Reports of Past Events

Matinée Musicale

It was sunshine all the way for the Combined Arts Sub-Committee's Matinee Musicale at Fittleworth Village Hall. The strawberries and cream were an added attraction to an afternoon of uplifting singing and music. The WI Choir sang a wide selection of songs, and we were honoured to have the music composer, Christopher Hussey, present to hear the choir sing his challenging song 'The Bosham Bell.'  We were fortunate indeed to have the pleasure of listening to a young and very talented violinist, Amy-Jo Gilbert, and some lovely varied pieces from the Arun Wind Trio. Mezzo Soprano and WI member, Sidonie Winter, had selected songs which fitted so well into the humid Summer weather. There was plenty of humour and stories from Musical Director, Aedan Kerney, including a piano duet!  Throughout all this we were very pleased to have the expert accompanist, Anne Romer.

"Sussex by the Sea"

On 22nd May Lancing Parish hall was packed to capacity when members gathered to celebrate 100 years of the formation of the Sussex Federation of WIs.

In words and music they followed a journey described by Hilaire Belloc as he travelled across our beautiful counties of East and West Sussex taking in the downs, history, great characters and folklore. Tony and Lizzie Gilks (Timespan) portrayed Brighton with its scandals, curios and cures.

Well-known novelist Elly Griffiths who lives in Brighton gave a fascinating talk about her life and books many of which are set in Brighton.

Music was provided by our Federation Choir conducted by Aedan Kerney, with soloist Sidonie Winter and members joined in enthusiastically with two versions of "Sussex by the Sea" and, of course, Jerusalem.

During the lunch break members were able to view an exhibition of Sussex memorabilia.  A thoroughly enjoyable day!

Carols at Horsham

On 2nd December Horsham Parish Church was packed with members for the Annual Carol Service.  The Federation Choir, directed by Aedan Kerney, with soloist Sidonie Winter presented some beautiful carols and Christmas music interspersed with a selection of seasonal readings. Heather Wrighton played some harp solos and the congregation joined in with several traditional carols.

The Federation Annual Meeting

Delegates from West Sussex WIs joined guests and members for the Annual Meeting held in the Assembly Hall, Worthing on 25th October 2016.  The hall was packed with displays put on by the Sub-committees, beautiful baskets of gifts for sale, a splendid raffle and WI merchandise.  A group of members dressed in outfits from the Federation Wardrobe mingled with guests during the morning and the meeting was declared open by the Town Crier. Following the official business part of the meeting members were entertained by two excellent speakers.  Melanie Gibson-Barton spoke of her experiences "Wandering on the Somme" and John Benjamin delighted members with his experiences as a qualified gemmologist and Antiques Roadshow expert.

Speaker Melanie Gibson BartonSpeaker john Benjamin

"A Twist of Summer" - July 2016

The West Sussex WI Centenary Choir, under the direction of Aedan Kerney, entertained members with a programme of classical and popular songs in the Henfield Hall on a warm summer evening.  Solos were sung by Sidonie Winter who also played the harp and Aedan performed a couple of French impressionist piano pieces. Light refreshments served during the interval made this a very enjoyable evening.

Choir performing at A Twist of Summer Sidonie playing harp

"Life Upon the Wicked Stage"

A fun and entertaining day put on by the Combined Arts sub-committee included "Pantomime Dame" Tony Harris regaling us with anecdotes of various roles he has played, the history and songs of Dame Clara Butt played by Sidonie Winter and a troupe of tap dancers.  During the lunch break a quiz to name the famous faces, beautiful displays of hand made stage sets, costumes and accessories and the chance to chose your favourite musical kept members busy.  The history of the theatre, the art of stage make-up and a jolly good sing along completed a most enjoyable day.

A collage of photos of Life Upon the Wicked Stage

"The Real Silent Witness"   -  a day about pathology
Members had "hands-on" opportunities to dust for fingerprints, identify bite marks, make up identikit pictures and take their own fingerprints!

A collage of pictures from Science Day