Coddington Women’s Institute

Compiled by Jane Hedge 2007

The Women’s Institute had its origins in Canada in 1897. It was formed to encourage countrywomen to grow and preserve food.

It started in Britain in 1917

Coddington W.I. was founded in 1934. We know that Mrs H Handbury was a founder member, as was Mrs Geeson, both farmers’ wives. Unfortunately we do not have records for the first years of our W.I.

We have a photograph of a group of Members from Nottinghamshire visiting the House of Common circa 1936.

The ladies used to meet in the Old School rooms before the Village Hall was built. As you will see from the earliest records we have, those are for 1947, it was a time of great austerity and the speakers came to encourage the ladies to make new from old.

The Newark Advertiser did an “In the News” article dated 20th April 1938.
A roll call taken at Coddington’s W.I. meeting last week on “What I dislike in our Village”, brought forth comments about the lack of large houses for large families, the need for a District Nurse for Coddington, the inadequate sewage system, the refuse dump and the need for street lighting.

This is the first record we have of the Speakers and competitions that took place at the monthly meetings.

1947          SPEAKER                     COMPETITION
January      Hat Renovation            No competition 
                Miss Johnson
February    Birthday Party              No competition
March        Film Drawing what you see in a mirror 
                Mr Roberts Notts.R.C.C
April          Thrift Rugs     Vase of spring  flowers

                Miss Minkle                 
May          Mrs Davies V.C.O          Neatest darn
June        General handicrafts Something new from
              Mrs Armitage                something old
July         Surnames Favourite economical cake
              Mrs Kirk                Recipe and sample
August     No Meeting
September    Felt jewellery & novelties  Harvest      collections
                 Mrs Holmes
October       Social Security       Best shined shoes
November    Christmas Cookery     Sandwich fillings
                 Mrs Bowen            Sweet and savoury
December     Annual Meeting   Home made Christmas  presents

When Lady Denman became the first National Chairman she presented to the Institute a house where women could attend many varied courses, learning new skills and meet other members from all over the country.

A bursary is awarded each year to allow a member to chose a course and attend Denman College.

Each year there is a craft competition, judged at the Newark and Notts show. A group of ladies from each of the villages in Nottinghamshire W.I. enter a display on a certain theme that incorporates four or five different skills. The Group have had success over the years with 1st places.

We have a list of Past presidents but some names are missing, we would like to hear from anyone who can fill these in.