February 2021: Online lesson in creating quirky birds

For our February online meeting, we were treated to a paint-along by tour leader turned watercolour artist, Lynn Barrow. Also know as “The Quirky Bird”, Lynn and the story of how she discovered a talent for painting during lockdown and then shared her passion with others via social media was featured in a recent issue of WI Life magazine. Before walking us through our live lesson, Lynn entertained members with stories from her career as a tour guide. Members used whatever art materials they had to hand (the one pictured here was created using colouring pencils and a biro) and produced a flock of fabulous birds with individual personalities. If you missed February’s live activity, or it gave you a taste for more, take a look at Lynn’s videos on her YouTube channel.


Christmas Wreaths 2020

It was very disappointing that Covid-19 restrictions would not allow for, what now appears to be, the annual wreath making workshop.

However, the pragmatic ladies of Sullington Windmills WI would not let that stop them from having a bit of Christmas cheer in their homes (and raising money for a good cause too!).

Instead of holding a workshop the wonderful wreath makers Delia and Clare offered our members the opportunity to still make a wreath at home, by providing pre-mossed rings and decorations. Alternatively, a fully made wreath could be purchased in a festive colour scheme of either red, gold or silver.

The red colour scheme was most popular and after final orders were received at the end of November all wreaths and wreath making packs were delivered by Delia and her sons on Sunday 6th December. Some homes proved more difficult to find than others but Delia had a good time showing her boys the many Christmas light displays around the village and meeting all our lovely ladies.

The ladies were pleased with their wreaths too and a few are displayed here with members’ comments. Let’s hope that next year we can all meet up and make our wreaths together again. Merry Christmas and health and happiness to all in 2021.

Profits from this year’s sales will be donated to the Sussex Wildlife Trust and St Wilfrid’s Hospice, with a small donation to Sullington Windmills WI.

“I am delighted with my wreath.” – Pat S

“Thank you for the wonderful Christmas Wreath it looks amazing.” – Sara H

“I am very pleased with mine, it looks lovely.” – Ann B

“It is absolutely beautiful.” – Erika B

Marking Remembrance Day, the WI way

Our members have been busy during lockdown, knitting and crocheting poppies for a display in the centre of the village.  We hope it raises a smile and lots of funds for the Royal British Legion.

This is the same tree that we used to display our climate change hearts in February. We paid for the seat to be refurbished last year to commemorate our 50th birthday so we feel we have adopted the tree and will strive to keep the area clean and tidy for our villagers to enjoy.


Celebrating Pam’s Birthday!

pam-spinks-3Pam Spinks joined Sullington Windmills WI in 1985 when she moved to the village and was also very involved with the WI market.  In August, Pam celebrated her 100th birthday and 29 of our members joined her on Friday 21st August to mark the occasion.cake

Pat Beard made a fabulous card, Pat Snape made an exquisite decoration for the cake, and Irene Holmes, Sheila Foster and Erika Brichta put together a cushion and blanket from squares knitted by our members.

A great time was had by all!


Meeting 19th February 2020

What a lively and interesting evening we had. It was great to have so many visitors, as well as members, eager to learn about and discuss the topic of Climate Change.

Philip Gulvin presented a very informative and thought-provoking talk, providing us with details outlining the difference between Global Warming and Climate Change. We learnt how gases (natural or resulting from human activity) upset the balance of the planet. We also heard more about Interglacial and Glacial periods in the planet’s history, the Gulf Stream and Climate Modelling.

After the presentation we formed groups, over tea and biscuits, to discuss what we had learnt and how we might take steps to slow down Climate Change; either as an individual or as a WI. You can read more about our contribution this month to the Show The Love campaign here.

The evening ended with the judging of the completion, “A recycled item”, (which was won by a bag made from recycled juice cartons) and the monthly raffle.IMG_5954 (002)

We had Christmas all wrapped up! (December meeting, 2019)

A festive and fun time was had by all of the attending ladies on 11 December 2019.  Although our speaker failed to arrive (it’s a long story), we were able to improvise. Maureen S showed great ingenuity at creating games with limited props. It’s amazing what you can do with a roll of wallpaper and some Christmas decorations!

There was lots of socialising as we played games, ate nibbles, drank wine and filled in our answers to the quiz.

The entries to the annual present wrapping competition looked beautiful as always. First prize was won by Irene H for her cute and clever Snowman creation. All parcels were later collected by Family Support Work, for the benefit of families in the local community.

The evening ended with the raffle and the singing of some well-known carols.

We say farewell to our 50th anniversary year and look forward to 2020.

Kicking off Advent with a handmade wreath (November 30th, 2019)

Following the success of last year’s workshop the ladies, friends and family of Sullington Windmills WI met again on a bright, crisp, winter morning to make a Christmas Wreath. Some were trying this for the first time and some brought the skills learnt at last year’s workshop.

The amazing Delia, Clare & Sharon, ably assisted by Paula, provided a 2 hour workshop in a relaxed, Christmassy environment with mulled wine and mince pies on hand to add to the festive feel.

The results were again amazing, so many beautiful and different designs. What can be achieved with some wire, spruce, baubles and a bit of knowhow is fantastic.

Everyone left feeling that the festive season was now underway and with a stunning decoration to adorn their home.

Profits from this year’s workshop will be donated to Parkinson’s UK, with a  small donation to Sullington Windmills WI.

Partial to Ping Pong?

Sullington Windmills recently formed a Table Tennis group which meets on a regular basis at the Chanctonbury Leisure Centre, Storrington.


Visit to Chawton House

A small group of our members paid a visit recently to Chawton House which belonged to Jane Austen’s brother Edward. The ladies enjoyed a lovely visit and learnt a lot about Jane and fellow female writers of her era.

April 2019 meeting

With our speaker introducing us to the history of silver hallmarking and making silver,  the monthly competition was to bring along an item of jewellery made from tin foil. The coveted first place was awarded to new member, Ann Maclean, for her charming brooch.


March 23rd  – “Who’d live in a house like this?”

Our neighbouring village of Thakeham recently opened the doors of its brand new village hall built as part of the new Abingworth Meadows estate. Sullington Windmills WI was invited to try out the hall (with a coffee morning) and even better, have a nose around a couple of the show homes. As you can see, we were only too happy to accept! [Can you identify which of our members is hidden behind the cloud-pruned Leylandii?]


Christmas Party 2018

A festive atmosphere greeted the ladies of Sullington Windmills WI on 12th

December 2018. Entertainment was supplied by the highly informative Tony & Lizzie Gilks, who presented their talk “A Victorian Christmas”.
The show was based on the drawing room entertainments that were part of Christmas during the Nineteenth Century. We were swept through the 12 days of Christmas in a nostalgic and entertaining way, learning lots about past and present Christmas traditions and customs, with a few poems for good measure.
Questions such as; “Who was St Nicholas?”, “Why do we send Christmas cards?”, “Who invented Fairy Lights?” were all answered. We even learned how to make traditional Wassail. The evening ended with the judging by Tony & Lizzie of the annual Best Wrapped Gift competition, which was won by Jan Dugnolle. All parcels were later collected by Family Support Work, for the benefit of families in the local community.

Wreath-making workshop, 1st December 2018

On a wet and windy Saturday morning 19 ladies, and friends, of Sullington Windmills WI met to try their hands at making a Christmas Wreath. The 2 hour workshop involved using natural materials to cover a wire ring, to form the basic wreath shape. Then the ladies were able to let their imaginations run wild, with a host of decorations to choose from to adorn their finished articles. The results were amazing, especially as most of the ladies were trying wreath making for the first time.

Mulled wine, mince pies and Christmas music added to the atmosphere and, although the weather outside was frightful, the ladies left feeling full of Christmas cheer and had acquired a new skill.

Our Charity Wine-tasting Evening, 2017

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The Sullington Windmill ladies held their usual August charity wine tasting evening to raise funds for A.C.W.W. and Denman College. The hall was packed to capacity and there were many husbands and friends in attendance. We had an experienced Wine Connoisseur, in the guise of Les Allen-Williams, who led us through six tastings of two white, three red and one rose wine. Les is very well known in local circles as he has for years run the local Wine Club and is conveniently married to our Deputy President, Liz – who had organised the entire evening superbly – so we were in good hands. The wines were from six different countries and taster food samples accompanied each wine to bring out the maximum flavour of each one. The “tasters” had been prepared by the hard working committee and ranged from fish/meat/cheeses/fruit and ginger chocolate – delicious! A generous raffle also raised funds and we were especially grateful to The Roundabout Hotel and Blush Hairdressing for their voucher donations which were the first items to go! All in all this was an excellent and most enjoyable fund raising activity and everyone contributed towards the evening – especially Les and Liz – thank you both.
Report by Russ Fry, President, Sullington Windmills WI.
Sullington Windmills member, Jean Minter’s lovely arrangement for North Lodge (West Sussex Federation’s HQ).