The Women's Institute in the Glasbury Area

Introduction - from

The Women's Institute (WI) was formed in 1915 to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. Since then the organisation's aims have broadened and the WI is now the largest voluntary women's organisation in the UK. The WI will celebrate its centenary in 2015 and currently has over 210,000 members in around 6,600 WIs.
The WI plays a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.

The Glasbury WI - an article by Pat Darlison

Glasbury WI celebrated its 95th Birthday this year, 2013. We always feel a little cheated as our banner proudly displays the date 1916. Mrs Olive Clarke of Treble Hill called the first meeting and her son-in-law Peter Cooper, also of Treble Hill, who died recently, confirmed this. The NFWI was consulted about twenty years ago and gave us the registration date of 1918. They consoled us with the explanation that we may have submitted an application but being wartime and with an office working irregularly, this may have been mislaid or lost. Miss Blanche Butler, President from 1923 to 1953 was adamant that 1916 was the correct date. Mrs Clarke, it was noted, had been very upset when not elected the first President. This honour, in keeping with the times of social order, went to Hon. Mrs Devereux of Tregoyd House.

Glasbury is affiliated to the Brecknock Federation and at the formation of this Federation in 1927, the Institute was meeting at Aberllynfi House, the home of Blanche Butler . All organisations in those days had a banner and on her retirement because it was Coronation year, Blanche embroidered a new masterpiece for Glasbury. Appropriately it shows a leaping salmon over the WI initials. She also gave an inscribed rose bowl to be used at the monthly meetings. Under her leadership the Institute had as many as 40 members and used to meet in the afternoon. They were very active during the Second World War and certainly were making jam, which is an image that many appear to believe is typical of present day members. After 1963 the Institute, which had worked hard helping to raise funds to build the Village Hall, began to hold their monthly meetings in this new venue. Meetings were transferred to evenings and up until the present day they are held on the first Tuesday of the month.

We have had no President since 1999 and the Committee rotate this duty on a monthly basis. It has stood the test of time but requires a competent Secretary to succeed. Our membership has gradually reduced, as the younger ladies seem to have little time to spare and relax in female company and pursuits. We now have one of the smallest memberships in the Federation. We keep going with a happy band of ladies but find this extremely difficult. Low membership means low fees so cost of Hall hire etc. has become a problem. We do hope to make a century.

Article from “The Messenger” Dec 2013

News from Glasbury Women’s Institute

It was a sad AGM as the unanimous decision was made that we would have to cease functioning as a Women’s Institute. Our small numbers do not make it a viable proposition and the high subscription charges mean that it is difficult to attract new members and thus generate more income.

We would like to thank the members who have been so faithful and hard working, particularly Alison, Hilary, Jenny, Claudia and Angela. Pat was the driving force, without her efforts we would have folded some years ago and we are all most grateful to her.

We are also grateful to Martin, our very patient auditor, who has been so very professional over many years and to Graham who provided us with a home when we were finding fees difficult to pay.

We have many lovely memories of our various functions and speakers and will miss the stimulation of such events.

A special dinner in December will hopefully give us another special memory

This last official meeting was on December 3rd  2013


The Meeting in the Glasbury Village Hall with a cloth made to celebrate the
National Women's Institute and the first 50 years for the Glasbury W.I.

Photo Couresty of Claudia Smith



The Glasbury WI Banner, made by Miss Blanche Butler in 1953,
is proudly displayed by a quintet of members - L to R these are
Winnie James, Margaret Powell, Judith Butler, Lena Smith, Connie Whitney

Photo courtesy of Pat Darlison