1970-79 Records of WI members' monthly meetings

Janet Birchmore & Myfanwy Lloyd from WI record books


February  – Invitations to Fashion Shows at Eaden Lilley’s and Joshua Taylor’s. Talk by Mr, Hacker slides of birds.

March  – reminder given about collecting eggs and silver paper. Talk by Mr. Challice on his electric organ. 2 power cuts during the evening.

April – Talk by Mrs Stewart ‘the usefulness of the W.I.’ as some members wondered if it had outgrown it’s usefulness. Motto agreed ‘Achievement through cooperation’.

May –  talk by Mr Jones ‘Decimal Currency’ both interesting and enlightening.

June – walk round Mrs Hearn’s garden booked for the following evening. Talk by Mrs Monk ‘Picnics’ with demonstrations.

July – Mrs Heap invited members to a coffee morning at her home. Talk by Miss Davis, President of Haslingfield W.I. ‘Visit to Australia and New Zealand’ with slides.

August – talk by Miss Evans ‘Medical Social Welfare’

September – talk by Mrs Tudor ‘Handcraft Guild’, showed items baskets, leather work, embroidery, pewter, rugs, brooches.

October – talk by Mr Sewell ‘Russia’ with slides.

November  – letter from Fisons offering their clubhouse for the W.I. meal. Talk by Mr and Mrs Bendall ‘local Rivers’ using slides.

December – talk by Miss Jane Howe from the Food Demonstration Centre, demonstrated recipes, then gave each member the recipes used and a set of measuring spoons.


February – talk by Mr George, Youth Tutor from Sawston Village College, ‘Conservation of wild life’.

March  – birthday night, members came in fancy dress.

April  – members asked if anyone would play cricket at Melbourn Village College on Gala Day. Talk by Mrs Iyrer, ‘Amusing Happiness’.

May – village hall committee asked if members would do the teas for the fete. Talk by Mrs Grokes who had 2 suitcases of hats and gave amusing tales about them.

June – talk by Mrs Elliott ‘Visit to Oberamagau’ describing the passion play.

July  – instead of the usual meeting, members went by coach to Unwin’s trial grounds in Histon which had a splendid display of sweet peas.

August  – Mrs Attwood asked for volunteers to help paint the big committee room in the village hall. Talk by Mr Burton ‘History of Papworth’.

September  – formal opening of the modernisation of the village hall next month. Film show on leprosy September 9th. Talk Mr Tidiman, an optician, ‘The eyes have it!’ explained how long/short sight is corrected and eye diseases. A ballot had to be held for the Denman Bursary.  This was won by Mrs Revell.

October – Harvest Supper. Then ‘Dragons from Papworth Everard’ entertained with American Square dancing.

November – money from raffle sale £5.25 sent to Mental Mind Week. Members told Laurie McConnell’s shop open this week. Talk by Mrs Cresswell, ‘Corn Dollies’ demonstrated and members had a go.

December – talk Mr Rochester ‘Canada’ on teaching the Cherokee Indians in Saskatchewen.


February – letter of thanks received from the matron of Chesterton hospital for Christmas gifts. Tickets received to a demonstration by British Bacon Curers. Talk by Mr. Mervyn ‘Calligraphy’.

March – Birthday night, supper and demonstration of Scottish Dancing. Peggy Heap new President.

April – talk by Mrs. Miles ‘joining the W.I. and experiences’. Motto for the year  ‘The impossible becomes possible when tackled together’.

May – talk by Mrs Foggund? ‘Norway’, showing National costume, embroidery and weaving in which Norway excelled. Members asked if they would support ‘a handcraft guild’

June – letter of thanks sent for thr Green Shield Stamps appeal. Mrs Heap gave an outline on ‘the Town & Country Project’ which involved an institute linking with a town and forming a Town’s Women’s Guild. Talk by Mrs Smalley on ‘Blindness’ explaining difficulties of everyday life and showed Braille books.

July – members informed W.I. cups and saucers could be hired for 50p + breakages. Talk by Mrs Arnold ‘Finer Points in Knitting’, showing examples. Miss Ultting showed slides of the Congo where she was a missionary.

August – Harvest Supper to be subsidised and lunch would be given to the old people of Harston. Talk by Mr Pettey ‘County Library and Old Cambridge’.

September – talk by Mrs Cranwell ‘Folklore’.

October – Miss Eva Wright won a gold star at the Produce Guild Competition. Talk by Ken Green and film projectionist, Eric Wilson ‘Caravanning around the world’.

November – members asked for donations to the boxes for the patients of Harston ward at Chesterton. Talk by Mrs Flutter ‘Law’.

December – Mrs Green and Mrs Carter to make Christmas Crackers for Harston Ward Chesterton. Talk by Miss Baldwin ‘Cooking for Christmas’. – A letter received from the Clerk to the Council was read in answer to our query re a Panda Crossing and widening of footpath along the eastern side of the High Street, which stated that at present this was not a viable proposition as the County Survey revealed that there were not sufficient people crossing the road.

WI 'plant a tree in 73'

WI ‘plant a tree in 73’


February  – Chesterton Hospital requesting knitted squares for blankets. Talk ‘Any Questions’ Team, Mr Peer, from Melbourn Village College, Mrs A. King V.C.O and JP, Mr January, Dr. Lindgren and Mr Sellen, a variety of questions asked.

March  – members asked if they could help Ida Darwin Hospital by sewing name tapes or making a birthday cake and sending a birthday card. Two girls from Netherhall School entertained with folk songs accompanied by a guitar.

April – members agreed to a flowering tree being planted, either on the Spinney, opposite Harston House or by the old people’s bungalows. Talk by Mrs Armstrong ‘Slides on Alaska’.

May – members asked to suggest a charity to support for the year.Various members had won medals from ‘Focus on Fashion’ exhibition at the Senate House.

June – members visited the Plant Breeding Institute.

July – talk by Dr. Lucy King ‘The Samaritans’.

August – members went to Fisons for a tour and were shown many aspects of the plant.

September – talk by Mrs S. Harvey ‘Holiday in Ceylon’ with slides.

October – talk and demonstration by Mr Lewis ‘Glass Blowing’. Members were asked for knitted squares and cushions for the old people at Chesterton Hospital.

November – Members agreed to give Village hall £5 towards carpet squares for the stage. Talk by Mrs Bonner ‘Life as an air hostess’.

December – members thanked for helping towards the success of the village hall’s 50th birthday. Talk with slides by Mrs J.K. Smith ‘ Tour of the Holy Lands’. A Xmas tree and decorations is to be presented to the Dolphin Ward at the Ida Darwin Hospital


February – reminder of ‘Soup and Cheese lunch’ on 14th February. Talk by Sgt. Menk, from Shelford Police Station, ‘Aspects of Police work’.

March – Birthday Night, money collected from Soup and Cheese of £22.05 to be sent to Prof. Mitchell’s Cancer Trust. Suggestion from Mrs Armstrong for a Luncheon Club in Harston. The ‘Gibson Singers’ entertained with a selection of songs from Gilbert and Sullivan.

April – details given about a luncheon club, to be held weekly, cost 15p plus 2p for coffee/tea and 5p for annual membership.

May – jumble sale to be held.

June – Letter to be sent to the local M.P. to protest about paying V.A.T. On subscriptions. Coffee morning to be held for Ida Darwin Hospital.  Talk by Mr Andrews, head gardener at Christ College, ‘Ornamental Shrubs and their Management’.

July – £20.50 raised at the coffee morning; £10 sent to Dolphin Ward at Ida Darwin towards a paddling pool for the boys. Evening of Scottish dancing from a group from Harlow.

August – letter from Treasury Secretary’s Office stating that V.A.T. has to be paid as the W.I. were offering a service. Talk by Mrs Hearn ‘Travels in East Africa’.

September – talk by Mr. R. Lavelle, from School of Veterinary Medicine ‘Veterinarian  Work’.

October – members of Harvest Produce Guild had won all 1st prizes in the entries for the Autumn Show. Talk by Mrs Robin, from Darwin Hospital ‘ Boys of Dolphin Ward’ thanking members for all the birthday cakes sent and support.

November – members agreed that the Institute should become a member of the National Trust. Harvest Supper members entertained by ‘The Regimental Band’ of Bassingbourn.

December – members invited to Ida Darwin for carols and coffee. Members asked for suggestions for planting 6 trees sent by Forestry Commission, 1) on the green, 2) 2 at the back of the village hall. 3) Church Yard, 4) Mrs J Clarke’s, 5) School Drive.
Talk by Mrs Wilson, from Community Centre, ‘Xmas Food’.


February – talk by Mrs Granger ‘Prison Visitor’.

March – Ida Darwin asked members if they could make curtains for Dolphin Ward. Chesterton Hospital did not need any more eggs. Mrs Lilley of ‘Flair’ Shelford presented a fashion Show.

April – talk by Mrs Baggerly, from Lancome, ‘Skin care’. Motto of the year ‘Look back with gratitude, look forward with courage’. Yvonne Nutcombe new president.

May – profit of £45.76 made from jumble sale. Cheese and Wine evening in May, in aid of the A.R.C. Appeal for extra help with transport and teas for ‘the over 60’s club’.

June – Mrs Heap read a letter of thanks from Ida Darwin for the curtains made by members and in which members were invited to visit to see the curtains in place.  Mrs Julie Jepps and friends, after a trip to Covent Garden, entertained with popular passages from several operas including ‘Madame Butterfly’, ‘Carmen’ and ‘Two Cats’.

July – outing proposed to Woburn Park in July. Talk by Mr. Grove ‘Entertaining My Way’.

August – discussion on the resolution ‘we deplore the ever increasing use of torture and call on H.M. Government to ratify the United Nations Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, which would make the use of torture as much internationally illegal as slavery now is’, members agreed unanimously.

September – talk by Mr Baldwin ‘Helping at a Church Youth Club’. Appeal for old books and magazines for the Sue Ryder stall in the Guild Hall.

October – Harvest Supper, entertainment by Baptist Church of singing and poetry reading. Again members had won various classes in the Autumn Produce Show. Request for new knee rugs for the patients in the Harston Ward in Chesterton Hospital. ‘Eve of Halloween’ dance orgainsed. Mrs Nutcombe reported that a copy of the resolution on the abolition of torture had been sent to the Executive Committee for their consideration on the wording

November – appeal for 1940’s costumes for Harston Players. Outing to Post Office Sorting Office , Mill Road. Talk by Mr. Russell ‘ Christmas Customs of Other Lands’.

December –. W.I. National Federation suggested rewording the resolution to ‘ that the meeting welcomes the ratification by H.M. Government of the United Nations Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and pledges itself to safe guard these rights’, members in favour of the change.

Talk by Rev Michael Shrewsbury ‘Life as a Curate and Vicar’. Also Mr Graham Loveday gave a brief talk on being a charge nurse on Dolphin Ward at Ida Darwin Hospital. He invited those members who were able to go to the Christmas Party on 20th December at 2.30 pm.  Asked about a Christmas gift for the boys he suggested a budgie for their recently started pets corner.    Mrs Wood and Mrs Wilson both kindly donated budgie cages.  The institute would supply the budgies from its special fund. Members voted in favour of suspending competitions for 12 months.


February – resolution short listed but rejected, thanks given to Mrs Sellen for all the research she did. Cheese and wine evening including an auction. Reminder of Harston Concert, ‘These Foolish Things’ by Granta Singers. Talk by Mrs Henn ‘Horse drawn Caravan’. Mrs Heap reported that she had delivered (to Ida Darwin) the hamster cage kindly given by Mrs Attwood and £5 with which they could purchase animals.

March – Birthday Night entertainment by Gilvan Singers. Letter received from British Meatcraft announcing a demonstration at the Guildhall on April 21st. Mrs Pitman to hold Calligraphy lessons.

April – talk by Mrs J. Salter V.C.O. ‘Aspects of the W.I.’ Motto ‘A little forethought saves a lot of afterthought’.

May – reminder of one-to-one day at Ida Darwin in June.

June – cakes needed for Village Hall Fete. Talk by Mrs Erlbach ‘Making and dressing a peg doll’.

July – Garden party held. Talk by Mr Churchill ‘Brass Rubbings’.

August – talk by Major Franks and Captain Margaret Jones ‘The Professionals’ showing a film on the modern army.

September – tickets on sale for ‘Cheese and Wine’ evening. Talk by Dr. Silverston ‘Work of MAGPAS’, showing some equipment they carry.

October – Drama Festival in November, Mrs Nutcombe asking for support. Mrs Rowell 2nd in the flower arranging of the Autumn Produce Show. Harvest Supper entertainment by ‘Two’s Company’ singing.

November – talk by Mr. P. Bromilow ‘Goss China’ showing several objects.

December – thanks from Dolphin Ward at Ida Darwin Hospital for help during the year. Gift of a picture to be given to the boys to be hung in the ward. Talk by Mrs Williams ‘Kakebrand’ and it’s many uses.


February – reminder of auction in March. For the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations W.I. to provide lunch for the over 60’s. Tidy up of the village in readiness of the celebrations to be organised by Mrs Hearn. Mrs Heap showed the painting bought for Dolphin Ward. Mrs. Nutcombe to stand down as President. Talk by Mrs A. King, J.P. ‘Life of a Magistrate’.

March – 57th Birthday Night. Outing arranged to Wicken Fen. Entertainment by Polish Dancers.

April – A.G.M. Agreed visitors to pay 10p for tea and members 3p, biscuits no longer to be served. Talk by Mrs Fieldhouse, V.C.O. ‘Day-time for Young Mums’ and how it was set up. New President Mrs Hazel Holt. Motto ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’.

May – reminders of barbecue, East of England Show, ‘Messiah the following year and the Top of the Institute Quiz. Volunteers asked for the Jubilee lunch.

June – congratulations in the first round of the quiz and 2nd prize in the Nursery Rhyme Tableau. Talk by Mrs Goad ‘ Account of My Career’.

July – Mrs Nutcombe expressed her thanks to all WI members for the success of the Jubilee Lunch and from people who attended. Remaining money from Jubilee Funds to be spent on a sign for Harston to be placed on the Village Green. Talk by Mr Bonner ‘Wild Life in the Antarctic’.

August – visit to Fisons.

September – Appeal for members to join in the cabaret in November. Resolution discussed and agreed ‘this meeting voices it’s concern at the apparent difficulty in preventing the sale to children of literature which, through it’s pornographic, violent or anti’social content may be considered harmful to young minds. It urges parents and responsible persons to be more aware of the dangers and to do all they can to prevent the sale and circulation of such literature.’ talk by Mrs J Hearn ‘visit to the United States’.

October – Harvest Supper entertainment Folk Dancing. Appeal for old sheets for the cabaret. Thanks given to Mrs Hancock for the work done for the Queen’s Jubilee.

November – names taken to join the choir for Carol concert in Cambridge. Resolution had been carried by Cambridge Federation. Talk by Mrs Ridge ‘Candle Making’.

December – talk by Mr Utsi and his wife, Dr Lindgren, ‘Reindeers’ showing reindeer skins, antlers and boots from skins.


February – plant purchased for Chesterton Hospital, Harston Ward. Talk by Mr Smith ‘Walking in Cambridge’, 3-D glasses given for viewing the slides.

March – Birthday Night, entertained by Trumpington Group ‘Showtime in Mime’. Outing to South Kensington proposed £1.50p. Coffee evening at Harston House in aid of Cambridge Region National Deaf Children’s Society.

April – silver paper collection given to the Brownies. Reminder Youth Concert in the village hall in May. Talk by Mrs Mullen ‘Visit to Corfu’.

May – reminder Jubilee Craft Exhibition in the Guild Hall if any member would like to show.

June – agreed to send a donation to Save the Children Fund in memory of Miss Winifred Beese. Request for accommodation for Japanese visitors. Diamond Jubilee Craft Exhibition Harston contribution will be on the theme of ‘Mary, Mary quite contrary’ in patchwork. Request for help at village fete at Park House. Hiring W.I. cups etc. now £1. Talk by Mr Alfred Leutschen ‘Life along the Seashore’.

July – talk by Mrs Fieldhouse ‘Potting’, gave samples to taste. At County Kitchen’s Exhibition, Harston W.I. won the special Staging Prize ( June Kiles Cup) and 6 members gained gold stars.

August – notice of stickers for cars ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign. Talk by Mrs Iris Armstrong ‘Visit to Sweden and Finland’.

September – talk by Miss Grainger ‘Other People’s Babies’.

October – harvest supper entertained by ‘Byron Mycroft Trio’.

November – request for members to join the choir. Talk by Mr Bartedge ‘Veterinary Work’.

December – talk by Mrs Ruffel? ‘Future of the W.I. Movement’.


February – darts match arranged against Newton. Request received from Social Services for toys for children in care. Talk by Mrs Rogers ‘Modern Embroidery’.

March – Harston lost to Newton in the darts tournament. Talk by Mr Gillard ‘Conjuring Tricks and Light Patterns’.

April – A.G.M. Talk by Mrs Reynolds V.C.O. ‘Your Free Gift Madam’. Motto ‘Look back and give thanks, look forward and take courage’. New President Joyce Wilkinson.

May – Haverhill Echo to pay for W.I. news report. Tea raised to 5p.

June – Harston won May Queen competition. Golden Jubilee Flag RelayTour, Mrs Hearn and Mrs Rodmell to cycle from Harston to Haslingfield carrying the flag. Sponsoring needed for ‘Save Sight in India’ campaign. Talk by Mrs Harvey, Mrs Dickerson and Mrs Inkson ‘Does the Team Think…’ answering varied questions.

July – talk by Mrs Frances Dumbleton ‘Photography’. Public transport questionnaire discussed.

August – held at Mrs Hearn’s home. Request W.I. team for tug-of-war to take part in the’Splash In’ celebration of Harston Church.

September – Donation to be sent to the’Heart Fund’ in memory of Miss Eva Weight, member for over 30 yrs. Mr Burroughs, headmaster Harston School, to be contacted about window boxes for the school. Talk by Mrs Lynch ‘Nursery Stewardness on the Castle Shipping Line’.

October – harvest supper entertainment by ‘Entertainers’ from Saffron Walden.

November – reminder of forthcoming dance on 23rd. Request for help with the window boxes for the school. Talk by Mr Lyer ‘Sheltered Employment for the Disabled’.

December – Members to perform a sketch ‘Three Old Ladies’ at the Mumford Theatre. Talk by Mr Groves ‘Embarrassing Moments’.

This page was added on 29/04/2020.

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