Walking Netball Group – Second Challenge

The Walking Netball Ladies have now completed their second 26 challenge.

We decided to ‘run’ a marathon – 26 miles. No, we didn’t do this individually but did it collectively. Fifteen of us took up the challenge of walking, jogging or running (or a combination of all three) 1.8 miles each, recording our times and then all these times were added together to see how fast we could complete a marathon.

The weather has been glorious and most plotted a route and set out.

Barbara started us off by sending in a time the day after the challenge was launched. She managed to walk her distance on a treadmill and gave us a benchmark of 33 minutes. Some did it with a dog for company, Mandy with her horse and Gemma made us laugh by doing her distance on the beach in flip flops with two young children. Times were all very close to the 30 minute mark until Jack emailed her amazing time, for 1.9 miles, of 17.53 minutes. Not only that but a fantastic photo followed. She is our very own superwoman. 

Everyone enjoyed the challenge, some even did it several times to improve their own score. Manuela managed to shave nearly 7 minutes off her first time. This was fantastic and shows how competitive the ladies are.

The overall time for our collective 26 miles was 8 hours 35.33 minutes. 

Thanks go to everyone who took part and we will be donating extra items for the Bognor food bank.

Thanks again to Dinah for organising the photos, they show us passing on a wooden spoon but nobody ended up with it!

Here’s to the next one! 

Ann McLean

Photos: Dinah Barrand

BRWI Members Celebrate 75th Anniversary of VE Day

Thanks to those members who sent me photos of their celebrations, please see below

Sue Harris


Celia put up a flag in her front window on VE day along with bunting and flags. The photos are of her mum and dad, her husband’s mum and dad and his aunt. They are all in uniform except he husband’s mum, who worked in the ticket office at Baker Street station. They had scones and tea on their front lawn. Their neighbours had their bbq in the front garden and  shared their rack of lamb. ( He is a chef in charge of several care homes)



Ann Mc VE Day

Ann Mc had a lovely afternoon with brownies, lemon cake, cucumber sandwiches and scones. A slight overload on sugar. All  accompanied by 40s music.



Sue and her Mum

Sue G celebrated with her mum.


Joyce VE Day

Joyce celebrated in her back garden



Georgette VE Day

Georgette celebrated in her front garden

VE Day tribute corner

Karen created a VE Day display, including a picture of her dad wearing his WWII medals and Arctic Convoys white beret. The medals on his right shoulder are Russian, issued in recognition of his service on the Arctic (Russian) convoys.

London Marathon 2.6/26 Challenge

Millie the dog

In addition to the fabulous effort by the Walking Netballers:

  • Millie the dog was walked an additional 2.6 miles by Chris and had a long sleep after.
  • I also slept well after 2.6 hours of weeding in my garden .

To date Dementia Support at Sage House has received £355 in donations from all who took part.

A fantastic result.

Sue Harris

A Special VE Day Memory from our Land Girl

I decided to ask one of our members for her memories of VE Day, expecting possibly to get something about being part of the crowd celebrating in London. Instead I got a truly special memory of that day and the background to it.


Stella (on the left) and her sister

Stella Elms (nee Hobden) was born in Burwash East Sussex near Rudyard Kipling’s Batemans in 1927.

When Stella was 18 months the family moved to Weybridge and then on to Addlestone when she was 3 years old.

It was there that she met one Peter Elms when she was 14 and a half. He was chairman of the local youth club and she was secretary by virtue of her being at secretarial college.


With the onset of World War 2 Peter was serving in the Army and Stella had joined the Women’s Land Army.

At the beginning of 1945 the Army had started to give leave to troops serving in Europe. Peter’s regiment drew lots, his name was one of the first out of the hat, and thereby one of the first to get leave.

A couple of days before VE Day Stella travelled to a London station with Peter’s father to meet a troop train bringing Peter home. As a Land Girl Stella was on holiday, not leave, as they were officially classed as civilians. It was not until 2008 that the Women’s Land Army was formally recognised.

Peter had proposed on a previous leave but there had been no opportunity to buy a ring.

Stella is unlikely to forget any anniversary of VE Day as that was the day they bought THE RING and became officially engaged.

A jeweller in the village had let them know that they had recently acquired an engagement ring and it was bought at a cost of £13.

As Churchill’s speech was at 3pm it was too late to organise a double celebration that day. The newly engaged couple spent the evening walking hand in hand and arm in arm around the village. All the houses had their curtains wide open and their lights on.

Parties took place during the following days with long hoarded treasures appearing from store cupboards. Stella wonders what today’s kids would think of jellies, tinned salmon and sardine sandwiches.

Stella and Peter Wedding

The couple were married on 18th May 1946 with a traditional wedding cake thanks to family and friends donating ingredients and Peter’s father being friends with a local baker.

They set up home together in 1947 when both left the service of their respective armies.

Peter passed away on 12th February 2006, three months before their Diamond Anniversary.

In Stella’s words ” a more caring, hard working husband, father and friend would be hard to find. Was never sorry I said yes”.

My thanks to Stella’s family for “secretly” supplying the photos and very special thanks to Stella for sharing her special memory with me and allowing me to write this. I hope I’ve done it justice, she will soon let me know if I haven’t.

With much love and respect for a very special member of Bognor Regis WI.

Sue Harris



Following on from members making laundry bags and hearts, June and Barbara have made a set of scrubs each from material donated by a London fashion house.

Sarah is on a roll and has already made 6 sets of scrubs.

Keep up the good work!

Sue Harris

WI Walking Netball Group – 26 Challenge


“Any ideas?”

It started with an email from Dinah asking if we could do something as a walking netball group in relation to the 26 challenge.

The London Marathon had been cancelled due to the virus and therefore the challenge was to raise money for charities in a creative way and have fun doing it.

I came up with the idea of a shooting challenge for our lovely netball group and Annie, our Team Manager, launched it in her inimitable way.

The aim was to score as many goals as possible in 26 minutes from a distance of 2.6 metres. The really creative part was the goal!  Most followed a prototype of a bucket secured to a step ladder. Some had buckets which were suspended on walls or chicken runs, others had targets at ground level. Sarah’s husband even made a goal and attached it to a wall. It didn’t matter what height it was. The ‘missile’ could be any ball or rolled up socks or tea towel. It didn’t matter.

What mattered was how many you could shoot.  Of course, being of a competitive nature, the ladies rose to the challenge magnificently.

I thought I had better try this out before Sunday (Marathon day) and see if I could actually do it myself.  Bucket was securely wedged on top of the step ladder and time began.  Well, I was pretty smug with myself and scored 50 goals and set this as the target to beat! Little did I know how the ladies would respond. Scores started coming in …

  • a score of 27 with “my bucket was moving a lot!”
  • 24 goals with “after 15 minutes my bucket snapped!”
  • Then Maggie comes in with 83 goals
  • Sarah’s next “I’ve just scored 134 goals” this was amazing
  • 100 balls in the bucket by Celia
  • I hit the target 154 times but no chickens were harmed” this from Manuela
  • Annie secured 93 goals and did lots of retrieving

It didn’t matter what the score was we all enjoyed the banter of trying to beat each other.  Some of the comments were just brilliant and I’m sure everyone had a smile on their face.  Here is a selection:

  • The tee shirt made all the difference.
  • My husband made me a ladder goal post, only disadvantage the ring was a triangle!
  • I did a tremendous amount of retrieving the ball and bending.
  • Sarah, did your ball have elastic on it?
  • I would like to think the ball was too light and the bucket the wrong size.
  •  My husband was pleased when I stopped as he was my ball boy.
  • I found it quite aerobic!
  •  My accurate aim kept hitting the handle and so the ball went flying into the bushes.

The most important aspect of the day was to raise money for Sage House. I believe we raised approximately £350. Well done everyone, it was an amazing effort and such good fun. I’m sure you’ll agree the photos are brilliant and shooting techniques were pretty good too.

My thanks go to Dinah who collated the photos, to Annie who made it happen, and to everyone who took part

Ann McLean

WI Walking Netball Coach

To see our girls in action click here