PUPILS at Wellow Primary and Hampshire Collegiate Schools went back to Victorian times this week as part of the Florence Nightingale centenary.

About 100 children dressed in Victorian clothes retraced the footsteps of their predecessors on Tuesday and headed off for a Victorian picnic in the grounds Hampshire Collegiate School, foremely Embley Park and the childhood home of Florence Nightingale.

This recreated the annual treat layed on by the Nightingale family for the childen of the parish.

A further 150 children from the primary school were taken the event by bus.

They were joined by 230 Hampshire Collegiate School pupils for the picnic.

The children took part in Victorian games, maypole dancing, croquet and flower pressing.

The picnic provided by HCS included sandwiches, Victoria sandwich cake, blancmange and jelly.

HCS principal Hector MacDonald gave the children a guided tour of the west wing of Embley Park House. BBC South film crews were on hand to capture the re-enactment scenes.

Jean Clarke, one of the team involved in the Nightingale centenary events, said: “Logs are fascinating to read and among the entries for 1878 is a short mention that all the children in the school had been invited to the annual picnic at Embley Park.

“The infant classes went by cart and the juniors walked the footpaths. The idea of re-enacting this event for the centenary was suggested by Wellow Primary School and the Principal of Hampshire Collegiate School.”

See more pictures in this week's paper.