Mrs. Margarette Golding, a nurse, business woman and the wife of a Manchester Rotarian, started the Inner Wheel movement in 1924. Prior to 1924, wives of Rotarians in many cities and towns, prompted by a concern for public welfare, had been voluntarily, in the background, giving their time and energies to help in any service being undertaken by their menfolk.
On the 15th November 1923, twenty-seven Rotary wives, led by Mrs. Golding, metin a Cooling Room (because it was free of charge) at Herriot’s Turkish Baths, St Mary’s Street, Deansgate, Manchester; they discussed the possibility of forming an independent ladies’ group run on Rotary lines. The objects of the Club, they explained, would be twofold, to foster friendship and to offer much more in the way of service.
The next meeting, held at the Social Club in Lower Mosley Street, Manchester, which became their regular meeting place, was on 10 January 1924, and marked the actual commencement of Inner Wheel with the formation of the Manchester Club. Since 1970, January 10th has become universally recognised as WORLD INNER WHEEL DAY, when we celebrate the anniversary of that first meeting.
Margarette Golding, the founder, was elected as the first President and Mrs. W. A. Nixon, the first Secretary. Thirty members were present, and six basic rules were agreed. The first rule was ‘The name of the Club shall be ‘The Inner Wheel’. Thus ingeniously, they respected the wishes of Rotary, and the use of the word ‘Rotary’ was avoided, while the link with the men’s organisation was symbolized by reference to their badge – the Rotary Wheel. This link is still nurtured today and we proudly share the same ethical values and objectives.