The Inner Wheel Club of Manchester

On 10 January 1924, The Inner Wheel Club of Manchester was formed and 10 January is now celebrated as Inner Wheel Day around the world.




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                       A  Brief History of Inner Wheel  


On 15 November 1923 a group of ladies, much encouraged by their Rotarian husbands, called a meeting at Herriott’s Turkish Baths in Deansgate, Manchester, for the purpose of setting up a club on Rotary lines, and 27 ladies attended.  At this time in Britain there was still a marked divide between the comfortably off and the downright poor, and there was virtually no welfare or social services at all, so there was plenty of scope for voluntary work.

A committee was set up to contact the wives who had not attended, and the chairman of this committee was Mrs. Margarette Golding and the secretary/treasurer was Mrs Mabel Nixon.   


She was also a shrewd business woman, joining the firm known as the ‘Nurses Outfitting Association Ltd.’ in Stockport, Cheshire, when the War was over. This was a company run by nurses for nurses. In 1919, Mrs. Golding took over as Managing Director of the company, a position she held until her death.


On 10 January 1924, The Inner Wheel Club of Manchester was formed and 10 January is now celebrated as Inner Wheel Day around the world. 


In 1928 the first Inner Wheel District was formed, then the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs and in 1967 International Inner Wheel was formed.  Today there are over 100,000 members worldwide in 101 different countries. District 14 was formed in 1932.   


There are currently 730 clubs in Great Britain, with 29 districts and almost 19,000 members. It is now one of the largest women’s organisation in the world, and has representation at the United Nations.


They met on a chilly November afternoon in 1923 in the cooling room at Herriot's Turkish Baths in Manchester. It was the only room in town they could get free of charge. They were 27 women who wanted to get together for friendship and to do a bit of good in the community by helping others.  They could not possibly have guessed what they were starting — a womens' club which has grown into a global organisation of over 100,000 members in 103 countries.  

The Inner Wheel Club of Manchester as it approaches it's 90th Anniversary, is proud of being the founder of an international movement of women which retain its Manchester-spawned original ideals of fellowship and service and has happily embraced the further aim of promoting international understand.  
Inner Wheel remains as traditional and as old-fashioned and as wholesome as home-baked apple pie.  Members knit blankets and baby clothes, raise money for good causes through afternoon tea and hold coffee parties in their homes, pack shoe boxes with goodies for children in need, supply gifts for the street boys and work to get them back to school and into apprenticeships. They aim to foster and create goodwill among nations at a personal level, through the women of the world, offering friendship in their own homes, making contact with members abroad, attending international conferences, collecting clothing, toys, books and cash to send off to the third world projects.  The Manchester Club recently 'adopted' the Fistual Hospital in Ethiopia, sending money and knitting shawls for the girls to take back to their villages to keep them warm at night. This year they are taking part in a Wheels Project, providing specialist bicycles for people with disability, and they will also be supporting Save the Children UK and Mercy Ships.
You won't find Womens Lib a  topic of discussion at the club's meetings. Members are rooted in the home and family.  "We believe the old-fashioned values of friendship, goodwill, and offering a helping hand are a great foundation for living, and we want to retain those values", says President Mrs Joan Johnstone of Bramhall.   "Our ambition is to work to improve social conditions for everybody in the community, but it is not all work and no play — our members believe in enjoying themselves, in having lots of fun,  listening to speakers and taking part in social activities.  Friendship was one of the original aims of the Club and it is the word most frequently mentioned by members when asked what they particularly enjoy about Inner Wheel".  
Four years after the original meeting in 1923, clubs were established in Macclesfield, Nelson, Liverpool, Warrington and St Helens. A travelling Rotarian took the idea back to Australia in 1931 where the first international club was founded. By 1934, 79 British clubs were thriving and a year later a Norwegian club had been formed. Now Inner Wheel is established in Taiwan, India, The Phillipines, America, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, Africa and the Middle East. By sharing what they can, they become enriched in the process, and working as a group, they can do so much more. Today where there is so much terrorism, misery and hatred in the world, they try to spread friendship and peace across the globe and with so many candles shining, light will be brought to the whole world. The cornerstone of Inner Wheel is epitomised in its motto 'Friendship and Service' and  Inner Wheel welcomes anyone with a desire to serve and befriend others with open arms.
As part of their 90th Celebrations, a Luncheon will be held on Friday 10th January 2014 in the Alexandra Suite at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, just around the corner from their first meeting place at Herriot's Baths. 560 ladies will enjoy a wonderful Birthday Party and will give thanks at St Ann's Church, Manchester that those original ideas have gone travelling around the world and just keep spinning.
This event was a tremendous success and attended by over 500 Inner Wheel members from all over the country. See the Photo Gallery to see what took place both at St Ann's church and at the Midland Hotel



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