What are our members like? Well we’re all women that’s for sure, but there the similarity ends. We’re all different in age, interests, and talents. Perhaps to emphasise that we’ll be featuring a few of our members from time to time, and asking them to say why they joined the WI, what they like about it and a little bit about their own likes and dislikes.
Ann – I moved to Bognor some 30 years or so ago and, not knowing many people in the area, my next door neighbour invited me to join her at the Rose Green W.I. I joined the following month and remained a member for 8 years, made many friends and have many happy memories of lovely trips with the W.I. and an ever increasing love of crafts. However, my life’s journey took me away from the area, and indeed to the USA. My return to the W.I. came about from seeing an article in the Observer with regard to a new W.I. in Bognor, the rest is history. My interests include a love of craft, not necessarily being good at any, but love to try new things and always willing to learn. The W.I. has given me the opportunity to meet new people, listen to interesting talks, but most of all the friendship of like minded women. I recently decided it was now my turn to give something back to the W.I. in return for all that I have been given and have recently become Secretary. It seems that the role I played in my working life now has followed me into my retirement!
Sally – I am originally a Midlander, but have lived in this area since I was sixteen (although people still pick up on the accent). I moved into Bognor itself six years ago, and when I saw a notice for the first meeting decided it would be good to meet new people. As well as meeting new people in very friendly circumstances, I have also learnt a great deal from the various speakers we have had – it was interesting to hear the Graphlogist say that if anyone had asked him, he would never allowed Gordon Brown into Office!!
Sarah – Having lived in Bognor for 20 years, I thought it was about time I got to know more people, make more friends and have a bit of ‘Me time’ .
Why the WI? Well it might have something to do with my love of CAKE!
My Children think I’m old fashioned – My passion is sewing, I’m a bit of a Fabric junkie! I love baking and my music tastes are extremely diverse.
My latest hobby are my four chickens who are very cheeky but do give lovely fresh eggs! But on the other hand I do have a couple of tattoos and a piercing, so I am a bit of a mixture and that’s why the WI can suit any woman really, as there’s something for everyone.
Lesley – I have always been an admirer of the WI, in particular their amazing array of craft skills as displayed at many craft fairs that I have attended. It was at one of these that I commented yet again to my sister, how I wish I could learn from these very talented ladies and she encouraged me to join. Shortly after I saw an article in the local paper where the Bognor Regis WI were looking for younger members – well I certainly fit that description! Joining the WI has not only given me an opportunity for ‘me time’ away from my young family, but also enabled me to gain confidence in public speaking. As for the craft – I help set up and currently run the craft group, and being slightly over enthusiastic (and mad!) I also edit our newsletter – The Buzz.
Rosemary – We (ie me + husband + dog) moved to Bognor from Pinner in Middlesex last July. The first flush of moving excitement died away and the full realisation of what we had done by moving away from our friends and family hit us. We decided that nobody was going to knock on our door to show us the delights of Bognor, so we had to go and look for ourselves. I stumbled across a leaflet about walking locally and in it was a piece about the WI walking group – so I dusted down my walking boots and went along. I found the group very friendly and chatty, also a real mix of ages and personalities (not what I was expecting at all) so came along to an evening meeting . I walked into a hall full of laughter and smiling faces and realised this was definitely for me. I have since joined the craft and theatre group as well as going on as many walks as I can.
Favourite book: A Tale of Two Cites by Charles Dickens which is top of a long list. Favourite Film: The Lord of The Rings Trilogy closely followed be ET (which always makes me cry every time I see it)! Favourite meal: Haven’t really got one but always enjoy meals cooked by others (usually – though not always!). Favourite pastimes: Gardening has to be top of my list – just planting a few seeds and watching them grow never ceases to amaze me. I really enjoy visiting gardens as well – I’m always on the lookout for ideas. Knitting is my favourite craft and I always have something on the go. We sail as well and have a boat in Chichester Marina, though I have to admit to being a bit of a fair weather sailor as having been seasick once I do not want to repeat the experience!
Pam – After seeing an article on the WI in a free paper, and a conversation with Janet Perkins (our president), I thought I would give it a go. Before I moved to Bognor in 2004, I attended a WI group, but found it very ‘cliquey’ and serious. Not for me. The Bognor group is just the opposite. Friendly, lively and very chatty. As talking is a hobby of mine, it suits me very well!! My main reason for joining was to share interests, meet like minded ladies and make new friends. I belong to the craft group and hope to join the walking group soon. My interests are knitting, reading, eating out and gardening. But my main love is my family.
Karen (our writing group leader) – A friend invited me to one of the Branch’s summer walks in 2010, which was very enjoyable (and finished at a pub, always a good plan). I then went along to a meeting, and found a lively, friendly and very active group – so much so that I took a friend with me to the next meeting and she became a member too! I’ve joined the walking group, sign up for ‘occasional’ events such as wine-tasting, film viewings and skittles nights, and run the Writing Group. My favourite books: I love reading history (fact and fiction) and Sci-fi. Too hard to choose one favourite! My favourite meal: One shared with friends and/or family. My greatest hero: I’ve loved Star Trek‘s Scotty since I was 9 – loyal, resourceful, brave, brilliant at his job, and he could do Captain Kirk’s job too when he had to. The actor who played the role, James Doohan, was an officer in the Royal Canadian Artillery during World War 2 and was wounded in action on D-Day. So I get “two heroes for the price of one”!
June – By chance I picked up a local free paper last year and saw information about the new Bognor Regis WI. It came at just the right time for me, as my children have grown up, two of three have flown the nest, and I was looking to meet like minded people. So I popped along to a meeting, having been very warmly welcomed when I phoned Jan, our secretary. There was so much on offer – I signed up for the reading and craft groups, as well as getting to as many of the walks as I can. Favourite book: I read a wide selection of books. Some of my best reads have been Bernard Cornwell’s Storm Child better known for his Sharp series, Victoria Hislop and Kate Mosse. Craft: Craft wise I am into stained glass, both lead and copper foil, and etching but I am still at the scratching on glass stage. Food: is a pleasure and I enjoy cooking for special occasions, especially when my daughter asked if she could have a dinner party at home for her birthday with a trio of desserts. Sport: I am a keen skier, having been lucky enough to go on a school trip at 16 – wearing those delightful nylon leggings with stirrups under the foot, some of you may remember them.