Category Archives: Magazine Articles

Changes in the air


Already our winter migrants are leaving. Geese and ducks are heading north to their summer breeding grounds including our own pintail and wigeon ducks and brent geese. However, their departure means that soon the first of our summer visitors will be touching down on our shores signalling that spring is on its way.

The first of these, are wheatears and can be found along our shingle beaches and in open farmland. The smart little male has a grey crown and back, black wings and an orange flush to its breast. Sporting a black patch through its eye and a white stripe above the eye, it flashes its white rump as it flies ahead.

The smallest of our swallows and martins, the sand martin, is close behind and like the wheatear has spent the winter in Africa. Its upperparts are a uniform brown and underparts white, with a distinct brown band across the chest. They zoom through the skies, fast and agile on pointed wings, catching insects over open fields and water.

As the honks, quacks and whistles of our leaving wildfowl fades, a new sound emerges with the arrival of the first warblers. The male blackcap as its name suggests sports a ‘black cap’, while the female is similarly distinguished by her ‘brown cap’. It has a typical hard unmusical call, but its song is a beautiful rich, fluting affair which few other birds can rival.

Willow warblers and chiffchaffs epitomise the unfortunate nickname of ‘little brown jobs’ that this group often get tagged with and are almost impossible to distinguish apart. The key to identifying them is their voices. The chiffchaff repeats its name ‘chiff, chaff’ over and over as regular as a metronome while the willow warbler’s song is a wonderfully evocative downward spiral and one my favourite sounds of spring.

We are busy preparing for another summer visitor, the little tern, for which Pagham Harbour is particularly important and internationally recognised. This delightful little seabird will start arriving in April. Staff and Volunteers are working hard to remove vegetation from Tern Island to encourage them to nest here and away from the shingle spit where they are vulnerable to disturbance. If you would like to help out on one of these work days and get a different view of the harbour, contact us on 01423 641508 or email



Make Chidham Lane safer, not busier and more dangerous!

school parking

The daily lives of most residents, school users and other visitors are affected by the dangerous traffic situation in Chidham Lane and many have grave concerns about safety if the school expands by 50%.


Vehicles regularly mount the pavement where the lane isn’t wide enough.  Parents, children and the disabled often have to walk in the road when cars are parked on the pavements.  At times the lane is so congested it becomes impassable to large vehicles such as fire engines.  Vehicles frequently reverse north and south in the lane in order to pass each other and this happens at the busiest times when tiny tots are crossing the road.  Parents get stressed by insufficient safe, legal parking spaces and residents sometimes get blocked in.  A child has been injured outside the school and in December a much-loved cat was knocked down at school pick-up time resulting in his death.


Many residents were not made aware of the proposal to expand Chidham School due to what they believe to be a flawed consultation procedure and this has caused a great deal of upset.   The Deputy Leader of West Sussex County Council has confirmed that consultation was delegated to the School Governing Body and the school was given the opportunity to publicise the consultation to local residents.   An electronic copy of the consultation document was sent to all parents, teachers and Governors etc., and the School shared a link to the consultation document via the school Twitter account.   8 days after the consultation began, WSCC provided a “Dear Resident” letter which the School displayed on their notice board.  The Parish Council meeting came and went, again with very few knowing of this proposal hence the low attendance of just 4 members of the public.  When it became clear to us that many residents simply wouldn’t know, we joined forces with another resident to hand deliver basic information to those living close to the school.  Unfortunately by then it was too late for anyone to attend the consultation meeting and those without internet access would remain unable to read the consultation document.  However, we understand this resulted in a good many residents being able to express their views before the Governors made their decision to proceed.


This proposal should now become a formal planning application and we would urge everyone to watch out for it if you want to have your say.  WSCC have suggested that this might be in April.


Message to WSCC and The Board of Governors at Chidham School:  many of us don’t have or can’t use the internet, don’t use Twitter, are not parents of children at the school and don’t regularly walk down the dangerous lane to read notice boards.  Please bear this in mind in future.  The sign often placed on the grass at the top of the lane advertising the school fair etc. is great for raising awareness, as is the much-read Village Magazine.  Some residents would also be happy to help with leaflet dropping to share important information, so there are plenty of methods available which are appropriate to our diverse community.


Whether the School expands to provide another 70 places or not, we ALL need a safer Chidham Lane NOW.  Increasing the traffic can only make it more dangerous and more stressful for parents and residents alike.  For safety’s sake, please leave the car at home or use the park-and-stride facilities if you possibly can.

Memories of our trip to India; Girlguiding, Senior Section from Bourne District and friends


In August last year, 12 members of Girlguiding set of for a personally emotional roller coaster of a trip, for 3 weeks, to India. Nothing had prepared us for the smells, the liveliness and the vibrancy of a country that none of us had visited before, and would be glad to return to. India is where we made new friends who will be with us forever, cemented existing friendships and fulfilled challenges that we had set for ourselves.

This trip was to celebrate the 100th birthday for the Senior Section, within the Girl Guides, that caters for members from the age of 14 until 26. It also coinciding with the 50th birthday of Sangam, India which is one of the Girl guiding’s world centres situated throughout the world.

For the first week we had the luxury of travelling around the north of India, as one member of the trip stated at the beginning of the trip, it was like getting out of the airport and the drying heat hit you, and “It felt like being on Mars”, however through air-conditioning in hotels and on coaches we survived this very different type of heat.

We were able to visit iconic monuments to love (The Taj Mahal) and forts that were built for defence and battle, as well as taking a trip on the “Little Train” and having lunch on the top of a mountain. India, we fast worked out, was a country of contradictions, of very rich and very poor, of cleanliness and grime, of culture and survival, but unlike other countries this was just accepted as how it was. We also visited the viceroy’s lodge up in Shimla and temples to Hanuman where the effigy that had been built was over 100ft tall, bright orange, and looked over the city to protect it from bad luck and ill omens. The sacred monkeys around the temple had proved their adaptability which even included using the children’s play park for their own amusement, rather than letting children play.

“We eventually adjusted to the swerving roads and the Indian drivers famously ‘relaxed’ way of driving, and were able to appreciate the stunning views” We also experienced Tok Tok driving at its best, which at one point almost ended up with a cow in the cab of the rickshaw with us.

Each member of the trip seemed to push themselves and challenged themselves throughout the trip. When we got to Sangam, we all took part in leadership programmes and a community action project. I working in a school for Immigrant workers children that was based on a construction site, this was through a charity called Door step School. This programme touched the lives of over 35,000 children and their families. We made teaching tools for the children that we worked with and were accepted with open arms. Other members of our group worked with other charities that had a link to Sangam.

The people that we met could not have been kinder, more accommodating, and seemed to bend over backwards to help us. At times we did start to wonder if we were the attraction rather than the things that we and the other people had gone to see… It felt like we had minor celebrity status and as it was thought to be good luck for a picture to be taken with a blonde person, I would say that we all came out with very different experiences of our trip in India.

I would like to say thank you to all the people who came along to our fundraising events and helping us to go on this once in a life time trip, also those who popped letters through my door and gave us support in many different ways. THANK YOU!!!!

I would also like to invite you to come and hear more about this amazing trip.

 “India Evening” will be on the 24th March 7pm-9pm at St. Wilfred’s Church, Broad Road.

 There will be some badges for sale at £1, activities and a talk about our trip.

So come along and enjoy a Girl Guiding Evening of Fun.

(contributions will be welcomely received towards the equipment and hall hire for the evening.)

3-2-1 and they’re off!


Horse racing was enjoyed by forty-five members and friends of Age Concern, Southbourne when Men’s Shed arranged and ran a fundraising evening on 3rd February. Although it was very windy outside the atmosphere inside the Age Concern hall was warm and friendly with everyone keen to make their fortune on the geegees. Racing, using the new horserace game made by Men’s Shed and out for the first time, was exciting and there were cheers for the leading horses and even louder cheers for those last off the blocks.

The game consists of 6 horses, each a different colour and number and a racetrack with segments marked out on a long cloth, complete with (pretend) water jumps.  Using two dice, one with colours on each face to match the horse and another normal dice to decide how far the chosen horse could move on each turn, the audience were invited to throw for the next move. Before each race the bets were collected by two of the team with most present placing a small bet on a horse of their choice.

Dressed in bright colours and complete with a ‘jockeys cap’, Geoff Collett, Chairman of Southbourne Men’s Shed commentated on the race and announced each move of the horses to the delight and amusement of everyone especially when he gave a special mention of those unlucky enough to fall at the water jumps.

With three of the six races completed a fish & chip super, supplied by the chippy in Bosham was served and thoroughly enjoyed during the interval.

Racing soon resumed and for the final race each horse was auctioned with some very good bids received. The winning bidders were able to move their horses along the course to the cheers of the crowd with the Blue horse winning half of all monies taken in the auction for its’ lucky owner. The evening was considered a great success and Men’s Shed were pleased to present the takings to John Southgate, Acting Chairman of Age Concern Southbourne. It is hoped that another race night will be arranged for the autumn.

Note; The race game is available for use for fundraising events, weddings and family gatherings etc. with or without our small team of operators. For details call in at Men’s Shed, New Road, Southbourne. PO10 8JX weekday mornings, find us on the web at or ring 07539 103015.

Success at RHS Wisley for Bosham – AGAIN!

Wisley tree 055

Twice in one year Bosham School Gardening Club have displayed their skills at Wisley.  This time we submitted a design for a Christmas tree on the theme of a fairy tale.  To our amazement our design was one of only ten trees chosen as winners and we were invited to go up to Wisley with all our hand -made decorations and dress our tree as part of the spectacular RHS Christmas extravaganza.

We chose Hansel and Gretal .  We collected driftwood and pebbles  from the beach, pine cones from the woods and leaves from the garden.  We even collected our own seeds and made them into garlands to represent the trail that Hansel and Gretal left.

One dull day in December we headed off to Wisley for a memorable day.  The children were a credit to the school and their parents.  Once again we cannot forget to thank our very own Grandpa Tomato (as the children have affectionately named him!) who comes in each week to help and inspire us in Gardening Club and all the parents who supported the trip from providing transport to untangling maple leaf garlands!

I can’t help wondering what 2017 has in store – watch this space!Wisley tree 043 Wisley tree 045

Music4 Festival at New Life Church

Music4-Bourne Community College

Seven years in the running, New Life Church in Emsworth has held their annual pocket-sized music festival, Music4, on behalf of the Army Benevolent Fund, St Wilfrid’s Hospice and the Bourne Community College. Hundreds of people turned up for this massively successful event, despite the unpredictable weather, and helped to raise £3,000 for the three local charities. There was fun for all the family, with bouncy castles, face painting, games and food being provided by scores of volunteers, alongside live music from superb local talent. Music4-St. Wilfrid's Hospice

The Music4 festival is another part of New Life Church’s continual drive to help serve and bring value to the local community. From Parents & Toddlers’ groups, Youth events, Seniors’ meetings and much more, New Life also proudly supports Lifecentre and Hope for Justice as part of its outreach into the surrounding community. For more information visit

Historical Talks at the Record Office

BRAY 3-2 stitched together cWest Sussex residents are being invited to a new series of talks at the Record Office in Chichester.

The talks will explore the centre’s vast collections of documents, photographs and film which date from 780 AD to the present day.



Starting with Tuesday 29th September, there will be a talk by Matthew Jones and Rhodri Lewis; see the poster above for details.

On Tuesday 27 October, there will be a talk entitled “Tales from the Rails” – stories from the early days of steam, which will draw upon the vast collection of railway film footage held at the Record Office.

The focus will then turn to the literary world with a talk on the Victorian novelist Anna Eliza Bray (24 November) who had connections with a number of famous writers, including Sir Walter Scott and the Poet Laureate Robert Southey, along with two of his children who lived at West Tarring. The title of the talk is “A Peep at the Pixies”: exploring the life and literary archive of Anna Eliza Bray (1790-1883).

And, on 26 January, guest speaker Dr Frank Gray will give a talk on the work of Screen Archive South East, drawing on film from the collections stored at the Record Office.

The talks start at 7.00pm on the last Tuesday of the month (except December).

Tickets cost £7.50 each (pre-booking is essential) and refreshments will be provided.

To book or find out more, contact the Record Office on 01243 753602 or visit Orchard Street, Chichester, PO19 1DD.

Alternatively, visit and view the ‘What’s on at the Record Office’ page.

Evonprint’s Photography Competition


Evonprint, print, design and marketing specialists, are launching their Love Sussex charity calendar campaign. They asked local people to nominate their favourite place in Sussex and now have the winning 12 locations. They are now asking people to take a photograph of one of the 12 locations with the hope that it will be included in the calendar which will be sold in Chestnut Tree House shops and on Evonprint’s website to raise funds for the children’s hospice.

The 12 winning photographers, chosen by a panel of judges, will be fully credited within the calendar and will each receive a hamper of goodies worth £150.

The deadline to submit photographs is Monday 31st August and all entries need to be emailed to or posted to Evonprint’s Love Sussex Competition, c/o PMW Communications, Stane Court, Stane Street, Billingshurst, West Sussex RH14 9HP.

The winning 12 locations are:

Chichester Cathedral, Long Furlong, Petworth Deer Park, the Doughnut Sculpture on Brighton Beach, Cuckmere Haven, Tilgate Park, St Leonards Beach, Chanctonbury Hill, Goring Beach, Bury Hill, Kingley Vale and Bosham.

Visit their website:


Book of Remembrance at The Spring Havant

image 8

As part of The Spring’s commemoration of the outbreak of WWI, local artist Margaret Marks has been working in tandem with our local community to create a stunning textile book. This beautifully embroidered book consisting of eighteen panels illustrates a poignant poem found among the papers of a Havant local that once belonged to a relative who served in the war.

This specially-commissioned Book of Remembrance complements a separate exhibition in our Sadler Gallery utilising one hundred textile poppies created by locals to illustrate a poignant reminder of those who lost their lives in the conflict.

Until 29th October. Free entry.

« Older Entries Recent Entries »