People's History of the NHS


Women’s League of Health and Beauty, 1930-present

This lovely gallery was provided to us by FLexercise ( FLexercise classes were launched in 1930 under the name 'Women's League of Health & Beauty'. Seven years later, nearly 166,000 women had signed up. By World War Two, there were 50 nationwide centres.
Thinking about this organisation, therefore, provides a space through which we can think about the role of public health in the NHS, health before the NHS, and the relationships between communities, voluntary organisations, and state welfare. Organisations such as this have played a key role in enabling women's fitness in particular, and today relate to ongoing debates about how individuals should manifest 'responsible' health behaviours and lifestyle change.

4 thoughts on “Women’s League of Health and Beauty Badge

  1. Such a shame you haven’t included the up to date photo’s as well – to show how the organisation, like the NHS has grown through the ages.

    We, like you are still going strong 🙂

  2. I loved the WLHB. A great night of exercise and socialising. This was what was needed in my case to get away from the children for a evening out and feeling the benefit of the exercises. I made many friends there and I still have them today although much older. It was certainly unique when it first started, nothing today can compare with it.
    I wish the leap was still the emblem for flexercise. I had my silver brooch made into a pendant and wear it every day. Performing in the Albert Hall was indeed an honour and something never to be forgotten. I still love all the old routines and hope they are never forgotten.

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