Langley with Hardley WI

Langley with Hardley WI

The first meeting of the Langley with Hardley WI was held in February 1982.
It wasn’t an auspicious start as the first scheduled meeting was to have been in December 1981, but was cancelled due to heavy snows and the inaugural meeting had to be postponed until the following February.

The founding committee was made up of eight members. The first President was Mrs Elsie Whittaker and the Secretary was Mrs Pamela Smith. The Treasurer was Mrs Pat Fairhead. Four of those original members are still active in the Branch. Therefore the group clearly has enough to sustain membership over several decades!

Today there are around 20 members. The group meets on the third Tuesday of the month in the Langley with Hardley Village Hall.
Our meetings follow the usual format of a talk or lecture then after refreshments, the business side of the meeting is held.

Our members enjoying our 36th birthday lunch at The White Horse, Chedgrave in January 2018

We have a varied programme of events and activities.

The WI is a contributing member of the Village Hall Committee and supports other local community groups by providing refreshments and catering.

We have a number of regular annual events such as our carol service at Hardley Church and we did hold an October supper and entertainment evening where we invited friends, partners and even husbands along to share the fun and good food.  During August we make the most of the weather by holding an afternoon tea in a members garden.

The WI takes part in other activities such as the inter branch ten pin bowling, organised walks (where the walking is optional, you can just turn up for the lunch!) and takes part in the WI Quiz which we even won once.
The Quiz is rather like the Eurovision Song Contest; whoever wins has to organise the following year’s competition which I think the branch enjoyed as much as winning the previous year.

Langley with Hardley WI is an informal happy group that does not take itself too seriously and where the focus is on good company and friendship and excellent cakes.

Programme 2021

Our meetings have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. Please check with Gillian to see when they are back on or keep looking here.  Let’s hope we can get back to normal soon.  Keep safe and well.

Happy New Year to all our members and viewers of this page.  Please scroll down to see what we have been doing pre Covid-19 and we hope that we can get back to this once the current lockdown is over.

For details on joining us contact Gillian Balls on 01508-528182 (Secretary) or Judy Wilson (President) on 01508-522051.  Our meetings start at 7-30pm and are held at Langley with Hardley Village Hall.

The Norfolk WI Calendar theme for 2021 is Norfolk Village/Town Ponds and again Tricia Loades has had one of her photos selected for the calendar.  Tricia’s photo appears on the month of February.  So well done again Tricia!  The photo is of Thurton pond.  See below.

Thurton Pond. February 2021 on Norfolk Federations Calendar by Tricia Loades










The Norfolk WI Calendar theme for 2020 is Norfolk Scenic Pathways.  Tricia Loades has once again had a photo included in the calendar in the month of April.  See photo below.

Pathway from Loddon Churchyard on April 2020 Norfolk Federations Calendar by Tricia Loades










We were out again on 23rd September 2019 to the Waveney Group meeting held at Raveningham Barns and organised by Thurlton and District WI.  This was the 60th and last meeting, as Secretary Angela Dance was retiring and no one had come forward to take over her position.  A talk was given by Terry Lane and we all enjoyed a glass of fizz and an exceptionally lovely piece of cake.  The cake was made by our member Barbara Leathersich and she also made one which was gluten free.  A competition was held to design a 60th anniversary card.  The winners were Thurlton, second were Loddon and joint third were Chedgrave and our WI.  Jenny Wall had designed the card and received a certificate.  See photos below.

Barbara Leathersich with her lovely cakes.












Jenny Wall with her prize winning card and certificate.












At our 17th September 2019 meeting we held a competition to win the Mildred Loades Cup.  The competition was to see how many items you could get into a large matchbox.  The joint winners were Secretary Gillian and President Judy.  Gillian had 44 item in her matchbox and Judy 45.  It was decided to share the trophy as Judy’s matchbox was larger than Gillian’s!

Secretary Gillian (left) and President Judy.









On 16th July 2019 some of our members travelled by coach to the WI Garden Party to be held at East Ruston Old Vicarage gardens.  This was another event to celebrate the 100th anniversary and the weather was brilliant and the gardens spectacular.  Many ladies wore hats and dressed up for the day.  An afternoon tea was available and was delicious.  In the September issue of Norfolk WI News there is a photo of Judy and Gillian in the wildflower meadow.  Photos from the day are below.

Norfolk Federation Garden Party at East Ruston Old Vicarage.










Some of our members enjoying the gardens.

Norfolk Federation Chairman Margaret Collingwood in her finery.












In April 2019 all WI’s were asked to decorate a wooden spoon that would go on display in the garden of Evelyn Suffield House in Norwich.  This is the headquarters of Norfolk Federation of WI’s and would be part of the 100th anniversary celebrations.  Our member Jenny Wall decorated the spoon for us.

Wooden spoon decorated by Jenny Wall.









Every year Norfolk WI Federation produces a calendar.  In 2015 the theme was trees and Tricia Loades was lucky enough to have one of her photos chosen for the November scene.  And again in 2016 one of Tricia’s photos was on the cover of the calendar.  The  theme being doors or portals. For the 2017 calendar the theme was land or seascapes.  Tricia was again selected for this calendar and her photo was on the month of September.  Tricia has also had two photos selected for the 2019 calendar which celebrates some Norfolk WI’s 100th birthdays.  See photos below.

Hardingham Church

Hethersett Village Green








As some Norfolk WI’s are celebrating their 100th anniversaries we had been asked to decorate a flag for the centenary bunting.  Our President Judy Wilson decorated it for us and a photo is below.

Our flag for the centenary bunting.











On March 21st 2019 a group of our members attended the 100th Annual Meeting of the Norfolk Federation of WI’s at the Theatre Royal in Norwich.  The formal side of the meeting was held in the morning as well as a talk by Peter Wilson, former Chief Executive of the Theatre Royal.  In the afternoon the meeting continued with presentations to WI’s that had reached the 100 years mark and was rounded off with Pam Ayres and her poems.   We all had a good time and much laughter was had at Pam’s poems.  Below are some photos from the day.

All the bunting decorated by all Norfolk WI’s for the Centenary hanging in the foyer of the Theatre Royal.

Our pennant in the Centenary bunting










There was a service held at Norwich Cathedral on April 12th 2019 to celebrate the Norfolk Federation of WI’s 100th anniversary.  Four members from each WI were invited and a number of our members attended the event.  A procession of WI Banners was held during the service, along with readings and hymns to celebrate the occasion.  There was also music by the WI Choir in which our member Jenny Wall was singing.  Photos from the afternoon are below.

Norfolk Federation Chairman Margaret Collingwood









WI Banners being paraded.

Maureen, Wendy, Gillian, Judy and Tricia at Norwich Cathedral











On 16th April 2019 Ann Newmeir came along with an evening of poems.  A competition for the Prince and Princess of Wales Cup was held for a Decorated Egg.  Ann judged the eggs and Jenny Wall was the winner with her Pingu egg.  Photos below.

Decorated eggs

Jenny Wall with the Prince and Princess of Wales Cup












Over the past eight years we have taken part in the Loddon and District Horticultural Society Annual Open Show held in Loddon.  We have done very well as you can see below.



Theme "Ruby Anniversary" Winners 2012

Theme “Ruby Anniversary”
Winners 2012

100 years of Chelsea Flower Show.
Third place 2013









We also came third in 2014  when the theme was “Commemorating 100 years of World War One”.

Theme "100 years of the WI". Third Place in 2015.

Theme “100 years of the WI”. Third Place in 2015.

Happy Birthday, Your Majesty. Joint 2nd place with Loddon and District WI in 2016











Sapphire Anniversary theme for 2017

Winner of the WI Trophy class 2018 entitled “The Women’s Vote” – Langley with Hardley.

2nd place in 2019 with the theme of Musicals. The Wizard of Oz.