Bosham WI Report

This month, at our Wednesday Meeting, we were asked to vote on the Resolution chosen by all W.I s.   From a short list of resolutions provided by the Federation earlier this year, one had been decided upon by our group which was to ‘Stop female genital mutilation’.  However, this was not adopted countrywide and our approval was sought for the resolution that ‘Mental Health matters as much as Physical’.  This motion was carried and if it is passed at the National AGM the WI will add their voice to those working to have the importance of parity between mental health and physical health recognised.

More serious business over, it was time to be transported to Roman Times!  In fact life around Chichester and Bosham during that period.  John Smith, Archaeologist, revisited us to give an enlightening talk on aspects of that time not usually covered by other experts in the field.  He spoke of roads, buildings, wax tablets, metric measurement, mosaics, carpentry and food and cooking utensils.  Before the Romans came people inhabited round huts of wooden construction and thatch.  These, inevitably, were not long lasting and within a short space of time rotted down and were gone.  The discovery of cement, together with that of clay, was to change the nature of buildings forever.

“Who would have thought that……”   the roads were yes straight, but always elevated in order to prevent flooding, an issue with which we fully identify.  The Romans were intent upon not only walking in and taking over, but bringing improvement and peace on their terms.  They believed that walls were not required as their rule of peaceful order rendered them unnecessary.  It was not until AD 200 that this mind set changed and walls were constructed.

“Who would have thought that …”   mosaics were formed in sand, put in trays, covered with white linen and anchored by water soluble glue.  The relevant room had already been measured and the pattern and colours selected.  A concrete screed was laid, the floor marked out and the mosaics put in place.  The process was rather like working by numbers!  There was one pitfall, it was not unknown for a tile to be laid the wrong way round.

“Who would have thought that….”   our present tools would all have largely been found in the Roman tool set. The same Roman metric coins were in use from Hadrian’s Wall to China.  Wax tablets were used for keeping records on tax returns, which carried on until the revolt of Boadicea when they were burnt.

“Who would have thought that…. “   the very varied shaped pots made by the Romans, and used for cooking, lasted only for about a dozen times and then would smash.  We have problems with waste today but for the Romans the necessity of a pottery dump must have been great!  The network of Roman trade and the transportation of goods was remarkable.   Glass and ceramics were transported safely using straw.  No question of bubble wrap!

The Romans wore what they could make.  Full length tunics of white wool which could be hitched up and later decorated with brooches.  In the summer linen was worn, which had been dyed using a wide range of colours from natural dyes.  Women had long sleeved tunics made from fine white linen.

John Smith enhanced his talk by showing and handing round exhibits of clothing and stone artefacts.  Altogether an enlightening afternoon.

In early May we used the Monday Club bus for a very enjoyable trip to the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park.   The weather was perfect and the rhododendrons and azaleas were at their best as you can see in the photo.    Thanks to Don for driving us.     Future WI events include an outing to Mottisfont Abbey on 12th June and a Midsummer tea at Furzend, Bosham Hoe on 21st June.

At our next meeting, 2.30 on 6th June, Neil Sadler will be speaking to us about ‘A Small Slice of the big Apple’. Visitors are always welcome.