The 1950s and Keep Britain Tidy
The Federation celebrated its 30th birthday with a special Council Meeting held in High Wycombe Town Hall. A revue, “Thirty – not out”, was specially written and performed by members drawn from all parts of the county. Lady Burnham cut the birthday cake, and the meeting ended with a grand parade of banners.
WIs were formed at Steeple Claydon and Westcott.
Federation Chairman – Miss C Gamlen
Federation President - Mrs. Slade
Miss Mitchell, Chairman of the Handicrafts Committee, presented Her Majesty the Queen, who was then Princess Elizabeth, with a luncheon cloth, representing four years’ work by members from all over the county.
The Produce Guild continued to flourish and a great deal of canning was successfully organised, while music and drama festivals were as popular as ever.
The County Handicraft Exhibition was held in December, with 1,005 entries from 100 WIs. Freda, Countess of Listowel, performed the opening ceremony and in the afternoon the exhibition was visited by HRH The Duchess of Kent.
No new WIs were formed this year.
The first Buckinghamshire Room at Denman College was furnished from Federation
funds. Several members also contributed items of handicraft.
This year saw the completion of the NFWI embroidered wallhanging commemorating the work of women during the Second World War. Seven members from Buckinghamshire, lead by Mrs. Kathleen Hawes of Wheeler End WI, were some of the 400 WI members whoworked on the embroidery. In the framework were three medallions showing such war work as nursing, radar, forestry, rest centres and evacuation. Three larger panels represented work on the land, in industry and in the Services. The central banner proclaimed "It was a war won not by the genius of the few but the faithfulness of the many".
The Music Committee organised an outdoor festival on 19th June, in the grounds of Missenden Abbey. The weather was fine and many members enjoyed the beautiful singing of rounds and madrigals.
The Drama Committee continued with its annual festivals, with 52 teams taking part in the 7 area festivals.
Many members sent help to the victims of the Lynmouth flood disaster in the summer, helping to replenish store-cupboards and supplying household necessities.
Mrs. Drummond of Chalfont St. Peter WI won a competition to design a tablecloth to be used by the Chairman at BFWI meetings. The members of her WI embroidered the cloth on linen.
WIs were formed at Beachampton, Colnbrook, Gawcott and North Crawley.
Eight Buckinghamshire WI members represented BFWI at the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. They watched the procession from seats in the Mall and Piccadilly.
226 singers took part in a performance of Handel’s “L’Allegro” in Aylesbury Town Hall on 4th November.
WIs were formed at Ford, Penn Street, and Simpson & Wroughton.
Over the years the Federation had entertained many overseas guests. In 1954 guests from Australia and New Zealand came under the auspices of the Imperial Relations Trust. They were taken to the Royal Show and the County Farm, as well as visiting some WI meetings. In November a night’s hospitality and a visit to a monthly meeting was arranged for two Jamaican students, and there was also a visit from an African chief from Tanganyika (Tanzania) who was much interested in the work of the WI and told something of his own country’s problems.
The National Federation, under its Chairman Elizabeth Lady Brunner, passed a resolution to Keep Britain Tidy.
A new WI was formed at Nash.
here to edit.