Hinckley Canalside WI


Meeting Snapshot

Some of the things we do on our monthly meetings

  • 2022 face to face meetings
  • 2021 face to face meetings
  • Zoom meetings during lockdown
2022 face to face meetings


At our March meeting we had the Chocolatier Tom Phillips talk to us about all things chocolate and provided a wonderful demonstration of how chocolate can be modelled and made into something special.  Tom told us about the origins of the cocoa bean and where chocolate came from and how it has developed in to the chocolate that we know and love today. 

He made a wonderful Easter Egg and delicious samples of his artisan chocolates that we were all able to taste.   The Easter Egg will be raffled at our next meeting.  A really enjoyable evening

where we were all captivated by his chocolate making skills.


At our February meeting we had an interesting evening with Caroline Roberts, Blue Badge Tourist Guide from Leicester. She gave a fascinating talk on Haunted Leicester. Caroline first talked about  the history of Leicester’s Guildhall, The Corn Exchange and The Cathedral. She told the harrowing story of James Cook, the last man to be gibbetted in England, after being hung outside Leicester Prison.

Caroline told ghost stories of The White Lady and The Greyfriars Monk and how Roman Soldiers can be seen walking down New Walk. We learnt about Winifred and Ebenezer two resident ghosts from a building taken over by Age UK in Leicester and how the bodies of two people and a cat were found in the cellar there. After they had a proper burial Winifred and Ebenezer were never seen again.


At the January 2022 meeting we had an enjoyable evening, with an interesting talk by Wendy Martin. It was our first meeting of 2022 and 41 members and 5 visitors were in attendance.   

Wendy gave us an amazing insight into her travels on The South Africa Garden Trail.  Her stories and

photographs of her experience were fascinating. Wendy was truly inspirational and encouraged us to give it a go, get out there and travel and explore the world.

Wendy is a member of the Send A Cow Charity which does amazing work around the world to help poor communities.

2021 face to face meetings


At the December meeting we had our annual Christmas Party.  We had a really good turnout considering the cold weather.  Cath Greenwell did an excellent job providing the entertainment playing her organ and doing a festive themed quiz which became very entertaining! 

We had the usual wonderful buffet with plenty left over, which Mandy Cutler kindly took to Lawrence House for the residents to enjoy.  We had a good old singalong with Christmas Carols including The Twelve Days of Christmas Song which has become a Christmas party tradition for our WI.

Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves.  We had a wonderful raffle and raised £89 which we are donating to the Pennies for Friendship for women around the world. 

I am looking forward to next year and a fun packed 2022 with Hinckley Canalside WI.


At our November meeting we were entertained by our guest speaker Dr Ray Lowry.  He made us all laugh sharing his funny stories and anecdotes from his past experiences as a doctor and dentist.  He showed us the funny side of life as a professional and how important humour was when dealing with the general public.  

He had been a comedy script-writer for the stars in the 1970’s and had some fascinating photos from his time on television and radio with a host of famous comedians from that era.


Hinckley Canalside had a very enjoyable evening when we were shown Indian dances by Vina Ladwa.

She showed us Northern and Southern Indian dances, informing us as she went along about the origins and what the different hand/arm movements meant, and the story being told. She then led into the more up to date Bollywood dances.

Some of our ladies dressed in saris and even more ladies took to the floor and learnt a selection of moves which were then put to music. 

A great night!


Hinckley Canalside WI 10th anniversary year

Hinckley Canalside WI held their first ‘face to face’ meeting in September.

It was lovely to see so many members and guests enjoying the opportunity to get together.

It was a very special night as we enter our 10th year.

What started in 2011 at a meeting attended by 30 people has grown significantly and this is testament to the friendship and camaraderie we all share.

To celebrate, one of our members, Karen Morgan, made cakes and members who had been present in our first few months were given certificates to recognise their loyalty.

It was a lovely evening and enjoyed by everyone. Gill Hannah.

Zoom meetings during lockdown

Quirky Bird Artist – Lynn Barrow

In June we had a WI zoom meeting with a difference. It involved audience participation where

talented artist Lynn Barrow talked us through step by step how to draw some lovely pictures and

make bookmarks, greeting cards, a picture and gift cards.

It was a really enjoyable experience and an easy to follow no fuss draw along on Zoom.

It worked really well and has certainly inspired us into drawing these simple but creative designs.

Howard Middleton from The Great British Bake Off

Our open zoom meeting on Wednesday 5 May 2021 was a great success with approx. 44 members and friends in total. Our guest speaker was Howard Middleton from The Great British Bake Off.

Howard was a contestant back in 2013. He gave a really entertaining talk on how he became involved in baking, the process of becoming a contestant on bake off and what it actually was like being on the show. 

It was a very fun, amusing evening with his treasure trove of stories and anecdotes from the show. He shared with us some photos of his amazing bakes, which he has done since bake off. He is a truly inspirational speaker and talented baker.

Howard Middleton

Agatha Christie

The curious disappearance of Agatha Christie

By Stephen Wells

We We had another wonderful zoom meeting on Wednesday 7 April with 38 members joining in, including 12 members from Hollycroft and Burbage.  Our speaker was the excellent Stephen Wells, giving a talk on all things Agatha Christie.   

Stephen was engaging and fascinating as he shared his wealth of knowledge about Agatha Christie.  He gave a detailed talk from her early beginnings, covering all of her novels and films, to her controversial personal life.  We discovered the real truth behind her disappearance, which has been a well-known mystery for a long time. 

The evening was very interesting

Nick Martin Wildlife Photographer – “The Best of British Wildlife”

At our WI Zoom meeting we had yet another fantastic talk from Nick Martin Wildlife Photographer.  Nick listed his 25 favourite species in his talk “the best of British wildlife.”  He had such amazing photographs, which worked very well on a Zoom presentation.  With his depth of knowledge on all things “Wild”, he made it both educational and entertaining, with his laid back presenting style. 

Forty- two ladies were present at the Zoom meeting with members joining us from Burbage and Hollycroft again, and we had an enjoyable evening and catch up.

Nick listed his 25 favourite species in his talk “the best of British wildlife.”

Secrets, Sex Scandal and Salacious Gossip of The Royal Court 1660 to 1830. By Sarah Slater

Secrets, Sex Scandal and Salacious Gossip of The Royal Court 1660 to 1830.  By Sarah Slater

We had another interesting talk via Zoom meeting on Weds 6 January 2021.   A total of 36 members logged in and we had members from both Burbage and Hollycroft WI join us which was lovely. 

The talk was very educational, entertaining and enlightening on the lives of the monarchy and public during the Stuarts reign, the Georgians and The Restoration Period.  

We learnt all the naughty bits about sexual behaviours, contraception and sexual diseases of the time, which we certainly did not learn in History at school.

David Allen –  Manners Please Dearest!

At the December Zoom Meeting, David Allen AKA Mr Hugo Bottomley-Smythe had 30 WI members join him in his Victorian Etiquette Finishing school.   It was a fun and entertaining journey through the many weird and wonderful aspects of Upper- Class Victorian Etiquette.  He took us through the different classes from posture, appearance, finding a suitor, attending a dinner party and the language of the fan to name but a few.  It was a really enjoyable evening of light entertainment, with plenty of audience participation from our members.

Stitch Portrait Collage by Alish Henderson

There were twenty one WI members in attendance at the November 2020 Zoom Meeting.  The speaker was Ailish Henderson on Stitch Portrait Collage. 

She was very passionate about her unique talent mixing art with textiles.  It was fascinating to see how she produced such amazing artwork, by using fabric and stitch.  She was able to express herself through portraits from her personal memories and experiences.  Her artwork inspired many of us and Ailish was both engaging and informative, giving us an interesting talk.

Felix & Reuben Keepsake Jewellery by Charlotte Wakeling

Our Zoom Meeting in September was with presenter Charlotte Wakeling. She is the founder and designer of Felix & Reuben Keepsake Jewellery. Charlotte is an experienced and qualified jeweller, silversmith, and silver clay artist. Here is a brief description of Charlotte’s presentation.

Charlotte introduced the wonders of jewellery making silver clay! Silver clay is truly magical to work with, there are so many possibilities – the only limit to what can be achieved is your imagination! She took us through an introduction to silver clay, showing the process of capturing natural forms and turning them into silver jewellery. She gave us an insight, via demonstration and videos, to mould making, shaping, refining through to firing and polishing. She teaches silver clay workshops in Hinckley. If you would like to make beautiful jewellery, you can book a workshop to learn the process in person!

Felix and Ruben Jewellery

Prince William and Kate on their Wedding Day

To Love and To Cherish by Kath Reynolds

Thirty of our members enjoyed a lovely WI Zoom Meeting on Weds 7th October. The guest speaker Kath Reynolds gave a wonderful insight into the traditions and superstitions of weddings from the past to present day. We were shown Royal Weddings from Queen Victoria’s to Princess Eugene’s and how their traditions have changed over the decades. It brought back some wonderful memories to our members of their own wedding days.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and Kath was both engaging and entertaining.