The Wyke Regis Women’s Institute is reflecting on a year of celebrations following their 100th anniversary.

The groups very first meeting was held on May 29, 1923, just five years after the Great War ended.

Having met in various locations in Wyke Regis, in 1933 the big decision was made to purchase the Primitive Methodist Church in Gallwey Road at a cost of £750 and the Hall was opened in March 1934.

The first actual gathering of Wyke WI was held in the October of the same year in the Assembly Rooms of the Wyke Hotel and it is noted that ‘member of the Mothers’ Union boldly came forward to run the teas’.

Dorset Echo: An archive picture from Wyke RegisAn archive picture from Wyke Regis

Owning the hall has allowed the members to enjoy many activities and monthly meetings throughout the years.

Old carefully recorded minutes show that the first planning meeting for the group took place on May 15, 1923 and those present included the president Mrs Selous – who lived in Wyke Castle – Lady Harvey who was vice president, Mrs Morris secretary and Mrs Eldridge the treasurer.

Over the years, the WI group has played a large part in the structure of Wyke Regis.

Dorset Echo: CelebrationsCelebrations (Image: Wyke WI)

During the Second World War, its members knitted for Dorset’s troops and collected 278 eggs in one month to be distributed to the local hospital and eye infirmary. They also helped evacuees, gave blood, dug for victory and in 1943 adopted a prisoner of war called John Bright.

Very little is on record about John, although we do know that when he was repatriated in 1945 he was presented with 30 Saving Stamps – no mean amount – by Wyke Regis WI.