Littleport Women’s Institute: Looking back at 99 years so far!

After over a year of restrictions Littleport Women’s Institute is pleased to be back in harness and meeting in person once again. Throughout the menace of Covid we managed to maintain a good amount of contact with members via newsletters and indeed meetings via Zoom. For many of us Zoom was a challenge, as new technology was not foremost in our years of education, but we do like to keep abreast of current trends as well as looking back at the past, especially on our many achievements.
This we hope will be reflected in 2022 as 100 years ago in 1922 Littleport W.I. was founded – quite an achievement to have been running for 100 years continuously.
To mark this milestone, we intend to put together an ‘Exhibition of Littleport Women’s Institute Past and Present’. The exhibition will be in Littleport’s Adams Heritage Centre in Main Street in September 2022. There must be quite a few members, ex-members or their relatives that have memories, so please if you have anything that we can display, let us know. Photos etc, especially of the Littleport Show days as we always catered on those days. Our refreshment stall with homemade food and delicious homemade cakes was very popular indeed as were our entries into the various competitions.
The W.I. is famous for its catering abilities and has been called upon many times to assist when visiting dignitaries and interesting people have visited our village – this has always been a pleasure and we are sure photos would have been taken at the time.
The W.I. is not all about cakes and crafts. Nationally we try to make others aware of problems particularly if they relate to females, and campaign nationally on a wide range of issues and we have annual resolutions meetings organised by the National Federation of the W.I. The result of our preference is then relayed to the National Federation via our Isle of Ely Federation and the National Federation then lobby for change in this area.
The Isle of Ely Federation is of course local; there are approximately 69 Federations in the UK.
With over 6,300 Women’s Institutes and approximately 220,000 members in this country we can make a difference, and bring about change for the better, and frequently do.
At times of hardship or crisis we pull together to do whatever we can to help alleviate problems.
The W.I. was renowned during the war for its ability to help supplement food supplies by foraging in hedgerows or fields etc., for fruit to make jam and gather any surplus from farmers, small holders etc., to distribute to the needy and indeed to hospitals. This is just one instance of how we helped at a time of need.
With a varied programme for 2022 including craft demonstrations, talks on wildlife, history, bomb disposal and army life, hat making etc., along with our annual quiz and other activities. And of course we hope to have a special birthday celebration at our September meeting which will be our 100th year.
We would welcome any ladies interested in contributing to our next 100 years! So why not come to one of our meetings and see if you would like to become a member.
Meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7.15 pm in Littleport Village Hall, Victoria Street CB6 1GZ.
Pat Ollive and Ann White

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