Elsenham WI celebrates its 95th birthday!

By  Herts & Essex Observer

Posted: August 28, 2016

Elsenham Women's Institute (WI) – aka The Gilbey Girls – has celebrated its 95th birthday in style

More than 50 members and guests attended the party which was held in the Memorial Hall, off Leigh Drive.


WI member Lindsey Peters, who has been researching the group's history, has found out that at the first meeting of Elsenham WI, held on December 2, 1921, 37 people joined the group and tea cost just 2d per cup. By the following February, membership had risen to 50 – nearly 12% of the village's then population of 421.


In 2016, Elsenham WI is thriving. It has 60 members, having more than doubled in size in the last two years, holds regular monthly meetings and is involved in a host of activities within the community and further afield.


During the party, two birthday cakes, made and decorated by members, were cut. One by Joan Smith, the oldest member present at the celebration, and one by the Lynsey Jackson, the youngest member.


The competition for a birthday card for Elsenham WI was won by Gill Hathaway, and examples of "braskets", old bras used as hanging baskets, that will be entered for a national WI competition, were on display.


Reflecting on the past and looking to the future, Moyra Jackson said: "I am thrilled to be president of Elsenham WI in its 95th year.

"The WI is what you make of it and each one of our members, with their diverse skills and interests, brings something special to the group.

"The WI has always been about inspiring women and I am proud to be part of an organisation that has been doing that in Elsenham since 1921. Here's to the next 95 years."


Elsenham WI welcomes new members and guests. For more information please look on www.elsenhamwi.co.uk, in the village magazine, Elsenham News, email elsenhamwi@gmail.com or search for Elsenham WI on Facebook and Twitter.