The village branch of the Women's Institute was formed in February 1954, when Mrs. E. Sheldon called a meeting of interested ladies and Mrs. E. Knight of Fardon outlined the activities of the W.I. movement. The first committee consisted of Mrs. Sheldon as President, Mrs. Gent, Secretary, Mrs. Gardiner, Treasurer, and nine others including Mrs. Morgan. Today Mrs. Sheldon and Mrs. Morgan are still members, and Mrs. Morgan, currently our President, is also in charge of the Newark W.I. market stall.
Over the years the Institute has been the meeting ground of an average of fifty members drawn from all walks of life. There have been regular annual events like car treasure-hunts and mixed cricket matches which have proved most enjoyable, and members each year provide an outing for the senior citizens, followed by supper in the Village Hall.
To mark the national jubilee of the W.I. movement, the village branch presented some stacking chairs to the Village Hall, and there have been many money-raising efforts for charities both local and national. Handicraft classes, keep-fit classes, successful efforts on behalf of the Tidy Village competition show only part of the wide range of activities, which interest our members. An excellent drama group was formed in 1957 by Mrs. Packe, which had great success under the direction of Mr. T. Gent; it does not now appear regularly, but recently turned its attention to a village pantomime directed by Mrs. F. Bennett.
The choir, formed in 1964 and directed by Mrs. J. Randall, has had outstanding successes, culminating in their appearance singing the part of the ‘Embroiderers' in the National Federation production of "The Brilliant and the Dark" in the Royal Albert Hall, London, In 1969. The choir is in great demand at various local musical events.
Mrs. P. Hambling, Hon. Sec. 1971.