A niche community bus success


A hundred people attended the Niche Fashion Show, organised by the Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital and held to raise money for a new community bus in memory of John Izod. Many of the people present knew John well and everyone was pleased to support such a good cause.

The event was held in the Town Hall, the use of which was donated, on October 13. There was a wonderful atmosphere, perhaps helped by glasses (donated by Fletcher’s café), of bubbly as the audience all came in! On each seat, Anne Phillips had arranged  a perfume sample, with a discount voucher for Niche, all eagerly collected. Every chair and all the ledges were occupied, with a space for “Pat the Bus’” otherwise known as Pat Hughes of Community Transport, there to enjoy the show and draw the raffle.

Jane in white shirt and Lesley commentates
Jane in white shirt and Lesley commentates

Lesley Farrow, who, with her jeweller husband Peter, owns Niche boutique, had provided all the expertise and outfits and  Peter had donated the most amazing raffle prize of £500 of bespoke jewellery, which was duly drawn, and won by an audience member later in the show.

Georgina on the catwalk
Georgina on the catwalk

Compered by Lesley, using a very effective sound system donated by Reg Marchant, five intrepid models braved the fashion conscious audience and their own rather noisy and amusing personal friends. Martin Grenfell, dressed by  WJ Bennett Menswear, showed off  all the sartorial elegance of the well dressed gentleman.

Beautifully coiffed and make up by Rye Retreat, Jane Conlin, Jeannie Hawkes, Gemma Lister and Georgina Stephenson paraded up and down the (blessedly flat) catwalk in a  variety of really lovely, smart outfits. Beautifully cut trousers and coats, different textures and weaves of material, hats provided and styled by Herald and Heart and oh, the slouchy suede handbags! The white shirt was a constant motif for Jane throughout the show, in cotton, with or without shirt tails –you should definitely try it! There were clothes for the young and the more mature, put together really imaginatively, useful to know for the possibly less creative and stylish audience member and a pleasure to look at for the rest!

Martin puts his best foot forward
Martin puts his best foot forward

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, as these shows always are, this one perhaps less formal and more fun than before.
Lesley Farrow summed it all up: “A good night had by all, for a really good cause!” And a visit to Niche for the rest of us.

Congratulations are due to all the organisers and Jo Pappenheim, the Fundraising Administrator for the Hospital

The final result? £1920 towards the target of £10,000 for the new bus, hopefully up and running by May 2017.  The response from Pat? “I am speechless! Thank you all so very much!”

Photos: Courtesy Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital

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