Camelford WI Pays Tribute to its Heritage

Pictured here are members of Camelford WI standing on the steps of the schoolroom used for their first meeting 85 years ago.

Eighty-five years ago a branch of the WI was formed in Camelford, the WI movement having begun in Cornwall some 20 years earlier. After a meeting in the Camelford Town Hall in February 1938 it was agreed the women of Camelford should join this new endeavour. And so the very first meeting met in the schoolroom in Chapel Street on 21 March 1938. With over 70 women present, it was very well-attended!

Camelford WI is fortunate to still have the minutes and record books from this time. They tell us that Miss Henmark from County House read out the rules of the WI. These were then signed by the President. A committee was formed to organise the meetings with demonstrators and speakers as well as social time.

The first speaker gave a talk entitled, “Food for health and the benefits of milk”. All these years later this talk would still be appropriate.

In true fashion a tea committee was formed and then followed the purchase of a Primus stove, kettle and a teapot.

During the War years the speakers demonstrated how to turn collars and sheets, re-cover eiderdowns and even how to re-feet socks. The WI also played its part in raising money not only for the troops and the War effort but also helping to provide for refugees living here in Camelford.

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