Join us for outings to places of local interest

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

2022  Our plans for this year include a return to Arty Crafty and a visit to the Centre for Islamic Studies in Oxford. We also hope to resume work shortly on the Adderbury and Milton banner at the National Needlework Archive. Suggestions for other outings are always welcome as are offers to help organise them! Just contact a committee member.

2021 The ongoing impact of Covid-19 meant that outings were not an option this year, but we look forward to future outside events and garden visiting just as soon as possible.

 2020 Another visit to the Arty Crafty Place was planned for the Spring, but sadly had to be cancelled because of lockdown. 

Earlier in the year members spent several days at the National Needlework Archive in Newbury being trained and working under supervision on the original 1921 Adderbury & Milton WI banner.  We completed a detailed description of the banner and its substantial wooden casing which will be entered on the NNA’s digital records.  On our next visit we began the lengthy process of cleaning the banner. We are also planning a visit to the Oxfordshire History Centre to look at the records of the early years of the first Adderbury WI, hoping to discover more about how and when the banner was made. Work will be resumed as soon as possible when Covid restrictions allow.

2019 Our visit to Arty Crafty in May had been such a success that members requested a return visit prior to Christmas. So a full day there was arranged in November.  We spent the morning printing on paper and card, with many members producing their own original Christmas cards and wrapping paper.  After a tasty lunch at the Yurt we returned to the workshop and spent the afternoon honing our fabric printing skills. Once again we left with our beautiful creations which included Christmas stockings, tea towels, T-shirts and pencil cases, many of which made excellent Christmas gifts.

Late October saw a number of very excited members going to visit the National Needlework Archive in Newbury, to see Constance Howard’s stumpwork mural, The Country Wife, created for the Country Pavilion
at the 1951 Festival of Britain held on London’s South Bank. We were also most fortunate to view the 1921 banner of the original Adderbury & Milton WI, which is now housed at NNA for safe storage and eventual cleaning and conservation.  D
iscussions were held with the Conservator and Director of the NNA and, as a result, a team of 8 members of our WI has formed to be trained in the necessary skills and to help with the conservation of the old banner.  This work will take place in 2020.

In October we made a group visit to Bourton House Garden at Bourton-on-the-Hill. Stormy weather was forecast but, having booked a table at the Horse and Groom, we decided to brave the weather and go anyway. We enjoyed a good hour’s visit at this truly glorious garden – its herbaceous border, white marguerite garden, espalliered house wall, shade house, exotic plantings and wonderful autumnal colour. Then dark clouds gathered overhead and thunder rumbled ominously, as we left this beautiful garden.

We enjoyed a lovely visit to Sezincote House and Garden – the Indian House, Gloucestershire – at the end of August. A beautifully dressed and decorated house in its own green and sumptuous setting. We were lucky to view it in its entirety on a glorious summer’s day, ending our visit in the Orangery for tea and cake.

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.