THANKS to generations of diligence, Pembridge Women's Institute has not only embraced community life for a century, it has kept a fascinating record of the village's past for posterity.

One of just a handful in Herefordshire to maintain an unbroken record since forming in 1919, Pembridge WI has celebrated this special 100th milestone with a series of exhibitions of methodically kept records, photographs as well as a flavour of its accomplishments. At the centre, a beautifully crafted banner depicts St Mary's Church's famed detached belfry.

Fads and fashions have changed much since Pembridge took up the challenge to form a WI at the time of the First World War and its aftermath. Members have sustained a strong support over the decades and the present-day WI, run by joint presidents Tricia Lloyd and Sue Charles, is proud to have achieved this success. A certificate presented by the National Federation Board of Trustees states a wish to "recognise and congratulate" Pembridge on reaching its 100th anniversary. Some WI's did not meet during the Second World War, but women at Pembridge continued to boost morale in the village.

They argue that there is no "WI type" as often perceived, but promise fun and friendship. It is not restricted to "arranging flowers or stirring jam", but instead offers learning new skills, visiting interesting places, exploring the countryside with the walking group, ten-pin bowling among other activities.

The WI's comprehensive record of the past deals with documented history, and more colourful additions such as reference to holes in the church's west door long believed to have been caused by bullets from Cromwell's soldiers. Ancient lore reveals that a fugitive clinging to the church's door knocker could claim sanctuary. Another, rather grisly claim, was that the knocker's ironwork was underlaid with human skin – a warning to anyone found guilty of sacrilege.

Pembridge's royal connections are remembered with reference to Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond who was told of an old prophecy promising victory as he rode across the River Arrow at its confluence with the Lugg in 1485. He was en route to the Battle of Bosworth Field at Leicester where he was to defeat Richard III to become the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty.

Pembridge WI meets every second Wednesday in the month at Pembridge village hall at 7pm.