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WI  21-7-1937This is a picture of members of the women’s Institute of Chewton Mendip taken in front of Chewton Priory in 1937. They may not have realised it at the time but it was close to the relatively short time  that the Victorian building was the ‘stately home’ of Chewton Mendip was occupied by the Waldegraves. Most of the ladies shown were from  long-established  families but some were relatively new to the village. The village population had ben in decline for about 100 years and one of the few sources of employment that attracted people to the village was to work in Chewton Priory.
 WI History Cover 1954The WI later published a short, but informative history of Chewton Mendip in 1954. It had a red cover so it is sometimes called the ‘red book’. The book has been republished with a blue cover and some additional information but the 1954 version remains the most recently produced book covering the Victorian era and earlier. The Somerset federation of Women’s institutes published  a book called ‘Somerset within Living Memory’ which included material about Chewton Mendip  from the 1920s and 1030s .
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