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Guarlford Women's Institute


Here are some photos of Guarlford WI activities.

Annual Council Meeting and Craft Rally 2016

DisplayThe 2016 ACM took place on Tuesday 18th October at the Three Counties Showground. The theme for the Co-operative Class in the Craft Rally at the ACM was "Fun and Games".

For our entry we chose to recall outdoor games from our childhood. We had "Ring dancing games" such as 'Ring a ring a roses' (a dolly bag and posies) and 'Oranges and lemons' (delicious cakes). The required preserve was gooseberry and elderflower  jam, linked with a skipping and two-ball rhyme, and also included were jacks, hopscotch and conkers. We were thrilled to receive 20/20 for the cakes, plus 18/20 for the staging and a very welcome 20/20 for the interpretation of the theme.

This photograph shows one of our ladies collecting the Certificate awarded for our 75th birthday. It was presented by our County Chairman in front of the magnificent wooden mural of country life on the wall of the Severn Hall. Also to be admired is the beautifully embroidered County tablecloth.


Charity Project 2016



Our Charity Project for 2016 (and one of the classes in our Produce & Handicraft Show) was to create soft blankets to be given to local premature baby units. As the blankets were so small, members had fun using attractive and unusual yarns. Patterns came from the Project Linus website.


Produce and Handicraft Show 2016

CraftTuesday 13th September


Every two years we have a Produce & Handicraft Show with classes for Cookery, Garden Produce, Preserves, Flowers, Floral Art and many kinds of Craft. We are given recipes to try: this year they were for chocolate chip cookies, apple turnovers, soda bread and Victoria sponge.


Here are two photographs of just a few of the entries in the Handicraft section.


Members and visitors were able to view various kinds of Needlecraft, Knitting, Crochet, Art, Photography and Papercraft, as well as ingeniously recycled items.


Guarlford WI's 75th Birthday Party

Photo June 14th 2016


Guarlford WI was formed in 1941, and so in 2016 we celebrated our 75th Birthday. On June 14th we had a party to which we invited many guests, from the County Federation (including the Worcestershire Chairman) and from the Malvern Hills Group, as well as the Rector of our parish. One of our Malvern visitors was this lady, who was delighted to win one of the Raffle prizes - cookery books from World War Two and the time of rationing afterwards, which made very interesting reading.

PhotoOur delicious Birthday cake was made and decorated by members, and at our party it was cut by one of our ex Presidents, who was celebrating her own birthday that very day. In the background you can see our green baize tablecloth, with our Guarlford WI logo, which is on the President's table at every meeting.

Visitors and members were able to view a display of memorabilia and photographs, showing how members responded to the demands of wartime - still managing to have fun - and what we do today. Although material things may have changed, members today have much in common with their predecessors, as Guarlford WI is still a very friendly group, helping the community and having fun at the same time.

PhotoThe festivities took place in our Village Hall, which was originally a malthouse. The beautiful old beams have been retained, and they were decorated with bunting for the occasion.

Local people are always happy to come to our parties, as we have a good reputation for the food we serve!


The Birthday cake was decorated with sugar-crafted bees and a beehive, (also made by members), a tribute to the National W I campaign in 2009, "SOS for Honeybees", when the National Federation of WIs asked the government to make plans to help the endangered honeybee.


Before our meal, we and our guests were entertained by the talented trio, 'The Elderly Brothers', who soon had our feet tapping with tunes from our past, from wartime to the sixties and so on, encouraging us to join in. (It was amazing how many people knew all the words.)

Charity Project 2015

CushionsOur Craft Project in 2015 was to make cushions and bags for breast cancer patients. The heart-shaped cushions help patients to be more comfortable sleeping or driving the car, and the bags are a more attractive way to carry the necessary drainage equipment.

We joined with ladies from our neighbouring St Gabriel's WI to make over one hundred of these items in the centenary year.

WI Annual Council Meeting and Craft Rally 2015

DisplayThe Co-operative Class in the Craft Rally of the ACM this year was 'Our favourite moment in the Centenary year', and Guarlford's display depicted our own Birthday Party in June. This had as its theme a celebration of the founding of the first Women's Institute in Britain at Llanfair PG. The background is an applique picture which in 2016 became part of a banner marking the 75th Birthday of our WI.

 Also in the display are a small cushion with gold and black embroidered dragon, a plate of Welsh cakes and a patchwork 'mug rug' (a little tablemat with daffodil fabrics). We tried to use a variety of skills in the display: needlecraft of many kinds, papercraft, photography and cookery. Sadly there was no judging this year, so no marks awarded or helpful comments given, but we enjoyed creating the display anyway.  

Charity Project 2014

The first project for the Craft Group in 2014 was to make cushions for the chairs used at WI meetings, and some are shown below. We created cushions from straightforward squares of colourful fabric and also made cushion fronts using patchwork patterns learned at Craft Group some years ago, such as hexagon flowers and Dresden Plate designs. There is also a quilted cushion with a Celtic knot pattern. Now we are all definitely sitting comfortably!


Christmas Fair in Village Hall 2013

The members of our Craft Group always work hard to produce items for our Craft Stall at the Guarlford Christmas Fair, which raises funds for the upkeep of the Village Hall and the parish Churches. This photograph shows the colourful and tempting stall with all the goods set out for sale in December 2013. We try to provide lots of things at reasonable prices, and so we are always looking for ways to use materials economically - we are very good recyclers! Every year we offer many new ideas as well as old favourites, and a good sum is raised by the stall, this year almost 200.

Craft stall

The next photograph shows the Craft Stall from a different angle, and on the left you can see a couple of the table decorations created at some of our Monday afternoon sessions and on the right the pile of cushions which proved to be very popular this Christmas. During 2013, in addition to creating things for the Stall, we also knitted and sewed lots of gifts for boys and girls for the ChristmasChild boxes being filled at our parish school.

Craft stall

Council Meeting & Craft Rally 2012

County craft rally entry 2012The Council Meeting for 2012 was held on October 31st at The Three Counties Show-ground.

The theme chosen for the Co-operative Entry this time was "The Great British Tea Party", with four items and staging to be judged.

The staging for our display consisted of neatly-stitched pale green fabric, with small flag bunting picking out the main colours of the whole display (green and dark & light shades of salmon pink).

Our hand-crafted item was a beautifully woven tea-napkin (an original design) and the cookery 'item' delicate butterfly cakes displayed on a traditional glass cake stand.

Card-making and calligraphy skills were used to create an invitation card, and the flower arrangement, in a white china teapot in keeping with the theme, was composed of spray carnations in the lighter shade of salmon pink and alstroemerias in a darker shade, with deeper salmon colour heuchera leaves as a background. A pretty china cup, saucer and plate completed our tea party 'table'. The display was awarded a creditable 82%.

Spring Council Meeting & Craft Rally 2011

Rally at Three Counties 2011

The W F W I Spring Council Meeting was held in the Severn Hall at the Three Counties Showground in March 2011, and Guarlford WI entered the  Co-operative Class at the Craft Rally which accompanied the meeting.

The theme was "Proverbs", and we chose "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet".

Items entered were: a cross-stitched cover for the Garden Group Album, depicting many named species of roses;  a corsage of sugarcraft roses; an arrangement of toning blooms; and a scented box card which cascaded out into several layers, all decorated with paper roses.

This was truly a 'co-operative' entry with seven members included in creating the items and staging.

"Comfort" Quilts on show at the Autumn 2010 Produce and Handicraft  Show

Quilts produced by Guarlford WIDuring 2010 members and other ladies from the village created "comfort" quilts for Project Linus UK, a volunteer organisation whose aims are to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new home made patchwork quilts.

Project Linus began in the USA in 1995, when a keen quilter called Karen Loucks, inspired by reading an article about a  three year old girl who had been helped through chemo-therapy by her  comfort blanket, began making patchwork security blankets for the Rocky Mountains Children's Cancer Center in Denver, Colorado, and Project Linus was born, taking its name from Linus, the character in the comic strip "Peanuts" who clung to his security blanket in every scene.

The photograph (opposite) shows some of the 25 quilts made so far by Guarlford ladies, and on September 14th Lynne Adams, local contact for Project Linus UK, who had given us much guidance, came to the Produce and Handicraft Show to collect them. Lynne told us later that one of our quilts had been chosen by a disabled little girl, seven others had been passed to children of families linked with a local Hospice and six more to the neonatal unit at our County hospital, with the rest soon to be distributed.

Day of Display and Demonstration 2009

Craft display 2009

In 2009 the W F W I replaced the traditional County Rally with two separate "Days of Display and Demonstration".

Guarlford WI went to the Leigh and Bransford Memorial Hall for a day of cookery and craft demonstrations, together with the exhibition showing what each WI does in Craft and Cookery.

Our entry, which displays the skills of some of our members, won a Silver Gilt award. Included are: box-making, flower arranging, a handmade card, a plate of decorated cup-cakes, and a knitted 'scene' ("The Woolshop Lady").

Visit to Avoncroft 2008

Avoncroft 2008

After an entertaining and informative talk in August 2007 about the Avoncroft Museum of Buildings near Bromsgrove, a most enjoyable guided tour of the Museum itself was arranged for members in the Spring of 2008.

The many exhibits cover a large site, and the photograph shows members looking at the fibreglass spire, which had been built in 1961 to replace a fire-damaged steeple on a Victorian church in Smethwick. The church itself gradually fell out of use, and it was finally demolished in the 1980s, when the topmost octagonal belfry section of the tower and its new spire were dismantled and re-erected at Avoncroft.

For more see www.avoncroft.org.uk.

County Home Economics Rally 2007

Craft display at rugby club 2007

In 2007 the W F W I tried a new venue, the Worcester-shire Rugby Club, for its Home Economics Rally. Pictured is Guarlford WI's entry in the Co-operative Class. The title was "The Four Seasons", and we chose Autumn, 'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' as our theme.

Seen in the picture are the five elements chosen for the display: apple and ginger tea-bread, oat & cinnamon cookies, a notebook and penholder decorated with Cathedral Window Patchwork, a flower arrangement and a cross-stitched Autumn sampler.

Please let us know if you have any photos that you would like displayed on these pages.


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