Riddle of Bomere Heath ladies' 1950s cake celebration

The village hall is packed and the cake is huge, so this must capture some big celebration in Bomere Heath.

The Bomere Heath WI celebration in the early to mid 1950s.
The Bomere Heath WI celebration in the early to mid 1950s.

And Mrs Sylvia Caswell, nee Gittens, who loaned us this photo, thinks it is a Bomere Heath Women's Institute event in the early to mid-1950s.

The Bomere Heath WI celebration in the early to mid 1950s.

Mrs Caswell, from Wellington, said: "I don't know why there's a cake, but I'm pretty sure it's the Women's Institute at Bomere Heath because of the people on it who I remember. I remember who the chairman was and who the lady president was. The people include my old headmistress, the district nurse, and lots of people from the village.

"I think it must have been some sort of anniversary. It's in Bomere Heath village hall which, so far as I know, is still there, although the village has quadrupled in size since I lived there. We lived in Bomere Heath until I was about 14, down one of the little lanes off the main street. We left Bomere Heath in 1956, I think, so the picture was taken before that."

Among those on the picture is her late mother Olive Gittens.

"She is about fourth or fifth in from the left, a rather pretty lady leaning out and back to get into the camera shot. My mum had this photo for years and I was looking through some of her old photos the other day and came across it. There were so many people I remember."

Two ladies are standing by the stage with the cake.

"The elderly lady standing by the cake was the president of Bomere Heath WI, Miss Gwynned Lloyd, who was also a lady in waiting to Princess Mary, the Princess Royal at the time. The lady actually carrying the cake is Mrs Bailey, a local farmer's wife and the chairman at the time."

Mrs Caswell, who turns 81 on June 17 this year, can also pick out her old headmistress.

"She is towards the left of my mother with quite a severe haircut, about second in that row, looking forward. She was Kathleen Glover, the head of Bomere Heath School when I was there."

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