Crosshill SWRI celebrates 90th birthday

Crosshill SWRI celebrated its 90th birthday with a dinner at Malin Court on 9 December. Members and guests enjoyed a trip down memory lane from President Creena Young’s trawl through the old minutes books, revealing some surprises for the modern generation.

Membership began in 1924 with 24 ladies, increasing over the years to 74 in 1938. Sadly, 2014 membership stands at under 20.

Gifts for service ranged from gold watches to silver cake baskets, as well as wedding gifts when members married. Sixpence per member was collected towards HRH Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gift.

When war broke out, Rurals supported the forces and showed the resourcefulness that still characterises the movement. Demonstrations at the time ranged from making rugs out of old silk stockings to making cami-knickers from 1½ yards of material. Competitions included baking and crafts such as making shell flowers, and members wondered who had won the whistling competition. Members also supported the Growmore Campaign by growing onions, which could be bought for 3 shillings per 100.

Ayrshire Federation President, Anne Bennet, proposed a toast to the Crosshill Institute, commending the small group’s strong performance at Federation shows. The celebration cake was cut by Crosshill’s Honorary President, Mary Baird, who was presented with a Rural badge in recognition of her many years of unfailing commitment to the organisation.

The evening ended with some home-grown entertainment from Crosshill committee members Marion Garland and Mary Hogg. The company enjoyed songs and recitations old and new, including the benefits of The Wonderbra and a ghostly account of the risks of eating peanuts. All agreed that the evening had been held in true Rural style, based on willing contributions from members in a spirit of good friendship. Roll on 2024.