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Bibury with Barnsley WI

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Bibury with Barnsley WI was 100 years old in 2017


July 2017 Commemoration Tea Party at WI House - On Friday July 28th fifteen of our WI members travelled to Gloucester to WI House having been kindly invited to attend an afternoon tea party to commemorate our Centenary. We set out in good time we thought, having over an hour to travel a maximum of 25 miles but we hadn’t reckoned on the Nettleton Bottom traffic jam on a Friday afternoon! Eventually we all arrived half an hour late at 3.30pm and we were warmly welcomed by Jan Turner, our GFWI Chair, and immediately assured that our late arrival didn’t matter at all!

Jan introduced our members to Trustees and Committee members who were also present to share this special occasion with us. Following a tour of the premises, which included close inspection of the beautiful wall hangings, we were invited to take our seats at the attractively laid tea tables and to partake of the delicious sandwiches, meringues and cakes that were being offered. After our frustrating journey, we all welcomed the chance to sit and relax while enjoying lively conversation, refreshing tea and delicious food. It was a thoroughly enjoyable occasion which was greatly appreciated by all of us and we are grateful to GFWI for the invitation and for making us so welcome. Following on from our Centenary Exhibition and all the work that it involved with baking and catering it was a real treat for all of us to be looked after without having to do any washing up! Our fears about congestion on our homeward journey didn’t materialise and we returned to Bibury in just over thirty-five minutes.





July 2017 Centenary Exhibition - Bibury Village Hall was transformed over the long weekend of July 7th, 8th and 9th when Bibury with Barnsley WI celebrated 100 years with a stunning Exhibition. The amazing 101 individually embroidered bunting pennants telling the story of the last 100 years was on display and the hall was packed with informative and colourful displays about the members, the WI through the decades and all the activities in the present day as well as the role of NFWI and GFWI. Exquisite members’ craft work filled the hall; quilting, crochet, patchwork, knitting, embroidery, dressmaking, tapestry, soft toys and bookmaking as well as a wonderful variety of art work, pottery and flower arrangements. It was all set historically in context with an audio/visual show of “Bibury Remembered” being shown in the smallest cinema in Gloucestershire in the Village Hall shed which was transformed into a cosy space for six to watch seated while others lurked at the doorway taking in all or some of the 45-minute show! Members served delicious homemade refreshments all day to a wonderful turn out of visitors which included many WI members from our Federation, friends, family, residents and tourists. It was a privilege to welcome Bibury School as first guests who learnt about the history and role of the WI before using the bunting timeline to locate historical and local events to complete their work sheets. Their efforts were rewarded when delicious cakes and drinks were served!

President Liz Franklin said, “It was a fabulous three days and all our hard work in creating the bunting and bringing it all together for this ambitious and memorable Exhibition paid off. We were delighted to welcome our NFWI Chair Lynne Stubbings, our NFWI Treasurer Julia Roberts and Trustees Mary Clarke, Jeryl Stone, Sue Wilson and Amanda Willday as well as our own GFWI Chair Jan Turner and Federation Trustees and Committee members. Sharing this milestone achievement with us made it very special and an event that we will always remember. We are very appreciative of all the wonderful comments that we received in our Visitors book and in emails and cards and I would like to thank all who came for their interest and support in sharing this very special celebration with us.”

“What a wonderful Exhibition! Inspiring and stunning! Congratulations to you all!” Lynne Stubbings, NFWI Chair.

“Thank you so much for inviting us, the Exhibition is fantastic, a credit to all members of Bibury with Barnsley WI!” Julia Roberts, NFWI Hon Treasurer.

“Outstanding Exhibition” Anne Turner GFWI Past County Chairman.

“Inspirational bunting” “Absolutely superb, you must be very proud” “What a wonderfully inspirational display. Beautiful and much to be treasured” “What a lot of work! Many congratulations!”






June 2017 Our June 21st meeting was a Centenary birthday party! It was a very special afternoon to celebrate in grand style our landmark 100 years! Our members were invited to arrive at 2pm and to wear celebratory outfits and hats if they wanted to; the Committee had transformed the hall into a party venue with helium balloons and the small tables were adorned with dainty floral arrangements in green and white, the WI colours. The amazing Centenary bunting was on display so that members could have the opportunity to enjoy it close up before it is hung for our Exhibition. The beautiful cake made by Jean Stringer and decorated tastefully by our WI friend Jackie, was displayed on a crisp white tablecloth with Di’s lovely arrangement of flowers setting it off perfectly. Photographers, Peter Maunder and Cotswold Life were set up and ready to go and Jan Turner, the Gloucestershire Federation Chair had arrived to share this special occasion with us.

So, the party began and there were a few very enjoyable surprises in store! Singing Jerusalem invoked a time-honoured WI tradition and Mary Gardiner’s special birthday was celebrated by presenting her with a card and a lovely basket of flowers. You can’t have a birthday party without gifts so Liz produced from under the table, which had been hidden from view, a basket filled with handmade personalised cloth jewellery bags, embroidered and ribboned. Everyone set about opening them to reveal a unique enamelled badge, beautifully made to commemorate this historic occasion. With badges now being proudly worn, Jan turner presented Liz with certificates from GFWI and our National Federation and congratulated us on reaching this milestone and celebrating it in such a wonderful way. The cake was cut by Jan and Liz, the prosecco was poured and there was a toast to “Bibury with Barnsley WI” proposed by Jan and followed by a round of applause. Thanks, were expressed all round and then we were upstanding for the National Anthem followed by a photo to commemorate the occasion outside the Village Hall.





March 2017 Bibury Remembered - Over 70 Bibury residents and friends enjoyed an emotional and nostalgic journey into the past when they packed Bibury Village Hall to enjoy an audio-visual show created by Alan Franklin. In 2009 five long established Bibury residents took part in a radio Gloucestershire interview with Pete Wilson when they reminisced about life in the village as far back as the 1920’s. This was brought wonderfully to life with photographs old and new to illustrate every aspect of the dialogue. It all came about because Bibury with Barnsley WI is celebrating their Centenary this year and President Liz Franklin asked for memories of life in Bibury to kickstart the Centenary year at the WI’s first meeting in January. Long established and much loved WI member Gwen Greenaway produced a CD with the recording and Alan took it from there with help from residents who produced old photographs and friends who helped with present day photography. The show was so well received and appreciated at the WI January meeting that it was decided to show it to a wider audience. People with Bibury family connections travelled some distance to see it as well as whole families turning out in support. Wine and nibbles were served and the event along with donations raised £340 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Bibury with Barnsley WI will be celebrating their Centenary with an Exhibition in Bibury Village Hall on July 7th,8th and 9th showcasing the unique and special embroidered Centenary bunting which has been created by the members and tells “our story” in words and pictures within a national and local context over the last 100 years. Admission is free and the Exhibition is open on Friday 7th July from 11.00am-5.00pm, Saturday 8th July from 10.00-5.00pm and Sunday 9th July from 10.00am-5.00pm. Homemade refreshments will be served all day and the WI members look forward to welcoming lots of visitors to celebrate and enjoy this milestone event.


March 2017 - Our Centenary Lunch - On March 29th, our members celebrated our WI Centenary with an excellent lunch at the Falcon Inn at Poulton. We were warmly welcomed by the Falcon staff and with a welcome drink in hand made our way to the Inn’s attractively laid out dining room. With everyone seated in groups of eight we were ready to enjoy the delicious food which had been pre-ordered and organised by Jill and Elaine. Two or three courses were on offer for us with an excellent variety including fish, meat or vegetarian mains. Puddings at the falcon are always a treat as they are homemade. Our President, Liz thanked everyone for coming to make it such a special occasion and following a cup of coffee or tea we all agreed that we had had a very enjoyable time. Our thanks to the chef and all the staff at the Falcon Inn!

March 2017 - The July 7th,8th and 9th 2017 dates for our Bibury with Barnsley Centenary Exhibition at Bibury Village hall seemed a long way off when we started our Centenary Bunting project in the summer of 2016! With the planning and preparation of the 101 pennants, one for each of our 100 years, completed by late summer we were ready to start sewing in September last year and now by the beginning of spring we are well on our way to completion by our deadline date of early May. Our members have worked extremely hard with amazing results, illustrating each theme with great skill, imagination and creativity to tell the story of our two villages over 100 years, set within a national and local context. We have worked together and helped each other, learning new skills and developing techniques and confidence. This is a unique celebration of our WI’s 100 years in Bibury which will be on display at our Exhibition in July. We are looking forward to welcoming lots of visitors and we hope this will include many ladies from WI’s in our Federation. Invitations and more details will be forthcoming. Excellent homemade refreshments will be available too so please come along and join us to celebrate this unique milestone in our Bibury WI history.


September 2016 - Bibury with Barnsley WI members are busy designing and sewing pennants to create a unique Centenary bunting timeline to celebrate our 100th birthday next year in 2017! The bunting will tell the story of our two villages, Bibury and Barnsley, in words and pictures created on cloth and using a wide range of sewing techniques. It will start in 1917 when our WI was formed during the first World War and it will conclude in 2017, our Centenary year, 101 individual pennants! To achieve maximum interest, it is going to bring together significant national, world and local events, developments and traditions that have had an impact on the daily lives of ordinary people living throughout the last 100 years in our villages. It will also celebrate the rich heritage that we have in our historic buildings and in our landscape, vegetation and wildlife. We are all going to help each other with designing and sewing. We have talented artists and creative and skilled embroiderers who are willing to help and support those less experienced and anxious about the ambitious scale of the project! A Craft group has recently been set up and meets monthly in Bibury Village Hall and this is the place where help is at hand! The deadline for completion is May 2017 in good time for display at our WI Centenary Exhibition which will take place in Bibury Village Hall on July 7th,8th and 9th. We’ll be serving refreshments all day and we hope that we’ll be welcoming lots of WI ladies from around the County to celebrate with us!



The WI was 100 years old in 2015

The first WI branch was formed in 1915 and a range of events was organised throughout the country to celebrate the Centenary. Bibury with Barnsley WI took part in the baton relay and also organised a 3 day exhibition in the Village Hall. Click here for more details.