Sidford WI appeals for help in piecing together 100-year history

Sidford WI members pictured in 2015 at gathering to mark the centenary of the organisation in the UK

Sidford WI members pictured in 2015 at gathering to mark the centenary of the organisation in the UK. Ref shs 8730-24-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Efforts to create keepsake to mark landmark anniversary

Sidford Women’s Institute (WI) members are appealing for help to piece together their 100-year history ahead of the landmark anniversary.

The branch celebrates its century milestone in April 2019, but is missing records for much of its early heritage. It hopes the community might be able to contribute previously unseen photos, mementoes and stories to collate in a keepsake book.

Secretary Beryl Kingman confirmed some of the only pre-1960s documents had been destroyed and, as such, activities undertaken by the branch during the war years are largely unknown.

“We will have been in existence for 100 years in April 2019 and we lost some of our records from the earlier years,” said Beryl.

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“One lady who held the post of secretary did hold some documents, but, when she died, her son burnt them, so we only have stuff from the 1960s onwards. “This is an appeal to anyone who has memories, or family who were members. If anyone has records, photos or memorabilia of Sidford WI that we could borrow, we would love to hear from you.

“We will probably put the history together as a book to mark the 100th anniversary, but we are also hoping to make a quilt or hanging with a square for every year.”

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It is known the branch was formed at a vestry meeting in April 1919 and the first president was a Mrs Farrant, with vice presidents Mrs Lang and Mrs Lund, while Miss Darrell held the post of secretary and the treasurer was Miss Bristowe.

The branch hopes the names might ring a bell with someone in the Sid Valley who could help provide further information and help piece together the 100-year history.

Anyone who might be able to help is asked to call president Lesley Ansell on 01395 488699 or Beryl on 01395 579725.

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