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"W.I. Lite" - come on, who belongs to the Women's Institute? I want to join!

(82 Posts)
morningpaper Sat 30-Aug-08 16:24:00

I saw this story and was v jealous

I'd LOVE to start a young person's branch of the WI around here - the local branch is staffed by very posh ancient ladies and frnakly, I hang around enough of those at church

Where is the gap between the NCT years and the 'old' W.I. ? I think the WI should expand the idea of a 'WI Lite' across the country.

So - who belongs to the WI? And do you just hang out with oldies or do you belong to one of the younger branches?

(Have we had this thread already? I tried to search but just got lots about Nintendos...)

GillianLovesMarmite Sat 30-Aug-08 16:27:45

Before I had hs I went to a local 'young' WI - it was brilliant! I would heartily recommend it!

BloodySmartarse Sat 30-Aug-08 16:32:37

my mother would kill herself laughing if i told her id joined a WI group, lite or othgerwise. its odd enough that ive moved to the country, and keep chickens/grow veg... my home phone listing on her mobile is 'cuntryBS'

fishie Sat 30-Aug-08 16:39:09

there's a west end one in central london which i believe is fairly young.

GillianLovesMarmite Sat 30-Aug-08 16:39:27

We did salsa dancing, yoga, massage, I gave a rather risque talk about alternative menstrual products, and we had lots of nights out! No jam/jerusalem required...

hatwoman Sat 30-Aug-08 16:40:41

have to agree with the criticisms of the journalist...iirc WI is the biggest women's membership organisation in the UK, it has done/is doing excellent campaigning work, many do voluntary work through it (my mum and her WI friends did an exchange visit to Romania to talk to women in similar professional roles (special needs teachers in my mum's case) and to assist them in getting organised into groups, doing fundraising and campaigning work) and has plenty of interesting speakers - ok sometimes it's "flower arranging" (think bunting cupcake christmas decorations type stuff) but sometimes it's a local doctor who works in Afghanistan 3 months of the year, or an author, or prison visitor...anything really.

tbh I think WI sounds great - and I think the WI I'm already aware of sounds, tbh, better than that WI lite (which just sounds a bit to silly for me) but the age and image thing does put me off. not sure how they can overcome this...

southeastastra Sat 30-Aug-08 16:42:12

there was a programme on bbcfour about the wi, i'd rather join the territorial army instead of that lot.

BoysAreLikeDogs Sat 30-Aug-08 16:43:18

Posh country ladies around me, live in big hices, vair well spoken too.

I would luuuurve to join too.

Marina Sat 30-Aug-08 16:46:55

I reckon that story is mostly about the fairly unpleasant sounding regime in Bramley WI. If they only have 20 members in a WI heartland like that, it's hardly surprising that an approved alt.WI has done well.

Like the NCT and any other nationwide coalition of voluntary groups, some branches are stimulating, welcoming and thriving, others are dismal and cliquey.

They all look excessively pleased with themselves in that photo, off-puttingly so.

I'd give the local WI a whirl if I didn't WOTH full-time, they sound like quite a blast, but for now I get my jam and knitting advice from church wink

GillianLovesMarmite Sat 30-Aug-08 16:48:10

I'm not a posh country lady - think more suburban northerner...

hatwoman Sat 30-Aug-08 16:48:13

not posh country ladies in my mum's case - (retired) farmers, teachers, doctors, lecturers and a couple of domestic goddesses.they are active, hard-working, engaged people - even the dg types. but they are of a certain age.

PeaMcLean Sat 30-Aug-08 16:50:10

I googled our local group this very week. blush I think it would be great! Sadly I go the distinct impression that they were all 70+ round here.

hatwoman Sat 30-Aug-08 16:53:04

when my mum was my age the NCT-WI gap was filled by Rotary, and then "41 club". It was all very gendered (the men were the main event, the women were "wives") but that was how so many things were in those days. they made some extremely good life-long friends (well, life-long for my mum at least) but that kind of stuff seems now, to be all smug and pompous. I might do it a disservice. not sure. not about to investigate either...

Marina Sat 30-Aug-08 16:53:52

I know it's good to have friends roughly your own age, and maybe I'm lucky with the school gate ones I have made (as well as old college ones bla bla), but does being 60 plus make these women just not worth socialising with?
I do choir practice with mostly older types, some of them lovely people whose company is wonderful, some of them are not so great.
I quite like being able to socialise with people 20 years older or younger than me tbh.

cece Sat 30-Aug-08 16:56:45

When I asked our local one about joining they were all very old and doddery.

They got very excited about getting some 'new young blood'. I then found out they meet on a weekday during the day (including school pick up time). No wonder they don't have any younger members! Completely impossible if you work or look after kids. hmm

hatwoman Sat 30-Aug-08 16:57:37

very true Marina - but I do think there are some things that help you click with people of a similar age or at a similar stage in life. having said that I take great pleasure in being able to say that one of the dearest friends I've made in recent years is in her 60s.

PeaMcLean Sat 30-Aug-08 16:59:14

I don't have any objections to people who are different ages to me. Oddly enough I know quite a few of them. I just think not many people my age would go and join a group of women who were all a lot older. It's just not what I'm looking for. hmm

FluffyMummy123 Sat 30-Aug-08 17:02:13

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FluffyMummy123 Sat 30-Aug-08 17:03:03

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Marina Sat 30-Aug-08 17:03:16

Fair enough Pea . I think I am probably lucky with the older ladies at church who are mostly extremely friendly and funny.

FluffyMummy123 Sat 30-Aug-08 17:03:49

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Marina Sat 30-Aug-08 17:04:23

hatwoman - same here . I've really clicked with someone that age too (mind you I am, ahem, over 40).

Snaf Sat 30-Aug-08 17:06:43

Agree 'tis cringey. I'd rather learn to make jam than have a 'Boob Night', frankly hmm

FluffyMummy123 Sat 30-Aug-08 17:07:20

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hatwoman Sat 30-Aug-08 17:10:54

does anyione think the one on the left would look more at home in the old WI?

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