Short history of Guarlford W I
Guarlford Women's Institute was formed on May 13th 1941 in part of the stables at Guarlford Rectory, once the 'Rectory Room', known in wartime as 'The Point' (because the room became a First Aid Point and meeting point for the ARP Wardens). Before that time women from Guarlford had been members of Madresfield WI, which, at its inception in 1917, was one of the earliest WIs in the country - known as 'Madresfield, Newland & Guarlford Women's Institute'. So, Guarlford is a 'daughter' Institute of Madresfield, which, sadly, closed in 1993.
The earliest Meeting Minute Books provide interesting glimpses of life on the Home Front in World War Two. For example, in May 1943, after Mrs Roberts had given a demonstration on 'Making Eiderdowns and Italian Quilting', and Mrs Pagett had performed some humorous recitations for the Social Half-hour, a collection was made for the 'Wings For Victory' Fund, amounting to £1 and 5 shillings. The Minutes of June 6th 1944 describe how a Garden Party at Dripshill House ended with the singing of 'God Save the King', because of the news about D-Day.
More about the history of Guarlford Women's Institute can be found on pages 185 to 191 of 'The Guarlford Story'. Please see the GHG website for details of how to purchase a copy. For the History of the WI nationally, see the National Federation of WIs website. Once there, click 'About Us' and then 'WI History Archive'.
Last updated: 3rd February 2020