Baslow WI in Derbyshire’s Peak District
My name is Ann McPhie, I have been a member of Baslow WI since moving to Derbyshire in 1984. I am the editor of our website and an admin on the Facebook page with three others. I am pleased to have the opportunity to write a blog about Baslow WI to share news about how active our WI is in the community and within the organisation.
About the WI
The WI was first started in the UK in 1915, it is a three-tier organisation for women with local, county and national levels. Baslow WI was formed in 1919 and is one of 166 WIs in Derbyshire. In 2019 a special programme of events was put together to celebrate our centenary year.
Members enjoy monthly meetings at Baslow Village Hall, plus lots more:
- Walking Group
- Cycling Group
- Book Clubs
- Lunch Club
- WI Social Afternoons & Craft (WISA)
We have regular outings to theatres locally and further afield involving overnight stays. Many of our extra activities are open to friends and relatives.
At the time of writing we have 86 members at Baslow WI of varying ages and living in the Peak Park, Chesterfield and Sheffield.
Baslow WI supports local charities like Derbyshire Blood Bikes, Mountain Rescue, Helen’s Trust, Air Ambulance and Baslow Village Hall. We also have an international charity Associated Country Women of the World which helps women and children lead independent lives.
Baslow WI Walking Group
Each month we organise a walk usually in the Peak District or surrounding areas. A member volunteers to lead a walk typically of around 4 miles often including a picnic or lunch break. Because of our closeness to Chatsworth we spend much of our time walking there. We also have Nordic Walking instruction weekly, based at National Trust Longshaw, but occasionally elsewhere. Our walks and other activities are reported by ‘Darling Jane’ in the Peak Advertiser, in addition to the website and Facebook, where we have around 6,000 followers worldwide.
Cycling Group – ‘Baslow Bikers’
Amongst our members we have a small group of people who enjoy cycling, so ‘Baslow Bikers’ was formed. This is open to non-WI members. Monthly bike rides are organised, weather permitting, and members enjoy riding on trails and quiet roads. Some Baslow Bikers have been on cycling holidays in the UK and abroad. One of their favourite places for cycling is around the Derwent Dams.
Baslow WI Book Clubs
Our two Book Clubs are for WI members, they meet in each other’s homes to discuss the book of the month over tea and cake.
Baslow WI Lunch Club
The Lunch Club meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at local pubs, cafes and restaurants, supporting local businesses and enjoying the food and company. We are always made very welcome and looked after extremely well.
WISA – WI Social Afternoons + Craft
Once a month, on the 4th Wednesday, 2-4pm, WI members get together in Baslow Village Hall. Some just come for a chat and a cup of tea, while others bring craft projects or computers to work on. Knitting for charities at home and abroad is popular. One of the favourites supported by our members is the premature baby unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital. Some members have extraordinary skills sewing, lace and rug making, card design all sorts! There is usually someone to try to help or advise if needed. Sometimes a demonstration or a workshop is presented, for example bag-making or flower pounding. It’s all very varied and flexible, everyone is welcome.
All these WI activities don’t just happen! A team of members volunteer to work together to organise meetings and events.
Take a peep at our website ‘Our Team’ page: https://baslow-wi.weebly.com/our-team.html
In future blogs I hope to write about Baslow WI’s relationship with our ‘neighbours’ The Duke & Duchess of Devonshire and how they have visited and supported our WI over the years. Also, a year in the life of a Derbyshire Village WI, WI campaigns and an introduction to Baslow Bear!
WI Adviser Derbyshire
Joint Secretary Baslow WI