Smisby Village

Smisby Women's Institute




Smisby WI was founded in 1934 and we celebrated our 80th anniversary in  2015. A short history is available via the history page.  The national  WI organisation celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2015. Smisby is a membef of the Derbyshire Federation, and the DFWI celebrates its centenary in 2018, see below for more information.


 Smisby WI are a very friendly institute and meet on the third Thursday in the month in various locations.

Currently membership has risen to 60, so at the moment new membership is restricted to Smisby residents. We have a varied programme with a speaker at most meetings.

Smisby WI meetings are usually held on the third Thursday of the month, 7.00 pm for 7.15 pm prompt start. The 2019 programme is now available on the programme page and has details of some new events.


The first Tuesday lunchtime Line Dancing was successful and  five more  weekly sessions will run. All are welcome


All meetings normally in Smisby Village Hall, Main Street LE65 2TY at 7pm for a 7.15pm start.  In addition, monthly craft sessions and walks aare organised on the first and second Thursday of each month respectively and also weekly canasta/card games on a Wednesday afternoon.


Refreshments are £1 per meeting


Guests (carers exempt) maximum of 3 meetings per year


A waiting list is now in operation for new members who live outside of Smisby parish.


Secretary;  Mrs Suzanne Jones 01530 415346


We are part of the Derbyshire Federation

DFWI Headquarters

“Derbyshire House”, Sherwin Street,

Derby, DE22 1GP

Telephone 01332 342596


Harper Crewe Group Carol Service 6 December St James, Smisby


The carol service was a great success last night with over sixty people attending.  A big thank you to our readers of the poems, and to the members who were persuaded to make Mince Pies. There were many comments saying how lovely everything was, which makes it all worth while.  Pat, thank you for once again making the mulled wine and ensuring the Mince Pies were warm when served.

The collection raised a total of £122.20p, a superb amount, raised for the Betel UK charity which helps restore lives for local people or families with drug/alcohol or homeless related problems. Also thanks to Sue and Ivor Betteridge who put the service together and to Georgia who sang with Sally on the Clarinet,  Ivor was also the organist for the night.


DFWI Centenary Events


Benefit to the Local Community Challenge

All WI's in Derbyshire were set  a "Benefit to the Local Community Challenge". to celebrate 100 years of the Derbyshire Federation of WIs.   The project could be a number of things either for the local hall, a small local charity, or in the village or area where we could see a  need.

Smisby is an ancient village recorded in the Domesday Book and  St James Church Smisby  will be celebrating 950 years in July. There are frequent walkers passing through but no information about the village it's self, so the Smisby WI decided to do rectify the situation by providing a village and a chuch interpretation board.


 This project has taken twelve months to plan, research the history of Smisby, and come up with ideas to raise money to pay for the project and finally to find local sgnwriter, Robert Lewis, to make the boards,. The East Midlands Airport Community Fund was approached and a wonderful donation of £750 started the fundraising. This was supported by quiz nights, a murder mystery night, and a lunch for our ladies and partners to reach the target of £1,300.


Many people from the WI, village and church, to numerous to mention, helped to put together the two interpretation boards; one outside the village hall and the other at the church. The boards were unveiled on Saturday 26th July 2018 by Mr Micheal Stanton Chairman of South Derbyshire District Council and his wife. Local residents were invited to the unveiling , and bacon butties and homemade cakes were on offer. Local history photographs taken by member Jean Statt were also displayed. The morning was a great success.  Smisby WI hope these two boards help explain the historial associations of Smisby village and will be enjoyed by residents and the many walkers and visitors to Smisby.

The photo shows Mr and Mrs Michael Stanton with our President Jean in the centre, by the village interpretation board, beneath the village notice board.



DFWI Centenary Fabric brick


We at Smisby WI are very fortunate to have within our membership two very talented ladies who between them have made this 2018 centenary brick.

Pat Barnes designed the art work. with Angela Regan using her talents on the embroidery machine.

The design depicts St James Church Smisby, the anvil and hammer represent the Craftsmen of Smisby who undoubtedly forged work for the occupants of Ashby de la Zouch Castle.

The books tell us that Smisby is named in the Doomsday Book of 1086 (spelt Smithsby or Smidesbi)

Sir Walter Scott is believed to have visited Smisby where he got the idea for Ivanhoe, and of course we must mention the Women’s Institute. 

The brick will be sewn on to a large wall hanging and displayed at Federation meetings and the county shows and are a unique record of W.I.s in the Federation.

There have been two previous wall hangings which were completed in the 1980's and the year 2000.



DFWI Centenary Tea Towel Competition

Marie and Suzanne designed a commerative tea towel  for the Derbyshire Federation showing every WI on a map and a selection of activities ( see pictutre). However, it was not selected for printing but the art work will be on display with the other successful and unsuccessful entries at the Autumn Council meeting.teatowel





Smisby WI visit to Elford Community Gardens June 2013