Swedish Ladies and the WI

1st April 1973, 8 Swedish ladies visited Crockenhill

Mona Lindholm: Crack rifle shot and won medals with the Elk Culling Team
Siv Hovsenius: Ran small village general store
Marianne Eriksson: Dressmaker and local voluntary worker
Gunni Tornkvist: Farmers wife who helped on the farm
Karin Holmqvist: Trip leader and teacher at local school
Ann-Mari Andersson: Farmers wife, kept 10 cows
Gertrud Olsson: Farmers wife, kept 10 cows
Inger Lagerkvist: Farmers wife, worked in village post office and voluntary worker


Swedish Newspaper 14th April 1973
Vasterfarnebo Ladies On Trip To England Met With The Swedish National Anthem

2nd Heading:
A group of ladies in Viggarnne, Snaret and Lungbo in Vasterfarnebo gathered every Thursday like a sewing guild, but not with sewing materials, a hobby without men stopping the English, they like each other and enjoy being together. Before this the group of friends made plans for a study trip to England, pleased that the men at home would look after the children.

Vasterfarnebo is a small village in Sweden about 80 miles west of Stockholmin the district of Vastmanland. It is a farming community with fields of wheat and barley, divided by woods and lakes.
The village has 2 or 3 shops, a post office, church and primary school.
The 8 ladies had known each other since school days and enjoyed each others company. Karin Holmqvist was a teacher in the school and the group wanted to visit England but spoke no English. Karin was fluent in English so they decided to visit Karin’s house every Thursday for English lessons which they did for 1 year. 
Now feeling ready to go Karin wrote to the V.V.V. (Swedish W.I.) in Stockholm saying that they would like to visit some English homes. Her letter was passed on by the Swedish W.I. to the W.I. in London where Hilary Latter, who was on the W.I. committee, saw the letter and said they could come to Crockenhill.
Flights were booked from Arlanda airport in Sweden and a Swedish hotel was booked in London for the week, so all was ready.
Early one morning the ladies left their husbands to look after the children, gathered together, to be transported on open trailer pulled by a tractor to the railway station in Sala 15 miles away. They caught the train to Stockholm and then on to Arlanda airport.
Arriving at Gatwick they travelled to London and were soon settled into their hotel. They visited many places that they had heard and read about.
Hilary Latter had arranged that on the Wednesday of their visit they would come to Crockenhill. They were met at Swanley station and transported to Moat farm This was the first week in April 1973, it was a lovely sunny day and so they all enjoyed am English tea in the garden. They then divided into 4 groups of 2 and went to 4 families in the village to have dinner.
Being the first Wednesday of the month it was Crockenhill W.I. night, so they were invited to join the meeting in the village hall. To their joy and great surprise as they entered the hall the Crockenhill ladies all stood up, the piano played and they sang the Swedish national song in Swedish to greet them.

“DU GAMLA DU FRIA”  (Thou Ancient Thou Free)

The Swedish ladies were at a loss for words.
A most enjoyable evening of friendship followed.