In 1923, while female suffrage was still an issue and the world was recovering from the Great War, a new Women’s Institute was set up in Geddington & Newton. Aware of Lady Denman’s mission as the founder of the WI in 1917, a small group got together from the two communities to create a forum for women to socialise, learn and contribute to the improvement of their communities.

Mrs Berrill and Mrs Holmes of Newton and Miss Sykes and Mrs Holding of Geddington were the fi rst offi cers of the new group and by February 1923 there were over 90 members meeting in the Oddfellows Hall every month. It was Mrs Holmes’ proposal to build a hall in the village for the use of all and the WI’s instigation of a building fund that resulted in the building of the original village hall a few years later.

The WI is non-political but very aware of social injustices and, over the century, has fought for a range of changes in everything from maternity care to female policing. The women of Geddington and Newton were very active in their fundraising and successful in raising awareness of wider issues.

The centenary celebrations for 2023 began with a party to which the County Chairman was invited. The current members honoured the founding members and also four long serving members who have 262 years membership between them. Each member received a beautifully handcrafted memento box as a token of the celebration.

The year continues with events to celebrate each decade of the organisation and culminates in a Centenary Exhibition highlighting the Resolutions brought to Parliament over the 100 years and to mark the progress of the WI, both in the villages and at national level.

There may still be jam and even Jerusalem, but there is also inspiration, creativity and fellowship to be found within Geddington and Newton WI today! Here’s to the next 100 years! Dates of events can be found in the What’s On section. 

Geddington & Newton WI celebrates 100 year anniversary