A night to remember for Billington, Langho and District WI as they celebrated Diamond Anniversary

Dozens of members, past and present, gathered at the Mytton Fold Hotel for the 60th anniversary party of Billington, Langho and District WI.

Friday, 1st November 2019, 1:37 pm
Nora Ashcroft receiving 60 years long service award and flowers from NFWI Chairman Jackie Hobson

Some 60 members, along with representatives from Ribchester, Grindleton, Hurst Green and Great Harwood plus NW Federation, enjoyed a delicious meal and “homespun” entertainment during the evening.

Opening the event, president Pam Campbell paid tribute to those members who had served the branch right from its early days and presented a 40 years Long Service Award to Noreen Turner who, in her time, served many years as secretary. A special 60 years Long Service Award was made by NW Federation Chairman, Jackie Hobson, to founding member, Nora Ashcroft, along with a floral bouquet in recognition her important contribution to the WI movement.

Recalling her memories of the many years as a WI member, Nora spoke affectionately of the enduring friendships she had made and how this had helped her throughout life. Likewise, Noreen Turner described membership of the WI as “a lifeline” especially as she found herself as a young married woman new to the area and in need of a friend. Through the meetings she has had made many new friends and looks forward to regular catch ups every month. The opportunity to engage in craft making and keeping up skills in sewing, embroidery, flower arranging as well as baking and jam-making was the attraction for many. Listening to the life-stories and talks from a variety of speakers along with day trips out to interesting venues and

60th anniversary cake baked by President Pam Campbell

shows was the appeal for others.

Examples of members’ craftwork along with archive records and photo albums were on display for all to browse. The Centenary Quilt, with panels depicting key locations and buildings in Billington and Langho, was on loan from its permanent home in the Community Centre. Musical entertainment was provided by Sheila Moss and Pat Watson, who led a sing-a-long with a collection of catchy songs from the 1960’s.

Beryl Salter supported the cast with her “story-telling” and Lilian Hargreaves closed the session in usual fashion with a medley of comic tales . Every member received a free raffle ticket and the winners were Barbara, Sue, Beryl, Christine and Anne. The decoration on each table was claimed by the person in the lucky chair. Every member took home a specially etched glass coaster, which commemorated the event and thanks to the craftwork of Christine Seedall, a beautifully-worked gift box of chocolates.

President Pam Campbell’s baking skills impressed everyone with the exquisitely decorated anniversary cake with everyone getting a portion to take home.

Members Vicky and Megan enjoying the party

A spokesman said: "All in all, it was a night to remember and served to underline the value of WI membership in terms of friendship, mutual support and helping others."

Sample of WI craftwork