I’m pleased to say that the exhibition came together in super quick time.
Around 4.30pm on Monday afternoon, we heaved a sigh of relief and looked around. With a couple of tweaks, it would be complete.
I hadn’t realised that there was no photograph to accompany one little vignette, so returned on Tuesday morning with it and a couple of other small pieces to fill the spaces. I especially like this small corner, with the hat, the photo of ladies in fur coats outside the Palace (or is it the Houses of Parliament?) and the cover of the Members Guide to the WI, featuring a smartly dressed woman in heels and seamed stockings. By pure chance, the quote from Pat Jacob above asks “If our daughters won’t join, why not? Are we old fashioned?”
The next case is quite a contrast, containing more contemporary articles including, quite by chance, my own WI’s tablecloth created for the Tomorrow’s Heirlooms competition. When Marion and I were looking around for a modern tablecloth for this case last week, we realised we’d not really done anything about requesting one at all. Oh dear… As we glanced around the office, my eyes fell on a familiar bundle of fabric in the corner. One forgetful WI had neglected to collect their tablecloth after the competition and there it remained, on the table until now!! How pleased I am that we had forgotten, because it was exactly what was needed to complete the 21st century case!
I’m pretty pleased with those vinyl letters by the way. Though they weren’t easy to apply to the glass, the effort was well worthwhile, don’t you agree?
The light makes photography virtually impossible in there though, and the reflections are tricky to manage. The museum staff are putting together a window display however and as soon as they are finished with that, the window will be closed up and the reflections will be gone.
But so will I! I’m leaving all of those finishing touches to Marion as we swan off on our travels again tomorrow. On Friday evening, there’ll be a launch party and then on Saturday, the exhibition opens to the public until the beginning of November.
If I have a favourite corner, it’s probably this small arrangement featuring Grace Hadow. Her portrait usually hangs above the hearth in the committee room of WI House and I have sat beneath it on many occasion and hoped for her guidance! She was a remarkable woman and Gloucestershire are proud to call her their own, for she was born and grew up in a village just the other side of Cirencester, where she founded one of the very first WIs in 1916. The minutes of that first meeting are displayed beneath her portrait and as I read them, I wonder if she had any idea of what she was starting?