Local History Society

 Memories - Women's Institute Fete, 1920




On 25th September 1920, the 'Reading Mercury' reported on a fete held at the long-disappeared Arborfield Hall, and as usual gave a roll-call of the organisers and winners. The Hargreaves, Simonds and Bentley families, among others, were always involved in organising events at this time.


A fete was held on September 8th in the grounds of Arborfield Hall, by kind permission of Mr. Hargreaves, to raise funds to pay off the balance on the piano bought for the Women’s Institute and to meet other expenses. It was a splendid gathering, everyone entering into it with energy, the gift stall managed by the Misses Simonds alone realising £6 .10s. 6d. The bowling for the pig was won by Mr. Russ of Arborfield, and the cockerel by Mrs. Halfacre, of Spencers Wood. Aunt Sally and pillow fighting caused great amusement.

The tea was ably arranged by Mrs. Bentley and many willing helpers, the profits amounting to £4. 3s. 10d. Mr. Seymour very kindly gave £1 from his stall. Miss Bushell and Mrs. Simpson, who had the assistance of Mr. Hayward, Mr. Bryant, Mr. G. Bentley and Mr. Hubert Hayward, are to be congratulated on the able manner in which they carried out the sports.

Mrs. Bentley gave valuable assistance in placing her two cars at disposal for the whole of the day, and useful help in many other ways.

On behalf of the institute thanks are due to Mr. Hayward for all the time and useful assistance he rendered. The total amount realised was £28. 6s. 9d.

Dr. Halpin of Swallowfield and Miss Bath of Castle Street Reading very kindly judged the babies. The winners were: -

First Class

1. Elsie May Cook

2. Alice Selina Woodley

Second Class

1. Millie Kathleen Tucker

2. Audrey Melinna Newport

Third Class

1. Nancy Joy Tilbury

2. Joan Wood

Fourth Class

1. Robert Francis Joseph

2. Mary Goodchild

Fifth Class

1. Eunice Hulford

2. Albert George Haslett

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