Club spotlight: Wing WI is still going strong after 85 years under its founding principles

Members of Wing WI who gathered at the Coach House, South Luffenham, for lunch to celebrate the WI's 85th birthday'Photo: SM021111-080js
Members of Wing WI who gathered at the Coach House, South Luffenham, for lunch to celebrate the WI's 85th birthday'Photo: SM021111-080js
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A GROUP which has celebrated its 85th anniversary is still going strong under the same principles set out by its founders.

The Women’s Institute was founded in 1915 to encourage women to take an active role in producing food during the First World War.

Members may not be out ploughing the fields any more, but the organisation is still based around the principle of encouraging women to expand their horizons and develop new skills.

Wing WI celebrated its 85th anniversary with a celebratory lunch at The Coach House in South Luffenham on this month.

Members listened to the minutes of the first meeting which was held on October 23, 1926, when people gathered at the School Room in Wing to listen to a talk about the WI.

They were so enthralled, a group was set up on the spot and 36 people signed up.

Current club president, Lilian Clarke, said: “It is quite an achievement for a WI group to reach its 85th anniversary. A club doesn’t work without a good committee and we have an excellent group of nine women who do a wonderful job.

“The WI is a great meeting place for people in the nine villages it serves and for me personally it has been great to learn new things as part of a group.”

Wing WI meets on the second Thursday of the month at Wing Village Hall. Meetings vary to include guest speakers, demonstrations, outings and have a go sessions for members to try new things.

Recent topics include art, a talk on Trading Standards, lace making and crystal therapy.

Lilian said: “I have particularly enjoyed the opportunity to take part in county and national events as well.”

During regular outings the members have also been everywhere from a vineyard and a Romany museum to a lambing shed and a school classroom.

Lilian added: “We always welcome anyone who is interested in joining us at our meetings.”

To find out more go along to a meeting or contact club secretary Jane Gilmore on 01572 737324.

November’s meeting was the annual meeting hosted by Lilian, Jane and their vice president Jeanette Hogarth. Members enjoyed an anniversary cake made by member Sue Hodson.