14 April 2000

Good smocking is no yoke

STOUR Valley is the name of the newest Farm Womens Club group. The inaugural meeting was held at Brailes golf club which is in one of the prettiest parts of England.

About 20 of us had an informal lunch together before being entertained by Gill Douglas, who has made a study of smocks. She brought along a fine collection of examples and explained that not all counties had used these garments, which were embroidered for a purpose – the padded effect smocking made on the shoulders ensured yokes could be carried more comfortably.

How life has changed over the years. How could women have sent their menfolk out into the fields in these elaborate clothes, what would the men of today say if presented with such pretty dresses?

Maybe this new club will give others inspiration to get together with a few friends and form more groups. I know that there are many more women out there who would enjoy the friendship FWC brings.

Jean Howells