Wheatley Women's Institute 
Our History
How it all began

Wheatley WI was founded in 1919, with the first meeting being held on Wednesday 5th November 1919, at the Merry Bells Village Hall. This venue remains the meeting place of Wheatley WI to this day. 

Meetings were held fortnighly alternating on the first Wednesday of the month at 7pm and the third Wednesday of the month at 2.30pm. Over the years this has now changed to the third Tuesday of the month at 7.15pm

The Merry Bells Village Hall, remains largely unchanged since the first Wheatley WI meeting in 1919

What were meetings like?

The first meeting was attended by roughly 70 members which included residents from Wheatley, Littleworth, Holton, Forest Hill and Shotover. It contained several talks which included the origin, history and meaning of Folk-dancing, a string knotting exhibition and demonstration, and the showing of a pair of gloves backed with rabbit-skin, which were decided to be made at the following meeting on the Wednesday 19th November 1919 at 2.30pm. Lastly songs were sung by a selection of members.

The minutes of this meeting along with other Wheatley history is all held in the Wheatley Archives based at the Merry Bells. It is open to the public on a Thursday 2pm-5pm.