On Tuesday 8th September 2015 a group of women gathered in the Sprowston Cricket Pavilion. Some of us knew each other, while others were strangers. We were all there for the same reason though. We were looking to meet new people and make new friends.
The weather didn't give us the most auspicious start, it began to drizzle just after 7 pm and we were worried people wouldn't brave the cold but thirty three women came to the preliminary meeting of the Swallowtail WI and we couldn't have hoped for a lovelier group of ladies.
Everybody was a little shy to start off with but Margaret our WI advisor ran the meeting confidently and explained what a WI was and how important an organisation the Women's Institute is. Excitement started to build not just among the founding Swallowtails but also among the potential new members. It felt like we were at the start of something very special.
We played Get to Know You Bingo and it did just that. Everybody got up and went round asking each other questions. It was a lot of fun and really broke the ice. The level of chatter and laughter in the room grew from there. We created vision boards of what we wanted for the Swallowtails, including ideas for the cake rota and potential speakers.
Our vision for the Swallowtails...
After that we took a break for coffee and some yummy cakes baked or bought by the four founders. The fantastic atmosphere continued and people commented on what a great time they were having.
Then came the moment we had all been hoping for. To officially form as a WI we had to get twelve members and six committee members. We were delighted to get eighteen people wanting to join on the first night with more keen to join next month. Four fabulous women, Jeanette, Jody, Lucy and Ruth wanted to join us on the committee. It was incredibly exciting and I (Claire) couldn't quite believe it was really happening. The Swallowtail WI formed in the centenary month and year of the WI, it felt like a real honour and an incredible legacy.
There were some decisions we had to take about the WI, including a vote for President. I was voted into office and had to take on my first official duty of closing the meeting. Everybody went home smiling and looking forward to next month.
The Baked Goodies...
Get the inside scoop on the life of a WI member.