COMMUNITY LIFE (1993-2015)
In late 1993 a sketch entitled ‘The WI comes to Sandy Ridge’ was written and performed by members, depicting an imaginary group of women in 1900, who met in a small farming community in Ontario, to discuss forming one of the new Women’s groups, which had been to starting up in Canada since 1897.
1994 saw the 75th anniversary of Hampton Lucy & Charlecote WI’s formation in 1919. Still owning their hall money was needed to re-decorate, in preparation, for the celebration, and fundraisers were planned. Members past and present, joined together with honoured guests and The County Chairman Ruth Feather, who congratulated those responsible for a delightful evening, which had included an attractive exhibition of WI memorabilia displaying the splendid work, crafts and scrapbooks undertaken by members over the years. A Presidential line-up photographs included, the President Joy Taplin, along with four past Presidents, Margaret Brown, Winifreda Marsden, Jean Drinkwater and Joyce Eddy.
By 1995, costs, upkeep and general running of the hall were fast becoming a burden for the 24 members and outweighing the true purpose of the intention of The Women’s Institute. After much discussion and meeting with WFWI and NFWI, their solicitors, and the John Lucy Trust, a Special General Meeting of Hampton Lucy & Charlecote WI member was held, and they voted unanimously in accepting the John Lucy Trust, who own the land on which the hall stands in Hampton Lucy, also own the hall itself. Thus relinquishing the WI from the upkeep, undertaken for the past 76 years.
The Centenary commemorating the founding of The Women’s Institute movement in 1897 was recognised in October 1997 by members planting maple trees in both Hampton Lucy and Charlecote churchyards with appropriate plaques. Much to member’s delight, Jeryl Stone, of Hampton Lucy & Charlecote WI became one of the youngest WFWI County Chairman. 1999 demonstrated members ability in tapestry needlework for a Millennium table frontal incorporating a sundial design to portray the passage of time. Each member’s name in Millennium Year, was duly embroidered around the edge of tapestry images depicting distinctive landmarks in the two villages.
Leading up to the Year 2000 the WI celebrated with a ‘Farewell to the Century 1900-1999 Pageant’ written and directed by President Kath Clarke and acted out by members with appropriate music and costumes for each decade. The narrated history related to the outstanding achievements of an amazing century. During the early part of the 21st century, there were many outings, craft sessions and exciting events for a fast growing membership.
By 2009, members were celebrating their 90th anniversary, with a party, coffee and dessert evening, souvenir tea towel, and a coffee morning, with a Bygone Crafts Exhibition for members of the community to enjoy.
In 2011, members of Hampton Lucy & Charlecote WI entered WFWI’s Lane Cup competition, based on the theme ‘INSPIRING WOMEN’, the essence of the new WI logo. The Judges comments were commendable – “good use has been made in displaying the scheduled items, and overall a very pleasing display.”
Nationally, in 2012 there was a double celebration, when the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic games were held in Great Britain. WFWI organized their own ‘Olympic Torch’ between WI’s in the County, by means of passing a baton from one Institute to another. Hampton Lucy & Charlecote received theirs from Wellesbourne WI and in turn delivered the baton to Newbold Pacey & Ashorne WI via a cavalcade of classic cars, with members and WI supporting husbands, appropriately dressed in red, white and blue outfits.
In 2014, on a beautiful Spring morning in April, to mark the occasion of their 95th Birthday, members planted on oak tree in Charlecote Park in the hope the tree would glow and flourish in the same way the WI continues to welcome new members to join with their long established ones.
For the National Centenary in 2015, the Village Hall, bedecked in Autumnal flowers and bunting, set the scene for the celebration of the formation of The Women’s Institute movement in 1915. Many members, who were joined by surrounding WI’s, were dressing 1915 style. Refreshment, with traditional cakes were served vintage style. The singing on the National Anthem, drew a memorable evening to a close, and a fitting acknowledgement to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her remarkable reign as the Countries longest serving monarch, and a member of Sandringham WI. During 2016, many Loxley WI members joined to swell the membership, after their 2015 closure. There was also recognition for the late Margaret Brown’s daughter, Kath Clarke for her 50 year WI membership from 1966, along with three times President of Hampton Lucy and Charlecote WI.