement and watching for any chest movement)

If necessary clear the airway, using the rescue position to drain the mouth. Tilting the head back puts the tongue into place.


If the casualty is not breathing start CPR   Ben demonstrated CPR on Annie the demo body. 

CPR can be done with just chest compressions or with chest compressions and rescue breaths.


CPR using chest compressions

Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of the person’s chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers. Position yourself with your shoulders above your hands.

Using your body weight (not just your arms)  press straight down by 5-6cm (2-2.5 inches) on their chest.

Keeping your hands on their chest, release the compression and allow the chest to return to its original position.

Repeat these compressions at a rate of about 100 times per minute until an ambulance arrives or you become exhausted.


Using the defibrillator

Do not stop the CPR.  Someone else must fetch the defibrillator

Remove the defibrillator out of the box, and the defibrillator will talk you through the operating instructions. This involved placing  two sticky patches,  as directed  and the instructions were very clear and easy to understand. The machine checks the casualty’s heart and decides whether to administer a shock or not.  Everyone must stand clear if it tells them to.


Everyone learnt a great deal in that hour and a half and hopefully can help someone in an emergency if required.



Visit by National WI Chair, Lynne Stubbings

Lynne Stubbings, the new chair of the WI, was invited to Smisby WI in October 2017.Lynne Stubbings does not live too far away from Smisby and so was able to accepy our invitation to speak. 
As Smisby is on the border of Leicestershire and Derbyshire we invited clubs from both areas.  We had representatives from Blackfordby, Netherseal, Newhall, Ticknall, Melbourne, Ashby Castle, Swannington, Ravenstone  as well as Smisby,  and Chrissie Booth  and Christine Gardener from the DFWI.
Lynne’s  talk was titled "Opportunities for All".  Lynne began by showing a short video of the centenary celebrations at the Albert Hall with Jerusalem being played in the background, Lynne told us how she became involved with the WI and the opportunities that we as members could take part in.
After Lynne's talk members had an opportunity to ask questions on various topics, and because of Lynne's thirty-seven years in the WI, all questions were answered to members' satisfaction.

Barbara, our vice chair, presented Lynne with a DVD of Smisby's activities over the past year, and a bowl of Kalanchoe plants as a reminder of the event and thanked Lynne and everyone else for attending.Please click on the photograph of Lynne and Barbara to enlarge it. 


Open meeting Sept 2017

Once a year Smsiby WI have an open meeting where husbands, partners and friends are invited to join one of our monthly meetings.  For September 2017, our speaker talked  about the wonderful work,  done by the volunteers of the Derbyshire Mountain Rescue service. This was a topic whichwe knew this would appeal to the audience and, Kevin the training officer for the charity did not disappoint. He gave a superb talk on the many rescues they have undertaken within Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Nottinghamshire, he also gave a very good insight into the intensive training the volunteers have to take in order to be part of the team.

Christine Gardner ,the publicity officer for Derbyshire WI , joined us this evening as Smisby is to be featured in the December  issue of Derbyshire Life Magazine. Some of the photographs taken are shown below ( click on each to enlarge. A great night was had by the members and visitors who also enjoyed a buffet supplied by the Committee.


Uttoxeter Ladies Day July 2017

As you can see from the photographs it was wet and windy but in true WI spirit we carried on with a fabulous 'bring and share' "posh picnic", and some had the classy option of the restaurant.We had a great day with many of us going home with winning, for some of us it was another tick of the bucket list.

Please click to enlarge the photos








Smisby is part of the Derbshire Federation of WIs and the Derbyshire Federation centenary is in 2018.

Derbyshire Federation of WIs Centenary in 2018 

To celebrate the centenary of the WI in Derbyshire many events have been organised by the Trustees, and we have been set many challenges.


* On the 12th May 2018 at the Winding Wheel Chesterfield there will be a day of activities and fun, which will include a fashion show, musical acts, quizzes, treasure hunt and significant characters from the WIs past and a whole lot more to show case the WI.


* In the Autumn there is to be a variety show where members can come along and sing, perform a short play, or play a musical instrument. Dates and more details are to follow.


* Could we design a new Badge Federation? That’s one for our talented artist’s, any volunteers?.


* Benefit the local Community?

What can we do to give some benefit to Smisby Village?  That took some thought, but we came up with providing two interpretation boards for the village, one to be attached to the notice board outside the village hall, the other at the St. James Church.


Our fund raising has been helped by a very generous contribution from the East Midlands Airport Community Fund, a bacon buttie morning, quiz night and a lunch for the walkers, will all go to help pay for the project.


The interpretation board at St James Church will give information on the history of this beautiful Norman Church, the notice board will be repaired and painted. At the village hall the board will give the history of the village and it’s connection to the Harpur Crewe’s of Calke, it will also be painted and made good.


We have many visitors and walkers pass through the village and we intend the boards to give them a brief history of the village.


When both boards are in place next year we will have a short dedication service by Cannon David Edwards and photographs taken to be included in the local paper.


To commemorate the Centenary in 2018 every WI in Derbyshire had the opportunity to design and make a “fabric brick” depicting their WI and could also enter a competition to produce a commerative tea towel. Smisby entered both commerative events.

DFWI Centenary Fabric brick


We at Smisby WI are very fortunate to have within our membership two very talented ladies who between them have made this 2018 centenary brick.

Pat Barnes designed the art work. with Angela Regan using her talents on the embroidery machine.

The design depicts St James Church Smisby, the anvil and hammer represent the Craftsmen of Smisby who undoubtedly forged work for the occupants of Ashby de la Zouch Castle.

The books tell us that Smisby is named in the Doomsday Book of 1086 (spelt Smithsby or Smidesbi)

Sir Walter Scott is believed to have visited Smisby where he got the idea for Ivanhoe, and of course we must mention the Women’s Institute. 

The brick will be sewn on to a large wall hanging and displayed at Federation meetings and the county shows and are a unique record of W.I.s in the Federation.

There have been two previous wall hangings which were completed in the 1980's and the year 2000.



DFWI Centenary Tea Towel Competition

Marie and Suzanne designed a commerative tea towel  for the Derbyshire Federation showing every WI on a map and a selection of activities ( see pictutre). However, it was not selected for printing but the art work will be on display with the other successful and unsuccessful entries at the Autumn Council meeting.teatowel





Smisby WI visit to Elford Community Gardens June 2013