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 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, 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.)

At our September 2018 meeting we held a competition for the Mildred Loades Rose Bowl for an autumn arrangement.  This was won by Tricia Loades (Mildred’s Granddaughter-in-law).  This was judged by our speaker for the evening Pat Alker. So well done Tricia.   See photo below.

Tricia (left) being presented with the Mildred Loades Cup by Joan Jarrett.









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 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 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











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 2019

20th August – Garden meeting – at Jenny Wall’s.

17th September – Simon White – Beautiful Bulbs.  Competition for the Mildred Loades Cup – Greatest number of items in a long matchbox.

12th October (Saturday) – Harvest Supper.

15th October – Tony Good – Pigs and Troughs.

19th November – Annual General Meeting.

17th December – Carol Service – Hardley Church.

On 16th April 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












On 16th October Paul Strutt came along to talk to us on the work of the Norfolk Accident Rescue Services.  The work they do to help out the Ambulance Service is invaluable and Paul told us of what equipment they have and what they do to help,

Paul Strutt from Norfolk Accident Rescue Services












In September we saw Pat Alker come along and give us a talk on Kenya Unseen.  Pat and her husband often visit Kenya and help with children’s education and Pat was very enthusiastic on the subject.  At this meeting we held a competition for an autumn arrangement for the Mildred Loades Cup.  Pat kindly judge the competition for us and Tricia Loades was the lucky winner.

Pat Alker – Kenya Unseen









On 21st August we had our garden meeting at the home of Diane Kittle.  The weather was glorious and we all had a good time with lots of lovely cakes available with a cup of tea!








Over the past seven 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









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

Theme “The Women’s Vote”. Winners in 2018