Barrow Women’s Institute celebrates its 90th anniversary


THE WI celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2005 and The Mail attended Barrow WI’s monthly meeting at Trinity Church Hall to learn more about the organization.

He reported that porcelain cups and saucers were neatly arranged alongside a fine selection of jam sponge cake sprinkled with icing sugar.

Retired women formed the core of the group’s members.

But if they weren’t averse to supping cups of tea and doing craft demonstrations, they were just as happy to campaign on topics as diverse as domestic violence and the plight of farmers.

Martina Teijlingen-Bell had joined WI in Barrow 10 years earlier, a month after the start of the local branch.

“As WI, we are still relatively new, compared to others that have been around for 90 years,” she said.

“We have over 40 members now.

Pauline Marshall had joined the WI in Kentmere about 20 years previously and was a founding member of Barrow WI.

“I got an invitation in the mail recently and Kentmere was having a party, so they found me and invited me.

“I was so touched,” she said.

Rampside WI President Irene Liversedge joined WI when she retired.

“You could literally live through the WI every day because there is always something going on,” she said.

There were 300 women in Furness who belonged to a WI group in 2005.

Cumbria Westmorland WI advisor Gillian Price explained: “The WI has never been and never will be all about Jam Jerusalem.

“We are very proud to celebrate 90 years of WI in England and Wales this year. We are also proud to celebrate 85 years of WI in Cumbria-Westmorland.

“Our three-year Community Challenge project has seen WI members across the country actively respond to the needs of their communities.

“More than 16,000 projects have been registered, from creating first responders to waste picking, fundraising for local hospices, to running community stores and post offices.”


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