12 April 1935
I am guessing that this newspaper article refers to a meeting of the Women’s Institute (WI). At this time, Irene Mawer was working closely with the WI through association with the Institute of Mime and the British Drama League.
Teachers of mime, who were members of the Institute of Mime, were starting to hold workshops whereby members of the WI could learn mime. The members of the WI were ordinary women, without previous experience of mime. The intention was that by learning mime, the women would have the opportunity to increase their confidence and from there, their life chances, by being able to express themselves and to add more vitality to their lives.
The attached photo shows a newspaper cutting which refers to a WI meeting in the Newcastle area of northern England. Seventy members attended the meeting. Having attended WI meetings myself, in the early years of the 2000s, I can say that seventy attendees was extremely good going. I used to attend two different branches of the WI which ranged from ten attendees to fifty.
Three of the members (Mrs Watson, Mrs Dobson, and Mrs M Rutter) were appointed to attend the School of Mime to be held in Darlington. At this stage, no further details were given in the newspaper, but it does seem, from other news items, that a strong bond was being forged between the Institute of Mime and the WI in the north of England (York, Darlington).
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