One of the oldest Women’s Institutes in Radnorshire is celebrating 100 years since it was formed.

Cwmbach Women’s Institute (WI) members and county leaders marked the centenary with a special luncheon at the Hotel Metropole in Llandrindod Wells. Current president Mary Powell cut the birthday cake to mark the occasion.

A Cwmbach WI member, Freda Hamer, was also celebrating being a member for more than 50 years at the same Women’s Institute.

Cwmbach WI was formed in January 1920 with their first meeting at Caerwnon House and Mrs Henry Evan-Thomas was the first President. By 1934 the membership had risen to 50 members, but over the years the numbers have dwindled until in the early 1970s they were reduced to 15 members.

County Times:

While the group was started just after the First World War, it is a wonderful achievement 100 years on. It began when ladies didn’t go out to work as much as they do now. So having somewhere to meet, share ideas, make gifts to give to charity and a cup of tea and a cake was everything to them.

During the war years the ladies did useful things, raised money to purchase wool for knitting for the troops, one member acted as a Friend to the Land Girls, collected rose hips and medical herbs and cared for evacuee children. In addition they organised waste paper collections and raised money for the Welcome Home Fund and sent a donation and a parcel of clothing to the World Refugee Fund.

One highlight during the early years of Cwmbach WI was when in 1935 their WI banner was sent to be exhibited in London, which was talked about for a great deal of time.

Through the years the group has made its presence felt by participating in celebrations to mark the Coronation in 1953 and the Investiture in 1969 as well as being involved with local protests in the area against a number of closures.

The birthday event was organised by Derwyn Morgan and Hillary Lee.