A BASINGSTOKE branch of the Women’s Institute has recently celebrated its 13th birthday with a royal-themed party.

Chineham WI celebrated its birthday with a celebration of the life of the late Queen Elizabeth II on September 26.

The group originally had planned for the party to have a jubilee theme in honour of the Queen, but it was changed to a celebration of her life following her death in September.

Members of both the Chineham branch and other nearby WI groups, such as Old Basing WI and Rooksdown Revellers, attended the event which had a range of games themed around the royal family.

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Branch secretary Gill Dixon explained: “We had already prepared some games and ideas, and one of them was ‘pass the sandwich’.

“One of our ladies is very good at crochet, she crocheted the sandwich, it looked like a marmalade sandwich, and we played pass the parcel and it went down very well; the prize for the winner of that was a jar of marmalade.

“Then we had a game of pin the tail on the corgi.

“We had lots of picture quizzes and anagram-type things, we did quite a lot, and of course, there’s always a get-together and lots of chatting.”

A raffle was also held, along with a competition of “whose is the best crown?”.

Food and a special celebratory cake decorated to look like the Union Flag were also served at the party.

Among the guests were the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Cllr Paul Miller and Mayoress Sandra Miller.

The party ended with the members singing the hymn Jerusalem, the unofficial anthem of the WI, as well as God Save the King.

Gill said that the group’s committee wanted to thank everyone who came to the party.

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She said: “A big thank you to all our members for bringing in the food, thank you to our president for getting in touch with the mayor, thank you to our committee for arranging all these things and we should thank the Queen!”

Chineham WI meets on the fourth Monday of every month at 7.30pm in the Sherbourne Room of Christ Church, on Reading Road.

For more information about joining the Women’s Institute, call 02380 616712 or visit hampshirewi.org.uk.