Wimborne NWR dives into the virtual world during lockdown

See their article here  Wimborne-article-in-Viewpoint-May-2020 

or read below.

Maryanne Pike, local organiser for the Wimborne National Women’s Register, gives readers some insight into the organisation and how it is coping during the Covid-19 pandemic. She writes:

Yes, it was definitely the pill! It had been a lively discussion topic, ‘The Most Influential Thing to Come out Of the Sixties’, so many contenders: fashion, music, free love (possibly due to the aforementioned medical advance?) to name but a few. However, the new opportunity for women to control their own fertility was certainly the majority favourite.

It was also the decade that started NWR, the National Women’s Register, formerly National Housewives Register, and it was the members of the Wimborne group of NWR that had been debating the topic as part of NWR’s Sixtieth Jubilee this spring. All over the country members were celebrating the week when Maureen Nichols, the founding member, wrote a letter, with a brilliant suggestion, to a newspaper.

Maureen had been moving around the country with her young family following her husband’s job moves. This was the era when greater mobility of the workforce was becoming more usual. She thought how wonderful it would be to have a group of like-minded women, a register she called it, who would be readymade friends wherever you went.

The need for such an organisation was shown by the overwhelming response to her letter and NWR was born.

So there we were, 60 years later, and looking forward to our spring programme of discussions, visits, trips and talks, (not to forget the odd party). Then something shook the world and all our activities were put on hold.

It took a couple of weeks to come to terms with the situation and our disappointments. Then, like so many people and organisations, we decided we were not going to be beaten and we took a dive into the virtual world.

Our fortnightly meetings usually take place in each other’s homes but now we meet in a virtual room and, instead of twice a month, it’s twice a week. We have a weekly coffee morning (bring your own coffee), and a weekly evening get together (bring your own…whatever you fancy, most often it’s in a glass).

Of course it’s very different and there’s been a lot to learn, not least the etiquette of this new social contact. Many of us have also learnt that we are not as bad at technology as we thought. Each meeting has a topic, the discussion mentioned at the start of this article was at one of our evening meetings, sometimes we need to give it a bit of thought beforehand and, most importantly, it is giving everyone an opportunity to stay in touch.

We are very grateful to the National Organising Group too. They have stepped up to provide access for all members to the Digital Theatre resources and have organised webinars with interesting and entertaining speakers and quizzes for any members throughout the country that would like to take part. Their regular newsletters with useful links and ideas help us to feel less alone.

So, this remains a difficult and challenging time for us all but, being a member of NWR is helping to make it more bearable.

Membership of NWR is open to all women. Enquiries can be made by filling in the contact form on the website nwr. org.uk or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Durham Zooms Ahead

The Durham Group have already started having all their meetings online, starting with a Planning Meeting and then their first Discussion Group on the subject of "What is Nuclear Medicine?".

Enid Hoseason the Local Organiser writes "It worked quite well and instead of going around the room and asking members to contribute, we just went around the screen, and like a normal meeting, those members who did not want to contribute, just listened.  

Members are using different devices, from iphones to iPads and lap tops so those using phones have to swipe the screen to see everyone in the group as they only see four at a time.  it is also useful to use the CHAT button on the bottom of the screen if someone cannot hear very well.

Each week we have had emails from each other, from members who have walked around their gardens and taken photos of their lovely flowers and shared them online - just little things to keep us in touch with each other. I know that tonight, some members have watched the live theatre on the television and others are taking part in the events NWR Head Office are organising.

This is a photo of us enjoying a VE Celebration tea and cake together."

Durham VE Day Zoom Pic

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Buckhurst Hill & Woodford Green "old timers" reunion

Buckhurst Hill & Woodford Green "old timers" reunion

Initiated by the 60th Anniversary of NWR, Buckhurst Hill & Woodford Green reunited some "old timers" as we call ourselves (going back forty years in some cases) and, having arranged a date in early March, we were pleased to be able to go ahead with our plans before the full  restrictions were put in place.  Most had moved away, but travelled to London for a very enjoyable lunch.  In the event, twelve were able to attend (some travelling long distances), and for those who couldn't make it, it was good to have been in touch again.  It inspired us to try and make this an annual event!

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Broadstone afternoon

Broadstone afternoon

Broadstone Afternoon members exercising and observing the isolation code! 

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Lytham St Anne's diamond celebration

Here are some photos of our group’s Celebration Afternoon Tea at Lytham Hall on Diamond Day. The local press came, took photos and wrote two articles about us. We each had a goody bag containing a special memento which consisted of a tea light holder with our own commemorative transfers affixed. We proposed a toast to Maureen Nicol and a good time was had by all.

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Boscombe East - Ruby Anniversary

Boscombe East - Ruby Anniversary

As our National Organisation celebrates the 60th Anniversary of our creation, we the members of the Boscombe East Group celebrated our 40th Anniversary in February.

The members decided to mark the occasion with an afternoon tea at the Listen Hotel, Boscombe. We invited some past members who had moved away from our area and were very pleased that they could join us.

To mark the occasion members wore red for the ruby anniversary and all looked splendid.

Over the years our members have been involved with the Southampton National Conference, organizing two local conferences and attending many national and local conferences. One member was a trustee for a period of time.

It was lucky that I found the copy of the original letter sent to all members in February 1980 when the group became too big for most homes to accommodate. As one of the present LOs along with my colleague we decided to split the group by geographical location. It has worked well ever since and we have welcomed many new members over the years.

Here’s to the next 40 years!!

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Book Group Reading List February 2020

  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • Old Baggage by Lissa Evans
  • A Single Thread by Tracey Chevalier
  • Big Sky by Kate Atkinson

Also recommended The Five by Hallie Rubenhold

The next Book Group meeting will be on Tuesday 21st April

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NWR Perth's Monthly Daytime Event

NWR Perth's Monthly Daytime Event

Some of Perth's members enjoying their monthly daytime event. In March 2020 they visited the Signet Library, Edinburgh where they had a tour and a meal which was arranged by one of the group members, herself a designated Writer to the Signet.


They coincidentally had member celebrating her birthday so she was presented with a wee cake

The Society of Writers to Her Majesty's Signet is the oldest legal society in the world. It is a private society of Scottish solicitors. The Society dates back to 1594 and is part of the College of Justice. Writers to the Signet originally had special privileges in relation to the drawing up of documents which required to be signeted, but these have disappeared and the Society is now an independent, non-regulatory association of solicitors, most of whom are based in Edinburgh.

The Signet Library is situated in the very heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, is the epitome of prestigious, Georgian elegance. Steeped in history, the building, with its Lower and Upper Libraries, was completed in 1822 in time for the celebrated visit to Edinburgh of King George IV, who described the Upper Library as “the finest drawing room in Europe”.

 

 

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Cumbria Celebrating the Diamond Anniversary in Style

Cumbria Celebrating the Diamond Anniversary in Style

On Wednesday 26th February 2020, members from Carlisle, Egremont and Kendal branches celebrated 60 years of the NWR. This iconic event was held at Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle. We celebrated with a delicious afternoon tea and at 2 pm we took part in the live streaming of speeches across the country and joined the national toast with a glass of Prosecco. 

Claire Sleightholm, the Tullie House Curator delivered a presentation on "Women in the 1960's," which was fascinating and had everyone reminiscing with stories of their own. We then had the opportunity to look round Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery. During the afternoon members were also interviewed by Radio Cumbria and That's TV Cumbria.

Our hope is that women will continue to join NWR and benefit from it as we do. www.nwr.org.uk  or email the Area Organiser for Cumbria, Val Bassindale  at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Canterbury Group Two Celebrating 60 Years of NWR

Celebrating 60 Years of NWR

Canterburynwr5

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26 February 2020 - Diamond Day

26 February 2020 - Diamond Day

On Wednesday, our Bury St Edmunds group hosted an event at the Athenaeum to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the NWR, in tandem with around a dozen other events across the UK. What a lovely, memorable day we had!
130 members attended, representing 21 different groups in the Eastern Region.
Starting the morning with tea & coffee, we then moved into the ballroom to listen to very interesting talks from two entertaining speakers - Paul Stancliffe from the BTO and Catherine Buchanan from the Guildhall.
The three-course lunch was enjoyed hugely, and was followed by a successful (phew) live link to Birmingham for a recorded interview with Maureen Nichol and a sparkling toast to the NWR. Hooray!!

In the afternoon many members elected to go on organised tours of the Cathedral, Guildhall and Greene King Brewery, or to stay at the Athenaeum and take part in activities such as botanical art, attracting wildlife to your garden, spinning & weaving, and a talk on the women of Bury St Edmunds.
It took a lot of organising, and the committee probably collapsed on their respective sofas when they got home, but it really was worth it!!

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Trip to Lytham Hall

Trip to Lytham Hall

Lytham St Annes group are to celebrate Diamond Day with a celebratory Afternoon Tea at our local Georgian manor house Lytham Hall.

Attached is a photo of a vintage bus trip to Lytham Hall that some of our members took a few weeks ago. The vehicle is a 1960s single decker Leyland Tiger Cub owned and driven by John Edwards (the husband of one of or members). The bus will be 60 years old this March 2020 so it was the perfect choice.

 

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CAT Radio: Kate Blakemore chats to Jill from the National Women’s Register

For the last 7 years Judy Challinor and I, along with other local members, have represented NWR at Nantwich’s Societies spectacular – an annual showcase for local groups, societies and charities. Each year a local radio broadcaster CAT Radio have been there providing background music. Last July I took the plunge and spoke to their presenter about appearing on the station to publicise NWR. The result can be heard by pressing on the link below. A recording from 6th December.

I confess to being somewhat nervous but Kate Blakemore put me at my ease and away we went. I was expecting to just chat for 10 minutes or so but I was there for the whole hour show! I urge people to give it a go and become a radio presenter – even if it is for just an hour!

Here is the link : 

http://thisisthecat.com/the-motherwell-show-kate-blakemore-chats-to-jill-from-the-national-womens-register/

Jill Lucas

Joint Area Organiser for the Midlands 01 Region

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NWR's Diamond Anniversary

NWR's Diamond Anniversary

Here are our Celebration pages for NWR's Diamond Anniversary in 2020. They represent our members, our village and our reasons for joining the NWR.   

   JCE Pro

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Kathryn O'Higgins
Yikes! I thought I’d hit five stars! Not two and a half ?...... technology!
Thursday, 30 January 2020 17:36
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Christmas Party Fun

We held our annual Christmas party in mid-December. Fiona (our LO) and Ian hosted. There was the usual fabulous buffet and we enjoyed a lovely relaxed evening which included the customary quiz. All in all a lovely evening spent with friends enjoying good food and fun.

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Christmas Tree Festival 2019

Christmas Tree Festival 2019

 

Grantham NWR displayed a Christmas Tree in the St Wulfram's Church biennial festival.  We chose a diamond theme in anticipation of next year's anniversary and added references to our own 40th anniversary. Well done to all the decorators.

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Telephone Trail 2019

This year the quiz was most enjoyable. We solved all the clues bar the internet one. We have made a stab aat that one. Thank you Battle and District.

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Poring over the Past – NWR at the Women’s Library

Poring over the Past – NWR at the Women’s Library

This week our chair of trustees, Josephine Burt, along with National Organiser Natalie Punter and Mary Stott Award winner (and former National Organiser) Antoinette Ferraro visited the Women's Library at the London School of Economics (LSE). This library holds records of the women’s’ movement in 19th and 20th centuries including the NHR/NWR archives.  Here's what she had to say.

Antoinette, Natalie and I recently spent a wonderfully interesting day at The Women’s Library (part of the British Library and currently housed at the London School Of Economics, LSE, in Central London) looking at 60 years of NWR heritage.

The Women's Library houses England’s primary library and museum resource on women, women’s issues and history, and the women’s movement from, primarily, the 19th and 20th centuries. The main collection dates back to the mid-1920s, though the core collection was formed from a library established by Ruth Cavendish Bentinck in 1909. These archives moved to LSE, as part of the British Library collection, in 2013.

We had the opportunity to view photos and marketing materials dating back to the early 60s even the official annual reports and financial returns, though we decided to leave those for another day!

It was lovely to see photos of the women who set up and ran the organisation from 1980 - having read the book that details our first twenty years 1960-1980 (“The Lively-Minded Women” by Betty Jerman published in 1980) and it was great to see the original materials upon which it was based. Antoinette was delighted to find some photos of the National Group in the 1980's which included her.

Some of the publicity materials looked very dated, as they would, but the Golden Anniversary literature (from 2010) looked fresh and vibrant. We also found a hidden gem – a poster from the 1960s – which we are thinking of rejuvenating for our anniversary! (watch this space).  It was sobering and yet reassuring to find that the problems and issues we have today have been there over the years and are really a feature of informal organisations such as ours.

I felt very nostalgic when I found some local press cuttings from Leighton Buzzard from the 1980's and recognised the names of friends I met through NWR. I’d like to thank our members and LOs for keeping such excellent records of our history and I think we owe it to the next generation of NWR to ensure we continue to send in materials from the last 10 years and onwards.

For those of you (individually or as a group) who would like to see the archives for yourselves NWR members are welcome to visit by appointment - see http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/collection-highlights/the-womens-library or call LSE Library 020 7955 7229

Josephine Burt, Chair of Trustees


Celebrating 60 years of the National Women’s Register and the National Housewive’s Register – 1960-2020

 National Conference 2020 – Precious Gems - A Celebration! 11th-13th September 2020

#NWRDiamondDays #NWRdiamondconf2020 #LivelyMindedWomen

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South West Salisbury Visit

Ten NWR friends recently visited Salisbury and enjoyed an informative walk around the fantastic Cathedral Close on Monday morning. The tour was lead by member Liz who told us many interesting facts about many of the houses.... the history, famous visitors and residents and the ghosts!

The sun was shining for (at least part of) the day and we enjoyed a jolly lunch in the Cathedral Refectory.

What a wonderful day! Please let us know what other events NWR members are enjoying around the country!

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Woodstock 50th Anniversary

Woodstock 50th Anniversary

We became hippies (once again) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival held in August 1969. We travelled back in time using online contemporary photographs of the 400,000 festival goers and the farm in Bethel, New York, where it all happened and video recordings of musical artists such as Joan Baez, Jimmy Hendrix, Joe Cocker and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. We even had hippy and 1960’s food, including lentil bake, vegetable stew, cheese and pineapple on sticks and arctic roll. What a groovy time we all had!!

Heather

 

 

 

 

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