To celebrate the WI centenary a special baton is making its way around the Federations and will finish its trip at the Annual Meeting in June 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall. It set off from Anglesey where the first WI meeting was held in the UK in 1915, and is now travelling throughout the 69 federations in England, Wales and the Islands to celebrate the links of friendship and community developed through the WI.

The baton has spent the last week travelling round Northumberland Federation and arrived back in Newcastle today. Debs and I went to a special event at the Civic Centre to see the baton, and hear a message from the Lord Major and Federation Chair Hilary Robson, before the baton made it's way onto the Shields Ferry to be presented to Tyne and Wear South Federation.

It was great gathering together at the Civic Centre and meeting ladies from WIs all over Northumberland. There was the obligatory raffle (!) as well as an opportunity to look round the Civic Centre and see where all the silver is kept! At the end of the event, we all stood in a circle and the baton was passed round while Jerusalem was sung which was a lovely touch.

The baton itself has been specially designed and has a memory stick stored inside onto which each Federation will upload twelve selected photos to represent their members, WIs, and the local area. The photos will be shared on social media to keep everyone in touch and so that members across the country can share in the party.


Federation Chair, Hilary Robson, with the Lord Mayor


The baton and its specially-made cushion with the Northumberland Federation logo


Deb and her mum with the baton!


Passing the baton round while singing Jerusalem