Arundel Walking Tour No. 2


You may remember that last year we went on a Walking Tour of Arundel with our postman guide Martin?  Well last week we joined up with Martin for another tour, this time mainly along the lower part of the town near the river.  Martin regaled us with  tales of Arundel when it was a busy port with ships sailing along the River Arun to the sea 5 miles away.  Many of us had never been in that part of the town and were impressed with what is a rather pretty area.  Martin had many old photos of Arundel to illustrate the stories he had to tell.

One thing that made us laugh was a wall that we came across.  This was built by a man, famous in his day for selling all sorts of bits and pieces – I guess a sort of rag and bone man.  He built this wall and basically included all sorts of odds and ends, including false teeth – which you may spot in the photo below…


Many thanks to Celia for organising what was a very pleasant and interesting tour.

words: Kate Claisse

Photos: Kate and Dinah


Small is Beautiful

The craft group, after finishing their Easter tree decorations, this month moved onto a new challenge….making a decorated mini picture that was only an inch square!!!!!!

Amongst chat, laughter, chocolate cake and Easter bunnies they all succeeded brilliantly.
Once several have been completed, they can then be framed as a picture, for cards or even key fobs.

We learnt a lot from each other and next months meeting will see us extending our Lilliputian art works even further.
Many thanks to Chris Hutchins for hosting.
New members always welcome.
Barbara Foster

Something to Shout About

OYEZ, OYEZ, OYEZ!! “Greetings to the lovely ladies of Bognor Regis WI and God save the Queen!” 
This was the stentorian greeting to the 50 Members and one visitor to BRWI, from the speaker; Jane Smith, Bognor’s own town crier.
In full regalia and sporting the crests of both Bognor Regis and the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers, Jane gave a fascinating insight into the history of town criers, the various duties of the town crier and, two years into the role, her own experiences. Having explained that it was illegal to heckle a town crier and also an offence to harm a town crier – the penalty for the latter being death – Jane addressed a very well-behaved audience!
Believed to date back to 7BC, the main qualification for the job was to be literate as they had to pass on proclamations, news and messages as they travelled on horseback from village to village. Jane gave a number of interesting snippets about town criers one being the fact that they feature on the Bayeux tapestry and another that Edward the Confessor was carried to his funeral by two ‘bellmen’ (criers) and that is where the phrase ‘dead ringers’ comes from.
The meeting was told that town crier qualifications now include a voice of good volume, diction and inflexion and that there are some 200 town criers in the UK, some employed by town councils and some self-appointed, of which 10% are women. With a background in amateur dramatics, Jane described her own appointment as town crier and the events and functions which she has attended including a number of town crier competitions.
A warm vote of thanks was given by Katie who noted that it was always good to have a positive example of ‘girl power’.
After refreshments, including 6 delicious cakes, the Easter themed raffle was drawn and the competition winners announced.
The competition ‘Something to Shout About’ was judged by Jane Smith, with Chris taking first place with her poem and arrangement on the horrors of plastic pollution, and Annie snaffling second with a poem about the irritations of bad driving behaviour in the supermarket carpark.  Jack took third place with one of her old school reports; it was encouraging that her trampolining skills were much improved!
President Dinah brought the evening to a close, thanked everyone for their donations for Bognor Regis food bank, and milk bottle tops for Sage House, and wished all members a happy Easter and a safe journey home.
Words:  Gina Fitch-Roy
Photos: Katie Lyne and Kate Claisse
To view a record of the meeting, please click here …

Our March meeting in North Berstead Hall

Our March meeting was very much enjoyed by all who attended it… and it was so simple … a talk by one of our chosen charities, a short business briefing, and then some social time aiming to get to know each other a little more.


One of our charities for this year is a Dementia Support charity based in Tangmere, called Sage House.

Nicki Clarke and Natalie Burchett from the marketing and fundraising teams at Sage House came along to give us a very interesting presentation about dementia and the charity.

The umbrella term ‘dementia’ is used to describe a collection of symptoms associated with a progressive decline in cognitive function, largely amongst older people. While it can be considered a ‘mental health’ issue, it is caused by physical disease – affecting the structure and chemical workings of the brain, and resulting in a loss of memory, reasoning and communication skills.  Some significant statistics they quoted were …

Every 3 mins someone is diagnosed with dementia

1 in 6 over 80 has dementia

14,820 people in West Sussex have dementia

Their pop-up banner includes most of the services they provide, as it says they aim to bring all dementia services under one roof.  The plan of Sage House below shows the various activities in the house…


Our members found the presentation very interesting so there were many and varied questions at the end.  We look forward to more contact with Sage House during the year.  Since the meeting Natalie has sent us a letter of thanks for the twiddlemuffs, teddy and bunting members gave her at the meeting.

Following refreshments we had a great icebreaker game, called People Bingo.  Everyone was given a page containing a grid of possible personal data – I’ve been on TV; I have 2 brothers; I have 3 sisters, and so on.  We then had to discover members who fitted each description and get them to sign each box.  The ensuing game was great fun, if rather chaotic (perhaps our glass of Prosecco during refreshments had something to do with that!)   The winners were Annie Smith and Leslie Guppy who managed to fill every square bar one … surprisingly for Bognor Regis WI, there was no-one present who could say … I was born in Bognor Regis. o



The evening ended with the draw for our unusual raffle – or Jarbola.  The committee had supplied lots of decorated jars filled with many different ‘small things’ – sweets, cosmetics, packets of seeds, etc etc – it was rather exciting to win a prize and then see what we had won.  We will probably adapt this idea for a children’s jarbola on our Hotham Park stall in August.

Many thanks to the 39 members who attended in the temporary hall – back to the Garden Centre next month.

Kate Claisse

West Sussex Recycling



On 18thMarch, 14 members went along to Ford Materials Recycling facility for a very interesting and informative afternoon.

I think we all thought we were all pretty good ‘recyclers’, but soon realised we could probably do more.

All Recycling collected from our homes in West Sussex is taken to the Materials recycling facility known as MRF, where it is sorted into separate materials using state of the art technology, ready for reprocessing and manufacturing into new goods and products.

Most of the visit is spent in the education centre with a talk given by Jo Norman, Education and Communications officer for Viridor, who was happy to answer all our questions and queries.


We then donned safety clothing and headgear to stand out on the viewing platform to watch this incredible machine at work.

It was well worth a visit and I would highly recommend to other groups in West Sussex, as it gave us all food for thought and was not at all RUBBISH.

Words:   Sarah Greenway

Photos:  Dinah Barrand

Many Thanks to Sarah for organising such an interesting ‘bit on the side’.

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)