Menu

1950s

1950

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
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 
Hand made bedspreads for Denman

1951

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!

Lady Brunner   

Left:Lady Brunner
 
Below: The WI design for a house at the 1951 Ideal Home Exhibition

The WI design for a house at the 1951 Ideal Home Exhibition


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
A detail from the Festival of Britain- Country Wife mural  

1952

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   

NFWI sent Margaret Herbertson, who brought back gifts from the WIs she had started


1953

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 Home Acres opening
Dame Florence at the Home Acres opening

1954

The Queen Mother (a WI member) attended the AGM
 
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.

1955

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

1956

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.

Lady Dyer 
Lady Dyer

1957

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 
New dining room at Denman College

1958

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 
Constance Spry presents the cup

1959

Dame Frances Farrer resigned from post of General Secretary and was succeeded by Miss Alison King. The WI contributed to the World Refugee Year.

Alison King 
Alison King