WI Spotlight E - L
E - L
NAME OF WI: EARDISLAND
MEETING TIME: 2nd Monday at 7.30pm
VENUE: Eardisland Village Hall.
In 1851 the Lascelles Directory of Herefordshire described Eardisland as "a small, pleasant village, distant 5 miles from Leominster, the River Arrow running through, over which there is a neat stone bridge giving a pleasing effect to the village". The same description can be used today, over 160 years later – in fact Eardisland forms part of the Black and White Village Trail- the heritage trail of half timbered black and white houses to be found in North Herefordshire, and is considered by many to be one of the prettiest villages in England. Indeed it has received a Gold Award in the Heart of England in Bloom competition in the category of Small Village for the past 4 years. Add the picturesque landscape, one church, two pubs, two tea rooms and a community shop to the mix and you have a thriving and vibrant local community.
Eardisland Womens' Institute was founded on the 10th July 1919 with 25 ladies and next month we will celebrate our 95th birthday. We currently have 17 members and belong to the Kingsland Group of Institutes. We warmly welcome new members to our monthly meetings and hope that we provide something of interest for all with our varied programme of speakers covering such diverse subjects as Regency History, Sugar Craft and the Ups and Downs of an Author and we always have a summer outing and a Christmas Dinner. It is also important for us all to give support to the other local groups in our village – our teas for village events prove very popular!
NAME OF WI: EARDISLEY
MEETING TIME: 2nd Thursday at 7.30pm
VENUE: Eardisley Village Hall.
Eardisley WI began during the war, and during its long life has been a focus for encouraging its members' creativity and sense of community. As with most WIs, cooking is at the heart of our activities: teas for visiting coach parties, weekly winter 'Soup and Social' sessions, and one-offs, such as this year's St George's Day Sausage & Mash Lunch and – now a regular fixture – the Ploughman's Lunch on the Millennium Green. (The first of these was in memory of our vicar and former member Jen Pollock, who died in 2004.)
Creativity of a different sort – often in workshops – has led to the production of beautiful sewn and knitted items to sell at the many Eardisley Festivals (including, in 2011, a magnificent full-size patchwork quilt), to entries for Federation and Group WI craft competitions and to the creation of story sacks for the village school. Back in the seventies, members drew inspiration from the Romanesque font in the Norman church, the ancient Great Oak just outside the village and its black-and-white houses when they collaborated to stitch a banner, to represent our WI in processions and displays.
Outings, visits to Denman – we award bursaries every year to help two members (chosen by lot) with the cost of attending a course, boule in the garden of The New Strand, plus a huge variety of talks at monthly meetings and beyond, these all contribute to why the WI is such an enjoyable way for Eardisley women to get together and to welcome newcomers to the village. (And, by the way, over the past 30 years three of the county's chairmen have been our members.)
NAME OF WI: EATON BISHOP
MEETING TIME: 2nd Tuesday 7.30pm
VENUE: Eaton Bishop Village Hall.
Perhaps the accompanying photo indicates Eaton Bishop WI's friendship and caring. Our lovely American member, Barbara, gave us reason for a truly special celebration recently for Barbara's 100th birthday. Both Barbara and her daughter, Nancy, are very keen and supportive WI-ers, 'an organisation to be introduced to the USA' they say! The delicious cake was made and decorated by one of our long-term members.
Eaton Bishop WI has been established for 94 years with 30 members at present coming from surrounding villages and Hereford. Many members with outstanding abilities in various talents have addressed and informed us of their expertise at monthly meetings over the years.
Afternoon and day 'outings' around our county and beyond play their part on our annual programme together with support to other individual activities. The monthly competition, usually 'themed' on our speaker for the evening, provides both enterprise and often amusement.
It is difficult to understand that Eaton Bishop is only a few miles from the bustling city as we are surrounded by farms, attractive rolling hills, narrow country lanes, lovely woods for walking overlooking the River Wye and very varied architecture. We are proud of our 14th Century Church and old Village Hall for which villagers are tirelessly fundraising to maintain. At the beginning of the 20th Century Sir Charles Pulley ran a very successful horse stud in the village for many years. Sadly only his home and a few stables remain …… but we, the ladies of the Eaton Bishop, are still very much here and we would be really pleased to welcome anyone or WI-ers at anytime to come and enjoy an evening with us.
Eaton Bishop WI is now suspended.
NAME OF WI: EYE
MEETING TIME: 3rd Thursday 7.30pm
VENUE: Cawley Hall, Eye
We decided to put together a collection of reminiscences as a way of best describing the spirit of Eye WI. (The word Eye comes from Island, and has been abbreviated over the centuries.)
From one of our newest....
I joined Eye WI as a relatively 'new' member thirteen years ago, and have loved every minute. We are a group of ladies who enjoy life, never go down without a fight and have tremendous fun in the process. For many years we've done really well in the County Quiz. I don't feel bad mentioning this as we are fairly small in number these days and have competed against other WIs who've submitted two teams, so well done us. One of our members in recent years won the County Poetry Competition of which we are immensely proud. Several of our members are on the Parish Council, Community Committees and National Trust Volunteers at Berrington Hall.
I've learnt many new skills, too numerous to mention, and enough to amaze my family and friends who've never seen me as a particularly crafty person. We've also been out and about around Herefordshire on many a Summer evening and also during the day which has opened up the whole area to one who arrived, slightly out of breath, from life in the South East of England which was lived at much too fast a pace. The peace and tranquillity of Herefordshire is an everlasting joy.
To one of our longest....
Having moved to Luston around 50 years ago, it was not long before Lettice Sandford from Eye Manor knocked on our door and 'invited' me to join the WI. Those who knew Lettice knew it was an invitation not to be refused. I've enjoyed many years of activities I would never have thought possible, including a visit to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace as a guest of Her Majesty. Over the years I've visited cities I would never have dreamt of seeing, visited Highgrove and so many memories, all of them enjoyable.
Our village hall in the 1960s was somewhat different to today's. It was more of a tin hut, with facilities for the ladies, but none for the men. But we had a membership of around 40 (we are only 15 now). We used to play rounders as a way of having fun. Today we still have as much fun, but at a much slower pace. We always entered the Spring Show where there was a great deal of competition between the five villages in the Group.
Eye WI has always been interested in our local history and in 1996, to commemorate our 50th Anniversary, we produced our own Doomsday book, by photographing all the houses and families in the Parish and it became 'The Eye of Herefordshire'. We used a logo designed by our first President, Mrs Lettice Sandford, for its cover. This logo is still used as the cover of our Parish Magazine.
Footpaths, and keeping them open are important to us, and we were Parish Footpath Officers for more than ten years. We would be out and about most Monday evenings during the Summer months, clipping brambles, cutting down nettles and other obstructions and reporting broken stiles etc., to the Parish Council. This was a good time to chat, we had loads of laughter, and always ended up for supper at the nearest pub on the way home.
NAME OF WI: FELTON & PRESTON WYNNE
MEETING TIME: 2ND WEDNESDAY 7.30pm
VENUE: THE MEMORIAL HALL
This W.I. is in its 60th year and with all the uncertainty and inconsistencies going on around us it's great to be a member of such a community minded organisation that is still vibrant and constant 60 years down the line.
As with most small groups the option to leaving things to someone else doesn't apply, resulting in every member being doubly important, and a great sense of camaraderie. Some members are from surrounding villages, so the monthly meetings are a great way to keep in touch with friends you would not otherwise have made.
We have brilliant programme planners with a knack of securing great speakers and organising fun things for us to do. For instance we have recently visited Lower Hope Gardens, this was an invitation for a private viewing and we were escorted round by the Head gardener himself and our meeting concluded with Pimms and cake in the conservatory. We have members who have competed in the Cogan cup, sing in the newly formed WI choir, and enter in quizzes. This year we have been 10 pin bowling, organised cookery competitions and even had a Rock and roll workshop – all great fun. Two of our members went to the AGM in Leeds and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Preston Wynne is a lovely corner of Herefordshire and we in the W.I. feel that our policy of upholding the old traditions – (OK we may not always sing Jerusalem but a lot of us do make jam) whilst enjoying the best of such community spirit will see us through another 60 years!
Felton & Preston Wynne is now known at Preston Wynne WI.
NAME OF WI: HAMPTON BISHOP
MEETING TIME: 2ND THURSDAY 7.30pm
VENUE: HAMPTON BISHOP VILLAGE HALL
To many people the name Hampton Bishop conjures up a picture of the Bunch of Carrots and a few houses straggling along the road to Mordiford from Hereford – but Hampton Bishop offers a whole lot more.
It was originally a Norman settlement owned by the Bishop of Hereford (hence the name). There are three roads that take you into the village, where you will find a rich variety of houses - some very old dating back to the 16th century and some more modern - all of which are flanked by the large fields and rural landscape. At the junction of Whitehall and Church Lane is the 12th Century St Andrews church with its distinctive half timbered clock tower. Tucked away behind the church is the village hall, a large building opened in 1998, which is a huge asset to the village. It is where our WI meets and also acts as a venue for many County functions.
Hampton Bishop has survived many floods over the centuries, both from the Wye and the Lugg rivers. The latest, which was caused by the volume of rain and land run off, cut off our village for nearly 2 weeks.
We have some beautiful walks passing through our village, one of which is the Wye Valley Walk.
Although we are a small WI we are a happy and friendly bunch. Come and pay us a visit and explore our village at the same time – you will be very welcome.
NAME OF WI: HOLMER
MEETING TIME: 1ST THURSDAY 7.30pm
VENUE:. HOLMER CHURCH PARISH CENTRE
Holmer WI was formed in 1941, now we have 29 members. We are traditional, singing Jerusalem and ending meetings with the Queen. We support County events and visits, enter Quiz teams, 4 last year, one member is in the Grace notes choir, others attend the Handicraft Club and demonstrate their work for us. We have a drama reading group who entertain us with plays and sketches. Members preparing the annual programme do a splendid job, speakers last year included a former member of the Women's Land Army, ice cream to die for, 1920-30s costumes, the history of Eastnor Castle, and a member's husband, who as a boy soprano sang solos at big events in London and took part in Welsh language TV. Before the festivities with the National Baton, we were pleased to rediscover our original 1940s Banner which was taken to the event at Dinmore. Most of us have secret WI friends, we draw a name from the hat in February and keep in touch with that person through the year, secretly giving presents and cards at birthdays and Christmas, in February the following year we reveal who that friend was, then we draw another name from the hat. Members are engaged in voluntary and charity work, one member has recently been to Ghana to help with the work the Church is doing in building Churches there. When we meet there is a sense of belonging and being proud of the WI, each meeting is a happy event and we go home with a warm feeling of friendship.
NAME OF WI: HUNTINGTON-HEREFORD WI
MEETING TIME: 2ND THURSDAY 1.45PM
VENUE: THE HERDSMAN PUBLIC HOUSE, FUNCTION ROOM.
Huntington is a city based W.I in the heart of Hereford, founded in 1927 and probably by the "Lady" at Huntington Court, which is why our banner depicts 3 swans gliding on a lake. The first Minute Book is rather dull with just a list of names which unfortunately mean nothing, though records from 1968 are much more complete with county picnics, outings and travel to the AGM in London where Herefordshire Federation became involved in the high-jacking of our coach by Hertfordshire at Paddington making us late.
We had a flourishing drama group back in the 70's and 80's and took part in the County Drama Festival. The old wooden hut in Westfields was home but proved far too cold and we moved to Holy Trinity Parish Hall, changing then to afternoon meetings. St. Johns Methodist Church Hall became our next home for many years until January this year when due to rising costs we moved to The Herdsman Public House in Widemarsh Street ,still in the heart of the city close to the new shopping centre.
Our membership has dropped considerably over the years with only 21 at present. Talented members have won Competition Day cups, had regular photographs in the Calendar and won the County Quiz many times, taken part in Baton day with City Group. With regular outings we have a interesting programme including yearly visits to Huntington Kington W.I. Our aim is providing friendship and support.
Pictured Huntington members enjoying the recent Baton celebrations.
HUNTINGTON - KINGTON WI
Meeting Time: 2nd Wednesday 7.00pm
Venue: Huntington Village Hall
Nestling in the hills above Kington with its narrow lanes weaving back and to across the border lies the little village of Huntington. The community enjoys a castle (very little of it left), two churches a village inn and a parish hall. The hall is the home of the twelve W.I. members who meet every second Wednesday in the month usually to enjoy a speaker and often with invited friends to swell the throng.
he Institute was formed in 1927 and sadly is now smaller than it has ever been, also more elderly, having two members over ninety, both of whom attend meetings regularly. All members enjoy gathering at the hall or having an away day in the summer.
Meetings finish with much chat and lovely refreshments.
Meeting Time: 2nd Thursday 7.30pm
Venue: Members Homes
Kimbolton, situated near Leominster, lies in the shadow of the Grade II* listed church of St. James the Great. The village, complete with its pub, shop, Village Hall and Primary School, spreads out along the A4112, rising steadily towards Lever Hill crossing the pastureland of many local farms. It is a location rich with historical importance, with a farmstead dating from the sixteenth century and The Old Workhouse amongst others rubbing shoulders with the modern Starter Homes for young families in Stockton Rock. A Medieval settlement was discovered at Stockton at the heart of the village, adjacent to Stockton Bury House and its well-known gardens.
Kimbolton W.I. celebrated its 82nd year in March 2015 and it remains an active, friendly and welcoming Branch attracting members from across the village and further afield. There are currently eleven members so we meet at Committee Members' homes on the second Thursday of each month. In times gone by, when numbers were higher, meetings were held in the Village Hall.
Our varied Programme of Events ensures that there is something to suit everyone's taste including the annual fundraising Curry Lunch, Branch 'Birthday' supper, guest speakers and an afternoon trip in the summer. Over the years we have visited Hampton Court, Sir Roy Strong's garden The Laskett along with Eye W.I. and gone on a walking tour of Leominster's historical sites. This year we shall be having a tour of Stockton Bury with Tamsin Westhorpe, Editor at Large of The English Garden. The photograph shows the ancient Stockton Bury Dovecote.
Members' wide ranging interests include baking, photography, painting, gardening and handicrafts so recent Guest Speakers' talks have been given by a local jewellery designer, National Garden Scheme organisers and a local artist. We are lucky to have some very talented and gifted craftswomen amongst us, including June Edwards whose entry of a Secretary's Folio took overall first prize in the National 'Tomorrow's Heirlooms' Competition. Part of June's prize included vouchers for Denman and we are joining her there in May for a talk on textiles. We are looking forward to our visit immensely.
Meeting time: 2nd Wednesday 7.30 pm.
Venue: Coronation Hall
Kingsland village, some 6 miles to the West of Leominster, is fortunate in having the Millennium Green in front of the church with the Angel Inn opposite, a very picturesque setting in the centre of the village. Further down the road is the Corners Inn. We also have the Luctonians Rugby Club, the School and the Health Centre, and the Coronation Hall which is where the W I meet. We have 21 members at present and are celebrating our 95th anniversary this May. We shall have a birthday cake at our May meeting and will also celebrate at our annual birthday dinner.
We have a good and varied programme of speakers frequently drawn from the local area, such as the Leominster Antiques Centre and a local art gallery. Another favourite speaker lives locally and demonstrates flower arranging. We shall also have a speaker from Broadfield Court. Our outings are often to gardens or historic houses, chosen for fairly level terrain and not too many steps as some of the members have difficulty walking too far. We always enjoy our meetings and frequently welcome visitors who are interested in the evenings talk.
KINGSWOOD & DISTRICT WI
Meeting Time: 2nd Wednesday 7.30pm
Venue: Kingswood Village Hall, Kingswood Road
The Hamlet of Kingswood with its once adjacent Common scattered farms and cottages is situated about two miles south of Kington, at a height of between six and seven hundred feet. The keenly felt prevailing south-westerly winds are believed to have originated the rhyme 'Kingswood Common and Moseley Mere are the two coldest places in Herefordshire'. * From various points around Kingswood we can see over to Hergest Ridge, the Black Mountains, the Brecon Beacons and even the Clee Hills.
Before the mid 1800's Kingswood provided wood to the local area for various uses, descendants of the forest trees are still seen in the hedgerows and coppices today. Farming replaced forestry after the Enclosure of Kingswood Common in 1855 and still plays a big part today. Another industry in the 1800's was the Brickworks and Kingswood Road also housed the 'Workhouse'.
In 1953 Kingswood W.I. held its first meeting with 28 members in the Methodist Chapel (now converted) it was little heated and with few facilities. Crockery was taken to the chapel in a wheelbarrow and water in a milk churn. Since 1960 meetings have been held in the then newly opened Kingswood Village Hall, thankfully now much warmer and no wheelbarrow or milk churn necessary! Due to membership decline we suspended in 1984 but reformed again as Kingswood and District W.I. in 1985 after which membership rose up to nearly 30 but sadly once again we are now very small being only 11 members but our numbers at meetings are often increased by the support of friends. We celebrated our 60th Birthday in 2013 with 40 members and past members one having travelled from Bournemouth.
We try to provide an interesting and varied programme, with speakers covering all subjects, quizzes, demonstrations of craft and cookery by our very clever members, a Birthday Dinner, Christmas Party and visits to gardens and places of interest. We raise funds for a different local Charity each year (this year Kington First Responders). Although there a few years with no record. We have an up to date history together with photos in several folders.
We run a very successful craft group at 10am on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month except July and August when instead we go out for coffee around the area. We do a lot of chatting and drinking coffee! And have put on craft days for local children.
Kingswood and District W.I. members have a lot of fun and laughs, learn a little, probably drink too much coffee, eat too many cakes but very much place an emphasis on friendliness and friendship.
*Folklore of Herefordshire E M Leather
Meeting Time: 2nd Wednesday 2.30 pm
Venue: Markwick Close Hall
Kington is a small market town on the Welsh border. Historically it was a stage for drovers on their way to market. This is why at one time there were over 40 pubs and, many butchers shops. Kington has a history of being self-sufficient, and at one time anything required from bottles and iron-works to gloves was made locally. Things have changed a bit, but it is still possible to buy local produce from meat and vegetables to shampoo, greeting cards and alpaca in Kington. It is more and more becoming a tourist centre, with walkers, cyclists and those who want to change from city life. We have a museum, gardens at Hergest Croft, and interesting church and the famous Offa's Dyke path.
Kington W. I. was founded in 1935. Although our yearly birthday lunch is in January, we also celebrated our 80th anniversary most elegantly with a garden party at which a beautiful cake was served. We are still fortunate enough to have the daughters of founder members in our WI. Over the years since 1935 Kington has had a large membership, declined to a smaller one, and then recovered. Happily our membership is now increasing and we are flourishing. We have a range of new speakers on topics designed to be interesting, informative and entertaining. We hear about local services such as first responders, ambulance and community policing, but we are by no means inward-looking, hearing also about life, architecture, flora and fauna and social conditions in other parts of the globe. Speakers include some of our own members sharing their expertise in various fields.
Each year in August a trip to Aberystwyth is organised to see a show, enjoy the seaside and a meal. This attracts many visitors including members of nearby institutes. We are proud of our W.I. and we feel very privileged to be part of Kington's close knit and caring community.
MEETING TIME: 2nd Wednesday at 7.30pm
VENUE: Parish Room, Catholic Church, New Street
The market town of Ledbury attracts many visitors each year. Tourists come to see the black and white houses, the Market Hall and the newly restored mediaeval timber-framed Master's House. Church Lane with its cobbles and view to the spire of St Michael's church is one of the most photographed in the county.
Visitors often remark on the friendliness of Ledbury people; that is most certainly the atmosphere to be found at Ledbury WI. A lively, active institute which was overwhelmed by the number of entries when our monthly meeting took the form of a craft and produce show. Everyone entered, not just members of our Sewing and Craft Group. Our Writers' Group enjoy entering both the Denman and County competitions. For those who just want to meet and chat there is a monthly Luncheon Club. Ledbury tries to support County events; two members sing in the County Choir and there is always a Ledbury team at the County Quiz! We visited our Link Institute Saltmarshe in March and enjoyed a trip in June to Highgrove.
Our members enjoy supporting the younger generation; our local Guide Company has been shown how to prepare simple cold snacks and decorate cakes. At Christmas we worked with the Guides to make tree decorations. We provide buffet lunches for the participants at the annual Mock Trials for Schools at the Hereford Magistrates Court.
For new members who have recently moved to Ledbury we are the perfect place to start making friends and acquiring local knowledge.
Leominster is a small Marches town with a population of 11000, which grew on the confluence of the rivers Kenwater and Lugg way back in the 7th century. At that time the priory was founded. The story tells of the monk
St Edfrid sitting by the river when a fierce lion approached. Edfrid offered the lion his meagre lunch which the lion took and peacefully went its way leaving Edfrid unharmed.
A few centuries later in medieval times Leominster became famous and prosperous,due to the breeding of Ryeland sheep. The wool produced by the Ryelands was of such quality that it became known as Leominster Ore and was much sought after and exported. More recently Leominster has filled with antique shops attracting many visitors hunting for bargains. We also have an annual Art Festival featuring the Leominster Knot as its logo, and this year we had our first Food Festival.
One evening a group of us ladies were chatting in Leominster when someone suggested we start an evening WI, enabling those of us who worked full time to enjoy the benefits of being members. That was in 2013 and we now have a small enthusiastic WI of 23 members ranging from their 20s to their 80s. We have a lot of fun and social evenings, as well as all sorts of speakers whose subjects have ranged from air ambulance to Cadburys.
In the Priory Church we still have on display an ancient Ducking stool last used in 1809 on Jenny Pipes for 'scolding' and 'backbiting'. Luckily Leominster Lasses have no need for such a tool as we we are a group dedicated to fun, frolics and most of all,friendship.
Linton Village is situated approximately 5 miles from Ross-on-Wye and close to Junction 3 of the M50 motorway. It has a Church, Village Hall, an Inn and a part-time Post Office. The Church, St. Mary's, stands on an ancient site and in its churchyard is what is said to be the oldest yew tree in England (some claim it to be 4000 years old). The Village Hall, where the W.I has its meetings, was built in 1872 as the Village School on the initiative of Rev. Edward Palin, the great grandfather of Michael Palin. In fact one of our past members who died only recently was one of the last pupils at the school. Rev. Palin was also responsible for bringing water to the heart of the village for the first time, pumping it, with the aid of an hydraulic ram, from a local stream to a spot outside the Rectory. Until that time all villagers were reliant on a well some way from the main part of the village.
Linton W.I was founded in 1921 and currently has 22 members. We meet on the second Thursday of each month. Recently we have changed the times of meetings so that from October to March inclusive we meet in the afternoons at 2.30 p.m. and then revert to 7.30 p.m. for the warmer months and we find that this works well, allowing us to go home to get our 'home fires burning' in the Autumn and Winter and spend longer in our garden in the Spring and Summer.
In August each year we hold our Community Lunch which is our annual fundraising event, and we are usually fortunate enough to cater for over 60 loyal supporters all of whom seem to have a good time enjoying the food and the company.
We have a small Sewers Group (courtesy of an early misunderstanding the word 'sewers' is pronounced not 'sewers as with needles' but 'sewers as with drains') which stemmed from members who volunteered to embroider the tablecloth prepared for our 90th Birthday in 2011. Those who took part enjoyed it so much that it has become a regular thing and we have given several quilts to charities and eaten a considerable quantity of cake!
We have an excellent programme of speakers each year on a wide range of subjects after which we enjoy a cup of tea and a chat with friends and support our monthly Bring & Buy Table. We also go out together as a group several times a year, either to visit an historic house etc. or for a meal in a local pub, which is very much enjoyed.
This year was a very special year as we celebrated our 70th Anniversary as an institute. We all enjoyed a celebratory party in June and invited many past members and WI friends. A very special day!
Little Hereford is a rural village with few amenities being in the north of the county sitting on the banks of the river Teme. The name means the 'Little ford of the army', as it was the route out of the county across the Teme for armies marching to and from Worcester and Hereford in the 12th century. The village can be found in the Doomsday book (1086) being originally built beside the church and some remains can still be seen. In the churchyard there is a flourishing Golden Yew planted by the WI at the time of the millennium.
We are a busy, friendly, supportive community which is reflected in our WI meetings, held monthly in the recently refurbished village hall. We have social and speaker's evenings and are famous (or infamous) for our delicious suppers following our meetings. We also enjoy lunches and visits to local places of interest.
Most importantly we love and care about one another and make sure our meetings are not only interesting, but friendly and fun!
Meeting time: 3rd Thursday of the month 7.30pm
Venue: Llangrove Village Hall
Llangrove village is situated between Ross-on-Wye and Monmouth, close to the Welsh Border, and from many parts of the village the rolling farmland of Herefordshire creates a changing patchwork with views to Garway Hill in the west, the Malverns, Chase Wood and round to the Forest of Dean and the Doward. The village has a wide range of societies and events, many of which involve WI members.
The Victorian church was endowed by Mrs Marriott, Lady of the Manor of Goodrich, and opened in 1856; she also paid for the village school and schoolmaster's house, opened in 1875. The house is now incorporated into the school building, and the school remains active and popular, with the Leapfrogs Playgroup in the same building.
In 1942 a Wellington Bomber on a training flight had an engine failure and crash-landed in the centre of the village, just missing the school and church. Two crew members were killed. Villagers rushed to help, including the church organist who had a fatal heart attack before she managed to get to the site, and the vicar who suffered the same fate as he cycled home after helping rescue the other crew members. They are all commemorated on a plaque in the church.
The telephone kiosk in the centre of the village was one of the first to be converted to a very popular book exchange with a constantly changing wide range of hardbacks and paperbacks, plus some children's books. Our senior member, with a friend, cut the tape at a simple ceremony in 2010.
Llangrove WI was founded in 1959 and met in the school until 1961, when the Village Hall was opened. Some WI members even helped to dig the foundations. The hall hosts many different groups including choirs, gardening society, Rainbows, Brownies, Cubs, Scouts, art classes, table tennis, community lunch, a monthly market and an annual pantomime, plus, of course, WI. A member won the award for designing the Herefordshire Federation Diamond Jubilee tea-towel back in 1980.
Our longest-serving member joined not long after Llangrove WI started – she has held the post of president, secretary and committee member, and has written many amusing poems depicting WI and village life. We have a 93 year-old member, an ambulance driver in World War II, who is admired for her cheerful attitude and her fashionable appearance, including high-heeled shoes (which she also wears to tend her lovely garden). Our popular nearly-90 member has just returned from one of her regular visits to family in Hong Kong; she helps to deliver the parish magazine, and tells newcomers about WI. Members have staged fashion shows, take part in quizzes and link with a variety of activities such as the May Fayre.
We were extremely proud to be awarded Paddy's Tree in 2010, plus for the third time the cup for the best calendar photograph. We are flattered to be known as a friendly, welcoming bunch and enjoy our regular meetings.
Llanwarn is Welsh for Church of the Alders, the 'e' on the end of Llanwarn is a fairly recent spelling. The village is situated halfway between Ross-on-Wye and Hereford. A pretty village mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The original 12th / 13th century church of St John the Baptist, now an attractive ruin, stands by the Gamber Brook in the middle of the village. The church was frequently flooded in wet weather. A new church was built opposite on higher ground in 1864. Also the old school is now used as the village hall.
Llanwarne WI was formed on 31st January 1919. The WIs first home was the Old Wesleyan Chapel in Turkey Tump Lane. When this was sold, we moved down to the Village Hall in 1965-66. Our membership has declined in the last few years but we were very pleased to welcome 4 new members to our last meeting.
We try to make our meetings interesting and enjoyable. We have two educational trips lined up for this year – husbands and friends join in which helps to pay for the coach! Members have attended courses at Denman. For the Millennium, the WI paid a local craftsman to reframe the Roll of Honour for the fall of the two World Wars. For the WI Centenary, we planted spring bulbs in the church yard. For our own Centenary on 31st January 2019, we will have to think of something really fantastic.
LONGTOWN AND DISTRICT
Longtown and District WI is in its 76th Year and has always been a central part of this rural community in the shadow of the Black Mountains on the Welsh border. Longtown is an ancient settlement with a Norman (12th century) motte-and-baily Castle and a long tradition of sheep farming.
Our WI is vibrant and energetic. We’ve had varying membership over the years from a dozen ladies meeting in each other’s kitchens to the steady 27 or so members that we have today. Members enjoy getting involved locally, such as volunteering at the Primary school to help teach reading and craft skills including knitting. With the loss of our Mobile Library, one of our members, ably assisted by others from the Institute, spearheaded fundraising and then the establishment of our Community Library. And the Refreshment Tent at the Longtown Show is our biggest annual fundraiser for local charities.
We keep one of our monthly meetings as a ‘members’ evening when we might have a cooking or craft activity/demonstration by any member who wants to share their skills. Some of the most enjoyable of recent times have been ‘Kitchen Sink Printmaking’ bringing out the artist in us all and a ‘Cocktail Making’ demonstration with lots of sampling!
While making a contribution to our local communities we also enjoy an annual excursion in June and occasional ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ outings throughout the year. We make sure we have plenty of fun and enjoy each other’s company and support, the very best parts of being a WI