Sky’s the limit for inspiring local woman Patricia

A Ludford woman is flying high after becoming the cover girl for a national magazine with a readership of more than 200,000.

Patricia Ridger has been featured in this month’s edition of WI Life, which goes out to all WI members across England and Wales.

But it is not her jam making skills or rendition of Jerusalem - although both excellent - that has brought her to prominence, but her life thousands of feet in the air.

Patricia was picked for the ‘inspiring women’ feature of the magazine for her life as a glider pilot and full category instructor.

“It was a great experience being interviewed for the piece,” said Patricia.

“It took almost a whole day, with a reporter, make-up artist and photographer, who must have taken 300 pictures.

“They put me at ease and it was really exciting waiting to see what would be included.”

Patricia belongs to the Wolds Gliding Club at Pocklington and always makes sure she has her WI badge visible on her flying suit.

“I joined my village WI almost 20 years ago,” added Patricia.

“My mother was and still is a member of the WI were she lives, so I have always known about the organisation.

“I enjoy crafts and cookery, but there is a lot more going on.

“We have some very interesting speakers - I am always fascinated by other people’s lives - and I have been on lots of courses and events run by the federation.”

Last December, Ludford WI celebrated its 65th birthday, but the organisation is much older than that.

The Women’s Institute movement started at Stoney Creek, Canada in 1897.

The first WI in Great Britain opened in 1915 at Llanfair PG in Wales.

Just three years later, groups at Caistor, Nettleton and Holton le Moor were formed - so they will all be celebrating their 95th anniversary this year.

Four new WIs have opened over the past six months in this federation, Lincolnshire North, including one at Normanby by Spital.

There are now more than 210,000 members in around 6,600 WIs.

Originally formed to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War, the organisation’s aims have broadened and the WI is now the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK.