Travel committee

Wednesday 20 March 2024   LONDON WALKING TOUR: Islington Area Ian  guided us on a walk in an area that has a wealth of heritage and history. The tour started from St Pancras, and finished at The Angel, Islington, (originally a Toll House). Ian talked us through the history of the area: from the materials supplied by the Northamptonshire brickyards, through the descent into some of the worst slums in the east-end, and regeneration in the 20th century.

In early October 2023, the 2023 WI 4-day break was enjoyed by members in Bradford - an interesting experience in contrasts.
23.10 Bed

A Holiday in Bradford – an interesting experience in contrasts.
Our four-day holiday started with a visit to Harewood House, the elegant beautifully appointed home of the Earl and Countess of Harewood. A short ride from there we descended into Bradford to The Midland Hotel – an hotel that until as late as the 1970s was the place to stay in Bradford and it still is a very pleasant stay, one where we were made very welcome.
The next day we started with a guided tour, using the coach, of Bradford and were told of and saw the history of the development of all the woollen mills that made Bradford one of the richest cities in Europe.
We travelled on to The Piece Hall in Halifax, and learnt of the history of the woollen industry that preceded the industrial revolution. The Piece Hall is a large three-story market surrounding a very large cobbled courtyard. The rooms were designed to hold the “pieces” – the lengths of woven cloth, produced by individual weavers in their own homes, for sale in the Hall. Halifax and Bradford are around 8 miles apart – you would have thought they were worlds apart; both places seeped in the history of woollen weaving, two completely different atmospheres.
The following day was another of day of contrasts. We went first to the home of Elizabeth Gaskell (author of Cranford and other books). She was married to a Unitarian Minister and both were prominent in the early, very genteel Victorian upper-middle class society. Via a guided coach tour of Manchester, we went to Salford Quays and an exhibition of the works of L S. Lowry. As well as becoming a renowned artist Lowry was a rent collector in the poorer areas of Manchester and was the son of working-class parents. He was born into the late Victorian era and lived through two world wars. The contrast between his life and that of  Elizabeth Gaskell was a vibrant lesson in the social history of the Victorian, and subsequent, eras.
Our final day gave another lesson in social history, an example of early social engineering. We visited Saltaire. The village built by Josiah Salt to house his workers in far better conditions than those in which they had been living in Bradford. But in doing so he also provided himself with a captive workforce. The new, tenanted housing, was far enough away that those who lived in them could not readily gain employment elsewhere. In exercising this philanthropic gesture, Mr Salt gained a guaranteed workforce – something none of his competitors had.
As ever Lisa, Avalon Tours, had organised an excellent holiday and in the company of other members, and a sprinkling of husbands, a very good time was enjoyed by all.
Ann Thorington Welford WI

September 2023 saw us enjoying time in the beautiful Cathedral at Ely,  on one of the hottest days of the year.
23.09 On the coach

23.09 Members in the sunshine23.09 Cool inside Cathedral

A Walking Tour of Bloomsbury was much enjoyed in April 2023

4.4 Walking tour of Bloomsbury


4.4 London Walking tour 2

4.4 London walking tour

March 2023 Super Day Trip to Cambridge

Members couldn’t have asked for better weather for their visit to the beautiful Batsford Arboretum.