Enid celebrates 50 years of Home and country’

PUBLISHED: 12:28 27 April 2006 | UPDATED: 14:40 12 May 2010

Enid King

Enid King

A WOMEN Institute s oldest member is celebrating her 50th year with the group. Enid King, 80, vice-president of the Buntingford WI, joined the group after moving to the area in 1953. I was a new bride when I came to Buntingford and I didn t know anybody.

A WOMEN Institute's oldest member is celebrating her 50th year with the group.

Enid King, 80, vice-president of the Buntingford WI, joined the group after moving to the area in 1953.

"I was a new bride when I came to Buntingford and I didn't know anybody. So I joined the group because it was a local organisation which enabled me to socialise in the evening when my husband could look after our son, who was only a baby."

Enid's mother-in-law Mable Borsberry was president of the group at the time.

"I like the friendship and the fun I had while being part of the community," she said.

"In addition, I liked the WI's motto - Home and Country. It's non-political and it is a non-religious group."

Following a car accident in 1960, Mrs King has been confined to a wheelchair but it has not stopped her getting involved with the group.

Since joining she has been the group president (1965-7) and the treasurer (1972).

She said: "Taking entrance fees was hard work at first because I had to think what I was doing when the decimal coinage change was introduced."

She has also represented Buntingford WI at the organisation's annual meeting at the Royal Albert Hall, speaking to an audience of 6,000 people.

Closer to home, Mrs King gets involved with the Buntingford Carnival every other year and decorates her wheelchair as Thomas the Tank Engine.

In her spare time, Mrs King also writes. Already she has had an article published about disabled members in Home and Country - the national magazine of the WI and has had a book published by Heinemann called Rushed Off My Feet, which is about her disability.

Mrs King has also attended courses at Denman College, near Oxford, where she took part in ribbon embroidery, music and bridge. She brought these skills back to the group and they have since benefited other members.

And when the WI Hall in the High Street was sold Mrs King was involved with the sale of the building and the money invested was put towards a bursary to pay for members to attend Denman College.

"During my involvement with the group one of my fondest memories is when I took part in a fund-raising exercise which involved taking part in a waxworks exhibition.

"I dressed up as the Royal Doulton Balloon Lady so I had a big black skirt wrapped around my wheelchair. However, I wasn't allowed to move or speak. I was so still that some people missed me and forgot I was alive."

Mrs King is currently the chairman of the charity, Buntingford for the Less Abled.

- The Buntingford WI currently has 42 members of all ages.

If you would like more details or would like to become a member call group secretary Pat Webb on 01763 271305.

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