BY vintage bus and fire engine, on horseback and by boat – a baton relay marking the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Institute continued around Hampshire throughout the weekend.

More than 4,000 WI members across the county turned out at a series of events including a torch-lit procession and several coffee mornings.

As part of the nationwide baton relay passed through communities in the county, vintage fire engines, classic motorcycles and Porsches were all used over the course of the weekend.

The relay, which started on January 1 in Anglesey, the home of the first WI, made its way through Winchester, Test Valley and Southampton on its way to its final stop at the Royal Albert Hall in London on June 4.

The baton made its way from Twyford into Winchester city centre on Friday, with a torch-lit procession taking place down to the High Street to the Guildhall.

On Saturday WI members took a vintage King Alfred bus to Sparsholt and travelled around villages outside Winchester before a coffee morning event in Micheldever, where the atmosphere was described as “electric” by Winchester group secretary Pauline Virgo.

The baton was then handed to the North Downs group, who travelled in a vintage fire engine.

Yesterday, the baton made its way from West Tytherley to Portswood Pavilion in Southampton, where another event took place organised by the HamWIc group, bringing together the Shirley, Highfield, Bassett and Sotonettes groups.

Today the baton was due to arrive in Southampton city centre by bicycle.

City mayor Sue Blatchford will be on hand to oversee the baton being handed over from the HamWIc group to members of the Beaulieu Group of WIs, who will then take it on the Hythe Ferry on the next stage of its journey to the New Forest.

It will then be taken to St Andrews Church Hall in Dibden Purlieu before being transported to Copythorne Village Hall in a Rolls-Royce.

Following a street party at the hall in Cadnam it will make its way to Godshill near Fordingbridge.

Hampshire WI organiser Ros Cooper said: “I think it’s been a fitting way to celebrate the centenary. We’ve had fantastic means of transport, such as a three-wheel motorcycle, a Harley Davidson, an ancient-looking bus in Winchester, a torch-lit procession and a Porsche.

“I think it’s made it really fun. We wanted as many people as possible to be involved.”