100 years of the Women's Institute in the Isle of Ely

100 years of the Women's Institute in the Isle of Ely

Two people look at the travelling exhibition at Ely Library
The travelling exhibition at Ely Library

Your Heritage

Ely North
East Cambridgeshire
Women's Institute
The project celebrated 100 years of the Women’s Institute (WI) in the Isle of Ely.

Since its formation 100 years ago, the WI has greatly influenced the lives of women and their families in the rural communities of the Isle of Ely. This project researched the history and development of the local WIs, involving members and volunteers in capturing and recording memories of this impactful organisation. 

As part of the project, 14 volunteers were trained in conducting oral history interviews of members which have been made available online. A further 155 volunteers conducted archival research which contributed to the creation of a 12-panel travelling exhibition. The exhibition is making an appearance at events and venues throughout the region, including Ely, Chatteris and Wisbech Museums, Cambridge Library and various village halls. A central archive was also created for the safe and accessible storage of Federation records, now held at the Wisbech Museum. The first of its kind for WIs nationally, the project has been a huge success allowing numerous volunteers to develop their skills whilst sharing and celebrating the lives of local women past and present.