BRWI February Member’s Meeting – Shrove Tuesday

Our February meeting welcomed Andrew Elms who talked about The Trials and Tribulations of Lordington Lavender.

Andrew gave a great insight into his life as a dairy farmer and the decision to change his focus to lavender. He talked through the purchase of Mailette lavender, a French Provencal variety famed for its high quality oil and the challenge of planting. The fields have become a haven for wildlife, with listed species of birds.

Badgers are seen each day and who knew they are the biggest predators of hedgehogs.

We learned about the properties of lavender oil: medicinal, culinary and other uses including insect repellent and removing ticks from dogs.

Andrew brought a range of lavender products to sell after the talk and the queue was longer than the one for tea and cake.

A visit to the lavender fields will be arranged for later in the year.

Cakes were, as usual,  provided by members with a special mention to Sarah W who ordered some BRWI logo toppers for her fairy cakes – inspired.

In recognition of it being Shrove Tuesday Sarah G put together a pancake and lavender themed raffle.

Members were reminded that the March meeting was the Annual meeting with a Lambastic  Spring Show – a lamb in any medium.

Words: Sue Harris

Photos: Joyce Aird

BRWI Member’s Meeting January 2023

Our January meeting welcomed our speaker Mimi Bogelund and her talk The Clutter Inheritance.

Mimi gave us an insight into her background and talked about decluttering with humour with some useful tips. A thought provoking evening which has led to a lot of decluttering amongst members. Who knew at 65 I was at the optimum age for decluttering.

We were also joined by Julie Branson Fundraising Manager from 4Sight Vision Support one of the charities we support. Julie was unable to come to our October meeting and came to introduce herself and thank us for our support via recycling collections, the October walk, and Christmas knitting. Julie reminded us of their work and gave an insight into coming events.

Janet V gave us an informative report on her bursary award which she used to continue her art classes and shared some of her fabulous paintings with members.

We have some very talented members.

Words: Sue Harris

BRWI Member’s Meeting December 2022 – Christmas Party

Our December meeting was a twofold celebration, the first time in 3 years we had all 11 meetings in the one year, and we were able to hold a Christmas meeting/party for the first time in 3 years.

Members were greeted with a glass of fizz on arrival and were given a free raffle ticket as a thank you for their continued support and attendance at meetings. Our thank you was extended to an “up market” raffle – not quite a car or a holiday but 2 hampers, alcohol, gift cards, and some festive themed gifts.

Members also enjoyed a cheese platter on each table produced by our refreshment guru Jack aka Keeper of the Cupboard, and mince pies made by members.

After a short bit of business President Sue led the room in a game of Handbag Bingo with table against table trying to match the items Sue produced from her handbag. The winning table all received some Christmas chocolates.

Sue then tested the tables’ knowledge with a Christmas themed quiz – Who knew that in Japan it was tradition to eat KFC on Christmas Day!! Once again the winning table won some Christmas chocolates.

Members had time to socialise and demolish their platters.

The evening continued with the BRWI equivalent to the BAFTAs, the President’s awards with original art work produced by Dinah. Sue had dressed as an elf for the evening and was joined to present the awards by none other than Rory the Dinosaur aka the lovely Rory Lyne (BAFTA eat your heart out).

The first award went to the aforementioned Keeper of the Cupboard, Jack, for her fabulous job providing refreshments for meetings, and for organising and feeding us on our camp weekend (unfortunately no photo available).

Next award The Giving Something Back award went to Lorraine, for her reaction when asked to be Treasurer and sterling work doing the role.

Fleurie received the Bringing Something New award for her enthusiasm and bringing new activities to our WI.

Finally in something not seen at the BAFTAs, Rory the Dinosaur presented an award to his mum Katie for her heroic struggle to obtain new WI hoodies and polo shirts.

An award was made to Ann Mc on behalf of the Walking Netball group for “the person who embraces the spirit of netball”.

The evening ended with the raffle draw with some very happy winners, including Jo who won one of the hampers together with Sally M.

Words: Sue Harris

Photos: Joyce Aird and Dinah Barrand

BRWI November 2022 Members’s Meeting

Our November meeting saw another of our talented member’s step up with Jack (day job cookery teacher) demonstrating that “Mincemeat is not Just for Pies”. Jack talked us through the history and key facts about mincemeat. She introduced us to frying filo pastry parcels and took herself back to a time when she worked at the Grand in Brighton and flambéed at tables with a magnificent flambe of mincemeat pancakes. She was assisted by the lovely Sarah G.

In true teacher mode Jack then produced a quiz at the end of the demonstration to check how well we’d listened. The winning table won a plate of mince pies!!

After we were able to sample the filo pastries, the pancakes and some other “ here’s what I made earlier “ mincemeat cookies, mincemeat fudge and my personal favourite, mincemeat bread pudding.

We also had cake with our tea and coffee including a beautiful carrot cake made by Olga.

In addition to our ongoing collection of recycling for 4 Sight Vision Support some of our other talented members had knitted Christmas Trees and Stockings to help the charity’s festive fundraising.

There was also a collection for Little Baby Bundles and once again members excelled themselves with their generosity.

Words Sue Harris

Photos Joyce Aird, Katie Lyne and Sue Harris

BRWI October Member’s Meeting:

At our October meeting we welcomed Jessica Passmore and Dan Batchelor from 4Sight Vision Support, one of our local charities. They spoke about the history of their organisation, the services they offer to clients, and eye conditions with members trying on glasses which gave an insight into various eye conditions. An informative and thought provoking talk.

It was our 13th birthday and Jen had make a splendid cake to commemorate the occasion.

The meeting had started with a tribute and minutes silence for Annie our much missed friend, member and former secretary. Photos from Annie’s time with the WI and copies of the order of service were on display and, as a nod to Annie’s love of poetry, a competition was held on the subject of Life. Jessica from 4Sight kindly judged the competition.

1st Prize – Book of poetry

Dinah ( In true BAFTA style Dinah was not at the meeting but collected her prize later)

Click to see …

2nd Prize – Bottle of wine


Click to see …

3rd Prize – Bunch of Roses

Ann Mc

Click to see …

13 may be unlucky for some but Bognor Regis WI members have enjoyed 13 years of friendship, support, education, encouragement and fun. Long may it continue.

Sue Harris

Members Meeting – July 2022

July is traditionally a month when members go on holiday before the schools break up thereby reducing attendance numbers. This July was also one of the hottest days of the year and, understandably, this also reduced our numbers. However I was delighted to see so many members arrive wearing their dancing shoes.

Once again our meeting was led by one of our talented members, Ann Mc a retired PE teacher and our Walking Netball coach. 

Ann expertly and patiently led us through an evening of Walking Country Dancing. Such a fun evening, full of laughter and a little sweat.

We were joined by Erika Britcha, Chair of West Sussex Federation of Women’s Institutes, who gave us an update on Federation issues and happily joined in the dancing.

Words Sue Harris

Photos Karen C

June Member’s Meeting – Mrs Tompkin’s Art Class

Our secretary Jen Tompkins is an Art Teacher and at our June meeting she led the group for an evening of art, using stencils, tracing, watercolours and pastels. 

Member’s benefited from Jen’s expert instruction and advice whilst also enjoying the opportunity to chat whilst being creative.

Some members came prepared with aprons to protect their clothes unlike myself who came in a white linen top!!

Manuela decided to come appropriately artistically dressed in a smock and beret.

In addition we had a Midsummer raffle and a recycling collection for 4Sight one of the local charities we support.

Sue Harris

The Queen’s Jubilee Celebration

Our May meeting was a meeting of 2 halves with May being traditionally the Resolutions meeting and our celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

We discussed and voted to support the proposed resolution “Women and girls presenting with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are going undiagnosed.” 

Members were then served with prosecco and cake and President Sue led a toast to the Queen. The cake was baked and decorated by our catering wizard Jack. Members enjoyed the chocolate sponge, filled and decorated with fruit and topped with meringue.

Members enjoyed a game of Royal People Bingo with 3 teams tying for first place. A hastily produced tie break saw Gina and Bee coming nearest to the question  “How many rooms in Buckingham Palace?”. They each won a Jubilee edition box of tea bags adorned by corgis.

A competition to make a crown or tiara saw many members wearing their creations, even our guest Chris and visitor Karen joined in the fun. Members had been promised an award winning judge to appraise their efforts. Sue introduced our very own Jack, winner of a number of our competitions last year. Jack had come complete with an amazing crown which fooled members as she secretly spent the evening considering everyone’s efforts. Members were invited to stand for a final inspection.

Jack announced Sarah G as the winner and she was presented with a prize of fizz and jubilee tea towels.

The evening showcased both sides of our WI – the serious and the fun – a perfect WI meeting.

All the photos of the evening are in our photo album – click here to view them.

Words: Sue Harris

Photos: Joyce Aird

BRWI March Member’s Meeting

Our March meeting saw members wearing blue and yellow in support of Ukraine and a Ukrainian flag on display. Members made a donation for blue and yellow ribbons to support our Craft Queen Sarah G’s fundraising for Ukraine.

With our speaker unable to join us due to a bereavement, our March meeting was the opportunity to spend time updating members on plans for the coming months, a longer refreshment time and then time to give old and new members the opportunity to get to know something about each other with a Get to Know You session.

Members gave generously to our Ice Cream themed raffle (thank you Sarah G for organising) and donated generously to a collection for Bognor Regis Foodbank.

Following on from February’s President’s Awards, the Seaside Hospitality award was presented to Gina Fitch-Roy who, in true BAFTA style, was unable to make the February meeting.

Many thanks to Dinah for creating the excellent illustrations on all our awards!

Sue Harris

BRWI February Member’s Meeting

At our February meeting we welcomed Peter Hadyn Jones an ambassador for Sage House Dementia Hub for a Dementia Friends Awareness session.

Sage House is one of our 2 local charities we support. Members were invited to bring items for a sales table and all proceeds for the sales table were donated to Sage House. The donation bucket revealed an amazing total of £107.15 – well done to all who donated.

The evening ended with the President’s Awards, long overdue as a result of the pandemic.

The Walk This Way Award – Jan Marsden Editor Extraordinaire – Kathryn Good

Tenacity Award – Ann McLean Saving The Day Award – Jen Tompkins

Sue Harris