Janet Hilliard and Helen Kemp – Guests of Honour 2017

Janet and Helen have been part of village life and the Gala for many years. It is a privilege for the Gala to have them as Guests of Honour at the 2017 Mundham and District Gala and Flower Show!


Find out more about their involvement in village life…

Janet Hilliard

Helen Kemp


Janet Hilliard

Janet has spent most of her life in North Mundham, or nearby! She was born in Rustington, where her father was a nurseryman at Sussex Nurseries. In the wartime they moved to Batchmere, Aldmodington, where the family lived for 10 years before returning to Rustington. Janet went to school in Littlehampton. After school she qualified as a nurse and has had a varied and interesting career in the field of nursing – including 14 years as Practise Nurse at Grove House Surgery in Rose Green, where she took care many of the villagers! She was member, chair and President of the now disbanded Nurse’s League during her career. Another highlight was the opportunity to work with the Vietnamese boat people who arrived at Thorney Island after the war (1979-1982).

Before getting married, she attended a conference in Montreal, Canada; one of more than 10 000 nurses! After the conference she travelled with a friend across Canada by train and coach – to Toronto and Vancouver, amongst other. She enjoyed the Rocky Mountains and many of Canada’s tourist attractions.

In September 1969, Janet got married to her husband, Stan, and they settled in North Mundham. They had two children, Robert and Anne. Janet got involved in village life, and the list of her responsibilities in clubs and groups is unbelievably long! When her own children were little, she kept the young ones busy once a month during the church service. The church has played an important part in her life, and still does! Apart from running the Sunday School, she was Churchwarden, a cleaner, a server and sidesperson at different, and sometimes concurrent, times. She still sings in the choir and is involved in Cornerstone, being one of the knitters who provided teddy bears for the Everards’ Indonesia trip. She is part of a weekly house group that meets in the village, and attends church regularly, still reading the lesson morning services from time to time.

She has been involved in the French Exchange – helped with events, hosted guests to stay and have also been to France herself.

The Royal British Legion’s Poppy collections have been part of Janet’s life for over 15 years, and she still collects for them every year. Table setting at the Poppy Lunch is her handiwork.  She also does this job for the North Mundham Lunch Club every month and for the Seniors Christmas Lunch!

Janet is a member of the North Mundham Flower Club and the Gospel Choir, and attends the Chichester Wives Fellowship every fortnight on a Wednesday morning. She has also served on the committee of this faith group in the past!

Though it is difficult to believe she finds time for hobbies, she knits, sews and loves gardening. She used to love long walks in the country, but that is not quite practical anymore. In spite of her very busy schedule, others describe Janet as someone who is a good listener, always has time for a chat and she is a very good friend!

Janet has been involved in ‘something or another’ at the Mundham and District Gala and Flower Show ever since she has moved to the village. For many years now she has been part of the team who mans the bric-a-brac stall at the Gala. She enjoys this task and regrets that she won’t be able to fulfil the same role this year, but we are very glad that she will be teaming up with good friend and neighbour, Helen Kemp, to officially open the Gala in 2017.


Helen Kemp

Helen may have been born in India, but she is rooted in Runcton and district. Her father was from this area, and she has strong family ties with the Framptons. Helen grew up in India as her parents were missionaries there; her father was a headmaster. She attended elementary school in India and returned to the UK, when she was 9 years old, to continue her advanced schooling. The outbreak of war endangered the school and a group of girls were expatriated to India for the duration of the war. For most of her school years, she was away from home in boarding houses, as most children were those days.

Helen studied at Oxford and qualified as a nurse. This is also where she met her husband, Michael. They got married in Worthing. Helen worked as a theatre sister and in orthopaedics until her second child was born. Michael was a headmaster of a school in Ashtead (between London and Epsom) and together they were a formidable team. Helen often helped out in the school, teaching Arts and Crafts, and later also qualified as a teacher. They have two boys, David and Robin, who have given them 5 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. When her parents retired, they lived with Helen and Michael and also helped out in the school. Her dad was very popular with the children and they looked forward to his assemblies.

Michael and Helen retired 30 years ago, settling in North Mundham. Soon after they arrived and joined the church and village activities, Helen joined the WI and soon became treasurer and then for 5 years the President of the WI.

She ran a weekly Art Class and a monthly Whist Drive. For over 10 years she was part of the Flower Club and in the 90’s organised, with the help of friends, a Flower Festival at the church, to raise money for the loo to be added and the kitchen area. She did the coffee for over 20 years on a Sunday – until aged 85. She delivered the church magazines for over 20 years (until last year!). She has done the church flowers (also for weddings and funerals) for 30 years, 10 years of which she was the organiser. For a while she was also a sidesperson, and opened and closed the church for 8 o’clock Communion, weddings and funeral services.

Helen is a very talented lady and still enjoys sewing (she makes beautiful quilts!) and painting. She paints on any medium – silk, porcelain, canvas. She loves doing flower arrangements and her beautiful garden was part of this year’s Open Gardens in the villages, where she also served delicious teas!

Every year she and Janet have a cake stall for the Macmillan Annual Coffee Morning and she supports the Samaritans Shoebox Appeal.

She was on the North Mundham Village Hall Committee for 10 years and, with Michael and another couple , ran Dinner Dances and Quiz Evenings with a dinner to raise funds for both church and village. They also started up the tennis club and Helen has been on their committee for over 25 years. They joined the French Exchange Committee which, again, Helen has been on for over 25 years. When her husband Michael was secretary of the Gala, Helen helped him and for nearly 30 years had one stall or another or helped with the teas.

We are thrilled to have her and Janet open the Gala this year!