The W.I. is a wonderful place for all ages to make friends and have fun. There are opportunities to learn new skills (not just jam making!), as well as the chance to attend a wide range of courses at the W.I. Residential College, Denman, near Oxford. Members participate in county and national activities, providing an opportunity to be heard on local, national and international issues. Siddington W.I. is joined with Preston W.I. and led by a committee of three officers, and supported by five others.
Celebrating 100 years of our WI
Congratulations to Siddington with Preston WI, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this month. Ann Gibbons, the current President, gives us an overview of those early days.
Siddington Women’s Institute was formed 100 years ago on the 22nd March 1923. The amalgamation with Preston came later. The founding President was Mrs Christopher Bowly of Siddington House, with Vice Presidents Mrs Hughes of the Rectory, Mrs Attwater of Dry Leaze and Mrs Seymour Paskin of Siddington Manor. It seems likely that these ladies were the main force behind the formation, especially as Mrs Bowly started the funds with a donation of £5 (£400 in today’s money). There were around 75 members, with many longstanding Siddington names featured: Millington, Waldron, Hicks, Bateman and Gardiner amongst them. One member’s address is given as 2 Council Houses (on what is now Parkway), another is Pound Lane (also Parkway).Other addresses are The Towers and Empire Cottages
The social conventions of the time are evident in our early records. Most ladies were listed under their husband’s first name, as was the founding President (actually Sarah Bowly). And our town planners no longer name the streets of social housing ‘Council Houses’.
The first meeting was on the 25th April 1923 and 51 members attended. It included a ‘guess the weight of the cake’ competition won by Mrs Bateman, a talk on the aims and objectives of the WI and a demonstration of how to re-cover an umbrella and make a new handle (sounds a bit like Trigger’s broom).
We meet at 7.30pm on the third Thursday of the month in the Elizabeth Way Community room. New members and visitors are always welcome.
Thursday 21st September 2023
Surprise Guest Speaker
Please note there is a change to the speaker this month and in their place we have a surprise guest speaker.
Please note the meeting this month will be in Preston Village Hall
As usual visitors and guests are welcome. There will be tea, biscuits and a raffle.
Please contact Ann on 01285 641469 for more information, and thereafter on the third Thursday of every month in The Community Room, Elizabeth Way, Siddington, GL7 6JL.
For those of you who are online there are some good diverse classes and talks being run by Denman.org.uk at this time which are open to all not just members. To mention just a few these range from Mindful Yoga, Preserving, Felting, Calligraphy to a Talk on Gallows, Gangsters and Good Time Girls, Royalty in London and Art on London streets – Statues, Memorials, Banksy and Graffiti.
Visitor fee (you are always very welcome): £3
Annual membership gives access to county and national federation activities, as well as eight issues of W.I. Life, the membership magazine.
Please contact Ann on 01285 641469 for more information.
Visitors and new members are always welcome. To find out more, please call Ann Craddock on 01285 641469.
For further information on the National Federation of Women’s Institute see: www.thewi.org.uk.