Our History

In 1967 Wootton was a relatively small village with a long established WI having its own hall adjacent to Wootton Creek. In general, meetings and their various activities took place in the afternoons. Membership was roughly 20 consisting of rather mature ladies.

I went to one of their afternoon meetings largely out of curiosity and got into conversation with one of the ladies who asked if I was thinking of joining them. I replied that I was but probably would not as, having a fairly young family, I liked to be at home in the afternoon to look after them and would prefer an evening based WI. This sparked considerable interest in my companion as, she told me, she had been thinking along similar lines for some time and asked if I was interested in helping to form such a one aimed, perhaps, at the younger members of the community. I said I was and agreed to talk to other parents to see if there was any interest. There was, so a meeting was arranged which attracted quite a number of people all eager to join us and we decided to call ourselves Creekside Womens Institute. The afternoon WI was approached and they kindly agreed that we could have use of their hall. So, the Creekside WI was born.

During this time the population of Wootton had been growing considerably and the Rector of Wootton decided that another church was needed so he organised the refurbishment and re-dedication of St Mark's Church. At the same time he arranged for an annexe to be added consisting of a large hall with stage, dressing room, kitchen, lounge and toilets, and parking for a fair number of cars. This was offered for hire to any organisation which required these facilities.

As our numbers had been steadily growing we took advantage of this and moved into St Mark's. Within a short space of time a Choir was followed by a Drama section. Once a year a Variety Show was performed which included singing, dancing, short plays, monologues etc All very light hearted and lots of fun. The front of the stage would be decorated with foliage and flowers, and the husbands of members would help make the appropriate props and scenery. We always had good audiences. Rambles were organized each month, a walk in our lovely countryside followed by a pub lunch or sometimes, weather permitting, a packed lunch in a member’s garden.

In July of each year, the IOW County Show took place and all WIs were invited to make and present an exhibit to a chosen theme. Creekside presented some very good layouts and often scored high marks. In December we joined other WIs at the Carol Concert time at the Medina Theatre in Newport.

Olive Lailey

Founder Member