The NFWI celebrated the beginning of the 1950s with a national music festival. Ralph Vaughan Williams' Folk Songs for the Four Seasons was specially commissioned for the event. .
There was a resolution passed at the AGM urging that hospitals would allow parents to visit children.
One of the choirs who performed in the music festival
The furnishing of Denman College continued with many federations making quilted bedspreads for their county bedrooms
Hand made bedspreads for Denman
Lady Brunner was elected NFWI Chairman and the first Market Place at the Ideal Home Exhibition, Olympia, took place. WI members all took part in designing the WI house which was built at the exhibition. It was designed for a working family, incorporating a porch outside the back door to leave muddy boots!
The total number of WIs had reached 7,710. The Festival of Britain took place and the Country Wife mural was given to the NFWI. It was housed at Denman College until 2010 when it was given to The National Needlework Archive for conservation
A detail from the Festival of Britain- Country Wife mural
The NFWI Craft Exhibition was staged at the Victoria and Albert Museum; the centrepiece was a huge wall hanging depicting the Work of Women in War, which had taken WI members all over the country four years to make.
The Malayan Government invited the NFWI to form WIs in Malaya and the WIs pushed for the speedy provision of electricity for agricultural use in rural areas.
NFWI sent Margaret Herbertson, who brought back gifts from the WIs she had started
The total number of WIs had reached 8,055 and Home Acres was opened at Denman College, jointly with Berkshire County Council as a Home Economics centre, by Dame Florence Horsbrugh, Minister of Education.
Dame Florence at the Home Acres opening
The Queen Mother (a WI member) attended the AGM
The AGM passed a resolution this year to start a national anti-litter campaign and the NFWI called a conference of 26 interested organisations.
Following the resolution passed at the AGM in the previous year Keep Britain Tidy Group was formed. The NFWI offered office space for the new group until they could find their own HQ
Lady Dyer was elected NFWI Chairman and the WIs had reached a total of 8,296. There was concern about the withdrawal of bus and rail services.
The drama festival, Out of this Wood, took place in this year and a dining room was added to Denman College, paid for by the Lady Denman Memorial Fund.
New dining room at Denman College
A flower show was held at Denman College, judged by Constance Spry and the WI had a market place at the Ideal Homes Exhibition.
Constance Spry presents the cup
Dame Frances Farrer resigned from post of General Secretary and was succeeded by Miss Alison King. The WI contributed to the World Refugee Year.
Contact the NFWI
- Phone: 020 7371 9300
- Open hours: 9am–5pm Mon–Fri
- Address: 104 New Kings Road, London SW6 4LY
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