The Inner Wheel



Ninety years ago the world's largest women's organisation began - in Manchester.

And the 27 ladies who met for the first time at Herriott's Turkish Baths, off Deansgate - close to where the Bridgewater Hall now stands - started something that now has 103,000 members in 104 countries. 

They chose the name 'Inner Wheel' because they were the wives of Rotary members. The inside force that helped the famous Rotary wheel to turn.

Like Rotary, the Inner Wheel, which has representation at the United Nations, exists to encourage friendship and international understanding

Members share the same ethic of personal service to communities and to those who need help. They work together, nationally and internationally, on humanitarian aid and life-changing projects especially for women in parts of the world where they have few rights.

Over the years, in this country alone, they have bought three lifeboats, thousands of guide dogs, knitted, sewed and crocheted to raise money for every kind of charity from neonatal units and old peoples' homes to helping street boys get back into education and work.


Make friends, make a difference, be inspired.

Sale Inner Wheel believes in "fun, friendship and fundraising" - and, last year, that combination raised more than £3,000 for local, national and international charities and causes.

Inner Wheel was originally formed for the wives of Rotarians but a lot has changed since those days, in 1924, when one of the largest women's organisations in the world first appeared in Manchester.

Today their objectives remain to promote true friendship, encourage the ideals of personal service and foster international understanding while serving the local community, organising events and raising money for charities.

The annual Farmhouse Lunch, raises regular amounts every year along with bridge evenings, concerts, fashion shows, car boot sales, lunches and raffles .


                                                  Fun, friendship, and the Inner Wheel celebrates Ascot Ladies' Day ... in Sale

23,000 members in Britain

There are few groups quite like the Inner Wheel for making lasting friendships while having a positive impact on the lives of millions of people. Its projects are truly life changing.

And it all emanates from monthly meetings every fourth Thursday at 6.30 for 7pm at the Amblehurst Hotel on Washway Road, Sale. The meetings begin with a two-course meal and end with a speaker, demonstration, quiz - or it could be literally anything.

But as well as those meetings there are usually extra monthly social gatherings for maybe a theatre visit, a trip out, afternoon tea, a 'knit and natter' session or a fellowship evening.

These days the identity is quite separate from their Rotary roots and membership no longer has to be linked with Rotary membership. It's open to all women over the age of 18 ...and 23,000 of them in Great Britain have said 'yes'.

But the international hub is still the headquarters at Altrincham - which remains the centre of the Inner Wheel world.


Isabel McKnight

The year that Inner Wheel returned north, from what had become its early London base, was the year that Sale member Isabel McKnight became an international figure.


Isabel had joined Inner Wheel after her husband, a local dentist, had joined Sale Rotary Club. From club president she rose through district ranks to become chairman and was then elected national president of Inner Wheel's UK governing body. By 1991 she had emerged on the world stage - as international president.


Isabel travelled America, Europe, presided over a Munich conference of delegates from 24 countries, attended conferences in New Orleans and New York and took a seat at a United Nations meeting.


She is still a charismatic presence at Sale and has been a member, now, since 1961. Isabel McKnight is a legendary figure. After all, just how many world leaders has Sale produced?



 Could Inner Wheel be right for you?  

Contact the secretary Pam Boyes - on - and find out.