Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Crazy Patchwork Workshop

On the 24th August, many people joined our tutor Ann Starkey in the Federation Office to create a crazy patchwork block. This block when finished is suitable for a cushion, bag or wall hanging. The participants used many types of fabrics to be able to get the pretty effects by touch rather than just the eye. Take a look at the photographs to see how they are developing.

September's Events

7th September - Next Friday we have a Bobbin Lace Workshop at the Federation Office in Rodley. The participants will learn how to use lace to create a snake bookmark. This workshop is suitable for beginners and requires a kit, which can be obtained from the tutor. There are 5 places left get in touch with the office for bookings.

22nd September - This years Autumn Ramble sets off from the bandstand in Saltaires Roberts Park at 10am. The participants can do a 3, 5 or 8 mile walk around the Saltaire area with their friends and family. You can pay on the day or call the office from bookings as their is no maximum. Tea and biscuits are provided, but bring your own sandwiches.

26th September - The West Yorkshire Federation are hosting a Ten Pin Bowling evening at Hollywood Bowl in Kirkstall. Each person will have the opportunity to play 2 games and food and drink are avaliable. Places are still avaliable, so please call the office.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Heritage Open Day

On the 8th September 2012 from 10am until 4pm there will be a Diamond Jubilee Open Day at Bradford City Hall, hosted by the Lord Mayor Dale Smith.
The Banqueting Hall of City Hall will be transformed into a 'Street Party Cafe' where the visitors can purcahse refreshments and see the local magistrates re-enact authentic cases from 1952.

Go on down at 10am on the 8th for a great day!

Meanwood Member Recalls Her Time As An Olympic Athlete!

Her is an article about Vera Shires, who competed in the London 1948 Olympic Games (a shorter version appeared in West Yorkshire News).

Sixty four years ago, Meanwood member Vera Shires was a 19 year old gymnast competing in the London 1948 Olympic Games. 

Vera began her journey to the Olympics at the age of 10 when she started going to a gymnasium with a friend near her home. She paid just 6d to train 3 evenings a week. Her friend did not go to the gymnasium for long, but Vera stuck to it and was accepted into the 1948 Olympic Games. 

The training for the Olympics in 1948 was the opposite of the strenuous training schedules that today’s athletes face. As the war was not long over in 1948, Great Britain was still rationed, which stressed the importance of employment and Vera fortunately managed to book time off work to compete in the Olympic Games. Vera explained how one of her gymnast friends had to decline their invitation to the London 1948 Olympic Games because he would not be paid for the time off. 

As mentioned the war was not long over and it seems the games replenished Great Britain as it encouraged countries to come together. Unfortunately, many athletes missed out on competing in the Olympic Games because due to the war there were no 1940 or 1944 games, which concluded in some athletes being too old. 

Due to Germany, Russia and Japan not taking part in 1948 only 60 countries competed, which meant that it only cost £700,000 to host the games, whereas the London 2012 Olympic Games is thought to reach £24bn in cost. 

In 1948, the gymnastics were supposed to be performed outdoors at Wembley Stadium, but it was one of the wettest Olympics in history, which meant the gymnasts were moved to Empress Hall where the weightlifting, boxing and wrestling took place. 

In the 1948 Olympic Games the female gymnasts did not compete individually, but as a team, performing on the exercise floor, balance beam, swinging rings and the vault. There were also set routines, which were performed by each country for judging. 

Vera explained that her fondest memory was the friendship that she gained from staying in Ecclestone Square with competitors from other countries, which led on to hilarious memories of playing Charades when it was already difficult to communicate through ‘sign language’. 

Unfortunately, it was Czechoslovakia, Hungary and the United States that won the Olympic medals for gymnastics as Great Britain placed 9th in front of Belgium and France. 

Overall in the London 1948 Olympic Games, Great Britain came 12th out of 60 countries, winning 23 medals.

Q & A - Helena Harrington, Federation Chairman

 In this months West Yorkshire News we have a Q & A section, which we will have each month for our officers. This month we have the Federation Chairman, Helena Harrington.

Q: Where were you born?
A: County Waterford, Southern Ireland.

Q: What is your earliest memory?
A: Probably when I was around 4 or 5 years and I was in a field surrounded by sheep and cows making a daisy chain with my sister. 

Q: When did you get involved with the WI?
A: I joined when I moved to Yorkshire in 1970. I was invited to Wilsden WI by my neighbours when we first moved to Bradford. 

Q: How long have you been a member?
A: 42 years. 

Q: What does the role of Chairman involve?
A: It involves being the leader of a team. It is to ensure that the Federation is run according to the constitution and it gives you an opportunity to meet new people and encourage people to join. 

Q: What is the purpose of the Board of Trustees?
A: The Board of Trustees is legally responsible to ensure that the Federation is run according to the NFWI constitution and charity law. We also have to observe Company Law and Employment Law and make sure the members of the West Yorkshire Federation are kept informed and supported and can gain the best the WI have to offer. 

Q: Tell us about your career.
A: When I left school I did some office training and worked in the office of a timber merchant. After that I did teacher training and then took a break to get married and have children. I then returned to education and retrained as a nursery nurse, a career I stayed in for around 20 years.  

Q: Tell us about your family.
A: I have a husband and 2 boys, as well as 3 grandchildren, who are delightful. 

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I like to read, sew, garden, listen to music and watching sport. 

Q: What is your favourite book?
A: I have favourite authors rather than favourite books such as Dick Francis and Neville Shute. 

Q: Tell us something about yourself that will surprise people.
A: I can score at a cricket match.

Festival of Quilts

On Saturday 18th August, many of our members and their friends took the coach to Birmingham NEC for the Festival of Quilts. Many of us had an early start with the first pick up being outside the Federation Office at 6.45am and the last drop off after the show was around 7pm.

So, it was a long day for our craft lovers, but with stalls of goodies and presentations of 1000s of quilts they definitely had a good day.

Take a look at some of the quilts we saw!

Marsden WI

Name – Marsden WI
Formation – 20th November 1975
Day of Meeting – 1st Tuesday of each month
Time of Meeting – 7.30PM
Location – Marsden Mechanics
Members – 22 members
President – Brenda Walker
Secretary – Jean Edmonds 

Marsden WI was opened in 1975 and will be celebrating their 40th anniversary in a few years’ time. Marsden are an established WI, who is quite involved in their own events as well as Federation events. Last year they were very active during Christmas by having a theatre visit, a New Year lunch and a Christmas party for their members. This year they have hosted their own diamond jubilee celebrations as well as booking for the Federation Cinema Trip to Hebden Bridge Picture House for a special viewing of Made in Dagenham. Marsden also have a regular gardening group for their members, friends and families. 

If you are interested in attending or joining Colton WI please contact Jean Edmonds on 01484 843878 or email on

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Farnley Tyas WI

St. Lucius's Church, Farnley TyasName – Farnley Tyas
Formation – 26th May 2009
Day of Meeting – Last Wednesday of each month
Time of Meeting – 7.30PM
Location – St Lucius Church
Members – 27 Members
                       1 Dual Member
President – Gillian Swift
Secretary – Michelle Brown

Farnley Tyas WI was closed and reopened in 2009, which makes it one of the newer WI’s in the West Yorkshire Federation. With 27 members they are quite an active WI within their community of Farnley Tyas. Recently, they have had speakers at each meeting that cover a range of interesting topics, the members do hands on craft demonstrations for the other members to learn as well as fundraising for Farnley Tyas. This WI also holds their craft club in the local school as well as teaching the children valuable craft skills. Farnley Tyas have also created a cushion for the London 2012 Olympic Games out of British wool. Also this year they have hosted a Diamond Jubilee event and on the 26th of September they have planned an open evening for an Admiral Nurses talk.

If you are interested in attending a meeting or joining Farnley Tyas WI please contact Michelle Brown on 01484663355 or email her on