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.
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.
As of March 2021
the very difficult decision has been taken to
disband the Isleham WI