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 23 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 the business part of the evening first and then a talk or lecture after refreshments.
We usually hold a competition at each meeting as well as a sales table of produce or baked items.

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, the October supper and entertainment evening where we invite friends, partners and even husbands along to share the fun and good food.
We have an evening Barbecue during the summer and a lunch during August in a member’s 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.

At our meeting in April 2018 a competition for the Prince and Princess of Wales Cup was held for a Mask..  This was won by Maureen Caston , so well done to Maureen.  (See below for photo.)

On April 7th 2017 4 members made up a team to take part in the W I Annual Quiz.  This year hosted by Long Stratton WI at Long Stratton Village Hall.  We came a respectable 7th out of 9 teams with a score of 78.  Hempnall W I won and will go on to host the Quiz next year.  Our team was made up of Judy Wilson, Jenny Wall, Hillary Meredith and Tricia Loades.

At our September 2017 meeting we held a competition for the Mildred Loades Rose Bowl for a photograph of a local scene.  This was won by Tricia Loades (Mildred’s Granddaughter-in-law) for her photo from Cock Road, Hardley looking over to Cantley Sugar Beet Factory.  This was judged by our speaker for the evening Sue Sursham. So well done Tricia.

Cantley Sugar Beet Factory taken from Cock Road, Hardley









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.  The photos are below.  Tricia has also had a photo selected for the 2019 calendar which celebrates some Norfolk WI’s 100th birthdays.  Watch this space to see what photo was selected.

November 2015 – Langley

Calendar 2016 - Thurton Church porch

Calendar 2016 – Thurton Church porch







September 2017

September 2017 – Langley









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 at Langley With Hardley Village Hall.

Programme 2018

20th November – Annual General Meeting.

18th December – Carol Service at Hardley Church.

At our June meeting Anne Bridge came along with her talk entitled “Lost and Found”.  Anne told us about how the Cheapside Hoard was found in London and brought along some photos of the jewellery amongst the haul.

Maureen Caston with Anne Bridge









On April 17th Barbara Miller came along to talk on the History of the Theatre in Norwich. We learnt how the first theatres were set up as travelling wagons and also where in Norwich they were later housed. Plus we were told how there were three Theatre Royal’s in Norwich on the same site. A competition for a mask was won by Maureen Caston, so well done to Maureen who received the Prince and Princess of Wales Cup.


Maureen Caston with her winning mask

Unfortunately our speaker Ann Newmeir could not attend our meeting on 20th March because of illness. So Daphne Howlett came to our rescue and spoke about the beginning of the WI in Canada. It was a very informative talk and Daphne brought along pictures and badges from her WI archives. So thank you to Daphne.

Daphne Howlett with the original WI Calendar Girls calendar.

At our February 2018 meeting our speaker was Angela Bishop who’s subject was “Wash Day”. Angela brought along a range of wash day equipment and washing powder boxes from the past. A lot of reminiscing was done with members that evening. We were treated to a piece of birthday cake which was made by Barbara Leathersich and very nice it was too!

Members taking a look at the “Wash Day” equipment.

36th Birthday cake made by Barbara Leathersich




Over the past six years we have taken part in the Loddon and District Horticultural Society Annual Open Show held at The Hollies, 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

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

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

Sapphire Anniversary theme for 2017 – 4th place