History of the Lady Section of the ISA Great Britain
In July 1982, in Cheltenham, there were several members of the ISA present with their ladies. A discussion took place about the role
of ladies within the Association. It was decided that the ladies could hold raffles and raise money in support of the Association: not
all of the men agreed.
For the next four years the ladies initially brought prizes to hold raffles at the meetings, but it grew to the ladies holding garage sales,
holding strawberry teas and paupers hotpot evening meals. One lady went to a trouser factory and asked for trouser seconds to sell
on to raise money for the Association. The same lady then started making bow ties from old RN ties, she completely sold out.
Another lady made brooches with Dolphin insignia on them, they also completely sold out. There was no stopping these ladies.
In 1986 in Birmingham the ladies were each given a “ladies tin badge” and a membership card. This privilege was later withdrawn.
In 1986 at the meeting in Oadby, there was a discussion about what should happen to the money raised by the ladies.
The Chairman, Mr. Shepherd advised her to hold on to the money and he would put a proposal to the membership about the ladies
having their own account. The proposal was amended to the ladies having their own paying in book to the main accounts.
Initially Ladies were not allowed to talk or vote at any ISA meetings.
In September 1988 at a Portsmouth venue a proposal for the Ladies Section to be included in the constitution was defeated.
In June 1989 at a meeting held in Oadby, members finally agreed that the Ladies should form their own section and this was added
to the constitution.
On September 7th 1991 in Skipton it was agreed that a percentage of the money raised by the ladies should be put aside for
medical assistance of children of serving submariners. The proposal was carried unanimously.
All members present agreed that the ladies have an important and necessary role to play within the Association.
By October 1992 the ladies had raised £883.50p and held their first ladies meeting. They continued to raise at least £3,000.00.
At the same meeting, held in Kingston Upon Thames, the Chairman James Blakely gave the following speech “In my opinion the
ISA–GB would have folded long ago but for the support and organising abilities of the ladies section”
Many members expressed that they joined the ISA because ladies were involved, and they wished it to remain the policy of the ISA.
The ladies representative then began to organize Saturday afternoon trips which proved to be very popular. There were trips to a
Brewery which went down well with the men, a trip to Cadbury’s Factory that went down well with the ladies. There were trips to the
Royal Armoury Museum and to the Wedgewood factory plus many other interesting places.
From time to time, there were objections to the Ladies being so involved, but this was often squashed because of the general ethos
of the ISA.
In 1996 the Chairman made it clear that Clause 17 of the Constitution clearly states that the ladies have a role to play within the
Association. Yet it is said that they have no right to speak. The Chairman suggested that until there was an amendment to the
Constitution, that they, as gentlemen, should stop the adverse remarks directed at the ladies.
In Kings Lynn in August 1996 a vote of confidence in the Ladies Section was passed unanimously following the remarks made at the
September 19 1996 the World’s first lady submarine commander Solveig Kray – Norway. joined the ISA–GB
In Hereford on 14 November 1998 for the first time a ladies representative was allowed to sit in on the ISA Committee meeting.
By the year 2000 the ladies section had raised almost £3000.00. for the Association. They continue to be supportive of the ISA and
continue to raise funds in various ways.
How the Ladies Fit into the ISA Great Britain
The Ladies Section is a vibrant part of the ISA. Some gentlemen wouldn’t be able to attend if they couldn’t bring their wives or
As stated in the History Section, many Submariners have joined because of the inclusion of the wives.
So, what do we do?
We enjoy ourselves immensely, otherwise we wouldn’t bother coming!
We meet up with our friends.
We do support fundraising, but this tends to be a joint operation nowadays. The Ladies prompt the men to bring raffle prizes. The
ladies run the raffle.
We help the men consume alcohol.
We chat and catch up with latest news.
We organise the Trafalgar Night.
We attempt to keep the men in order. We usually fail because we are in need of being kept in order ourselves.
Val Measey has been our ladies rep for the last 8 years and has decided to stand down from November.
At our meeting in August, Jan Strode kindly agreed to be our new Ladies Representative. Well done Jan, and we all look forward to
our new era.