Bonchurch Women’s Institute was formed in 1922 and lasted for 70 years, finally winding up its affairs in November 1992, the outcome of rising costs and a falling membership. By that time, it had been reduced to just 19 members, most of whom were pensioners with the oldest member aged 94. They had tried and sadly failed to find younger women to augment the membership.
In 1923, several ‘well-to-do’ Bonchurch residents with independent means belonged to the new WI. These included Mrs Louisa Simeon, of Orchardleigh in Bonchurch (elder daughter of the Rt. Honourable Hugh Childers); Miss Alice Venables of Torwood, Bonchurch (daughter of Canon Venables who came to live in Bonchurch in the 1860s); Miss Guild, (daughter of Lt. Col Guild of St. Ann’s, Bonchurch); Mrs Seaver, (wife of Rev. Jonathan Seaver, Bonchurch’s Rector); Miss Burgess, (matron of the Holiday Home for Nurses at Seaside Cottage); Mrs. Linterne (of Pulpit Rock in Bonchurch).
Read PDF version here: Bonchurch Women’s Institute