Cromford Women’s Institute

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WI: There was disappointment at our June meeting as the speaker had cancelled because of illness. However, member Ann Pocklington, stepped into the breach with a slide show of her touring holiday in the USA. Starting from Los Angeles Ann travelled 3500 miles in three weeks taking in California, Arizona and Utah. The weather was incredibly hot and windy.

The vast area encompasses deserts such as the Bad Water Basin in Death Valley, with its moonscape-like salt flats. In contrast are the huge rock formations, including the tufa towers at Mono Lake, and the fantastic stone pillars in shades of pink, yellow and red at Bryce Canyon.

Ann also explored the rim of the Grand Canyon, and ventured on to the glass viewing platform jutting 30ft out over the Colorado river 4000 feet below.

The area seems inhospitable, but there is plenty of wildlife with mountain sheep and many species of birds including osprey, brewers blackbirds, jays and eagles. Signs warn of bears and mountain lions. Cacti, prickly pear and smoke bushes are found in the Joshua Tree Park, and colourful flowers blossom in the short Spring. Oases support lizards and rabbits, and rare species of fish.

People have left their mark on the area with well preserved American Indian rock art and more recent copper and gold mining.

Diana Flint thanked Ann for sharing her experiences with us in this amazing part of America.

During May the Cromford quiz team came first in the group quiz organised by Ambergate WI, and came away with a Cup and a bottle of wine each. Well done all.

Members had also walked to Lea Rhododendron Gardens where the flowers were at their colourful best, and two members took part in a games evening at Kirk Ireton WI. Finally a visit to the Threshing Barn craft centre near Leek was well supported.

There are various events to look forward to in June with a cruise and tea on the River Trent, a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Holloway, a Putting on the Ritz fashion show at Edensor, a knit and natter meeting and two walks.

The competition for something made of wool was won by Yvonne Daykin, and the raffle winner was Liz Meaden.

Visitors are always welcome at our meetings in Cromford Institute on the first Wednesday of the month. For more information ring (01629) 824198.