Arundel Treasure Trail

We met in Arundel on a gloriously sunny Saturday afternoon and attempted the Murder Mystery challenge from the Treasure Trail company. Members donned their best detective outfits, broke into 3 small groups, and set off following directions to solve clues all around the town of Arundel.

It’s a bit like Cluedo where you have to eliminate suspects and weapons until you’re left with just one of each. Solving number problems using dates, anagrams from plaques and signs and all sorts of things you would never normally notice. We did get a lot of comments and looks, not surprising as we were a group of women dressed as Miss Marples, Sherlock Holmes and Vera running up and down the pavement shouting ‘I’ve found it!’

Once finished we gathered at The Swan and had a well deserved drink whilst we entered our special barcode from the booklet online to receive the answers for each question and ultimately who was the murderer and the weapon used. It really was a fantastic afternoon with some members enjoying their time at The Swan on through to the evening!

We will most definitely be doing another one in Chichester this summer and I for one can’t wait!

Fleurie x

Bognor Regis WI joins Million Women Rise March

7 members travelled up to London on 4th March to protest against violence against women and girls.

We arrived at the start early, so took advantage of the opportunity to fortify ourselves in a pub whilst watching the marchers assemble from the upstairs window.

Once fortified we joined a cacophony of drums, whistles and chants provided by the 500 to 700 women and girls.

We proudly marched from Selfridges, down Oxford Street, Regent Street, through Piccadilly Circus ending in a rally in Trafalgar Square where there were speeches. 

An empowering, thought provoking, yet fun day. 

Words: Sue Harris

Photos: Sue, Jacquie, Jakki and Jack

Strictly Day Out!

Well, what a fabulous day our Strictly behind the Seams tour was! Leaving in sunshine on the 8:26 train to Croydon, after cheering a late Maggie running along the platform and jumping on, we all settled down for an informal strictly related Quiz. Lots of chat and excitement filled our busy carriage. In Croydon our pre booked taxis were waiting for us, so ‘All aboard and take us to DSI!’

Dance Sport International is run by Gerald Schwanzer, who met us in the show room with a glass of fizz each, and we settled down for a session on all things Strictly. Gerald was so entertaining, explaining the processes and timeline from receiving the designs for the celebrities and pros to the finished costume. He shared lots of stories, Anton used to be the receptionist there and Nadia is the best professional as a 10 dance world champion.

And then the bit we were waiting for, to try some dresses on!! As you can see from the photos lots of us got the opportunity and it was lovely to swirl about in costumes you’ve seen on TV. Each costume had a photo of the celebrity wearing it, which added to the excitement.

Once we’d got changed again and calmed down, we went off around the workrooms which were vast rooms and warehouses full of work tables, machines, and so much fabric. There was an enormous hanging rail of 200 pale blue stretch silk shirts with attached pants for P&O cruises, plus strange show outfits for the cruise shows. It turns out that Strictly is only a small percentage of their income and they provide a lot of costumes for shows around the world, plus pop stars, but wouldn’t say who. 

Back in the taxis to the train station to grab refreshments before our train back. Again lots of chatting and before we knew it we were pulling into Bognor and saying our goodbyes! 

Thank you so much to everyone that helped plan the trip and all who came!

Fleurie x

Summer Outing to Dale Park Gardens

This is a very belated post to record our visit to Dale Park House near Arundel on 28th June to see the very beautiful gardens there.

The house and gardens are set in parkland within the South Downs National Park, enjoying magnificent views to the sea.

After an interesting talk by the owner, Mrs Jane Green, we set off on a walk around the grounds. There is a large walled garden, which features an impressive 200ft herbaceous border. There is also a sunken gravel garden, mixed borders, a small rose garden, dreamy rose and clematis arches, an interesting collection of hostas, foliage plants and shrubs, an orchard and a kitchen garden. The gardener was on hand to answer our questions.

It was a beautiful, but hot, day so, at the end of our walk, we were very pleased to relax outside the house for tea and delicious homemade cake – what more could a WI lady want!

The gardens are open on set days in the year via the National Garden Scheme (NGS), or groups are also welcome by arrangement May to August (01243 814260).

Many thanks to Jan who organised our visit.

To see all the photos, which are in our photo album click here.

words – Kate Claisse

photos – Clare Beck

Picnic in the Park – August 2022

Our August Picnic in the Park was held on a hot Sunday afternoon. Fortunately shade was available in the park and members were able to choose to sit in the shade or sun.

As always a lot of chat and laughter whilst members enjoyed their picnics, the odd glass of wine /gin and tonic, and of course an ice cream.

Words Sue Harris

Photos Katie Lyne

Chichester Guided Walks

How many times have we walked around Chichester without realising what we were walking past or understanding the history behind the buildings?

Two groups of members were  treated to engaging and very informative tours by Chichester Tour Guides.

Roman, religious and Georgian history were just part of the fascinating insight to our nearest city.

Sue Harris

Prairie Garden Visit

11 of our members visited the Prairie Gardens near Henfield on 9th September.   The owner, Pauline McBride, introduced us to her garden with a lively description about the garden’s beginning:  it took 2 weeks to plant 36,000 plants, most which Pauline and her husband had grown from seed, cuttings, and division in Holland.   They conscripted family and friends to help by inviting them to a party – which went on for days!

Although, it felt a bit like a party of our own, on a WI outing, the Prairie Gardens proved to be a very relaxing and tactile place – pure escapism for a couple of hours.  In a lush and well-formed garden, we immersed ourselves amongst the plants as we walked on paths in the borders, we took in its gentleness as we sat by a pond, and of course we had tea and cake!

Jan Marsden

To see all the photos click here

West Sussex WI Federation visits

Some of our members joined in with other WI members from across West Sussex on three events run by our WI Federation Public Affairs and Environment sub-committee this summer.

Warnham Nature Reserve Outdoor Talk and Walk – pond-life and plant-life was described to members by the wardens at this nature reserve near Horsham with passion for conservation.   What a gem – a public space hidden just off the A24 near Horsham – well worth a visit.

In a Spin …. on a July summer evening – was held at a delightful venue at Field Place in Durrington.   WI members, friends and family, were able to reflect the impact micro plastics may have in our oceans, and consider ways of reducing the detrimental effect on wildlife and potentially human life.    An informative and thought provoking evening, with speakers from National WI Federation, Southampton Oceanographic Centre and Southern Water.

Barfoots of Botley Farm Visit – Barfoots’ farmers treated a total of 80 members from WIs across West Sussex to tractor trailer tours of their local farm at Pagham.   They explained the workings of the farm, from planting through packaging and marketing the vegetable produce.   It was impressive: the way Botleys balance environmental challenges with the need to produce our food was remarkable.  To be given such a close insight into modern farming practices was an honour.

Each event was rewarded by good weather, good company and good speakers – reminding us how we can expand the value of our WI membership by  joining in events put on by our WI Federation, advertised each month in the West Sussex News.
Words and photos:  Jan Marsden

The Women’s Land Army


A small but perfectly formed group of WI ladies went to a talk at the Weald and Downland museum. The talk was ” The Women’s Land Army, The Battle of the Fields“, and the speaker was Gill Clarke.

We were privileged to have our own land girl Stella with us.

Gill’s interest in the Land Army had been sparked by her mother’s involvement, and she talked us through the history, recruitment, and day to day lives of the women involved, with the aid of artwork from the era.

Stella was able to add her personal experiences and recollections to an interesting and thought provoking evening.


It was only in 2008 that the contribution of the women who were part of the army in the Second World War was formally recognised by the award of a commemorative badge.

words and picture: Sue Harris

Visit to Tuppenny Barn

On May 29th a group of us visited this organic smallholding in Southbourne.   Tuppenny Barn provides learning experiences for children and adults to promote organic growing, healthy cooking and eating, and sustainable horticultural practices.

First we had a talk about the history of Tuppenny Barn, then a tour around the grounds, a cream tea, and a visit to the shop.  It was a very interesting and pleasant afternoon.

Many thanks to Dinah for arranging this.

click here to find out more about Tuppenny Barn

and click here for more photos of our visit.

photos & words: Katie and  Kate