July Meeting

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Dinah welcomed Members and (retired) Fire Officer Ken Lloyd on a beautiful Summer’s evening. Ken retold the events of over 30 years ago when Uppark House caught fire, and  fire crews from across Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey bravely tackled the difficult blaze.  They saved many of the House’s paintings, rugs, tapestries, antiques, chandeliers, china and curtains, despite the difficulty they had in finding a substantial and reliable water supply.

Then Jan Marsden gave us all an account of the recent polymer clay workshop she attended whilst on holiday in the Isles of Scilly, before we all enjoyed refreshments, had the opportunity to buy NFWI raffle tickets, perused the variety of sign-up sheets and competition entries, and enjoyed some social time.

In Gina’s absence, Debbie announced the results of the “what would you save in a fire” competition (judged by Ken Lloyd):

1st– Chris Hunter (box of memories)

2nd– Karen McCreedy (Baby and teddy picture)

3rd– Gina Fitch-Roy – (Stiletto shoes)

Additional entrants who all receive a point: Annie Smith, Joyce Aird and Jack Owen.

This is an extract from Katie’s record of the meeting.

To download the full record click on Record of July 19 meeting


Anyone for Croquet!

Over the years I have seen people playing croquet and I have always thought it looked easy and a bit boring.  How wrong I was!

Last week I was part of a group trying it out at Bognor Regis Croquet Club, aided by two kind and patient ladies from Westergate WI.

My initial impression was how heavy the balls were, and how difficult to hit with the mallet over a reasonable distance and in the right direction.   Then when we finally got near to the hoop, getting the ball through in the right direction was not easy!

However, over two games we all definitely improved and I absolutely loved the strategy involved.  We played in pairs and had to be very conscious of where the balls were in relation to the hoop, if necessary knocking an opponent’s ball out of the way, for the sake of our partner – very satisfying!

After our games we had a lovely cuppa in the clubhouse with delicious homemade cake.  A great afternoon and one most of us would like to repeat.  Many thanks to Barbara for organising and supplying such a lovely tea.

For all the photos, click here.

Words:  Kate Claisse

Photos:  Kate and Barbara


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


On a night when warnings were issued for thunder, lightning and heavy rain, stalwart members of Bognor Regis WI braved the weather to test their knowledge, analytic and practical skills and their teamwork. Once assigned to one of five colour coded teams, President Dinah Barrand gave them the brief:

returning to your anchored luxury cruise ship from a shore excursion in heavy seas you, along with your teammates, have been shipwrecked on a desert island. You need to get a message to the cruise ship and the only way to do this is to get the mobile phone that is hidden in a treasure chest and 6 puzzles need to be solved to gain the code for the treasure chest padlock and the treasure chest location.

Amidst much hilarity the members took to the challenge with alacrity testing their number, logic, map reading and code breaking skills. In addition, tents had to be erected within a time limit (and squeezed into); those who had retained memories of Girl Guide camps, or who had been on a WI camping weekend were at a distinct advantage. Luckily, the desert island was well supplied with tropical delights to sustain the puzzlers with fruit kebabs and a variety of delicious cakes, a pleasure denied to participants on Desert Island Discs and much appreciated.


The final challenge of making and using a decoder to provide the location of the treasure chest was fast and furious as members raced to solve the final clue. The Red team triumphed, found the phone and shared the booty of chocolate coins and gold wrapped sweets.  Well done to Chris, Shelley, Jeanette, Manuela, Mandy, Karen and Val and everyone who tackled the challenge with enthusiasm and humour.

The raffle echoed the theme with ‘mystery’ prizes of varying sizes, wrapped to conceal their identity. Suffice to say the biggest and the prettiest weren’t necessarily the best!

Following the business section of the evening and having congratulated everyone on their puzzle solving abilities – BRWI is definitely more Mensa than Denser – Dinah wished all members a safe journey home.

click here for all pictures of the evening.

click for Record of June 19 meeting

words:  Gina Fitch-Roy

photos: Sarah Greenway, Katie Lyne, and Kate Claisse




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


South of England Show Ardingly 2019

Thank you Bognor Regis WI for your contributions to the South of England Show at Ardingly in June: help with making cakes, entries to the Craft Competitions and stewarding or help with catering on the day.

The South of England Show is a key opportunity for the WI to showcase itself.   Thousands of people visit the 3 day event from across the south and beyond, and many make their way to the WI Tent for refreshments – renowned for quality homemade cakes and cheery atmosphere.

Sarah ‘doing her bit’ in the catering tent

This year was no exception and, despite wet and windy weather causing disruption on occasions, it seems refreshment sales went very well.   The exhibited crafts impressed and inspired, as people looked on admiringly and voted for their favourites.    Bognor Regis WI came away with two first rosettes.

The Show brings East and West Sussex WI Federations together – joining forces to take part.   The team-work between the two Federations appeared exceptional and camaraderie ensued.    Without question, the Federations’ South of England Show sub-committees work extremely hard on our behalf.   The WI reputation for cakes, crafts, and friendliness was upheld.   If you get the chance to take part, in any way, next year, take it with open arms as it is rewarding and feels great to be part of our wider WI organisation.

Jan Marsden

… And didn’t Bognor Regis do well …

The report above is from Jan with her Federation hat on.  She is being rather modest, probably because she won one of those first red rosettes.  We had 3 entries this year and all were exceptional (although we say it ourselves!)  and here they are …

Shawl by Lesley Guppy, which received positive comments from the judges
‘End Plastic Soup’ wall hanging by Jan Marsden, awarded a FIRST rosette!
Doll by Sarah Greenway, awarded a FIRST rosette!

click here for all our photos from the craft tent.

Kate Claisse







The May meeting of Bognor Regis WI started in a swirl of colour with President Dinah Barrand sporting her new striped dungarees made from recycled fabric and supplied by a fair trade African company. This set the tone of the meeting which focussed on the Resolutions put forward by the National Federation of Womens’ Institutes but with an overarching theme of how all members could make a difference to our world by making small (or bigger) changes to their lifestyles.



Mandy receiving contributions for the Food Bank


First, however, Dinah introduced Mandy, the Deputy Co-ordinator of the Bognor Food Bank. She described how most food banks (Bognor included) come under the aegis of the Trussell Trust, a charity which aims to end hunger and poverty in the UK and to campaign for change to end the need for food banks. Mandy talked about the circumstances which led to people needing short term help including delays/changes in benefit payments, redundancy, pregnancy and domestic violence.  Bognor Food Bank relies on donations of non-perishable food from members of the public and clients need a voucher from a referring agency such as CAB, Radio Respect, My Sisters House etc. This system allows the referring agency to work with the person, providing ongoing support to hopefully improve their circumstance


As well as providing food, however, Bognor Food Bank provides care and compassion and ensures that all clients are valued, listened to and cared about. The Food Bank has also provided courses on budget cookery and tries to give extra help in the summer holidays – when school meals are not available – and special Christmas bags. Sadly, the need is growing with 3,000 people being fed last year – an increase of 33%.

After a very warm vote of thanks both for Mandy’s talk and for the excellent work they are doing, the meeting moved on to a quiz and vote on the potential resolutions. These were the provision of additional council funding for public bus services and encouraging more women (including young women) to have regular smear tests. It was agreed by a clear majority that both resolutions were worthy of support and the delegate to the national AGM in June will vote in accordance with the wishes of BRWI.

During the extended refreshment break with Prosecco and cake (including the delicious vegan cupcakes – to view the recipe – click Vegan Ginger Cupcakes) members had the opportunity to explore the displays on green living set up by the Committee.  These included a clear demonstration of what items can be put in the recycling bin and what can be recycled elsewhere, green replacements/substitutions for household products including homemade beeswax food covering and pan scrubbers, making the move to a plant based diet and the resources available to do so, reducing or eliminating the need for single use plastics, recycling and upcycling materials to make bags (and the examples included some unlikely raw materials!) and making rich and friable compost from garden and kitchen waste. To see all the ideas click here  Lots of questions were asked and many pledges made to try something new; it was inspiring to see how the members really wanted to make a difference to the lives of the local community and the wider world.

Later in the month, twenty members will be making a visit to Tuppenny Barn a sustainable living education centre in Southbourne, and three members will be joining lots of other WIs – and many other groups concerned about climate change – when they go on the Time is Now mass lobby of Parliament. This summer the Government will decide whether to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by committing to a net zero emissions target. They will also have the chance to end nature’s decline by committing to a strong Environment Bill. The Time is Now on June 26th is hoped to be the largest mass lobby for climate and the environment that the UK has ever seen.  The WI is very proud to be part of it!!

Click to display the Record of May 19 meeting

Words: Gina

Photos: Katie and Kate

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