Ugley Women’s Institute

The Women's Institute, according to Wikipedia, is a "community-based organisation for women in the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand." The first Women's Institute branch in the UK was established in 1915. And by the 1920s the village of Ugley in Essex had its own branch, making it the Ugley Women's Institute.

The jokes began soon after. An Apr 13, 1945 column in the Saffron Walden Weekley News notes:

People will still have their joke about the uncommon name of Ugley, but the Ugley ladies must have become hardened to it by now. There are as lovely ladies in Ugley as elsewhere, I have no doubt, and certainly their Women's Institute is doing excellent work.

By the 1950s the members of the Ugley Women's Institute had apparently grown tired of the jokes. Newspapers reported a name change:

Evansville Press - Mar 24, 1956

However, I find that the same story then kept popping up throughout the late 1950s and 1960s, always reported as if it was breaking news, which makes me wonder if it was true in the first place. In the UK Register of Charities the organization is still listed as the Ugley Women's Institute.

Wisconsin State Journal - Sep 9, 1962

Incidentally, the village of Ugley also has an Ugley Farmers Market. And the town of Loose, in Kent, boasts the Loose Women's Institute.

     Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 21, 2023
     Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations | Odd Names | Women

You really have to tell certain organizations five or six times before they get that you changed your name. On the other hand, the Passport police can switch your first and second name without warning, and you're stuck with it on your passport for five to ten years.
Posted by Yudith on 06/22/23 at 07:26 PM
I wonder if the Loose Women's Institute ever featured on the show of the same name?
Posted by Richard Bos on 06/25/23 at 03:15 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.