About Ashton WI
Ashton WI was formed in 1941, and is still as strong and vibrant as ever, celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2011. Nowadays, the WI tends to attract the more mature ladies, as young mums seem too busy or perhaps see the WI in a different light. (The 'Jam and Jerusalem' image seems hard to dismiss!).
However, in some areas there exists very youthful membership, and the National Federation are working hard to dispel the 'old' image and encourage younger women to join. Nationally the WI endeavour to raise awareness in issues such as excess packaging, better deals for dairy farmers, carbon emissions and each Federation get involved with problems local to their area. Worcestershire has its own Science Club with a varied programme which includes talks and visits to sites of interest. Fun and friendship is the WI motto so our social activities are numerous and include “murder mystery evenings”, concerts, quizzes, skittles, theatre trips and visits to garden and historical homes. In Ashton we try to encourage membership by including in our programme a varied and interesting mixture of learning and entertainment.
Ashton WI members on the occasion of the 70th anniversary
Learning and Skills
The Womens Institute in Britain is lucky to have their own Denman College, in Marcham, Oxfordshire, where students have the opportunity to learn or improve on skills old and modern – from bridge to car maintenance. Members and even family members are allowed to attend can enjoy three to four day courses. Professional and very experienced tutors run the courses in modern well-equipped studios. The on-suite accommodation is also up to date and very comfortable. Several of Ashton`s members have attended and a bursary is given every year, giving one lucky lady a chance to attend a course of her choice.
So you see, the WI is not just about making jam and singing 'Jerusalem', it is part of the social history of Britain in our times. It is democratic, non-party, non-sectarian and has remained true to its original beliefs, that ordinary people in the traditional villages and small estates are important and that they have something to contribute to our national life.
Relaxation and Fun!
So ladies, join the WI for relaxation, learning, and most of all fun! Please come as a visitor any month you choose – you will be made most welcome.
Jenny Creese, Publicity Secretary, 01386 881266