Smallburgh, Dilham and District Women’s Institute was founded in December 1944. The prime movers were sisters Maisie & Ella Peck, who moved to Norfolk from Derbyshire with their widowed mother in 1939 to be near their brother. They belonged to Ashover W.I. and appreciated all the activities and opportunities it provided. Maisie was deaf but was an accomplished artist, who had exhibited at the Royal Academy and designed the map postcard for Salmon, and in 1986 produced the design for the Norfolk Federation Golden Jubilee Plate – also the tablecloth that we still use at meetings. Ella was president for many years and very much involved with the county federation.
Our membership has increased steadily over the last few years to almost forty, thanks partly to a group of eight members from Edingthorpe, and we still have two members in their 90’s who joined soon after the war.
In 2013, we were awarded the accolade from the Norfolk Federation (Small Institutes) in recognition of our enjoyable, interesting programme, community involvements and very friendly members.
Our speakers these days are probably more varied and thought provoking than in the early days and our outings has covered the Jockey School at Newmarket (riding mechanical horses), the Van Daal shoe factory and Audley End, to name but a few and we regularly take part successfully in village and other W.I. arranged quizzes.
In 2014, we celebrated out 70th birthday in 1940’s clothes that had belonged to the founders, which fitted some members perfectly. This year we celebrate our 75th birthday.
We usually meet on the second Wednesday of the month in Dilham Village hall at 2pm, unless it is a garden meeting or an outing.