THOUSANDS of people descended on Eastleigh to celebrate the centenary of a women's organisation.

There was live music, tea and lots of cakes at Leigh Road Recreation Ground on Sunday to celebrate the Hampshire County Federation of Women’s Institutes (HCFWI).

The organisation encourages women to come together, learn new skills and support the community.

Chairman Maureen Levenson said the founder organised a fayre in Winchester 100 years ago to set up the group and this year the 9,000 HCFWI members from across the county wanted to mark the milestone with another fayre.

"It was really a party. It has been amazing and it's because everyone has contributed. It was an opportunity to showcase WIs across Hampshire," Ms Levenson said.

And added: "We just wanted everyone to have fun and meet each other and to give each other ideas."

The HCFWI has 210 institutes across the county, but it is based in Eastleigh town centre.

"It's an organisation for women, run by women and it's whatever women want to make it. It was formed to give rural women a voice and we still do that,"Ms Levenson added.