WI Articles – August 2017

Southbourne WI Throughout the Years

Southbourne WI was originally formed in 1920.  A handbook for 1976 shows that there

were 101 members.  They met in the Old Church Hall which was a wooden building by the church. Meeting were in the afternoons in the winter and evenings in the summer.

During the War members made pies and money collected was donated for the Village Hall kitchen.  Groups included handicrafts, cookery drama and a darts team who met at the Traveller’s Joy and competed in County Competitions.

By 1991 there were only 37 members and with no volunteers for Committee or Officers the decision was made to suspend the institute in 1992.

A new WI was opened in February 2005 by WIA’s June Moran and Chris Potter. Fifteen ladies attended this first meeting and Moya Joyce agreed to be President, Jean Pearce was Secretary and Linda Fleming was appointed as Treasurer.  As none of the new Committee had experience of a WI a certain amount of direction was required and June was of great help with this.  More members joined the Committee and a reasonable programme of speakers for the first year was agreed.  The meetings were then held in St. John’s Church Hall.

In April 2006 Jean devised a newsletter and named it The Southbourne Style.  It has been running ever since and we have now got to number 117.

There are many happy memories of these early days, such as a beautiful summer’s day visit to West Dean Gardens, and a very wet day at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum – which included an open air fashion parade – with some very wet outfits!  We went to the Hawth Theatre in Crawley to hear Simon Weston, the Falklands veteran speak.  We visited North Lodge, the West Sussex WI headquarters in Chichester and were fascinated by the vintage clothes in the Costume Department there.

We had Christmas lunch at Southdown’s College and a visit to the Brighton Ice Show.  Our summer tea parties are still held in the pleasant garden area at the side of the Church.  Though one very pleasant afternoon was spent in Mary Limburn’s beautiful garden – on the hottest day of that year so we were all trying to find a shady spot.

In January 2007 we joined the Bosmere Group, this was a joint group of nearby WI’s – Southbourne, Emsworth Morning, Emsworth Afternoon, Emsworth North and Mengeham on Hayling Island.  Each WI took control for 2 years.

The first group meeting was held in St. James’ Hall Emsworth and was very well attended with 80 members present.  A variety of meetings and entertainment were presented in those early years, including Beetle Drives and one memorable meeting when the Pitch Pipers entertained us.              Christine Bury organised a Social Evening at The Langstone Sailing Club to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee where entertainment came from the New Forest Dixieland Jazz Band.

Moya retired as President in 2007 after nearly 3 years and her place was taken by Ruth Heelan.  During her term of office we visited Mount Folly Nurseries, had cream tea at Stansted, fish and chips at the Still and West in Old Portsmouth, strolled around Chichester Marina and visited the Apuldram Centre – all followed by lunch!  A visit to the Chichester Theatre to see Calendar Girls was well attended.

Linda Fleming our Treasurer resigned in 2010 and Mary Limburn took over the post.  We were sorry to hear sometime later that Linda had passed away, several members attended her funeral.

June Moran took over as President for the following year and led the way with various changes.  As our membership numbers were growing in September 2012 we moved our meetings to the Village Hall which gave us a lot more space to spread out and organise a table top, a better reception table and start a book stall, and more space for speakers.

Our social events continued with a visit to Fontwell Races for two years running – some members even went home with winnings!

Mid monthly lunches were popular for a long time and we paid visits to pubs and other venues along the A249.  In May 2013 an outing was organised to the Southdowns’ College for an afternoon tea with FlySOC which was a training session for potential Cabin Crew members from the college to practise their hostessing skills.  To celebrate 100 years of the WI there was a memorable outing to the gardens of Arundel Castle where members were encouraged to take a picnic – courage was certainly needed for this as it poured with rain!

Jean Pearce retired as Secretary in December 2012 and Mo Grummitt was elected in her place.

We were sorry when the Bosmere Group discontinued in 2013 due to the closure of some of the WI’s concerned, namely Emsworth Afternoon and Mengeham, Emsworth North had already closed in 2009 with several of their members joining Emsworth Afternoon.

June Moran President and Mary Limburn Treasurer retired in 2015 and Margaret Ambler was elected President and continues with great support from Mo as Secretary and Beryl as Treasurer.

We continue to have a very good selection of speakers which have included:  Traditional American Rug Making, the Red Cross, and Treasures of Petworth House.  We have all learnt about Chcolate, the connection between Vanity Fair and the Ladies of Waterloo to mention but a few.

Recently the delightful Elisa Mott talked of her experiences in making glass jewellery.  Visits have included Blendworth House, followed by cream tea, lunch at ‘The Fox Goes Free’ where the first West Sussex WI meeting took place in 1915.  Some members went to London to see the musical show ‘The Girls’ which was thoroughly enjoyed.

We now look forward to our visit to Harbourside Garden in Prinsted and a day visit to Denman College.

Our membership now stands at 52.  There have been many more memories that are not mentioned here but all in all we have had many happy years and long may this continue.

Mo Grummitt – with thanks to contributors Jean Pearce, Audrey Newland, Judy Wilson and Margaret Ambler.



We proceeded as usual with our president Maggie Borseberry opening the meeting after our delicious well attended lunch. Our Midsummer Supper was mentioned including tickets  for the event which will be a lively one with music from the shows.

Ann Durney gave an interesting account of her visit to Liverpool for the Resolution Meeting when the resolutions were discussed and voted on the effect of microbeads in the environment gaining 98% of the vote.

Our speaker Sarah Page talked about the work of  B.E.A.T.S the British Earthquake and Tsunami Support Charity a christian charity working in these areas doing essential and very humanitarian work, it is also locally based.

For further information in connection with our W.I. please contact our Sec.Beryl Reynolds on either T.01424 774350 or e-mail beryl@fishbourne.plus.com


Funtington and West Stoke WI Benny Paxton 574828

August is the month when we hold our annual Summer garden lunch, traditionally held in our President’s lovely garden.
It is an opportunity for the members to enjoy delicious food, a glass of wine or something non-alcoholic and chat with friends in the sunshine.
Everything apart from the sunshine is guaranteed, so we are all looking forward to August 18th.
Recently Kay Ashby, a member of our branch, gave us a fascinating talk about the history of embroidery and how embroidery has changed over the centuries. Many thanks to Kay for an entertaining and informative evening.

Last month several members visited Wakehurst Place. This is a stunning Elizabethan house and gardens owned by the National Trust but leased and managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This botanical garden contains the world’s largest seed conservation project housed in the magnificent
21st architecture of Kew’s Millenium Seed Bank. The visitors were given a very interesting tour of the building, as well as strolling around the house and extensive gardens.
Our next meeting is on Wednesday September 20th at the village hall in West Ashling, beginning at 7pm. The September talk is ‘Shapes and Styles To Flatter Your Figure’. New members are very welcome.