WI celebrates 40th anniversary

MCBW - 12-08-11 - Towcester WI 40th Birthday courtesy of James Rudd
MCBW - 12-08-11 - Towcester WI 40th Birthday courtesy of James Rudd

FOUNDING members of the Towcester Evening Women’s Institute joined current members during celebrations for the group’s 40th birthday last week.

Members of the WI and invited guests gathered at Highcroft House in Watling Street, on Thursday, August 4 for an evening of Pimms and canapes to celebrate the landmark.

Among the guests were 92-year-old Mildred Cockram who helped to set up the new WI group in Towcester in 1971 when she held the post of Northants WI County Chairman. Each member and guest was also presented with a booklet commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the group.

Group secretary Barbara Vance has been a member since the early 1980s .

She said the group is known as the Evening WI because when it was set up there was also a Towcester afternoon WI. Mrs Vance said the group is now 50 strong and added: “Obviously there’s the WI image of jam and Jerusalem, but that’s fading fast, we even have our own website and blog now.

“And we are quiet an active group, and we like anything food related and enjoy lots of parties with food.”

Mrs Vance said the group has achieved a lot in four decades. In the 1970s they made links with American service personnel at Croughton air base arranging visits to Towcester.

In the 1980s they joined the Keep Britain Tidy Campaign and are now supporting other community groups in keeping Towcester free of litter.

Planters at the entrances to Towcester are also thanks to the WI who established them and are now sponsored by local businesses.

The group meet on the first Thursday of every month at the Riverside Centre in Islington Road from 7.30pm.

Contact the WI at towcesterwi@gmail.com or call 01327 350822.

Picture courtesy of James Rudd.