SEVEN DAYS IN SELSEY WITH RAFA
The RAF Association, has many great welfare facilities catering for various ages. For instance, ‘Wings Breaks’ at Rothbury House, Rothbury, Richard Peck House, Lytham St Annes and Flowerdown House, Weston-Super-Mare for ‘older’ members.
However, the Association also has 6 chalets at Hemsby, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and a fantastic 2 bedroom mobile home situated at Selsey, near Chichester, on the West Sussex coast. The Selsey home was originally funded by donations from members and branches in South East & Eastern Area and is run by volunteers from branches along the South Coast.
A ‘hidden gem’
In July 13 my wife, Ali and son Ben spent a week in the home and enjoyed it so much we went again in July 2014, this time it was just Ali and I, Ben decided at 18 years old he wanted to be home alone for a week. The Selsey home is located in the quietest area of the Green Lawns Leisure Park, a part of the much larger Bunn Leisure complex, close to the beach and is available to serving RAF personnel and their families. We found it made the perfect location to explore the scenic Sussex countryside, especially on our mountain bikes, which we brought with us and did take off the car roof and use them on and off road.
Lively or quiet – your choice?
For those wanting a quiet time, the home is in the perfect location. Ali and I enjoyed sitting on the decking in the early evening quaffing a fine wine, well a £5 special from a local supermarket, after a hard day in the saddle – bliss. If you want something livelier, there is a free inter-site courtesy bus and wheelchair accessible ‘Bunni Express’ train to take you to the beach and the free to use Bunn Leisure entertainment complex on the beachfront. The Oasis pool complex has ‘megasplash’ waterslides, lazy river and Fountain Island, the Topdeck Gym and the Beauty at the Oasis facility. Go-karts, crazy golf, funfair, an amusement arcade and kids’ clubs all keep the family happy and there are a number of restaurants and take-aways. The evening entertainment is free and there were many familiar names on the Bill for the Summer season.
Selsey Bill and beyond
Selsey village is a short walk away, with several ‘watering holes’, small shops and cafes on the main street and in the surrounding village. Ali and I enjoyed cycling and walking around the village and enjoyed an occasional dip in the sea. As we wandered around the village we noted it had been home to a couple of notable former RAF personnel, Sir Patrick Moore and Air Cdre Edward ‘Teddy’ Donaldson who set a world air speed record of 616 mph in Sep 46, and flying a Gloster Meteor MkIV, was the first to break the 1,000 kilometres per hour (620 mph) barrier. Selsey is within easy reach of Fishbourne Roman Palace, Goodwood, Petworth House, Tangmere Aviation Museum, the Weald & Download Open Air Museum and Bognor Regis RAF Association Club.
The mobile home
As you can see from the pictures, the home is very well appointed on the inside. It has double and twin-bedded rooms, a double stowaway sofa bed in the lounge, providing accommodation for up to 6 people, spacious lounge/ dining area and a fully equipped kitchen. It is double glazed throughout to shield you from the weather should it be a little inclement. The home is wheelchair accessible (with assistance) via an access ramp and on the interior there is a walk in shower that has disabled friendly access. Outside there is a child-friendly self-contained veranda with lockable gates with a secluded grassed area, garden chairs, table and sun umbrella provided, with large playing field nearby. There is a no-pets policy; however, assistance dogs are allowed.
Making a booking
Bookings are available between March and October from Friday to Monday and Monday to Friday, with adjoining periods able to be linked to make up one or 2 weeks’ holiday. Letting fees are kept at reasonable rates and allow for a reduced welfare rate. For all enquiries, please contact Sue Smith, the Area Welfare Officer, South East Area Office on 020 8286 6667, ‘Option 1’ or email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Alternatively, contact Lesley O’Driscoll, Assistant Area Welfare Officer on 020 8286 6667, Option 1 or email email@example.com . Your Stn RAFALO, Flt Lt Si Nelson-Kirby, 14 Sqn, will be able to signpost you to the RAF Association and the excellent support it provides. The RAF Association has much to offer and the Selsey mobile home is one of those hidden gems it is trying to promote to a wider audience. Go give Selsey a try; it’s a great base to explore the beautiful South Coast from. We enjoyed it so much the first time we went back and will do so again in the future.