County Craft Award 2019

Back in the spring, the West Sussex Federation Art & Craft Sub-Committee announced this year’s County Craft Competition. As 2019 is West Sussex Federation’s Centenary Year – the competition had a centenary theme.

Picture 1

Members were asked to use the county flower of Sussex the ‘Round-headed Rampion’ – a flower also known as the ‘Pride of Sussex’, as shown on the Federation’s centenary badge, as inspiration….. and produce an item of craft in any medium.

Three members of Bognor Regis WI took up the challenge and produced three completely different and beautiful entries.

Picture 2

All the items submitted by West Sussex members were pre-judged at North Lodge by an independent judge from outside our Federation. All the items were displayed at the WSFWI Annual Meeting in October and the results of the competition were announced.

Our members did exceptionally well…

Barbara F was awarded 1st Place with her 3d Textile Rampion, and she was presented with the Silver Plate at the Annual meeting, which she will have on loan for the year.

Picture 5

June S was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ for her curved glass picture

Picture 6

Jan A was awarded ‘Commended’ for her framed stitched picture of the Downs

Congratulations to all of them, your fellow Bognor Regis WI members are very proud of you!

Words and pictures: Lesley Guppy


News from our Craft Group

10 of our members learnt a new technique using polymer clay and extruders to make jewellery, key fobs, coasters, buttons and hair grips, in the style of Gustav Klimt.
Various coloured clay sticks were sliced, put together to make a cone and put through an  extruder tool, emerging as long strips of patterned clay.   The strips were stacked, cut, and re-stacked twice.  The stack was cut into slices, massaged together and cut into the shapes required.   The combination of colours and tiny patterns melted our creative hearts, and we all fell in love with the technique.
I had used my WI bursary money to learn the craft and pass on the skill to others – money well spent I would say.  Thank you Bognor Regis WI.
Jan Marsden

Twiddle Muff and Twiddle Mat Charity Day

14 of our WI members built up a collection of 8 knitted twiddle muffs, 2 knitted twiddle mats, 7 fabric twiddle mats and 2 twiddle marble mats on Monday 29th July 2019 for one of our 2019 WI charities – Sage House.   There are more in the pipe line, as some needed a bit more twiddling and fiddling before being ready to add to the pile!

Thank you WI members for helping make the Charity Sew/Knit-In Day fun.   We all laughed, exchanged ideas and skills, and shared tools and fabrics – and of course we had tea and cake.

We also collected £24.40 for Sage House.

To see all the photos click here.
Words and photos: Jan Marsden
 (…. and lots of thanks to Jan for organising!)



The May meeting of Bognor Regis WI started in a swirl of colour with President Dinah Barrand sporting her new striped dungarees made from recycled fabric and supplied by a fair trade African company. This set the tone of the meeting which focussed on the Resolutions put forward by the National Federation of Womens’ Institutes but with an overarching theme of how all members could make a difference to our world by making small (or bigger) changes to their lifestyles.



Mandy receiving contributions for the Food Bank


First, however, Dinah introduced Mandy, the Deputy Co-ordinator of the Bognor Food Bank. She described how most food banks (Bognor included) come under the aegis of the Trussell Trust, a charity which aims to end hunger and poverty in the UK and to campaign for change to end the need for food banks. Mandy talked about the circumstances which led to people needing short term help including delays/changes in benefit payments, redundancy, pregnancy and domestic violence.  Bognor Food Bank relies on donations of non-perishable food from members of the public and clients need a voucher from a referring agency such as CAB, Radio Respect, My Sisters House etc. This system allows the referring agency to work with the person, providing ongoing support to hopefully improve their circumstance


As well as providing food, however, Bognor Food Bank provides care and compassion and ensures that all clients are valued, listened to and cared about. The Food Bank has also provided courses on budget cookery and tries to give extra help in the summer holidays – when school meals are not available – and special Christmas bags. Sadly, the need is growing with 3,000 people being fed last year – an increase of 33%.

After a very warm vote of thanks both for Mandy’s talk and for the excellent work they are doing, the meeting moved on to a quiz and vote on the potential resolutions. These were the provision of additional council funding for public bus services and encouraging more women (including young women) to have regular smear tests. It was agreed by a clear majority that both resolutions were worthy of support and the delegate to the national AGM in June will vote in accordance with the wishes of BRWI.

During the extended refreshment break with Prosecco and cake (including the delicious vegan cupcakes – to view the recipe – click Vegan Ginger Cupcakes) members had the opportunity to explore the displays on green living set up by the Committee.  These included a clear demonstration of what items can be put in the recycling bin and what can be recycled elsewhere, green replacements/substitutions for household products including homemade beeswax food covering and pan scrubbers, making the move to a plant based diet and the resources available to do so, reducing or eliminating the need for single use plastics, recycling and upcycling materials to make bags (and the examples included some unlikely raw materials!) and making rich and friable compost from garden and kitchen waste. To see all the ideas click here  Lots of questions were asked and many pledges made to try something new; it was inspiring to see how the members really wanted to make a difference to the lives of the local community and the wider world.

Later in the month, twenty members will be making a visit to Tuppenny Barn a sustainable living education centre in Southbourne, and three members will be joining lots of other WIs – and many other groups concerned about climate change – when they go on the Time is Now mass lobby of Parliament. This summer the Government will decide whether to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by committing to a net zero emissions target. They will also have the chance to end nature’s decline by committing to a strong Environment Bill. The Time is Now on June 26th is hoped to be the largest mass lobby for climate and the environment that the UK has ever seen.  The WI is very proud to be part of it!!

Click to display the Record of May 19 meeting

Words: Gina

Photos: Katie and Kate

Calling all knitters or crocheters!

Our charity ‘Friends of Bognor Hospital’ have asked if we could knit some ‘Twiddle muffs’ for them. They are knitted or crocheted muffs given to elderly patients to keep their hands warm and they also give the patients something to ‘fidget’ with – they find them comforting.

There are lots of patterns and pictures online all with slight variations. We’ve included one below, but any muff would be appreciated. You can sew on buttons, ribbons etc and add a pocket for a handkerchief or keepsake. Let your imaginations fly – if you’re an expert you can use them to practise new stitches or if you’re a beginner the odd mistake won’t show!

I’m starting one tonight and I’m certainly no expert – should be interesting. They’re a great way of using up odd bits of wool. If you attach buttons etc please make sure that they are well secured as they can be a danger if they come loose.

Click below to view a pdf of the twiddlemuff pattern:

Twiddlemuff instructions

Dinah Barrand


Barbara does it again!

Bognor Regis WI members were delighted to hear that our member Barbara Foster has once again won the West Sussex Federation County Craft Award.

The County Craft award is a competition held every few years by the Art & Craft Sub Committee of WSFWI. Every WI in West Sussex may enter up to two craft items based around a specified theme – this year it was ‘Over the Rainbow’.  As the last winner of the County Craft Award, Barbara was keen to defend her title and entered once again.

There was an array of bright and colourful entries of varied crafts from around the County.


Barbara’s entry – a beautiful bowls and coaster set, earned her a very impressive 19.5 points out of 20 from the judges and secured her first place once again.


Barbara was presented the County Craft Award at the West Sussex Federation WI Annual Meeting in Worthing by WSFWI Chair Yvonne Price.


Many congratulations Barbara!

Lesley Guppy

South of England Show, Ardingly 2017

Didn’t we do well!

From the members who kindly baked amazing cakes for the tea tent, the volunteers who worked in the tea tent, to the talented competitors – everyone involved did Bognor Regis WI proud.  It was great being part of such a successful show and raising funds for West Sussex WI.  I was surprised by how much the visitors showed their appreciation of the WI.  They wanted to chat and compliment us on the standard of baking and service.  One person I spoke to reckoned it was ‘better than the Ritz’!

South of Eng Show 2017
All of Bognor Regis WI winning entries


The craft tables were much admired. There were lots of entries in all classes and the standard of competition was very high.

IMG_9386 (1)It was no surprise that Barbara took first place with her entry in the ‘Jeans Re-invented’ class. It was completely different to all the other entries and show cased her stunning talent.


IMG_9397Jan’s entry in the ‘Celebrating Sussex’ class for a fabric wall hanging was beautiful and more than deserving of the second place awarded.

IMG_9400 (1)Katie made a fantastic garden ornament from recycled bottles and bottle tops for the ‘Flower Power’ class and also gained a second place.

IMG_9390 (1)Rosemary knitted a beautiful shawl for the ‘It’s a Wrap’ class earning a well deserved ‘Highly Commended’.

IMG_9383Karen wrote a clever short ghost story for the ‘Ghostly Goings On’ class, also earning a  ‘Highly Commended’.

IMG_9393Sheila painted a beautiful picture for the ‘My Favourite Place in Sussex’ class and, although not placed, had positive comments on her feedback card.

IMG_9520and Dinah baked a cake using a Goodwood beer for the ‘Cheers’ class ,and she also  had positive comments on her feedback card.

As a WI we entered 7 of the 13 classes and were well represented at the Show. Hopefully we’ll be inspired to do even better next year!

Words by Dinah Barrand, Photos by Katie Lyne


Supporting our local community

Since BRWI was established in 2009, members have supported local groups and charities in many different ways – volunteering, donating items at meetings, crafting and baking.

These groups and charities include:

  • Stonepillow
  • HomeStart
  • Tyler’s Trust
  • Bognor Regis Food Bank
  • Chestnut Tree House Children’s’ Hospice
  • My Sister’s House CIC
  • Canine Partners

Last September we asked members to complete a Quick Questionnaire so the committee could get a clearer idea of what members wanted from their WI and so plan accordingly. One of the questions related to our local charity support, and the feedback received indicated that members would like to focus on two charities during 2017. Members were asked for their nominations and 10 local groups and charities were suggested. At our December Meeting members voted on the shortlist and My Sister’s House CIC (MSH) and Sammy Community Transport were the two that received the most votes.

To ensure both groups receive equal support from BRWI, we will focus on one per month.

In January, members were asked to follow MSH on social media – you can also do that by following this link – and to leave a small poster in an appropriate location i.e. their place of work, or a Doctor’s surgery.

At our February Meeting we had leaflets to highlight the work of Sammy Community Transport and asked members to complete their online survey – which you can too via their website

Then in late February My Sister’s House CIC approached us with a request – could members craft bunting for them to use at events.  Nine members rose to challenge and turned 10 metres of yellow and green material into metres and metres of bunting.


And the bunting was quickly put to use – decorating the entrance foyer of The Alexandra Theatre at an International Women’s Day event organised by MSH on Wednesday 8th March. The bunting made a dramatic display as visitors arrived at the event.


Thank you to Celia, Dinah, Heather, Jan, June, Katie, Lynn, Maggie and Rosemary for all their work!

BRWI will continue to support both these local charities throughout 2017.

Lesley Guppy (President)