The Dorset WI’s Centenary celebrations begin on 27 January. A centenary baton will begin its 500-mile journey around the Dorset Federation of WIs and their 4,300 members, in the county where one of the first Women’s Institutes was formed at Wallisdown in autumn 1915.

The baton, started its journey in Anglesey, where the first WI meeting in the UK was held in 1915, and is travelling through England, Wales and the Islands visiting the 69 federations in celebration of the links of friendship and community developed through the WI.

The baton finishes its trip at the WI’s centenary annual meeting on 4 June at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Two members of the Isle of Wight Board of Trustees will arrive with the baton at Lymington on 27 January. They will travel in a 1967 E-type Jaguar to Highcliffe Castle, near Bournemouth, for a special Talk and Tea afternoon with 100 WI members.

Accepting the baton at Highcliffe Castle will be Linda Whatman, Dorset WI Federation chairwoman. The baton will then travel through the county and be the centre-piece of daily lunches or teas.

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