The WI movement began at Stoney Creek in Canada in 1897 when Adelaide Hoodless addressed a meeting for the wives of members of the Farmers' Institute. The first British WI meeting took place on 16 September 1915 at Llanfairpwll on Anglesey in North Wales.

The Women's Institute (WI) was formed with two clear aims: to revitalise rural communities and to encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. Since then the aims have broadened and we are now the largest women's organisation in the UK.

In 2005 National W.I. celebrated  its 90th anniversary. Its 7,000 WIs are grouped together to form 69 county and island federations, each with a regional office.

WI House Adelaide Square Bedford

Bedfordshire's Federation office is based in Adelaide Square, Bedford. There is a web page that can be found on

On this page you can find what events are happening in and around the Country.


The Wilstead W.I. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month in the Village Hall at 7.30pm.

Throughout the year, we have speakers on numerous subjects, amusing talks, demonstrations, and members' evenings. We also have several outings to places of interest, outside the village. With members' support, we have a garden party once a year and we attend County events.

There are competitions, usually linked to the subject covered at each meeting, with prizes awarded once a year for members' achievements. Delicious refreshments are also served at each meeting.

In October 2011, the Institute celebrated its 80th year and members were presented with a gift to celebrate the occasion.