top of page

Notes from the Minutes of the Church Stretton Women's Institute  1918 to 1927

Ref: Shropshire Archives: Church Stretton WI Records 5752/1/1 Minute Book 1918-28.


The following has been copied from the Church Stretton WI Committee Minute Book 1918- 1928 by Judith Randell.


February 7th 1918

The first meeting of the Women’s Institute was held on Thursday October 7th at the Silvester Horne Institute at 5pm. Mrs Higginson proposed and Mrs. Horne seconded that Mrs. Wood Acton should be president of the Women’s Institute. This was carried unanimously and Mrs. Wood Acton took the chair. It was proposed by Mrs. Wood Acton that Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow should be asked to be Treasurer.

President                    Mrs. Wood Acton  of Acton Hall, Acton Scott.

Vice President            Mrs. Gibbon

Treasurer                    Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow

(Mrs Hanbury Sparrow lived at Hillside, Shrewsbury Rd, All Stretton. Her son, Brian died 26th August 1918, aged 21. He was commissioned as a lieutenant and died in Baku serving in the campaign against the Ottoman Empire.)

Secretary                     Miss Higginson

                                    Mrs. Benbow

                                    The Hon. Mrs. Horne 

(Katherine, widow of Silvester Horne, ongregationalist Minister, who died 2nd May 1914.  Mother of Kenneth Horne writer & broadcaster. Lived at The White House Sandford Avenue, now the site of  White House Gardens.)

                                    Mrs. Meredith

                                    Mrs. Stevens

                                    Mrs. J.H. Williams

                                    Mrs. Dunn

                                    Mrs. Turnbull

                                    Miss Wilmot

                                    Mrs. Higginson

                                    Mrs. Alcock

Mrs. Kellet attended on behalf of the Headquarters of Women’s Institutes. She stated the January 10th should be but down as the formal date of the formation of the Institute……. Mrs. Kellet suggested that at each meeting there should be an address or lecture with discussion, some sort of practical demonstration and tea provided…… it was decided that a meeting should be held in the first week of every month, alternately on the first Wednesday and Thursday so as to be available for any shop people.

The next meeting was fixed for Thursday March 7th and it was agreed to ask the Horticultural Society to send a speaker on ‘What to do in the Garden This Month’ and to have a demonstration on breadmaking.

The Secretary was asked to find out from the Elementary Education Authority in Shrewsbury whether they could send a teacher for plumbing, cobbling or basket-making.

It was decided to have the meeting in April on the first Wednesday and to ask the Hon. Mrs. Wilmot to speak on ‘The Keeping of Small Stock.’

With regard to the tea Mrs. Horne proposed and Mrs. Stevens seconded that it should be provided for 2d each as several members live at a distance from Church Stretton.           1.

This was agreed to and Mrs. Benbow, Mrs. Hartley, Mrs. Meredith and a fourth member to be chosen by them consented to undertake the management of the teas.

 Laura Wood Acton

President    March 7th 1918.


Thursday February 14th 1918 at 11 am.


Mrs. Hanbury-Sparrow presiding.

A letter was read from Mrs. Wood Acton enclosing a suggested circular letter to be sent out to the various societies in Church Stretton and neighbourhood to explain the object of the Women’s Institute…….The Secretary was instructed to send a copy with Leaflet G 3 and WI 2 to the secretaries of the following:

Miss A. Auden, Hospital Supply Depot; Miss Porritt, Monday Working Party; Mrs. Barnett, V.A.D. Hospital (Margaret Elizabeth, Commandant of the Voluntary Aid Detachment and Superintendent of the private hospital established at Essex House for convalescent soldiers during WWI. She was married to Dr. Horatio Barnett and sister to Captain Matthew Webb the first man to swim the English Channel. The author, Mary Webb was her sister-in-law.); Mrs. Stevens, Mothers’ Union; Mrs. M. McClintock, Mother’s Union All Stretton; Mrs. Dunn, Women’s Club; Miss Preston B.W.T.A; Miss Auden, G.F.S;

Miss Faulkland, Young Women’s Guild; Mrs. Bower, the schools, 4 teachers; Mrs. Lomas, Primitive Methodist; Mrs. Simcox, Congregational Church; Mrs. Welch, Roman Catholics; District Nurse, 2 The Square; Mr. Bateson, Horticultural Society; the Laundry Manageress; also the representatives of the rural districts.


Laura Wood Acton

7th March 1918.


March 7th 1918


Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow said that she much regretted she could not accept the office of Treasurer owing to pressure of other work….. After discussion she proposed….that Miss Higginson should be asked to be Treasurer as well as Secretary as the two offices are frequently combined in the Women’s Institutes.

A letter was read from Mrs. Pendlebury……on the subject of classes in cobbling, plumbing and basket-making and the Secretary was instructed to write to the Birmingham Education Committee to find out if they could provide a teacher to give a series of lessons covering all three subjects….

A programme for three months was discussed and suggested as follows:-

3rd April          An address on the keeping of Small Stock by the Hon. Mrs. Wilmot

                        Exhibition of cooked meatless dishes

May                 Cookery Demonstration “A Wartime Menu”

                        Lecture and discussion on the building of small houses and domestic tips

June                Demonstration of Stocking grafting etc.

                        Exhibition of Useful Needlework

After discussion it was decided that at open meetings, members could be admitted free of charge and others at 3d each to help raise funds to meet the cost of lectures, room etc.  2.

Also that exhibits where possible should be for sale and the proceeds returned to the Women’s Institute fund after the exhibitor had deducted the cost of material.

The Secretary was instructed to write for one dozen badges.

Alice E. Gibbon (Vice President)


April 3rd 1918. 4.30 pm.

It was decided, if possible to have a demonstration of fruit canning; failing that either a demonstration of cheesemaking or a “War Time Menu” cookery demonstration.

In reply to a request from the Imperial War Museum for a copy of all publications in connection with the Institute, including the Women’s Institute programme and any printed matter, the Secretary was directed to state that there was no printed matter and to send all reports at the end of six months.

After discussion as to the desirability of purchasing a Home Canner (for fruit and vegetables) it was proposed by Mrs. Horne and seconded by Mrs. Higginson and unanimously carried that a canner should be bought and the sum of £1 each was guaranteed by Mrs. Gibbon, Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow, Mrs. Higginson, The Hon. Mrs. Horne, Mrs. Williams to defray the cost.

The Hon. Mrs. Wilmot advised the members to learn soldering and the following members expressed a wish to do so:- Mrs. Gibbon, Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow, Mrs. Higginson, The Hon. Mrs. Horne, Mrs. Williams.


Alice E. Gibbon

May 1918.


May 2nd 1918. Thursday 4.30 pm


Mrs. Benbow and Mrs. Meredith each kindly guaranteed 10/- towards the Home Canner…..

The Secretary was instructed, if possible to obtain a teacher from Radbrook to demonstrate hand basin laundry; failing that it was agreed to have an exhibition and discussion of haybox cookery and laboursaving contrivances, each member being invited to bring an exhibit.


Alice E. Gibbon

June 6th 1918.


June 6th 1918 at 4.30 pm


The desirability of making money to augment the funds of the Women’s Institute was discussed and Mrs. Alcock (Voluntary Organiser of W.I.) suggested that a market stall should be organised to take place at the monthly meetings and a commission of one penny in the shilling be charged on all sales.

A letter was read from Lord Powys urging the recruiting of Women Land Workers. Mrs. Alcock asked if there were any necessity for a crèche for land workers children in Church Stretton. It was agreed there was no necessity. The Secretary was instructed to place Lord Powis’ letter before Mrs. Dunn Secretary of the Women’s Club….

It was agreed that at the July meeting there should be a demonstration of fruit bottling by Mrs. Malthouse or Miss Worthington.

Laura Wood Acton       June 20th. 1918.                                                                                    3.

 June 20th 1918. Thursday 3 pm.


The debt incurred by the purchase of the Home Canner was discussed and it was agreed to ask Miss Leighton to demonstrate the canning of fruit with a view to making immediate use of the Canner.

Mrs. Alcock urged that lessons be taken in soldering.

The programme was arranged for two months.

August meeting to be held at Marshbrook.

Simple remedies and elementary nursing by Nurse Higley. (?)

September Demonstration of fruit drying and a discussion on the Working Woman’s House.

The desirability of opening a room in Church Stretton for market women to use as a rest room, lunch etc. was discussed.


Laura Wood Acton

August 15th 1918.


August 15th 1918    Thursday 2.30


After discussion it was decided that the Secretary should order, for the 5th September a 14lb box of fish, to be sold amongst the members.

It was agreed that the monthly meetings should commence with a half hour talk on Gardening –

That at the meeting on September 5th there should be a discussion on the Working Woman’s Home – and the proposal to open a Rest Room in Church Stretton.

The Secretary was to make enquiries about someone to give a demonstration of blouse making.


Laura Wood Acton

October 11th 1918.


October 11th 1918.  Thursday 2.30 pm


The question was brought forward by Mrs. Wood Acton as to whether, after a time, Acton Scott and Marshbrook should break off from the Church Stretton branch, as the members find it a long way to come to the meetings, but still keep in touch with the branch and come, as members to any special meetings.

The Secretary reported that the Rest Room was opened on October 3rd but so far it did not seem to be well known, it was decided that it would be wise to have a few notices put up in the town. The programme was arranged for three months.

November 7th              Blouse making demonstration by (local talent) it was suggested that Mrs. L. Blower be asked to give this and Mrs. Turnbull undertook to see her and arrange-

December 5th              Cobbling Lesson

January 2nd                  Exhibition of Blouses, darning, mending etc. Music.


L.C. Wood Acton

December 19th 1918.                                                                                                              4.

February 6th 1919


The Secretary was instructed to arrange for someone to speak on March 6th on “Women, and the Municipal Vote.”


The Fate of the Home Canner:

During the above meeting, a sale of work was planned to raise funds to pay off the debt on the Home Canner.

In February 1923, The Secretary reported that Mrs. Higginson would buy the Fruit Canner if the WI would make a reasonable offer – this was discussed and Mrs. Auden proposed… that the price be not less than £2. This was carried.

November 13th 1923. The Secretary reported that Mrs. Higginson had bought the Fruit Canner for £2.

Church Stretton WI 1919.


The Committee for 1919


President                                 Mrs. Wood Acton

Vice President                         Mrs. Gibbon

Hon. Secretary                        Miss Urry

                                                Mrs. Benbow

                                                Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow

                                                The Hon. Mrs. Horne

                                                Miss Auden

                                                Mrs. Stevens

                                                Mrs. Custance

                                                Miss Lefroy

                                                Mrs. Davis


February 6th 1919

It was agreed that Mrs. Custance & Miss Birley should be a small committee for the tea at the monthly meetings. Also that Mrs. Custance and Miss Lefroy arrange for music etc. at the meetings.

The Hon. Secretary was instructed to write and thank Mrs. Benbow and Mrs. Meredith for so kindly undertaking the teas for the past year.

It was decided that the members take it in turn to arrange the teas paying the expenses out of the charge of 2d each for tea – any surplus to go to the funds of the Institute.

The Secretary was instructed to arrange for someone to speak on March 6th on “Women, and the Municipal Vote.”

After discussion it was decided to have an April 3rd lecture on “Tuberculosis -” and a small sale of work to raise funds to pay off the debt on the Home Canner and to give a donation to the After Care Committee. Mrs. Gibbon undertook to ask Dr. Elliot to give the lecture.

It was decided to have a demonstration of Basket making on May 1st and Cheese making on June 5th.


L.C. Wood Acton

August 18th 1919


August 18th 1919   3pm.

The Hon. Secretary was instructed to arrange for another demonstration of Cobbling for September. Also to make enquiries, and if possible arrange for lessons in leather glove making.

The Secretary was also to write to Mr. Malthouse and ask if he would kindly give another lecture on gardening for the October meeting.


Henrietta M. Auden for

Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow



September 11th 1919  Thursday 11.00


To consider the offer made by Mr. Bromley of a room at the “Produce Depot” to be used as a Rest Room – After viewing the room and much discussion, it was decided it would not be feasible on account of the expense of furnishing – cleaning etc; at the same time thanking him for his offer and suggesting that if in the future the Committee thought otherwise might they approach him again on the subject?


Henrietta M. Auden


The Committee for 1920


President                     Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow

Vice President            Mrs. Auden

Hon. Secretary           Miss Urry

                                   Mrs. Wood Acton

                                   Mrs. Benbow

                                   Mrs. Broomhall

                                   Miss Birley

                                   Miss L. Crump

                                   Mrs. Custance

                                   Mrs. Gibbon

                                   Miss Hunt

                                   Mrs. Preece

                                   Mrs. Simcox

                                   Mrs. Turnbull


January 15th 1920    Thursday 3pm


The Shropshire Federation of Women’s Institutes notified us that Miss Watkin (National Federation Speaker) would be lecturing to Women’s Institute in Shropshire in February and offered us a day – after discussion it was decided to accept for February 25th and we chose the subject of “Housing-“ The Secretary was instructed to arrange this also for hospitality for Miss Watkins.

The Secretary was asked to arrange for a lecture on Gardening for the February monthly meeting. It was decided to have a demonstration of Raffia Basket Making in March; and Mrs. Buss promised to try and arrange with someone she knew in Cardington to give the demonstration –

Mrs. Gibbon proposed that in April we should have a sale of work in aid of the District Nursing Association it was decided to have this on 6th April.

The Secretary was asked to make enquiries about a china riveter.

Mrs. Custance kindly undertook to again arrange with the members for the monthly teas –

The Secretary was to ask Miss Hunt if she would undertake to arrange for the Entertainments this year.

H.M. Auden   9th February 1920.


February 9th 1920    Monday 3pm


The meeting was called to make arrangements for the Sale of Work in aid of the funds of the District Nursing Association. It was decided that the sale should be on Thursday April 8th at 2.30 and that Mrs. Griffiths be asked to open the sale. The Secretary to ask each member to contribute at least one article.

Miss Crump undertook to be responsible for the management of the Work stall – Mrs. Benbow for the produce and cake stall – Mrs. Matthews, Mrs. Preece, and Mrs. Custance the tea arrangements. It was decided to have a “White Elephant” Stall, Miss Hewison to be asked to be responsible for this – Miss Hunt undertook to arrange a short entertainment – Mrs. Custance undertook to arrange for the Girl Guides to sell the tickets the price of which was to be 6d. the Secretary was to engage Mrs. Morris for the afternoon and pay her 2/-.

It was decided that all expenses be paid, and 2d in the shilling of net profit go to the Women’s Institute the remainder to be given to the District Nursing Association-

A letter was read from the Hon. Secretary of the National Savings Movement formerly known as the War Savings Committee asking us to appoint a member to represent the Women’s Institute on their Committee. The Secretary was instructed to ask Mrs. Robinson if she would serve.

Miss Hunt undertook to be our delegate at the Annual Meeting of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes at the Royal Horticultural Hall, London on Friday May 4th.

The Secretary to make arrangements for a china riveting demonstration.


Christina Hanbury Sparrow

May 3rd 20.


May 3rd 1920      3pm


The meeting was called to discuss the means to be taken to raise the £5.0.0 which each WI in the County was asked to contribute towards the £5000 which the National Federation hopes to raise during the year, so as to fulfil the condition upon which a most generous donor will give £5000 to the Federation.

After much discussion it was decided to have a Garden Fete on Wednesday June 30th. The Hon. Secretary was to ask Mrs. Deverell if she would kindly lend the grounds of Woodcote* for this. Mrs. Custance undertook to arrange games and competitions – the Hon. Secretary to arrange for some music and also to ask Miss Cowie if she could bring a team of folk dancers. Mrs. Robinson was to be asked if she would undertake the arrangements for the tea and it was thought that as well as the provisions for the tea at the Sale of Work in April, it would be better now to buy what was required; the price of tea to be 1/-  children 6d. The price of admission 8d …  children 4d.

The committee received with regret Mrs. Custance’s resignation. Miss Birley undertook to arrange for the monthly teas in place of Mrs. Custance.

The Hon. Secretary was to apply for a Course of dressmaking classes by the County Federation teacher – Also to arrange for china riveting, tinkering and Bee keeping demonstrations.

 (*Woodcote, Cunnery Rd., Arts & Crafts House.)



February 1923

The Secretary reported that Mrs. Higginson would buy the fruit canner if the WI would make a reasonable offer – this was discussed and Mrs. Auden proposed…that the price be not less than £2 this was carried.


November 12th 1923

The Secretary reported that Mrs. Higginson had bought the fruit canner for £2.00.



Last entry in the Minute Book:

February 18th 1928

The committee met on Friday February 18th at “Briarcot.”

The final arrangements for the Bulb Show were made – Miss Hudson with the help of Mrs. Barnett undertook to receive and stage the Exhibits ready for judging. The Hon. Secretary to ask Mr. Cobbold if he would be a judge. Several members of the Committee kindly promised to give prizes – a suggestion was made that in future prizes for competitions etc. should be purchased out of the funds – this question was left to be discussed at the next meeting –

As Mrs. Whitwell is at present unable to attend the meetings on account of Dr. Whitwell’s illness, Mrs. Purton proposed and Mrs. Harding seconded that Miss Hudson should act for her as Vice President.

It was decided to discuss at our next meeting the making of a rule about old members re-joining.

The Secretary reported that the Committee of the Horticultural Society has asked if the Women’s Institute would make arrangements for the Tea at the Horticultural Show on Saturday August 25th – it was decided that we would do so.

Next Committee on Friday March 23rd  at Briarcot at 2.30.


C.S. Purton


(This is the last of the copies I have made of complete Committee Meeting minutes.)



Bulbs Competition June 24th 1927

Miss Gwyther asked if the County Office was buying the Bulbs on Community lines for the benefit of the Institutes having Bulb growing Competitions.




Committee Members 1920 – 1928, new rules in 1927, list of new members, 1927-8.


Committee Members 1920                                     Committee Members 1921

President                    Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow           President                    Mrs. Gibbon

                                    (Christina)                              Vice President          Miss Auden

Vice President            Miss Auden                             Hon. Secretary          Miss Urry

Hon. Secretary           Miss Urry                                Mrs.Benbow             Mrs. Whitwell

Mrs. Wood Acton       Miss Gibbon                           Mrs. Robinson          Miss L. Crump

Mrs. Benbow              Mrs. Hunt                               Mrs. Matthews          Miss Porritt

Mrs. Broomhall          Mrs. Preece                             Mrs. Stevens             Mrs. Kenion

Mrs. Birley                 Mrs. Simcox                            Miss A. Auden          Miss Hudson

Mrs. Bless                  Mrs. Turnbull                          Mrs. Buss

Miss L. Crump           Mrs. Custance


Committee Members 1922                                       Committee Members 1923

President                     Miss Auden                           President        Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow

Vice President            Mrs. Gibbon                           Vice President Mrs. McClintock

Hon. Secretary           Miss Urry                               Hon. Secretary  Miss Urry

Mrs. Benbow              Mrs. Matthews                       Miss Auden      Miss Gwyther

Mrs. Beddoes             Mrs. McClintock                     Mrs. Benbow   Mrs. Harding

Miss L. Crump             Mrs. Robinson                        Mrs. Billson   Miss Hudson

Miss A. Auden            Mrs. Whitwell                         Mrs. Bluck       Mrs. Matthews

Miss Hudson               Miss Jones                              Miss L. Crump  Mrs. Robinson

                                                                                    Mrs. Gibbon               Mrs. Scott

Committee Members 1924                                        Committee Members 1925

President                 Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow           President        Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow

Vice President        Mrs. McClintock                     Vice President   Mrs. McClintock

Hon. Secretary       Miss Urry                                Hon. Secretary   Miss Urry

Mrs. Harding              Miss Crump                        Mrs. Billson     Mrs. Whitwell

Miss Hudson               Miss Gwyther                    Miss Crump      Mrs. Scott

Mrs. Whitwell             Miss Auden                        Miss Harding    Miss Hudson

The Hon Mrs. Horne   Miss W. Urry                     The Hon Mrs. Horne   Miss Gwyther

Mrs. Higginson           Mrs. Gibbon                       Mrs. Robinson    Mrs. McClintock

Mrs. Billson                                                            Miss W. Urry


Committee Members 1926                                        Committee Members 1927

President        Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow                 President              Mrs. Purton

Vice Presidents    Mrs. Harding                          Vice President      Miss Hudson

                             Miss Gwyther                         Hon. Secretary     Miss Urry

Hon. Secretary     Miss Urry                                Mrs. Barnett        Mrs. Pace

Miss Auden          Miss Little                               Miss Gwyther     Mrs. Scott

Mrs. Barnett          Mrs. McClintock                    Mrs. Whitwell     Mrs. Harding

Mrs. Billson          Mrs. Pace                                Miss W. Urry      Miss Jasper Jones

Mrs. Bluck            Mrs. Robinson                        Mrs. Williams     Miss Little

Miss Crump          Miss W. Urry                       Miss N. Little       Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow

Mrs. Whitwell


Committee Members 1928

President                    Mrs. Purton   

Vice Presidents:         Mrs. Hanbury Sparrow

                                   Mrs. Whitwell

Treasurer                    Mrs. Louray (?)

Hon. Secretary           Miss Urry

Assistant Secretary    Miss Newill


Meeting February 18th 1928

Members present:

Mrs. Purton                Mrs. Harding

Mrs. Shenton              Mrs. Pace

Mrs. Jukes                   Mrs. Williams

Miss Gwyther             Miss Hudson

And Hon. Secretary


(Mrs. Barnett, former Superintendent of the V.A.D. Hospital, wife of Dr. Horatio Barnett, sister of channel swimmer, Captain Webb, sister-in law of author Mary Webb.

Mrs. McClintock, wife of Dr. John McClintock)   Information from Church Stretton through the ages – Tony Crowe & Barrie Raynor


At the Committee Meeting February 4th 1927, Mrs. Purton drew attention to the WI rule “that new members should be proposed and seconded at Committee.” It was agreed that for the future we would keep this rule. 

Lists of New Members in 1927:

March 28th

Miss Parsons, Mrs. Frank Jones, Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Burden, Mrs. Mary Jones.

Seconded by Mrs. Harries.


June 24th

Mrs. Lindop - proposed  Miss Humphreys, Mrs. Headley,  Mrs. Newman, Mrs. Hotchkiss,

Mrs. Martin Carter Seconded by Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Footit, Mrs. Inger.


October 21st

Mrs. Joy, Mrs. C. Williams, Mrs. Jebb

Commended members from Worfield

Nelly Garbett, Annie Lewis.


November 18th

Mrs. Hughes – proposed Mrs. Brown

Eva Sherwood     Mrs. Lorncett (?)      Nellie Jarman


Possible Associations: ( Church Stretton through the ages – Crowe & Raynor)

Mrs. Robinson Committee Member:

Charles Robinson – 1921- Butcher, 3 High St. Died 1926. His wife ran the shop until 1928.

Mrs. Martin Carter accepted for WI membership June 24th 1927:

Martin Carter – Builder etc. World’s End Church Stretton.                                                    6.

Committee Meeting March 28th 1927

It was proposed by Mrs. Hudson and seconded by Miss Gwyther that the committee should meet monthly.

June 24th 1927

Mrs Purton said, upon hearing of the death of Miss Crump, one of our oldest members, she felt that it would be the wish of all that a wreath should be sent. She accordingly ordered one – it was decided that this should be paid for out of the W.I. funds.

July 29th 1927

It was decided that when a W.I. member died, a wreath should be sent to be paid for out of the funds, the price not to exceed 10/-.


Lectures / Activities


April 6th 1922

A notice was read from the Joint Council of the British Red Cross Society and Order of St. John to the effect that part of their Peace Work they were arranging a Popular Educational Health Crusade, the lectures are offered free to Women’s Institutes. The Secretary (is to) ascertain if there would be a lecture coming to Shropshire….. with a view of joining in the scheme.

Subjects asked for in the suggestion box were sweet making, cake icing and dressmaking.



Cooking Classes. The Secretary said she had made enquiries about a course of cooking classes and that a teacher from Radbrook could give three demonstrations before Easter and the remainder of the course after.

The Secretary was instructed  to get particulars for Dressmaking Classes.


October 19th 1926

It was discussed whether we should have a course of lessons in Folk Dancing; it was decided to do so if a sufficient number of members wished to join.


December 8th 1926

The Secretary to write to the Ryton WI to enquire if they could send a team of Folk Dancers over on the 21st December to give a demonstration.


February 4th 1927

After some discussion it was decided to discontinue the singing during the summer months.


March 28th 1927

Mrs. Harding reported that she had approached Mr. Burden as to whether he would help us with our Community Singing when we recommenced the class in the Autumn. He said he would be pleased to do so for an hour at the end of our monthly meetings.



October 21st 1927

Community Singing Mr. Burdon ….. had kindly promised to do what he could to help us and Mrs. Joy would play the accompaniments.

A letter with reference to a blind person in the Union was read, - it was considered that this was a case for the Ladies’ Visiting Committee to deal with so the letter to be sent on to them.


December 30th 1927

Teas Mrs. Pace having expressed a wish to resign from the tea committee – the meeting expressed its regret and passed a hearty vote of thanks to Mrs. Pace for the excellent work she had done for two years. Mrs. Williams consented to undertake the arranging of the monthly teas for six months. The Hon. Secretary to ask Mrs. Eyams of Ardern Cottage if she would help Mrs. Williams – It was decided to have different Hostesses each month to serve the tea.

Tables A discussion took place as to the advisability of having some small tables – it was decided to buy 12 Bridge Tables – with oil baize covers and paper cloths, also a padlock and chain – Mrs. Scott undertook to see to this. The Hon. Secretary to enquire if we could keep the tables at the Horne Institute.




May 20th 1927. 

Miss Gwyther proposed that we should have an anti-litter campaign, mainly in connection with the Carding Mill Valley, this was seconded by Mrs. Hanbury-Sparrow and warmly supported, it being felt that this would be a really useful piece of work.

June 24th 1927

The President read the letter that had been sent to the Clerk of the Rural District Council on the Subject of the litter in the Carding Mill Valley -: and stated that a reply had been received, saying that this matter was receiving attention.

July 29th 1927

The Secretary was instructed to write a letter of thanks to the R.D.C. for the prompt steps they had taken in the matter of the “Litter” in the Carding Mill Valley, at the same time suggesting that notices should be affixed, drawing the attention of the public to the receptacles.


Events and Fundraising


November 17th 1921

Fundraising for contribution to Central Fund and affiliation fees to the County Federation £5.0.0 each.

It was proposed by Miss Auden that we should have an American Tea and Entertainment (with articles for sale and loan of the crockery from the Congregational Church)




January 9th 1922

The American Tea on December 2nd was very successful and realised the sum of £12.10.0.


April 16th 1922

Miss Gwyther had consented to attend the A.G.M. in London….

The list of names to the Executive Committee was read….. it was decided our delegate should vote for Viscountess Boyne and Mrs. Donaldson-Hudson.


July 6th 1922

The Secretary and Mrs. McClintock attended the Council Meeting at Radbrook on June 10th… the two chief items discussed were the preliminary arrangements for the County Exhibition in October and the matter of appointing a paid County Secretary… was finally decided that Miss Peers be appointed at a salary of £200 a year each Institute to contribute proportionately to this amount.

After business was concluded Miss Ward gave a most interesting address on Citizenship. (It was suggested) that Miss Ward be asked to come and speak at one of our monthly meetings.


November 17th 1922

The meeting was called to decide what means should be taken to raise the £10.0.0

Required as our contribution of £5.0.0 to Headquarters and £5.0.0 to fund the County Secretary’s salary. Various proposals were made, a whist drive and dance was suggested but it was felt that this would not appeal to the County members – a Rummage Sale and an

American Tea were also proposed – after much discussion it was decided to get the opinion of the members on the subject at the monthly meeting in December.

The result of the entertainment held in September on behalf of the After Care Committee the sum of £7.2.2 had been sent to them for which they sent a hearty note of Thanks.

Christina Hanbury-Sparrow.


November 12th 1923

The question was considered as to what means should be taken to raise our Annual Contribution of £5.0.0 to the County Fund and also a donation to the Headquarters of the Federation. After much discussion it was decided to have an evening entertainment in early January – either a good concert or amateur theatricals and Mrs. Hanbury-Sparrow promised to see Miss Bridget Horne and ask if she would undertake to organise a Dramatic Entertainment.

Christina Hanbury-Sparrow.


January 22nd 1924

The Hon. Secretary presented the accounts for the Dramatic Performance receipts £30.14.5 and expenses £15.19.4 leaving a balance of £14.15.1. The hearty thanks of the meeting were given to the Hon. Mrs. Horne and Mrs. Higginson for so kindly organising the entertainment – also to all of those who took part in it and made it such a success.



June 22nd 1924

Miss Higginson said that as local organiser for the forthcoming Pageant at Ludlow in August she had been asked to approach the Women’s Institute to see if they would take part in the Pageant. The feeling of the meeting was that it would be interesting to do so, but that before giving any definite promise to help we ought to have a full explanation from the Pageant Master as to what it would entail; it was also agreed that, as a Women’s Institute, we could not give any financial support to the scheme. Mrs. Higginson then undertook to arrange with the Pageant Master that an address on the subject should be given to the members at the next monthly meeting.

Christina Hanbury-Sparrow.


February 1925

It was decided in favour of a Cake and Apron Sale to be held on April 14th.


March 24th 1925

Cake and Apron Sale: It was decided that the sale should commence at 3pm that tea should be served from 3.45 to 4.30 and the Entertainment to take place afterwards. The price of tea to be 1/-.

Mrs. Harding said she would ask Mrs. Barnett if she would arrange a short Entertainment. Miss Porritt to be asked if she would arrange some competitions. Mrs Scott brought a recipe to be used for the cake competition.

Christina Hanbury-Sparrow.


January 1926

Lady Harlech having expressed a wish to have a Women’s Institute Fete at Brogyontyn in July if a sufficient number of WI’s accepted-: it was decided that we make it our summer outing. The Secretary was instructed to get estimates for a char-a-banc.


(Dealings with The Horticultural Society)

A request from the Horticultural Society as to whether the Women’s Institute would arrange an Exhibition of work done by WI members at the Flower Show in august was discussed - and it was decided we should do so.

The President explained that at a meeting of the Horticultural Society….it was decided that there should be a section for Women’s Work and that this should be organised by the Women’s Institute it was hoped by this means to create fresh interest and so increase the number and variety of exhibits.

April 23rd 1926

Note from F.J. Butler Hon. Secretary of the Horticultural Society……Suggestions

  1. That the Women’s Institute runs Section III of Schedule.

  2. That 10% of the total takings be allowed to the Women’s Institute if their exhibits reach that proportion of the whole.

  3. That the Horticultural Society pay all expenses for the Horne Institute.

  4. That the Entrance Fees for Section III be allotted for prizes in this section.




The suggestions made by the committee of the Horticultural Society, as to the terms on which the Women’s Institute should undertake to run Section C at the show were read. – They were discussed but it was felt we could not undertake it on those conditions. Mrs. Hanbury-Sparrow then proposed that we make the following suggestion to the Horticultural Society –

That the Women’s Institute undertake to organise Section C (III) and use their best endeavour to make it a success – The members feel strongly that they should not incur any financial responsibility whatever, such as providing prizes etc. nor do they wish to benefit by the Show.

Christina Hanbury-Sparrow July 29th 1926.

July 29th 1926.

Meeting to make final arrangements for the Women’s Institute section at the Horticultural Show on August 14th.

It was decided that the Handicraft should be arranged in the Library, and as these were for Exhibition only, these should not pay the entry fee-: all other exhibits to be staged on the gallery…..

As Miss Bode was unable to come and judge the Exhibits the Hon. Secretary was instructed to apply to the County Council for a judge-:

F.C. Gwyther October 19th 1926.

July 1927

The Secretary to tell the Horticultural Society that if they wished the Women’s Institute to help with the show next year they must give us a clear six months’ notice.

February 18th 1928

The Secretary reported that the Committee of the Horticultural Society had asked if the Women’s Institute would make arrangements for the Tea at the Horticultural Show on Saturday August 25th – it was decided that we should do so.

C.S Purton


March 16th 1926

Notice of the Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Women’s Institutes on May 18th and 19th was read and Mrs. McClintock said that she might be in London at that time and if so she would be pleased to be our delegate.


October 19th 1926

Donation to County Funds due in October. Various suggestions were made…One was that the Shrewsbury Musical and Dramatic Club might come over and give a performance; another said that the Staff of Shrewsbury High School, who were performing “Little Plays of St. Francis” be asked to come and give them in Stretton. Failing these a White Elephant & Rummage Sale was proposed.

C. Hanbury-Sparrow.



December 8th 1926

The Committee met to consider whether it would be well to have an American Tea on December 21st to raise funds for our contribution of £5.00 to the County funds. It was decided it was so near to Christmas it was very doubtful if it would be a success and that it would be best to postpone it and arrange something on a larger scale early in the summer and raise our contributions for the present year and 1927 by the one effort.

Miss Gwyther suggested a “Nursery Rhyme Sale” in a garden about Whitsuntide and this was met with approval, Mrs. Hanbury-Sparrow kindly offered the garden of Hillside provisionally.

The Hon. Secretary said that she had had a further letter from the Secretary of Shrewsbury Dramatic Society making another offer to come over and give a performance - the feeling of the meeting was that the expenses were too heavy.


February 4th 1927

We decided we could not help with the Waifs and Strays Pageant, the Secretary to inform Mrs. Treasure.


March 28th 1927

The Secretary reported that she had written to Lady Ripley, the Craven Arms Group Convener, that on account of the distance Church Stretton W.I. would not be able to serve on the committee for the Group Horticultural Show.

Annual Meeting in London

Mrs. McClintock said that she would be pleased to be our delegate at the Annual Meeting in London if she could possibly manage it….

It was decided that the Agenda for the A.G.M. should be discussed at our next monthly meeting. Miss Jasper Jones to speak on the Resolution dealing with Guardians-: and Mrs. Whitewell on that of Women Police.


April 22nd 1927

Proposed:- Nursery Rhyme Sale to be June 8th.


May 20th 1927  Meeting at Briarcot

The Secretary said it had been brought to her notice that there was an excursion to Rhyl on Friday June 10th and as this might affect the success of our (Nursery Rhyme) Sale, it was decided to keep the date as originally fixed – and the time to be from 3 to 7pm.  The price of admission should be 6d and Tea 9d. Mrs. Harding proposed that Colonel Hanbury-Sparrow’s little daughter Joan be asked to open the Sale, this was carried.

The question of having music was discussed and it was decided that the charge for our local band (£5..10) for the afternoon was too high. So the Secretary was instructed to make enquiries about a string orchestra from Shrewsbury and also portable “Wireless.”

Arrangements to be made for a ‘bus’ to run at intervals from Little Stretton.

It was decided that the “Summer Outing” should be to Tong and Boscobel and that the date be July 12th or 15th…… the Secretary… to get estimates for a char-a-banc.

Exhibition at Shrewsbury

The Secretary to be delegate at the Conference on the Schedule for the 1928 Exhibition to be held at Shrewsbury on Tuesday June 28th.


June 24th 1927

The statement of accounts of the Nursery Rhyme Sale….showed a balance of £45.0.4, this was considered to be wonderfully good.

Mrs. Whitwell then proposed that out of this sum £3.3.0 should be given to the Boy Scouts and a similar amount to the Girl Guides, mainly to help with the expenses of their Summer Camps. It was also decided to send a subscription of 10/- to the “Leslie Memorial Fund.”

The Secretary was instructed to send £10 to the County Funds – being a donation of £5 for the year 1926 and £5 for 1927.


July 29th 1927

The August Garden Meeting was discussed and it was decided that if we should not be going to “Overdale” this year Mrs. Lane should be asked if we may go to “Woodcote”…… In this case tea would be arranged in the Horne Institute.

In connection with the County Exhibition in May next Mrs. Purton proposed that a Handicraft Sub Committee be formed.

It was suggested that we make a Banner as a piece of Community Work for the Exhibition.


August 19th 1927

In connection with the making of the Banner  - it was proposed that Mrs. Walker be asked to draw the design.


(Details given to the National Needlework Archive. Repaired and cleaned in the 1940’s.

Description : Rectangular shaped banner measuring 45ins by 23ins.

Embroidery on strips of calico, sewn on to a calico base. The stitching is in embroidery wool, the braid and fringe is in rug wool, and the cord and tassels are in double knitting wool.

The colours are matching shades of green, brown, blue and red with lettering in dark brown. Some of the stitching has been repaired and some parts are showing signs of wear.

The design is based on red English roses with leaves and buds in a central square and in panels either side. Also included is the name Church Stretton WI and the WI motto “For Home and Country.” There is a fringe at the bottom attached to homemade braid.

The work is embroidered mainly in satin stitch with details in chain stitch and French knots. The pieces are sewn to the backing by hand.

N.B. The banner was owned by the WI and stored in a felt bag in a cupboard in the Silvester Horne Institute. It had been used for Institute and group events e.g. Flower shows. In recent years, it was used only at monthly meetings as a frontispiece for the President’s table. When the Institute closed in 2015, the members agreed to send the banner to the National Needlework Archive.)



October 21st 1927

It was reported that Lady Ripley, the Convener for the Craven Arms Group, had written to say that it was the turn of Church Stretton WI to have the Autumn Group Conference. November 7th was fixed for the date and Lady Berwick would be the speaker – our usual Tea Committee undertook to arrange the tea with Mrs. Scott and some of the younger WI members to be asked to help at the serving of the rea

bottom of page