On a warm, sunny day in June, twenty-eight members of Horsforth WI enjoyed a full day out in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.
We left Horsforth by coach at 9am bound for the village of Hutton-le-Hole, a picturesque village in the heart of the North Yorkshire National Park and home to the award-winning Ryedale Folk Museum.
On arrival at 10.30am we were met by Maureen from the museum who welcomed us and led us into the museum's small coffee shop for refreshment after our journey.
Thirsts quenched we set off to explore the museum which offers a unique glimpse of the past. For half a century Ryedale’s most magnificent bits of heritage have been conserved for future generations to enjoy and they have been spread out over six acres to tell a story about the rural way of life from the Iron Age to the 1950s. Many were soon reminiscing in the Village Store and Chemist shops, recalling such items as Sunlight Soap, Camp Coffee, IZAL toilet rolls and National Dried Milk! Many items we saw are still available today, albeit in different packaging!
Others posed for a photograph in front of the backdrop in the professional photographer’s studio and some even re-lived their childhood love of skipping after discovering toys of a bygone age in the education centre!
Some two hours later hunger pangs were felt and we made our way to the local hostelry, The Crown, where we had pre-ordered our lunch. Once we saw the portion sizes - particularly the haddock, we were relieved we had decided against having starters!
Following our leisurely lunch some members decided to re-visit the museum which was only next door, whilst others thought a visit to the local craft shops which just happened to include a chocolate factory, should be made!
It wasn't too long, however, before several groups could be seen enjoying cups of tea in the sunshine outside a local cafe, or an ice-cream in the shade of some trees.
At 3 pm we all met up once more outside the museum, ready to pose for the obligatory 'group photo'! Once this had been taken, it was back on the coach for a scenic tour of Ryedale, taking in the market towns of Helmsley and Easingwold and the sleepy, unspoilt villages of Oswaldkirk and Gilling East.
Just over an hour later we arrived at the picturesque village of Tholthorpe, complete with duck pond and village green, where we were greeted by the ladies of Tholthorpe WI at the entrance to the village hall. The village of Tholthorpe itself became famous immediately after the Second World War in 1944 when a Royal Canadian Air force Halifax Bomber, loaded with bombs, crashed immediately after take off from the airfield at Tholthorpe. All eight crew were killed and only the skill of the pilot saved the lives of many others on the ground.
We were led into the hall where a sumptuous strawberry cream tea was served. One would think we hadn't eaten all day, the way we tucked in! It must have been all the fresh air!
It was good to chat to members of another WI and these ladies did us proud with their Yorkshire hospitality.
However, all too soon it was time to say our goodbyes before starting out on the
last leg of our journey home to Horsforth, after what had proved to be "a Grand Day Out!"
Janis Wright, Social Secretary, Horsforth W.I.