Umborne Ladies’ Social Club
The Umborne Valley has a thriving group of ladies that meet once a month in the village hall in Umborne. The ladies come from Umborne and the surrounding areas.
The group has been in existence for many years. Initially the group was part of the Woman’s Institute but in later years it left the W.I. and became independent as the Umborne Ladies’ Social Group.
The group has a very interesting history. The first W.I. meeting was held on 3rd October 1945 at April Cottage in Umborne. In 1946 it was suggested that a hall should be built for the sum of £600, records are ‘sketchy’, but at a special meeting on 5th August 1947 the first hut was found standing. The hut cost £120, demolition was £15 and transport to the new site £10, the fund in hand was £113.19s, which presumably left a shortfall. Trustees were elected in 1949 and the first kitchen (estimated to cost £150) was operational for the July meeting in 1951. Archives from the 10th October 1951 appear to show a group of 62 ladies voting for 12 committee members.
Today the group prides itself on its excellent speakers. This year has seen varied and interesting topics including ‘The Role of the Magistracy’, ‘The History of Colyton’ and ‘Stage Costumes’. We have come a long way from 1949 when the evenings included such wonderful items as a competition for Baby’s knitted matinee coats, home made Easter eggs and home made slippers. The February meeting was always a trip out to a Pantomime, and records reveal that in May 1967 the speaker gave a talk entitled ‘Farming Without Tears’.
Today’s ladies may mourn with nostalgia the loss of these wonderful days where the ladies were more creative and appeared to have more fun, but the Umborne Valley group still has a lot to offer today. In the summer the group has an annual outing, usually to a Stately Home and lunch, in December we have a Christmas party at the hall, and a Christmas dinner at a local restaurant. Although not quite in the league of an Easter egg or slipper making competition, the group does have a ‘Flower of the Month’ competition and also a raffle followed by tea and biscuits.
Sadly, when the group left the W.I. in about 1996 it had to surrender all its records to the W.I. in Exeter. Many applications have been made for their retrieval but to no avail. It would appear that we have lost some valuable and interesting records.
It is hoped that the group will continue to thrive and the group welcomes new members both young and old. Please join us on the second Tuesday of the month at 2.30 pm in the winter months and 7.30 pm in the summer months. Any queries please contact Sheila Townsend on 01297 552513. New members will be more than welcome, just turn up and enjoy yourself.