100 Oak Trees planted! 


West Sussex WI Federation help with The Rise of Northwood at Slindon

As part of West Sussex WI Federation 100 years’ celebrations, 100 oak tree saplings were planted by WI members from across West Sussex on Saturday 16 March at Northwood, Slindon.

A draw, earlier in the year, allocated the planting to WIs to represent all West Sussex WIs.  Although Bognor Regis WI was not drawn out of the pot, our WI friends from BRAs, Bognor Regis Afternoon WI, and North Bersted Village were.  Bognor Regis WI, however, is lucky, as the trees are near enough for us to visit often.   In fact, our next Bognor Regis WI walk, in April, is planned to Northwood!


Rain, strong winds, and tough ground conditions made the tree planting challenge harder than had been hoped for, but the deed was done.

Northwood is a site the National Trust and Forestry Commission have been regenerating since 2013.   The original wood was cut down in the first World War, as wood was in high demand, and used for pit props and trench reinforcements.  The land then accommodated a Prisoner of War camp, and in the second World War was used to grow crops.   West Sussex WI Federation is proud to have been part of the woodland regeneration, and Northwoods’ next step in the history books.

Jan Marsden

Our Craft group has resumed!!


Creative buds were teased out by experimenting with clay, lace, animal and flower
cutters, egg shapes, threads and colours. Taking tips from each other, and amazing
ourselves with our own talent, a range of Easter decorations were created. It was
such a joy, watching the ideas develop.



Next on the list is mini works of art called Inchies. One inch square fabrics, or other
materials, will be embellished with small items such as buttons, shells, beads or
thread, to make charms, pictures, put onto other projects or just made for the fun of
No previous skills required – all materials can be provided, or bring your own.
Come along with a desire to craft something simple. Details will be at WI.

Jan Marsden

(Note from editor – I wasn’t sure about these Inchies, sounded very strange, but then googled them and they look amazing – have a look.  Kate)

Going For a Song


Forty two members (including two new members) and five visitors – three from the
newly formed Eastergate WI – came to the February meeting of Bognor Regis WI.
Many of the attendees were wearing green or sporting a green heart to ‘Show the
Love’ in fighting climate change and during the evening each member was invited to
pledge one action, however small, that would make a difference; these ranged from
buying an electric car to using bar soap and a range of behaviours in between.
Additionally, members had brought a huge number of items of pet food as requested
by the local food bank and bottle tops for Tangmere Dementia Hub, both charities
that will be supported by BRWI during 2019.

After a warm welcome from President Dinah Barrand, Debbie introduced
MusicSmart. Hilary and Paula from MusicSmart are passionate about introducing
more people to the joys of music in general and singing in particular and, amongst
other initiatives, run five community choirs and run ‘Singing Saturdays’ themed
workshops. Having outlined the physical and emotional benefits of singing, it was
time for BRWI to be put through their paces. Starting with a simple melody, the group
progressed to a Tina Turner number (with body percussion) and then the theme from
The Greatest Showman’. We were simply amazed at the sounds such untrained
voices could produce; it was great fun and many members were inspired to enquire
about joining the choirs. Before the warm thanks from Debbie, Hilary and Paula
drew the winning MusicSmart raffle and to her delight Jack won two places on one of
the Singing Saturday workshops.

After refreshments and the opportunity to catch up with friends and sign up for one of
the many activities on offer in the coming months, Dinah brought the meeting back to
order and ran through the business of the meeting. Members were reminded about
the need to register earlier for the WI Camp in Kent as places are limited and to buy
tickets for the South Rife meeting on 13th March – another musical encounter but this
time with a ukulele band. The meeting was also updated on the results of the
Resolution Vote with ‘Stop the Decline in Village Bus Services’ garnering the most
votes. This decision will be sent up to NFWI. Members were also asked to think
about donating cakes and preserves for the BRWI/Aldwick Revival stall at the
Hotham Park Country Fair to be held in August.

After the raffle, Hilary and Paula selected the competition (My Happy Song) winners:
first was Anne Winter with ‘Pretty Woman’, second was Annie Smith with ‘Vincent
and Chris Hunter was third with ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’.

It was a really enjoyable evening brought to an end when Dinah, having reminded
members that next month’s meeting will be held at the Jubilee Hall in North Bersted,
wished all members and visitors a safe journey home.

To read the full meeting record click on Record of February 19 meeting

Words:  Gina Fitch-Roy

Photo & meeting record:  Katie Lyne

Bognor Regis WI Walks

After damp days postponing a couple of our Winter Walks, Kingley Vale, in the brilliant sunshine, restored our faith last Thursday (February 14th). The views, the chatter and the early spring weather set the stage for an exhilarating walk up onto the South Downs, through an ancient Yew Tree woodland.

So energised were three of our members, that they took the very steep route up to the top – leaving the rest of the group aghast.   However, not all was lost.   Those less adventurous claimed the best stamina, as they had covered the longer distance!  

We were all rewarded with green heart biscuits to focus our thoughts as it was Climate Change Day.

Future WI walks will include a Ford to Arundel riverside walk, and Chidham Harbour. Sign up sheets will be available at WI.



New Year, New Venue, New Resolutions!


President Dinah Barrand welcomed 44 members (including 6 new members) and 4 visitors to the first meeting of 2019 for BRWI and the first meeting at the new venue, reading a poem which gave a taste of the fabulous meetings, outings, camping trips, lunches, teas and swims for members to look forward to during the year.


Debbie then introduced Tony Harris who, dressed as one of the first class passengers, gave a fascinating talk on the Titanic and its fateful last voyage.  Using evidence gathered from a variety of sources, Tony posited the theory that the Titanic was in fact the Olympic, its sister ship, which had been seriously damaged in a collision while on sea trials. Discovered to be under-insured (like its twin it was deemed to be unsinkable), a plan was hatched to switch the ships and sink the Titanic/Olympic on its maiden voyage which by that time had been heavily over-insured – but no loss of life was anticipated as a ‘rescue’ ship had been commissioned to be close to the Titanic when the accident occurred.  As we now know, the scheme did not go to plan and there were terrible losses – although many members were pleased to hear that the founder of Gordon’s Gin survived!

It was a riveting presentation leaving members having some doubts about their long held views about the Titanic and its fate. Food for thought!



After a vote of thanks from Debbie, Jan and Stella then gave a brief summary of each of the six 2019 resolution suggestions and members were asked to vote for their choice.  

The two charities selected by members for this year were announced – Bognor Food Bank and Tangmere Dementia Hub;  these are organisations which provide a much needed service to the local community and to which members can give practical support.

During refreshments, members had the opportunity to sign up for upcoming activities, enjoy some cake and catch up with friends.


After our Treasurer Joyce had given a brief financial report, Gina then announced the ‘Anything Nautical’ competition winners which had been selected by Tony Harris. 1st was Jack, 2nd was Joyce, with Gina coming 3rd.  

The Competition Cup was presented to Annie Smith, the overall competition winner of 2018 with Karen 2nd and Sarah 3rd. Congratulations to Annie! Gina reminded members that February’s competition is ‘My Happy Song’.

The draw for the £100 bursary then took place with Jan and Debbie taking first and second place, and Chris Hutchins and Flo as first and second reserve.  

Rosemary Coleman was also presented with the Best Idea Award (for the monthly coffee morning) having been absent for the presentations at the December meeting.

Members were briefly reminded of particular events for their diaries – the coffee morning hosted by Sarah on 12th February, the camp in Kent on the weekend of 16-18 August, and the forthcoming beach clean organised by Sussex Wildlife Trust.

Finally President Dinah closed the meeting and wished all members and visitors a safe journey home.

Words: Gina Fitch-Roy

Photos: Kate Claisse and Katie Lyne

To see the full meeting record, please click here


A New Year Resolution?


If the photograph does not inspire you to join our WI members already involved in Walking Netball the following poem might!  Jan Marsden

Bognor Regis WI members join in

The WI Walking Netball Team
I’m off to Walking Netball, because it really is good fun,
The hardest thing is walking and remembering not to run.
A great way of keeping fit, of which we’re told we aught,
As several of us, all getting on, whizz around the court.
An important rule, lest we forget, is keep one foot upon the floor,
This is, as we are warned, the most important walking netball law.
We mustn’t jump, or, the opposing team, impede,
And at all times, remember, ref’s shrill whistle to heed.
Sadly I fell over, leaving me oh so sore,
Yet I enjoy the game greatly, so I’m coming back for more.
The hour session, just goes flying by, leaving us all with a smile,
As we walk, valiantly, around the court, mile on mile.
Some onlookers, if being unkind, may complain we look uncouth,
But girls do we care?  No we do not, let them revel in their youth.
It’s off we trot, at the end of the match, with promises to return.
We’re the Women’s Institute Walking Netball team, and it’s the proper rules we learn.
by Annie Smith, Arun WI Walking Netball Team member.
There still places available, so WI members come along to the Arena Sports Centre, Westloats Lane, Bognor Regis PO2 5JD on Wednesday January 9th 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. or contact Annie Smith or Jan Marsden.

2019 Programme published!

The 2019 Programme has been added to the website and our calendar brought up to date (find both on the Diary Dates page).  

Initially the programme shows the main attraction for each meeting, but only those extras (competition, sales tables etc) that are known now – the programme will be updated as we plan more.  

I hope this page will be useful for those who haven’t got the programme bookmark yet, and for all of us as the year goes on and we want a ‘single place to go’ for a view of planned activities.

Happy New Year!

Kate Claisse