75 years later Ruby remains a WI stalwart

Ruby Hurst and Whittlesey WI president Ann Quincey Pic: RWT Photography
Ruby Hurst and Whittlesey WI president Ann Quincey Pic: RWT Photography
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A Whittlesey woman who has been part of the Women’s Institute for 75 years celebrated her 90th birthday at a group meeting last month.

Ruby Hurst was given a cake and a certificate to mark the occasion by Whittlesey WI president Ann Quincey.

Ruby, who lives with husband Clarence opposite the car park at the Falcon Hotel, first attended a WI meeting in Helpston with her mum.

She said: “I’ve enjoyed being a member. It’s the company really - I like to meet people. I shall continue while I feel able to go.”

Ruby has previously held the roles of president and secretary of the Whittlesey branch, which she joined after moving to the town in 1969.

Her best memories include listening to a talk from Sheila Dibnah - the widow of steeplejack and TV personality Fred Dibnah - and attending an AGM at the Royal Albert Hall with 6,000 other members.

Ruby celebrated her 90th birthday with Clarence, who turned 91 on Tuesday, and their sons Alan and Graham who took them out to lunch after travelling in from Nottingham and Buxton, Derbyshire.

She added: “The year before the WI gave me a small birthday cake because they thought I was 90. So I had a little cake last year and another one this year! They are a friendly lot.”

Committee member and town councillor Julie Windle called Ruby a “pillar of the community.”

She added: “She’s quite a formidable lady and does not suffer fools gladly, but you can always count on her to help.

“If you want to raise money for someone she’s there.

“She’s extremely good hearted and extremely hard working.

“She’s been involved locally as a volunteer for many years, and she is a staunch member of St Andrew’s church.”