More than 100 members of WI across the Lincolnshire North Federation area came together to mark the centenary of some women getting the vote.
The afternoon saw the ladies don their finery for a posh tea party in Market Rasen’s Festival Hall.
However, they were disappointed to learn the planned speaker, Victoria Atkins MP was unable to attend due to ministerial duties.
The planned agenda was to have a short talk about Margaret Wintringham, MP for Louth in the 1920s and a WI member, and contrast that with life as a woman MP in the 21st century.
Federation secretary for Lincolnshire North, Sue Bain said: “We were very disappointed to be contacted just three days before by Mrs Atkins’s office to inform us Victoria had cancelled.
“The reason given being that she was duty minister at the weekend and was unavailable.
“The (federation) office was unable to find a replacement speaker at such short notice to talk on Women in Politics today.”
The tea party went ahead, with a last minute change to the programme seeing a potted history of the suffrage movement, followed by a debate on whether members would have been a suffragette or a suffragist.
Part of the Wolds Women of Influence display was also taken to the hall, courtesy of the Lincoln branch of the Fawcett Society.
Mrs Bain continued: “Our trustees worked hard to make the day an enjoyable one for our members at the last minute.
“However, the members of the Federation felt completely let down by the no show of Mrs Atkins and a number of them will be writing to her.
“We were particularly annoyed when it appeared that any offers to help out – such as sending a recorded message from the Minister – only seemed to be forthcoming from the MP’s office once they had been informed that a number of our members had written to and contacted the press and local TV to make their disappointment known.”
Victoria Atkins is MP for Louth and Horncastle, where the Lincolnshire North Federation of WIs has its office.
A spokesman for Mrs Atkins’s office told the Rasen Mail: “It is with regret that Victoria was unable to attend the event due to her ministerial duties.
“We offered to send a recorded message to play at the meeting and also to help find a replacement speaker, but neither of these offers were taken up.”