The Women’s Institute celebrates its Centenary next year and to mark the occasion, a Baton is being passed to every branch in England and Wales.
On Monday 16th June the Southwell Group of branches were pleased to play their part in the celebrations.
Around 20 ladies dressed in a floral theme greeted the baton arriving at the Robin Hood Theatre in Averham. The Baton was then transported from the Theatre to Upton in a green beribboned car by members. President Lorraine Bousfield presented the baton to Upton President Wendy Whitaker on the village green.
Wendy, fellow member Barbara Page and delightful dog Lizzie then walked with the Baton to Southwell Workhouse, in Upton parish. Here Pam Green standing in for Southwell Morning’s President received the Baton which was on a beautiful green and gold cushion.
Pam was dressed in 1915 costume and carried a basket of Bramley apples. She was then transported to the Minster with the Baton in the basket by her son also appropriately attired to include his grandfather’s 1915 bowler hat. The old MG covered in WI bunting and green and gold balloons passed the Bramley Apple Cottage and was met at the Church Street gate to the Minster by Morning members who escorted the Baton to the North Door. Southwell President Ann Meade received the Baton which was passed along their members lining the path.
Pam Green from the Southwell Morning branch said: “All five Southwell branches were invited to the WI Hall for a Cheese and Wine supper kindly prepared by Southwell WI. It was a really good occasion and a great way to meet with our neighbouring Institutes.”
Early on the morning of 17th June the Baton was taken by Ann to President Glenys Herbert in Halam from whence it left the Group in a Vintage Camper Van decorated with bunting to continue on its journey.
Pam continues: “We are fortunate that our corner of Nottinghamshire had so many features of note to provide a backcloth for its journey here.”
On 18th June Nottinghamshire Chairman, Jane Jefferson, dressed as Maid Marian, handed the baton to the Derbyshire Chairman in front of the caves at the World Heritage site of Creswell Crags and Robin Hood flew an arrow into Derbyshire to mark the handover!
The Baton has a long journey ahead before culminating at the 2015 Centenary AGM at the Royal Albert Hall in London next June. For more photos of the Baton’s journey through Southwell and updates from the local WI groups please see page 22 of the July issue.