Articles, History, Places

Celebrating 70 years of WI

I belong to the Anglesey Federation of Women’s Institue (AFWI) in Wales and in turn, is part of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.

My branch is Trearddur Bay and in November 2021 we celebrated seventy years with a meal at The Anchorage Hotel, followed by a piece of cake, which was delicious and made by Enid Hughes, of Cae Rhos, Holyhead. Thirty-plus members came along and our President Aneira informed us of some interesting facts.

  • 3rd October 1951 the first meeting was held with a membership of twenty-five.
  • The first activity was a Whist Drive which raised just over £20
  • The first annual outing took place in June with a visit to Betws-y-Coed for lunch and then to Bodnant Gardens.
  • The AGM was held in the November of 1952 when a new committee was elected and the meeting closed singing Jerusalem and God Save the Queen. The average attendence by then was thirty-four.
  • 1953 saw the first Christmas party which was held at the nearby Trearddur Bay Hotel. Dinner and coffee cost seven shillings.
  • A dress-making class had been sert up and proved very popular.
  • 1955 saw the formation of a drama group who put on a production at the nearby Village Hall.
  • 1956 a decision was made to meet in the afternoon during the winter months November to March.
  • By 1960 the membership had grown to fifty-nine.

The President’s mother joined in 1960 and remained a member until the last, all of 58 years. At one time the membership was over ninety and today it is still going strong with over thirty ladies.

The introduction of the WI ‘Life’ magazine caused a blip, and a splinter group introduced an ‘Afternoon Club which many attended and the membership of the WI faltered. This continues today as the ‘Craft Club’ and is attended by current members of the WI.

This was followed by a talk by the Chair of the Anglesey Federation of WIs, Glynne Owen, who congratulated us on our 70th birthday. She said back in 1951 ladies would have attended wearing hats and gloves and fancy handbags. This caused a laugh and then she reminded us that afterwards many of us would have returned to cook an evening meal for our husbands. This caused a bigger laugh. How times have changed! Although many people still do this but husbands and partners will also play an active part.

We continue meet at the Trearrddur Bay Village hall, and although Covid has seen an interruption to our meetings, we will have a full programme of events in time for next year.

Our meeting place – The Village Hall in Tearddur Bay

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