Chidham and Hambrook Village - everyday

Chidham and Hambrook - Chidham WI

CHIDHAM WI -  site archive

End 2009

End 2008

Mar 2008

2005 (80 years)
Dec 2009
News from the WI !

At the November AGM Delph Archer was elected President for our 85 th birthday year. Helen Theakston retired after ten year's service as treasurer and committee member. She was presented with a garden voucher as a small token of thanks for all her hard work. June Moran, WI advisor, talked to the meeting about the need to preserve and conserve WI archive material. Fortunately, we have a large and interesting collection relating to Chidham WI .
Helen Theakston retired after ten year's service as treasurer and committee member. She was presented with a garden voucher as a small token of thanks for all her hard work.
December. December got off to a good start with the Christmas lunch held at the Chichester Park hotel. Forty one members enjoyed a three course meal with seasonal trimmings in comfortable surroundings and excellent service.

Aladdin. A trip to the King's Theatre to see “Aladdin” was enjoyed by the young at heart. Door to door transport was appreciated by the less than young in years!

84th birthday party. It was a packed house for the 84 th birthday party and Christmas celebrations on December 8th . Visitors from local WIs joined in singing Christmas songs and carols to accordion music provided by Shirley Verene and Bill Perkins. Mince pies and shortbread were served and everyone received a mystery Christmas present. Bianca Harrison excelled herself with a festive raffle. The decorations in the refurbished hall enhanced the seasonal flavour.
October 2009 Meeting  
“A Thing of Rags and Patches”
Jackie Fry's talk on the social history of rag rugs was a touching and fascinating insight into the lives of the poorest section of society. They wasted nothing, making the worn out clothing they owned into items of no intrinsic value but which had a beauty and dignity of their own. Even the tools they used were as simple as you could get – a rivet from the shipyard on Tyneside, a ram's horn sharpened and polished by wear, a dolly peg with one leg cut off - but they were valued and used for a lifetime.

It was a humbling experience to hear how the very poorest brightened their homes with these rugs. Many members expressed an interest in following up the talk with more hands-on experience in the form of a workshop and we hope to organise a practical session in the near future.
Jackie Fry holding a rag rug in a poppy design
A display of members' recycled items

September Meeting - What to do when your Bramley runs away!

Over forty members and visitors attended the September meeting to hear Peter Collett give a comprehensive talk on the history of the British apple from its origins in the Fertile Arc of the east (about 8000 BC) to the present day. Paul Barnet's accompanying display illustrated the huge variety of apples which are still found today.

Members' questions covered rampant Bramleys, bareroot planting and stepover trees.

A fantastic collection of apple based cakes, chutneys, meringues and biscuits was provided by members and enjoyed by all.

Don't forget the Apple Affair at West Dean on 3 rd /4 th October between 10.30 and 5.00pm.

Home made apple based cakes and chutneys provided by members

Peter Collett and Valerie Williams in discussion
Paul Barnett's impressive display of apples
Helpful advice from the experts
President's Daughter Marries at Chidham
Members of Chidham WI turned out in force for the wedding of Grace Archer and Paul Marshall on Friday 7th August 2009 . Grace is the youngest daughter of our president, Delph Archer, and has attended meetings as a baby during her mother's previous period as president. The service was conducted by Canon David Pain, of St Mary's Church, Chidham, together with Canon Bryan Marshall, the groom's father. The church was packed and, appropriately, Jerusalem was sung as the last hymn.

Grace's dress was made by her aunt in medieval style, trimmed with purple, which was the colour theme of the wedding. The church flowers were natural arrangements in purple jars decorated with raffia, with trailing ivy. The theme was continued at the reception in the beautifully decorated tepee style marquee.

Members of the church and WI were involved in the preparation for the wedding by helping with flower arranging in the church and marquee. Pam Kennedy made individual small cakes with purple icing which were displayed on a tiered stand.
Cliff and Delph are hardworking and valued members of the Chidham community, so the whole occasion was a huge success shared by relatives, friends, members of the church and WI.
14th July Chidham WI Summer Cruise on Chichester Canal

During a spell of uncertain weather, we had blue skies and sunshine for our cruise on Chichester Canal in the ‘ Richmond '.

Tea was provided by members and served by Canal Trust volunteers. Visits to the upper deck enabled us to enjoy the wildlife on the water and canal banks. Our skipper pointed out items of interest and even allowed one member to take the tiller.

In the spirit of the nautical theme some members wore striped jerseys and pirate hats, while our president sported a complete pirate's costume which included a parrot and cutlass.

A short stop at Hunston to enjoy the famous view of the cathedral, painted by Turner, provided a good photo opportunity, before returning to the canal basin.

June 2009  

How well do we know our local area?

Our speaker at the June meeting was Judy Darley, who gave an enthralling talk about the function of the Chichester Harbour Conservancy, illustrated by beautiful slides. A local girl, whose enthusiasm for her work was infectious, she clearly felt she was so fortunate to be ‘working' in such a beautiful location. She outlined the functions of the Trust and the problems associated with meeting the needs of leisure activities and planning whilst preserving the unique environment of the area.

Judy Darley
Our ‘where is it' quiz challenged members to try to identify locations from partly obscured photographs. The range of subjects was world wide, and it was surprising how many of the members were stumped by well known local landmarks.

Thames Cruise from Windsor - May 2009

  Ten members enjoyed a day out on a river cruise from Windsor , which included a ploughman's lunch and a glass of wine. The trip provided an opportunity to observe the diverse wildlife, and the way the river provides a unique lifestyle for houseboats and riverside dwellings. After the cruise some members visited Windsor town centre, as well as enjoying spectacular views of the Thames and major landmarks from the Royal Windsor Wheel.
Resolutions Meeting - May

Our May meeting provided the opportunity for members to discuss the resolution “SOS for Honey Bees” which will be debated at National Conference at the Albert Hall in June. As part of the preparation for the debate several members attended a briefing session at North Mundham earlier this year.

Although the Government has now said that money will be forthcoming for research covering bees and other pollinating insects, the WI is actively putting pressure on to drive initiatives forward so that the plight of the honey bee in the local environment is recognised as a very real threat to the food production of this country.
The resolution was carried unanimously.

Lesley-Anne Lloyd,
Head of Fundraising for
St. Richard's Charitable Trust.
The meeting also heard from Lesley-Anne Lloyd, Head of Fundraising for St. Richard's Charitable Trust. She introduced the new-look magazine and gave an update on the situation relating to charitable funds raised for St. Richard's, stressing that all money raised is used to support the work of our local hospital. She hoped that everyone would continue to support the hospital and “thanked all donors and volunteers for their devotion, enthusiasm, and tireless dedication to the hospital.”
The competition this month was “Flower of the month” which attracted a good number of entries.

April meeting report

“Flora Thompson – Beyond Candleford”

John Smith gave a really fascinating talk about Flora Thompson's life and writings. As a local historian in the Hindhead area he discovered that Flora Thompson had been sent to train a young girl in the use of the telegraph machine in the Grayshott office. Using her own writings, and anecdotes about the people she met, he painted a picture of a remarkable woman who achieved literary recognition in spite of her humble beginnings.

The exhibition, organised by Janet Dummer, showed a variety of photographs, crafts and pictures from the early part of the twentieth century which were contributed by members.

Janet Dummer

Report on March meeting - “The Changing Face of Britain”

“The Changing Face of Britain” resulted in a huge response from members who contributed an eclectic mixture of photographs and pictures for the exhibition.

Of particular interest was the Millenium Book of Photographs, compiled by villagers, recording most of the properties and their occupants in 2000. So much has changed even in nine years.

The theme of change was reflected in the talk given by Grahame Sergeant whose photographs from the early 20th century were contrasted with similar photographs from more recent times.

His conclusion that life is more complicated and perhaps less enjoyable, met with a mixed reception from members: some particularly enjoyed his nostalgic glimpse of life in the past, whilst others appreciated the comforts and opportunities of modern life.

Grahame Sergeant
Chichester in the 1940's - an original painting by Montague Black
Meeting report Feb 2009

  "A Soldier's Story” (originally billed as “Flesh on the Bones”) Diana Beck

  Starting with one photograph of her grandfather who was killed on Christmas Day 1916, Diana Beck retold the fascinating story of how she pieced together the story of William Larkin, his life and death and how this had an impact on his family and descendants.

Making good use of the internet and other research tools, Diana was able to find out a great deal about her family which had previously been unknown to her. It was a moving and engrossing talk, presented in a lively and accessible way.

The start of it all…

Diana Beck and Delph Archer with a display of interesting items from the period brought in by members.

January 2009 Meeting report
A Tale of Two Houses – The story of Swallowfield

A chance meeting in a graveyard began a voyage of discovery researching history of the Biggs family in West Sussex and Australia .

Infant deaths, mystery illnesses in India , consumption, and bad luck all formed part of an intriguing account of this Victorian family who lived on the Swallowfield estate just outside Horsham in the nineteenth century. Many details of family and Victorian life were recorded by Augusta in her diary, later continued by her daughter, also Augusta.

Tony Turner regularly visits the Swallowfield estate in Australia as well as keeping up to date with the present owners of the original house.

WI Christmas Meeting 2008
Lost in Pantoland ? Oh Yes They Were!
A cast of thousands ( well quite a few)…..No expense spared (well….)

The village hall was transformed into the magical world of Pantoland for the WI's 83rd Birthday and Christmas meeting. The audience were treated to a fantasy where pantomime characters, lost in the wood, were making their way to the village hall for a WI meeting. Hidden talents were revealed (oh no they weren't!) but makeup, costumes and lighting added that touch of wonder. Guests from other WI's and a few lucky men enjoyed the performance (or did they just come for the tea?)

Cast of thousands

Well, quite a few
Bianca's Bumper Christmas Draw!

Lost in WI Land?
Nov 11 - Chidham WI Annual General Meeting
An active and varied year for Chidham WI

In her annual address to the members the President, Delph Archer commented on another busy year.

With increasing membership and high attendance at meetings, the WI is set to continue to play an important role in village life.


Presentation of a bouquet to Rae Pett in recognition of many years as a committee member responsible for teas.

The programme this year has included music, craft, the natural world, history, local policing and emergency services. The social subcommittee has planned additional activities, including a tour of the cathedral, a fish and chip lunch, a visit to Pallant House Gallery, the Spinnaker Tower , and the New Forest Show.

WI Advisor June Moran, describing her makeover for the radio!
The introduction of name badges has proved popular. The atmosphere at meetings is relaxed and friendly and the enthusiasm and willingness of all members to contribute has ensured that the organization will go from strength to strength.
Mary Rose Marsh Women's Land Army Veteran
October Meeting report
Biker Doctor saving lives
Doctor Brando Tomayo is a volunteer with the British Association for Immediate Care (BASICS), a group of medics who are trained to administer life saving treatment at serious accidents during the critical “golden hour”.
Founded in 1979, BASICS has been responding to emergency calls via the Hampshire Ambulance Service providing 24 hour cover on a voluntary basis.
Each year they receive over 1000 requests for assistance at road traffic accidents, industrial accidents, sports events, domestic injuries and cardiac arrests. Prompt and effective resuscitation or use of anaesthetics on site can dramatically improve the chances of survival.
All the work is voluntary; the money raised is used for equipment and training – at least £27,000 to fully kit out a car.
BASICS' fundraiser, Lynne Caine's talk and display at the October meeting, made us appreciate the enormous contribution made by dedicated doctors working voluntarily. It was illustrated by examples of people surviving life threatening injuries through prompt and skilled specialist treatment from BASICS doctors. If you like to know more about the work they do, visit the website
September Meeting report

Woman swept off her feet by miller!

“A local woman had a narrow escape when her skirts became entangled in the sails of the windmill. She was carried up and round several times before the miller was able to release her, shocked but unharmed.”

a pastel drawing of Halnaker Windmill
by Nita Fielder
Tales of gruesome accidents and shady dealings “at the mill” were presented by enthusiastic members of the Bognor Regis Local History group. It was clear that millers were not held in the highest regard as they exploited their power over the community by short changing and scant regard for weights and measures.
Missed the Chatter?

Chidham WI starts the autumn season in September with plenty of opportunity for good company and interesting activities. We may not be “lite” but we are great fun and always looking to extend our horizons.
Why not come and see for yourself?
If you would like an introduction please call Delph Archer or Ann Read on the numbers above.

September 9th Windmills and Millers’ Tales
October 14th British Association for Immediate Care
November 11th Annual Meeting
December 9th Do It Yourself Pantomime
January 13th The Story of Swallowfields
July meeting report - Garden meeting July 8th .

2008 Rain didn't stop play at the “Garden” meeting due to be held in Pauline Dowse's lovely garden. The Village Hall was transformed for the afternoon with plants, greenery and other garden items.

The theme was continued on the sales table which raised over £40.

The raffle, organized by Bianca Harrison, featured a lovely range of baskets planted creatively by her. (see picture)

Three members reported on their weekend at Denman College. Their chosen courses were the English country house, basic plumbing and wiring, and aspects of T'ai Chi. They all spoke very highly of the general facilities, atmosphere and teaching and encouraged members to book courses for themselves

The meeting closed after a particularly lavish tea.
June Meeting report

News from National Conference
As delegate for the Group, Gillian Hale, gave a very interesting account of the AGM in Liverpool , which she which she will be reporting to other institutes in the immediate area... The debate on the resolutions raised strong feelings resulting in a defeat for the ban on bottom trawling, whilst there was significant support for the provision of more appropriate facilities for prisoners with mental health problems.

On a lighter note, Sandy Toksvig's talk had them rolling in the aisles!

The Tea Team played host to a group from Rustington on 4th June.

Community Policing – A Name in Every Neighbourhood
“I've never done this before”, confessed PCSO Bruce Ives last Tuesday. Fortunately he was only referring to giving a talk to the WI on community policing.

With a background in the navy and nursing, his move to community policing draws on skills already established. His friendly and approachable manner, combined with practical local knowledge makes for effective action on his patch.

He emphasised that reporting even minor incidents is important to build up a complete picture of criminal activities in our area, and that villagers are the eyes and ears of the community.

Don't be afraid to call 0845 60 70 999 or contact

Chidham WI Walks Programme
Wednesday, 18th June - Fishbourne, Apuldram and Dell Quay ( 3-4 miles)
Meet Fishbourne car park at 10.00am   Thursday, 17th July – Binderton, The Trundle and Lavant (5 ½ miles )
Meet at Royal Oak 10.00am
Friday, 15 th August
– Trundle Trail (5 miles)
Tuesday, 2nd September – Wetlands Centre, Arundel.
Meet at Wetlands car park 10.30am
Monday, 6th October – Chidham to Southbourne returning via orchards (3 miles)

If the weather is poor the group usually manages to find a pub lunch!
For further information please contact Gillian Hale (572083) or Barbara Penny (573603)

Report on the Resolutions Meeting held on Tuesday 13th May.

WI Campaign

Grass roots democracy was in action this week as members debated the two resolutions which will be considered at the annual conference in Liverpool in June.

WI Advisor June Moran introducing the resolutions
The topics, the damage to marine life by bottom trawling nets, and the adverse effect on families by the inappropriate imprisonment of severely mentally ill people, are subjects which raise strong feelings. 

Our delegate, Gillian Hale, will be mandated to represent our views at National Conference.  The WI's influence on important issues is well known and we expect action yet again.
Delegate Gillian Hale
April 8th - Lacecraft
Bobbins, cushions and pins – the vocabulary of the lace maker was to be heard at this month's meeting of Chidham WI . The talk on lace was much more than an instruction on lace making and its technicalities. Mrs Eke spoke about different styles from the famous lace producing areas past and present: Brussels, Bruges, Malta, Honiton and Nottingham, for example. She talked about her inspirations for her own stunning pieces of work far removed from the humble lace border. The members learned that, sadly, lace making is a dying art.
Mrs Eke, who gave the talk on Lace

The evident enthusiasm of the speaker for her craft made for an enthralling afternoon. The exhibition of lace brought by members proved to be full of interest and heirlooms.

In next month's meeting on May 13th Resolutions to go forward to the AGM will be debated by members. This usually makes for a lively meeting.

No to jumble! Yes to quality!

Chidham WI held a very popular Spring Clearance Sale on Saturday, March 8th .
Members donated good quality items which “flew off the shelves” and made a healthy profit for funds.

WI meeting March 11th , 2008 - report
Mr David Child's talk about the Mary Rose was both stimulating and amusing. In a dramatic presentation he dispelled some historical rumours and told us of others. The Mary Rose's 35-year-old history before it sank was presented in the context of the lives of the noblemen and sailors of that time.
Mr Child generously donated a signed copy of his book “The Warship Mary Rose – the life and Times of King Henry VIII's Flagship” to the members' library.
Margaret Blott


2005 was a big year for Chidham Wi. We were 80 years old last
December and we celebrated this milestone through the following
May 2005
A unique exhibition celebrating the 80 years’ relationship between Chidham WI and the Village Hall


September 2005
An Entertainment, based on fact but with much humour


December 2005
This will be an especially grand birthday celebration!

There was a double celebration at Chidham WI’s September Meeting. Eighty years old and still meeting in the same hall! Chidham WI has met without a break in the old Malthouse, Chidham Lane, since 1925. To mark this event, a silver President’s Badge was presented to the current President, Mrs Delph Archer, by the longest serving member, Mrs Joan Rose.

To celebrate our 80 years the meeting became as we think it would have been in 1925, with members dressed in costumes of that era hired from the WI County Costume Wardrobe. See the photo of some of the members!


An Entertainment performed at the September Meeting of Chidham WI

The ladies of 1925 are, from left to right:

Mrs Beale, Hon Mrs Colvin, Mrs Cooper,
Miss Lucy Cunningham, Mrs Gillingham, Mrs Padwick

 The 2005 players shown are actually: Delph Archer, Pam Kennedy, Rae Pett, Joyce Christmas, Helen Theakston, Valerie Williams

An Entertainment devised by Delph Archer started with a re-enactment of the 1925 Inaugural Meeting, held to gauge the feeling in the village regarding the formation of a new WI. This was unanimously agreed upon and the Entertainment continued with Acts showing the first Committee Meeting and first Main Meeting of the new WI.

The 1925 records had been trawled to ensure that the Entertainment included genuine references to real incidents and characters of that time. A little humour was injected, to the amusement of everyone.

Little did Mrs Beale of Cobnor realise in 1925 that she would be taking centre stage in an enthusiastic performance in the same building in 2005. Nor did the first West Sussex County Chairman, the Hon. Mrs Colvin, realise what an impact her speech was to have on the ladies of Chidham in the 21st century. The Entertainment ended with a rousing rendition of Jerusalem and, of course, WI tea.

The stalwarts who founded Chidham WI 80 years ago would have been very pleased with the presentation of the silver badge, to be handed on to Presidents of Chidham WI for maybe another 80 years!

Delph Archer
President, Chidham WI

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