Chidham and Hambrook Village - everyday

Chidham and Hambrook - Chidham WI

Welcome to Chidham WI
Chidham WI comprises women from all walks of life and backgrounds . We are out going and friendly - we are always delighted to welcome new members, wherever you live. Stuffy we are not!
At our meetings we have interesting speakers, lively discussions and a good tea! We have frequent outings and activities in addition to the main programme. Friends and partners are welcome on trips when space allows.
Meetings: Second Tuesday in month
Venue: Chidham Village Hall (on A259)
Time : 2.15pm
Programme of events 2015
Visitors are welcome at meetings - please phone the Secretary or the President.
For further information, telephone:
President:
Secretary:
Treasurer
Ann Read Kathleen Cotterill
Pauline Dowse
01243 572481 01243 370269  
Email link  
Chidham WI report September 2016

At the first meeting following the August break members enjoyed a talk by Dot Warren on her jewellery making. Profits from this work go towards Dot's charities funding research into treatments for leukaemia. Dot told us about her visits to the Rift Valley in Africa where jewellery is made from natural materials such as bone and feathers - as she said, "Jewellery is everywhere".
Based locally, Dot is happy to repair and reuse old necklaces to ensure new life for old. She can also match and make items for individual outfits. She is very happy to give talks on her work to local groups; she does not charge a fee but donates all profits from the sale of her work to her chosen charities.

The October 11th  meeting will again be held in St. Wilfrid's Hall, Broad Road  but we are looking forward to returning to the Village Hall on completion of the works.     

Chidham WI report Summer 2016
The summer meeting was held at St Wilfrid's Hall as the Village is undergoing the installation of a lift. There was a well dressed turnout as the order of the day was for hats and frocks. Following the business meeting we enjoyed a performance of songs from Amy Baker, vintage singer who has entertained us before. Amy is always a delight to listen to and she is becoming a firm favourite with members (and husbands).

The September meeting will be held on September 6th at St Wilfrid's Hall. This is a change to our usual date as the hall is unavailable on September 13th. The works are continuing at the Village Hall.

The WI continues to enjoy a very active and full membership in the village.

Chidham WI report April 2016

Look out for a transformed WI after the latest talk on "Styles and shapes to flatter your figure" at the April meeting. Linda MacDonald gave us very practical, realistic and amusing advice on what and what not to wear. Charity shops in the local area should enjoy an increase in donations as most of us left the meeting determined to clear out our wardrobes and improve our images.

Membership of the WI in Chidham has reached a record number of over 60 since January this year. We must be doing something right!

Chidham WI report March 2016

The March meeting saw over fifty members gathered to hear Roger Shearns, finger and palm print expert with the Metropolitan police for forty years, talk about the history and importance of this branch of police work in the solving of crime. With its roots in the Victorian era, the science has become a vital part of police work; sometimes resulting in crimes being solved long after they were committed.
Roger explained that our finger prints are formed before we are born and that they can never be eradicated - he cited a criminal who had dipped his hands in sulphuric acid but whose prints returned over a period of years as the skin was replaced naturally. Our toes and feet also have prints as the skin is corrugated to help with grip. Even twins have different prints.
There were plenty of questions and everyone enjoyed the meeting thoroughly. Roger was an entertaining and interesting speaker with a wealth of experience and many anecdotes of his working life.

Chidham WI Feb 2016

Chidham WI report January 2016

The first meeting of 2016 saw record numbers of members attending to hear a talk about the poet John Keats and his time in Chichester at the beginning of 1819 - the year in which perhaps his greatest poetry was produced. Only two years after this he died prematurely at the age of twenty five. Many claim that Keats's poetic achievements exceeded the accomplishment at the same age of Chaucer, Milton and Shakespeare. 
Dressed in period costume, Bob Read gave an enthralling account of Keats' life and a moving recitation of some of the best loved verses of the Romantic poet.
The vote of thanks was given in  inspired ballad form by Ina Littlefield.

Chidham WI report October 2015
We welcomed Fiona and Cookie, the founders of the much loved Village Magazine to our meeting this month. They described how the magazine was set up to meet a local need for information and points of contact as shops and businesses who formally had had this role closed down in the area. With no money but plenty of energy and some "huzpah", they set about getting advertising to fund the project.
Nine years later they have a circulation of 6,800 copies each month and a dedicated band of volunteer deliverers who get the magazine through the doors of Fishbourne, Bosham, Chidham and Nutbourne by the first of every month.
Still committed to local business and services, they resist the lure of national advertisers who would love to be in on the act.

Volunteers to deliver magazines are always welcome.

Chidham WI report September 2015
September has been fairly busy as we have continued with the celebrations for the WI Centenary. At the beginning of the month there was an exhibition in the Gridshell building at the Weald and Downland Museum organised by Singleton & East Dean WI, who celebrate their own founding 100 years ago - the first WI in England. Chidham took Second Prize in the competition which featured a child's dress, flower arrangement and an iced cake. These had to reflect the year of foundation of the WI - in our case 1925. Thanks are due to Kath Cotterill, Barbara Childs- Hopkins, Helen Theakston and Pam Kennedy who put hours of research and work into the exhibition items.
A number of members have been involved in a musical and dramatic presentation covering the first 100 years of the WI. Billed as "The Sleeping Giant" a nod to the huge potential of the thousands of women who belong or have belonged to the WI, the story was told in a light hearted and entertaining manner.
September 16th was earmarked nationally as "Do Something Special for the WI" day. We did our best: an afternoon coach trip to the New Forest was the plan, culminating in a lovely cream tea in the Forest. We would enjoy the late summer sunshine before the weather changed. In the event it was the worst weather we could possibly have imagined: the M27 a fog of mist and spray, Beaulieu a blur, all self respecting animals tucked into shelter and 39 sodden WI 'ers taking tea under the rain hammering on the roof. Nevertheless, we determined to enjoy the experience and so we did, cheerfulness being our aim at all times. No wonder we're 100 years old.
Chidham WI report July 2015
The last meeting before the summer break was  a special garden party tea held at St Wilfrid's Hall. The committee organised the catering to be as similar to that served at Buckingham Palace at the June Garden Party. This consisted of: assorted finger sandwiches, miniature scones with cream & jam, meringues, croustades filled with crème patissiere & raspberries, and a selection of tiny cakes - chocolate, ginger,Victoria sponge and fruit cake. The tea was rounded off with mini ice creams. Members were also invited to take home a piece of the special Celebration cake which had been made by Delph Archer using the winning WI recipe and specially produced for the centenary Year. (the one cut by HM the Queen at the Royal Albert Hall). 
Whilst consuming this feast, members worked off some of the calories by completing a garden quiz and an anagram challenge.
Thanks are due to the committee for all their hard, to Alan Cotterill for providing a suitable musical background to the afternoon and to Bob Read for his timely delivery of the ice cream!
WI Centenary Celebration of Flowers
July 10th & 11th at St Pauls' Church, Chichester
Admission is £3
Open to the general public between 10 am & 4 pm on both days.  Refreshments are also available.
The event is organised by the West Sussex Federation Of Women's Institutes.
Chidham WI report - May/June 2015 catch up
The last three months have been particularly busy and we seem to have fallen behind with our reporting so here’s a catch up.
In May the main topic of the meeting was the discussion of the annual Resolution which this year was concerned with the difference in funding between health and social care for those in need. The wording and the topic proved to be very difficult to tease out and, in the event , the Resolution was not put at the annual Meeting at the Royal Albert Hall in June, leaving the whole topic somewhat unresolved.
May also saw a special event at Arundel Castle to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the WI. West Sussex Federation had been given the opportunity to hold a picnic in the grounds of Arundel Castle by special permission of the estate. It poured! However, undaunted many members enjoyed jazz in the marquee and even met King Henry VIII, Queen Anne Boleyn (and her mother), all announced most effectively by the Arundel Town Crier.
The beginning of June saw the long awaited Garden Party at Buckingham Palace for 8000 members of the WI nationwide. All WIs in West Sussex had the opportunity to send a member to this event. The Queen was represented by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Princess Alexandra. Everyone enjoyed the tea which was immaculately and efficiently served: the weather even managed a bit of sunshine towards the end of the afternoon. It was a day to remember.
In the same week the Annual Meeting of the National Federation of WI took place at the Royal Albert Hall. This special centenary meeting was relayed to various cinemas throughout the country and we were able to see it all live at Cineworld, Chichester. We had a great day with great views of everything that went on; we even joined in with the singing and applause! A particularly good speaker was Lucy Worsley who has been working on a history of the WI for the BBC. It is due to be aired shortly.
Our own June meeting was addressed by Tony Hale who had a long career in radio broadcasting.
We’ve also been busy with supporting the local community in catering for events.
Our next meeting will be our own garden party at the village hall when we hope to use the patio. We’ll be trying a recreate a little bit of the Palace tea: wearing hats and eating dainty sandwiches.
We do not meet in August but there will be various county events going on as we continue with our Centenary celebrations.
Chidham WI report for the April 2015 Meeting
This month we welcomed Neil Sadler, retired policeman, to talk about "A Policeman's Lot" which turned out to be quite a varied one. Having started life as teacher ( realised he didn't care for children too much) then becoming a civil servant ( too boring) he settled into the police force in West Sussex which did not mind him sporting a beard ( unlike many other forces at the time).

Neil started his police life in Bognor Regis but also served abroad in his long career. In an interactive conversation with the audience, Neil told us about the Shoe Bomber Richard Reid and the events of the night of the Brighton bombing when the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher came close to being killed.

The long arm of coincidence touched him when his own daughter joined the police force and inherited his old number 006 just as he was retiring. Neil's talk was entertaining and slightly chilling as he finally demonstrated the "spit guard" used to cover the face of someone arrested to protect arresting officers.
Chidham WI report for the March 2015 Meeting
Most of us are reasonably proud of our children and their achievements but Maggie Childs could be said to be one of an elite group who sons have really hit the heights. Michael Childs, (a local boy from Chichester Boys' High School) was selected in 2011 to train and serve as a pilot in the prestigious Red Arrow Display Team. This selection can only take place after a substantial amount of flying time and front line service as a fighter pilot. Her talk took us through the selection procedure, training and daily routines of the team. Serving for three years, the team function at a very charged level with constant scrutiny of their work and performance. Accompanied by photographs and video footage, the talk was enjoyed by everyone. Maggie is obviously very proud of her son and she enjoyed being part of this amazing institution.
next month's talk: A Policeman's Lot - Neil Sadler
Chidham WI report for the February 2015 Meeting
This month's meeting focussed on the history of chocolate. Dawn Shrives from Le Salon Du Chocolat – a local enterprise- took us through the long and complicated development of the most popular foodstuff of today. She explained the process by which the cocoa bean, grown in the Equatorial belt, becomes the product we see today in so many forms. There is a relatively small supply of the raw bean so we ought to value it more. She works with “couverture” – a chocolate button bought in from Belgium, as do many of the artisan chocolate makers working in Britain. Needless to say, there were a variety of samples and we all enjoyed the tasting session at the end of the talk. Our taste buds were introduced to the finer points of chocolate in much the same way as wine tasters might work. As you might expect, this was very enjoyable session!
Chidham WI report for the January 2015 Meeting
A talk by Tessa Daines about the origins of Nursery Rhymes was a real treat. Tessa's research, prompted by her time running a playgroup, uncovered some fascinating facts about rhymes which we have all known since our childhood. There are about 550 Nursery Rhymes in use and Tessa illustrated just a few of them with the use of dolls and soft toys. Their origins are ancient,varied and often far removed from the 'cosy' childhood interpretations used today.
The rhyme which starts Jackanory was written about 1760 and has undergone several changes since then, as have many others. Dr Foster, who went to Gloucester, is believed to be Edward 1 (1239) who was trapped with his horse in a muddy ditch. Nursery Rhymes and their characters have also been used as book titles and pub signs, but we are so familiar with them that we take them for granted.
This entertaining and informative insight into 'innocent' childhood rhymes was very well received by the members who hope Tessa can return with another talk.
Chidham WI report for the December 2014 Meeting
The beginning of December saw most members of the WI attending Christmas lunch at Chichester Park Hotel. This was followed the next day by our 89th birthday meeting in the Village Hall.
Members were entertained by a seasonal reading by Delph Archer, a quiz organised by Bob Read and Gwen Ambrose telling her life story as a local girl from Emsworth. After the traditional refreshments of mince pies and shortbread, a lovely cake (made by Kath Cotterill) was cut and shared between members. Secret Santa presents were distributed as members left the hall. Thanks are due to all who helped with the organisation of the celebrations.

The first meeting of 2015 will be on January 13th and we will be hearing about "The Mysteries and Histories of Nursery Rhymes".
Chidham WI report for the October 2014 Meeting
The October meeting welcomed Dr Robin Gorman to speak on the subject of "Journey to the Stars". Dr Gorman's career has been spent in the field of adult education with a particular interest in astronomy. He has been closely associated with the Clanfield Observatory and the development of telescopes there.
Dr Gorman took us through solar and moon eclipses and out on a voyager visit to planets in the solar system. He emphasised the unique nature of the earth with its atmosphere, water, animal and human life and urged us to do all we can to preserve it.
Details of various activities and public open evenings can be found on the website of the Hampshire Astronomical Society.
Special congratulations this month go to Bianca Harrison who has celebrated her 90th birthday. She was presented with a flower arrangement in honour of her achievement. Bianca has been an active member of the WI for many years; she ran the raffle with flair and ingenuity at the monthly meetings for a very long time, raising valuable funds for the work of the WI.
 
 
Chidham WI report for the Sept 2014 Meeting
Our September meeting welcomed Gillian Parker who talked about her ten years spent as a croupier and Bunny Girl in the famous London club. Recruited at 19 after seeing a small advertisement in the Evening Standard on her commute home, she passed the swimsuit and an intelligence test going on to work for ten years between 1972 and 1982.
Gillian described the rigid control of costume, hair and behaviour which characterised the management of the club but obviously had many happy memories of her time there. She meet many famous (and infamous) people including Roger Moore and the actor who played Jaws in the Bond films.
Gillian remarked upon the generosity of the pension fund which still operates today!
There were many questions and comments about the nature and philosophy underlying the Bunny Club which made for a lively and interesting discussion.
Chidham WI report for the July 2014 Meeting
Possibly the worst day we could possibly have chosen - last Tuesday - we held our annual garden party in the worst weather we have seen for some time! Torrential rain, thunder and lightening provided the backdrop to our July meeting for which we had all scrubbed up and worn our best hats. However, we don't sing "Jerusalem" for nothing so we carried on enjoying ourselves in rather cramped surroundings (there were 60 of us) and only appreciating the garden from inside. Our kind hostess, Helen, put up with the chaos in her house with marvellous grace.
We enjoyed a fabulous tea, prepared by Pam Kennedy and her team who always step up in times of catering need.
There will be no formal meeting in August although some members will be attending the summer quiz organised by the county Federation.
We met again on the second Tuesday in September to hear about the life and times of a Bunny Girl.
Chidham WI report for the June 2014 Meeting
The subject for the June meeting was the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission which was set up in the aftermath of the First World War at the instigation of Fabian Ware. The Commission now maintains the graves and memorials of 1,700,00 men and women in 153countries who were killed in two world wars. The work is funded by six countries - Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa under the Presidency of Edward, Duke of Kent.
Federation Annual Meeting - Leeds
Eight members attended the Annual Meeting of the National Federation of WI in Leeds recently (see photos below) where they heard keynote speakers Andrew Motion, George McGavin and Bill Turnbull talk about various aspects of environmental concerns. The motion encouraging WI members to make their wishes known to their families about organ donation was passed with a large majority; several contributions from the floor during the debate gave moving accounts of the experience of donation from those benefitting from and those who had family members who had become donors after their death.

The next meeting will be in the garden of "Drifters", Broad Road - weather permitting, other wise at the village hall as usual. There will be no meeting in August.
Chidham WI report for the May 2014 Meeting
The meeting in May considered the Resolution urging all members of the WI to make their wishes known to their families about organ donation. The intention to donate an organ after death can often be overidden by families who may not be aware of the wishes of the deceased. In a more open and calm debate about this tricky subject it was felt that making one's wishes clear before death can only make the difficult decisions easier at the point of crisis.
On a lighter note, several members read out their life stories as part of a writing project which we are undertaking to celebrate our 90th birthday in 2015. They show just how varied and interesting our backgrounds are!

The subject of next month's meeting will be the work of the Commonweath War Graves Commission.

Chidham WI report for the April 2014 Meeting
This month’s meeting welcomed Margie Caldicott and Barbara Coombes who came to talk about the experiences of civilian women who were imprisoned in Sumatra after the fall of Singapore in WW2. In particular, they focussed on the Women’s Vocal Orchestra which did so much to raise morale in the various camps as civilians were moved around to ever deteriorating conditions.
Margie’s mother, Shelagh Lea was imprisoned with her mother and we heard her recorded accounts of life under Japanese detention. The Vocal Orchestra was started by two amazing women – Margaret Dryburgh and Norah Chambers- who used their musical and leadership skills to bring some sort of hope and inspiration to a world of death and despair. The 70th anniversary of the Orchestra was marked in October 2013 by a unique concert at St Paul’s Church, Chichester at which Stephanie Cole and Louise Jameson read accounts of life and death in the camps, accompanied by the music of the camps.
The afternoon was deeply affecting and inspirational for all of us.
A similar concert is being repeated in May in St Paul’s Church. Details will be published in the May edition of The Village Magazine. More information about this period of history and the Vocal Orchestra can be found on the website: singingtosurvive.com

Chidham WI - Emergency First Aid.
Tuesday, April 15 th 1.30pm – 3.30pm at Chidham & Hambrook Village Hall
Julie Habgood (RGN) & UK Resuscitation Council ILS Instructor will run a session to cover the following topics:
Adult, child and baby basic life support, Automated external defibrillation, Choking, The unconscious patient, Shocks, burns & bleeding, Anaphylaxis.
If you would like to book a place please ring Ann Read on 01243 572481 or Kath Cotterill on 01243 370269. The session will cost £5.
Chidham WI report for the March 2014 Meeting
Andrew Elms from Lordington Lavender was the guest speaker at the March meeting. He talked humorously about the trials and tribulations (and sheer hard work) of planting out thousands of lavender plants at the beginning of the venture. He explained how the falling price of the essential oil affected the business and how they began to diversify into products which would bring in better income. Andrew regularly sells his range at farmers' markets in Chichester, Arundel  and Lewis and welcomes visitors to the farm at the end of June to see the crop in the field before harvesting. An additional benefit of the project is the encouragement of wildlife along the margins of the field. Andrew reported that several bird species from the RSPB Red List have been sighted around the farm and there are thousands of bees and other insects to be seen and heard in the sunshine. It's well worth a visit.
see the Lordington Lavender website
Chidham WI report for the February 2014 Meeting
This month's meeting was entertained by Susan Howe, a self confessed "historian, enthusiast and entertainer". Her life has been a colourful one (her own words), including working as PA to Sir John Betjeman and being a London Tourist Board Registered Blue Badge Guide. She took us through various adventures with American tourists, an armed stand off outside her flat in London and the inside track on the real Siegfried from James Herriott's "Creatures Great and Small". Susan's speaking style is conversational and engaging: her talk was very much enjoyed by everyone.
Next month's talk is "The History & Uses of Lavender" with a speaker from Lordington Lavender.


The Members whose birthdays fall in February
Our Speaker
Chidham WI report for the January 2014 Meeting
Jane Windsor was the guest speaker at the January meeting. She spoke about her lengthy service in what is now The House of Fraser store in Chichester, describing the turn of the seasons in the trade and the strict standards of personal presentation for the staff. Many of our members remembered the long gone stores which were a feature of Southsea, Portsmouth and Chichester during the Fifties and Sixties. Jane obviously loved her job and spoke with great affection about the building and the colleagues she worked with.
The February meeting will be held at St. Wilfrid's Hall. 

Our guest speaker Jane Windsor
An exhibition by members of bags made from recycled materials
Chidham WI report for the December Meeting
The 88th birthday meeting was attended by over 40 members; we were very pleased to welcome June Moran, the County Chairman of the West Sussex Federation as a guest. We were entertained by Sarah Jerlins with a programme of songs, some with a Christmas flavour, all of which were enjoyed by the audience.
Tea was followed by the drawing of the raffle and the exchange of Secret Santa presents.

The December meeting


The Christmas Lunch at the Chichester Park Hotel
Chidham WI report for the November Meeting
At the November Annual General meeting of Chidham WI Ann Read was elected President for the next year. Kathleen Cotterill  became Secretary, Pauline Dowse continues to be Treasurer.
The outgoing President, Gillian Hale was thanked for her hard work over the past three years and presented with a vase and bouquet of flowers.
The WI advisor, Judy Wilson attended the meeting and read some amusing extracts from of the early WI records, one of which entailed entertaining soldiers in the hay field during the war years!
We  shall be enjoying a Christmas lunch in early December and celebrating our 88th birthday at our monthly meeting. The new programme for 2014 will be published shortly.
Chidham WI web report October 2013
At our October meeting we heard a talk from Yvonne Price, WI advisor, on the huge range of tests which form the basis of diagnosis for 70% of illnesses today. Most of us will at some time have a blood test for a range of conditions, the results of which will inform our treatment. The process is highly automated and results can be obtained within a short time frame.
Interestingly, and quite shockingly, she also said that only 3% of the population provide the blood donations for the rest of us. Perhaps we could all do something about that.
Chidham WI web report September 2013
The speaker this month was June Moran, current chair of the West Sussex Federation of WIs. She spoke on the life and influence of Gertrude, Lady Denman. Born into a wealthy and influential Liberal family in 1884, Trudie was able to realise her potential as a gifted manager and practical feminist in war work, the birth control movement and the development of the Women's Institute movement in the first half of the twentieth century. She was the first national chairman of the  Women's Institute for twenty years and the national college of the WI is named after her in acknowledgement of her commitment to education. Her achievements were recognised at the highest level when she was awarded the Grand Order of the British Empire in 1951.
She died in 1954 at the age of 70. She was a truly remarkable woman whose talents and contribution to our national life deserve a wider recognition.
Chidham WI report July 2013
Our July meeting took the form of a visit to the Jane Austen House in Chawton. This has been extended to include various outbuildings which formed part of the domestic offices at the time. It also includes a short introductory film which gives background to Jane Austen, her family and the time she lived in. One of the most potent symbols was the small table at which she wrote, it was hardly big enough to hold a sheet of paper. We went on to the National Trust house and gardens at Hinton Ampner where we enjoyed a picnic in glorious sunshine. The next meeting is on the second Tuesday in September when June Moran will talk about the life and influence of our founder, Lady Denman.
Chidham WI report June 2013
Our June meeting heard Ian Everest give a fascinating presentation on a Sussex farm in the 1950's. Using original film taken by the farmer's son, he documented a year in the life of Manor Farm when forty men were employed to do the heavy manual work associated with arable farming and rearing cattle. Bringing us up to date, he showed us the details of sale of all the farm buildings as private houses and told us that the land was now owned and farmed remotely by a farmer who lived miles away. The footage triggered memories of local farming for some of our members.

On June 18th a number of members went to the Shoreham Lifeboat station which is open to the public. They saw the Tamar Class lifeboat and were very impressed by how spotlessly clean it was! Apparently it is washed, dried and polished after every launch. A computerised system which controls navigation frees the crew for life saving activities and improves safety.
The lifeboat can save 44 people within the boat in a self-righting situation and 118 people in a no self-righting situation.
60% of the money raised for the RNLI comes from legacies and the rest from sales and donations.
The lifeboat station is well worth a visit: details can be found on their website.
Chidham WI report May 2013
The President outlined the history of the resolution process in the WI and the reasons for them. Beginning in 1918 the process gave rural women an opportunity to air their opinions and a voice even before they had the vote.
The discussion on the current resolution which urges the government to take an active (but undefined role) in the protection of the High Street was then thrown open to the floor and a lively debate began. Members recalled local shops and some colourful stories and characters: one local sweet shop owner who lived in Christmas Cottage is reputed to have retired to bed each night with the takings of the shop having pulled up a rope ladder behind her so that no one could steal from her, there being no staircase in the house.

Many members are confident users of the internet and shop regularly on it; others anticipated a time when they would use it, all realise that it is not possible to turn the clock back to a more golden era when a daily excursion to the shops with a basket over one’s arm was a feature of many women’s lives.
Overall the feeling of the meeting was that the resolution lacked definition and clarity and the meeting voted to oppose it. However, we all feel a responsibility towards supporting our local shops and services and will continue to support them in whatever way we can.

Chidham WI report April 2013

Driving for Freedom was the subject at our April meeting. This charity,which is based at the Goodwood Estate, provides coach driving for the disabled who would not be able to ride a horse. The Duchess of Richmond has been very supportive and has even provided land for a paddock with facilities for the ponies, riders and volunteers.

Unlike their sister organisation Riding for the Disabled, carriage drivers have to be 14years of age upwards. They suffer from a various disabilities such as rheumatoid arthritis, strokes, cerebral palsy, brain injuries and conditions resulting from road accidents.The ponies are carefully selected for their temperaments with specially adapted bridles and reins which can be used by the disabled driver as well as the able bodied driver who accompanies them.


Although some drivers can climb into the carriages with the aid of steps and help from the volunteers, ramps for wheelchairs, which are clamped in place, mean that nobody is excluded. Volunteers are on hand at all times to ensure the safety of the drivers,

The success of this organisation was obvious from the slide show of riders who were clearly enjoying the freedom and independence provided by carriage driving.

Several WI members provided horse related items for an interesting display including horse shoes, a bridle, a painting and photos of a member's daughter who is a keen horsewoman.

Chidham WI report March 2013

Unfortunately, our speaker was snowed in this month and was unable to give his talk on the policeman's lot. Instead, members enjoyed the chance to socialise over tea and cakes and to catch up on local news and events.

Chidham WI Febrary meeting
Over fifty members and visitors met in St Wilfrid's Hall for the February meeting as the Village hall is still undergoing refurbishment.
The speaker, John Bowers, talked frankly about his life as an offender. Having spent over fifteen years in various prisons around the country, he eventually turned his life around and now he speaks to school groups about his experiences as part of personal and social education courses which are part of every school's curriculum.
Chidham WI January meeting
At the January meeting Jonathon Jones spoke to us in the voice and poetry of Rudyard Kipling. Born in India in 1865, Kipling’s life was eventful and rich.
Although he experienced deep personal losses with the deaths of two of his three children his contribution to the literary life of the nation was immense and he played an important role in the work of the Imperial War Graves Commission after the Great War. Sometimes a controversial figure in matters of nationalism and patriotism, Kipling’s reputation remains high when the work itself is properly studied.
Fittingly, the presentation was rounded off by a moving and sensitive reading of “If”- a poem known to us all but which we heard perhaps with fresh ears.
Chidham WI
October meeting
At the October meeting Geoff May gave a very interesting and stimulating talk on the development of the Ordnance Mapping survey. Following its inception out of the need to know about the country during the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745 to its current digital transformation at the cutting edge of map making, the Ordnance survey and the men who worked for it have a worthy and fascinating record of service. This talk was very much enjoyed by everyone and for some recalled memories of the WW2 bombing of Southampton when the headquarters of the OS were destroyed.
Chidham WI September meeting

Mike Collins, a radio presenter with Wave 105 which covers the Solent area gave a 'behind the scenes' glimpse of local radio.
Mike presents a daily programme which includes a 'Happy Hour' between 9am and 11am.  His choice of music and items of interest are specifically aimed at their target audience - typically women aged 35-54.  National news items are given a local twist and the weather forecast always mentions three local places.

 During his time as a presenter he has interviewed Rod Stewart, Cheryl Cole, Take That, Lady GaGa, Ronan Keating and Kylie Minogue, but he gave no secrets away.
Chidham WI July meeting report
Members braved the elements on Chichester Harbour as they took a solar boat trip this week. Departing from Itchenor, the boat went inland towards Dell Quay as conditions were considered to be too cold and windy to go out towards the sea. There was a very interesting commentary about the craft on the water and other sites of interest. Afterwards everyone returned to the village hall to enjoy a cream tea.
The WI resumes its regular monthly meetings in September.

Chidham WI June report
Lesley Chamberlain, a voluntary assistant county organiser for the Sussex arm of the National Gardens Scheme, gave a talk which covered the basics of design in a garden with a particular focus on easy maintenance and a relaxed approach to planting. She used examples from planting at Chelsea and other gardens in the National Gardens Scheme to illustrate her ideas. Did you know that all the plants at the Chelsea Flower show are in pots ready for easy dismantling at the end of the show?
see http://www.ngs.org.uk/

Chidham WI May Meeting

The main business of the May meeting was the resolution shortly to be debated at the National Conference of the WI at the Royal Albert Hall at the end of May. The motion “calls upon the Government to increase investment in the training, employment and retention of midwives in England and Wales to ensure services are adequately resourced and are able to deliver a high standard of care.”
There was lively discussion on the motion with many members expressing concern about the wording of the motion; however the motion was carried by a small margin.
Judy Wilson, WI advisor was in attendance at the meeting.

Chidham WI April meeting
Sarah Beard “Herbs in our Gardens”

Herbalist Sarah Beard gave a lively and enthusiastic talk about the history of herbalism and the uses of herbs in the present day.

The earliest written account of herbalism dates from AD 50 but it is clear that the oral tradition predates that with the Druids. Herbalists have often been a “persecuted breed” and in the early part of the Second World War herbalism was illegal. However, herbalism is now recognised as having a valuable part to play in health and welfare and many pharmaceutical companies would like to know more about the properties of plants and how they can be exploited.

A lively discussion followed and some members related anecdotes of their own about cures and recovery after the use plant remedies.

Chidham WI March meeting

Mar 13 “Thank you Canine Partners for helping me to rediscover my life”- canine partner Paul Mckenzie

Malcolm Wells, MBE gave a talk on the work of Canine Partners for Independence, a charity which transforms the lives of people with disabilities by pairing them with trained dogs who assist in all aspects of daily living. After a lengthy training for the dogs and a shorter assessment for the humans, both undergo a residential period where they bond before going home. The talk was truly inspirational and left us all wanting to know more about this wonderful work.
Canine Partners is based near Midhurst but you may already have seen the dogs and their trainers out and about in Chichester. Find out more from caninepartners.org.uk.

Chidham WI February meeting
The speaker for the February meeting was Sue Biddle, a graphologist, who gave an introduction to handwriting analysis.

Although the first graphology book was published in Bologna in 1625, it was not until 1919 that “brain writing” was taken seriously in Britain. Graphology is now used in recruitment, forgery detection, compatibility testing, and self-development activities.

Our handwriting is as individual as are our fingerprints and it changes throughout our lives, depending on our experiences and our psychological health. Although we all probably started out with a basic style, spacing and letter formation can dramatically alter the appearance of writing in the adult phase.

Our signatures can range from being purposefully designed (Jimmy Saville) to being totally illegible (late Richard Nixon), but beware - they say a lot about us.

Chidham WI January meeting  
A Village Community Event was vividly brought to life by Caroline Davis. The Chidham Millenium Map which is on display in St Mary's Church, Chidham, was the subject of our January meeting. She described its story from initial idea to completion in 2000.

In 1999 communities were invited to create a map in any medium to celebrate the millennium. Caroline ‘volunteered' to design and co-ordinate the project for Chidham using fabric. She showed us her original drawings using maps owned by the County Council, and her overall design incorporating many local landmarks as well as flora and fauna specific to this area.
Over 200 questionnaires were distributed in the village, from which a small group volunteered to work on the map. Caroline produced ‘kits' with clear instructions with fabric so that small sections could be worked on at home and then assembled to create a coherent design. The main techniques used were ‘stitch and flip' patchwork, fabric painting and embroidery.

During a village ‘Open Day' visitors to Caroline's house were invited to put a stitch on to the railway line thus involving as many people as possible.
Chidham WI December meeting

The subject of the 86 th WI Birthday meeting in December was “Dickens at Christmas”.
Vera Hughes and David Weller from Chester House Productions performed readings in costume from a range of texts, starting with The Pickwick Papers.
The sombre “Christmas Day in the Workhouse” told a heart rending story of starvation in 19th century England, apparently based on the Andover workhouse.
It ended on a lighter note with Ebenezer Scrooge's transformation in “A Christmas Carol” into a generous and enlightened employer to Bob Cratchet.

Everyone was pleased to join in with festive tea and birthday cake. Christmas presents were distributed to everyone as they left.

Chidham WI reaches out across the world!

For the first time last year, Chidham WI made and sold Christmas puddings from the Village Hall. This year the venue for the grand WI pudding mix was St Wilfrid's.

However since last year the fame of the WI puddings had spread worldwide, or at least as far as Japan, and a film company specialising in food films for the Japanese Government was on hand to record the event.

The morning's activities at the hall were filmed and then the film crew moved on to a member's house where she demonstrated the process in more detail, helped by her granddaughter. After several hours filming the pudding was finally complete and the crew went away (with puddings!)

We are particularly grateful to Pam Kennedy and Annabelle who worked so hard during the filming.

Our initial contact came via the Chidham and Hambrook Village website and proves the importance of maintaining a vibrant WI input on the world wide web.
This year we made and sold 48 puddings.

Chidham WI
Christmas Puddings

Order forms
together with payment, should be returned to:
Chidham WI c/o Drifters, Broad Road , Hambrook
(just 3 doors south of the Post Office)
posted Oct 13
The home-made mix will be sold in small (£4.50) or large (£9) basins ready to boil or steam at home. Once it is cooked it can be reheated in the microwave. Wherever possible we have used Fair Trade ingredients.
Christmas Puddings should be collected from the Village Hall on Saturday, Nov 26th between 10.30 and noon.
October 2011 meeting report
Barbara Cowans gave a practical demonstration on “Flower arranging for the Terrified”. She made three very different arrangements – a posy for the table, a modern arrangement in a structured style and a striking and topical autumnal arrangement featuring aspects of Hallowe’en. Her talk was amusing and inspirational: she encouraged members to be brave and to use what they found in their gardens, especially foliage, dried seed heads and berries.
A photographic display of flower arrangements in St Mary’s Church had been collated by Nita Fielder and Barbara was very complimentary about what had been achieved. Members were very encouraged by her comments.
The vote of thanks was given by Marlene Whalen.

September 2011 meeting report

“One Day's Service. A lifetime of Support”

This motto is the bedrock for the work of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Families Association (SSAFA) which works through paid and voluntary workers to support service and ex-service personnel and their families in times of need.

After a short introduction to the history of the Association which was founded in 1885, Michèle Chapman-Andrews went on to describe her work as a voluntary case worker in Portsmouth . She spoke movingly about meeting the needs of service personnel and their families in a practical and friendly way. Anyone who has served in the Forces is eligible for assistance and this extends to their dependents as well. The SSAFA staff deal with housing, debt, the provision of aids for living, respite care and anything else which comes their way. They work with charities and benevolent funds to get access to funds but do not directly allocate money themselves.

This little known charity has been doing amazing work for 125 years and will no doubt continue to be needed in the future.

Chidham WI July meeting

The last meeting before the summer break was a garden party. Thirty eight members enjoyed a Chidham cream tea, raffle, bring and buy, and general social time in one of our member's lovely garden. Hats were worn!

Over the summer break there will be walks and the annual quiz at North Mundham where we will be represented by two teams.

May 2011 Meeting and Chidham WI Out and about –

Twenty members visited the St Mary's Hospital which is situated in a quiet corner of St Martin 's Square, Chichester last week. The extraordinary building which was the original hospital has the second largest roof in England . It is set in tranquil gardens, bounded on three sides by Georgian buildings.

Visits are by appointment; staff members are available to lead the tour and are a fund of information. This is well worth a visit.

The walking group enjoyed a walk and picnic on the Trundle. This was made even more interesting by the sight of the now well known horse's head sculpture being loaded and taken back to Goodwood on a low loader.

 
A group of nine members reported for cobweb duty on Wednesday to give the Village Hall a good spring clean after the long winter. A very sociable and hardworking morning was rounded off with a light lunch at the hall. Thanks to all who came to help. We hope everyone notices the difference!
Thanks are due to the Pennys who hosted a coffee morning and plant sale in their lovely garden last week in aid of WI funds. Mike worked all winter to raise plants for sale and we really appreciate his hard work.

At the May meeting we debated the two resolutions which will be presented at our national conference in June. One resolution concerns the development of huge, factory style dairy and pig farms – “ mega farms” – for which planning permission is being sought and the other asks the government to protect local libraries in spite of economic difficulties.

Both motions were strongly supported by the membership. Look out for the reporting of them on national news in early June!
April 2011 Meeting:
Richard Williamson's talk about Chichester Harbour

The diverse habitat which supports plants and wildlife in and around Chichester Harbour was the subject of a slide show and talk by Richard Williamson.

Members are familiar with Richard's interesting weekly articles in a local newspaper, so the meeting was very well attended with several people bringing visitors.

The national importance of the harbour and shoreline ecosystems was beautifully illustrated with slides, accompanied by Richard's fascinating explanations and anecdotes. Who will forget the heron hitching a ride on a fish lorry in Holland , taking regular trips from the quayside to Amsterdam, or the chicken travelling on a lorry from Sussex to Edinburgh .
Several members were presented with birthday posies, and a birthday card was given to Oscar who regularly attends our meetings with his grandmother, Margaret Briggs.

March 2011 meeting.
Gail Ward - Belarus and the after effects of Chernobyl

Gail is a local photographer who has travelled to many difficult parts of the world. She has become involved in work supporting the SOS Children's Villages which operate in countries undergoing crises and which provide non-governmental aid to children.

She showed a group of photographs which charted a visit she paid to Belarus where the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, now 25 years ago, is still a real and present threat to the health and welfare of children and adults. We were moved by the courage and dignity of those photographed and we reflected soberly on our own privileged lives in Chidham and Hambrook.

First Aid

Chidham and Hambrook can now rest assured as 12 WI members are now ready to leap into action with resuscitation techniques if the need arises! Linda Habgood, a First Aid trainer, kindly donated a free training session this month. Members were brought up to date with current thinking in First Aid and given the opportunity to practice on long suffering dummies.   We also know whether Holby City and Casualty are getting it right. (They aren't)

'Our president, Gillian Hale, practises chest compressions' (left)

Denman College

Fourteen members travelled to Marcham, near Oxford for a day visit to the WI college which offers a wide variety of day and residential courses to members and no-members. The college was founded at the end of WW2 with the aim of widening educational possibilities in the field of cooking, craft and lifestyle courses to women. The original house has been added to and the accommodation is now comparable with a good quality modern hotel.

County WI groups have furnished the bedrooms so there is a degree of individuality which reflects different areas of the country. The college also offers B&B facilities at reasonable rates to members and non-members alike.
We shall be considering the possibility of organising a group residential visit in the future – members do need to support the college and ensure that it continues to fulfil and develop appropriately the original aims of the founder – Lady Denman.
Chidham WI web report for February 2011 - Chinese Whispers
This was the subject of the talk given by Chidham WI member, Janet Dummer, who offered to address our meeting at short notice. The title refers to the way her chosen path through life was governed by things outside her control, and how a series of small changes resulted in an entirely different outcome from the one planned.
Her decision to apply for Junior School teacher training looked fairly straightforward, but various changes outside her control resulted in a position teaching ‘dress' to groups of senior girls. Then new government initiatives decreed that boys should also learn these skills. So, another ‘Chinese Whisper' and Janet's dressmaking skills were adapted to suit boys.

Her love of decorative needlework led her to join a quilting group who raise money for various local charities. A six month project entitled ‘Chinese Whispers' illustrated the creative nature of appliqué and patchwork. It involved small groups of about 6 members. Working in sequence, all six designed and stitched their own sampler inspired by the previous member's work. The finished sequence showed the gradual progression from a simple group of fruit, cheese and a bottle of wine through various beautiful samplers finishing with a picture of a cottage.

Janet was a very informative speaker with a very lively and creative mind, coupled with a very wry sense of humour. The members were very impressed by her beautiful quilts and samplers which illustrated her talk.

Chidham WI web report for January 2011

Our advertised speaker was unable to attend the meeting because of illness. Bob Read stepped into the breach and entertained us all with some rousing games of Housey Housey (Bingo to some!) and a quiz designed to get the brain working after the long holiday. It was much enjoyed by all.

The 2011 programme is now available

Chidham WI December report
The festive season got started for Chidham WI with an early Christmas lunch at the Park Hotel Chichester. Over forty members enjoyed a traditional meal and good company in pleasant surroundings.

..

Our meeting on December 14 th was a special occasion as we celebrated our 85th Birthday.

The Southdown Ladies Harmony Chorus – Cascade – entertained us with close harmony songs and carols. It was a very enjoyable afternoon, rounded off with a Christmas tea, birthday cake and magnificent raffle, organised as always, by Bianca Harrison. Santa Claus had visited earlier in the afternoon and left presents for everyone!
Our next meeting in January will be a DIY entertainment as our billed speaker is unwell.
Saturday, November 20th
Traditional home-made Christmas puddings made on the grand scale on 'Stir Up Sunday' weekend by the Chidham WI. For those who purchased a pudding, you could make a wish as you stirred the mix. I am not sure that your wish is guaranteed, (maybe next year..?) but you can be sure of an excellent pudding.
Annual General Meeting - November 9th Thirty members battled through the floods last Tuesday to attend the AGM of Chidham WI. It had been a busy year with several new initiatives – “swishing” clothes, completing the WI Triathlon, and taking part in many of the celebrations surrounding the 800th anniversary of St Mary's Church. Fund raising had been particularly successful with the “Chidham Tea” attracting visitors from along the south coast and the Isle of Wight .
Membership has risen and the group is thriving with enthusiastic and talented people who give generously of their time, in preparation for meetings and in the organisation of extra activities each month.

June Moran, the WI advisor attended the AGM and paid tribute to Delph Archer who has retired from the Presidency this year after thirteen years of consecutive service. Delph's enthusiasm and capacity for hard work has contributed hugely to the success of Chidham WI and its continued existence in the village today. Delph was presented with a special book which records her time in office through photographs.

The new President of the WI, Gillian Hale, was elected unanimously by the membership.
Saturday
Nov 20th
Last orders Wednesday, November 17th.
Order form
Christmas Puddings from Chidham WI
on 'Stir Up' Sunday weekend
If you would like a traditional home-made Christmas pudding look no further than Chidham Village Hall on Saturday, November 20th between 10.30 and noon . Chidham WI is making to order, small (£4.50)and large(£9) Christmas puddings for you to cook at home. Puddings must be pre-ordered and prepaid. Order forms are available here, or from Hambrook Post Office, St Mary's Church, Chidham, and Luscombe's, Station Road , Bosham. Last orders must be received by Wednesday, November 17th. Simple cooking instructions will accompany every pudding. Coffee will be served during the morning.

Chidham WI web report October

Diane Levantine from The Snowdrop Trust spoke most movingly about the birth, development and work of the Trust. Their nurses, counsellors and volunteers currently work with eighty four children and their families across West Sussex, providing financial and emotional support to children between the ages of 0 - 19 with serious, life threatening or terminal illness. Formed seventeen years ago, the Trust now raises and spends over £300,000 a year to ensure that help is available when needed. The needs are unique to every family and so is the help which is given. We were all struck by the simple and sane message from Diane – you listen to what people need and want, and then you try to make it happen.

The snowdrop represents” Hope and Consolation” in the language of flowers and that is surely what Diane and her co-volunteers are trying to achieve. We were all very affected by her talk.

www.thesussexsnowdroptrust.com


Chidham WI - past and present
September 18th, 2010

As part of the St. Mary’s celebration of their 800th year, Chidham WI organized an exhibition of their own archive which covers 85 years of WI presence in the village.

This exhibition, originally compiled by the late Doreen Stewart, provides a fascinating account of the beginnings, development and daily life of families and organizations in the village. As a WI we have added to the exhibition and we hope that our archives will be just as interesting to future generations. A number of visitors enjoyed the opportunity to look at maps and photographs and to read some original minutes from the early days of the WI.

Copies of Doreen Stewart’s book, “Some Aspects of the History of Chidham and Nutbourne”, price £5, can be obtained from Delph Archer or Ann Read.

Chidham WI meeting September 13th At the first meeting after the summer break members met for Alan Green's lecture on the Georgian buildings of Chichester . This fascinating talk held everyone spell bound as Mr Green revealed the secrets of Chichester 's medieval buildings with their later facades and the new Georgian buildings which are so familiar to us today. We all intend to spend time in Chichester looking up to see the Fareham chimney pots which are a feature of the houses in the city!

Sept 18th 2010, Local History, Chidham Village Hall
Are you interested in history? Are you interested in the lives of ordinary and extraordinary people?

Chidham WI is holding an exhibition of maps, photographs, and scrapbooks about the people who have lived and worked in Chidham and the local area for several hundred years. This is a rare opportunity to see artefacts which not usually on public display.

The exhibition will be open from 10am – 4pm on Saturday, 18 th September in Chidham Village Hall. Entry to the exhibition is free.

Chidham WI will be serving coffee and cake in the morning and cream teas in the afternoon.

July meeting

On one of the less good days of the summer, we met in the garden of Bickley for our garden party. However, the threatening rain held off and we all enjoyed a magnificent Chidham cream tea.

Although we do not meet in August, many members will be walking, cycling and swimming as part of the WI TRI challenge. We'll be posting photographs later in the year! We shall also be sending teams to the summer quiz in August and have already held a swop afternoon to exchange fashion gems we no longer need.

The autumn programme will begin on September 14 th with a talk on the history of Chichester by local historian, Alan Green.

June Meeting - Organic Food at Tuppenny Barn

A new way of life growing foods without chemicals and modern intensive methods was a dream turned into reality by our speaker, Maggie Haynes.

After a career in the army she bought a field in 2005 and set about putting her ideals into practise. By involving the local community, and in particular the children, the field now has a young orchard, raised vegetable beds, soft fruit, a pond, beehives and a wild flower meadow.

Everything is reused or recycled. Compost is created by covering piles of weeds with black polythene till ready for use. Her ‘no dig' technique appealed to the members as it involves just piling on layers of compost to smother any weeds. Children are fascinated by the diverse wildlife attracted to the project, which include a friendly robin, frogs, toads, sloeworms, and even a duck sitting on her eggs. A great project by a local person.


Chidham WI May Resolutions Meeting

The Resolution ”This Meeting urges HM Government to introduce clear and mandatory country of origin labelling on all meat, poultry and fish products sold in this country” was carried unanimously by the meeting after some discussion.
It was felt that we should aspire to the highest standards of animal husbandry and the best possible food production environment for the well being of the population and this would not be achieved without the full and effective backing of legislation.

Monica Sutcliffe from “Pets as Therapy” gave us an interesting outline of the work of the charity. The stars of the show were Layla, a rescued labrador who is already working to lift the spirits of all she visits, and Brodie, a member's labrador who accompanies the walkers regularly.

Brodie was put through a short series of tests to see whether he would be suitable for the work and we were delighted to see him do well.

Gillian Hale, giving the vote of thanks, commented on the atmosphere of relaxation in the room and attributed it to the presence of these lovely dogs.


April meeting
At our April meeting members were entranced by a delightful talk from Richard Williamson on Kingley Vale and its wildlife. We enjoyed his photographs and account of the changes which have taken place over recent years and were kept awake by the intermittent use of bird whistles and calls!

The talk was over all too quickly and discussion continued over tea. You might like to know that we have already booked Mr Williamson for a return date in April 2011!

The end of World War 2 celebrated at Chidham School on 25th February

As part of the 800 year celebrations for St Mary's Church, Chidham WI took part in an evening of nostalgia at Chidham School . Our contribution was a short dramatisation of our monthly meeting, which happened to coincide with the broadcast on the wireless that hostilities had ceased.

The short play was written and directed by Michele Chapman Andrews, whose research revealed a preoccupation with food, and the fate of loved ones who were in the armed forces or were prisoners of war. Resourceful women found ways of feeding families on meagre rations. Many kept chickens, and eggs were a good source of protein. Through a series of short sketches these concerns were discussed in the context of a regular WI meeting. The recording of the actual broadcast by the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, was a moving finale.

Nineteen members took active parts and a great deal of care was taken to ensure authenticity. Costumes were borrowed from the WI costume collection in North Lodge, Chichester , as well as member's own clothes which were ingeniously ‘reworked'.

Michele insisted on careful preparation for the ‘big night' and everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed the rehearsals.


Chidham WI March web report
for our meeting on 9th March. 


Beauty tips for the older skin

Our speaker, Hannah Churcher, was probably the youngest person who has addressed one of our meetings.  She gave a very informative talk about the care and makeup for the 'mature' skin.

She spoke with some authority, as she had trained for three years in Spain and now works on television programmes such as The X factor and Deal or No Deal. 

Members were eager to question her about the various stars she has 'made up' for television, so we learnt a few trade secrets about well known celebrities.  

Linda Barron volunteered for a 'half makeover' so that we could see the effect of good makeup.  She was clearly delighted with the result.    

Chidham WI February web report

Having cancelled the January meeting because of bad weather, members were very pleased to be able to meet together in February. The increasing membership meant that the village hall was filled to capacity to hear Professor Mike Whittle talk about his time working on the Skylab space mission 1973-1974.

Professor Whittle held the meeting spellbound with his talk about his work as a research doctor. His three years at Houston on secondment brought him into contact with all the major players of the time and he was able to show us photographs and film footage which he had taken during launches and space flights. He illustrated his talk with anecdotes and descriptions of the more practical aspects of space flight and we learned that astronauts are rather superstitious people! There is also very little we now do not know about the collection of human waste and how important it is for the research which followed once the astronauts returned to earth! We were also struck by the low tech repairs which were carried out to the Skylab after things had gone wrong on the launch.

This was a really memorable afternoon and very much enjoyed by everyone. Michèle Chapman-Andrews, giving the vote of thanks, spoke for everyone when she said that Professor Whittle had made her understand physics for the first time.

January 2010 meeting cancelled because of the weather

For 2008 and 2009 see archive

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