Back to School Summer social

It’s mid August and nearly 30 women dressed in school uniform have gathered at Rowland Rank hall – it can only be the Bognor Regis WI Summer Social.

After a welcome drink in the courtyard members were seated at school lunch tables in 2 houses – Pankhurst and Denman.  Headmistress Dinah took the register with apologies from, among others, Theresa May who had to stay home in case Boris moved in.


Singing Jerusalem was tunefully led by Sue Austin, and packed lunches in an amazing array of crafted lunch boxes were eaten. Much reminiscing took place over lunch and there was nervous anticipation of the English, Maths and Art lessons that were to follow (the ‘Art’ work will be on display at our next meeting).

Games took place outside with hopscotch, skipping and relay races. Throughout the afternoon points were being accumulated for the Houses.  Denman showed their prowess for physical activity, and Pankhurst won the academic prize.

The lunch box competition was won by Flo Page with her inventive ‘TV’ lunchbox.  Whilst we enjoyed tea and biscuits, prefect Barbara rounded off the afternoon with story time and a rather racy tale…….

An Ode to Fifty Shades of Grey

The missus bought a Paperback
down Shepton, Saturday,
I had a look in her bag;
…T’was “Fifty Shades of Grey”.

Well I just left her to it,
…At ten I went to bed.
An hour later she appeared;
The sight filled me with dread…

In her left hand she held a rope;
And in her right a whip!
She threw them down on the floor,
And then began to strip.

Well fifty years or so ago;
I might have had a peek;
But Mabel hasn’t weathered well;
She’s eighty four next week.

Watching Mabel bump and grind;
Could not have been much grimmer.
Things then went from bad to worse;
She toppled off her Zimmer!

She struggled up upon her feet;
A couple minutes later;
She put her teeth back in and said…
I must dominate her!!

Now if you knew our Mabel,
You’d see just why I spluttered,
I’d spent two months in traction
For the last complaint I’d muttered.

She stood there nude, naked like;
Bent forward just a bit ….
I thought oh well, what the hell,
and stood on her left tit!

Mabel screamed, her teeth shot out;
My god what had I done!?
She moaned and groaned then shouted out:
“Step on the other one!”

Well readers, I can’t tell no more;
About what occurred that day.
Suffice to say my jet black hair,
Turned fifty shades of Grey.

by John Summers

To see more photos click here

Words & Photos: Dinah Barrand


Suffragette talk at Denman




Five intrepid members set off in the early hours of Wednesday morning heading for Denman. To avoid rush hour traffic, we decided to cut across country and found ourselves on single-track roads in the Hampshire countryside. Many bends and beautiful views later we got back to the main road and were soon approaching Denman college. Coffee, pastries, a warm reception room and loos greeted us, all of which were very welcome after the two and half hour journey.


IMG_2250Diane Atkinson, a leading authority and author of several books on the Suffragettes, gave a passionate and inspiring talk. She explained how women of all classes and from all parts of the UK were involved in the movement. She showed some fascinating slides that helped to illustrate her empathetic stories about many of the women. We were each given a copy of her latest book ‘The Remarkable Lives of Suffragettes’ and I can’t wait to settle down for a good read.

We were then served a tasty 2-course lunch with wine and were fortunate that Diane sat at our table, giving us the chance to have a more informal chat. We’re so lucky as she has agreed to lead a ‘Suffragette Walk and talk’ around Westminster for us when we go to London on August 1st.

Dinah Barrand


Hawking on the Downs


Before I knew Hawking About had been booked to speak in June, I booked an outing with them in February.  We had an absolutely fabulous couple of hours walking on the downs with the hawks, and Kevin, the owner, was a mine of information and enthusiasm.  His passion for the birds was obvious, and I can highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in birds of prey – just be aware, you have to be prepared for them to catch something!
Jakki Thurgood

What a Hoot!


Over the last few years we have become used to the antics of Tony Harris with his amusing, suitably dressed talks about Sherlock Holmes and Henry VIII.

It seems he surpassed himself at North Bersted WI when he entertained them in costume as a Pantomime Dame.

Thanks to Flo Page for sending me this photo – Flo writes that  ‘He was very interesting and so funny’ – he looks it, it must have been a hoot!!

Kate Claisse


A Victorian Christmas

Victorian Christmas 01

On Saturday 2nd December, ten members of Bognor Regis WI were whisked back in time to experience a Victorian Christmas – courtesy of Portsmouth Dockyard’s wonderful event, and Woods Travel’s door-to-gate coach service.


Victorian Christmas 07 - Giant ReindeerThe weather was cloudy but dry – except for where the artificial snow was falling – and the dockyard was awash with 21st-century shoppers and 19th century entertainers, all wending their way around the many food, drink and craft stalls that were spread around the site. Queen Victoria and her entourage looked unamused but were willing to pose for photos; while young chimney sweeps danced in the street, and red-coated soldiers marched about. There were women in shawls, gents in top hats, several giant reindeer and even a couple of angels (gliding about very cleverly on hidden Segways).


Carousel - photo by Sheila FarmerThen there was the carousel, which many of us could not resist – including Stella, who was not going to let the small matter of her upcoming 91st birthday deter her from getting on board.

It was a fun, entertaining and enjoyable day – many thanks to our President and the committee for organising it.

Words:  Karen McCreedy

Photos: Karen McCreedy & Sheila Farmer

ACTING UP – Shakespeare we’re not!

Our new WI drama activity

Memories and confidence allowing, we intend to explore our drama skills – if we have any!

The first meeting of Acting Up was held on Tuesday and was attended by 6 members, with a couple more in the wings.    We talked about hopes, fears and dreams for the drama group, and ended with reading out loud some anecdotes from a book by K and R Petras – “Age doesn’t matter unless you’re a cheese.”

Everyone laughed, and we got carried away, thinking we may be able to put on a comedy sketch in due course – watch this space, but don’t be too hopeful.

There are a couple of places left in the drama group if any Bognor Regis WI members would like to join in – contact Jan Marsden.    Next meeting is on Thursday 19th October at 7.30 p.m.

Jan Marsden

West Dean Daffodil walk – the hunt for chalk snowballs!

Daffodil Walk 2011

The walk on March 19th allowed us to consider chalk snowballs in their art form  – at various levels of decolourisation and disintegration.    A number (13, I think) of 6 -7 foot diameter snowball chalk sculptures lay across the South Downs in the West Dean area – we came across 5 –  originally sculpted and placed by Andy Goldsworthy in 2002.   Changed, however, by the elements.

I understand there is a snowball trail – but to date I can not find any details.   Can anyone help?

Our next walk is on Tuesday 5th April – when we revisit part of Chichester Canal – the part with water in this time.   This is a 4 mile flat level walk linking the Hamlets on the northern part of the Selsey peninsula.   On exploring Hunston we will come across what looks like African animals.   What are they doing in Hunston? – we have yet to find out.

Meet at Canal Car Park in Hunston at 2 p.m. or contact Jan Marsden for transport arrangements.