NEW GIRLS IN TOWN: The committee of Great Bookham Belles WI

Demand leads to creation of new WI group

55 Women join village’s third branch.

By Jennifer Hardwick

DEMAND to become a member of the WI means a third branch is set to open its doors in Bookham – and 55 members have signed up before the first meeting has even happened.

The new group has chosen the name the Great Bookham Belles, joining Little Bookham WI and Eastwick WI in bringing the village’s women together.

There are also currently two Women’s Institutes meeting in Fetcham and one in Effingham.

Villager Amanda Edge has signed up to be the new group’s president after attending a prelimiary meeting held to gauge demand.

“I only went to the meeting to find out about it and I came out the president,” she said.

“I went with a friend of mine and she said ‘just do it’.”

Mrs Edge has been joined by 11 other committee members and they have planned their first meeting for 8pm on Monday night (October 20).

She continued: “The whole committee is very diverse and very enthusiastic.”


“All the women that have joined so far are fantastic.  They are women who just want to do something and get involved in the community.  It’s really exciting.”

“People always associate the WI with cakes and jams and we want to keep some of the tradition of course, but we’re hoping with a number of younger members and a fresh leadership committee it’s going to be nice and lively.”

So far, the group boasts an age range from 32 to women in their mid-70s.

They will be meeting once a month at St. Nicolas Pastoral Centre off Church Road.  Mrs. Edge, 50, added: “Hopefully we can all bring different experiences to the group and learn from other women. The nice thing about the WI is there’s always a feeling of support.

“I don’t think anybody in our new group really knows each other but we’re going to make lots of new friends.”

“I think sometimes we’re at risk of losing that community feel.  We are lucky to live in an area where people do still care about their neighbours.”

Anyone interested in joining is welcome to come along. For more information visit: