Berwickshire marks 100 years of SWI

The Berwickshire Federation of the SWI celebrated the institute's birthday with an afternoon tea party.
The Berwickshire Federation of the SWI celebrated the institute's birthday with an afternoon tea party.

The Berwickshire Federation celebrated the Scottish Women’s Institutes’ centenary in style with an afternoon tea party.

More than 90 members of the Berwickshire Federation turned out at Duns Rugby Club at the start of this month for an afternoon of tea, cake and dancing.

The Berwickshire Federation of the SWI celebrated the institute's birthday with an afternoon tea party.

The Berwickshire Federation of the SWI celebrated the institute's birthday with an afternoon tea party.

Members also enjoyed reliving some of their rural memories during the afternoon which also included entertainment from local musicians.

The first women’s institutes, which has its headquarters in Edinburgh, was formed in 1917, in East Lothian as a way for women to meet, learn and socialise.

It now has a total national membership of more than 16,000 with its most recent institute being established just over two years ago.

Linda Riddell, treasurer of the Berwickshire Federation, said: “It was a much better turn out than we had anticipated.

“We’ve got 18 institutes in Berwickshire and most were represented one way or the other.

“We had a lovely afternoon tea thanks to catering from Mandy Paterson.

“There was also entertainment which was provided by the Reston Brass Band and the Rag Bag Morris Dancers, and we also had one of our own members doing some poetry which was Jeanette Campbell from Coldstream.

“Four of our past chairpersons were there - Molly Fleming, Elsie Brown, Jeanette White and Linda Riddell - and also Jeanna Swan, lord lieutenant of Berwickshire.

“We had an absolutely brilliant afternoon, it was very well attended and the members that were there thoroughly enjoyed themselves and celebrated the party.”

The Berwickshire Federation has a 400-strong membership and meets twice a year, in May and in November.

Members are now looking forward to hosting the 2017 Golf Competition held at Hirsel Golf Club in Coldstream in August.