The president of Saltaire WI, Fiz Pimperton, had a letter published in the Times on June 22. Fiz was inspired to write in response to an article by Sarah Vine, in which she discussed a recent report on ’50 unmistakable signs that you’re over the hill’. In her article, Ms Vine commented:
Of the 50 telltale signs of decrepitude identified, I seem to be suffering from most… That said, even I draw the line at No. 37, joining the WI.
Annoyed at this outdated view of the WI, Fiz responded, issuing an open invitation to Sarah Vine to attend a Saltaire WI meeting. We have yet to hear back from her! Here is the letter as printed in the Times:
Crest of the hill
Sir, while like Sarah Vine (Times2, June 19), I can relate to a number of the “50 unmistakable signs that you’re over the hill”, I challenge her to reconsider drawing the line at No 37, “joining the WI”.
Although many traditional WI groups still exist, there are now a large number of institutes in metropolitan areas, professional workplaces, universities and most recently a women’s prison, that have brought about a revival of the WI in recent years. There are more than 210,000 members in about 6,600 WI’s, and as the National Federation of WIs heads towards its centenary in 2015, new institutes are regularly starting up and membership is growing. Many of these institutes have been set up by women in their twenties and thirties to provide an opportunity to reconnect communities, and allow women to make new friends and learn new skills.
Now in its second year, Saltaire WI has nearly 90 members ranging in age from mid-20’s to over 80. Our activities range from crafting to Bollywood dancing. We are proud to be part of the National Federation that campaigns on current issues such as the lack of midwives and the decline of our high streets.
President, Saltaire WI (age 36)