Welcome to Horley Evening WI

Horley Evening Women's Institute are a diverse group who wish to develop a sense of community amongst the ladies of Horley. We aim to provide the opportunity to build new friendships, learn new skills, crafts, and interests. We offer our members the opportunity to be part of an ever-increasing organisation, with people you can connect with wherever you go. 

Visitors are always welcome to come try us out. We operate a 'buddy' system, so whether you come as a visitor on your own, or with a friend, one of our WI members will be there to welcome you and answer any questions you may have.

Our Meetings and events page lists our 2024 programme for our monthly meetings, so you can see the speakers, activities and events planned for the year.

We also host special interest clubs, which are in addition to the monthly meetings, information can be found on the relevant Club pages. 

We meet on the 2nd Wednesday of every month (except August when there is a WI outing) at 7.30 p.m. in the Methodist Church hall on Victoria Road in Horley.

Who are the WI

The Women’s Institute (WI) was formed in 1915 to encourage women to become more involved in producing and preserving food during World War One. Since it’s incarnation the WI has grown to become the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK. To date there are approximately 220,000 members in approximately 6,300 WI groups.

The role of the WI is to educate and empower women, providing opportunities to learn new skills and to raise issues within their local and wider communities.

The Women’s Institute are an inclusive organisation, open to all women

Our Banner 

In 2022 we celebrated our 10-year anniversary, to mark it we decided to create a banner to showcase our town and our WI within it. The Banner girls were then formed on 16th March with the aim to unveil the finished article for our 10-year anniversary meeting on June 8th. The Banner ladies consisted of, Jane East, Celia O'Connell, Lynda Ward, Elizabeth Lediert, Helen-Marie Thornhill, Veronica McCulloch and Kathleen Gumbrell. 

The design was a collaboration of ideas, drawn out by Jane and Veronica separately with Kath putting them together into one cohesive design. The elements of the banner represent our county, town, and WI. The background features the Surrey Hills, a nod to the county as well as the river Mole, which runs through the town. There also features a plane due to our proximity to Gatwick airport, with oak leaves and acorns for Surrey. The signpost is a representation of our direction as a WI, with a stone marker showing the date of Horley Evening WI's inception. The two buildings featured at the bottom of the banner are the two oldest buildings in the town, St Bartholomew's church and Ye Olde Six Bells pub. The eagle-eyed will also spot that the town name is mounted on six bells! 

We used a variety of techniques, drawing on each of the Banner girls’ strengths. We went our separate ways and got to work on our individual part. Veronica made a start on the mixed media quilted background and signpost, Helen-Marie crocheted leaves and flowers, Lynda created embroidered felt leaves. Kath got to making needle felted oak leaves, acorns, and the plane. Celia created the bells and felt leaves, Jane created the St Bartholomew's church in felt. Elizabeth embroidered the six bells, stone marker and created Romanian point lace oak leaves and stumpwork acorns. All the ladies then took to assembling the piece, the banner moving from one house to another as we all took part in assembling and making the finishing touches. Last but not least, Veronica painstakingly attached the backing by hand and placed the last stitch on 6th June, ready to be unveiled on 8th June at our birthday meeting.

There is still one part to go which is the embroidered names to go on the back, but there is no rush. The banner is proudly hung at each of our meetings and is a wonderful reminder of the teamwork and creative collaboration that was achieved with painstaking skill, talent and plenty of tea and cake.