Belated tree planting ceremony in Shoreham marks diamond jubilee

Trees have been planted at Buckingham Park in Shoreham to celebrate two organisations.

The National Women’s Register (NWR) celebrated its diamond anniversary in 2020 and International Neighbours has been hosting an annual celebration of diversity since 2009.

The tree planting has been planned for quite some time and on Thursday, the ceremony was finally able to take place, with the help of Chris Platt, founder of More Trees Please.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

The NWR’S Shoreham-by-Sea group decided to plant a tree as part of the diamond anniversary celebrations to leave a lasting reminder.

Tree planting for the diamond anniversary of the National Women's Register. Picture: Steve Robards SR2104221

Lorraine Nightingale, local organiser, said: “Shoreham-by-Sea’s friendly and lively NWR group started 20 years ago and split into two groups when numbers became too big, as meetings, until the Covid pandemic, were held in members’ homes.

“Members enjoy discussions, talks, outings, quizzes, a book group and crafting activities, among other things.

“During the summer and autumn of 2020, socially-distanced meetings were held in the park and in members’ gardens but we introduced Zoom meetings to encourage contact throughout the winter months.”

The NWR began in February 1960, when many women were denied the opportunity to return to work after starting a family.

Penny Joseph and Cathy Ford tree planting for International Neighbours. Picture: Steve Robards SR2104222

Maureen Nicol responded to an article in The Guardian, suggesting a national register could be established so housebound wives with liberal interests and a desire to remain individuals could contact like-minded friends, which was especially useful when moving to a new area.

Maureen was overwhelmed with requests to join ‘her register’, initially called the National Housewives’ Register.

Lorraine said: “Sixty-one years on and NWR is a thriving, open-minded, welcoming, friendly and respectful organisation where members are interested in many different issues but particularly those relevant to women’s lives.

“New members have always been welcome but it has been difficult to accommodate them with the current restrictions.

“The national diamond jubilee conference in Birmingham had to be postponed until September 2021 but some members were able to attend a regional Diamond Day Celebration in February 2020 at Denbies, where we were addressed by the founder. Much was planned for 2020 but had to be abandoned or postponed.”

International Neighbours is dedicated to the promotion of community cohesion by celebrating diversity, to build positive relationships, respect, trust and value for each other, and to create a strong and inclusive community.

Penny Joseph, chairman, said: “International Neighbours has been celebrating diversity with an annual festival in Shoreham Community Centre since 2009 with music, performance, stalls and food from many different ethnic traditions.

“Obviously this has not been possible during Covid restrictions but we hope to be joining with the Lions’ family day this year in Buckingham Park on September 5.