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.
For the third year running I had the honour of laying a wreath at the Bognor Regis Remembrance Service on behalf of our WI.
Members rallied to the call to make poppies for the wreath and produced an eclectic array of poppies made from a variety of materials including wool, plastic, paper, egg boxes. A true reflection of the talents within our WI.
Our talented secretary Jen put together the wreath with the help of her daughter Clara, a WI member in the making.
A group of members joined me on the day and thanks to Sarah G who accompanied me whilst laying the wreath.
On a personal level it’s an act of remembrance for my father and grandfather who fought in both World Wars, but also very proud to represent our WI as part of the community.
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)
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!
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.
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.
The end of June saw 13 WI members go camping for the weekend.
The campsite had been tested the previous year by a small advance party and found to be perfect for our needs.
Friday afternoon saw members arrive and pitch their tents, hang bunting, raise the flag and adorn their tents with fairy lights.
The most welcome arrival was Jack who had organised the weekend and was also our cook and had brought enough food to keep us going for a week not just the weekend. She set about making salads to go with the already cooked veggie chilli in a slow cooker and jacket potatoes. She even brought a small fridge.
The camp fire was lit by Sue G who then gave lessons on how to use a carbon steel firelighter to light a fire.
Shortly after we arrived there was a great noise from the woods as a tree fell, a bit scary as it was quite a large one. A tree falling in the woods does make a noise.
We settled down around the fire to eat our delicious supper and have a drink or two but the rain gods had other ideas and it began to rain heavily. Luckily there was a large wooden shelter we all could fit in, unfortunately the roof hadn’t been finished properly and the joints leaked.