Although the Womens Institute was first formed in 1897 in Canada it was not until 1915 that the first meeting took place in the UK, in Llanfairpwll on Angelsey. Originally controlled by the Agricultural Organisation Society it hoped to inspire country women to become more active in producing and preserving food during the first World War.
In 1916 Lady Denman was elected as Chairman and in excess of forty Womens Institutes had formed. In the same year the NFWI was formed with membership subscription of two shillings. The NFWI magazine “Home And Country” was first published in 1919.
By 1930 there were more than 4000 WIs throughout the UK. Again during the Second World War great efforts were made by local community WIs towards the war effort.
At the present time there are about 7000 WIs with more than 200,000 members in England and Wales.
THE BEGINNING AT YARDLEY GOBION
In 1927 Miss Hilda Townsend contacted the WI office in Northampton to instigate a WI in Yardley Gobion, she was acting Secretary, Mrs. Fountaine was to become President or was it Mrs Leach?