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1960s

1960

An AGM resolution was passed voicing concern about the use of toxic sprays and urging more stringent controls.

1961

Gabrielle Pike was elected NFWI Chairman and the WI had a market place at the Ideal Homes Exhibition. The WIs pledged to support the Freedom from Hunger Campaign. The total number of WIs had risen to 8,517.

1962

The WI subscription was raised to five shillings (one shilling and six pence to the National Federation, two shillings to the county federation and one shilling to the WI). The County Feasts and Festivals competition took place at the Dairy Show and Gabrielle Pike visited Russia. The NFWI AGM voiced  concern about the dangers of radiation, joining with other women's organisations to reduce experimental nuclear testing.

1963

The first National Art Exhibition 'Painting for Pleasure'   

The first National Art Exhibition, Painting for Pleasure, took place at the Galleries of British Artists and the first WIs were opened in psychiatric hospitals. The AGM called for coordinated public transport in rural areas.

1965

Golden Jubilee Year – There were numerous Golden Jubilee celebrations including a specially commissioned poem from the Poet Laureate C. Day Lewis. The Rule limiting formation of WIs to places with a population of under 4,000 was rescinded. WIs were invited to compile Scrapbooks of the Countryside  and many of these are now deposited in the archives of Local Record Offices.

Mrs Pike speaking at the Guildhall reception
Mrs Pike speaking at the Guildhall reception

Garden party at Buckingham Palace
Garden party at Buckingham Palace

1966

Lady Anglesey
The Marchioness of Anglesey
  

The Marchioness of Anglesey was elected NFWI Chairman and the AGM raised concerns about the availability of habit-forming drugs to children and young people. The number of WIs had now reached 8,864.


1968

The WI organised a conference on the countryside at Central Hall, Westminster attended by the Duke of Edinburgh. The WI subscription was raised to 10 shillings (50p) (10p for National Federation, 15p for the county federation and 25p for the WI).

1969

Sylvia Gray was elected NFWI Chairman and The Brilliant and the Dark was performed at the Royal Albert Hall. Commissioned by the NFWI, composer Malcolm Williamson and librettist Ursula Vaughan Williams produced a sequence following women's lives through the centuries. There were four performances  given in the Royal Albert Hall.

The Brilliant and the Dark   

Alison King resigned as General Secretary and was succeeded by Meriel Withal. There were now 9,051 WIs. The AGM urged members to conserve the countryside to the best advantage of the whole community.

To the left and below: The Brilliant and the Dark

    
Part of Peter Halls design for The Brilliant and the Dark   The Birlliant and the Dark as held in teh Royal Albert Hall
    
Miss Withall – General Secretary
Miss Withall – General Secretary
  Sylvia Gray
Sylvia Gray