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Your site for information on the Cambridgeshire village of Isleham


WI  (Women's Institute)

80th year Celebrations

On Sept 11 1915 the Women's Institute was formed in the UK. Only seven and a half years later, on Feb 15 1923, the Isleham WI was founded and to celebrate the event a special dinner and entertainment was held in the Village Hall in Isleham on Saturday Feb. 15 exactly eighty years since they were formed. An ex-member, Rosie Tat, provided the excellent food. Entertainment was provided by Sophie Turner who demonstrated and gave lessons in Line Dancing and The Band with no Name from Chippenham then played Folk music and led sing-a-longs. Members brought husbands and guests to share in the event.

The oldest serving member of Isleham WI, Peggy Diver, who has been a member since 1948, cut the celebration cake,

which had been made by her daughter, Ruth.

The Isleham WI still has a membership of forty-five even though numbers are declining elsewhere.

The Mystery Tour

Our institute was getting stale

Our numbers getting fewer

And so to liven thins up a bit

We arranged a mystery tour

Some forty assorted ladies

With the maximum of fuss

Proceed with much pushin' and shovin'

To get seated on the bus

Joyce Drayton had left everything till the last

What with primping powdering and the like

But all ended well, she just rang her bell

And caught the bus up on her bike

Now there were Peggy Diver,She'd had a heavy meal

Couldn't travel in front, felt bad at the back

And would be sick if she sat on a wheel.

There was Liz and Flossie Garner

The window their bone of contention

One wanted it up, one wanted it down.

There'd abin blows but for some intervention.

Maureen Aves was all ready,She'd dressed with great care

Determined to be smart for the do

But things didn't go quite right, and she stepped in some shite

And it got all over her shoe.

At last everyone was settled

Without any further to do

Except for Mrs Joyce Patterson

Who had forgotten to go to the loo

The bus sped along, it ate up the miles

The ladies engrossed in their chatter

“Have you had the flu”, yes I've had it too,

Wasn't it nice to have the EEC butter

Did you hear about Fred? His budgie is dead

and his wife has gone off with his brother

And poor old Jack has been flat on his back

I believe he had a touch of the other.

Then up went the shout, “Get the sandwiches out”

And the cake and the Elderberry wine

Mrs Nellie Place got up and said grace

And the ladies decided to dine.

Then a lone voice was heard, it was Mrs Jean Bird

She rendered a chorus or two

We had Roll out the Barrel and God Save the Queen

And a few verses of “Tip to Maloo”

Somebody said “Hark it's Celia Clarke

She's trying to call out the draw”

Well would you believe that, it's that Jenny Flatt

She's won it the last six times or more!

Soon stillness descended on our happy band

What with the warmth, the excitement and wine

And that Ena Norman she got off a yawnin'

And were driving 'em home loud and fine.

They all followed suit,Joy Brown she looked cute

Her hat had slipped over her eyes

And there soon wasn't a single person left

Who was not in the land of  'byes'

The bus still sped on it's appointed route

Past places of interest and like

By the gas works, crematorium and sewage farm

They missed all these wonderful sights.

Til when dusk was falling, the bus came to a halt

Right back at our own village church

And the ladies inside, having enjoyed the ride

Were woken up by the lurch.

“Oh is it all over, where have we been?”

Many voices were heard to say

But nobody knew and so our Mystery Tour

Is a mystery still to this day.

Olwen Doggett

Secretary   Isleham W.I.

(No date but estimated to be from the late 70's to early 80's )

I came across this poem from the 80’s whilst going through an old scrap book belonging to my mum. Hope this brings back a few memories and raises a few chuckles.

Clive Patterson

As of March 2021

the very difficult decision has been taken to

disband the Isleham WI