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Welcome to Barford WI


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(March 2021)

As we are still unable to meet, our committee have decided that to cheer ourselves up and keep in touch we will be having a Zoom Bingo evening on 4th March at 7.30pm. This is something we haven't attempted before so could be somewhat chaotic but good fun.

There will be prizes for a line and full house. Our esteemed President Jacqueline will be the caller and she has been practising her patter.

Keep in touch ladies, it won't be long before we have all had our jabs and can meet up again.

Hilary Maynard

MARCH 2020:

At our March meeting Clare Sawdon gave an interesting talk about her year as High Sheriff of Warwickshire, who is the Queen's representative in legal matters for the county. She described the outfit she has to wear to official events and some of her duties at special occasions. She experienced visits to two local prisons and also charities which helped disadvantaged families and youngsters who are too old to still be in the care system and needed support. Clare had a very interesting year but also an expensive one as High Sheriffs pay their own expenses.


At our February meeting, Ken Hope gave an interesting talk about the history of Edward Greaves M.P. who lived in Watchbury House during Victorian times. He was a very wealthy man who wanted the biggest house in Barford so he extended, what had been, a modest farmhouse into a very large mansion complete with extensive landscaped gardens, orchards and an ice house. Some years later the house was subdivided into three residences. Mr Greaves was responsible for moving the toll house from the Stratford Road in Warwick and relocating it to the lodge in Church Lane, Barford.

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What is the WI?

Barford Wl, together with others in Warwickshire, forms the County Federation (WFWI) which in turn integrates with other counties to form the National Federation (NFWI). Barford meets eleven times a year, on the first Thursday of the month from 7.45pm until around 10:00pm. At eight of these meetings we organise a speaker, from a wide range of interests, sometimes accompanied by slides or a demonstration. In May we have a meeting to discuss Resolutions usually with a social, health or rural theme. The result of our vote goes forward to the Annual National Meeting in June. In July we hold a social gathering hosted by a member in their garden, weather permitting. This a fun evening - maybe a quiz - with food and wine. The evening which is run by members allows the committee to relax.


In November we have our Annual Meeting when the President and committee are elected for the coming year. As the committee organise all the events and business of the Barford Wl, there are many other smaller roles available for the members to take on.


The evening commences with a short business meeting foHowed by the speaker. Afterwards coffee and tea are served by members whose names are shown in the programme.


During the year we organise various events to raise money for the benefit of the local community. There is also the opportunity to attend lunches and suppers with other local WIs, as well as joining for example outings, holidays and lectures.


The National Federation publishes the Home and Country magazine. The Warwickshire Federation publishes a County News Sheet providing information on local events that you may wish to attend.

Denman College

NFWI has its own residential adult education college, Denman, a lovely Georgian mansion in Oxfordshire. Courses are held in a wide range of interests including sports, country pursuits, arts and crafts, drama, music, not forgetting the domestic subjects. Every alternate year Barford Wl offers a bursary for a member to attend a course at Denman College. Details and date of the next meeting will be found on the Village Notice Boards and this website.


On May 8th 1919 a group of Barford ladies got together to form one of the first WIs in the county following its national formation in 1918. A committee was formed from among the wealthier members of the village but the group was open to ladies from all walks of life. Soon there were over 100 members, this being a time when life revolved around the village and access to entertainment outside the village was difficult.

Over the years and particularly during World War ll the WI has been a leading force for good in the village, campaigning for improvements in village facilities such as a modern sewage system and road improvements. During the war they canned and made jam from surplus food and provided knitted comforts for the troops. They provided a rest centre for refugees from the bombing in Coventry and helped with evacuees.

The original aims of the WI were to entertain, educate and form a fellowship amongst the members. These continue to be the main criteria of today's WI, but with modern aspects such as websites and emails aimed at the modern woman who may be working full time, a thing almost unheard of when the WI was first formed!

Our WI now has over 60 members and still offers village women a companionable meeting place once a month in the Memorial Hall. It also has a couple of sub- groups, the Book Club and Lunch Group. Our meetings usually include speakers who cover all subjects followed by refreshments and time for a chat. We also aim to support members who are ill or in difficulty, thus continuing the fellowship aspect of the original WI.

Barford Heritage Group

The Barford Heritage Group website has a page showing some of the history of Barford WI.

Click here to visit.

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