Polstead Women's Institute
Welcome to Polstead WI
Polstead WI was founded in 1919 and we have met continuously ever since. We are one of the longest existing WIs in Suffolk. The Suffolk West Federation was founded in 1920. It could not be formed until there were 25 WIs. Polstead was one of those WIs.
We have 22 members and our speakers cover a wide variety of topics. Polstead WI is not only about learning new skills or improving old ones and finding some you have never considered before, but about making friends and supporting the wider community.
Why do we belong to the WI?
It offers opportunities for all women to enjoy friendship, to learn, to widen our horizons and, together as a group, to influence local, national and international affairs.
We are part of The Three Valleys Group, which includes Boxford, Bures, Elmsett and Aldham, Hadleigh, Leavenheath, Nayland and District, Polstead and Stoke by Nayland. This is governed by the Suffolk West Federation which, in turn, represents us nationally.
A little bit of our history
Polstead WI was formed in May 1919. By 1921, the membership was flourishing and held meetings in the Village school. Mr W M Cooke offered a gift of land for the WI Hall and a wooden hut was obtained. The opening ceremony was held in September 1923. It showed great initiative for a small rural village and we are proud that it has flourished ever since.
Over the years, Polstead WI has continued to thrive, only having a few months break at the beginning of the Second World War - the members being very active in various ways, usually for the benefit of the local community. Early in the 1970's a new hall was built for the village. The last meeting was held in the old Village Hut in April 1975
It was the ladies of Polstead WI who were among the main instigators of a Community Shop for the area. It was the first one in Suffolk. This was set up when the old village shop closed down. The shop has won many awards over the years and it has been a wonderful success. Several current WI members still form part of the large group of volunteers who help to run the project.
We are very proud that Polstead WI is still thriving and we are looking forward to our Centenary in 2019.
We arrange frequent outings locally to places of interest, for meals, boat trips, to the coast and the Theatre. We use Hadleigh Community Transport in addition to members' cars. The outings are well supported by members, friends and family. Whilst WI members have priority, there are occasionally spare seats. If you are not a member, but would like to join us on one of our trips should there still be room, please contact our secretary, Carmel Evans 01787 210865. Meetings and outings are advertised on village notice boards and in the village shop.
We would be pleased to welcome any new members to ensure that Polstead WI continues to flourish.
Polstead WI Programme - 2019
January 9th Age Concern – Speaker: Mr Lowe
February 12th Cookery – Speaker: Jane Sago
March 12th Tax Care and Toy Boys – Speaker: Co-op
March 25th Group Meeting hosted by Stoke-by-Nayland WI
April 9th An Open Meeting – Hi - de – Hi – Speaker: David Webb
April 11th Suffolk West Federation Annual Meeting, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
May 14th Annual Meeting and Resolutions
June 11th Centenary Discussion
June 21st Centenary Celebration, Meal and Entertainment
July 9th Earthquake in Essex – Speaker: Chris Hunt
August - No Meeting
September 10th An Open Meeting – Secrets behind the scene in local radio – Speaker: Rachel Sloane
October 8th Millinery – Speaker: Clare Lock
November 12th Wine Tasting – Venue: Waitrose at Sudbury
December 10th Christmas Party
All our meetings start at 7.30pm in Polstead Village Hall, second Tuesday in the month.
We also host occasional Coffee Mornings and a Strawberry and Cream Afternoon Tea at Polstead Village Hall. Throughout the year we enjoy many social events including meals together, trips to the theatre and seaside, as well as visiting Garden and Craft Centres.
Visitors are always welcome, just £4 - and we would love to recruit new members.
Please phone Chris Cuthbert 01473 823830 or Carmel Evans on 01787 210865 for more information about the WI