Copyright © All rights reserved. Designed & Maintained by Clive Patterson     Updated 18 June 2019 Isleham Village

Your site for information on the Cambridgeshire village of Isleham


WI  (Women's Institute)


At the beginning of May our President, Jane Grant, and Mary Stack represented our Group – Isleham, Chippenham, Soham and Fordham, at the AGM, which was held in Cardiff this year. Jane gave a report of this at our last meeting. We celebrated our June meeting at the Twentypence

Nursery in Wilburton. Members and friends enjoyed a meal followed by a talk by their Head Gardener, then time to look around the Nursery and spend our money. It was a very pleasant evening enjoyed by all. We took part in Gala Day with a walking float marching as Suffragettes Although it was not quite the same as riding on a trailer we all enjoyed it, and money collected on the way, and from the third prize, is a welcome addition to our funds.

In July we welcomed Chris Clarke from Bottisham. Chris originally trained as a hairdresser with Vidal Sassoon and she brought along the dress that had been her uniform. This was made by Mary Quant and was so short that Chris said her dad got upset whenever she left home in it. It was a true reminder of the 60s and well remembered by members. After qualifying Chris went to work with a theatrical make up artist and used this training in film and theatre. She used several members as models to demonstrate how make-up can be used. The results were amazing, and it made for a very good meeting.

After enjoying our Jubilee Tea last year we decided to make it a tradition, so held a tea party on the afternoon of  20th July, at the Social Centre. The weather was much better this year and it was a very pleasant occasion.

In August Peter Carter, the eel man came to our meeting and entertained us with stories from his life. I think Peter could talk for hours, and we all loved listening to him September was our Harvest Supper when we enjoyed lovely food prepared by members. Doreen Rutterford won the competition of an Autumn Flower Arrangement.

If you would like to join the WI or simply come to a meeting to see what it is like, please do come along. We meet  on the second Thursday of each month in the Limestone Community Centre, 7.30pm for 7.45pm, and new members

are always welcome.

For further information contact:

Glenda Preece

01638 780734


At our meeting in March we were entertained by Jerry Dodd, who came to talk about “What’s that smell in the kitchen?” Jerry started off in the catering industry where he worked in many top establishments before branching out first as a trainer and later as an examiner. His interests seemed to be endless! He has fitted so much into his life, and could have talked all night.

In total contrast, in May we welcomed Mrs M. Browne to our meeting. Her subject was “Show and Tell of American and Norfolk Quilts”. Mrs Browne brought with her a large collection of quilts, some more than 100 years old, to demonstrate the difference between the two types, and members were amazed by the work involved in the hand-stitched quilts. Recently, several members went on a Federation arranged visit to Oxford. It was a lovely day, with time in the morning to wander freely, then a tour round some of the colleges with a Blue Badge Guide. We finished the afternoon in Exeter College, which was established in 1314, and is opposite the Bodleian Library. We were treated to a lovely cream tea in the dining room, and then spent time looking around the beautiful chapel, where we were able to admire works by William Morris who was a student at Exeter. It was a most enjoyable day.

If you would like to join the WI or simply come to a meeting to see what it is like, please do come along. We meet on the second Thursday (not June) of each month in the Village Hall, 7.30 for 7.45pm, and new members are always welcome. For further information contact: Glenda Preece

01638 780734;

ISLEHAM boasts a thriving Women’s Institute whose members

meet monthly to follow an interesting annual programme.


New members are always welcome at our meetings.

If you have thought about joining but have not quite got around to doing so, let us assure you

that you will be made very welcome. We are a small and friendly group of women gathered

together to pursue a wide range of interests together in friendship.


Isleham WI hopes that you have found the above information interesting. If you would like to know more, come and see us at the Village Hall on the second Thursday of each month except June (annual outing).

Have a couple of taster sessions to see if you like what we do. You will be under no obligation whatsoever to join. Of course, we hope that you will but whatever you decide, your welcome will be very warm indeed.

Contact: Glenda Preece

Tel: 01638 780734


Meetings held in the Village Hall on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 7.30pm

Visit the National Federation of Women's Institutes' (NFWI) website.

80th year Celebrations

On Sept 11 1915 the Women's Institute was formed in the UK. Only seven and a half years later, on Feb 15 1923, the Isleham WI was founded and to celebrate the event a special dinner and entertainment was held in the Village Hall in Isleham on Saturday Feb. 15 exactly eighty years since they were formed. An ex-member, Rosie Tat, provided the excellent food. Entertainment was provided by Sophie Turner who demonstrated and gave lessons in Line Dancing and The Band with no Name from Chippenham then played Folk music and led sing-a-longs. Members brought husbands and guests to share in the event.

The oldest serving member of Isleham WI, Peggy Diver, who has been a member since 1948, cut the celebration cake,

which had been made by her daughter, Ruth.

The Isleham WI still has a membership of forty-five even though numbers are declining elsewhere.

The Mystery Tour

Our institute was getting stale

Our numbers getting fewer

And so to liven thins up a bit

We arranged a mystery tour

Some forty assorted ladies

With the maximum of fuss

Proceed with much pushin' and shovin'

To get seated on the bus

Joyce Drayton had left everything till the last

What with primping powdering and the like

But all ended well, she just rang her bell

And caught the bus up on her bike

Now there were Peggy Diver,She'd had a heavy meal

Couldn't travel in front, felt bad at the back

And would be sick if she sat on a wheel.

There was Liz and Flossie Garner

The window their bone of contention

One wanted it up, one wanted it down.

There'd abin blows but for some intervention.

Maureen Aves was all ready,She'd dressed with great care

Determined to be smart for the do

But things didn't go quite right, and she stepped in some shite

And it got all over her shoe.

At last everyone was settled

Without any further to do

Except for Mrs Joyce Patterson

Who had forgotten to go to the loo

The bus sped along, it ate up the miles

The ladies engrossed in their chatter

“Have you had the flu”, yes I've had it too,

Wasn't it nice to have the EEC butter

Did you hear about Fred? His budgie is dead

and his wife has gone off with his brother

And poor old Jack has been flat on his back

I believe he had a touch of the other.

Then up went the shout, “Get the sandwiches out”

And the cake and the Elderberry wine

Mrs Nellie Place got up and said grace

And the ladies decided to dine.

Then a lone voice was heard, it was Mrs Jean Bird

She rendered a chorus or two

We had Roll out the Barrel and God Save the Queen

And a few verses of “Tip to Maloo”

Somebody said “Hark it's Celia Clarke

She's trying to call out the draw”

Well would you believe that, it's that Jenny Flatt

She's won it the last six times or more!

Soon stillness descended on our happy band

What with the warmth, the excitement and wine

And that Ena Norman she got off a yawnin'

And were driving 'em home loud and fine.

They all followed suit,Joy Brown she looked cute

Her hat had slipped over her eyes

And there soon wasn't a single person left

Who was not in the land of  'byes'

The bus still sped on it's appointed route

Past places of interest and like

By the gas works, crematorium and sewage farm

They missed all these wonderful sights.

Til when dusk was falling, the bus came to a halt

Right back at our own village church

And the ladies inside, having enjoyed the ride

Were woken up by the lurch.

“Oh is it all over, where have we been?”

Many voices were heard to say

But nobody knew and so our Mystery Tour

Is a mystery still to this day.

Olwen Doggett

Secretary   Isleham W.I.

(No date but estimated to be from the late 70's to early 80's )

I came across this poem from the 80’s whilst going through an old scrap book belonging to my mum. Hope this brings back a few memories and raises a few chuckles.

Clive Patterson