WI baton relay heads out of district after afternoon tea

Pictured (from left) Sybil Howard, president of Hougham and Marston WI passing the baton to Debbie Venn, chairman for Lincolnshire South WI Federation, Liz McIntosh, president of Wellingore WI, and Gina Newstead, president of Navenby WI. EMN-140616-120920001

Pictured (from left) Sybil Howard, president of Hougham and Marston WI passing the baton to Debbie Venn, chairman for Lincolnshire South WI Federation, Liz McIntosh, president of Wellingore WI, and Gina Newstead, president of Navenby WI. EMN-140616-120920001

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Women’s Institutes in the Sleaford area bid farewell last week to the organisation’s centenary baton following its lap of the south of the county.

To commemorate 100 years of the Women’s Institute (WI) next year, the baton is heading to all federations in England and Wales, finishing at the annual meeting at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2015.

All aboard the little Austin Ruby for Bassingham. WI members Debbie Venn, Beryl Chinneck, Liz McIntosh, Jean Cox, Gina Newstead and Sandra Overton. EMN-140616-120952001

All aboard the little Austin Ruby for Bassingham. WI members Debbie Venn, Beryl Chinneck, Liz McIntosh, Jean Cox, Gina Newstead and Sandra Overton. EMN-140616-120952001

On Wednesday afternoon, Wellingore WI joined with Navenby WI to organise a tea dance with up to 150 members attending The Venue in Navenby, dressing in a 1940s to 1970s theme.

The party, to celebrate the baton’s arrival in the village, included entertainment from The Monsonaires swing band.

The baton arrived from Hougham and Marston WI on board a Bristol classic car before being whisked away to Bassingham and then out of the county in an Austin 7 Ruby.

President of Wellingore WI Liz McIntosh explained members had dug out archive material for a display for guests to browse, giving an idea how things had progressed since the Wellingore branch started in 1932. Navenby WI followed some years later, starting in 1967.

She said: “We have moved on since the 1930s but in essence we are the same people and we use our collective strengths to try and benefit as many people as we possibly can.”

Three executive committee members, Beryl Chinneck, Jean Cox and Sandra Overton, who coordinated the relay around Lincolnshire South, were thanked with gifts of wine.

Accompanying the baton on its journey out of the county was Lincolnshire South WI Federation chairman Debbie Venn.

She said: “It has been a fantastic turnout wherever we have been.”