Abberley WI … a hectic social whirl!

Sheena Murray has been busy looking through the branch minute books to gain an impression of how active a social life Abberley WI promoted after WW2.

Looking at the range of activities, there seemed to be something for everyone – lectures on the contemporary political situation, dances and fundraisers, practical tuition in dress making and fruit preservation, and trips to the theatre and places of interest.

The WI also supported the local economy by raising funds for the restoration of St George’s Hall.


WI-only Whist Drive, Beetle Drive

Open Whist Drive in the Men’s Club, proceeds to Church   Fund


January – May Annual Meeting held in Men’s Club

Whist Drive to be held in School

Beetle Drive

Make and Mend Class

Beetle Drive

Make and Mend Articles Auctioned raising £2.16.3

June meeting held in Men’s Club with open Whist Drive
July meeting held at Highbury
September held at Men’s club, with demo of Slipper making. To be   followed by classes.  Due to Hop   picking open Beetle Drive postponed until October.
November Whist Drive in Men’s Club, for WI Funds
December 29th Party held in School by kind permission of Canon   Richardson for members and a guest.    Games organised by Sgt Major Worsley & Mrs REG Smith.  Evening ended at 1o/c


WI Meetings held in Men’s Club unless otherwise stated
January Beetle Drive with members bringing a friend
February Open Whist Drive proceeds for the Blind Children   Society raised £7.10.

10 members went to Hallow to the Martley Group Meeting

March Spelling Bee
April  American Sale   & Games proceeds to the Hospital for Sick Children
May Open Whist Drive, tickets 1/6

Mr Billingham to be asked to be MC in the Men’s Club

June Beetle Drive
July Outing to Malvern followed by a visit to the theatre   in the evening
September Report of NFWI AGM at Royal Albert Hall by Mrs Pedley, WFWI Chairman was actually read out in her absence due to illness.
October Spelling Bee
November Open Whist Drive in Men’s Club


meetings held in Men’s Club, 5 meetings held in St   George’s Hall
January General meeting & Social Evening
February Whist Drive for the Blind Children Society.

Outing to the Panto at the Theatre Royal in Birmingham, using Moore’s Bus if poss

March Talk on Glove making

Group Meeting at Shrawley for 8 members

April American Sale for WI Funds
May Talk on dry cleaning, also proposed to begin a Drama Group & to invite 12 members from Heightington WI to the July meeting

Outing to the Handicraft Exhibition at Leamington Spa, Moore’s Bus

June Basket making
July Report of NFWI AGM at Royal Albert Hall

Whist Drive on 17th for WI Funds

Outing to Llandudno by Moore’s Bus, leaving from School at 6am

September General Meeting & Film show by Committee of   Information

Appeal from NFWI for funds towards a new WI College, it was agreed to send £10 over 3 years.

Appeal from Worcester Royal Infirmary & a Whist   Drive & Dance proposed for 4th October

October Member’s meeting, where 2 ordinary members run the evening instead of the officers

Whist Drive & Dance proceeds for Worcester Royal Infirmary. £21 – open to public

The Group meeting was held at Leigh & Bransford & 10 members attended in October

November Film Show by COI

Whist Drive & Dance held in St George’s Hall for   WI Funds (8th November)


January,  General   meeting, Film Show
February,   General   meeting, Beetle Drive
March, General Meeting; Whist Drive, £10 for the teaching   & training of  Blind children in   London.
April,  Competition, Something new from something old, visit from VCO, (now WI Adviser), Group meeting at Cotheridge for 6 members,

discussion on the Film Show – to be cancelled during   the summer due to insufficient black out ?? COI films & to resume in the   autumn,

At some time a concert had been given, ? to the   public?, to raise funds, £10 of which went to St George’s Hall Building Fund, remainder to WI Funds

May Talk on the British zone in Germany
June Garden Party at Abberley Hall
July Talk on House Decorating

Outing to the Three Counties Show in Hereford

A fruit canning class was requested

A discussion took place on the Working Men’s Club to   see if members would approve for it to be run with St George’s Hall. A large   number voted against: there was still a large debt on St George’s Hall

September Flower & Vegetable Show, open to the public – 100   exhibits staged by 26 members.
October Members meeting,

Group meeting to be held at Wichenford, the talk being Poland & its people

Old Fashioned Dance for the Sick Children’s Hospital   in London, 24th Oct

November A talk by Mr Mulholland on the National Savings Group   and by a member on her trip to America

Whist Drive & Dance on 7th Nov for WI   Funds

1948 –   1952

Social events during this period continued in a similar way to the above. Christmas Party was often held around New Year’s Eve and was a community event with Dancing.


Dress making classes with County Council tutors so open to public.

Jumble Sale for WI funds.

Members visited Denman, other WIs and Group meetings, the   NFWI AGM and Birmingham for theatre and cinema.

St George’s Hall reps regularly reported on the business of the Hall and encouraged participation of events run by the Hall   Committee, such as the Flower Show in September.

Members also began a few years ago to go on days out by train, in June it had been to North Devon.  The Produce Guild also arranged outings.

New Year’s Eve parties remain popular, & still   organised by the WI these being separate from the WI Christmas Party.


New Year’s Eve party ran at a loss of £6-11-9d.  So another Saturday night dance was held to raise that money, and it realised £20-9-2d.

WI helped with the Fete run by the Hall in June

British Rail outing to Salisbury & Bournemouth was disappointing, too far, too hurried & not very good catering.  Sec to write to British Railways expressing   disappointment. And received a reply!

Plans to help at the Flower Show & fete

Whist Drive to be held on 7th October to raise funds for the Dance on 29th October which was to raise funds for the Outings Fund and WI Funds


The New Year Party ran a profit of £2-7-9d this year.

Most years the June meeting was an outdoor meeting eg   at Clent Hills, on Abberley Hill, Burford Gardens, Tenbury.

Flower Show & Fete was becoming an annual event in   either July, august or September

A WI Christmas Fair was suggested for December.  Old Time Dancing at the Nov meeting & open   to the public at 1/- a head  – the meeting being held ¼ hour earlier & dancing after the business til 10.30

Recommended another dinner at Hundred House in Nov,   with dancing instead of the Halloween Party in the Hall in October.

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