Weald &Downland

Weald & Downland Museum to host 100-year celebrations of first Women’s Institute

Singleton and East Dean Women’s Institute (WI) – the first WI to be formed in England – will mark 100 Not Out at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum it helped found in the 1960s

The WI movement in Britain began in 1915 under the auspices of the Agricultural Organisation Society (AOS), which set up a Women’s Institute sub-committee with the first English branch of the WI meeting in The Fox at Charlton pub near Singleton and East Dean.

The Weald & Downland Museum and its local WIs have always had strong links – with ten local institutes contributing toward the founding of the Museum in 1967.

The Museum will now welcome Janice Langley, Chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, who will attend the centenary celebrations entitled 100 Not Out with WIs from across West Sussex celebrating their history.

Deborah Harwood, owner of The Textile Space and winner of West Sussex Woman of the Year in Arts 2014, will be presenting The Power of Creating, two inspirational seminars at midday and 2pm, on creative ideas, thoughts and plans.

The WI’s enduring ethos, and part of their logo is Inspiring Women and there will be a display featuring inspiring women chosen by Singleton and East Dean WI members.  Changes in how we live will feature with two full sized rooms made up in the style of 1915 and 2015 to show in detail what huge changes have come about within our homes.

The 100 Not Out event will take place on Tuesday 8 September 2015.