Dore Mercia Townswomen’s Guild - 01/10/2014

Focus On ........ Dore Mercia Townswomen’s Guild

In this issue “Focus On .........” looks at the Dore Mercia Townswomen’s Guild.

The Townswomen’s Guild is a large national organisation with many branches throughout the country. This year it celebrated its 85th birthday.

Following their involvement in the suffrage movement, Margaret Corbett Ashby and Eva Hubbock led a group of inspirational women to form an organisation that we are still proud to be members of today. It brought together women to meet for companionship and a chance to discuss issues of importance which at that time were mainly the domain of men. Women needed to have a voice. Many social changes have taken place since then, but those early pioneers are still remembered with thanks. Our patron is Princess Anne.

Big issues which are often social issues and are due to be discussed in Parliament are often discussed and voted on by our members at the request of our national T.G. committee. The results from all over the country are then submitted to the government. This gives a good indication of women’s views from the country as a whole. Members of our committee attend our National Conference once a year and report back on the proceedings.

Dore Mercia Townswomen’s Guild is our local branch, but there are many branches in Sheffield. This enables us to have interaction with other Guilds and we work hard to provide support and to run competitions between us all, such as Scrabble and Crown Green bowls, etc. (Dore Mercia has won the local inter-Guild bowls tournament for the last three years.)

Our Dore Guild has a hard working committee – they have a full agenda as we have 96 members at the present time. We meet on the second Tuesday of every month in the Methodist Church Hall. Then, on the third Tuesday, we have what we call a “Social Studies” morning in the Methodist Church Hall. These vary in content and subject matter. Coffee is served at each meeting. There is also an afternoon Guild.

Social activities include local walks (ending in a visit to a local hostelry!), Music and Movement (if we have a yen for gentle exercise), and our choir. Visits to places of interest and to the theatre are arranged, as are two annual dinners – in summer and at Christmas. Every year the Guild supports a local charity, suggestions are put forward by members, and then a vote takes place for our charity of the year. We usually top £1000 each year.

Our choir is a joint choir with Totley Guild. We meet on a Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Dore Methodist Church Hall. The choir has sung with the Lodge Moor Guild choir at several national carol services in various cathedrals, including Liverpool, York Minster and Lincoln. We have also sung at the Federation carol service at the Victoria Hall. We also sing locally, for example, for our own Guild to raise money for our charity. We have now begun to hold open concerts, one during Dore Gala week, and we intend to do another before Christmas, on 16th December, at 2.30 p.m. in the Methodist Church Hall (tea and mince pies at £1 available).

The Townswomen’s Guild has a national song: “I am a small part of the world” which epitomises our aims – singly, we achieve only a small amount, but together we can achieve a great deal more.

If you would be interested in joining or just coming to one of our meetings please get in touch with Judy McMurray, telephone 0114 236 2430.

Footnote - If you have suggestions for articles in this series please let me know.

Keith Shaw, Assistant Editor