Pauline Goddard is the Chairman of the Oxfordshire Federation of Women’s Institutes in this special year for the organisation.  Oxfordshire has 142 branches.

I assumed the WI was quintessentially English but I was wrong:  it was a Canadian invention. The idea crossed the Atlantic and the first British branch was formed in Wales in 1915 in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgigerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch: seriously! It became a tool to revitalise rural communities and  to encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War.

The WI is celebrating its centenary. Pauline’s post war story reflects the social changes  depicted in the recent ITV series Home Fires which dramatized a fictional WI in World War 2.

The WI ferried their baton around the county by various means of transport. In the pic some members are on an open top bus in The High.

You can read Pauline’s castaway story  by clicking on this Pdf.   Pauline Goddard

WI Bus down High Street Oxford