Barking’s Great Bake Off to celebrate Women’s Institute 100th birthday

PUBLISHED: 15:48 03 August 2015 | UPDATED: 16:34 07 August 2015

Hadley Workman looks forward to the cup cake judging at Eastbury 1915, a celebration of the Women's Institute in Barking

Hadley Workman looks forward to the cup cake judging at Eastbury 1915, a celebration of the Women's Institute in Barking


Bunting and baking were all the rage at the centennial celebration of the Women’s Institute on Sunday.

More than 200 turned out under blue skies for the First Ladies’ garden party at Eastbury Manor House, where a Great WI Bake Off celebrated the evolution of the Institute, which Barking’s group became part of just five years ago.

“It was a brilliant day – the best turnout of the year so far,” said organiser Ivana Bilic.

“We had lots of children taking part in cupcake decorating and craft activities, so that everyone was involved.”

The 75 Barking members showcased the WI’s trademark activities, with bunting-making, knitting and a costumed historical play.

“The Ladies’ choir was a highlight, they really made the day,” added Ivana. “They performed some wartime songs, it was very jolly.”

Alongside the host of activities, Valence House Museum’s When the Heroes Came Home exhibition was also on display, lending context to the Institute’s history.

Founded in 1915 during the First World War, the WI formed to encourage countrywomen to get involved in growing and preserving food, helping to increase the supply of food to the war-torn nation.

First Ladies Barking & Dagenham meet at Eastbury Manor House on the 1st Wednesday of every month. New members are welcome at the next meeting, at 7.30pm on September 2.

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