IT was formed by suffragettes in 1929, and this week saw the Townswomen’s Guild celebrate their 85th anniversary in Oxford.

Christ Church Cathedral in St Aldate’s hosted a thanksgiving service, with 720 women attending from all over the country.

The Townswomen’s Guild is a national organisation that discusses women’s issues, and provides social meetings for members. There are 780 individual guilds across the country, with over 26,000 members.

The service was one of two national events to celebrate the anniversary.

Margaret Key, 79, the guild’s national chairwoman, said: “We don’t celebrate women’s groups enough, I think. Oxford is a lovely city. I visited different venues and I just thought Christ Church was a wonderful cathedral.”

One of the local guilds that attended the service was Banbury.

Secretary and founding member Pat Webb, 72, of Banbury, said: “It was a great event.

“It was very well attended, with hundreds of people there.

“It was a lovely way to remember our 85 years. Next year the Banbury guild will be 50, so we will have to do something of our own next year.”