Join us for outings to places of local interest

At various times in the year we arrange visits to local places of interest.

Most recently, in early July 2019, we had a visit to Banbury’s own Tooley’s Boatyard, which is one of the oldest working dry docks on the Inland Waterways, having been in continuous use since 1778. Matt Armitage, Director of Tooley’s Boatyard, was one of our speakers earlier in the year and his talk had whetted our appetites for more. So several of us spent a happy morning being shown round the site, seeing the 200 year-old forge in use, visiting the carpentry and paint workshops and then we enjoyed a relaxing and peaceful cruise along the Oxford Canal aboard Tooley’s narrowboat, the Dancing Duck.

In May we spent a thoroughly enjoyable morning at the fabulous Arty Crafty Place near Middle Aston. Here we were shown how to block print fabric using wooden blocks hand carved in India. Having had the technique explained and demonstrated to us we were let loose to play, laugh and create to our hearts’ content. The results were wonderful and very impressive and we are all proud of our ‘masterpieces’.  We rounded off our morning with a delicious lunch and more chat at Nicholson’s Yurt.

April saw the musical ‘Calendar Girls’ come to Oxford and quite a number of us, along with many other Oxfordshire WI members, filled the New Theatre.  It was an excellent production and a most enjoyable afternoon.  Everyone left the theatre with a smile on their faces.

In February 2 of our members were in the audience of the Playhouse Theatre in Oxford to see the musical ‘Made in Dagenham’ and a report is included below.


In 2018 outings included a guided tour of Rousham House and an afternoon spent in the beautiful gardens there. Earlier last year we had a day in Oxford which included a private guided tour of various locations in Oxford linked with the filming of Morse, Lewis and Endeavour episodes.

Previous outings have included a tour of the Ardley Energy Recovery Facility, where we met Meg the Megawattasaurus made from items sent for recycling. We have also visited a herbalist’s garden, Sulgrave Manor, Oxford County Court, the Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick and Upton House. 

More outings are being planned and suggestions of places to visit are always welcome.


Outings Reports

“Made in Dagenham”            Report by Sandra      14 Feb 2019

 Pat and I had an enjoyable visit to see the Oxford University Student Company production of “Made in Dagenham”.

This musical is based on a film made about the historical actions of women sewing machinists at the Ford factory in Dagenham. They went on strike in 1968, asking for equal grading and pay as men for equivalent work.

The strike, eventually also involving all the male car workers, was instrumental in Barbara Castle, Secretary of State for Employment, introducing The Equal Pay Act in 1970.

As such, the story is very much in keeping with the campaigning ethos of WI – women getting together to get things done. 

The talented and enthusiastic cast portrayed the way women were unjustly treated and how ordinary people could change things through sacrifice and determination. The 60’s style music and dance were well done, although a bit over- loud, and there was rather a lot of very earthy language, but in all it was an enjoyable and thought provoking show.

50 years later the fight for equality for women is still not won.