Kirkby Malzeard Women's Institute
Kirkby Malzeard Home PageOrganisations Page

The Women's Institute meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 7.15 pm in the Mechanics Institute Village Hall. Most months there is an invited speaker, tea & biscuits, a stall, a raffle and a competition.

SPEAKERS' SUBJECTS FOR 2011

Silent Auction, A Life Working with Young People, Felt Making, The Woodland Trust, Dulcie Lewis on "Not Just Yorkshire Puddings", Associated Country Women of the World, The Ups and Downs of Life in a Small Village, Hats on Top, Community Archeology and the Christmas Party.

In 2010 Kirkby Malzeard celebrated its 80th Birthday and in commemoration there was a special History Day at the Mechanics Institute on 14 August 2010, followed by a celebration Dinner for Members, Husbands and visitors from the County and the Skelldale Group on 21 August 2010 also in the Mechanics Institute.

For more details please look at the calendar.

New members are always very welcome. Kirkby Malzeard WI is a thriving WI with a good deal of fun and laughter at meetings. Come for an evening to find out for yourself. For more details please contact 01765 658438 or any WI Member.

The photograph below illustrates a WI Litter Picking Expedition.

Kirkby Malzeard Women's Institute is one of six member Institutes of the Skelldale Group of Women's Institutes. The other five Institutes are: Dallowgill WI, Fearby with Healey WI, Grantley with Winksley WI, Grewelthorpe WI, and Masham WI.

The Skelldale Group had a Group visit to Dallowgill WI in the spring of 2010 and later in the year visited Grantley WI for an Indoor Games night,and then the usual Christmas Carol Concert was held in the Methodist Chapel at Kirkby Malzeard. This was most successful even though the weather was very poor. Thanks to all who braved the snow and icy conditions. The 2011 Carol Service will be organised by Grantley with Winksley WI.

Extracts from various records of KMWI History

Meetings of the Women's Institute in Kirkby Malzeard are held on the first Wednesday of each month - and have been held on that day ever since the first meeting back in 1929, on 13th November.

Kirkby Malzeard Women's Institute was formed in 1929, first meeting in Mowbray House, the home of the then President Mrs Moore, later to become Lady Moore. By the end of 1930 there were 76 Members. Throughout the 30's membership remained in the seventies and in 1942 rose to 84. As with many WI's membership peaked in the 1940's as people began to settle back into peace time activities again after the War. Although membership has dwindled from time to time since then, there are currently 41 Members.

Bus Shelter and other Community Work WI records are full of evidence of activities in support of the village Community. Particularly notable is that in 1932 the WI erected and insured the bus shelter, and repaired and repainted it until at least the 1950's when this responsibility was taken over by the Parish Council. In the 1980's Bulbs were planted and for the Millennium a tree was planted Members have helped with refreshments at various village events, notably the Silver Jubilee and Golden Jubilee teas for all villagers, and in recent years the marathon sandwich making efforts for the teas for the runners in the Annual 10K and Fun Runs.

During the War members were active in helping with a National Savings Group, collecting foxglove seeds and rose hips, knitting for civilian relief, and collecting clothes for the WVS appeal.

The Wounded Warriors. Immediately the War ended the WI extended the first invitation of many to the Wounded Warriors, a disabled ex-servicemen's organisation, from Leeds. According to the records of the Welfare Committee, a voluntary organisation dedicated to the welfare and entertainment of servicement and women in local and district hospitals, these outings to Kirkby Malzeard started in 1948 and continued for 50 years. Originally over fifty would arrive - a full coach load of walking wounded and about ten in wheelchairs, transported in a special wheelchair coach.

For many years a local business man, whose daughter-in-law was a member of the WI gave a whole ham for this special visit. WI Members, as well as others in the village, baked scones and cakes, etc. In some cases money was donated - cigarettes were bought and any spare money given to the ex-servicemen. There would be a raffle, where everyone was a winner. Those who were fit enough would visit the local dairy in the village. The numbers dwindled over the years, and sadly in 1997 the Chairman of the committee, Guy Locke, wrote his final letter - which every year had started with the words - "Please may we come again?" It is clear from this letter how much these War Veterans from the First and Second World Wars had appreciated the hard work which went into their annual visits, but what they valued most was the warm and friendly welcome from the ladies of Kirkby Malzeard WI.

ACWW, Associated Country Women of the World. From 1934 KMWI maintained a link with Tumby Bay WI in South Australia and regular letters were exchanged. During the War food parcels (containing most dried fruit) were sent to KMWI, as the Australian friends believed the KM ladies were starving. May was KMWI's 'link month', when gifts were exchanged and the Australian Song of Peace would be sung. This link still existed in 2000, but has since fallen away.

Luncheon Club. The WI were in instigators of the Luncheon Club for people living alone. This was held fortnightly at a member's home and many members helped with the cooking and serving. The Luncheon Club continues, still with support from WI Members, but is now held at Rose Lea Tea Rooms in the village.

Catering. With money raising in their minds, the WI decided to advertise teas to coach parties visiting the area. So popular did these become that one year no less than sixteen were catered for. Parties came from far afield, perhaps as part of a visit to the Yorkshire Dales, or in one case to look round the famous Fountains Dairy. A major catering effort was a wedding for a Member's daughter with 100 guests in the Mechanics Institute.

Long Serving Members. KMWI has two Members, both of whom joined in 1951 and another Member celebrated 50 years of membership in 2007.

Compiled September 2008.