Box W.I. - May 2021

FAREWELL TO BOX WOMEN’S INSTITUTE

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Box WI has had to go into “Suspension”. This means that we have had to cease for the immediate future, but if circumstances change within the next 3 years we can start up again. Our problem was that our membership had reduced drastically to 15 and we could not form a committee. We are not alone in this situation as many other societies are having similar difficulties. During the Covid 19 pandemic we managed to keep in touch with one another and to master Zoom, if only for committee meetings!

Originally, there was a WI in Box from 1951 – 1984. It restarted 6 years later in 1990. So, we have been in existence for 63 years in total!

The new WI started off with a healthy membership, supporting interesting talks and social activities. In 1994 we were very active, winning the GFWI competition in skittles & tennis (presented by Christine Trueman, no less!).

Fortnightly walks were also very popular, not to mention litter picking on the Common!

More recently, at our meetings we have had a wide variety of events, drama, music and craft workshops as well as presentations on a wide variety of topics – something for everyone! On the charity side we have knitted baby clothes for Africa, teddy bears for children in hospital, poppies for the British Legion, baked cup-cakes for Gloucester Radio Appeal for Children in Need and collected bras for Africa! All our projects have been well supported!

In 2015, the 100 years of the National WI was celebrated with great enthusi- asm in Box, it took the form of a Baton Exchange across the whole country. We took part in collaboration with our Group, consisting of Woodchester, Minchinhampton, Nailsworth and Box.

Our 6 monthly Group Meetings were always very enjoyable and well attended. At one memorable meeting we made hedgehogs and Christmas Trees from old paperbacks – quite a challenge!

The same year we celebrated our own 25th anniversary with a Garden Party in Joan Davies’ beautiful garden.

Box WI has always supported the Village in their activities, such as the Millennium Project and Open Gardens events. (Memorably baking 300+ scones and serving cream teas on the day) .

In conclusion, I intend to keep the members together in an informal way, calling ourselves “The Old Suspenders!”

Geraldine Ames, President 2015-2021