1960-69 Records of WI members' monthly meetings

Janet Birchmore & Myfanwy LLoyd from WI record books


January – letter soon for approval concerning roads in Harston. Talk by Miss Childs, from Sire Hall, ‘Work carried out in the interest of Town and County’.

February – letter sent regarding speeding traffic through the village. Talk by Dr. Verney, ‘My World Tour’, showing coloured slides.

March – birthday night one act play ‘All for Art’ written and produced by Mrs Armstrong.

April – talk by Dr. Clarke ‘The Voluntary County Organisers’.

May – letter of thanks from W.V.S. for helping refugees. Talk by Mrs Marshall ‘Life in the Fens’.

June – resolutions suggested, badge for W.I. member with 15y ears safe driving and carrying a child on a bicycle without any safe guards should be an offence. Letter to be sent to Minister of Transport deploring traffic conditions in Harston. Members voted against Cambridge City Council being granted County Borough status. Members agreed that it was undesirable that Cambridgeshire should be severed from the City and expressed their willingness to attend a protest meeting in the Guildhall on June 30th. Talk by Mr Kingdon, Headmaster of Coleridge School, ‘Hidden Treasure’.

July – approval wanted for stamp machines in the village. Talk by Mr Brown ‘Clocks and Watches’.

September – garden party given for patients from Chesterton Hospital. Dance routine from Mrs Armstrong’s pupils. Talk by Mrs Strevans, ‘Soft Furnishings’.

October – Harvest Supper, Mrs Armstrong presented a play ‘High jinks at the Johnson’s’.

November – Mannequin Parade by Barbara Hutton of Petty Cury

December – praise for Miss Greene and for everything she had done in the village, moment to remember her as she had recently died. Mrs Stocker had given rose plants for the war memorial site. Farthing collection in the village. Talk by Dr Armstrong showing coloured slides ‘Visit to Leningrad’.


January – talk by Miss Dolly ‘Yeast Cooking’ demonstrating various recipes and sharing samples.

February – talk by Mrs Lury ‘Trip to Kenya’ showing slides.

March – 42nd Birthday, various entertainments.

April – A.G.M. motto ‘Small deeds done are better than mighty deeds planned’.

May – talk by Mrs Litchfield ‘Nursing’. Members enjoyed outing to London to see ‘My Fair Lady’.

June – talk by Mrs Kerridge ‘Holiday in Kenya’ showing coloured film.

July – talk by Miss Veal ‘Products’.

September – talk by Mr Lawrence showing films of ‘Cambridge, Harston, Germany and Switzerland.

October – 2 resolutions voted on, (1) Eastern Bus Service could be better, (2) age fee for motor cyclists should be raised to 17 yrs.

November – talk by Mr Tagg? ‘National Insurance’.

December – talk by Mr Cudworth, broadcaster, ‘East Anglia’.


January – no account

February – Mr Ludovic Stewart came at short notice to entertain with everyone singing.

March – Birthday Night. Talk by Mr Roe ‘Antiques’ showing pieces of pewter, china and silverware.

April – A.G.M. Voting for resolutions. Eggs and silver collection for Chesterton Hospital.

May – Over 60’s invited members to see films ‘Safety in the Home’ and ‘The National Children’s Homes’. Talk by Mrs Hurrell ‘Rural District Council’.

June – talk by Mrs Bingley ‘ The History of Fashion’, members wore costumes from different periods.

July – Mrs Armstrong had drafted a letter which was read to the meeting about the accident rate in the village. agreed to send copies of the accident rate in the village to Ministry of Transport, Road Safety Committee, Cambridgeshire County Council and Parish Council. Talk by Miss Jolly ‘Summer Salads’.

September – talk by Mrs Sellen ‘Leaves from a Midwife’s case book’.

October – Harvest Supper, entertainment by members and young people ‘Harston Follies of 1962’, Victorian songs,monologue, Charleston, can-can and old time chorus.

November – talk by Mr Hoather ‘How wine is made’. Visit arranged to see ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show’.

December – invitation to visit Thodays (fabrics) in Cambridge. Talk by Mrs Dent ‘Tupperware’.


January – bad weather, speaker cancelled.

February – talk by Mr Albert Lawrance, ‘History of Harston’.

March – Birthday Night. Agreed to abandon January meetings and have one in August instead.

April – A.G.M. Motto ‘All for each and each for all’. Donation to Freedom from Hunger Campaign. Talk by Mrs Hall, V.C.O. ‘The Consultative Committee.

May – talk by Miss Jolly, from County Centre, ‘Summer Picnic Food’. Letter of thanks from Chesterton Hospital for eggs.

June – talk by Mrs Sharp ‘How to enjoy Modern painting’, showing coloured slides.

July – outing to Sandringham. Talk by Mrs Wisher, from Robert Sayle, ‘Good Grooming’.

August – £10 raised for Freedom from Hunger Campaign.

September – talk by Miss Colburn from Cadbury’s, ‘Cooking’. Chocolate samples provided.

October – Harvest Supper entertainment by Harston Follies.

November – dress show by Wallis’ of Cambridge.

December – talk by Mrs Armstrong ‘Legend of St. Nicholas. Talk by Mr Lyn Thomas’ Children’s Relief International’, explaining the work done in the displaced camps in Europe. Also slides of Germany and Austria when he and his family entertained at the children’s camps and hospitals.


February – visit to London theatre arranged to see ‘Six of One’. Talk by Mrs Johnson and Mrs Sargent ‘Lamp shade making’.

March – Birthday Night. Games.

April – A.G.M. Talk by Mrs Turkenture?, ‘C.C.O. ‘Finance’, explaining the expenses of the W.I. at County and National level. Motto ‘Faith, Courage and Integrity’.

May – talk by Miss Townsend, of Shire Hall Cambridge ‘Milk and cream dishes’. Care of the memorial green was undertaken for the month of May, June and July by Messers Austins, Bocken, Cook and Miss Wright.

June – talk by Mrs Harvey Keen ‘Embroidery’, showing Rush work, wool crochet and Feet work. A sample from 1775 was shown and a Christening gown 100 years old. Pictures of embroidered tunics 3000B.C. Found in the Tutankhamen’s tomb.

July – Mrs Armstrong asked for helpers on 14th July, when the old people from Chesterton Hospital are making their annual visit to Harston for the forthcoming Garden Party. The over sixty club has also been invited. Talk and demonstration by Mr and Mrs Harvey ‘Old Tyme Dancing’.

August – outing to Wisley announced. Talk by Mr Lawrance,’History of Harston’.

September – talk by Mrs Minchell ‘ Teaching experiences in London’.

October – Harvest Supper, 100 people attended including members and guests sat down at gaily decorated tables to an excellent cold meal. Guest artist Mr Ronald Carter playing on the organ. Occasion concluded with 4 members being ‘The Beatles’.

November – reminder shopping outing to London. Talk by Mr Cooper, ‘Hair Care’.

December – entertainment by members.


February – talk by Mrs Humphrey ‘Family Planning International’ , an organisation working in 36 countries. Members were asked to agree that £5 should be spent on refreshments for birthday night, also whether they would like a speaker or a social evening

March – letter from Churchill Memorial Fund. Talk by Miss Jean Reddy ‘Adventures on her travels while singing in concerts and operas at home and abroad’.

April – A.G.M. Miss Wright to represent W.I. at the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on 31st May. Motto ‘Kindness is one thing you can’t give away, it always comes back’. Mrs Stearn volunteered to take the eggs collected for Chesterton Hospital to the hospital and the silver paper will be taken to the W.V.S. by Mrs Wilson.

May – talk and demonstration by Miss Mansell ‘T.V. Snacks’.

June – Mrs Stearn spoke of her recent visit to the AGM at the Albert Hall as our own delegate – the opening of the second days meeting made a great impression on her, in particular the beautiful array of hats! The theme of this year’s AGM was the Future of the Countryside and the motto Human, Courage and Integrity. Talk by Miss Wright ‘Trip to Buckingham Palace Garden Party’ as our chosen member to attend the Royal Garden Party. Miss Wright dressed in her lovely outfit said that she had thoroughly enjoyed herself and afterwards felt it was just like a wonderful dream!

July – talk by Miss Mansell ‘Millinery made easy’.

August – No account of a meeting.

September – talk by Mr Matthews, Cambridgeshire and Ely Fire Brigade, ‘Fire Prevention in the Home’.

October – harvest supper, entertainment by members and Mr Carter on his organ.

November – Mrs Sellen to compile a scrapbook of Harston and asked for any information from members. Talk by Miss Brock ‘Art of Make-up’.

December – Talk by Miss Wright ‘ Holiday in Holland’ showed coloured slides. Raffle money – 30/- to go to providing small gifts for the patients in Harston Ward Chesterton Hospital.


February – £5 donation to V.S.O. towards sending a volunteer to an underprivileged country. Talk by Mrs Wicker ‘First Aid in the Home’.

March – 47th Birthday night, ( article in the newspaper). Members to pay 6d for refreshments. Fashion Show by Mrs Rowell, including teenage clothes and for the fuller figure.

April – talk by Mrs King ‘Finance’ insight where the money goes.

May – reminder regarding driving skills test. Talk by Mrs Middleton, from Health Department, ‘Cervical Smear Test’. Drug Addiction meeting at Great Shelford on 13th May to which several members are going. A letter from Matron of Chesterton Hospital thanking us for eggs was read.

June – Mrs Rowell gave details of the 5 dozen cups and saucers which the institute have agreed to buy to be used at the monthly meetings. Talk by Mrs Hearne ‘Holiday in Denmark’.

July – talk and film slides by Mr Lewis ‘Work by crippled Ladies’ who made plastic flowers to sell. Mr Lewis was an engineer and evangelical preacher. He wanted to set up a home for disabled and impoverished women and girls. In 1866 he founded ‘John Groom’s Watercress and Flower Girls’ Christian Mission’.

August – no meeting, instead a mystery drive around various villages and finally finished at a restaurant for a delicious meal.

September – names taken to go to London Theatre to see ‘Black and White Minstal Show’. Members asked to join the County choir for performance of ‘Messiah’ to be held in the Girl’s Grammar School. Talk by Mrs Fordham ‘Avon make-up’.

October – Harvest Supper, over 90 guests, entertained by Harston Follies, dancing and songs from ‘My Fair Lady’.

November – invitation to Joshua Taylor’s, Cambridge, show ‘The Design Centre comes to Cambridge’. Talk by Mr Smith, ‘Care of our Feet’.

December – talk by Mr Aldridge ‘Visit to the Holyland’, illustrating with coloured slides.


February – £5 donation to village hall funds, part of the proceeds from a public performance of Harston Follies in December Talk by Dr Thompson ‘Trip to America’, slides showing many aspects of life and the weather.

March – Birthday Night, supper bangers and mash, then games and singing. Invite to coffee evening at Mrs Rowell for funds.

April – A.G.M. Suggestion of a donation to the ‘Management Brook Bursary Appeal Fund’ for students 16-18 years who wish to stay in education but do not have the funds. Trip to Albert Hall to see Red Army Ensemble. Talk by Mrs Steart ‘W.I. blankets’. Motto ‘Be game but not grouse’.

May – talk by Mrs Pease ‘Wedgewood Pottery’ showing slides of the history.

June – Mrs Rowell appealed to members for cake stall at the fete to be held at Park House to raise money for the village hall. Talk by Miss Smith, local health visitor, ‘Visit to the Holy  land’, describing what she did and that fighting had broken out that week between countries she had visited.

July – garden party at Harston House, patients from Chesterton Hospital and over 60’s to attend. Talk by Mr Josh, Eaden Lilley’s ‘Furnishing Fabrics’.

August – cricket team to enter the Sports Gala competition. Talk cancelled as the Police dog handler was called on for duty.

September – talk by Sergeant E?, mid Anglia Constabulary accompanied by his Alsatian, ‘Police Dog Handling’.

October – Harvest Supper, entertainment by Trumpington W.I. drama group.

November – visit to Sawston Paper Mills. Suggestion for outing to see ‘Cinderella on Ice’ at Wembley. Joining forces with Young Wives to sing carols at Chesterton Hospital has been fixed for 20th December. Our usual small gifts for Harston Ward would be taken and a small collection was made at the end of the meeting.

December – Proposal of a comic hockey game on Boxing Day. Talk by Mrs Attwood ‘ Christmas Decorations’.


February – letter of thanks from Professor Mitchell for donation to his Cancer Research Fund. Talk by Mr A. Puck ‘Cambridge City and surrounding area of East Anglia’.

March – Birthday Night, demonstration from ‘The Triple A Square Dance Club’ from Alconbury.

April – A.G.M. Talk by Mrs King, V.C.O. ‘Work the Consultative Council do’. Motto ‘In unity is strength’.

May – talk by Captain Tyler of the Women’s Royal Army Corps, ‘WRAC Life’ using slides and showing aspects of work and play over 20 years.

June – offers of cut price bushes by Scotsdales. Talk by Mrs Freeman ‘Knitting’. Praise given to the cricket team.

July – garden party invites to Over 60’s and to patients from Linton Hospital. No Harvest to be held as the village hall was to be decorated, coffee evening instead. Talk by Mrs Jude, ‘Needlework’ showing samples.

August – letter of thanks sent from Linton Hospital. General discussions on W.I. problems, including increase in subscriptions.

September – talk by Mrs Robertson from County Centre ‘Supper Savoury Snacks’. Attention of members was draw to the Handcraft Exhibition at the Guildhall on the 5th and 6th September where several items from our Institute would be on show.

October – coffee and social evening with various sideshows.

November – talk by Mr Ogle, probationary officer, ‘Aspects of his work’.

December – notice of Harston Singers performing in Harston Church. Talk by Mr Stearn ‘Holiday in Morocco and the Canary Islands’, showing slides. Harston WI Produce Guild members help mix Xmas puddings for WRVS Meal on Wheels service at Cherry Trees Club for Old People, St Mathew’s Road, Cambridge.

WI Produce Guild Shield won Nov 1969 Jean Rowell, Jean Hearn, Peggy Attwood

WI Produce Guild Shield won Nov 1969 Jean Rowell, Jean Hearn, Peggy Attwood


February – talk Mr J Watson ‘Antiques’ types of furniture and giving an idea of their value today.

March – reminder of egg and silver paper collection next month. Talk by Mr Hall ‘East Russia’ slides and describing he joined a party from Fisons to help with work on chemical plant in the town of Ufa.

April – A.G.M. Talk by Mrs Croker ‘ Denman College’ insight into various courses. Motto ‘Begin well and end better’.

May – volunteers asked to help at the village fete in June. Talk by Mr and Mrs Bendall ‘Care of Hair’ demonstrating various hairstyles.

June – volunteers for a cricket team for County Sports Gala. Letter from Fisons confirming the hall could be used for W.I. Christmas dinner free of charge. Talk by Mrs Carpenter ‘Hints for deep freezing’.

July – talk by Mr. Garwood ‘Care of House Plants’.

August – letter and card sent from County Office congratulating Harston W.I. Golden Jubilee. Talk by Mrs Jones ‘Embroidery’.

September – agreed to a £10 bursary for Denman College. Talk by Mr baker ‘Holiday in Yugoslavia’.

October – agreed shopping trip to Norwich. Talk by Mrs Chapman ‘Visit to America’, and was a delegate to A.W.C.I. Conference, attended by women from around the world.

November – volunteer for door to door collection for Dr Barnados Homes. Talk by Miss Morris, health visitor, ‘Age, Weight and Diet’. Mrs Attwood displayed the Produce Guild Shield which four Produce Guild Members had won.

December – volunteers asked to embroider kneelers for Ely Cathedral as they needed about 1500. Talk by Mrs Newton ‘Christmas Decorations’.

This page was added on 29/04/2020.

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