Jam Factory

The license obtained, the sugar ordered,

the premises (somewhat dilapidated) hired,

the village canvassed as to fruit available.

We felt brave and enterprising, but hearts sank

when we saw the huge sacks of sugar.

The copper was an unknown quantity.

We did not know whether the fruit would burn

or how much we could do in it.

It turned out to be the success of the undertaking:

100lbs of jam at a time and the fire would burn anything.

Jars were obtained from householders –

children collected them, clean and without labels.

We opened our window, sold jam over the sill.

A happy meeting ground for us all; besides learning

from each other we enjoyed working together.

Our initiation into cooperative enterprise.


Source: derived from an article by Mrs Dunstan of Wye Women’s Institute, titled ‘A Women’s Institute Jam Factory’, published in the WI magazine Home & Country Volume 1, No 7 July 1919.

Contributor: Angi Holden is a freelance writer, whose work includes prizewinning adult and children’s poetry, short stories and flash fictions, published in online and print anthologies. She brings a wide range of personal experience to her writing, alongside a passion for lifelong learning. Her family are central to her life and her research into family history is a significant influence on her work. She was the winner of the inaugural Mother’s Milk Books Pamphlet Prize and her pamphlet, Spools of Thread will be published in 2017.


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