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Diane McLaren Diane McLaren

Welcome to the Wiltshire Federation

A very warm welcome to Wiltshire - A beautiful and diverse County in the South West of England almost half of which is designated an area of outstanding natural beauty.  Wiltshire is uniquely rooted in the past; Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age people all built settlements on the hills and downs, while Romans, Normans and Saxons left their mark on our countryside and towns. Stonehenge and Avebury are by far the most famous Neolithic sites in the UK, but Wiltshire is also known for the eight iconic white horses carved into its chalk hills.  Other attractions and landmarks include Salisbury Cathedral which boasts the tallest spire in England, Castle Combe voted one of the prettiest villages in England, Lacock the home of photography, Caen Hill Locks - one of the original seven wonders of the waterways, and last but by no means least the home of Brunel’s Great Western Railway in Swindon.

Our Story - The Wiltshire Federation of WIs came into existence in October 1919, the same year that six WIs were established. Redlynch & District WI is Wiltshire’s longest standing Institute and is the eleventh oldest in the whole country. It celebrated its centenary in September 2016 and possesses a fascinating archive of written and photographic material from the early years right up to the present day.

If you do the sums you will spot that Wiltshire’s own centenary falls in October 2019. Although that sounds a long way off, two years will soon fly by, so we have already begun planning how we can all celebrate together such a momentous date in our Federation's history.  We will let you have details as and when events are organised.

Joan GIfford
Federation Chairman