The WI Story

Where did it all start?

Adelaide Hoodless, WomenIt all started in Canada in 1897 with a determined lady called Adelaide Hoodless.

In 1915 it travelled across the Atlantic to Britain at a time when skills in growing and preserving food was really needed.

The 1920s saw it thrive and bring together ladies and housemaids, cooks and farmers’ wives.

Music and dancing and general light-heartedness came to the fore in the 1930s.

The Second World War came to trouble the whole world but the WI provided a centre of tranquillity to its members as well as 2,071 fur lined garments for Russian women.

The 1950s slowly turned the world back to a kind of normality and Denman College, opened in 1948 continued to flourish – its handmade bedspreads a special feature.

In the 60s Queen Elizabeth hosted a garden party for her fellow members.  HM The Queen is President of Sandringham WI.

The 70s also had a royal flavour with much celebration centred around the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  The WI was awarded its own Coat of Arms full of symbols making reference to education, energy and light.

The 1980s saw a range of resolutions reflecting some of the concerns of the decade including AIDS, child abuse and better credit control.

Lily Parr, St Helens

In the 1990s the WI reached its 75th birthday and Denman College celebrated its Golden Jubilee.

The millennium was celebrated with a Craft Spectacular at Tatton Park, indicating a commitment to crafts, preserving and passing on old skills and developing new ones.

And so we come to 2012 and probably the most exciting thing to happen in St Helens since Lily Parr (pictured) scored 43 goals in her first season for St Helens Ladies’ Football team way back in 1919.

It is, of course, WISH – St Helens’ newest and most thrilling Women’s Institute.  Be part of it!

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