The January meeting was well attended, members paid their subscriptions and received a programme of events for the year.

Following the formal business, the president Barbara welcomed David Clarke the speaker for the evening.

David a past Deputy Mayor of Worcester and an author, has written a book about eight female convicts who were held in the cells at Worcester Guildhall.

They were the first convicts to be sent to Australia.

The crimes that the women had committed were mostly theft although some were serious enough to warrant the death penalty. He described what happened to the women and how they survived and how their lives progressed.

One of the women, Ann Innett, eventually returned to Worcestershire a wealthy woman to see the daughter she had left behind when she was transported to Australia. The speakers in March are Vince Williams and John Goodman who will be telling us about Women’s Institute at War.

Michael Portillo will be speaking about his life as a leading politician at Westminster, broadcaster, journalist and his documentaries on railways., at the WI Centenary Celebration lunch at Worcester Warriors Stadium on April 27.