Four-day fair marks 100 years of the WI

Picture: Lorne Campbell / GuzelianPhotoshoot in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, to promote the WI Centennial Fair at the town's Harrogate International Centre in September.PICTURE TAKEN ON THURSDAY 4 JUNE 2015
Picture: Lorne Campbell / GuzelianPhotoshoot in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, to promote the WI Centennial Fair at the town's Harrogate International Centre in September.PICTURE TAKEN ON THURSDAY 4 JUNE 2015
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The Women’s Institute is inviting the people of North Yorkshire to celebrate 100 years of achievements with a fun-filled four day event.

The WI Centennial Fair, held from September 3 to 6 at the Harrogate International Centre, is one of the top events taking place during a year of WI centenary celebrations.

Also open to non-members, the event provides an opportunity for women to be inspired and learn new skills.

It is planned to become a major annual occurrence with up to 18,000 visitors expected in its inauguration.

Shirry Liram, director of the WI Centennial Fair, said: “Harrogate is the perfect location to launch this event as the facilities at the Harrogate International Centre are excellent.

“With the space available we’re able to set up four different seminar theatres and we think our visitors will really enjoy this interactive element to the fair.

“Our UK-wide exhibitors, speakers and visitors will be welcomed by Harrogate’s community and a thriving local WI committee.”

“It’s set to be a fantastic atmosphere with WI members celebrating, while newcomers can visit the official WI stand to find out more about the wonderful work the WI does in encouraging women to work together, skill-share and campaign.”

The first event of its kind will have more than 270 exhibitors, craft workshops, cooking demonstrations and lifestyle seminars from names such as Dr Hilary Jones.

An underlying theme of strong inspirational women with speakers including Dr Helen Pankhurst, Kate Adie, Aggie MacKenzie and Louisa Fletcher, it is a unique celebration which embodies the WI in its centenary year.

Janice Langley, chairman of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI), said: “The WI was originally formed to encourage and support women during the First World War and now, a century later, it’s about providing women with the opportunity to take part in activities and build new skills, which is what the fair is all about.”

Exhibitors will share the best of hand-crafted goods and jewellery, ethical homeware and textiles, artisan food and drink, cookery and gardening equipment and travel lifestyle experiences.

Throughout the four day event visitors will be able to enjoy more than 150 hands-on workshops and seminars. Highlights include The Create and Craft Theatre, sponsored by Create and Craft TV, where demonstrators include Great British Sewing Bee’s Jenniffer Taylor and Stuart Hillard.

The Live Kitchen Theatre will be hosting live demonstrations from names including Great British Bake Off finalist Howard Middleton, Prashad’s Kaushy Patel and Bettys Cookery School’s Lisa Bennison.

Visitors can enjoy a relaxing break at the ‘retiresavvy Tearoom and Lounge’ with refreshments and a chance to meet the team.

Advance tickets to the WI Centennial Fair are priced at £11.50 for WI members, £13.75 for non-members and £7 for children. Visit www.thewishow.com/tickets or call 0844 8480155.

For more information about the event, visit. www.thewishow.com.