SFWI Centenary

1919 – 2019


To commemorate the milestone of its Centenary, Staffordshire Federation held a Service of Thanksgiving at the Collegiate Church of St Mary in Stafford town centre and the service started one hundred years to the minute since its inception.

The Rector of Stafford, Revd Richard Grigson introduced the service and the sermon was read by the Rt Revd Geoff Annas, Bishop of Stafford. Dignitaries from Stafford Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, the High Sheriff and Lord Lieutenant joined with WI Members in the service. Broughton WI Choir sang The Smallest Seed – an Anthem specially written forthe Centenary. A canape reception followed with fizz, tea and cake at the historic County Buildings. Julia Roberts, NFWI Treasurer, attended the Service and Reception and helped County Chairman, Helen Newman, cut the Centenary Cake.

The Spring Council meeting saw the unveiling of the Lectern Cover that was designed by Brocton WI to provide a lasting reminder of the Centenary. Lynne Stubbings, NFWI Chair, attended that meeting and gave the Members an insight into her role at Federation and National levels. Trustees led the 700 ladies in a dance to Celebrate Good Times, Come On !

Over 200 oak saplings, grown and raised over 2 years from Staffordshire acorns collected from across the County were planted by Members in the National Forest in a Centenary Wood. They mark not only the Staffordshire Federation’s Centenary, but also 25 years since the start of the National Forest and will provide a legacy for the next 100 years, and beyond.

380 members plus many volunteers attended the Federation’s Annual Quiz which took as its Centenary theme ‘Inspirational Women’ with the WI colours of green, white and violet. The 95 teams threw themselves into the spirit of the evening, dressing not only themselves in themed outfits but also producing amazing table displays. Questions were on a range of topics, for all levels of knowledge with the final round themed on all things WI. Could the SFWI Quiz be the largest WI Quiz in the Country?

A coach trip was organised to Reading Museum to see the replica of the Bayeux Tapestry which was embroidered by ladies of Leek, members of the Embroiderers’ Guild – in Staffordshire. On the return journey, we visited Denman College for a guided tour and Afternoon Tea – more cake !

Staffordshire Federation always has a marquee at the Staffordshire County Show and in its Centenary Year, won the top prize – Best Marquee in Show. A fitting tribute to all the effort which included a display of fashion over the last 100 years.

Visits were also arranged to Tutbury Castle where the Curator, Lesley Smith gave a talk, in character on the inspirational Peggy Knight who took part in Special Operations in occupied France during WWII.

The Staffordshire weekend to Denman gave the opportunity for Members to enjoy good company in wonderful surroundings whilst learning new skills on chosen courses. And, of course, it was another excuse for more cake !

The Annual holiday took Members to a hotel base in Llandudno with trips out to places of interest – including being guests of LlanfairPG on Anglesey, where it all began.