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
Make and Mend Class
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
|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
|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.|
|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
|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.|
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.