Object of the Week : J is for Jam and Jerusalem

Thursday 11 March 2021

Whilst the Museum is closed and our collections unable to be seen by visitors, we have created a weekly virtual museum with an Object of the Week feature from our collections.

Object of the Week : J is for Jam and Jerusalem

Some of our current and past volunteers have been long serving members of the Borehamwood Women’s Institute.  The Museum was donated a plaque from the Borehamwood WI, which had been presented to the Church Hall in January 1928.  A very active and charitable organisation, the Borehamwood WI were much more than just Jam and Jerusalem.

Founder Members of the Boreham Wood W. I.

The Borehamwood Women's Institute held its first meeting on 12th October 1923 at All Saints Church Hall. A committee was formed with Mrs Wellington as President and Miss Jarrow as Vice President. At the first December Meeting members witnessed 'How to make a Christmas Pudding' which cost £1.10 shillings and six members sang. The Bring & Buy Sale stall made of profit of 16 shillings. The Year's programme was prepared including a Trip to the Wembley Exhibition and help was given to the Elstree Flower Show assisting Aldenham WI with the Clockwork Golf Competition. Other notable events of the year included the purchasing of Crockery and the recovering of hats (an essential item of women's clothing at the time). First Aid Instruction to help care for the sick was given by a nurse, as Doctors visits were very expensive.

The Plaque, January 1928

As the years went on, dancing, drama, whist drives and speakers were included in the programme and a choir was formed. Meetings were closed with the singing of the National Anthem. Borehamwood won the County Talent Competition and the prize was a ton of coal. Philanthropic activities included collecting eggs for Wellhouse Hospital for Elderly Ladies, children’s parties and the collection of jam and eggs for the Pawling Home.  During Wartime, cloth and hot water bottles were collected for the First Aid Post. Woollen comforters were knitted for the Forces and vegetables were grown for charitable causes.  Toys were donated at Christmas time for the Red Cross to distribute

In 1944 Mr Lancashire, Clerk of Elstree Council asked WI members to help at the British Restaurant and in 1945, a written request was received from a devastated Holland resulting in Members collecting gifts for them. Also requests were made by the ERDC (Elstree Rural District Council) for ideas to construct a village hall including a Kitchen, Craft Rooms, and welfare facilities. During the 1950s the population of the area increased substantially as many Londoners moved here to the new council estates being built. In 1952 ERDC wanted suggestions for the Railway Station Sign which was originally Borehamwood for Elstree. 1957 marked the 35th Birthday of the W1. In 1958 a trip to see 'My Fair Lady' was arranged. Raffle Profits were sent to the Philippines Scout Rally.

By 1970 membership had dropped to 97. The Drama Group were still doing Pantomimes and talks included Eastern Gas, Green Shield Stamps and Love Spoons. 1983 marked the 60th Birthday and a talk called 'Hunting Treasure with a Metal Detector'. During 1990 members attended the Family Fun Day at the Bowes-Lyons Home, St. Paul's Walden Bury and it was a great success. At the December meeting members were entertained by Mr John Heddle Nash, an Opera Singer who had sang for the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace and Sandringham. The new Millennium 2000 Strathglade Dancing Group entertained members and talks included "Bats in the Belfry" and Tudor Fashion. 

2023 will see the 100th anniversary.  We wait to see what celebrations we can expect, in a very different world.

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