A Women's Institute (WI) has provided a lasting legacy to the two village halls where the group met.

Although dwindling numbers forced the Ebberston and Allerston WI, who had been meeting for 104 years, to close last year, the group wanted to leave a useful and lasting legacy to the two village halls where they had held their meetings.

While Allerston village hall was gifted funds for a new water boiler, Ebberston village hall committee used theirs to commission a traditional hanging sign which has now been installed.

The Ebberston sign was made by Elliott Design sign makers in Snainton with the metal bracket made by blacksmith Matthew Dwyer from Helmsley.

The letters WI were also fashioned into it along with the number 104 to commemorate the length of time Ebberston and Allerston WI had been meeting.

Although the WI’s members no longer meet formally, former members enjoy monthly ‘poetry and prose’ meetings and lunch outings.

Some of the many ‘highs’ experienced by the group in recent years included the creation of many items of beautiful craftwork, and a ‘covid years’ memory book, with entries and photos from each of the members.

The book, and other handcrafted items, are retained in the villages, rather than sent to the central archive, as they are a part of Ebberston and Allerston’s history.

The national WI started in Wales in 1915, and within four or five years, local branches had sprung up all along the Derwent valley, including the Ebberston and Allerston branch.

Today the WI is fellowship of more than 180,000 women, with each local institute making a difference in their communities, and where friendships and new skills can be learned.

Judith Winters, Ebberston Village Hall chair, said: "We are thrilled with the new sign and glad to have been able to acknowledge the WI who have enhanced village life for many people and been an integral part of our village community for so many years."