TIME capsules, tree planting and a plaque unveiling all took place in Croft to celebrate the centenary of the Cheshire Women’s Institute (WI) Federation.

The centenary was in 2020 but due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and other unforeseen circumstances, it had to be put on hold.

The tree planting challenge to all Cheshire Federation WI's was set by chairman Jean Harding as an environmentally friendly way to celebrate the work and membership of the WI.

So Croft Women’s Institute (WI) got to work and chose a crab apple tree for being one of the most ecologically friendly varieties for both wildlife and the environment.

Croft WI also came up with the idea of burying a time capsule to be located next to the centenary tree.

Placed in the capsule were a ‘Welcome to Croft WI’ document, WI Life Magazines 2020 programme, copy of Jerusalem, Cheshire News Nov/Dec 2020, list of members, lockdown newsletter, recipe book, president’s address 2020, secretary/committee address 2020, treasurer’s address 2020 and 2020/21 activity report record of annual meeting February 2021.

Refreshments were served in the memorial hall after the ceremony, where exhibits from the produce show were on view.

And the tree is planted Pictures: Steve Grimshaw

And the tree is planted Pictures: Steve Grimshaw

In attendance on the day was Roger Lamming — the man responsible for all the digging involved and for nurturing the tree over many months prior to the planting.

Anne Lamming, president of Croft WI, said: “I identified a piece of land where I wanted to plant the tree, but no-one seemed to know who owned it. The council maintain it as it is next to the highway, but they do not own it.

“It took many emails throughout 2018 and 2019 to get absolutely nowhere! Then came the pandemic. As life started to open up again, I contacted Croft Parish Council to ask for permission to plant the tree.

Croft WIs plaque - Pictures: Steve Grimshaw

Croft WI's plaque - Pictures: Steve Grimshaw

“Steven Broomhead was at the meeting as it was the first face to face meeting since March 2020. When my request came up he told the Clerk to the parish council, ‘tell the lady to plant it’. It was planted the day after I received permission.

“The ceremony was very informal and light-hearted.

“Afterwards the invitees were offered refreshments and then shown around the exhibits at the Croft WI produce show.”