For many East Ham residents, the date 10 May 2016 will be remembered as the end of an era – the date West Ham United played their last game at the Boleyn ground.
For Greatfield resident Ella Breakey, however, the date will hold a whole different set of memories, as the beginning of something really special. That Tuesday night she saw the realisation of a personal dream. After years of wanting to set up a Women’s Institute for her local area, the Essex Federation officially inaugurated the East Edge Sisters WI.
The name East Edge Sisters was inspired by a local website, set up a few years back to celebrate the explosion of a new creative spirit around the East Ham area. Despite the large crowds filling the streets, a sizable number of local ladies packed into the bunting-festooned hall of St George and St Ethelbert’s on Burford Road to enjoy a delicious high tea of sandwiches, scones and of course, cake.
Many local groups were represented: the book group from East Ham library, the Greatfield Residents Association, Gardening Thymes, the Red Door Studios’ Cake Club, The East Ham Social Club and the famous Forest Gate WI, not to mention a large number of residents from the East Ham, Boleyn and Plaistow areas who had all rolled up to see what was going on and witness Ella, Sue, Susan, Fern, Eve, Hazel, Wendy and Michelle all being sworn in as the new WI’s organising committee.
Events over the next few months will include a talk on Bushcraft and foraging, a summer picnic and a ‘Get to Know You’ session. However we are also really keen to reflect the wishes of our members. Judging by the forms filled out on our opening night you can also expect to see us dancing with cocktails while doing a spot of gardening and knitting in the queue for top theatre shows. And that’s just for starters.