THE baton to mark 100 years of the womens institute arrived in Uttoxeter to a welcome reception, as groups across the area marked the centenary of the organisation.
The specially designed baton is journeying around the UK to celebrate the links of friendship and community developed throughout the WI, and has stopped off in Uttoxeter, Abbots Bromley and Alton.
The baton, launched in Anglesey where the first WI meeting was held in the UK in 1915, is travelling throughout the 69 federations in the UK and will finish its trip at the Annual Meeting in June 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall.
Each federation plans a celebratory event to involve as many WI members as possible. Plans to celebrate its arrival and travel through each area are as varied as the members themselves; some are taking the baton through town centres on open-top buses, on a speed boat, and on specially arranged walks and to parties.
The aim is simply to involve as many members as possible in the biggest WI party.
As the baton passed through Abbots Bromley, members in costumes through the decades together with Abbots Bromley horn dancers took part in the festivities.
Janice Langley, chairman of the National Federation of Womens Institutes, said: “It’s so exciting to launch the first of the many centenary projects planned to celebrate 100 years of the WI.
“Starting the centenary celebrations with members working alongside each other in their federations and beyond really highlights the role that members have played in bringing their communities together since the very beginning of the WI.”