President Beryl Fletcher welcomed members and guests to the July meeting, reporting that the Marbury WI’s 90th Birthday Afternoon Tea had been very successful, and that our Craft Group’s entry to the Royal Cheshire Show had been awarded “Commended” in a category with over 25 entries from across the county. The Bridge Beginners Group will meet for the first time in July, and the outing to Llandudno on the 17th August will replace our regular meeting.
Beryl then welcomed our speaker – Stephen Shakeshaft – who introduced us to “Chester Uncovered”. Stephen is one of 30 registered Chester Tour Guides and took us on an illustrated “virtual tour” of the unknown parts of Chester and the stories behind them. Among the many fascinating things which Stephen introduced us to was the Sedan Porch in Stanley Place – the only one in the north of the UK! – and the fact that the Cathedral Bell Tower was the first free-standing bell tower to be built in Europe since the middle ages. Chester’s half-exposed Roman amphitheatre was the largest in Britain, holding 7,000 spectators, and in medieval times Chester was one of only five ports in the whole of Britain allowed to import wine. With our heads reeling with facts, figures and photos, Sheila Steele gave the vote of thanks for an enthralling talk which had entertained and educated us! The competition was won by Margaret Barnet and the raffle by Carol Sheard.
The next meeting at the village hall will be on 12th September – for details contact Beryl Fletcher (01948 664889).
President Beryl Fletcher welcomed over 30 members and guests to the June meeting and members were reminded that Marbury WI will be celebrating its 90th birthday with an Afternoon Tea in the Village Hall on Saturday 24th June (tickets £5). Meetings in July include the Craft Group on the 4th, Lunch Club on 5th, Art Group on 6th, Book Club on 11th, Bridge Beginners Group on 17th. The Walk on 27th June will be centred on Peckforton. Details were given of the outing to Llandudno on 17th August and a visit to the Iron Works at Oswestry on 28thSeptember.
Our speaker was Zdenek Valkoun-Walker, Head Gardener at The Dorothy Clive Gardens. The two principal areas – the Quarry Garden and the Hillside Garden – are contained within a beautiful 12 acre site on the Staffordshire/Cheshire/Shropshire borders, and was started in 1939. Best known for its rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias, the garden is at its best from April to mid-May with over 40% of visitors coming during that 6-week period, although spring bulbs and the traditional cottage garden style in the Hillside Garden maintain interest throughout the year. Zdenek’s illustrated talk showed the garden in all seasons, and he described how the 2½ full-time members of staff are helped by a team of volunteers to maintain and improve the planting. The vote of thanks for Zdenek’s entertaining and interesting talk was given by Bev Tanner. The competition was won by Lynn Horton and the raffle by Sheila Steele.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 11th July – for information please contact Beryl Fletcher (01948 664889).
President Beryl Fletcher welcomed members and guests to the March meeting. The Walking Group will be visiting Whixall on 28th March, and outings planned so far are the tour of Combermere Abbey on 20th April, a visit to Haughton Hall gardens on 18th May, and a trip to Llandudno on 17th August. Members were reminded that we will be celebrating Marbury WI’s 90th Birthday at the April meeting.
Our speaker was Philip Harrison, who gave an illustrated talk about the construction of Liverpool’s Roman Catholic Cathedral (often referred to as “Paddy’s Wigwam”). Philip briefly described the three previous attempts to build a mother church for the Liverpool Diocese. The first was started in 1853 but never completed. Lutyens’ 1933 design suffered a dramatic escalation in costs during the war, which led to construction being abandoned. However, the crypt was completed and is incorporated within the cathedral. In 1953 another design was produced which was heavily criticised and went no further. An international competition in 1960 was won by Frederick Gibberd’s striking design which can accommodate 2,000 people – work was started in 1962 and completed five years later. Philip was seconded from Gibberd’s London office to oversee construction, and was involved from the beginning through to its consecration in May 1967, so his talk gave a fascinating insight into the problems and successes associated with this iconic building including some amusing anecdotes about the people he encountered along the way!
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 11th April – for information please contact Beryl Fletcher (01948 664889).