Rotary Club of Rochdale

Archive Bulletins, Speakers and events 2009- 2015

President: Elvet Smith
BULLETIN Sep/Oct 2009

President’s Remarks
Life has been challenging with my attempt at a new version of Grace; bell ringing was not one of my twenty four hobbies but is now!
The health of members is improving overall and has made me realise how much the club is a family, concerned about and caring for each other. Welcome to Martin Coupe who will be secretary over next 2 years. He has experience of the job but has commented on email making it a lot quicker than the old days. All of you should get it for it’s speed and convenience (and very cheap).

This month has been an exceptional speakers’ month.Sid Richards, ex Ivy League guitarist showed music in hospitals a worthwhile Charity of visiting musicians. The Club donated £50 and I have a DVD you can borrow.

Shahzad produced a whole history of Pakistan and its separation from India soon after a flag raising ceremony at the Town hall square. He brought along some fascinating books and documents. He has also been a very steadying influence in our multicultural society in Rochdale and has successfully made the difficult journey across various cultural divides.

Emma Buckley's jobtalk staggered us with her rapid rise to Store organiser extraordinaire after a very academic life that included mathematical modelling, a possible clue as to her success? She has already been nabbed by Inner Wheel to talk again.

The Crimble Peacock room was a very relaxing venue for an evening meeting where the food and laughter quickly overcame any urge to do much club business.

Chris Bryning is the latest of the Brynings and the last printer with the name. He revealed his genetic background with marvellous relics from his family history and printing. The story should be written up in a book for posterity.

Art and Craft fair at weekend was the best so far thanks to David Acton, Sheila, Mike and a big turnout from members. Very good feedback from stall holders on a Heritage town hall weekend with Mayor and Mayoress (see picture below), Rochdale Youth Orchestra, big tombola takings, Petrus, Samaritans and Help for Heroes charity stalls alongside 33 fee paying stalls. All the tombola prizes went and the raffle (a la Acton) art work added colour.
Mike Tomkinson and I were helpers on the Pool event at District disabled sports at St Helens. I haven’t been a Welsh International for ages! I asked some of the committee to look at the date next year to fit in better with school holidays.
Looking forward to hearing from Petrus and Samaritans at the Charities evening. Also Llandudno Conference at the Empire hotel with refurbished pool and our grow bag together with together exhibits.
Age concern have a group of elderly we’re taking on a Seniors out afternoon on Oct 13th at the Organ museum in Eccles. If we can forge links it might be a good contact for other joint events later.

Dr Barbara Murray of Street Doctors fame is my Charter night guest speaker and I’m taking her out for lunch after Llandudno so she will find out what I’m like before the night!

Finally, please do invite friends, neighbours, work contacts, etc to the Visitors evening on 1st October. John Kay and I are plotting a good welcome! See you there.
(Anything in this article related to real life people is not a coincidence).

President Elvet
 Bulletin Nov / Dec 2009
President’s Remarks

Many great things recently.Rotary District Conference Llandudno weather, Empire hotel food and Saturday singsong. Conference presentation from Simon Weston (Falklands casualty); a tremendous inspiration to all to keep going against all odds. Michael Tomkinson’s befriending charity and David Acton’s vertical water preserving plant propagator were our first presentations at Conference and produced much interest hopefully bearing fruit later.

Fifteen guests came to a bubbly visitors evening marked by the sad raffling off of John Kay’s Rotary teddy. His shelter box video as an example of Rotary at its best was an inspired choice.

Speakers have included a Rochdale author (can’t be many) Pam Hill who managed to sell a few books to our literary members and made one realise writing books is a lot of hard work.
Paul Wilson enlightened us on Salvation Army life with its many facets. He is priest, manager, treasurer, secretary and musician all in one!

Despite Brian Cunliffe’s visit to intensive care (thankfully recovered now), he invited Rotarian Tony Brierley to talk on walking and climbing in the Alps, generously showing off his gear and superb photos.

Rotarian Peter Rawlinson gave an optimistic view of the future Rochdale as seen by its chief planning officer with an attractive town hall square, more wholesale and retail outlets and more employment with a better road system an integral part. He offered to come back with a progress report next year.
Mike and Heather Tomkinson and myself went on a Seniors out visit with great memories as a result .More Rotary members need to be involved if it is to become a regular.

I have been speaking at our daughter clubs Rochdale East and Middleton Charter nights and have been well looked after by their Presidents Ian Murray and Peter Hayward. They weren’t upset when I called their members our Chicks. I’ll reciprocate at our Charter where my Guest speaker is Dr Barbara Murray, a BBC regular when they want a medical perspective and she will enlighten you further on 16th November.

I presented our donation to Life Education Unit charity £850 to Robert Clegg at East’s Charter night (picture above).

My Presidents ‘gong’ is finally refurbished and will be a splendid sight to behold. Thank you Joan for loaning me yours – nobody noticed it said vice president! Best wishes to our recently ill members Brian, Dougie, Bill and Ted and I am hoping to do a ward round in the near future!
President Elvet

Seniors Out To Eccles Theatre Organ Heritage Centre

President Elvet's new project saw a party of 40 guests leave Rochdale for a trip to the Theatre Organ Heritage Centre at Eccles. Working in collaboration with Age Concern and Together organisations it was felt to be an ideal venue for a musical day out on a smart coach with a filling packet lunch .
The day was a good combination of a museum tour ,fellowship with one's pals and great Wurlitzer music played by the local Organist
The building was completed after three years of hard work by the Trust volunteers and slides of the conversion project were shown. They have transformed a semi-derelict Sunday School into an authentic 1920's auditorium complete with a vintage Wurlitzer organ rescued from a Liverpool theatre. The organist played many pieces of music that demonstrated the enormous versatility of the Wurlitzer.

During the interval we were given a guided tour of the inner workings of the instrument, together with an insight into the life of its Cheshire born designer Robert Hope-Jones as well as a tour of their museum. In the second half of the program a silent Laurel and Hardy film with traditional Wurlitzer accompaniment was shown. The finale gave everyone a chance to take part in a grand sing-along.
Rtn Mike Tomkinson

AWARDS CEREMONY FOR HOPWOOD HALL Rochdale town hall on 3rd December 2009
2nd VP Joan accompanied me to the awards ceremony held at the Town Hall, Rochdale. Clive Reid, a governor here, joined us for a while and we also met the other sponsors for the evening, the Emerson Educational Trust. Ian Murray, President of Rochdale East was to join us later. There were many familiar faces present, including the Mayor Keith Swift and his Lady Mayoress, Robert Clegg, chair of Governors, and MPs Jim Dobbin and Paul Rowan,.

We were there to present a new award, for the Most Improved Apprentice, a joint award from ourselves and Rochdale East, which was the last award of the evening.

Ian and I were invited onto the stage to present the award to Renata Caso, a young lady who is training to be a hairdresser. She works with her mother in a salon in Chadderton and according to her tutor is 'very enthusiastic and self motivated'. We presented her with a small shield and a certificate there and then, and will invite her to attend our club night on the 7th of January for her cash award.

A good evening and we hope to repeat the exercise again next year – John Cannell

Bulletin JAN/FEB 2010


All the very best to everyone for 2010.

The last few weeks (after a super Rotary Family meal) have been a busy arthritis time and I have been glad for a rest with family including Grandchildren and seasonal presents and food aplenty. I luckily delivered my Rotary Christmas parcels to three very pleased recipients just before the Whiteout.

Memories abound of sunny Llandudno with Rochdale’s very own Growbag and Befriending tables, David waving his arms about and Michael in intense concentration mode. Saturday night singsong with piano including Rolling Rotarians and Sinatra crooner Clive Reid; lovely weather, your President in an open frame of mind and reminded of the same, great hotel food and wine. Conference wasn’t bad either with Janet Gray and Simon Weston showing their incredible personal battles against all the odds now both living full lives and heavily involved in Charity work. They brought wet eyes to District Governor Liz Tatman and us all in a spellbound audience.

Charter night highlights were of a very friendly and relaxed occasion. Guest speaker ‘Street Doctor’ Barbara Murray was ably looked after by Chris Bryning with a marvellous story of her multiple careers. Her immense enthusiasm for helping her patients and publicising important medical facts via the media to a vast public audience contrasts with such a tiny person physically. It shows that quality is more important than quantity! It should be said she didn’t want a fee but I gave her a donation to her Charity the Stroke Association in lieu.
Our Bag packing Morrison’s day raised over £1300 with a lot of volunteers from Petrus and friends swelling the Rotary ranks. Memories of Dean noshing breakfast, blurred photos of packers David and Robert, meeting lots of patients, good turnout; well done Rotary again.
Ian Madeley’s Oldham contacts resulted in good support from Sainsbury’s to fund Christmas parcels. A good advert for the club as well. Energetic John Cannell has been gathering troops to restart Charity walks from Wardle and sprang into action with the Apprentice college award to Renata Caso, attending the town hall ceremony with Joan; also Ian Murray from East club - good shared project.
Joan’s guitar man evening got us all jigging and singing to 60s music. It seems our club has acted as an aphrodisiac in Joan and Keith’s case - congratulations again on your engagement.

Speakers highlights included:-
Tony Young’s Metro update was history and future plans all in one; it is moving forward but I am disappointing that the planned new bus and tram station are not side by side. I bought his tram book - great reading.
Rotarian George Teturswamy volunteer anaesthetist at a Cleft palate surgery camp in India - remarkable facial improvements in such a short time.
• Redwood students business enterprise is producing incredible quality goods.
Dr. Rupert Smith from a great height showed how vitamin D is crucial in our bodies for resistance to disease and producing good muscle and bone.

Sad event was the death of Dr John Grice who was a GP when I came to Rochdale in 1980 and gave me sound advice. His energy and enthusiasm for work and life generally was very inspiring to me at the start of my career. The large turnout at his funeral and Jack Howorth’s reflections on his life must have been a great comfort for Pam.

  The terrible flooding in Cumbria inspired us to donate £500 to Keswick Rotary, hand delivered by Martin Coupe and John Whitley. They witnessed the bleak results of the storms first hand.

On a brighter note Congratulations to Shahzad on his OBE in New Years Honours! So well deserved for his dedication to Rochdale people and the community.

I am looking forward to Charities and Best Apprentice presentations on Jan 7th and another Presidential 6 months ....
President Elvet

Rotarian John Grice (1918 – 2009) -A tribute from a fellow Rotarian

President Elvet has asked me to write a few words at the passing, at age 91, of a dearly loved member of the club, Dr. John Russell Grant Rice.

John joined the club in 1965. He has served as convenor for Group Study Exchange and Foundation and was President in 1979/80. In his Presidential Year he founded the Rochdale Probus Club of which many of our present members are also members. He was made an Honorary Member of our club in 2004.

A most popular member with many friends, John was a man of great integrity coupled with an endearing sense of fun. This latter quality fitted him for many enjoyable years as a member of the Rolling Rotarians – who can forget his formidable Edna Everidge-esque appearance in the ‘come dancing’ sketch?

John was a proud Scot, a true Brit and a perfect gentleman. He was born in Holytown in Lanarkshire, the son of a headmaster. He attended Hamilton Academy and at the age of 17 was admitted as a medical student to Glasgow University. After qualifying and working at Glasgow Infirmary, he came to Rochdale and became a partner at the West Street practice in 1942. He then volunteered for war service in the army and was commissioned in the RAMC. He served in the medical unit of the 51st Highland Division, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. A dreadful experience, of which he would not talk, was to be one of the first British officers to enter the Belsen death camp. As a medical officer at the ‘sharp end’, it must have been traumatic in the extreme.

Back in Rochdale, he spent the rest of his working life as a very respected GP. He also gave public service in many ways. He was a long serving magistrate and for some years was chairman of the very influential ‘Advisory Committee’ dealing with the appointment of new magistrates. He was on the Hospital Management Board and later served as deputy chairman of the Area Health Authority. He was Honorary medical officer at Rochdale Hornets RLFC and was also a senior Freemason in a Rochdale Lodge.

In his family life, John enjoyed many happy years with his wife Margaret and their daughters, Jacqueline and Gail. John and the girls suffered a severe blow when Margaret died in 1978. After several years alone, John had the great good fortune to meet Pam, who became his second wife and of all things Rotary was the matchmaker! But more of that below.

Pam entered enthusiastically into John’s life She joined Inner Wheel in which she played a full part as Convenor and President. John and Pam had many happy years until the dreadful illness and dementia took hold of John in his last years.

But to close on a happier note, ‘Rotary as matchmaker’. The meeting of John and Pam was one of those happily fortuitous happenings which sometimes occur. When John was President, he had the usual presidential privilege of choosing the charity for the year. He chose Kidney Research and asked them to provide a speaker. Accordingly Pam, who had lost her husband with kidney failure and was chair of the Oldham branch came along. That was John and Pam’s first meeting. The rest, as they say, is history and how blessed they were by fate.

Yes, to repeat, John was a dearly loved and true gentleman. He is sadly missed by Pam, both his and her families and all his friends.

Rotarian Geoff Howard.


ROTARY CLUB OF ROCHDALE Bulletin for Feb / Mar 2010
Life Boxes

Last Thursday, 11th February, Stan Fielding’s team of volunteers ( 10 in number ) returned to DHL, Queensway meeting at 6.30 pm having duly signed in and donned our Rotary tabards were taken to a new area on site.

Dr Pam, Vincent and Pritt (members of Denton and Audenshaw Rotary Club), explained that DHL required our old area and that all the Life Box items had been shrink wrapped and moved to the new area. The evening was spent ascertaining what we had, labelling it and moving them on pallets so order could now come out of chaos and packing in future would be more efficient.

Dr Pam explained that she had receive an email from a Club member who was holidaying in Barbados and after several emails to DHL, Virgin Airways etc 159 life Boxes and 3 boxes of water purifiers were flown out to Miami by Virgin Airways ( their charity arm of Virgin Unite). From Miami they were going by sea to Haiti and on arrival were being in the control of a local doctor who is a Rotarian. Pam thought they were due to be arriving any day now in Haiti.

Rtn Derek Heywood

President’s Remarks

‘A good team going’ is the first thing to say with many events and projects being considered for the next 12 months. Already my charities (Samaritans and Petrus Day Centre) have been given £1000 each to expand their very worthwhile Rochdale activities.

It’s been a very snowy winter and it disrupted plans to have a mega charity presentation evening on 7th Jan. However as it turned out it was rather nice to have separate events. Denis Skelton of Petrus nearly missed the last train and I nearly pocketed Peter Crabbe’s cheque after presenting it to him in a photoshoot. There was good publicity made of these on Rochdale on line and Observer. More stories needed from members please!

Renata Caso was presented with her Hopwood Hall Apprentice award £300 at her families Unisex hair salon Pepi’s in Chadderton. My VP John Cannell had ankle damage and was a wobbly Sassenach so I drove him over to meet Renata. I was conscious my driving needed to be spot on and I got a bad start when the windscreen became heavily misted as I was doing hands-free phonecall - still battling with control of my red Jetta! John was very forgiving and nothing was bumped into. At the salon Pepi took one look at me and offered me a haircut but time was too pressing! Renata has lots of plans for her future including obtaining a teaching qualification and I’m sure she has a successful career ahead.

Our succession of Presidents continues to go well with David Smithard agreeing to be Second VP after Joan Elbourn. He has recently retired from his medical consultant post and obviously wants to keep other things flowing as a change from his battle with Rochdale’s stubborn kidneys.

Speakers recently have impressed; our Rotary MP Paul Rowan gave us an upbeat talk on Rochdale and the future. His involvement with Rheumatology and musculoskeletal medicine was obviously very absorbing for me.

There are great differences in provision of care for arthritis sufferers in the UK. Locally in the Pennine acute trust serving a population of 800,000, there are just 4 full time Rheumatologists and allied health professional-physios. There are smaller numbers of specialist nurses and occupational therapists than is the case elsewhere in the UK. Counterbalancing this, patients do have very good access to all the latest approved expensive drugs for their arthritis.

International projects with Pakistan and Uganda have been presented at club and Mo Sarwar and Shahzad are showing great energy and enthusiasm for charities close to their hearts. These are large projects to provide schooling and water supply to poor people and links with the overseas Rotary clubs are being forged. David Acton’s bags are growing and developing. Mike’s befriending project expands and I am pleased the club has such innovative members.

Congratulations to Christmas parcels team led by Mike Tomkinson with lots of thank you cards still coming in. Falinge school are through to the District final of Youth Speaks and Ravi Sharma keeps close tabs on events. Do go to Frodsham to support the school if you can. Book group continues to expand my mind, the latest book chosen by Emma Buckley being ‘The time travellers wife’ a tale of a man with ability to move back and fore in time but not able to change events-very frustrating! His wife was incredibly tolerant!

Potential new members are coming to the club regularly and this next year will be the big push to make our club modern and attractive. Visitors will be able to meet Rochdale’s very own Test cricket umpire on March 18th. John Kay has been as usual at the vanguard of things with a virtual Rotary club, one minute spiel on ‘What is Rotary’ and online charitable donations the latest ideas.

I’m looking forward to the club’s walk over Brown Wardle headed by John Cannell and his link with Wardle school has paid off. Also, Games night at Castleton Bowling will get us away for another informal evening. Anyone played shuv happenny? I’ve got some real happennies too!

On a personal level the Rotary family has gathered around to help Liz and me recently and we have both felt stronger knowing we have so many caring friends around. Thank you all for your kindness.

President Elvet

Hopwood Hall Most Improved Apprentice Award Presentation
On Tuesday the 26th of January, President Elvet and myself invaded 'Pepi's' hair dressing salon in Chadderton to present winner Renata with her cheque of £300. Her father was somewhat surprised to see us, but to soon relaxed whilst we took some pictures and made the presentation. In fact he offered Elvet a free haircut before we left!! (he declined...)

Renata is a confident young lady and a capable hairdresser. Her ambition is to complete her course and then become a tutor for training newcomers to the profession, a task I'm sure she'll achieve, before establishing her own business.

VP John Cannell.

President: Elvet Smith - Apr / May 2010
President’s Remarks
President’s time has been fully occupied this year what with Liz’s new knee - a big success – the workings of a President’s wife was seen first hand! We were both extremely touched by all the member’s kindness and it was like being part of an extended family-thank you all once again.

Polio campaign at Tesco with Rochdale East was a success and Rotary in action again with over £500 collected. The publicity for Rotary, cleverly engineered by John Kay, was equally valuable. John and I have had a media couple of months with both Rochdale Online and Observer. More reporters from our club are needed please. I think we have put the club on the map and this will encourage new members.

It was the Rotary Mayor’s charity Opera night at the Bella Vista. Liz’s first outing after her op couldn’t have been nicer with Keith Swift bravely trying light opera as well as his more familiar crooning, John Kay a very impressive Master of Ceremonies and Rotary organiser -must ask him where he gets his energy from.

Round table 76th Charter evening at Norton Grange memorable for being all men, good conversation and a Yorkshire stand up comic. I asked him who he was when we all stood in the bar which seemed to bring the house down for some reason - he didn’t look much different to the rest of us except he did suddenly pull off his jacket over his head which I thought must be a new round table ceremonial.

Thank you to Andrew Chadwick and his members; new Round tablers are coming (one via our Visitors evening) as they had got down to single figures at one point. Inner wheel birthday party was a contrast - all women except me who very briefly stood up to present Joan with £300 for their Charity fund as dues from helping at various events, not least bag packing at Morrisons. Thank you Inner wheel and Joan for your support this year and for a good meal and an entertaining evening. Emma was an excellent guest speaker.

Speakers have been performing well. Addi and Barbara Redmond had an incredible four years in Namibia with VSO teaching maths and science with school curriculum, equipment and teacher training thrown in. What energy and commitment!

President gave you a surreal experience of the Wurlitzer Organ museum, music and silent movie music time with Laurel and Hardy. The original Road Rage film, all without anyone going to the real place in Eccles! I was pleased to hear Geoff Foulkes say ‘well that was something different!’

The social evening at Castleton bowling was another new innovation; there was good fun on the night and it warmed up gradually with people trying out new games after a good pie supper.

Karen Wilson as the modern school nurse was an eye-opener on the new attitude to school nursing. Not a ‘lousy’ job anymore. No longer are nits being peered at by medical eyes, vaccinations including human papilloma virus health promotion (that large cigarette was really revolting), listening to children’s anxieties and worries, counselling, sex education, healthy living, good food and exercise. I almost wished I was back in school now but couldn’t face another five years in Med School!
John Cannell gave us a glimpse of his life in the fast lane with speed, technical expertise to keep machinery going, he’s obviously been blessed with marvellous British equipment; it’s back to the starting line though for John next July.

Keith Banks gave us the Lancashire Fusiliers and their extraordinary history of bravery over the centuries. Some discrepant dates were noted by Keith (couldn’t have been in 2 places at once)? Reserve team in the wings. Well researched Keith.

Visitor’s evening with John Holder was the first of hopefully more celebrity evenings to attract new members. Cricket is perhaps an acquired taste but John was good value with his intense lifelong enjoyment of the sport showing through. Good publicity has followed and some membership interest already.

Spring walk was an extraordinary event for the detailed planning and execution by John Cannell and team. It looks a good blueprint for bringing in more walkers next year.

And so to Eastbourne for RIBI Conference. Club has received an RIBI Environment category award for David Acton’s Grow Bag Project and also overall winner of the Rodney Huggins award. Well done David for such energy and commitment to a very worthwhile project. You’ve done the club proud, see you at the Hermitage hotel!

Full time rheumatology means some absence from Thursday meetings in next 2 months. Thanks to Liz’s and the club’s support I’ve been able to manage 2 careers so far but to be a fully fledged specialist I have to get to the Birmingham Rheumatology congress. Looking forward to a busy next 3 months.
President Elvet

President’s Remarks
The Bournemouth Conference was a great occasion for our club with David Acton’s Urban Garden project winning the Rodney Huggins award on stage meeting President David Fowler among other illustrious Rotarians. Hotel and Conference were within yards of each other and a very sunlit beach was enticing

Highlights of the conference was the diversity of Charities supported by Rotary including the Starfish project to help Stammerers get over their great speech difficulty. RNIB was represented by Denise Leigh an opera singer overcoming her blindness and thrilled us with her marvellous voice. John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, reminded us that work is such an important aspect of life gelling other social aspects in with it. Giving work to people can transform them into brighter and happier people with less reliance on social handouts.

Quentin Letts, a writer of Parliamentary sketches was not showing mercy in deriding humbug and mediocrity in politicians and the media. I bought his book 50 people who B’d up Britain which I’ll bring to Book group (next meeting July 5th-John Whitley’s).

Other entertainers Alistair Mcgowan and Paul Daniels were interspersed between more serious discussion including an update on Polio fundraising - more than a million pounds have been raised in RIBI events in last 12 months

Speakers highlights include a travelogue of US West Coast journey by our Bulletin editor and wife-lucky to escape without injury by all accounts. Mike Lucas, to celebrate St Georges day, had a poetry recital session which was very popular and some members were hard to stop in mid verse!

Dr Ibi described Nigeria’s early attempts to get Renal Medicine off the ground with the help of other Renal specialists including our very own David Smithard.

The Council meetings have been very well attended this year and thanks to all members for all their hard work. Membership and attendance have dominated recent meetings but fortunately retention of members this year has been good and Bob Chadwick is our latest member.

The AGM was a grand success. David Acton was made Paul Harris fellow much to his surprise. Indeed when I invited him to the front he asked if he should undress (must have thought he was to be an impromptu performer)! It was a very enjoyable moment to see his delight at the well deserved award.

It was proposed by the President & seconded by Secretary that Brian Cunliffe should be granted Honorary Membership. This was agreed unanimously.Brian will be presented with certificate sometime in June as he is recovering from illness

The Sounding Brass and Voices Concert at Gracie Field's theatre on Sunday was a resounding success. The Milnrow Cooperative Band under Andrew White started the proceedings with The Dam Busters theme and all was just quality music after that. .'I dreamed a dream' really mesmerised the audience with back-tingling musicianship. A fourteen year old musical prodigy Owen Middlemass with lightening hands on the xylophone gave an exceptional rendition of Bach's toccata and fugue.

The audience were charmed by the Rochdale Girls choir singing so beautifully under direction of Christine Willis 'A Cat Called Alexander' (including a marvelous miaoow) and 'Humpty Dumpty' contrasted with the Spritual 'Steal Away' and 'Beautiful December'. Their youthful enthusiasm and enjoyment of their singing never waned and later were unrestrained in Flag Waving finale

The youthful Wardle Anderson Brass and Sean Conway started with a robust Olympic fanfare with playing full of energy and gusto. Amy Smith a charming tall blondhaired Euphonium player mastered this difficult instrument producing a controlled graceful performance of 'La Belle Americaine'

Then up stood Mr Brass Band himself - Dr .Roy Newsome (photo below) -ex presenter of Radio 2's 'listen to the band' and over 30 years conducting, lecturing and adjudicating. He has spent his life promoting Brass band music in many countries and he conducted the finale of the combined Milnrow and Wardle Bands.

Our very own Tenor soloist Peter Ruane was in fine voice with a rendition of Nessum Dorma. The girls choir sang Jerusalem and the whole performance rounded off with Pomp and Circumstance to a whirl of hundreds of Union Jacks.

The Gracie Fields theatre was well filled despite the Rochdale Football Clubs open top bus celebration and Samaritans and Petrus Day centre in Rochdale will benefit from the proceeds, Thank you Tom and everyone for all your efforts

I’m looking forward to Nidderdale walk on Sunday and a tough band of Rotarians and wives will be given a nice tea afterwards in the Cottage by the Green.Kids out at Camelot on June 9th.The ship is being taken over by John Cannell soon-see you at Castleton bowling club for the Handover on the 24th June. Bill Evans is taking us to Llangollen on July 8th for Eisteddford but we will return!

President Elvet

VP Jottings

The last couple of club meetings saw 'yours truly' in charge, as our illustrious leader was doing Other Things, specifically accompanying David Acton to the Bournemouth Conference to accept his well deserved award and then on a work related trip to Birmingham. I was somewhat concerned on the second occasion, when not only were we without a President but also missing were the secretary and treasurer! Was it something I said?

On the evening of the 15th of April, Neil Helliwell shared with us his trip to America, a mission of mixed fortunes, as Nichola developed a rare condition that prevented her being in strong sunlight.... Not good for the west coast! But Yosemite was a big 'plus', complete with real bears, so overall an enjoyable experience. Neil was ably assisted by John Kay as projection master and the evening was much enjoyed by us all, whetting many an appetite for a trip across the pond.

The lunch time meeting of the 21st was a new idea from Mike Lucas, Poetry Day. I suspect that most of us wondered how this would turn out - would anyone bring a contribution? Well the fears were totally unfounded. In the event we were well over subscribed, so much so that a further Poetry Day is to be held soon. It was a very successful event, with a couple of memorable highlights. David Acton regaled us with an amusing introduction to an appropriate Shakespearian dialogue - this 'Sceptred Isle' from King Richard II, a day before St George's Day and Jack Howorth came up with an original idea by producing a recording of Sir John Betjeman reading 'A Subaltern's Love song' featuring Miss J. Hunter Dunn. (Brought back for me memories of that fine statue in St Pancras station…).

VP John

ROTARY CLUB OF ROCHDALE - President: John Cannell

July / August 2010  
President’s Remarks
Well here we are at the start of another Rotary Year, another President, Vice President and 2nd Vice President, all looking forward to the year ahead.

Nigel Danby, who visited our club on the 17th of June at our Assembly as representative of the Assistant District Governor, sent us a very complimentary report. Now we must meet or exceed our targets – I’m sure that with the support of you all that we will.

Our handover evening at the Castleton Bowling Club was a Good Night, with ideal weather. Mike Lucas won the bowls, soundly defeating the New President in the final. The supper was well up to the usual standard with several going back for ‘seconds’. I hope that VP Joan will approve a similar evening next year.

As announced previously, my chosen charities this year are Christie’s at Oldham and the Migraine Action Association. My reason for Christie’s is that I strongly believe that this is one disease that desperately needs all the help it can get. The new radiotherapy unit in Oldham will be our prime target. The MAA is a little known charity, despite being around since 1958, which helps migraine sufferers. Mine started in my early teens but went undiagnosed for some 10 years. One in seven of the population has migraine – so on that basis, there are six of us in the club….

Our first big event is the Craft Fair, on Sunday September 12th. David Acton is already well advanced with his plans to make this year’s event bigger and better and will be seeking support from everyone soon.

By the time you read this, those of you present on the 15th will know too much about me. I hope I will still have your confidence and support after this revealing evening!

Congratulations again to Brian Cunliffe  who recently became an honorary member.

Camelot Theme Park day trip organised by Rochdale Rotary

Many thanks to Rotary for a brilliant day out at Camelot. The students were all smiles the next day and want to go again! The staff enjoyed it too which was a welcome relief from the sadness we are all feeling (NB this was due to the sad unexpected death of a young member of staff - Ed). Please pass on our thanks to all.

Carole Finn – Redwood School

A Club Day Out. - Llangollen International Eisteddfod 2010

We arrived early at the Masonic (08:30 hrs) to have a trip into Wales. Thirty of us waited anxiously for the coach that was to take to Llangollen and the International Eisteddfod.

We arrived there soon after 11:00. This was my first visit to the annual event and my first time in Llangollen since my teens, when the family enjoyed holidays in North Wales. Once through the entrance, the international nature was immediately apparent, with strange tongues being heard – and not only Gaelic! Apart from people from Europe, there was evidence of African, South American and Indian peoples too.

Apart from the music, which was everywhere, there were many organisations vying for publicity, including Rotary, the Lions and many others, making for a colourful, dynamic spectacle.

We all wandered off in roughly the same direction – clockwise around the site – to make sure we could find the tent where we would be eating later. Bill advised us to be there in good time to ensure a seat. We soon identified the aforementioned tent, and then our group gradually merged into the crowd, to meet up occasionally at different tents, before finally returning to the hospitality tent around 12:15.

We were certainly in good time – in fact almost the first there! We then found out that the introductory speeches would start at 13:00, and would last 30 minutes before we would see any food…. But it was nice to sit down, and we spent the time exchanging notes and planning the afternoon’s activities.

Just before 13:00, the dignitaries arrived. Apart from the President & Vice President of the local club, the district 1150 DG was there and also the newly installed RIBI President, Jim Moulson.

During the pre-lunch speeches, the list of visiting clubs was read out, including two from Australia. But when Rochdale was announced, the assembled multitude was somewhat taken aback when most of the 34 of us rose together! We will be remembered… And our table won the wine competition, with 5 bottles!

The lunch was excellent, and lasted until 15:00. IPP Elvet took me to task for being somewhat retiring and not wearing my ‘gong’, so after we had more or less finished eating, I plucked up courage and approached the head table and the Head Man. He was very nice, and we exchanged a few words. He was pleased to hear that I’d just returned from Dunoon but disappointed that I hadn’t been at the RIBI presidential handover at nearby Paisley that same weekend. We look forward to seeing him at our Conference in the Isle of Mann in September.

We again went our separate ways after lunch. Sue and I spent some time in the main pavilion, seeing some impressive dancing and then made our way into the town, where we spotted Mr & Mrs Kay enjoying an ice-cream – after that big lunch!! The evocative smell of a steam engine then drew us to the station, where Sue allowed me a few nostalgic minutes, before we made our way back to the Eisteddfod. Our last stop there was at an outside stage, where a young lady by the name of Elin Fflur was singing, accompanied by a keyboard and a guitar. I later ‘Googled’ her and learnt that she is well known in Wales, has been singing since she was three, and now also works for the local radio station. She was very good indeed.

And so back to the coach, where we dozed our way home, after very Grand Day Out. Thanks, Bill!

President John.

Sep / Oct 2010

Just for fun, and to hopefully put you in a quiz mood, please feel free to have a go at the questions below? (Editor)
1. Which is the only football premiership ground containing the letter x?
2. Which is the only bird that can fly backwards?
3. What is the most commonly used word in the English language?
4. Which finger nail grows the fastest?
5. What nine letter word in the English language is still a word when any of one of the nine letters is removed one by one?

                       Tribute to Past President W. Ramsay, 1915 – 2010
Bill died at the end of a long life, lived to the full, on the 4th of August. By a sad coincidence, he died on the very morning of the funeral of his dear wife Gwen, who had passed away only some eleven days earlier. They were inseparable in life, celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary recently. Now they are united in death.

Bill came from farming stock in County Durham. He graduated from Durham University in Physics and initially took a teaching post in Huddersfield. By happy chance he met Gwen, also a teacher, from Newhey, Rochdale, when they both were attending a course in Blackpool. They married in 1940. Bill was called up and joined the Army, soon to be commissioned in the Signals. He was sent to the East and narrowly missed landing in Singapore as the Japanese invaded.
He was diverted to India, where he spent the next four years training Indian recruits.

After the war, he and Gwen settled in Newhey, when he was appointed as a physics teacher at the Grammar School. He soon rose to become head of department, establishing a fine record of success.

He joined the Rotary Club of Rochdale in 1972 and Gwen joined Inner Wheel. They both served as President in their respective clubs and in many other capacities, putting their hearts and souls into the movement. A fine record of Service.

Bill had not been well for some months so his end was not unexpected, but he and Gwen will be sadly missed by their many friends.
Geoff Howard - Past President

Paul Harris Fellowship Presentation to Rotarian Peter B Smith
Peter first joined the Rotary Club of Rochdale early in 1979 but had to resign in May 1981 through the pressures of his own textile business. He rejoined the club in 1990.
Peter is a former Chairman of Round Table. His interests included serious walking which provided the momentum for us to start our charity fundraising walks (known as water walks). Peter started this project off in the early 1990’s and it continued in that format until a few years ago, raising over £65,000 for Rotary charities. When Peter became President in 1999 he promoted the Feast of a Thousand Years at the Town Hall, raising a further £5,000.

Peter receives his Paul Harris Fellowship from President John.
Peter also enthusiastically supported Rotary Foundation and in particular the exchange visits of the GSE teams.
Council were delighted to award Peter a Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of his considerable contribution to the Rotary Movement for over twenty years. Congratulations.

President’s Remarks
My first ‘official’ meeting was on the 15th, with the Focus Interview. Only a couple of people nodded off and there were no embarrassing questions…..

The following week, we found out about how new member Bob Chadwick earns his keep at the local council. From his early days helping out at the local rugby club, to his present position in what was the highways department, Bob has spent all his life in the local area and all his working life with Rochdale Council. That makes it sound like a boring experience for both himself and the audience at the Masonic.

Well that couldn’t be further from the truth. In a light hearted and informative talk, it quickly became apparent that life in the local council is interesting, challenging and at times frustrating. Most of us only see biased newspaper reports and it was encouraging to hear that the council is doing their best for the local population under increasingly difficult circumstances.

Bob also touched on his involvement with the NSPCC and his intention to do a sponsored walk in foreign parts to raise some much needed monies. No doubt we will be hearing more about this in the future! (Another talk, Bob)?

Another facet to Bob’s busy life is his involvement in hospital radio, but that is a talk for another day, so we’ll just have to wait to find out about that.

In a change to the published programme, Martin Coupe gave a fascinating and informative talk about the Royal Charter on the evening of the 29th of July. Most of us were expecting an historical yawn about some ancient scroll. Well, we needn’t have been concerned. Martin came up with a transport based illustrated talk, which few of us knew anything about, which held everyone’s attention right to the rather sad end.

The Royal Charter was an iron hulled steam clipper ship, built in 1855 near Chester. She was intended to go from Liverpool to Australia in 60 days – which she successfully achieved on a regular basis. In October 1859, when returning from Melbourne, she ran into bad weather off Anglesey. As the wind rose to hurricane force, she anchored off the north east coast to ride out the storm. Unfortunately, the anchor failed to hold the ship, and she went aground on rocks near Moelfre. Of the 450 passengers and crew, only 21 passengers and 18 of the crew survived. There was a lot of gold bullion on board too, much of which disappeared…. There is a memorial stone near the point where the ship came to grief, and parts of the hull are still visible.
Nice one, Martin!

Robert Namushi called on his experience and historical knowledge to present a fascinating talk on the history of his homeland, Zambia, on the 5th of August.

Our lunch time meeting on the 12th was down to David Acton, who as usual kept us smiling with an interesting insight into the ways of a Community Service Convenor, including the recent developments in the Grow Bag saga and an update on the Craft Fair. We also had the pleasure of ADG Jon Lovgreen, who had a few words at the end of the meeting.

Rotarian Emma Buckley and President John sample some Spanish wine (thankfully the other members of the club did leave them some ….. but only a little).Emma gave us an excellent talk about wine making in Spain at our evening meeting on the 19th. Not only did she keep everyone fully awake but she also brought along examples of a Sherry, a Cava and a Rioja, which we all tried! I have always enjoyed French wines and thought of Cava as a cheap alternative to champagne. In some respects that’s true as it is less expensive but it’s very palatable and certainly a worthy competitor. The success of Emma’s talk can be judged by the fact that I had to call a stop to the questions as we were well over time!

The previous evening, a select few of us took part in Stan Fielding's 2nd evening Car Treasure Hunt. My car had Sue, Lis Kay and Keith Crossley. An excellent team and apart from one small navigational error, we did well, seeing most of the clues. We arrived at the Higher Trap Inn for a very acceptable meal. Having organised these sorts of events myself, I can appreciate the amount of time and effort that Stan and his helpers must have spent to allow the entrants to have such a Good Time. Those who didn’t take part missed out. An excellent event – thanks, Stan!

On the 26th of August the Masonic was closed for holidays so we de-camped to the Church Inn at Birtle. A total of about 30 members and wives enjoyed an excellent choice of food at a Good Price. Thanks to Chris for organising an enjoyable evening of fellowship.

Looking ahead, it’s time to start thinking about our trip to the Annual District 1280 Conference on the Isle of Mann, so can those of you who are going, please check your travel arrangements.

President John.


The Rotary Club of Rochdale organised the Annual Arts and Craft fair held in the Great Hall at Rochdale Town Hall to coincide with the Civic Trust Heritage Weekend. Thanks to our Mayor Councillor Zulfiqar Ali for allowing the club to have the 4th Craft fair in such magnificent surroundings.

Rotarian Bob Chadwick reflects on the day;

8am in front of Rochdale Town Hall, David Acton mustered the troops and the standard issue Rotary tabards were distributed to the valiant men who had made this early hour on a Sunday morning. The group of pensioners awaiting the coach to Porth Cawl were a little bewildered by the sight of ten day-glow figures!

The first Crafters arrived before the doors were open and they were joined by a cyclist from Warrington, who was wondering where the Tour of Britain Cycle Race organisers were. David broke the news gently that he was 24 hours too late.

For the next two hours, cars and vans disgorged their wares, which were whisked up the stairs to the Grand Hall by the Rotarians. Those that couldn’t quite whisk made good use of the lift.

The floor was soon full but as the final table was being filled, the lady suddenly realised she was surrounded by Crafters and not people purveying wedding paraphernalia. The good Rotarians soon helped her back downstairs and into the Wedding Fair being held there.

David Acton turned his hand to marshalling the wedding cars outside the Town Hall. He craftily arranged them either side of the 1958 convertible Jaguar XK150, a trip in which was second prize in the Rotary Grand Draw. He would no doubt have found room for the light aircraft President John was to pilot for the first prize had it been allowed to land in Rochdale Town Centre!

Despite the lack of the plane, all the tickets were sold before noon. A steady flow of people passed around the stalls where there was plenty of choice painting and prints, cards and books, jewellery and pottery, sweets and cakes and even reiki and massage on a bed in the middle of the hall!

The Inner Wheel had a horticultural stall, while Rochdale Rotary promoted the Friends Together Befriending Service. Heritage Tours of the Town Hall passed through every half hour or so, while in the Entrance Hall downstairs, Jonathan Swift, the alter ego of our newest member, Keith Swift, entertained the Wedding Fair visitors with his Frank Sinatra Swing routine.

The climax of the event was the announcement of the winners of the Grand Draw. David and President John took to the stage for the event. The winning ticket holder came from Wigan, while the second prize was claimed by a stall holder adjacent to the stage. Martin Coupe and Joan Banks scooped a prize each.

Then the great packing up exercise began, fortunately the stall holders had had a good day, so fewer goods had to be taken downstairs than had been transported up. Chairs and tables were stacked, tabards removed and everyone reflected on the success of the day. A day which raised a total of £1,900 for Christies and the Migraine Action Association.

              BULLETIN OCT/NOV 2010

Christmas Concert – Wed 15 Dec 2010 at Heywood Civic Hall
I have been asked by the management at Heywood Civic Hall to organise a Christmas Concert in December with the profits going to our President’s charities.

We have engaged the Ashton-under-Lyne Brass Band and the Cantere Ladies Choir to perform for us. The band are in the highest echelon of brass banding (Championship Section) and the choir are the re-named Debroise Choir, also an outstanding group.

The event will not actually involve our club in selling tickets for the concert (that will be done from the Civic Hall) but I feel we should support, as much as possible, by our attendance. The cost is £5.50 per ticket. Please support this as much as you can. Many thanks.
Rtn Tom Hobson.

* Quiz Challenge – 8th November 2010 at the Norton Grange, commencing @ 7.30 pm Rochdale now have a team of four but reserves and supporters are most welcome. A pie and gateaux supper is included at a price of £8 per person. If any other Rotarians are interested in coming along, please let Neil Helliwell know (tel 01706 657998 or e-mail

President John's Remarks

The Conference on the Isle of Mann went well but with disappointingly few Rotarians from District 1280 attending. I’m pleased to say that our club fielded the same as last year in terms of numbers, so we did OK – thank you to all of you who supported me in my special year in my homeland. IPP Elvet will have more to say about the conference elsewhere in this bulletin.

Our lunchtime meeting on the 9th saw District Governor Bernard Tupman at the Masonic, who updated us with the goings on at District level and later congratulated us being a well organised club – thank you team!

The Craft Fair on the 12th was a great success, masterminded by David Acton, heavily supported by his young bride Sheila, who never seemed to be in one place for more than a few seconds on the day. We ran out of raffle tickets before lunch time and Anneliese won the ‘most tickets sold’ award by a big margin – over 60 – and was then frustrated because we’d no more left… Well done Anneliese! The stallholders that I spoke to all said that they would be back next year, so an opportunity for another record breaking year in 2011. We made about £1,900 on the day, including a generous donation from Ted Jenkins – thanks Ted.

Sue & I left for the IoM directly after the Craft Fair, so we missed the talk about the Oldham Coliseum.

I was initially disappointed to discover that the talk about clocks was actually about CLOGS! But my disappointment soon changed, when I realised how little I knew about clogs. Norman Bishop gave a fascinating talk on the history, manufacture and differing styles of clogs – which is still produced today for specialist groups but not, of course, in daily use by very many now.

Our Charities evening on the 30th of September was well attended and took place at the Broadfield. Just as well, as the service was a bit slow and both speakers enjoyed a good twenty minutes each. But as we had the room for the evening, there was no pressure….

Firstly, Lee Tomkins, director of the Migraine Action Association, told us about the work that the MAA has been doing since 1958, helping those who suffer from the disabling headaches that disrupt one in seven people’s lives every day. Interestingly, 60% of sufferers never consult their GP, because they think that nothing can be done to help them. I had given up any hope of help and abandoned myself to putting up with it, having had little success with either GPs or alternative therapies, until a chance comment with one GP at the local practice made him suggest something I hadn’t tried. To my amazement, it actually worked! I wish I’d tried it 18 years ago when it was introduced! In the words of Churchill, “never, never, never give up…”

Then Terry Dean, from Christie’s took the floor. Terry is the Secretary of the Fund Raising Team for Rochdale, Oldham & Middleton. He told us about the new Radiotherapy Unit in Oldham and how it will help those of us to the north of Manchester, when cancer strikes either ourselves or someone close to us, by significantly reducing the travelling time needed for treatment. It is my wish to support this unit, as it is clearly beneficial to us and being new needs as much financial support as possible.

Lee Tomkins, director of MAA, President John, Dr Mercy Nyangulu, Rotary Club of Harare Central and Terry Dean, Hon. Sec, Oldham, Rochdale & Middleton Fund-raising Team at the Charity Evening are all thanked for making the evening so enjoyable

Everyone of us has been touched by cancer, either directly or indirectly, and I’m sure that all of you will support me in doing what we can this year to raise monies for Christie’s and the MAA, both charities trying to make life more bearable for a lot of people.

Report of Art and CRAFT Fair by Bob Chadwick is on another Rotary web page

Visitors Evening
The club was delighted to host a great evening of fun at our Visitors Evening on Thursday 7th October 2010.
Over 60 people enjoyed a meal at the Masonic Rooms including several members of Rochdale East, two Assistant District Governors (one from Zimbabwe) and many visitors who we hope were interested in joining or supporting the Rotary movement and our club.
The speaker was Stephen Pickering better known as The Comedian DUDLEY DOOLITTLE. Stephen lives in Littleborough and gave us an amusing review of his life so far from growing up in Belfield, working as a joiner with David Castree (President of Rochdale East), being a member of several successful groups to his present role as the warm up artist for several TV shows including “Count Down” on Granada.
His brief was to “amuse us” but I see that the instructions had a typo and said he was to “abuse us” which he actually did in his usual friendly way. I think I can say that he was a great success and all present had a super evening.

Rtn John F Kay
Membership Committee Convenor

District Conference IOM 2010
It was rather nice for our President (from a long line of IOM Cannells) to go back to his ancestral home along with 13 Rochdale Rotarians. We had a sea front Douglas hotel the Empress - seaweedy sea breezes, long front, windy mixed weather, nearly every form of transport was tried by different Rotarians. President had a geneological few days with Sue diverted by flora and fauna; hastily appeared at first Session of conference; awoken from his reverie by stage announcement - Rochdale awarded Keith Hoskinson Trophy for the Befriending Community project.Liz Tatman handed over the trophy (or one like it ) to John - well done Mike Tomkinson and John for applying for it and so well deserved!
This years Conference was a bit under subscribed with about 400 attenders; partly distance partly limited local enthusiasm. However the Villa Marina venue a few yards from our Hotel was freely given, provided excellent acoustics, visual effects and space, enhanced by flower beds and a great sea view balcony. DG Bernard Tupman, keen bandsman all his life, led a Manx salute to the Proms on Friday evening with Rushen Silver Band and Meadowside Choral Society. All our club were very hoarse afterwards but soon recovered their normal voluble selves with soothing liquids back at the hotel. Funny thing though was (Stan noticed it first) some disrobed men were spotted lurking at the back of the men's room showing off some gear better suited to a Chippendales evening. This was also confirmed much later by Clive so Stan was allowed to resume normal proceedings. It seems that aside from Rotarians, Hens are also interested in weekends away from the drudgery of modern life and are entertained to brackish music at the rear of the building.

Highlights of Conference presentations were Trade Aid, Salford Sailing group for young people, Royal National Life boats and update on Life boxes by its founder Tom Henderson.RI
RIBI President Jim Moulson gave a good solid and down to earth view of Rotary and how it must modernise to continue to bring in new members. This year's theme from Ray Klingismith, President of RI, is 'Building Communities,Building Continents'. It is designed to speak to the non Rotary world about what Rotary is and what we do.

Entertainment came from Gervais Phinn, Yorkshire wit ex schoolteacher and school inspector; one knew why he'd got Speaker of the Year award - so fluent and relaxed with great humour.

Jan Meek made nonsense of her age, doing ocean racing with her son over 3000 miles, Dot Tilbury is a local comedian and appeared in a Woolworth stores costume haranging Jim Moulson when he didn't find the right article to put in a typical Woolies customer's bag. Jim was as funny as her .

Rochdale East was also there in numbers with President David at the helm and much involved with the entertainment side of the conference.

Another great conference expedition and everyone got back safe and sound! Next years dates are 7th-9th October in Scarborough. .Let Joan know soon if you want to go. You're sure to have a great time.

IPP Elvet Smith

Nov / Dec 2010

President’s Remarks

Our lunchtime meeting on the 14 of October was a business meeting. Several issues were addressed but nothing controversial.

The evening of the 21st of October told us a great deal about Alec Issigonis’s ‘Mosquito’, to become the familiar Morris Minor, when introduced in 1948. But this tale was about the van version, specifically as used by the Post Office Royal Mail Service.

Peter Miller spent many years rescuing and re-building such a vehicle to a high standard and then used it to drive the length of the country! It is now in a museum, having suffered terminal engine failure.

Anne Overton, the Community Fundraising Manager for the RNIB drove up from Burton on Trent on the 28th of October, to tell us about the work that the RNIB does and especially about the Talking Books service that they offer to blind people.

She explained that the readers are all professional actors, who take great care to produce a quality result. The Talking Books are now supplied on CD and a specially designed player has been developed, which is easy for a non sighted person to operate and as demonstrated, has very good audio quality.

The way that we can help is by sponsoring a book. The book in question would be dedicated to our Club and so give us some publicity. Individuals can also sponsor a book, which would be dedicated to them.

If anyone wishes to help, Anne can be contacted on 01283 812 074, or by e-mail at

The 4th of November’s meeting was all about bowel cancer – not a very exciting subject, you might think, but Audrey Howarth’s bubbly character made for a very interesting, informative and at times amusing presentation. A more detailed report will appear elsewhere.

The International committee organised the meeting on the 11th of November. David Cook told us about the Hillary Dell Cook Memorial Fund. Dell & David met whilst studying dentistry and soon married. Dell spent her life helping others in many ways, much of it in Uganda. Her sudden death at only 65 came as a great shock to all who new her. David gave an interesting and informative synopsis of her life. More information can be found here:-

This meeting was also the first use of the club’s recently acquired projector, which worked perfectly with my vintage (2001) laptop and should prove to be a useful asset.

Our curiosity about ‘A life Sentence’ was finally resolved on the 18th of November, when Paul Hazelhurst told us of his intimate involvement with Rochdale Football Club. Not a subject that I have any great interest in but as Paul’s perspective was from the financial aspect, it proved an interesting and informative talk about one of the few successful clubs in the country, owing to sound financial management.

I’m looking forward to our Charter night on the 3rd of December. I have it on good authority that the musical entertainment by the John Hallam Trio is not to be missed and have been lent one of his CDs, which is excellent. I look forward to your company on our Special Night!

President John.

District Conference - A Virgin in the Isle of Man
Yes it was my first time and I did not know quite what to expect. The experience was a very pleasant surprise so I was glad that my wife Joan had persuaded me to take this step into the unknown.

Rotary District Conference was indeed a whole new experience for me. In fact I had never ever attended a conference of this kind before. Nothing I had been told about Conference in the months leading up to the event came close to making me believe that it could possibly rise above “hum-drum” and rather boring. That misconception I am pleased to say was quickly dispelled.

I have met my fellow Rotarians in party mood before. This time they were in holiday - party mood which made for a very pleasant week-end. Indeed the pleasure of which was heightened by the fact that all the other attendees and others connected with Conference had gone with the same carefree spirit.

The conference itself did not live up to my expectations, it far exceeded them insofar that all the speakers, both Rotarian and invited professionals were lively, interesting and informative. Entertainments, in session and in the evenings, were excellent and most enjoyable. All the Conferenceites seemed to enjoy it too.

I know that many in our club have probably been to Conference so many times that they have possibly become bored with it and no longer bother to attend. Why not have a break from staying at home in October 2011 when we seasoned Conference goers will travel to Scarborough?

For members who think about Conference as I thought about it prior to September 17th should also “give it a whirl”. Go on, you know it makes sense.

Rtn Keith Banks – Conference Old Hand.

Cancer Screening for Bowel Cancer

Rotary Club of Rochdale was updated by Audrey Howarth on the NHS bowel cancer screening programme, at a special awareness evening for members at the Masonic hall recently.

The Northwest has a high rate of Colon cancer which can be fatal if left undetected. The screening programme automatically sends a special testing kit every two years to all 60 to 70 year olds in our area.

By using the simple to use kit, blood can be detected and this can indicate the early stages of a cancer in approx. 10% of positive people, who are then offered further scanning and colonoscopy tests.

Screening for breast cancer has been successful in picking up early problems and this project looks to be even more helpful
Already hundreds of people with colonic polyps and cancer have been found and successfully treated. They wouldn't have known otherwise as it picks up problems before symptoms develop.

Even if you are not in the age category by ringing the freephone number 0800 7076060 a kit will be sent to you.

Audrey, a born communicator, gave a detailed talk, with a lively and light hearted question and answer session afterward,

Rotarian Dr Ravi Sharma has for many years been seeing the ravages of bowel cancer in the community and thanked Audrey for her great energy and commitment
  IPP Elvet Smith

Jan / Feb 2011

Bag Packing – Part 1

The amounts raised at the three bag packing events were Tesco £612, Morrisons 1st visit £618 and Morrisons 2nd visit £325. Many thanks again to everyone who helped

President’s Remarks

Well I’m almost half way through my Presidential year. As several people, both in our club and others told me, the year really flies by. It certainly does….

A couple of bag packing sessions raised over £1,200 – thanks to all who helped – with a third, rather last minute session on the Wednesday before Christmas, which only managed just over £300, but not bad, considering the limited number of people who could take part.

I was disappointed not to see anyone else at the Youth Orchestra’s Christmas Concert, apart from Peter & Gill Smith. You missed an excellent evening.
Charter Night has been & gone, I hope those of you who were there enjoyed the night – I certainly did! Also the SGM on the 9th of December is now a distant memory. The Christmas Concert at the Heywood Civic Centre was First Class, to be expected from one of the best brass bands in the country, the Ashton–under-Lyne Band, who can be heard again, at the same venue, for our fund raising event in April. Don’t miss it!

The Christmas Meal on the 16th of December, ably organised by Mike Lucas, was the penultimate meeting of the year, with Rotarians in Good Voice.

For our last meeting of 2010, IPP Elvet reviewed his Presidential Year, and it was good to be reminded of his enthusiastic style, with some amusing memories being revived. A fitting end to 2010.

Sue & I went up to our friends at Dunoon and enjoyed New Year’s Eve as guests of the local hotelier and his wife. A few days earlier, we took our friends out for a special lunch, to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. I hope that we are in as good a shape as they are now, in 2025 when, all being well, we will be celebrating ours.

Our 1st meeting of 2011 was a presentation by our own Paul Rowen, who surprised us with his exploits as a mountaineer, having been involved with the Duke of Edinburgh Award when he was teaching. Not just any mountain, not even in the UK - Mount Kilimanjaro! A challenge in anyone’s book! Just doing it with a team of experienced adults would be enough for most, but doing it with a collection of enthusiastic youngsters…. As Paul explained, preparation is the most important aspect, including acclimatisation to the rarefied atmosphere. Very few failed to achieve the climb – an impressive record of success.

This was also our second use of the new projector. There was an unforeseen problem, when Paul’s new laptop didn’t have the appropriate socket for the interconnecting cable. So Paul kindly went home and collected his old laptop, which had the correct socket, but they still wouldn’t communicate!! After some 15 minutes of head scratching and button pushing, Bob Chadwick got us close to the solution and a little more button pushing solved the problem. To avoid this happening in future, I will always bring my old laptop too and a means of transferring any presentations to it, so we won’t be embarrassed in the future!

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy & Successful 2011.
President John.

A Big Thank You
On behalf of the Community Committee, I would like to thank all the members who helped with the bag packing at Morrisons and Tesco, also to those members who collected and delivered the Christmas parcels particularly in the snow, to Brian Cunliffe and his staff for the use of his premises and their help. Thanks.
Rtn David Acton

Dr H Padmanabhan

For those who do not see the Rochdale Observer, I thought you should know that "Pad", a former member, died suddenly at home on Christmas Day aged 78. His funeral is on Friday 14/01/11 at 11.50 am at Rochdale Crematorium.
Pad was a friendly and well respected member. I was particularly sad when he decided to leave the club in 1997.
Rtn Dean Sherriff

Shelter Boxes

I have just received advice note for the two shelter boxes we sent in August. They went to Indonesia, for the homeless, after the eruption of Mount Merapi.
Rtn John Whitley

March / April 2011

On the 10th of February, our lunchtime gathering was entertained and educated by our guest John Haslam, who spoke about antique glass: drinking glasses that is. John gave us a most interesting insight into the development of the manufacture and design of glasses from a range of examples on display, dating from Roman to the 19th Century but mainly the 18th Century when the development of the modern decorative, sophisticated designs began.

We learned that there were several centres of excellence in Britain where glassware was produced and most of us were surprised to learn that in the 19th and early 20th centuries Manchester was the principal U.K. producer of glassware of all types manufactured by the pressing process rather than the traditional blowing and hand forming method. John delivered a most informative talk, much appreciated by all who were able to attend. - Rtn Keith Banks

President’s Remarks
Our meeting on the 20th of January was at the Broadfield. It memorable for two things, Keith Swift’s job talk and the unbelievable time it took to serve the meal. Chris Bryning took the establishment to task before we left, as we have several more meetings here this year. He was told that they were short staffed – something of an understatement – but provided we spoke to them a few days before, they assured him that they would bring extra staff in to ensure that we don’t have a repeat performance.

Keith’s job talk was most entertaining, in every sense of the word. I was interested to hear that he was born and lived in Wythenshawe in his early life, not far from where I started life in nearby Brooklands four years earlier. The coincidence continued, with Keith moving to this area in 1974, just a year before Sue & I moved north of Manchester.

However that’s as far as the similarities went. Keith had a desire to see the world, and thought that a job in surveying might achieve this. Wrong! But his enjoyment of singing, from being in various choirs to acquiring a Karaoke machine, led to being involved with a group. This, at last, allowed his desire to travel to be somewhat satisfied, touring at one point with David Bowie. He worked for various companies in their logistics departments, owned and ran a shop and had his own taxi, before becoming involved with local government.

But along with the day job, he has an alter ego – Frank Sinatra. His success as a tribute act to the late great man has been growing steadily and he ended his talk with three numbers from Sinatra’s repertoire, to rapturous applause. Thanks for an excellent evening, Keith!

Our lunchtime meeting on the 27th was presented by Kath Halstead. Following the loss of her husband, she decided to take up a major challenge. Wanting to do something for charity, she elected to go to China and walk part of the Great Wall. Some of the pictures she showed us were daunting, with the Wall stretching away almost to infinity and it wasn’t all flat, with steep valleys to negotiate too. Just seeing the pictures was enough to put any normal person off even considering such a task! I can’t recall the charity, or the exact amount, but I think Kath raised over £4,000. It makes our efforts at Nidderdale seem insignificant…

On the 3rd of February Steve Carroll and Anna Reeves, representing Ace Centre North, arrived with an impressive collection of “toys” – but all with a very positive purpose – to allow those who have difficulty in communicating to do so. A quote from Stephen Hawking in their literature says it all: ‘Even more basic than the freedom of speech is the freedom to speak’. A fascinating half hour of demonstration followed, with all manner of clever switches, special keyboards, unusual joysticks and on a more basic level, special small spiral-bound sets of pictures. All with the one aim, to allow those who can’t communicate in the usual way to make themselves understood. Modern technology makes this so much easier than only a few years ago. The one thing that I found most impressive is a system that allows the eye to control the cursor of a computer, which is under development. Amazing stuff.

The lunch time meeting on the 10th of February was unusual in that it introduced us to another collector. John Haslam presented us with a very expensive table full of old glasses – the drinking kind – and gave us a fascinating insight into the development of mainly wine glasses over the years. The oldest specimen was 300BC but was far from being the most expensive. The biggest surprise of the day came to Anneliese, when I asked her to give the vote of thanks. Owing to a misunderstanding, she wasn’t expecting to do it…. However, with hardly any hesitation, she performed perfectly. Thanks and apologies, Anneliese!

The ‘do’ at the Bella Vista on Friday the 11th was well attended. We had an excellent evening, raising some £300 for the International Committees of Inner Wheel and Rotary. A full report appears elsewhere.

Our first evening poetry meeting also went well, with some first class performances from members. It would take up too much space to enlarge on them – suffice it to say that the evening was a success. The best new poem was by Liz Smith, especially for this evening, to introduce the final act of the evening – the presentation to Mike Lucas of a Paul Harris Fellowship. The citation reads as follows:-

Mike Lucas is made a Paul Harris Follow

“Known to us as Mike, he joined the Rotary Club of Rochdale in mid 1981 sponsored by Bill Ramsay.

Mike was soon participating in Club and District Service being a member of the Club and The District Youth Exchange Committee for 10 years. Indeed he was Chairman of it for most of this period.

Mike became Club President in 1992/3 and in his year of office he organised a musical event at The Oulder Hill Theatre raising several thousand pounds for the Hospital Silver Heart Appeal.
He has contributed much to the continued success of the District Life Education Unit and served on that committee for 7 years.

Mike has been deeply involved for with the Rochdale Youth Orchestra which we sponsored for many years and helped co-ordinate their programmes and involvement with our club. In particular he organised a float for them to appear at our first open air craft fair.

His own musical talents are utilised by the Club at our annual Christmas Meal when Mike kindly leads us in the carol singing.

Mike has served on your Club Council, on and off, for over 6 years and has carried out the important duty of Speaker’s Secretary for the past 5 years. A job which he has undertaken with considerable enthusiasm and commitment to ensure the Club is never let down through having a vacant spot. Indeed this evening’s Poetry night is Mike’s brainchild.

Overall Mike has never failed us in his commitment to all our Club activities over the years and in recognition of this and his considerable contribution to the Rotary Movement over 30 years, your Council is delighted to award to you Mike, this Paul Harris Fellowship which I am pleased to present to you on behalf of all members of the Rochdale Rotary Club.”

Finally, on the 24th of February, our lunchtime meeting enjoyed an excellent presentation from our very own Stan Fielding, after reminding the assembled audience, in verse, that I managed to arrive at Tesco’s instead of Morrison’s to relieve him for my stint shaking the bucket for Polio Plus. When the unsympathetic laughter had died down, he started.
His talk was entitled ‘After the Battle of Britain’, and focussed initially on the work of Coastal Command throughout the war, who initially guarded our shores from marauding U boats, intent on preventing our ships from arriving and leaving port. Later, with the help of Bletchley Park and the addition of longer-range aircraft such as the Sunderland, submarine hunting could take place over the Atlantic to protect our convoys of supply ships.

Stan then turned to his part. After his initial training in Canada, he returned to the UK and was assigned to Coastal Command, initially flying Bristol Blenheims. He progressed onto another from the Bristol company, the Beaufighter, known by the Japanese as ‘the Whispering Death’ because of its speed and firepower. Finally he flew the de Havilland Mosquito, in its shipping strike configuration, attacking various enemy shipping. Having completed his front line tour of duty, Stan became a ferry pilot, and amused us with some of his tales in that role.

The audience listened intently and after a few questions, and the vote of thanks, applauded well beyond the usual polite response. Thanks, Stan.

President John

International Fundraiser - Bella Vista

Some 50 years ago Marion and I used to sit holding hands, listening to “Songs for Swinging Lovers”, the Frank Sinatra LP: that’s how we did our courting!

So when I learned that the joint Inner Wheel / Rotary event at the Bellavista, 11th February, was to feature “Old Blue Eyes”, I looked forward with great anticipation.

Sure enough, we were treated to all the old Sinatra favourites sung by our very own Jonathon Swift (see below), complete with 1930’s mike, trilby and flashy shoes. The elegant phrasing, the consummate Nelson Riddell arrangements were all there. Marion and I particularly enjoyed Keith’s rendering of “You Make Me Feel So Young”, our special theme song.

Sixty four “Francophiles” gathered for this excellent evening of food and music, raising money for Inner Wheel and Rotary Overseas charities. Our knowledge of the lad from Hoboken was tested by an exacting quiz set by Kate Walmsley. Somehow Table 1 managed to win. I think Mike Tomkinson had something to do with that.

As the evening warmed up, some of the young at heart took to the dance floor; 14 of us high kicked our way through the big finale “New York, New York”

Pauline Smithard and Sue Cannell organised an excellent raffle, which boosted the overall amount raised by the evening to £319.

After it was officially over, Jonathon sang on and dancing continued, I am told, until 3.00 am.

Rtn Dean Sherriff

Mike the Muse (A tribute to Mike Lucas- latest Club Paul Harris Fellow)
O Poetry Muser:
You have a love of prose and rhyme.
Keep us aware of that deep art,
Force our minds to think deep thoughts,
But not so deep that we’ll depart.

O Poetry Master:
You have other art forms divine,
Not least the classical music theme.
Tinkling fingers hymned Christmas gone
Keeping all our faces a beam.

O Poetry Revealer:
Let your mind expand beyond
Mere words and rhythm’s plane.
Get on your laptop, fingers wild.
This won’t be against your grain.

O Poetry Spirit:
Gone are gloved catches of yore,
Gone Silver Heart sales making magic.
Ongoing is the Speaker’s shore
With just a nudge, sometimes tragic.

O Poetry Receiver:
Keep blasting on your trade,
Keep singing church and choral song.
Paul Harris had your sort in mind.
Rotary is where you belong!

Liz Smith

April / May 2011 (2011-02)


As David Smithard will be away on holiday until late May will you please contact Mike Tomkinson if you have any enquiries about the trip.
Rtn Mike Tomkinson

Sad News for Family Action Rochdale

As a result of Government funding cuts, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council has allocated a much lower level of funding which has resulted in a much reduced level of service, combining elements of the services formerly provided. Staff levels have been reduced from 13 to 3.5, two admin posts have disappeared altogether and 9 existing professional staff have been interviewed for the reduced number of posts.

Also, to achieve economies in running costs, Family Action has vacated 37, St. Alban’s Street and the staff re-located to premises on Langley Estate, where the rent is considerably lower. The move took place at the end of March.

This is very sad news and the atmosphere, when I visited St. Alban’s Street during those last days, felt just like a bereavement. Memories of all the good work done by the Unit over the years came flooding back.

The work with families in desperate need still goes on and it is hoped that the Club will feel that it has become even more important in these straightened circumstances to continue to support Family Action as we have done in the past.
Rtn Dean Sherriff

President’s Remarks

Our meeting of the 3rd of March was notable for several reasons. It was at the Broadfield and I think we were all wondering how long the meal would take this time. Well we were pleasantly surprised. The food was served promptly (it would have been at exactly 18:30, had not members been a bit slow vacating the bar area!) and the food was good, even down to introducing Summer Rations. Thanks due to Chris Bryning for sorting them out.

Our speaker was Alan Shackleton, who had us all guessing with the intriguing title ‘She made me love her’. Well it was nothing to do with the present Mrs Shackleton, nor with some previously unmentioned assignation, but a thought provoking essay on modern life and the difference between ‘want’ and ‘aught’ – what should I do and what aught I do? The material world & peer pressure have a lot to answer for, I think….

Some weeks ago Allan Beswick introduced two half hour programmes on R4 entitled ‘Wheels Coming off at the Rotary’. I recorded these and edited them down to one half hour presentation. At our lunchtime meeting on the 10th, I played this back. It generated a certain amount of controversy, but as time was against us, it was agreed that we should discuss the programme at length at another lunchtime meeting.

On the 17th, Mary Davidson gave us an excellent slide presentation about the American National Parks. Despite an enthusiastic and time consuming session with the smile box, Mary still managed to get through all her slides, accompanied by an amusing and informative commentary.
The meeting on the 24th of March was entitled ‘Musical Musings’, by Noel Broadbent, who kept us well entertained with his stories with a musical twist, delivered at breakneck speed, and finishing with seconds to spare! A roller coaster musical journey with humour…

Our visitor’s evening on the 31st of March was an excellent evening, with 41 of us present. The delectable Catherine Tydlesley told us about her life so far – and we now wait to see if any of the guests decide to join Rotary….

On the 2nd of April Sue & I went to the Gracie Fields Theatre to enjoy the Youth Orchestra’s Spring Concert. Another enjoyable evening and I was pleased to see one or two other members of our club there this time.

At our first meeting in April, we had a delegation from Redwood, including their head, Stuart Pigeon. A report will appear elsewhere in this bulletin.

Our AGM was well attended on the 14th, and was notable for the lack of controversy this year. All went smoothly, thanks to careful preparation by secretary Martin.

Our next Important Event is the St George’s day concert on the 23rd. I hope to see you all there, as it is my last major fund raising ‘do’ of my term in office.

President John

Sydney Cove Rotary Club Visit

At the end of my recent cruise along South Australia and New Zealand, Merrilyn and I spent 3 days in Sydney. As well as climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, visiting the Opera House and Darling Harbour, we both attended a breakfast meeting of the Sydney Cove Rotary Club. The meeting was held on a Captain Cook ferry in Circular Cove no.6 in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge itself. A cooked breakfast followed Rotary Grace and that was followed by a presentation to the ferry’s Captain who was retiring and then the induction of a new member to the Club.

The Master of Arms then proceeded to ‘fine’ the majority of Rotarians for various misdemeanours e.g. not wearing their Rotary pin. One Rotarian was fined for not informing the previous week’s meeting that their adopted race horse was running, thus depriving members from placing bets on it. To make matters worse, it came second in its race so an each way bet would have produced funds for the Club!

Merrilyn and I were made very welcome by Rotarian Gary who it turned out used to visit north-west England on a regular basis as he was in the textile business. He said he had stayed in a hotel, on a hill, about a mile outside Rochdale about 15 years ago but could not remember its name. As we were leaving my northern accent was commented upon by another Rotarian who was an exile from Blackburn.

(Above) Bob Chadwick exchanging Club pennants with President Robert Lee and Master of Arms, John Walker looking on.

The meeting itself ended not with the Rotary Final Toast, but with a rendition of the Australian National Anthem. Merrilyn and I mimed unsuccessfully, not unlike John Redwood MP when he was Welsh Secretary!

Rtn Bob Chadwick
Sports at Redwood School
Our meeting 7th April was “taken over” by the “Dynamic Duo” from Redwood’s Sports Department, Garry Smith and Dave Butterworth. They overwhelmed us with details of all the activities they organise: 27 different sports, after school clubs, an aquathon and skiing. No one could fail to be impressed by the “can do – we’ll try anything” attitude of the staff. This indefatigably positive attitude obviously has spread to the pupils. At times it was difficult to remember that all the pupils at Redwood have some sort of disability, physical, mental or both.

Garry and Dave’s enthusiasm was infectious and their presentation, which included DVD’s produced in-house, was thoroughly professional. (Note for the Club Service Committee: The Club’s digital projection equipment badly needs a stand alone amplifier and loudspeakers to ensure that the sound track of DVD’s can properly be heard).

We were delighted to welcome other representatives from the School, namely Marion Sherriff, Chair of the Governors and Stuart Pidgeon, Head Teacher. A “Sports Personality of the Year” event is to be held 7th July in the Gracie Fields Theatre. Your support would be greatly welcomed. (Diary Note: This is a Thursday evening when there isn’t a Rotary Meeting – The Settle-Carlisle trip is the next day, so you may be at a loose end!). Finally G and D left us with a challenge. The School needs a sponsor for one of the various awards that are to be presented that evening. Come on, Rochdale Club, see what you can do!
Rtn Dean Sherriff

Rotary Club of Rochdale supports Northern Cleft Foundation
A cheque of £500 was presented to Dr George Tetursamy by our President John Cannell and Joan Banks on 17th March 2011.
The team performed corrective surgical procedures on 86 individuals in India this year and brought a lot of smile to them.

Rtn Ravi Sharma
Youth Speaks Competition – Falinge School Excels
I am delighted to report our team from Falinge School participated in the Regional Finals and came runners up – missing by a whisker in the Intermediate group of the competition.

Our President John Cannell, Sue Cannell, David and Pauline Smithard and I were impressed with the high standards of the participating teams at the Regional finals held at Winnington Park, Northwich on Sunday 13th march 2011.

With the title ‘please may I have time to grow’, our team speaker, Zainab Kauser, explained how the pressures of modern society make children grow up too quickly and how the teachers and parents conspire to deny them of their childhood. Children are working too hard to maximise opportunities at cost of their childhood. She made a passionate plea to grow at her own pace and answered the question regarding the duty of parents and teachers in a thoughtful and mature way.

The chairperson introduced the subject and conducted the session in a confident and mature style and the vote of thanks delivered with humour and incorporated the reflections in a thoughtful yet spontaneous manner.

Our journey began in February with a win at the zonal heats and runners up at the District finals at Frodsham in March the week before the regional finals. Our thanks and appreciation goes to Mrs Theresa Crossland their teacher for inspiring the team and preparation of a very high standard.

For us the event was very enjoyable and we appreciated the challenging topics delivered with confidence humour and maturity. The teams brought their personalities through gestures and depth and made it feel spontaneous. We remain optimistic to make it to National finals in the year to come.

Rtn. Ravi Sharma

Something for nothing!!!!!!!!!!(Saucy Idea to further Polio Eradication)
Fellow Rotarians,

Some years ago, you may remember the free jars of marmalade that each Rotarian in the district was given free of charge. These jars were kindly donated by Wilkin & Son, branded as Tiptree Marmalade.

The Rotarian who instigated that idea was our incoming RIBI Chairman Ray Burman and he has managed to twist the company’s arm to do something for us again AT NO COST!

Our original idea was to ask for barbecue sauce and link this with the joint District barbecues on a large scale. Unfortunately, the cost to Wilkins & Son would have been over £100,000. However, they were willing to give us tomato ketchup which we agreed to take.

Each Rotarian in the district will be given a free bottle of tomato ketchup in exchange for a donation. They can enjoy the product and then fill the glass bottle with coins and hand it back to the club treasurer. The bottles have a special label promoting Rotary.

We, as a district, will be receiving 1,500 bottles of ketchup. If each Rotarian donates £1 and then on average fills it with another £3, we as a district would raise around £6,000. This is only one way of using the bottles (if you think of a more creative way then go for it).

Here is the best bit. The money raised is for you to decide so if your club decide to donate it to end polio now then so be it. If you have a special event where they could be used then that would be great. The decision is yours.

Good luck as you prepare for your Presidential year.

David Ellis
District 1280 Governor 2011/2012

President: John Cannell
Incoming President: Joan Banks

June / July 2011 (2011-03)

Bulletin for Rtn

Date Programme Time

2 Jun New Committee’s Evening E

9 Jun Ken Davies – Visit to the Palace L

16 Jun President’s Charity Presentaiton
Migraine Action E

23 Jun Presidential Handover E
Broadfield Hotel

30 Jun *** HOLIDAY ***

8 Jul Settle / Carlisle Railway Trip
** (No Meeting on 7 July) **

14 Jul Shelter Box – Bob Chadwick L

21 Jul Focus Interview with President E

Nidderdale Walk
After a cloudy start and much perusing of weather forecasts, thirteen doughty Rochdale Rotarians and friends tackled the foothills of Nidderdale this Sunday. A warning to Rotary drivers from Keith that Neanderthal drivers lie in wait near Burnley ready to pounce on readers of the modern Highway code.

Two ladies sensibly stayed back to compare notes on their recent joint replacements thus avoiding metal rust (AND MOST IMPORTANTLY PREPARE A SCRUMPTIOUS TEA). New to the walk, Derek and Christine mistakenly thought the long walk from the distant Pateley bridge car park to the registration at the Scout hut qualified as part of the 7 miles but no such luck!

We all had a blowy breezy dampish walk o'er tops and down dales. On a 1 to 10 scale for wetness it was about a 4 so not too bad. The Harrogate Rotary Awning at the refreshment station had to be taken down due to it blowing away so damp bickies resulted -a minor blip.

Martin tried a short cut straight up a rock face to give himself time to eat something while the rest of us went the usual trusty route through the lead mining slag heaps. The Reids and Whitleys paused awhile to discuss rare sheep breeds with a local farmer. An emergency call was made by 'concerned 'Dr Smith who was relieved that it was only sheep that slowed their pace. No doubt a good breather was another reason. No injuries occurred and fun was had back at the debriefing Scout hut with the Rotary donation box which swirled your coins round and round a large funnel into the money box at the bottom.

Back at our Glasshouses cottage everyone squeezed in together and compared notes on life, the universe and everything. Liz and I haven't seen such hearty eating since last Christmas - obviously exercising in the fresh air followed by salmon sarnies and refreshments are a good mix. Next year's date is 20th May so see you then!
Rtn Elvet Smith

President’s Remarks
The St. George’s Day concert went well. Very well, in fact. The packed hall enjoyed a musical extravaganza, featuring the Rossendale Male Voice choir and the Ashton Brass Band, ably compered by Rtn. Ken Davies MBE. The first part concluded with a rousing performance of ‘River Dance’ and to me was the highlight of the evening. The show finished with a ‘last night of the proms’ selection, with much flag waving and enthusiastic singing.

Thanks are due to Tom Hobson and his team for a First Class Job well done. I don’t have the final figures to hand, but it looks as if we will have netted over £1,000 for my charities. My thanks to all involved, and for the support of the many members of our club and their friends who came on the 23rd.

The discussion prompted by the Radio 4 broadcast about Rotary took place on the 21st of April. Some interesting points were raised, which will be discussed in Council and implemented where appropriate.

On the 28th, our own David Acton told us about his adventures in Africa, which apart from the ‘eureka’ moment of the Asda plastic bags, was memorable for ‘plumptious female thighs’, bananas and the sacrifice of one leg of his best new trousers…. You should have been there!

Sue & I attended the RIBI Conference in Dublin over the weekend of the 16th of April. We arrived late Friday afternoon, too late to attend the first session but in good time to meet David & Sheila Acton for dinner in the hotel. We agreed that the Conference Dinner was far too expensive and that the hotel fare was very good. The first session on Saturday morning was interesting for the live broadcast by the BBC of the Young Citizen’s Awards, very professionally presented by a young lady from BBC’s News Channel, Ellie Crissell. David & I attended the business meeting in the afternoon, whilst the girls did their own thing. The business meeting was more entertaining that we had anticipated, with a certain Rotarian from Altrincham putting forward some very controversial proposals which, after rather more discussion than they justified, were soundly defeated. We considered going to the Irish Folk Band entertainment in the evening but since it was a taxi ride away and didn’t start until 21:30, we decided just to enjoy a leisurely evening meal and have an early (ish) night. Are we getting too old for this sort of thing??

Sunday morning’s session started at 09:15. The main speaker was Terry Waite, as impressive as ever and followed after the break by Jeremy Gilley, founder of ‘Peace One Day’ (Google it – it’s amazing!). Our return flight was not until late evening, so we enjoyed a long walk from the hotel, before heading for the airport, where we had our evening meal before returning to Manchester. My overall opinion was that we do it better in 1280 – better organised & less expensive!!

Our annual crown green bowling evening, now held at the Castleton Bowling Club, took place on the evening of the 5th of May. The fine weather waited until about 5:30 before deteriorating to light rain, which conveniently lasted over night, before clearing up again on Friday morning. Fortunately I had a Cunning Plan, just in case, which was instigated following a brief consultation with those present at 18:30. We repaired into the comparative warmth of the clubhouse and whilst members made use of the bar, the snooker table was uncovered and a set of carpet bowls produced.

So we enjoyed a table-top version of flat green bowls, Elvet’s vintage shove ha’penny board and at the far end of the room, a dart board. An enjoyable evening was had by all, rounded off with a meat & potato pie and (for me) apple pie to follow. Neil & Stan won the men’s bowling, and Heather Tomkinson the lady’s.

Several of us attended the District Assembly on Saturday the 7th of May. The incoming RIBI President, Ray Burnham, came to speak and I was very impressed. He will make an excellent President. I attended the membership / PR meeting and came away with some good ideas to bring to our committee for 2011/12. A useful morning.

Our lunch time meeting on the 12th was a book & DVD auction. Keith Crossley dusted off his grandfather’s brief case & gavel and demonstrated his auctioneering skills to good effect, raising well over £100 for club charities. Thanks to all who attended and took part and to Keith & Mike Lucas for running the event.

Our Club Assembly on the 19th of May followed the usual format, with President elect Joan taking over the meeting after the usual business had been attended to, putting forward her intentions for the year ahead. The convenors added their programmes, before yours truly closed the meeting.

Maralyn Williams enlightened us about the very good work that the Rochdale Music Service does on the 26th of May. Whilst primarily aimed at teenagers, RMS also accepts OAPs, pre teenagers and all in between, offering tuition on almost all instruments, with the exception of the harp. There is a staff of 45 currently. Keeping young people off the streets and giving them a skill that will be with them all their life has so much to commend it. For more information, look at their web site here:-
This is an organisation that deserves much more recognition and support. Please do have a look at their website and get along to some of the concerts that they put on. I’m sure that you won’t be disappointed.

Well, this will be my last ‘President’s Remarks’, as by the time the next bulletin is published, I’ll be history… Back to the rank and file, sitting in the body of the Kirk once more. I’ve very much enjoyed my year ‘in charge’, and thank everyone for their very much appreciated support over the last 12 months. I hope that I have upheld the standard of my predecessors!

President John.

Highlights of Rotary Year 2010-11

President John Cannell.

Chosen charities, the Migraine Action Association & Christie's.

District 1280 Conference was held in Douglas, Isle of Mann, the President's homeland.

Highlights of the year:-

A Club Day Out. - Llangollen International Eisteddfod 2010.

Paul Harris Fellowship Presentation to Rotarian Peter B Smith.

Stan Fielding's 2nd evening Car Treasure Hunt.

Mike Lucas is made a Paul Harris Fellow.

Club outing on the SETTLE to CARLISLE RAILWAY.

The St. George’s Day Concert.

RIBI Conference in Dublin.

Our annual crown green bowling evening

The 84th Charter Night, with musical entertainment from the John Hallam Trio.


The Walk this year was held on Sunday 20th March 2011 and again consisted of two routes. A 6 Mile walk round Watergrove Reservoir for the less energetic and a 12 mile walk in the Pennine Hills for the seasoned walkers.

Despite poor weather conditions stalwarts from the club and friends set out across rather wet Moorland and more than £100 raised for the club's Charities Christie Hospital and Migraine Action Association.

Thanks once again to Wardle High School for their kind use of the reception area of the school for registration and refreshments.

Last Year was the first Charity walk in Wardle organised by Rochdale Rotary Club. On a fine sunny day in March walkers were welcomed by President Elvet and the club at Wardle high school reception and set off on a fairly stiff challenge over Brown Wardle There was a choice of a 12 mile(more for regular walkers) or an easier 6 mile flatter route both coming around Watergrove reservoir.
Registration and Sponsorship moneys were divided between walkers own charity and Rotary charities Samaritans and Petrus day centre.
Wardle high school have had close links with Rotary over the years and kindly allowed use of their reception area as a starting point for registration and as a finish point(each walker received a signed certificate from the club).The amateur radio organisation RAYNET helped with communications and Rotary members marked out the route with flags and a refreshments were provided for the walkers. Rotary has experience of organising charity walks over the years and previously did a Water walk around Hollingworth lake and over the Littleborough Pennine way route.
Over £300 was made for the Rotary clubs charities .Despite illness Mayor Keith Swift came to give encouragement to the club and walkers.
A regular long distance walker Harry Moody who completed the 12 mile walk said 'all of us from Rochdale Ramblers enjoyed the walk and look forward to a repeat performance next year'

The Rotary Clubs of Rochdale and the Rochdale Inner Wheel Club held a charity Banquet on Wednesday 10th November 2010 to raise funds for :-

Springhill Hospice
The Dell Cook Memorial Foundation
The Northern Cleft Foundation

Management of China City, Nelson Street, Rochdale OL16 1NL

kindly sponsored part of the cost of a lavish Chinese banquet for over 200 Rotarians, Inner wheelers and their friends. The Rochdale cold weather was forgotten as everyone tucked in to their extensive range of starters main courses and sweets.

A Raffle was held on the night with prizes galore

Over £1500 was raised for above Charities

Thanks to all involved for a good night out and money for Charity as well.


The Rotary Club of Rochdale organised a St George's Day Charity Concert at Heywood Civic Hall on the evening of Saturday 23rd April 2011.

The Rossendale Male Voice Choir, conducted by Kate Shipway, and Ashton Brass Band with its conductor Martin Evans featured on this musical evening.

The funds raised are in aid of The Christie Hospital (Oldham) and Migraine Action . These are both very worthwhile charities and have been nominated by the Rotary Club's President John Cannell during his year in office.

Rotarian Tom Hobson, who was in charge of organising the concert said " This was a great evening. Both Rossendale Male Voice Choir and Ashton Brass Band were top rate".

Over 150 people attended a great musical evening with more than £750 made for the above charities.Many thanks to Heywood Civic Hall staff for their efficient service allowing the event to run smoothly and to the musicians ,singers and audience who made it such a memorable occasion

Last Years event May 10th 2010 The Sounding Brass and Voices Concert at Gracie Field's theatre was another resounding success. The Milnrow Cooperative Band under Andrew White started the proceedings with The Dam Busters theme and all was just quality music after that. .'I dreamed a dream' really mesmerised the audience with back-tingling musicianship. A fourteen year old musical prodigy Owen Middlemass with lightening hands on the xylophone gave an exceptional rendition of Bach's toccata and fugue.

The audience were charmed by the Rochdale Girls choir singing so beautifully under direction of Christine Willis 'A Cat Called Alexander' (including a marvelous miaoow) and 'Humpty Dumpty' contrasted with the Spritual 'Steal Away' and 'Beautiful December'. Their youthful enthusiasm and enjoyment of their singing never waned and later were unrestrained in Flag Waving finale

The youthful Wardle Anderson Brass and Sean Conway started with a robust Olympic fanfare with playing full of energy and gusto. Amy Smith a charming tall blondhaired Euphonium player mastered this difficult instrument producing a controlled graceful performance of 'La Belle Americaine'

Then up stood Mr Brass Band himself - Dr .Roy Newsome (photo in Galery) -ex presenter of Radio 2's 'listen to the band' and over 30 years conducting, lecturing and adjudicating. He has spent his life promoting Brass band music in many countries and he conducted the finale of the combined Milnrow and Wardle Bands.

Our very own Tenor soloist Peter Ruane was in fine voice with a rendition of Nessum Dorma. The girls choir sang Jerusalem and the whole performance rounded off with Pomp and Circumstance to a whirl of hundreds of Union Jacks.

The Gracie Fields theatre was well filled despite the Rochdale Football Clubs open top bus celebration and Samaritans and Petrus Day centre in Rochdale will benefit from the proceeds, Thank you Tom Hobson and everyone for all your efforts

President: Joan Banks

  July/Aug  2011
21 Jul Focus Interview with President E
28 Jul Meeting Cancelled
4 Aug M Coupe – ‘The Deltic Experience’ E
11 Aug Business Meeting L
18 Aug K Halstead & A Holt ‘my job’ talks E
25 Aug District Governor Rtn D Ellis L Broadfield Hotel
1 Sep President’s Charity
(Alzheimers Society) E
8 Sep Rosie Richard – Trip to Chile L

Rtn Brian Cunliffe
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Brian Cunliffe last Thursday. Our thoughts go out to his family and everyone who knew him. We hope to have a tribute to Brian in the next bulletin.

Brian’s funeral is on Friday 22nd July, firstly at Accrington Crematorium at 10.15 am followed by a Remembrance Service at Whalley Parish Church, Church Lane Clitheroe BB7 9SS which will start at 11.15 am. Please let John Kay know as soon as possible if you wish to attend for catering purposes.

Soul Night in aid of NSPCC

Bob’s Trek to Machu Picchu in aid of the NSPCC presents Soul Night 2011.

Following the success of last year’s event, Soul Provider are making a welcome return to the Riverside Suite (formally Whitworth Civic Hall) on Friday 16th September. The fun starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £12.50, which includes a buffet supper. More details and tickets are available from Rotarian

Rtn. Bob Chadwick.

President’s Remarks

Only two days after I became president, I had my first Rotary duty to perform. A visit to the Hanging Gardens of Syke. What a fantastic project this is and already going strong in Kenya. All the young people at Syke were as excited about growing food in Asda bags as David. We must help him spread the word.
Syke Community Centre itself was an eye-opener, very impressive. Congratulations to Sheila and her volunteers on what they have achieved.

On 7th July I presented the Rotary trophy for “Unsung Hero” at Redwood School’s Sport’s Personalities’ Awards Evening. This was a really happy occasion. The Gracie Fields Theatre was full of enthusiastic youngsters who obviously love every minute they spend at their school.

Friday 8th was our club trip on the Settle to Carlisle railway organised by David S. A really good day out, enjoyed by everyone. This was followed by an enormous, excellently cooked meal in Settle. Well done David.

On Sunday 10th Anneliese and I went to the Rochdale Youth Orchestra’s “Summer Spectacular” – it certainly lived up to its name. We have a lot of highly talented young people in this borough but we must never underestimate the time and dedication given by a few adults who work so hard to nurture that talent.

I had my first full club meeting on the 14th July and it was a meeting of extremes. Richard Newmark, the President of Padiham RC, who was on his way to visit us, emailed me at 11.45am. He told me of the death of Brian Cunliffe that morning after a short illness. It was a very sad start to the meeting he will be greatly missed.
At the other extreme I had the great pleasure of inducting John Holder into our club. I am sure he will be a great asset. More from Elvet.
This was followed by a talk from Bob about Shelter Box. I think Rotary is justifiably proud of this project, as we are of Bob in the way he has committed himself to Shelter Box service at both club and District level.

I had a lovely card from President Ann thanking us for the flowers presented to her at her inauguration as Inner Wheel president. This is Ann’s second term as president and I am sure she will have a great year now that she knows the job inside out!

It has been a busy three weeks and I am really looking forward to the rest of the year.
Thank you for making me your president.

President Joan

Life Box Packing.
After 3 or is it 4 years, I have now handed over the job of organising our teams to Bob Chadwick.
This is a thank you to all our volunteers who have willingly cooperated with me and given their time to this work, which sometimes may have been frustrating!, a little dirty but which brings out the best in "service above self".

One has to admire Dr.Pam and the Denton & Audenshaw club (possibly the smallest in RIBI)
For undertaking this huge task. Thank you again and keep up the good work.
Rtn Stan Fielding

Rotary Book Club

Dates of upcoming book club meetings are:-

• Monday 1st August at John Cannell's -Through Gates of Fire by Martin Bell
• Monday 5th September at Stan Fielding's -Not on my Patch lad by Mike Pannett

Rtn Elvet Smith

3 Peaks Walk June 2011 Rotary Staggerers

The 3 Peaks walk was a regular club fundraising event in the 90s. I was a raw Rotary recruit when Jack Howorth, Dean Sherriff et al walked tall and dragged me along Pen Y Ghent, Wernside and Ingleborough when Settle Rotary (keen walkers in those days) organised the event. Twenty five miles over rocks, bogs, fallen bodies, potholes, rivers, waterfalls; leg aching lung bursting territory (worse in bad weather).

The challenge (my third go) was one I thought worth trying again. Heart research UK were this time the excellent organisers. Could I do it again? Raising charity funds; also great scenery for photos – these were the incentives.

That walking machine Mike (the Power) Tomkinson, young buck(eng)ineer Bob (the box) Chadwick were obvious club members with the guile and magnificent physiques up to the challenge. Not far behind ex Peruvian Andean conquistador David (longshanks) Smithard and myself (South Walean mountain goat).

A grey morning dawned ; Liz remarkably perky (? Just a front concealing her loathing of such an idiotic adventure) wonder woman cooked some bacon and eggs a la farmer’s fayre at 5 am made me wonder if I might do it again another time! Large pot of tea half consumed when Bob perkily appeared to polish off the rest! David and Mike woke up the rest of Bamford way coming in to the pit stop outside our house.

David’s large blue (butterfly?) Jag was filled with walkers waving bye bye to Liz apologising for not wearing her pearls this time. Speedily belting along motorway to Skipton and on to Settle and Horton in Ribblesdale . David and the rest looked increasingly depressed by a weather front coming in from a very wet Irish sea. To cheer folks up I breezily said ‘it’ll burn off later’-this phrase came back to haunt me later!

The registration at 7.30am was in a large Heart research UK tent in a field and nerves jangled when we were given a whistle and large tinfoil blanket to escape complete isolation and / or hypothermia. Unlike previous Settle Rotary organised walks there were no buses to take us to the start of Pen Y Ghent and a slog through an increasingly wet Horton led us up over a windswept cloud-capped 2000 footer.

Slipping and scrambling over bare rocky paths (sometimes needing a shove up from whoever was behind) took us onto the misty top where Will o’ the Wisp photos were taken. Next, down a bog-ridden river valley to Ribblehead.
At one point I broke into that old favourite with Hippos - Mud Mud Glorious Mud! but disappointed no one had the breath or knowledge of the words (average age 25ish) to join in. David tripped over submerged mantrap fencing wire to cover 3 limbs with the brown stuff (other limb grabbed by Mike).

Narrow stiles and walkways reduced our pace in the midst of about 400 other walkers and absolutely soaking conditions (10 out of 10 on the wetness scale). Arrived for lunch 12 noon at Ribblehead having done what seemed like a paltry 10 miles. David and myself regretted not putting in more practice walks (my boots also reminded me they were 15 years old). Weather improved however and slowly we slogged on up the gradual incline over Wernside. After a powwow the Power and The Box broke loose for the whole slog while David and myself went another 7 miles over Wernside (marvellous views of viaduct and surrounds from the top made us glad we’d pushed on this far). Mobile phone reception excellent for first and last time) - spouses relieved to hear we were breathing.

Mike risked News of the World tapping by having satellite linkup on his person somewhere and could be traced on Google by anyone interested in his whereabouts (mainly Heather and Dad).

One big change from my previous 3 Peaks walks was the new stone paved tracks used to protect the pathways from subsidence and damage. These were quite hard on the feet and even the Power longed for a nice bit of grass underneath. A bus was ready to take us back to Horton finish where we waited for Mike and Bob to come sprinting in at 6 o clock (they could have pretended to be more tired). We toyed with rehydration via the local ale but drove back in a glorious sunny evening - it had burned off at last! Over £300 raised from sponsors. There is another one next year; for anyone still interested contact SAS website for details.
Rtn Elvet Smith

Past President Remarks
Our New Committees evening had a different look to it this time. At the last minute I thought that it might be a Good Idea if, instead of all shuffling around after the meal, we all sat in committee order, so that the new members could get to know members of their committee whilst eating. Apart from a bit of a panic getting the tables re-arranged, I think it worked out OK.

Our next meeting on the 9th of June was an insight to an investiture, specifically that of Ken Davies, from Rochdale East club, when he went to the palace to receive his MBE. It all means a lot more when it’s ‘one of ours’. Ken, smiling as ever, answered a few questions after the DVD. An interesting and informative meeting.

On the 16th of June we had the second President’s charity evening, to allow me to present a couple of cheques, one each to the Migraine Action Association and Christie’s. Mary Ayres, president of the MAA came up from London and gave a talk on the history of the MAA from its inception in 1958 to the present day. Terry Dean from Christie’s joined us too, already enjoying his (very) recent retirement – a matter of a few hours! After the presentation of the cheques, totalling £1,400 each this year, I was pleased to see that both Mary & Terry spent quite some time after I’d closed the meeting, talking with members. Thanks for your interest, and I hope it will prove useful to those seeking information.

The Presidential handover at the Broadfield went well, with much hilarity and an excellent meal. I was pleased to see some familiar faces visiting for the evening.

Well my term in office has now come to an end. It’s been a good year for me, with great support from you, the membership, making my task so much easier. Thanks for allowing me the privilege of being your President.

Over to you, Joan, incoming President and the first lady President of The Rotary Club of Rochdale!
Immediate Past President John

John Holder Joins Our Batting Line Up
Joan, in her first meeting of her Presidential year, made John a member.All the Rotary remembers his visitor's evening talk in 2010 and were pleased John had got to the crease.He is now settled in Rochdale after a long career travelling all over the world. Not to take too much away from John’s job talk John born in the town of Superlative in Barbados, came to Rochdale College in his 20s and became a Rochdalian.

His fast bowling career was cut short by injury but he became an umpire and his unflappable calm personality helped him to become a highly respected umpire for County, Test and Lancashire league matches.

He was nicknamed Benson as cricketers noticed he resembled the calm straight talking butler in the American TV series of the early 1980s looking after a dysfunctional family -rather like hotheaded cricketers!.

With John Hampshire another Lancashire ex-cricketer he went to become first neutral umpire to officiate games between Pakistan and India. These games had previously been unsavoury contests between players fuelled by local umpires afraid to make decisions going against their own national team. All went so well that the neutral umpire became the norm for internationals. He later invented the 'bowl out' to settle one-day games affected by the weather.

He worked with all the top umpires like Dicky Bird - John was the calm contrast with Dickie’s highly-strung personality. He was particularly impressed by fellow umpire Steve Buckner, another calming influence in the game.. Welcome to John!
Rtn Elvet Smith.



1 September 2011 (2011 – Edition 6)

Seniors out Castleton Bowling 24th Sept
The day was mostly fine and over 20 keen looking seniors enjoyed watching and playing bowls on the large crown green. A posse of Inner wheelers and President Joan gave a wide array of sarnies to hungry bowlers and non bowlers alike. The cream cake and lemon drizzle was washed down with PG pyramid shaped tea. To cap it off (or on, in Keith’s instance), a smoothie called Jonathon Swift sang a wide range of old favourites from the Sinatra music book.

More bowling ensued this time with showery bursts not enough to deter Mike Tomkinson in full bowling/trainer mode. PPs Smith and Cannell tried out their new second –hand bowls and blamed the weather and awkward green for their waywardness. The Bowling adventure went off well – thanks to all who contributed including John Penman, treasurer of the bowling club, who manned the bar and got everything ready for the onslaught.
PP Rtn Elvet Smith

President’s Remarks

As I write this it is a beautiful Bank Holiday Saturday and I am a rugby widow, Keith has gone away for the weekend to watch the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley. This past month has been very interesting and busy.

On 21st July it was the President’s Focus Interview, which I was a little nervous about I must confess. However David was so calm and laid back that I had no need to worry. I hope the members found it interesting.

We cancelled the meeting on 28th as it clashed with Peter Smith’s funeral. We all wanted to pay our respects to this very special and well loved man.

On the 4th August I had the great pleasure of inducting Irene Davidson as a member of our club. I have known Irene for a long time as she was a member of Rochdale ’86 when I was. I know her to be a hard working, enthusiastic Rotarian and I am sure she will be a great asset. Welcome Irene.

This was followed by a talk by Martin about his Deltic experience – a birthday present which involved manning and driving a steam engine, even getting down onto the tracks to uncouple the engine. He obviously had a wonderful day and this came across in his fascinating talk. Certainly a day of Big Boys’ Toys.

On the 10th Aug some of us went on the Inner Wheel trip to Harewood House. The weather forecast had been grim but we experienced only a small amount of rain, not enough to spoil the day. We had a good meal together with waitress service and found plenty to see and do to fill our time. Harewood House is definitely worth a visit.

We had our first business meeting on 11th Aug when points from the Council meeting were discussed. The main subject for discussion was a new innovation, “Friends of Rochdale Rotary Club” which is being masterminded by John Kay. We decided to try it for a year and decide then on its success.

Kate Halstead and Allister Holt gave their “Job Talks” on 18th Aug. Kate’s wicked sense of humour made us laugh at some of her experiences as a legal secretary and Allister made us gasp at the dangers a fireman faces. Both talks were excellent and we all felt to know them better at the end of the evening.

Wednesday morning (24th Aug) saw me back at Syke Community Centre for a follow up photo shoot to show the progress of the grow bags. The sight that greeted me when I arrived was spectacular. A magnificent display of runner beans, peas, kale, khol rabi and mint all growing and cropping in Asda carrier bags. It really is amazing what David has achieved and as he says, if it can be done hanging in a concrete mill yard it can be done anywhere.

That afternoon was our Seniors Out at Castleton Bowling Club organised by Elvet. Keith “Jonathan” Swift sang all afternoon while people chatted or played bowls. There was plenty of food organised and overseen by Inner Wheel – a big thank you to them. All those who attended enjoyed it immensely. Well done Elvet.

Thursday 25th was our annual visit from our District Governor. This year we are fortunate to have David Ellis as our DG. He is progressive and keen to implement changes to improve Rotary and make it less formidable to prospective members. He explained the training given to DGs Elect and made us aware of the internationality of the movement. He sent me a lovely letter thanking us for our hospitality and participation in what he had to say. We will meet him again, with his wife Denise, at Charter and before that at Conference in Scarborough., two events that I am really looking forward to.
President Joan

Tribute to Rotarian Brian Cunliffe. P.H.F.
Brian was the longest serving if not the eldest member of the club. In 1963, he formed one of a dozen father and son partnerships in the long history of the club after he joined as a new member.

He was educated at Giggleswick School (where two of the Masters had created the Three Peaks Walk many years before), served in the forces in Greece and returned to the cotton mill owning family in Rochdale as the third generation.

The early fifties were a busy time. Having joined the Conservative Party two years earlier, he married Joyce in 1950 and they moved to live in and around Whalley. To both his family and the Conservative Party, he gave long and selfless service. His span with the party covered every Prime Minister from Winston Churchill to David Cameron and he became principal fund raiser in the North West, ceaselessly coaxing, cajoling, coercing and commanding donations from suppliers, customers, local industry, commerce and friends alike. In the Margaret Thatcher era his efforts were rewarded with an OBE.

To the Rotary movement and to his family he was totally devoted. Until the week before his death, he continued to work one day a week in the business and to bring Joyce to the Rotary lunches. He was renowned for his tombolas at charity functions, bringing his board and corks and many prizes as well. His offices were always available as the distribution centre for Christmas parcels, he served on Council, was President of the club in 1976-77 and more recently was appointed a Paul Harris Fellow.

Brian Cunliffe is in photo gallery with his wife Joyce being awarded his Paul Harris Fellow Award by then President Elvet Smith.
Brian was a total traditionalist. At the highest level he lived a life of loyalty and selfless effort for others. At a more modest level, he could be heard to mutter to his friends about those who did not wear a tie or did not stand up to address the President at club meetings.

Brian will always remembered with admiration and affection. It was with great sadness that we learned of his death and our thoughts continue to go out to his family and everyone who knew him.
Rtn Jack Howarth

Tribute to Honorary Member Rtn. Peter Smith P.H.F
We were all saddened and shocked to learn of the sudden death of Peter Smith just over a month ago.

Peter was a loyal and dedicated member for more than 20 years. He was a former Chairman of Round Table and joined the Rotary Club of Rochdale in early 1979. He briefly left the club in May 1981 through the pressures of his own textile business, but rejoined the club in 1990.

In the 1990s his business took him and Gill on many regular journeys to Italy but he always found time for Rotary. His outside interests at that time were described as skiing, good food and wine, plus some serious walking at home. This is where Peter’s input provided the momentum for us to start our Charity Fund raising walks, which became known as the Water Walks.

Peter started this project off in the early 1990s and it continued in the same format until a few years ago, raising over £65,000 for Rotary Charities. When Peter became President in 1999 he promoted another memorable event to mark the new millennium with The Feast of a Thousand Years at the Town Hall raising a further £5,000.

His interest in Rotary after his Presidency continued with his enthusiastic support for The Rotary Foundation and in particular the exchange visits of the GSE teams. He worked with the District Officers to make these visits successful educational exchanges.

Peter Smith is in photo gallery receiving his Paul Harris Fellowship Award from then President John Cannell.

Although latterly he became an Honorary Member to spend more time with his family, he maintained contact with the Club at regular meetings and many of our charitable events. His commitment to the Club and in particular the Rotary Foundation, was recognised last year through a well deserved Paul Harris Award.

We will all miss his dedication, good humour and tangible contribution to the Club over many years and we send our sincere condolences to Gill, Joanne, Michael and all the family.
Rtn. Martin Coupe

Following the recent three peaks walk by the club team a mysterious image has appeared on one of the photographs. I have researched numerous possibilities and discovered that there is a fable in the Settle area regarding who this might be.

Local folklore has it that this may be the ghost of a Celtic Monk from an ancient order of healers who, so legend has it, keeps watch on the moors for anyone in need of assistance. He is said to be an expert in treating the ailments of injured walkers.

Further evidence has come from a Historian at the British Medical Association who has clearly identified the white item on the Monk’s cassock as a medieval prescription pad.

Additionally the fact that he was in close attendance to David Smithard tends to suggest that this ghostly spectre may have known in advance that David was to be a victim of some hidden barbed wire on the trail and was therefore ready to lend immediate assistance.

Local legend also maintains that his appearance on the hills is a portent of dreadful weather that can only be assuaged by the utterance of an ancient ode namely: Worry ye not for ‘twill burn off later.

I understand that following the moorland apparition, the Pendle Mountain Rescue Team may adopt this esteemed mender of clapped out walkers as their mascot. A mystery indeed.
Rtn Mike Tomkinson

President: Joan Banks.

13 October 2011 (2011 – Edition 7)

The amount collected for the Craft Fair were
£1053 (raffle) and £780 (CF tables). Well done again to David and everyone who helped with the event
Rtn John Whitley

An update from the book group
Our group has been going for two years know and it’s begun to be clearer where our ‘tendencies’ lie. The Cannell likes a bit of science and books to nod off to (is there a difference?). Personally (pardon the expression) I like excitement; novel twists and turns (typical Rotarian) and if it can be read in a weekend so much the better! The Whitley seems a bit more interested in the basic things of life with robust Bacchanalian interest (wink.wink,nod,nod).

The Fielding (in between trips to Urgent care centre) has not forgotten his roots and cops abound - I didn’t know they existed in Yorkshire! The Smithard is harder to work out – his range seems limitless. To have a break from book group he’s off to the Himalayas next year!

Further details on Rotary website. Come to David Smithard’s 7.30 pm on November 7th if you’re interested but let him know so he’ll get more nourishment for you.

Rtn Elvet Smith

China City Banquet

The International Committee are organising a Chinese Banquet to be held at China City, Nelson Street, Rochdale on Wednesday 9th November with a 7 for 7.30 start. The three course meal will be served to each table in a banquet fashion thus avoiding the long queues of last year.

Tickets are £15 per person and can be obtained from Bob Chadwick, John Whitley or Derek Heywood. Each table will accommodate 10 people so please inform Bob, John or Derek of any ‘group’ bookings for the seating plan. Proceeds in aid of Shelterbox and Lifebox.

Rtn Bob Chadwick
President’s Remarks

Twenty six of us, a mixture of members and spouces, have just spent the weekend together at the Rotary District Conference in Scarborough. It was a wonderful experience. We listened to many inspirational speakers.

Jerry Meigs and Ray Burman from RI and RIBI respectively, brought the Rotary message with clarity and humour. Danny Lane, who is profoundly deaf, is a talented musician, grade 8 piano and a degree in music. He told us about his upbringing and the problems of playing in a quartet when he couldn’t hear anything. He really made us laugh. But what an achievement, actually his greatest achievement is talking normally on a platform to hundreds of people while being unable to hear their response. He is now the Education Project Manager of Music for the Deaf bringing music and obvious pleasure (as seen on his DVD) to deaf youths. An amazing man.

We also heard from Rtn Geoff Mackey who was hilarious, Col Bob Stewart who was awe inspiring and Simon Maddrell whose Excellent project of Sand Dams caught all our imaginations.

The speaker who I found most touching was Craig Hammond. Suffering from a debilitating stammer, Craig was bullied and ridiculed at school. As a young man he suffered depression and despair and turned to drugs and bad company. When his son Blaze was born he experienced a love he never knew existed and resolved to become a better person for his son’s sake. He enrolled on the Starfish Project which taught him to breath correctly to control his speech and this he felt set him free. He spoke to us fluently and inspiringly with amazing humour about the problems he had encountered as a stammerer. He teaches the breathing technique through Starfish and is a motivational speaker to many organisations. He has started the Blaze Charity to help disaffected children in schools.

The conference finale was Two Men in White Coats. John Kilcoyne and Jeff Teasdale, two chemists, gave us a very interesting and humorous chemistry lesson and finished the weekend with a bang – literally.

The conference was a huge success, the entertainment was of a very high standard and the fellowship during the weekend was first class. Listening to the speakers and seeing the project exhibits has given our newer members a real insight into what Rotary is all about. The whole experience has reinforced our reasons for being Rotarians and has recharged our enthusiasm.

Next year is Southport 26-28th October ……see you there?
President Joan

The Saga of a Would Be Fencer
I be a man who likes demarcation,
It comes from growing up restricted
In terraced house with outside loo.
No one wants to hear what others do
Inside their property where they grew
Whatever weeds or flowers visited

Twas but a simple idea discovered
One fine day all sunny and so balmy.
Ideas soared above easy notions
Lubricated by intoxicating potions
To build a fence not privet fractions
It seemed so easy, no fears, no deficiency

On waves of euphoria, high excitement,
Books written so clear it looked so neat
In southern gardens, soil clear of ripples,
Flat as a snooker table no sign of dimples
Look at that easy way of doing fence poles
It didn’t look heavy no thought of sweat

The text book and the internet website
Seduced me into parting with money
That fence so dull became Prague panel
With metal spikes put along the channel
Hit with sledge hammer via the Cannell
All looked straightforward milk and honey

Problems started in the outside world
Where land goes down then up and down
Neighbours garden lower than this side
Stones in the ground and both arms flied
To sink the spikes one hoped they’d slide
One positive thing my arms had grown

On the homeward road I’ve finally recovered
A boundary long since forgotten and trodden
By cats and birds - they forget they’re sodden
This Autumn barrier has spread the garden
Amazing width of hedge and box
Has given way to paeonies and phlox
'Twas a long travail and ne’er forgotten!

Poeticus Muscularis Elvetius
Rochdale Borough Users Forum

in photo gallery President Joan (centre) with Chairman Jerry March (left) and Development manager Hilary Myers (right) representing Rochdale Borough Users Forum visited the club on 6 October.

The Rochdale Rotary club is pleased to support Rochdale Borough Users Forum RBUF

Reg Charity No. 1142754 Company No. 7504852 Tel: 01706 521279 (24 hour messages) email            website

The Rochdale Boroughwide User Forum (RBUF) is a service user group which gives a central access point for the views of mental health service users and carers of Rochdale, Littleborough, Middleton and Heywood to be represented directly to local mental health provider agencies.

Mental illness has always been a big  health problem in Rochdale .Prejudice, poor understanding and lack of effective therapy of depressive illness and schizophrenia led to the locking away of people in longstay hospitals like the old Birchhill hospital in Victorian times.

Treatment programmes are vastly better nowadays but funding of services,social service provision and hospital inpatient services for acute treatment of nervous breakdowns are under great strain with competing interests in the NHS.

RBUF is made up of people with personal experience of mental illness either themselves or as carers and has monthly meetings including heath and social service representatives.Improvements in communication has led to real improvements in care of users of the mental health services.A large grant and better offices shared with Samaritans has allowed a new development manager to be appointed and expenses to be paid to volunteers who give up their own time.4 major events per year give fun and frendship to these needy people.

Founding President Jerry March (whose father was a Rotarian in our club) and Development manager Hilary Myers gave a detailed rundown on RBUF to the club recently with video footage of a very well attended Town Hall event.


15 December 2011 (2011 – Edition 8)
Following my successful trek up the Sacred Inca Valley and a visit to Machu Picchu, I would like to thank everyone for their kind donations. I have raised over £5,800 for the NSPCC in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Childline.
Rtn Bob Chadwick

China City

The International Committee held a banquet at China City on 9th November. A 3-course meal consisting of a variety of Chinese dishes was served to over 100 guests and a raffle took place with a dozen prizes. The event raised a total of £1,000, which will be used to provide a Shelterbox and a Lifebox. As International Convenor, I would like to thank those members who donated raffle prizes and everyone on the Committee for their help in organising the event.
Rtn Bob ChadwickPresident’s Remarks

Since our last bulletin in October, I seem to have been quite busy. On 18th October I went as a guest to Rochdale East’s Charter night at the Royal Toby and had to propose the toast to their club. It was a very enjoyable evening. The speaker was Dudley Dolittle so there was plenty of laughter.

On 2nd November I went with David Smithard to Wardle High School’s Presentation evening at Rochdale Town Hall. I had the honour of presenting the “Most Improved Student” award, which is sponsored by our club. It was a well organised and impressive evening and David was able to lay good foundations for future cooperation between Rotary and Wardle High School.

On 9th October many of us ate at China City. It was a far superior evening to last year’s event and was hugely successful. Well done Bob. 13th November was Remembrance Sunday and I laid a wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of the club. It was a wonderful experience and a very moving ceremony lead by our own Canon Alan.

17th November was Charter. I was so nervous about that but I felt it was a really good evening. I was proud of how well our club worked together to make it happen. Of course you have all done it so many times and take it for granted that it will all slot into place. I should not have worried, thank you all again for all your hard work.

A good number of us took part in the Inner Wheel Quiz on 25th November, a fun evening with some quite stretching questions. Stan won a raffle prize and was very glad it was not chutney!

Keith and I attended the Brighouse and Rastrick “Champion Brass” concert at the Gracie Fields Theatre on 26th November, as did quite a few of our members. A fabulous sell out concert in aid of Help for Heroes. Let’s hope we can do as well for our St George’s day brass band concert.
On 29th November I went to the Together Christmas meal at Cottons Restaurant in the College. This was for Befrienders and their Friends and was the start of Christmas festivities for me.

The 5th December was Probus’s Christmas meal at the Masonic. Keith and I were guests. Lovely Christmas meal followed by carols sung by a choir, much easier joining in than just us!

Tonight, 12th December, Keith and I have been helping the Round Table with their can collection around Shawclough. It was not raining as hard as it had been during the day and we kept warm going backwards and forwards with bags of tinned food.

14th December is the Inner Wheel Christmas meal at the Broadfield, 15th is our Christmas meal at the Masonic.….hmm….getting to be a lot more of your president than there was last June.

Next Saturday (17th) we will be bag packing at Morrisons and that will be our final activity before Christmas. We meet again on Thursday 5th January, when it is our first “Friends” evening.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful, healthy 2012.

President Joan

Family Action 2011 Recognition Awards

Friends of Families received an invitation to the 2011 Recognition Awards' Ceremony St. Paul's Roof Pavilion, Southbank Centre, London. The Group had been shortlisted for an award. Debbie Bird, project worker at Rochdale and Helen Winterbottom from Manchester Family Action were also shortlisted for awards in other categories.

On 20th October, we set off to London where we were warmly greeted by the national representatives of Family Action at the reception held at the St. Paul's Roof Pavilion, Royal Festival Hall.

The Ceremony began with a brief welcome from Lady Gillian Keene, Chair of the Trustees. Helen Dent Chief Executive then introduced the special guest for the event, Lord Bill Morris of Handsworth. Lord Morris spoke briefly, expressing admiration for the great work being done by Family Action and then presented the awards.

Helen Dent explained that about 60 written nominations had been received. There were five categories each with three shortlisted nominations. Among these Debbie Bird from Rochdale won the category “Improving Service User Outcomes” and Helen Winterbottom from Manchester Family Action won the ‘Supporting Front Line Service’ category.
The ‘Volunteering’ category for which Friends of Families had been shortlisted was won by a wonderful volunteer, Shiqpe Homolli. She had overcome countless obstacles in her personal life and still found the time and energy to do some amazing voluntary work for Family Action.

Lady Gillian Keene spoke warmly of the Trustees’ deep appreciation of all the work done by the staff and volunteers in the very difficult circumstances during the past year.

We feel so proud of Debbie and Helen for their achievements. Also full marks to Family Action for staging this event. What a great inspiration not only to those who were nominated but to all staff and volunteers, throughout the organisation.

Rtn Dean Sherriff

Whisky galore (or how to survive 45degrees proof)!
‘Good idea to have a dry run’ Keith Banks calmly said.
‘Dry’ is not a description that is appropriate to whisky tasting- a new Charity fund-raising event planned by Keith at Rochdale rugby club in March.

The practice evening was on a cold dark evening at Woolworth’s club on (appropriately) Gypsy lane (now operating via a membership buy-out).

There have been quite a few whisky tasting events at the Woolies club (my previous contact with the club was playing Ormes league snooker. A loud one-armed bandit used to expostulate during a tense snooker frame.

I arrived early via Liz’s taxi company for would-be (or already are) topers. She had some difficulty parking as there were so many vehicles disgorging gleeful men with red noses!

Wandering in to the bar, men were downing more common fayre (beer in it’s usual variety) . I was reassured that the real stuff was about to be poured and pawed in a large function room set near the conveniences at the back.

Not wishing to sully my gastric mucosa (lining) too much before the main event I tried to look as though I was waiting for fellow swiggers from the local Rotary club. This I partly achieved by sidling up to four brown ale types and commenting on the sky sports news on the large screen. Keith, John W and Steve Ingle soon eagerly appeared and with some preliminary malt flavoured liquid in hand we ambled into the whisky room. Tables of eight meant sharing with what turned out to be seasoned whisky men (including an émigré from Malt making God’s country about to become independent.)

After handing over our ticket money, 7 different malts were produced in small glasses for everyone ranging from Islay peat-like throat-warmers to smoother Speysides. Large trays of the sparkling nectar floated among the tables with warnings ringing in our ears not to wave our arms about! One could add water or not drink any more or offer others the chance of another swig.

Half way through we had a meat and potato pie supper which was very welcome. Bottles not opened or nearly full were auctioned off at the end of the evening. There was a raffle and John W as usual won a prize - a Litre of Bells whisky in a Bell shaped receptacle.

At the end of the evening we all ‘walked ‘ out for our waiting transport feeling invigorated. I was so energised I walked down to Manchester road and flagged down a passing puzzled looking Liz who popped the stretcher back into the boot.

Not kidding, I woke up with a clear head the following afternoon glad to have contributed in some small(tot) way to Charity. It shows that if you drink good quality stuff in moderation you won’t regret it!

Rtn Elvet Smith


February 2012 (2012 – Edition 1)

Migraine Action Association update.
I received a very nice letter (and Christmas Card) from Mary Ayres regarding the use to which our donation to their cause has been made. The extracts below are from the report at MAA.
“Following a very generous donation of £1,000 from the Rotary Club of Rochdale, it was agreed that Migraine Action would offer access to a 12 week pilot specialist nurse programme. The cost of this programme would be determined by the funds available and it was agreed that we use the existing skill set of the specialist nurse Rebecca Salt, based in the Guildford surgery of doctor Andy Dowson of the Migraine Action Advisory Board.”

Many migraine suffers don’t receive the help they need from their local GP. In order to help those people, MAA, through this pilot, used specialist nurse Rebecca. Incoming ‘phone calls were screened to confirm that the patient had been diagnosed with migraine, were taking medication for it but said that the current medical team that they were using was not improving their condition. They then had one or more telephone consultancies with Rebecca. The benefit to the patient was that they improved the relationship with their medical team, understood their condition much better and were advised how to make best use of the medication and discovered free literature that was specific to their condition.

The report concludes:-
“Recommendation. Following the pilot it has been recommended that we agree the future of the programme by making this a paid longer term pilot service from members. From our research, it costs £30 to speak to a specialist nurse for non-members, we are therefore suggesting that if they joined as a member they could then get this for £10 and would be paying £5 more in total (£25+£10), but also getting all the membership benefits. The Director of MAA will submit a funding proposal to seek funds to continue to support the development of this service.”

This is how Rotary is meant to work – as a catalyst to help organisations improve themselves. Thanks again to you, the members of our club, for making this happen.

IPP John.
President’s Remarks

We started 2012 with our first “Friends” meeting which was very well attended and was a superb evening. Irene told us about her work as a prison officer and as a driver, it was fascinating. We could have listened to her all night and it was with great reluctance that I had to draw the meeting to a close.

On 6th Feb I went with David S and John C to the District Young Chef competition. The standard of entry was excellent and the food produced was delicious. After judging all the food was available for tasting, which I did with enthusiasm, and was very glad I did not have to choose the winner.

Tues 7th Feb saw some of us at DHL to meet Ray Burman, the President of RIBI, who was there to find out about the LifeBox process. He is a dedicated and genuine Rotarian and very interesting to talk to. It was an honour to meet him. On the Thursday we were back at DHL for a LifeBox packing session.

On Friday 10th a good number of us braved the bad weather conditions to attend the Inner Wheel 40’s night at the Bellavista, a lovely social evening with many of us in 40’s garb.

This Friday 17th I am going with Bob and Merrilyn to Rochdale East’s Folk Night and on 24th to Middleton’s Charter where I will be proposing the toast to their club.

We can now have the Rotary emblem with the name of our club embroidered on pieces of clothing. The template is set up and available to any of us at “The Stitchery”, 487 Oldham Road (near the pedestrian crossing at Balderstone). We can also have our own name added if we wish. The cost is around £8 with no minimum number.

On 26th January our speaker was Kathleen Sheridan from Contact the Elderly. She told us about the charity’s aim which is to help people over 75 who spend their time alone, isolated from families and friends or are too frail to leave their homes without a bit of help.

The process is very simple. One Sunday afternoon each month volunteers use their cars to take the old people to and from a volunteer host’s house for tea, cakes and companionship. Hosts take it in turn to welcome the small group (6 – 8) into their homes for a few hours.

The Sunday afternoon tea parties are a lifeline of friendship bringing older people and volunteers together for an afternoon of stories, laughter and conversation.

At the end of our meeting our members were enthusiastic about Rochdale Rotary Club starting such a group. We discussed the possibility at the council meeting and felt that with the help of our Inner Wheel, if they are willing, we would try to go ahead. We need:-

1. volunteer drivers each month.
2. volunteer hosts to take it in turn to host the tea party, the only essential being a down stairs toilet.
3. a coordinator to organise rotas and liaise with Kathleen.

Contact the Elderly will select the people who come to the tea parties and are there for advice and support.
I have written to President Ann to put it to the ladies of Inner Wheel and I eagerly await feedback. If you want to be involved please give me your name and what you want to do and we will start the process. To me this is real community action and a worthwhile Rotary/Inner Wheel/Friends activity.

Bulletin June 2012

Bulletin 2, 2012.

Redwood School - London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Redwood Secondary School is delighted that after a rigorous and transparent process of selection by Sport England and the English Federation of Disability Sport using the criteria of Vision, Whole School Commitment, Innovation and the Ability to Deliver, that they have been selected as one of 50 top Trailblazing Schools in the Country!

The School Games is a key part of the Government programme to secure a meaningful sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Redwood Secondary School has been selected to represent Greater Manchester and have been tasked with the role of pioneering new and innovative ways to build capacity and develop further sporting opportunities for Young Disabled People. We will be helping to drive the ambitions of "The School Games" supporting all the School Games organisers and the schools they work with across the county.

The initiative is supported by the Department for Education, the Department of Culture Media and Sport and the Department of Health and is funded by Sport England through the National Lottery. The focus is to engage and enthuse more young people than ever before to participate in high quality, meaningful competition within and across schools, supporting them in achieving their own personal best in sport and life.

Rtn Dean Sherriff.
President’s Remarks

We have nine “Friends” now, and more people showing interest. I am thrilled that this new area of membership has taken off so well and want to thank John Kay for all the work he has put into it.

We have enough volunteers to make a start with “Contact the Elderly”, Pam and Helen are in the process of liaising with Kathleen Sheridan to get the scheme underway.

At our “Charity Presentation Evening” on 7th June, I would like to present some “Family and Community Service Awards”. These are certificates given to Non-Rotarian members of the public who have “made a difference” in the community. If you know anyone who fits into this category please give me his/her name and the reason why you think they deserve the award.

We have had some excellent speakers again these last couple of months. Steven Drew spoke about “Medic Malawi” at our March “Friends” evening, a very worthwhile charity. Keith has planned a wine tasting evening in May to support this project. Maureen and Ann gave their “My Job” talk, both were very interesting and gave us a good insight to their lives and backgrounds. Ravi kept us healthy with laughter being the best medicine and Seb Lassandro showed us slides and videos and talked very eloquently about Gracie Fields at our April “Friends” night.

On 24th February Keith and I attended Middleton’s Charter where I gave the toast to their club. The speaker was Peter Ellis, son of DG David, who told us about his work with animated films. It was a most interesting and enjoyable evening.

On Sunday 25th we went to the Bridgewater Hall, as did Martin and Maureen, where a massed Male Voice Choir (300 men) sang in celebration of Manchester Rotary Club’s Centenary. The men produced an amazing sound, a truly memorable evening.

The whisky tasting event took place on 2nd March and was very successful in raising money for my charities. Thank you Keith.

The “Evening with Michael Vaughan” in 15th March was a resounding success, congratulations to John Holder and his team.

On 24th I went with Anneliese to Rochdale Youth Orchestra’s spring concert and on the morning of Sunday 25th to the Regional Final of “Youth Speaks”, along with Ravi, Anita, Mike and Heather. Our team didn’t win but they spoke very well indeed. The standard of entry was extremely high. It is always uplifting to witness the quality of young people who go about their lives quietly doing their best. It is so sad that only those who are notorious are brought to public attention.

On 28th March I was a guest at our Inner Wheel’s 75th Birthday Party. We were honoured by the presence of Phyllis Charter the Association President, who asked to attend, and Janet Whittle District 128 Chairman. The speaker was Ken Davies M.B.E. who told us about receiving the award from Prince Charles. It was a wonderful evening full of fun and friendship, something for which our Inner Wheel is well known.

This Friday, 13th!! Keith, David A, Sheila, Elvet, Liz and I are off to the R.I.B.I. Conference in Bournemouth. I am sure it will be another great weekend. I will tell you about it next time.

President Joan

Hear Hear to Natalie!
President Joan and Rochdale Rotary club were given an ‘ear- thumping ‘talk at the Masonic recently by guest speaker Natalie Wilson (grand- daughter of Rotarian Anneliese Mcardle) about her work as an Audiologist.
After a degree in marine biology (dolphins have incredible hearing), with no openings beckoning, Natalie took up a career in audiology. This involves specialised training in all aspects of the ear- it’s anatomy, how deafness occurs and detailed knowledge of sound and it’s transmission and how this happens in the healthy and damaged ear.
Deafness is caused by many factors; can be from birth and after childhood viruses and infections and extreme noise. Simplest (and less worrying of all) build up of ear wax - a natural product to protect the ear but does get stickier as we get older. There are around 10 million deaf or hearing-impaired people in the UK; many start losing hearing in there 50s.
Many people are not aware they are deaf until others around them notice they are not responding. Often the first sign is difficulty in hearing people talking when there is a background noise. This high tone deafness is picked up by special audiogram tests Natalie does routinely in her audiology work as a test before advising on hearing aids.
Natalie showed us a selection of the modern hearing aids-a far cry from the days of large bugles and whistling battery - draining large devices. Hearing aids now have the capacity to shut out background sound and are still being improved on (y)ear by (y)ear; they are remarkably portable and unobtrusive so wearers do not have to feel embarrassed wearing one.
The Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) is the largest UK charity and has recently changed it’s name to Action on Hearing Loss
Deafness is an under-funded area of research and Natalie’s interesting talk encouraged members to consider this when deciding on a charity to support.

Web pages are not just for spiders to read!

The internet era is a great opportunity for clubs like ours to contact the local community and audiences without leaving our armchairs. Thanks to Rochdale online we have a free resource, which we can make better and better as time goes on. The benefits can be listed as:-

1. Advertising club affairs to fellow Rotarians and the general public.
2. A clear record of important events with photographic images.
3. Encouraging of new members and friends of the club.
4. Opportunity for Rotarians to become journalists and make their hobbies and interests evident.
5. Guests and speakers know their efforts are recognised and can also make the public as well as Rotarians aware of their charity/work/business
I feel we have reached a moment when we should push on more – ideas I have are:-

a) Every speaker’s presentation should be recorded perhaps by asking them to give a version suitable for putting on the website-otherwise down to Rotarian involved in inviting them to club.
b) Charities supported by club should have a presence with details of itself, charity number and contact details.
c) An archive area for past events, photos perhaps history of the club with photographic copies of all past Presidents.
d) More budding journalists in our club should get out their quills or fountain pens and hit the web (via the bulletin if not wanting a whole page to themselves).
e) Videos of events like the St George’s day concert and the Michael Vaughan evening would add a lot more enjoyment for the web surfer.
Come on everyone- let’s get into the information 21st century and show how ‘interesting’ Rochdale Rotary Club and its members are!

Rotarian Elvet Smith

Brass Band  concert at the Heywood Civic hall on Sunday 22nd April .To a full house and rapt audience, the Ashton-under-Lyne Brass band and the Rossendale Male Voice Choir gave a stirring and very enjoyable programme .
Under the vigorous direction of conductor Steven Beardsmore the band started with a sparkling ‘Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man’, with further highlights being a flugel horn solo by Clare Chalk in Chuck Mangione's ‘Children of Sanchez’. A reflective start by Clare led on to a rhythmic and increasingly exciting musical ending. Another memorable piece was Respighi's ‘Pines of Rome’, which was originally written with an organ part, but the band made up for that with a very resonant explosion of sound.
Rossendale Choir conducted by Charles Crowley had a very interesting programme with an international flavour ranging from An American Trilogy, Beatles songs for choirs, to An African Trilogy with the pianist converting to a bongo drum accompaniment. Their singing was very pleasing to the ear and linked in well with the band
The finale was like the Last Night of the Proms with band, Choir and Audience enjoying old English favourites -Henry Wood's Fantasia on English Songs, Home Sweet Home and Rule Britannia with lots of flag waving around the Hall. Rotarian Ken Davies was an enthusiastic master of ceremonies and many thanks to Trombonist Rotarian Tom Hobson who co-ordinated everything.
£1600 was raised for the Rotary's Charities- Rochdale Boroughwide User's Forum and The Alzheimer's Society.

PP Elvet.

The Rossendale Male voice Choir.
After the St. George’s Day Concert, I came across a book entitled ‘A History of the Rossendale Male Voice Choir’. I had no idea that they had been around so long, and had achieved such greatness in their 88 year history. They came together in 1924 – two years before our club – and have had many appearances on radio and TV. They have performed with world-class orchestras, shared a stage with some of our finest brass bands, featured at many an Eisteddfod and won innumerable contests over the years. It was indeed a privilege to hear them, along with the Ashton-under-Lyne band on Sunday. In the book I found a piece of poetry which, to me, reflected very well the performance we enjoyed.

Choir Tribute in Dialect
Free Press March 19th 1960.

Folk teks ther entertainment i’ monny different ways,
i’ pictures an’ i’ dancin’, i’ variety an’ plays,
i’ moter cars an’ chara bangs, i’ aeroplanes an’ bykes,
An’ ther’s scores o’ folk as does naught else but cater to eaur likes.

Ther’s some whose bigger interests lie i’ church an’ Sunday School,
An’ then agen ther’s others likes to dabble i’ a “pool”
Ther’s chaps mun av ther football on a Satdy afternoon,
An’ women likes a social an’ to ‘eer Sinatra croon.

Ther’s golfin deaun at th’ Howard Brigg, Ther’s tennis up i’ t’park,
Ther’s cricket an’ ther’s th’ bowling green, An’ courtin’ after dark.

But to top all these ‘ave mentioned, if yer giving me a treat,
Is the Male Voice Choir Concert on a winter’s Sunday neet.
An’ the last were no exception to them we’n ad afoor;
Instead of getting’ stalled, ah like ‘em more and more.

Them soloists a Sunday neet were fit for onny stage,
Wi’ airs fro’ sweet simplicity to operatic rage.
Yon lass should ceaunt’er blessins, she’s gotten quite a few;
A pleasin’ voice, a regal form, an’ comely features too.

‘Er partner, Owen Brannigan, a deep resoundin’ bass
Wi’ tones a reaund an’ mellow as avhe heard in’ onny place,
A repertoire both long and wind, a diction crisp and clear,
Sang songs as couldn’t but please ‘is sternest critic’s ear.

An’ as for th’ lads as forms eaur choir, ther far aboon my pen,
It’s a miracle such ‘armony should come fro’ mortal men.
Neau through all this peroration ah hope you’ll get my text,
At them we’n ad are past and gone ahm waitin’ for th’ next.

IPP John.

Rochdale Olympics!    23rd of June 2012.
Saturday morning saw a good selection of our members, resplendent in light blue sweatshirts, at the Town Hall, manning the Rotary stand, and others, on the ground floor of the building.

David Acton had the idea of inviting sports clubs in Rochdale the opportunity to have a free area to promote their particular sport. The activities were many and varied, from Motor Sport to Diving, with the more usual activities, such as by gyms and judo also being present.

There were all manner of other activities going on. A tug of war challenge, street entertainers, a bouncy castle a climbing wall and an impressive line up of the Rochdale Olympic cars.

At 2:30 p.m., bang on time, the Olympic Flame came into view, carried by Wensheng Li., to the accompanyment of the Wardle High School Band. The Torch was passed to Amy Peckover outside the Town Hall, before continuing towards Manchester Road, followed by several of the Rochdale Olympic cars.

It was most encouraging to see the support that the event attracted. A well organised event, ably supported by the Rotary Club of Rochdale.



President: David Smithard

President’s Remarks

Over the last few months we have all enjoyed a number of events, particularly the BBC studiotour with opportunities to read the news,present the weather and use the autocue, followed by an excellent lunch at the Lowry.
'Friends' evenings have been well attended,vibrant evenings with interesting speakers.
Members were actually excited at the Racenight- we may need to issue a 'health warning'in future!
The only disappointment was the Craft Fair with so few stallholders coming. This will leave a hole in our charity account which will need filling-ideas please from anyone.

President David

Mary’s Meals – World Porridge Day 2012

10th October 2012 has been designated the 4th World Porridge Day by Mary’s Meals. The following day our Club is having a frugal meal of vegetable soup and bread roll, to celebrate and draw attention to the Mary’s Meals projects in Africa.

How does Mary’s Meals work?

In a world where there is enough food for everybody, hunger is still the biggest threat to health. Children are particularly vulnerable – there are 300 million chronically hungry children in the world.

Hunger kills millions of them each year. It also stunts their growth – and their dreams. Hungry children think about survival, not about going to school – around 67 million of the world’s hungriest children do not attend school.

Instead, in order to survive, they have to work whether in the fields or on the streets. Even if they do make it into the classroom, hunger will affect their ability to learn.

Mary’s Meals has a simple ethos. We deliver food and hope. By providing one good meal to hungry, impoverished children every school day, we are filling their empty bellies so they have the energy and opportunity to learn, which can be their escape route out of poverty in later life.

Every child is given a daily serving of likuni phala, which is a nutritious, vitamin-enriched maize porridge served in plastic mugs. Each child is responsible for looking after their own mug and holding onto it ensures they get a fair portion every school day. Some carry them around their necks on a piece of string to make sure they don’t miss out.

Poor children are more likely to fall ill or be needed by their families for chores and so they often miss a lot of school. Mary’s Meals brings children to the classroom every day. Mary’s Meals removes the gnawing pain of hunger, leaving children free to turn their attention to class work.

Girls from poor backgrounds are more likely to miss out on school than boys. Poor families often expect girls to help in the household. Mary’s Meals helps girls attend school and realize their full potential.

Mary’s Meals provides the conditions necessary for learning and so improves pupils’ performance.

50% of your fees on 11th October will be sent to Mary’s Meals and for one day only, Barclays Bank will be replaced by a blue plastic mug like the children eat their porridge from so if can help fill the mug too that will help feed more children. It only costs £10.70 to provide Mary’s Meals for a child for a whole school year.Members experienced what soup kitchens are like and £135 was raised enough to give 13 children a meal every day for a year

2nd VP Rtn Bob Chadwick

A Fond Farewell to Geoff Foulkes

Sadly we recently had to say goodbye to Geoff Foulkes as he moves with Margaret to
Norfolk to be closer to his family.
Geoff was elected to the club on 4th August 1983 and was president in the 1997/98 Rotary year.
We will miss him for his unfailing good
humour and amusing asides and wish both Margaret and Geoff all the best for the future.

President David


At a recent Club Council Joan Banks asked if I could write a short article to give some details about RotaKids, so here goes.

RotaKids, the newest section of The Family of Rotary, has been operating in RIBI for around 3 years. However, in the last eight months the number of RotaKids Clubs has more than doubled!! There are now 22 groups of RotaKids who have been presented with official RIBI charter certificates. These RotaKids are supported by 14 Rotary Clubs in 9 Districts.

The basic concept is that RotaKids is a Primary School Citizenship Programme it is envisioned that the amount of involvement by us is developed over time to suit our club and the school/s we work with.

The main objective is to introduce Rotary ideals and projects to young people through visiting the school, perhaps taking part in assemblies and by assisting them with their charitable fundraising, giving advice with practical help as needed, involving them with the things we are doing both here and internationally. Through the children we will also reach the parents and thus new prospective members or friends.

Those of you who were able to be at the Friends Evening on the 6th September will, I am sure, have been impressed (in some cases shocked) by the talk Catherine Aden gave on St James’ C.E. Primary School. The school council and governors have agreed to getting involved with Rotary but they have gone a step further than any other school (as far as we know) in asking that the whole school be involved which fits their school ethos, so we will end up with a RotaKids School.

There are many challenges ahead and things will deliberately develop slowly as this is our first toe in the water with RotaKids.

One of the first things we will be doing is provide an award (title as yet to be decided) to a worthy child who ticks the boxes to quote an in phrase.

To quote another phrase. Watch this space!!!

Rtn Allister Holt

Possible Borough Wide Raffle
The Community Committee are considering running a borough wide raffle to raise charity funds. Members of the committee are looking for unique prize ideas to maximise ticket sales. An example would be "a helicopter ride over your home" let them have your ideas - if we use your idea I will buy you a pint of beer or a glass of wine.

Rtn David Acton

Book Club
Future book club dates are:-
• 1 Oct - Carol Birch - Jamrach's Menagerie at Elvet Smith's.
• 5 Nov - Imogen Robertson - Island of Bones at John Whitley's
• 3 Dec - David Bolton -Journey Without End at John Cannell's

PP Rtn Elvet Smith.
86th Charter Anniversary Dinner, Friday 16th of November 2012.

For the first time in many years, our Charter night Celebrations were held at a different venue. The Broadfield Hotel offered a better meal at a lower cost - but was it the right decision?

Sue & I arrived about 18:30, to see the room nicely laid out and decorated with some of our many pendants collected from around the world by roving Rotarians or donated by foreign visitors.

The Broadfield has a reputation for being somewhat erratic in serving food, but tonight the service was very good, but at the expense of the bar... That said, the small number of staff multi-tasked very well, with no real complaints that I noticed. I had the salmon, and it was fine, followed by apple crumble and custard - my favourite!

Toastmaster John Kay kept us in order, firstly introducing our most recent member, Neil Williams, to read the Charter, which he did very well.

The toast to our club was done by the President of the Rotary Club of Middleton, Jeffrey Lawton, which was well received.

After the formal part of the evening was over, the entertainment commenced, with the Hollingworth Brass Ensemble, a group of five First Class musicians who played a mixture of differnt styles most expertly, finishing with a rousing singalong of 'Rule Britannia' and 'Land of Hope & Glory'.

So yes, the decision was correct - another Great Charter Celebration!

PP John Cannell.
China City
The International Committee presents a Chinese Banquet to be held on Wednesday 7th November at China City, Nelson Street, Rochdale.

It’s a 7 for 7.30pm start and dress is casual. Tickets are priced at £16 and can be obtained from Rtns Bob Chadwick, John Whitley and Derek Heywood. All proceeds are going towards Sand Dams.

2nd VP Rtn Bob Chadwick.

Curry Night
A number of Members have suggested going for a meal at the Milnrow Balti restaurant. If anyone would like to do this on Tuesday evening October 30th at 7pm please let me know.

It's not a special event just a lovely meal with good friends. If you are a fellow curry fancier and would like to come please let me know on:, or 01706 357785 and I will make the booking.

Rtn Mike Tomkinson

Race Night – 14th September 2012
Rtn Bob Chadwick and the International Committee held a Race Night on 14th September in aid of Sand Dams and Bob’s trek for the NSPCC to Ecuador which he is undertaking in September 2013.

With around 60 tickets sold, the ownership of 64 horses bought and all 10 races sponsored, the signs were that it would be a profitable night. However, the audio system at the Radcliffe Arms almost put a damper on the whole event. The system would only produce a series of squawks and buzzes instead of producing the race commentary.

Many hands and heads didn’t make the thing work but Rtn Neil Helliwell saved the night by doing a 10 mile round trip to get a pair of computer speakers from home.

Just as Neil arrived back, the first race was underway, using a budding volunteer from the audience, who said he would commentate as he watched. That gave everyone a good laugh and also made Bob doubly thankful for Neil’s journey home!

Andy Hargreaves (or Big H to his friends) was compere for the night and kept everything running smoothly. He was a bit risqué, something that went down well especially with the ladies on the front table. He also had plenty of banter with the chaps from the Council’s Highways Team, eventually cajoling them into parting with lots of money when it came to the auction.

Some serious betting took place leading to a few double-figure payouts. The owner of the winning horse in each race got a prize too. Four of our members were lucky owners.

A pie and peas supper was enjoyed by all before the raffle was drawn and the final races took place.

The penultimate race saw each horse’s ownership auctioned. This raised £150 and half of this was given away to the lucky winner. The Championship Stakes for all the winning owners rounded off the night with another £75 cash prize. This was won by the Highway Men, who left for their next drinking venue in high spirits.

Rtn Bob would like to thank the International Team for their help on the night, Big H for keeping the night going, his work colleague Stewart Whiteley who calculated the odds and the payouts for each race and of course all those who bought horses, sponsored races and attended on the night.

The final profit for the night after deposits had been returned was £1,004. This was split 50/50 between Sand Dams and Bob’s Trek.

2nd VP Rtn Bob Chadwick

Rotary Quiz – 23rd October 2012

The next quiz between the four Rochdale clubs will take place on Tuesday 23rd October at the 'Success to the Plough' pub. We have a team of four for the event but supporters are very welcome indeed.

There is a meal beforehand, if you are interested, at £10 per head (start time for the meal is 6pm for 6.30pm). The quiz itself is due to start at 7.30 if you do not want a meal first. Please let Neil Helliwell know if you want to attend and whether you want a meal or not.

Thursday the 13th of September-

Geoff Foulkes is made an Honorary Member.

Geoff joined our club in August 1983, and was assistant secretary soon after. He was involved with three of our committees, Community Service, International and Club, also serving as Convenor.

He was President in the 1997/98 Rotary Year.

He and Margaret have decided to move to Norfolk to be nearer to their daughter, so it is with sadness that have to wish him 'goodbye', but hope that he will come and see us if he is in the area in the future.

He has told us that he hopes to contact a local club when they are settled there.
Rotary District Conference 2012 – A Newcomers View
I remembered my Uncle, a longstanding Rotarian, telling me that one of the most enjoyable parts of the Rotary year was going to the annual conference, but he is a good 25 years older than me so would it hold the same magic for me? My wife was happy to come along when I said the conference was in Southport and that the entertainment included an ‘Antiques Roadshow’ session and the Searchers. I think there was also an element of curiosity to see who I met up with each Thursday at our Rotary meetings.
Having Thomas Plant give a really interesting talk on his life in the antique / auction trade was a recent change in format for the opening afternoon, I was told, with none of the usual ‘business’ sessions taking place. This got the whole weekend off to a relaxed and good natured start for both Rotarians and their partners.
By the time we returned to our hotel my wife, Heather, was getting well acquainted with my fellow Rotarians and their partners (as always everybody from Rochdale was very welcoming and friendly). The evening’s entertainment was the Rainford Brass Band but, due to the long journey from Rochdale and a busy afternoon, a few of us did not make it past the first pub we walked past on the journey over. I am reliably told that the Band were very good but so was the local real ale in Barons Bar!
Sunshine again on Saturday and after a good breakfast we walked over to the first session of the day which consisted of welcome speech by Colin Ince the District Governor and a good humoured talk by Bob Christie. After a coffee break we got down to the nitty gritty of the weekend with two very inspiring talks. David Swettenham told us about JOLE Riders and the tremendous work that had been done by Rotarians to provide refurbished bikes that had been discarded in the UK to school children in South Africa. As I have seen from my short time in Rotary whatever it does to help people it always ensures that what is provided addresses people’s actual needs (which are often quite simple) and not what other people may think they might need.
Jeremy Gilley, during his presentation of ‘Peace One Day’, showed us what a dynamic speaker he was and what can be done by sheer will and determination. Basically what he is succeeding in doing is making the 21st September a day of peace throughout the whole world. The new ‘Question Time’ session, hosted by the BBC’s Phil Sayer, was somewhat invigorating with the four leading Rotarians on the stage leaving the audience in no doubt that they must be prepared to change / challenge tradition / modernise / be more open to new ideas if the organisation is to build up membership in the future.
Saturday afternoon was free and included an excellent cream tea and a bracing walk before meeting up with the Rochdale group for the President’s pre-dinner drink. We had another good meal and speedily returned to the Conference Centre for the evening’s entertainment. The cobwebs were blown away by the Lancashire Fusiliers Corps of Drums lit up in the dark, a singer, and then the Searchers who got everybody dancing.
The Sunday sessions were equally as interesting as the previous day. Caroline Casey spoke about her life and the Kanchi Charity showing what can be achieved through great adversity (it took time to realise that she was sight impaired such was her confidence when she walked on the stage). AnneMarie Harte, the RIBI CEO, completed the business sessions by again reminding everybody in the conference of the need for change. The most difficult time for a comedian to come on any stage must be a Sunday morning at 12pm but John Martin managed to give a very funny routine without causing any offence (it can be done).
Both my wife and I really enjoyed the 2012 Southport Conference and being in the company of my new found friends from the Rochdale Rotary club. Suffice it to say that next year’s conference in Llandudno is definitely in our diary and we certainly look forward to another enjoyable weekend. My advice to anyone who is unsure whether the District Conference is for them is to give it a try – I did and did not regret it!
Neil Williams

Wednesday the 8th of August - Seniors Out Afternoon.

Some thirty senior citizens and Rotary Club members enjoyed a pleasant afternoon at the Castleton Bowling Club. The green was in more or less constant use, 'Dolly Blue' (Frances and John Jones on Keyboard and Bass guitar) supplied some excellent musical entertainment and afternoon tea was served at 3 p.m.

Thanks go to Elvet for organising the event, to Joan and her team for arranging the refreshments and to members of the Castleton Bowling Club for looking after us.

New member Neil Williams Inducted.

On Thursday the 2nd of August, President David welcomed Neil Williams to our club. His job talk in a few week's time will reveal all!

Thursday 5th of July. Neil Smith's talk - see Speakers page.

Thursday 21st of June.

Presidential handover.

David Smithard was duly installed as President for the 2012/13 Rotary Year by retiring President Joan Banks. Vice President Neil Helliwell and 2nd Vice President Bob Chadwick were also elected on our final meeting of the 2011/12 Rotary Year.

Thursday 14th of June.

Life Box Presentation

At what is probably the last Box Packing Session at DHL (the distribution centre is to close) retiring President Joan made a donation to Life Box of £500 from the International Committee, which was received by co-ordinator Dr. Pam Joyce.

If anyone reading this knows of a suitable location in the area where we can continue to both pack & store these boxes, please contact President David Smithard. (E-mail address on the front page).

Thursday 7th of June.

A special evening of recognition and presentations.

Rotarian John F. Kay is made a Paul Harris Fellow. This is the highest award that a Club can bestow on a member. John became a member in 1983, and became Vocational Chairman in 1985. In 1990 he changed to Membership & Press Officer for nine years, becoming International Convenor for a few years from 1999. He was President for the 2008 -2009 Presidential year. He has been Membership & Press Officer since 2007.

He was responsible for initiating our website on Rochdale Online.

He is involved with many local charities and local affairs. He epitomises the ideals of Rotary and the award is amply justified.

Rotary International Community & Family Service Awards were presented to Sheila Acton, Paul Kettle and Nicola Smith.

Rotary's chosen charities this year, Alzheimer's and Rochdale Boroughwide User's Forum, each received a cheque for £1500.

An additional charity, Mood Swings, also received a cheque this evening.

Thursday 31st of May.STAN FIELDING leaves Rochdale Rotary

Our most senior member, Stan Fielding, attended his last meeting with us this evening. An honorary member and a Paul Harris Fellow, Stan has been a member of Rotary for 47 years. Still in remarkable physical shape, Stan has had an extraordinary life, not least as a pilot for Coastal Command during WW II. His squadron patrolled over vast areas, ranging from the Bay of Biscay to the Norwegian fjords. Sadly 50% of his fellow RAF colleagues lost their lives in that bitter conflict.

Stan survived and after the war he went back to his policeman's duties, rising through the ranks to become Chief Superintendent for Lancashire Constabulary.

Since retirement, Stan was Club president in 1984, presented with Rotary’s highest commendation, a Paul Harris Fellowship award in 2009, and made an Honorary member in 2010. He has been the backbone of the club, throwing himself into countless projects, not least The Lifebox scheme, which sends essential supplies to families in disaster areas. The packing of these large boxes is quite a good physical workout for members half Stan's age, but he slogged on with the work.

Stan has been in demand as a speaker on World War II, particularly events after the Battle of Britain, and has always put his fees into the clubs Charity account. He is an excellent crown green bowler, regularly winning the Men's bowling prize at the Rotary annual bowls event at Castleton Bowling Club.
Being a keen reader, he was a Rotary book group member with a liking for crime and police thrillers for some reason.

Stan has decided to be nearer his large family in North Wales, intending to continue his Rotary life in a new Rotary club nearby.

At a special club presentation last Thursday, President Joan presented Stan with a £100 book token as a measure of the club's gratitude to Stan for his friendliness and fellowship over many years.

We will miss him greatly, but wish him every happiness in his new home. We know he will soon find new friends in the Chester area, and I'm sure some of us will look forward to visiting him when he has settled in.

IPP John & PP Elvet.

Book Club
Future book club dates are:-
· 6 Aug - AA Gill- The Angry Island at Mike Tomkinson's.
· 3 Sept – TBA – at David Smithards.
· 1 Oct - Carol Birch - Jamrach's Menagerie at Elvet Smith's.
· 5 Nov - Imogen Robertson - Island of Bones at John Whitley's
· 3 Dec - David Bolton -Journey Without End at John Cannell's

PP Rtn Elvet Smith.

Bowls Evening 2012
After an anxious few days before the event, when the forecast threatened to spoil our fun, the evening turned out to be fine, just right for bowling, with a light wind and a comfortable temperature.

With David Acton and Liz Smith looking after the scores, play commenced just after 18:00. The heats continued apace and slowly the dominant players proved their worth, with Martin Coupe winning for the men and Lis Kay for the ladies.

The evening was rounded off with a choice of meat & potato or cheese and onion pie followed by apple pie or cheesecake, and then the presentations to the winners.

Thanks also to Elvet for putting the evening together, to Sue for sorting out the food, and not forgetting the members of the Castleton Bowling Club who looked after the bar, provided the equipment and generally kept us in order.

PP John Cannell.



The first month or so of my presidential year has been more eventful than I anticipated. It began with the Olympic Torch Handover outside the Town Hall which was well supported and enjoyed by Rochdalians. Inside, Rotarians, clad in their blue t-shirts busied themselves manning stalls and advertising Rotary activities.

Two weeks later I was back again with the Youth Orchestra who we have supported financially over a number of years, for their summer concert. An enjoyable event, ending with rousing ‘Last Night of the Proms’ favourites.

My first meeting ‘in charge’ was the ‘Friends’ evening when we were entertained by Neil Smith on his guitar and with anecdotes collected on his travels. It was a good start which we will do well to better.

We have much to look forward to, particularly the visit to BBC Studios and later to Southport for District Conference. Organising such trips is time consuming and a prompt response to requests, particularly from the Treasurer, is appreciated. Enjoy your Rotary.

President David

Thursday 12th of July. Annual Bowls Evening.

After an anxious few days before the event, when the forecast threatened to spoil our fun, the evening turned out to be fine, just right for bowling, with a light wind and a comfortable temperature.

With David Acton and Liz Smith looking after the scores, play commenced just after 18:00. The heats continued apace and slowly the dominant players proved their worth, with Martin Coupe winning for the men and Lis Kay for the ladies.

The evening was rounded off with a choice of meat & potato or cheese and onion pie followed by apple pie or cheesecake, and then the presentations to the winners.

Thanks also to Elvet for putting the evening together, to Sue for sorting out the food, and not forgetting the members of the Castleton Bowling Club who looked after the bar, provided the equipment and generally kept us in order.

PP John.

Neil Smith - An Unassuming Gentleman

An unassuming gentleman joined us this evening as our guest speaker. His guitar case was almost as big as he was. After our usual business, he was introduced by President David, and took his place at the end of the room. What followed was a fascinating insight into a well travelled and very accomplished musician.

His talk took us all over the world, interspersed with samples of the kind of music that those countries enjoyed, played with the skill of a master of his instrument.

The half hour or so of Neil’s talk passed very quickly, with the audience being totally absorbed with his amazing stories and superb guitar work.

Neil has played for Royalty, for the BBC Radio 3 and with many famous concert orchestras around the world. It was a privilege to hear him this evening.

If you passed Neil in the street, he wouldn’t command a second look but if his name appears for a concert anywhere, I’ll be first in the queue.
For more information, look here:-

PP John Cannell.

The Olympic Flame & Rotary
Saturday morning saw a good selection of our members, resplendent in light blue sweatshirts, at the Town Hall, manning the Rotary stand, and others, on the ground floor of the building.
David Acton had the idea of inviting sports club in Rochdale the opportunity to have a free area to promote their particular sport. The activities were many and varied, from Motor Sport to Diving, with the more usual activities, such as by gyms and judo also being present.
There were all manner of other activities going on. A tug of war challenge, street entertainers, a bouncy castle and an impressive line up of the Rochdale Olympic cars.
At 2:30 p.m., bang on time, the Olympic Flame came into view, carried by Wensheng Li., to the accompaniment of the Wardle High School Band. The Torch was passed to Amy Peckover outside the Town Hall, before continuing towards Manchester Road, followed by several of the Rochdale Olympic cars.
It was most encouraging to see the support that the event attracted. A well organised event, ably supported by the Rotary Club of Rochdale.
PP John Cannell.

Inner Wheel would like to invite Rotarians and Friends on a trip to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. Details are:-

Date: Sunday, October 7th 2012.

Travel arrangements: Coach from Masonic Hall, leaving at 9 a.m. returning between 5 & 5.30 p.m.

Cost: £12.50p per person includes travel and driver’s tip.

The National Memorial Arboretum is set in the beautiful countryside of Staffordshire. Admission is free but they are dependent on donations and all contributions are welcome.

There is a visitor centre with shop and a restaurant serving hot meals and snacks. The Millennium Chapel is the only chapel in the U.K. dedicated in Millennium year. The Act of Remembrance is observed daily here at 11a.m. with Last Post, Reveille and two minutes silence.

The Arboretum covers 150 acres, there is a land train and excellent disabled facilities. Site tours can be arranged - average cost £2 per person.

It is a place of peace and contemplation where visitors can see and learn about beautiful trees and unique wildlife habitats. A list is being circulated at Rotary meetings if you are interested.

Sue Cannell

Stan Fieldings New Address

For information, Stan’s new address is:

Apartment 30,
Boughton Hall,
Filkins Lane,
CH3 5BG.

Welcome to New Member Neil Williams

A big welcome to our newest member Neil Williams who was inducted into Rotary last Thursday.

Race Night
The International Committee are holding a Race Night in aid of Sand Dams and Bob Chadwick’s Trek to Ecuador for the NSPCC on Friday 14th September.
The event is being held at The Ratcliffe Suite, Sandy Lane, Rochdale with the first race commencing at 7.30pm.
Tickets are £7 and include a pie and pea supper, a free race card, your first £1 bet and 2 entries into the Tricast, the winner of which gets £100.
Horses are available to ‘buy’ for £5 each. The winning owner in each race gets a prize and entry into the ‘Winners’ race. This race will carry a cash prize for the owner of the first past the post.
Tickets and horses can be obtained from Bob Chadwick or John Whitley.
Bob Chadwick

Charity Walks by Rotary recently

In the long tradition of the club more walks were successfully negotiated recently.

On May 20th,13 stalwarts had a nice sunny day walking from Pateley Bridge on the Harrogate Rotary Club’s Nidderdale Walk. Our registration fees go to Harrogate’s chosen charity each year. The 8 mile walk was a new route which was good as we’d got a bit bored with the old route and not enjoyed the slag heap climb half way through. This one was perhaps more challenging in the ascent more or less straight up to Greenhow (known for having a climate rather of it’s own (colder and wetter in winter)).

Some breathless Rotarians resorted to gnarled twigs to support their ascent and made a beeline to nearest drinks station rather than a trip (higher up) to see the local quarry (Coldcuts). This was a view of a deep hole with terraces and a wild west looking rock crushing / despatching building at the top. Rather low grade rock is extracted at the moment used for road building. Don’t let this description put you off as there is a very informative visitors’ centre and great views all round.

After skipping back down, my better half Liz was impressed with the quantity of tea scoffed, back at our ‘country home’ in Glasshouses. Various plant species were also sampled in the back garden to be given a new home and a different life in Wardle.

Three more adventurous Rotarians had another go at the Yorkshire three Peaks walk in June ably organised by Heart Research UK.

Mike Tomkinson gallantly drove Bob Chadwick and myself up to Horton in Ribblesdale. After last year’s experience I had new lightweight boots and ‘very little on’ that would retard progress.

The first peak, Pen Y Ghent, was a misty rock-soaked experience to be followed by the long descent back to Ribblehead. Average age of walkers was about a third of our average but wise old men like us kept reasonably upright.

It was noted with some bewilderment that fellow walkers were resorting to taking everything off below short trouser level, seemingly hoping the bare flesh would skip along better! Another tactic was to make enormous jumps across swollen streams presumably hoping that what they had seen at first was a mirage!

Our first major aim was to get past ‘Smithard bend’, known for submerged mantraps and lack of a rescue station within 10 miles. Negotiating this we were dismayed to see even more of the wet stuff pouring down but got back to Ribblehead before noon.
Bob remarked how the time had gone so quickly (I kept taking his mind off things physical with a stream of intellectual babble); he gamely bought us a pint of Yorkshire Tea at a large tea stall.

This invigorated both Bob and myself for the next long climb up Whernside. Mike kept himself going by fixing his gaze on some nice calves (not the bovine variety) and telling himself there was a better life to come.

We managed this peak with worsening weather (the top was like a Victorian gloomy artwork of an ascent into heaven). The organisers abandoned the walk so we never got to the last Peak (this time).

I had a disconcerting moment in a portaloo which started rocking uncontrollably (no, I wasn’t doing a moon dance) but managed to emerge unscathed. Mike was relieved to see I was in suitable state for the drive back.

Thanks to my gallant walking comrades for making it a never- to -be -forgotten experience Rotarian, friend and family sponsorship made over £300 for Heart Research UK and Alzheimer’s society.

PP Rtn Elvet Smith

Rotary Quiz

The four Rochdale clubs (Rochdale, Rochdale East, Heywood and Middleton) will once again battle it out (in the friendliest possible manner) for the quiz trophy in October.

The event will take place on Tuesday 23 October, at the Success To The Plough, Bolton Road opposite Springfield Park. Start time is 6.00 for 6.30 for the meal and 7.30 p.m. for the quiz itself.

Each team consists of four members. Other Rotarians, friends and guests are more than welcome to join the meal beforehand and come and watch the quiz too. If you would like a meal first the cost is £10 (please arrive 6.00pm for 6.30pm) with the quiz starting at 7.30pm.

Please let me (Neil Helliwell) know if you would like be on the team or just come along to watch and also whether you want a meal beforehand or not. Three of last years team (President David, Bob Chadwick and myself) are happy to stand again if needed but new team members are very welcome. Final numbers for the meal need to be by Oct 16th please.

Neil Helliwell – Bulletin Editor

Friends Evenings Suggestion

There has been a suggestion for Friends evenings (first Thursday of each month) to start at the later time of 7pm. Just a suggestion at this stage but we would love to have your thoughts. This could then perhaps be discussed at a future club meeting.



14th June 2012 (Edition 3)

Most Improved Student Award
On Tuesday the 8th of May, Falinge High School Rotary liaison officer Ravi Sharma, accompanied by Rotary President elect Dr. David Smithard and Immediate Past President John Cannell, attended their afternoon assembly to present this year's 'Most Improved Student' award.
The award this year went to year 9 student Crystal Campbell, for her greatly improved maths. As is often the case, you don't know what you can do until you really try, which Crystal did, and overcame her difficulties.
Crystal is the 10th student to win this award, which is presented to just one student each year, so it is a significant achievement.
The school made us very welcome, and as the pictures show, a good time was had by all!
IPP John Cannell.

Nidderdale Thank You

Just a quick ‘thank you’ to all those who were kind enough to support my attempt at the Nidderdale Walk recently. It really was close to being too much for an over-weight out of condition 68 year old. However, having invested in New Boots, I’ll have to do more to justify the outlay, and try to get my weight down to a more respectable level.

IPP John Cannell.


President: Joan Banks

President’s Remarks
In my last bulletin I said I would tell you about the RIBI Conference in Bournemouth attended by David and Sheila, Elvet and Liz, Keith and me. It was a wonderful experience. We stayed at a lovely hotel just across the road from the conference centre which was very convenient as well as being quite luxurious.

The Conference was hosted by Ray Burman RIBI President who presented some very high quality speakers. RI President Kalyan Banerjee, Lloyd Grossman, Bryn Parry OBE – Help for Heroes, Matt Harvey – BBC Radio 4 poet, Baroness Delyth Morgan and Linda Nolan – Breast Cancer, Pam Rhodes – Dementia, Sir Terry Wogan – Children in Need among others, and Richard Digance entertained us hilariously at the final session.
The House of Friendship was filled with representatives of good causes needing to be supported, making me wish I had a bottomless pit of money to give away.

Gatherings like these make you realise the power and reach of Rotary and serve to recharge the batteries. Next year the RIBI Conference is in Harrogate and I would encourage everyone to attend, you won’t be disappointed.

22nd April saw our long awaited St George’s Day concert with Ashton Brass Band and Rossendale Male Voice Choir. What a triumph that was, a truly top class afternoon with a full house. Congratulations to Tom, Chris and their team and many thanks for their hard work which certainly paid off.

May was particularly busy. On the 3rd I went to Wardle High School’s Year 7 assembly to present certificates and a Chef’s coat to the winner and runners up of their heat of the Young Chef Competition. 13th was District Assembly where I represented John K at the Membership gathering. On 15th I went to Redwood School to present our shield to the most improved student of the year. 20th was the Nidderdale Walk, (more like Boot Camp). 25th May saw Keith’s wine tasting in aid of Medic Mulawi, (less said about that the better). Finally on the 30th May I went to Lymm Rotary Club to tell them about our “Friends” scheme and how we went about setting it up.

Friday 1st June was Heywood RC’s Charter where I gave the toast to their club, a really fun evening. I feel to have made lots of new friends in our district during my year as your president and for that I thank you.

I really enjoyed our presentation evening on Thurs 7th June, it is always nice giving presents and the recipients of our cheques were very grateful. The money will make a big difference to them over the next year, especially Rochdale Boroughwide User Forum and Mood Swings, both small local charities who have great difficulty finding funding and in the case of Mood Swings have no funding at all. The Rotary International Community and Family Service Awards presented to Sheila Acton, Paul Kettle and Nicola Smith were well deserved and showed our appreciation of their dedication to their own fields of service.

I was thrilled to make John Kay a Paul Harris Fellow. He works long and hard for our club and numerous other causes in the Borough without any expectation of reward and that is what makes him so special. Congratulations John.

On 14th June I will be going LifeBox packing at DHL and will present a cheque for £500.00 to LifeBox on behalf of our International Committee.

It seems hardly any time at all since I wrote my first piece for the Bulletin and here I am writing my last. The year has gone so quickly but I feel that we have achieved a lot. We have had six new members and have more in the pipeline, we have twelve “Friends” all wanting to get involved with our activities, giving our club more strength and vitality to face new challenges and take on more projects. I want to thank you all for your support this year and for all your hard work. I have had a really wonderful time and sincerely hope you have enjoyed the year as much as I have. I send my good wishes to David for his year I am sure he will be a great president and I hope he enjoys every minute of it.

President Joan

Future International Events
Friday 14th September Race Night (at Ratcliffe Suite adjacent to Rochdale Football Club, Sandy Lane). Jointly in aid of International Funds (Sand Dams) and Bob Chadwick’s 2013 Trek to Ecuador for the NSPCC.
Wednesday 7th November China City Banquet. Solely in aid of International Funds.
Times and ticket prices to be notified in due course.
Many Thanks
Rtn Bob Chadwick

Many thanks to all Members and Friends who, along with Rotary Clubs throughout the Country, helped to support the Stroke Association’s national campaign day. We had quite a hectic time and kept our blood pressure testers extremely busy. This was confirmed by the queues at all the workstations lasting for the whole day. In addition we handed out several hundred information leaflets encouraging people to think about stroke prevention.

The extra help given by our Friends of Rotary group increased the number of people wishing to be tested and we will certainly have to consider building up the number of blood pressure testing stations for next year. Thank you again.
Rtns. David Acton / Mike Tomkinson

St. George’s Day Concert
The Rotary Club of Rochdale held it's annual concert at the Heywood Civic hall on Sunday 22nd April. To a full house and rapt audience, the Ashton-under-Lyne Brass band and the Rossendale Male Voice Choir gave a stirring and very enjoyable programme.

Under the vigorous direction of conductor Martin Evans the band started with a sparkling ‘Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man’, with further highlights being a flugel horn solo by Clare Chalk in Chuck Mangione's ‘Children of Sanchez’. A reflective start by Clare led on to a rhythmic and increasingly exciting musical ending. Another memorable piece was Respighi's ‘Pines of Rome’ which was originally written with an organ part but the band made up for that with a very resonant explosion of sound.

Rossendale Choir had a very interesting programme with an international flavour ranging from An American Trilogy, Beatles songs for choirs, to An African Trilogy with the pianist converting to a bongo drum accompaniment. Their singing was very pleasing to the ear and linked in well with the band.

The finale was like the Last Night of the Proms with band, Choir and Audience enjoying old English favourites - Henry Wood's Fantasia on English Songs, Home Sweet Home and Rule Britannia with lots of flag waving around the Hall. Rotarian Ken Davies was an enthusiastic master of ceremonies and many thanks to Trombonist Rotarian Tom Hobson who co-ordinated everything.

£1500 was raised for the Rotary's Charities- Rochdale Boroughwide User's Forum and The Alzheimer's Society.
PP Elvet.

The Rossendale Male voice Choir.

After the St. George’s Day Concert, I came across a book entitled ‘A History of the Rossendale Male Voice Choir’. I had no idea that they had been around so long, and had achieved such greatness in their 88 year history. They came together in 1924 – two years before our club and have had many appearances on radio and TV. They have performed with world-class orchestras, shared a stage with some of our finest brass bands, featured at many an Eisteddfod and won innumerable contests over the years. It was indeed a privilege to hear them, along with the Ashton-under-Lyne band on Sunday. In the book I found a piece of poetry which, to me, reflected very well the performance we enjoyed.

Choir Tribute in Dialect
Free Press March 19th 1960.

Folk teks ther entertainment i’ monny different ways,
i’ pictures an’ i’ dancin’, i’ variety an’ plays,
i’ moter cars an’ chara bangs, i’ aeroplanes an’ bykes,
An’ ther’s scores o’ folk as does naught else but cater to eaur likes.

Ther’s some whose bigger interests lie i’ church an’ Sunday School,
An’ then agen ther’s others likes to dabble i’ a “pool”
Ther’s chaps mun av ther football on a Satdy afternoon,
An’ women likes a social an’ to ‘eer Sintra croon.

Ther’s golfin deaun at th’ Howard Brigg, Ther’s tennis up i’ t’park,
Ther’s cricket an’ ther’s th’ bowling green, An’ courtin’ after dark.

But to top all these ‘ave mentioned, if yer giving me a treat,
Is the Male Voice Choir Concert on a winter’s Sunday neet.
An’ the last were no exception to them we’n ad afoor;
Instead of getting’ stalled, ah like ‘em more and more.

Them soloists a Sunday neet were fit for onny stage,
Wi’ airs fro’ sweet simplicity to operatic rage.
Yon lass should ceaunt’er blessins, she’s gotten quite a few;
A pleasin’ voice, a regal form, an’ comely features too.

‘Er partner, Owen Brannigan, a deep resoundin’ bass
Wi’ tones a reaund an’ mellow as avhe heard in’ onny place,
A repertoire both long and wind, a diction crisp and clear,
Sang songs as couldn’t but please ‘is sternest critic’s ear.

An’ as for th’ lads as forms eaur choir, ther far aboon my pen,
It’s a miracle such ‘armony should come fro’ mortal men.
Neau through all this peroration ah hope you’ll get my text,
At them we’n ad are past and gone ahm waitin’ for th’ next.
IPP John Cannell

Wardle High School Awards
President Joan, accompanied by IPP John Cannell and President elect David Smithard, visited Wardle High School to present awards to the Young Chef contestants, who took part in the District finals on the 6th of February. We were made welcome by headmaster Dr. Graham Wright and introduced to the year 7 assembly area, where the presentations took place, introduced by teacher Emma Butterworth, who organised the heats in school.

The winner at Wardle, who went on to represent the school at the District Finals was 11 year old Hannah Timperley, who received a set of Chef's Whites and a certificate. She was mentioned specifically by the judges for a fine effort at her first attempt.

The runners up, who also received certificates, were Iona Hendry, Niamh Hendry, Helen Mather and Eleanor Drysdale.
IPP John Cannell.
On The Rochdale Rotary Auction Trail

Many a fellow loves the thrill of a chase
No I’m talking not of the opposite sex
Tis the pursuit of that wonderful item
‘twill fit so nicely in one’s work annex
Auctioned off by Gaveller Keith with grace

Every auctioneer needs his trusty mate
Who flips things up like a printer’s plate
The job did start with puzzled brows
Who brought this lot in such a state?
Away they went things really are great

Off course Stan’s LPs looked so smart
Wrapped in original boxes so discreet
Mantovani can’t have done so much
Elvet couldn’t resist a bid for this treat
Liz will be surprised at him wheeling a cart

Many a book was opened wide and spoke
Of joys to come after someone’s spiel
Tim Bobbin,RAF,smashing cars,Rugby ,
Many sporting tomes even Rimbaud’s appeal
Rotarians bought them all that’s no joke!

One sad tale to tell of primitive art
From African heritage given by a friend
Of Rochdale Rotary , Harare and John Kay
4 masks and varnished figure ;no one would spend
But someone later did purchase one- a start!

The largest items both were framed and stood
On improvised benches smart and strong
The town hall drawing via Dave Mackay
Showed Rochdale’s square not there for long
And Derek’s wall is now covered in wood

The final item, a photo, has a fine tale to tell
Of Lancashire’s Glory Days last year
Signed over by triumphant bubbly men
This item was pricey in a late night appeal
When Michael Vaughan came-he was swell!

Thanks be we had such a wonderful spell
Of buying and selling with stories to tell
Many a hidden treasure was there to sell
And sometimes got rid of when house did swell
Let’s hope the ancient bindings don’t smell!
Poeticus exhausticus elvetius


RAYNET is an organisation close to Rochdale Rotary President John Cannell's heart and their Greater Manchester County Controller Roger Alexander(see photo) gave a comprehensive talk to Rochdale Rotary club recently

It is a national organisation of radio-amateur volunteers, who look to provide communications in times of emergency and disaster. Radio communication is an essential part of the organisation of large outdoor events such as the Rotary club’s Spring walk. Wherever people are at risk from the hazards of climate on mountains, rivers, lakes , or near to dangerous traffic Raynet has a part to play and can speed up rescue of injured people.

RAYNET’s first civil emergency activity was after the East Coast gales and flooding in 1953 when the police brought in the keen amateur radio enthusiasts to help with the disaster relief programme .

RAYNET members now cover the whole of the UK (Rotary President John covers East Lancs) for many kinds of Civil emergencies ,large Charity and other public events. It is invited by the Police, Ambulance and Fire service, Health Authority, Government or Local Authority dept. to help in communications. Flexibility of the RAYNET resources allows use of equipment in difficult terrains often from small cars or vans. An example is the Standedge tunnel where RAYNET is an integral part of the emergency plan for any potentially dangerous incident. Standard wireless and satellite communication equipment housed in large vehicles is useless in the mountainous terrain which surrounds the tunnel.

Examples of Charity events locally covered include the recent Rotary Ironman Competition at Bolton, MegaHike for MedEquip4Kids, Lions Boundary walk , Rochdale Rotary’s Spring walk over Brown Wardle .

Raynet is keen to get new members and anyone interested contact or email Roger on

(Photo shows Chris Moulding, Hugh Morgan Jones , Rotary Immediate Past President Elvet and Roger Alexander with some of their portable radio equipment)

We had an excellent talk from Rosie Richards at our meeting on Thursday 8th September 2011

The Club sponsored Rosie Richards from Rochdale who was successful at the age of 18 to be included in the Girl Guide Gold Expedition after competition from hundreds of Girl Guide applicants from across the UK.

Rosie and her five team mates flew from London to Buenos Aires and then from Buenos Aires to Santiago. They had many difficulties to overcome such as over booking by British Airways, lost luggage, riots, sleeping on hard floors and communications

However they managed to visit Santiago, Valparaiso, Coyhaique, Tomuco, La Serena and Rancagua in Chile working from a base in Santiago. They over came lack of suitable clothing for the cold weather in Antarctic and throughout they enjoyed the experiences and the people they met.

Rosie was in charge of the group’s first aid requirements but as the only member who spoke Spanish she became responsible for all interpretations and felt that the experience had changed her. She was now much more confident and at ease giving this talk to all the members of our Rotary Club who she thanked for their financial support which had enabled her to take part in the expedition.

Rosie now takes up a place at Durham University where she will read Spanish, French and Arabic. She says the experiences she had in Chile have convinced her that she would like to pursue a job as a translator once she has her degree. We are all sure that she will do well.

Rosie was thanked for her talk my member Rtn Derek Heywood


Hear Hear to Natalie!
President Joan and Rochdale Rotary club were given a ‘ear- thumping ‘talk at the Masonic last week by guest speaker Natalie Wilson (grand- daughter of Rotarian Anneliese Mcardle) about her work as an Audiologist. After a degree in marine biology ( dolphins have incredible hearing), with no openings beckoning, Natalie took up a career in audiology .This involves specialised training in all aspects of the ear-it’s anatomy, how deafness occurs and detailed knowledge of sound and it’s transmission and how this happens in the healthy and damaged ear.
Deafness is caused by many factors including congenital , childhood viruses and infections and extreme noise. Simplest and less worrying of all build up of ear wax-a natural product to protect the ear but does get stickier as we get older. There are around 10 million deaf or hearing impaired people in the UK many start losing hearing in their 50s.
Many people are not aware they are deaf until others around them notice they are not responding Often the first sign is difficulty hearing people talking when there is a background noise-this high tone deafness is picked up by special audiogram tests Natalie does routinely in her audiology work.
Natalie showed us a selection of the modern hearing aids-a far cry from the days of large bugles and whistling battery -draining large devices. Hearing aids now have the capacity to shut out background sound and are still being improved on (y)ear by (y)ear;they are remarkably portable and unobtrusive so wearers do not have to feel embarrassed wearing one.
Royal National Institute for the Deaf RNID is the largest UK charity and has recently changed it’s name to Action on Hearing Loss
Deafness is an under-funded area of research and Natalie’s interesting talk encouraged members to consider this when deciding on a charity to support.

Kidney Research UK ‘s Carol Bonham speaks at Rotary Feb 23rd 2012
Kidney disease is a new subject for Rotary meetings and enthusiastic Carol Bonham described how the Charity Kidney Research UK funds over 90 research projects .These include Academic research into the genetic background and causes of kidney disease. Young researchers are the lifeblood of research and Ph D s are funded through University departments. Support is given to clinical trials of new treatments and trying to understand patients problems after being on dialysis and having a renal transplant. She gave a most interesting and revealing description of how time consuming and lifestyle damaging that dialysis can become .Even with transplants people still have to take long term anti rejection drugs some of which can damage the transplanted kidney
Carol mentioned the difficulties of patients getting a donor kidney with increasing numbers needing this life saving treatment .Donation of organs has been an opt-in situation by signing a donor card but there would be many more kidneys available if people only opted out if they were against the procedure.
Charitable donation to kidney research falls a long way behind cancer and heart disease and Carol emphasised how much is still to be discovered in the fight against kidney disease .All this together with moving accounts of young children on dialysis and a guest in the audience who has had a transplant recently spurred President Joan and the members to make instant donations. Carol was thanked by former renal physician and vice President Dr David Smithard for such a complete and accurate presentation of the subject.
To donate go to

Medic Malawi talk at Rochdale Rotary
                                                                                                                                          Stephen Drew -Former headmaster of Wrekin College,  Wellington,      Shropshire (1998 -2011) came to a visitors evening on the 2nd March at the Broadfield hotel.

He was guest of Old Wrekinian John Kay (John’s headmaster was Robert Dahl 23 years before Stephen) and spoke of his favourite Charity    Medic Malawi                                ( no. 108812b). He is a member of breakfast Rotary Club of Shrewsbury Darwen - starts at 7 .15 am!
Recently retired but for years involved in the charity Stephen has taken over as fundraiser and publicist .He started taking young people from Wrekin School some years ago to witness and help out in a community school/orphanage/hospital in Chichewa ,a poor area in Malawi ,Africa. Stephen emphasised the relatively good political climate in this part of Africa but with few valuable resources (only 10% of population earn enough to pay taxes)
60% of population live on less than a pound a day; there are long periods of drought leading to starvation of children who can be cared for in the nutrition centre on site. Medical facilities and schooling is available
It was difficult to hold back the tears seeing a video of such poverty and the selfless devotion of many volunteers helping to keep people healthy against all odds.
Stephen continues to visit the area from his home in Shrewsbury  and encouraged Rotary members to donate to

A JOB TALK by MAUREEN BARKER gave members insight into her life in Local Government building up her expertise in technical drawing and planning;very hands- on work before the advent of computor graphics and the internet.

Ann Stott in her Job talk described her turbulant energetic life as a Policewoman which brought every member to  attention!

Dr Ravi Sharma described the difficulties Doctors have in being light hearted and laughing with their patients.We were reminded of research showing the benefits to health and Laughter Clubs are becoming the latest fashion! Humorous powerpoint slides gave members a good laugh!

Seb Lassandro a 20 year old student gave a detailed view of Gracie Field's life -video footage of her singing,a discussion of all her friends,husbands, wartime experiences and ultimate retirement and death on the isle of Capri-well done Seb!

 Thursday, 27th of June. Stillborn & Neonatal Death Support. Andrea Harrop.

SANDS On 27th June Andrea Harrop came to talk to the club about SANDS, “Stillborn And Neonatal Death Support”. She told us that there are 17 of these deaths each day in Britain and numbers are rising. Sands is a national charity but Andrea is concerned with our local branch based at Oldham as this is the Pennine Trust’s maternity centre.
When such a death occurs, sometimes explained often not, it is a huge trauma for the young parents, indeed for the whole family. Sands immediately steps in and starts supporting the bereaved parents.
At Oldham, Sands has equipped a room where the parents can be with their baby. There is a pull down bed where the parents can sleep and cuddle baby, TV, radio, CD etc. and other amenities, where they can be together until such time as they are able to accept that their baby is not going home with them, and they are ready to take the next step forward.
They are given a memory box which contains a disposable camera, a blanket to use then keep, two teddy bears which are exactly alike, one stays with baby the other with Mum, and a booklet to record information. They get foot prints and hand prints which along with the name tags are also kept in the box.
One very important and expensive item which Sands provides is a refrigerated cot, sadly as death numbers are rising, more than one of these is needed at the hospital. (I have since been informed that some of the money raised by the local fire fighters charity bike ride has purchased a refrigerated cot).
The most important role Sands plays is the emotional support its members give to each other. They meet once a month and know that everyone there has gone through the same experience. They talk and listen and try to find ways of easing what is a harrowing experience. A midwife is present at each meeting and is able to give feed back to the wards. The nurses are committed to being as sensitive and helpful as possible at these times. The Sands members spend time together raising money to try to improve the situation for future parents. Half of everything they raise goes to the national Sands for research into why these deaths happen and towards prevention in the future.
Andrea’s talk certainly gave us a lot to think about and made most of us thank our blessings.
Joan Banks


Thursday 13th of June. Spinal Injury Hospital in Dhaka. Mike Tomkinson.

In 1969, Valerie Taylor, a member of VSO went to Bangladesh to work as a physiotherapist. Appalled by the lack of facilities for the disabled, she decided to try and do something about it.

It took some 10 years to achieve her initial ambition, and in 1979 CRP (the Centre for the Rehabilition of the Paralysed) opened in a disused cement store room in the grounds of a Dhaka hospital. In 1990 a third move finally resulted in a purpose built facility in Savar.

Dr. Valerie Taylor was born in 1944, and for the last 40 years has dedicated her life to helping the people of Bangladesh. Her persistance & dedication have improved the lives of thousands. She has been awarded an OBE in recognition of her work.

A Rotary award was presented recently to Valerie in Hong Kong, along with a cheque for $100,000. Details here:-

A more detailed history of Valerie Taylor is here:-

And the CRP website, with a full background to its history and present activities is here:-

A truly remarkable person. Thanks, Mike, for bringing this story to us.

PP John.


Thursday 2nd of May. The Soldiers' Charity, Col. P. Aindow.

Previously known as the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF) this organisation started back in 1944, pre-dating 'Help For Heroes' by some margin. The charity helps all the armed forces, not just the army, by taking over when the government stops assisting those in need. It helps not only individuals and their families, but organisations too.

Amongst the facts to come out this evening, were that Post Traumatic Stress disorder can take up 14 years to become a problem. And a sobering thought - since the end of WW II, only 1968 has been casualty free for British servicemen & women.

PP John.


Thursday 11th of April - Home fire Safety check Programme.

The Talk was given by 2 serving Senior Fire Officers and Rotarian Dennis Hobson
Of Bolton Daybreak Rotary Club.

The Home Fire Safety Check Programme involves volunteer groups to be trained to
carry out domestic inspections to advise on fire safety and to install smoke detectors.
The Fire Officers first showed film of typical domestic fire situations, their usual causes and how quickly they can grow to be life threatening.
They next explained how the volunteer programme works. After training volunteer groups are directed by a local Volunteer Co-ordinator. In our case it would be Nick Wharmby (07854 136813) who is based at Rochdale Fire Station. The Fire Service provides all volunteers with appropriate warm, wet weather clothing badged for ID purposes with the GMFRS badge and in our case the Rotary Logo.
Dennis Hobson then explained how the system works from the Rotary point of view. Bolton Daybreak have an active group about which they are very enthusiastic.
The principal objective is to install Smoke Detectors. These are secured to the ceiling by adhesive, using a short pole so that no standing on chairs or using step ladders is necessary. A holdall of all necessary equipment is provided.
The Smoke Detectors are provided free of charge to the home owner by the Fire Service. They are battery powered, the batteries having a nominal ten year life span. The detectors are sealed units so in the event of failure the unit can be replaced by removing the body of the unit, leaving the head plate stuck to the ceiling and attaching a new body.
Bolton get their leads by giving out leaflets in public places and asking people if they can check their homes and advise. Doorstepping is another method but can mean working in the evenings. The Fire Service also provides leads.
Bolton Daybreak feel that it is a very worthwhile project and that they are having
much success. It is a project that will certainly put Rotary more in the public view and therefore can only be good for Rotary.

Keith Banks
5th May 2013


 Thursday 4th April Steve Ragnall -Gracie's sword

Steve Ragnall is an author and maritime historian from Clitheroe and has written           'Better Conceived than Described: The Life and Times of Captain James King (1750-1784)' who sailed with Captain Cook and from Clitheroe.Steve has obviously moved his eagle eyes further south to Rochdale and gave the club a fascinating historical drama involving Rochdale's famous music hall singer Gracie Fields.

 Steve gave us the background to a ceremonial sword given to Gracie Fields by an admirer; subsequently given to Rochdale Touchstones museum-originally belonged to Captain Semmes of CSS Alabama a confederate ship in the American civil war.This was a very destructive ship sinking many Unionist ships whereever she sailed eventually got her comeuppance off Normandy against a well protected ship USS Kearsage  with extra armour in its hull.A fantastic history of a relatively forgotten era-wish history lessons were as exciting as this in school!-well done Steve!

Thursday 7th March Gary Walczac -Rowing

Gary is a former Wardle High School  PE and IT teacher and gave an spectacular inside story of the rise in British rowing success culminating in many golds at London Olympics and top world rankings.

British Women's rowing is improving dramatically and Gary's twin daughters are making great strides -both in  contention for Rio Olympics.Rowing still tends to be a public school sport for men mainly southern based but women have been coming from a more diverse background.Steve Redgrave 's amazing 5 gold medal story  was described and his influence on expanding the sport has been outstanding.

Exciting footage of successful British winners recently was followed by description of different types of boats used ;the single sculler seems to have the most arduous and difficult time competing(mind games are rife ) although the double scullers have to be in perfect synchronisation to succeed.Many disabled rowers are also now taking up the sport.

Closely involved with Hollingworth Lake rowing club(has produced a 'stream'of top oarsmen and women) Gary encouraged us to try out the rowing experience this year and looking around the audience some members looked keen; but perhaps we'll stick with boats that won't sink otherwise our membership may drop!!

For more info on Hollingworth Lake Rowing Club ring 01706 377261


Thursday 28th February Malcolm Ashton 'a view from the commentary box'

Test match statistician Malcolm Ashton gave a very amusing and detailed talk about his busy life-ex lawyer and traveller to 'scores 'of Test match venues around the world.Apart from giving us a pocket version of cricket history over the last 30 years Malcolm also made one wonder why he did't have a career as a comedian- his jokes were so funny!

His favourite commentators were 'Johners' for his knowledge of people and life and  Richie Benaud who added that extra dimension to cricket commentary.Malcolm bemoaned the fact that too many commentators nowadays just tell you what you can already see on the pitch or give totally irrelevant and confusing statistics. Richie would use  his vast cricket knowledge in analysing the play and this would make events even more interesting for  the viewer.

Vice President Neil who was standing in for President David in the Antipodes is an avid cricket supporter .He thanked Malcolm for the talk and looked forward to him coming as our MC at the Mike Gatting Charity event on 21st March


Thursday, 21st of February. Andy Kelly, 'Quiz Shows part 2'.

As with part one, Andy kept us well entertained with his rib tickling wit. It was a shame that so many were missing on this memorable evening, hosted, in the absence of President David, by VP Neil, who gave as good as he got to the hecklers and maintained control.

Andy told us that if we could get a team of five together, he would help us through the interview stage and was confident that we would be successful in applying for 'Egg Heads', which is usually undersubscribed....

In closing, he told us that some answers are strangely predictable. If the answer is a small number, it will be 5. If it's a large number, 78. If it's a european city, it'll be Paris (Note 5 letters!) and a quotation will usually be from Oscar Wilde. I'll be paying closer attention to quiz shows from now on!

PP John.


Wednesday 13th of February.

RIBI President's Visit.

For this occasion, we had the use of the Great Hall in Rochdale's fine Town Hall. Following a visit to the Pioneer's Museum on Toad Lane, RIBI President John Minhinick along with DG Colin Ince were shown round the Town Hall with Mayor Jim Gartside, before viewing the stands in the Great Hall.

We high-lighted Rtn. David Acton's Grow Bag Scheme, the Rotary Club of Saddleworth had a montage of their activities, whilst the Rotary club of Rochdale East organised the raffle (which raised over £200) and promoted Rotary's contribution to End Polio Now.

The charity 'Together' had a stand describing the Rotary Club of Rochdale's Befriending Scheme.

St James' Primary School had a stand, being the first in our area to have 'Rotakids'.

The Rochdale Pioneers Museum had a stand, encouraging people to visit the recently fully restored building on Toad Lane, where it all started back in 1844.

At 6 30-pm we said Grace and then sat down to a specially prepared menu that reflected the sort of fare that the Rochdale Pioneers might have enjoyed in the 17th century, consisting of a black pudding salad starter, Roast leg of Lamb main course and finishing with Pauper's Pudding.

Before the dinner, Rtn. John Kay read out a special message to our club from Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka.

After we had eaten our fill, President David invited DG Colin Ince to say a few words,  who then invited RIBI President John to address the meeting. He thanked us for an interesting agenda, and asked us to do our best to encourage new, especially younger, people to join Rotary, describing how he had become involved himself, and found it very different to most peoples' preconceived view of the average Rotarian.

An excellent evening!

A copy of Sakuji Tanaka's letter is in the gallery.

Thursday 7th of February.

Drogana Vidovic, Rotary Peace Scholar.

Drogana introduced us to her home, originally Yugoslavia, but now Bosnia & Herzegovina, so she is no stranger to conflict, having survived the troubles there in the early 90s, when close to 90% of her town was destroyed.

She moved to America in 2002 to study at the College of St. Benedict/St John's University in Minnesota,  graduating in 2006 with a degree in psychology & theatre. Next, involvement with a human rights organisation 'World without Genocide'. More about that here:-

Drogana then posed several questions that she and her fellow students are attempting to address. What are the emotional & motivational forces behind aggression and violence? Why do conflicts occur and what can we do to prevent them? Clearly the answers would have taken too long to address then.

After graduation from Bradford University, her goals are the prevention of armed conflicts, violence & discrimination. She considers education to be a major factor.

An interesting and informative talk which raised a few pointed questions!

PP John.

Thursday 24th of January.

“Strengthening Social Values and Community Spirit through Fitness” Craig Kirby.

Craig Kirby, a former Army Air Corps physical trainer is used to a life of self reliance and discipline. After witnessing the riots of 2011 and seeing the lack of purpose in many young people’s lives he resolved to do something about it. He began by running a fitness club for children aimed at improvement of personal best, and development of character and social awareness, rather than inter person competition.
He started small but soon outgrew his space. He now operates from the Champness Hall. Young people who want to join his club have an interview along with their parents and each party signs a behaviour agreement before membership is granted. Each session starts with 45 minutes of fitness training before the youngsters participate in their own programmes.
Craig has now extended his activities to ladies’ fitness training, cardio and circuit training, table tennis, darts, social events and is hoping to be able to buy a couple of computers so that children can go in to do their homework.
He spoke at our lunch time meeting, as he could not give up an evening when he should be with the youngsters. He came from work (with Balfour Beatty) and went straight back afterwards.
He operates under the banner SSDE – Sportsmanship and Social Development Enterprise and is determined to support and change our children’s social values through physical activity. He is not a business man, just a young man working to raise his family and trying to make a difference in the community. The best way that Rotary can help him is by giving our expertise to advise and support him as he develops his project.

For more information go to

Joan Banks IPP


Thursday 17th of January.

Ian & Margaret Wight came to our first meeting at Rochdale Town Hall to tell us of the success of Rochdale Foodbank, which finally opened its doors on the 1st of November 2012. From their first significant day of publicity at the Feel Good Festival in August, the stock of donated food grew quickly, and during December alone some 6.5 tonnes were received from many sources, including Rotary.

As a result, over 250 needy families received food over the festive period. Ian & Margaret are to be congratulated in their achievement, along with their team of volunteers.

If you would like to know more, or to volunteer, look at their web site here:-


Thursday 10th of January.

Sheila Mitchell, a trustee of NCHI (National Concern for Healthcare Infections), gave us a heartfelt talk about the so called 'superbug', an example of which is MRSA, that is resistant to antibiotics. Sheila went into hospital for what she thought was to be a brief stay. It wasn't. In fact it could have been terminal!

There appears to be a marked lack of awareness by the general public, and in some hospitals gross negligence with regard to cleaning & cleanliness. Hospitals can be dangerous places.

However all is not lost. Prevention is the first line of defence. Correct use of hand gel, especially in hospitals, thorough washing of hands, especially after using a toilet, awareness of clean looking but germ laden public places and antibiotic mis-use. They don't work against viruses!!

To learn more about Sheila's charity, NCHI, follow these links:-

With norovirus out & about at this time of the year, it is worth being careful in public places. Whilst not serious to most of us, it's not very nice and very infectious. Be aware!


Thursday 3rd of January.

At the invitation of the Rochdale Rotary Club Rochdale's Mayor 'Gentleman Jim ' Gartside with Mayoress Jane Gartside gave an up to date account of his experiences so far in his Mayoral Year.
The Mayor started by giving a warm thank you to all the Rotary members and club for their support through the year, attending and helping with his Charity events particularly the Opera night at the Bella Vista restaurant and a Charity meal at Nutter's restaurant.
3 local Rochdale Charities are the Mayor's choice this year- Springhill Hospice ,the Rochdale branch of Parkinson's Disease UK and Rochdale and District Blind Welfare Society.
Around 50 Rotarians and friends were given the inside story of a very busy year starting in spectacular fashion with the Olympic torch event at the town hall when Jim enjoyed a unique moment holding the torch and meeting so many wonderful people going on to the Olympic event.
Further memories of the singer Martha Reeves at Rochdale's 'Feel Good'festival in September were of Martha being very pleased to come to the Mayor's Parlour (even asked to use the full length mirror normally reserved for the Mayor in his finery).She sang a song to a delighted Wedding couple married at the Wedding area(specially designated area) in the Town Hall and was keen to watch a real English wedding !She insisted on keeping in touch and Mayor Jim exchanged Christmas Cards later.
Talking of the Town Hall the Decorative Roof panels in the Great hall are obscured with heavy varnish and the Mayor's ambition is to clean up at least 3 of the panels back to their former glory with help of donations during his year of office.
The reopening of the Pioneer's Museum has been a great boost for tourism in Rochdale and alongside the town hall has made Rochdale Internationally famous.Jim has met many visitors and mentioned a Singapore Commemorative postage stamp was recently issued for the International Year of Cooperatives with the original photo of the Rochdale Pioneers on it.Opening of Kingsway's Asda distribution centre and the building of the new tramway system has made the Mayor's year quite an eventful and satisfying one.
President  David Smithard thanked the Mayor for his interesting review of his year so far
The Mayor's next charity event is a Fundraising Dinner to be held on Friday 8th March 2013 . Sir David Trippier RD JP DL, who is the son of our late member Austin Trippier, will be speaking along with Lilian King MA, QPM (former Chief Supt. GMP) A Rotary table has been organised by Rotarian John Kay

The event is at the Masonic Rooms. 6.45pm for 7.30pm Dress Lounge Suits –


Thursday  6th of December. Andy Kelly, TV Game Shows.

I think TV game shows are boring! But following Keith Swift's introduction to Andy I realised that perhaps there was a bit more to them. Like them or loath them, as soon as Andy started it became obvious that we were in for an entertaining time.

Back in 1996 Andy was made redundant, and before he found another job, a friend asked him to enter a TV game show called ‘Jeopardy’. He did, and he won…. By this time he was back in employment as a Youth Worker, and his winnings were more than a month’s pay!

From that time on, he has successfully integrated his job and game shows, entering no less than 37 different shows – level pegging in the record with one other person. So far his game show earnings has run into thousands of pounds, a significant proportion of which goes to local charities.

It seems that the game show organisers are more interested in personalities, rather than ability, and the pre-show interviews reflect this in the way that they are conducted. For example ‘Deal or no Deal’ places much emphasis on whether or not you have a gambolling streak.

However Andy has also successfully taken part in ‘Mastermind’ and ‘Millionaire’, proving that ability is an essential ingredient for winning.
In his spare time he plays the tuba, takes part in amateur dramatics, has a passing interest in local politics and runs pub quizzes!
I will now be watching (occasionally) some of these programmes in a different light. Thanks, Andy, for an entertaining and interesting insight to what goes on behind the scenes.

PP John C.




Thursday 22nd November Rtn Kath Halstead -Cambodia

Kath gave a travelogue of her recent trip to Cambodia illustrated with some superb photographs of country, people and cuisine.It's past history was relived as we saw the Killing fields museum in all its horror and crudity and extraordinary views of temples and historic sites particularly Angkor Wat with its 40 miles of shrines and temples to many different religions.The cuisine included spiders and lunch packs inside bamboo holders.Poverty was very evident from views of people living in flimsy bamboo shacks around rather murky waterways.Thank you Kath for a completely new view of the Far East!

Thursday, 8th of November. Rtn Bob Chadwick. Gritting.

Bob is involved with the Highways Department in Rochdale, so is well placed to give the other side of the story when it comes to keeping the roads clear and safe, especially during the winter months.

We are used to seeing the reports in the local press giving a very negative view when things don't turn out as expected. 'Why have we run out of salt again? Where were the gritters last night when we needed them? Why were the gritters out when there was no snow?'

Well the short answer is that where we are, close to the Pennines, it is very difficult to give an accurate weather forecast, even a few hours ahead. This is compounded by being just about on the 'snow line', resulting in snow on Blackstone Edge and rain in the town centre, at the same time! Gritting in the rain is wasteful, as it just ends up being washed away. And it may be that the rain in the town centre later turns to snow, so making it very difficult to anticipate, economically, the best course of action.

There are several weather monitoring stations around the borough, giving vital information to the council and the met. office, so allowing the best possible forecasting data and enabling  the duty officers to deploy their limited resources as well as they can.

Every few years we get rather more snow than has been the norm for several years. Stocks of grit are based on previous years' demand, so inevitably there can come a time when supplies run low. Had enough stock been available for such eventualities, the council would have criticised for overspending, but if insufficient stocks were available, they would still be in the wrong! A difficult balancing act to get right.

As someone who has had a life-long interest in the weather, even more so now as some of my hobbies are weather critical, I very much enjoyed Bob's talk today. I hope that the rest of the audience will be more tolerant, now that they have a greater insight to the problems that Bob and his colleagues face at this time of the year.

These links might be of interest:-

PP John.

Thursday, 1st of November. Rtn Paul Sedgewick, 'Climate Week'.

This is an annual event held in March each year, with a view to reduce global warming where ever possible. This link gives more information about the  project. Rotary can play their part too, in many ways. The RIBI website has some ideas and is well worth exploring.
Paul went through many of the suggestions here, and encouraged us to think about what our club might do to play our part.

A thought provoking talk!


Thursday, 18th October, Steven Caladine, Rubbish!

This was a bit of an eye-opener.... Thanks to the EU, Greater Manchester has one of the most up-to-date waste disposal & re-cycling systems in the country (or will have by next year). It is also the country's largest. Steven explained how Greater Manchester deals with no less than 5% of ALL the municipal waste in the country, in 43 different locations around the area.

A £397m contract with Viridor Laing will bring the system fully up to date by 2013 and by 2015 50% of all waste will be re-cycled or composted, resulting in a 75% reduction in rubbish going to landfill sites.

More detail about this can be found here:-

Steven then went to explain how the contents of each of our four wheely bins is dealt with.

The brown bin, for garden and food waste goes to an In Vessel Composting plant, where it ends up as compost for re-use. There are three sites for this process.

The blue bin, for paper waste, goes to the paper industry via a Transfer Loading Station, where the paper and card is compacted before being sent to the paper processing plants. There are seven TLS stations.

The green bin, for plastic, metal and glass containers, goes to the only Material Recovery Facility in the area, where the different products are sorted. The steel is extracted magnetically, the aluminium by eddy current technology, the glass by crushing and the plastic is the remaining product. Very ingenious! BUT people still leave metal tops on glass bottles and plastic tops on plastic bottles, which the machine can't deal with.

Finally, the dark green bin is for just about anything else. This goes to one of five Mechanical Biological Treatment plants. This process is complex, and if you want to know more, this is the place:- But basically very little goes to landfill and a good proportion goes to the Combined Heat & Power Plant where it generates electricity.

For information on what to put in which bin and what to leave out, look here:-

A fascinating insight to where our rubbish ends up - and confirmation that it doesn't all end up in landfill! Thanks to Chris for inviting Steven to speak this evening. One of the most interesting and informative meetings I've been to.

PP John.


Thursday 11th October Vice President Neil Helliwell

-Government Finance explained

Neil has been involved with local government finance for many years and gave the club an insight into the National Debt,National and Local Government budgets over the last few years.The recent Global financial crisis and its impact on Rochdale's services was also clearly explained .Neil was surprised no one fell asleep or left early(we had just soup and a roll for lunch beforehand to allow money to be raised for Mary's Meals.)

It was a tribute to his lively presentation that everyone was gripped and there were even questions at the end!


Thursday, 4th of October. Rotarian Dr Pam Joyce -Life Box Pioneer

Pam is well known by the club as there has been close cooperation in the last three years between Denton and Audenshaw Rotary and our club, packing(at DHL warehouse ) Life Boxes prior to shipping to Disaster-stricken countries.Our member Bob Chadwick International Convenor and our Box 'champion' invited Pam to give an update on Lifebox charity.It is  now the UK and Ireland member of Disaster Aid International which also supplies other provisions including tents(some as School Buildings),and water filtration systems('Skyjuice') all over the world.It was amazing to hear how  a small Rotary club (11 members) can have managed such a major project over a long period.The warehouse at Rochdale has unfortunately been closed and a bonded warehouse(given free) at St Helens is the next packing centre.Well done Pam for all your efforts to continue such a worthwhile charity!

Online donations go to

or by post to Disaster Aid UK & I /LifeBox, PO Box 209, Manchester M34 0BP

For more info phone 0161 336 9528


Oil Rig Engineering-by a former 'Prince of the Rigs'-Ken Ahern 20/9/12

Ken  has an amazing life experience on Oil Rigs and in a very down to earth and humorous fashion entertained the club with stories from all over the world piping oil from the depths.Starting as an engineer at Trafford Park Ken was always fascinated by  the science and application of the same to Oil extraction from deep in the earth.

Working on Rigs can be extremely straightforward when things go 'well' but pressure build up in pipelines is a continuing hazard and fire the greatest threat.

Starting with a run down on oil rig structure and extraction methods for gas and oil Ken went on to describe extraordinary things that can happen in this very complicated and potentially dangerous environment

Ken rounded up answering a spell-bound audience's questions on such things as why diesel is more pricey than petrol(market forces) ; what is a barrel of oil(42 US Gallons)   ;what do you do with water taken from deep under the earth?(put it back but clean it of anaerobic organisms not to upset the ecology of the sea bed).

So much to talk about we will need to ask Ken to come back many more times to get to the end of his stories!

SURVIVING DRIVING  -A vade mecum of safe driving technique -Rotarian John Cannell 13/9/12

John with his vast experience of cars both racing and domestic gave the club a wide and comprehensive overview of safe driving techniques ;John once drove 30000 miles per annum in his job and lived to tell the tale !Simple but not well known tips like watching for car tyre movement when cars are at junctions; look out when setting off from home-the commonest time to have an accident!Key points from John's talk;

Good observations are essential. Position your vehicle for the best view ahead. Try to look as far ahead as possible, especially in the country and on motorways. The earlier you spot a potential hazard, the more time you have to decide how best to deal with it – no sudden braking! In many cases it may not even be necessary to brake, just taking your foot off the accelerator can be sufficient if the problem is seen in good time.

Keep some space around your vehicle by not getting too close to the vehicle ahead. Tyres & tarmac when pulling up behind another vehicle.

Smooth and gentle control of the accelerator and brake are the hallmarks of a good driver, resulting in a comfortable ride for passengers and longer life for the car.

You do not need to drive fast to get somewhere quickly – just effectively. Look well ahead, be in the correct lane, position well to avoid being ‘boxed in’ behind busses and other large vehicles.

Always allow sufficient time for your journey.

Remember the ‘life saver’ shoulder check before moving off and changing lanes.

Thank you John for helping us to avoid a disaster on our busy roads!

 Friend's evening Guest Speaker Catherine Aden 6/9/12

Headmistress of St. James' C of E Primary School in Wardle Catherine gave the club a superb description of her school's progress over the past 7 years. The ethos of the school is very much to give the children a big role in its day to day activities. Principles rather than rules govern how the school functions and children's committees are part of the management structure. The result has been a big improvement in school attendance, reduction in vandalism and demand for places from the local community.

The school is going to take part in Rotary Rotakids linking with our club to the benefit of both groups. Rotarian Allister Holt, whose initiative led to this link, thanked Catherine for giving such a vibrant and interesting presentation .

We all look forward to further meetings with Catherine and the school in the near future.

More information can be found on the School's web site here:-



Petrus Charity Presentation to Rotary by Phil Foster 30/8/12
This year's Charity ,supported by the Rotary Club of Rochdale, is Petrus ('supporting single men and women-rebuilding lives')
At Thursday's club meeting at the Masonic Hall Petrus Deputy Coordinator Phil Foster was guest speaker.
He gave an excellent overview of Petrus and an update on how the Charity is coping in the present poor economic climate.
Basically it was set up in 1972 as a Rochdale Charity which supports the Rochdale homeless (many of whom have mental illness and drug problems)
Much of the work centres on the Hub day centre on Great George Street.Running 5 days a week it supports around 40 people every day .It provides food and emergency clothing with the help of 10 volunteers .
There is also advice to the homeless on obtaining appropriate medical care and financial support together with help in rehousing.
Petrus's residential units have been dramatically reduced alongside the public spending cuts (more than 50% reduction in funding in past 2 years).
This year Petrus has had to release some of the Charities financial reserves to allow some services to continue to operate.
On the positive side Petrus is still running 3 overnight residential units coping with a wide range from the most needy to those more able to live independently.
New projects were described particularly a 'Green Gym' at the Beswicke Royds Centre; its surrounds have allowed planting of flowers and production of hanging baskets which have been sold to the public
A white goods recycling scheme is planned after advice from Emmaus in Mossley and Petrus managers are looking for a suitable building .
This will provide a regular income from the sale of second hand goods and service users would also be part of the team running the venture.
A new link has been forged with Manchester University to allow Petrus service users to get employment in car valeting at the University car parks and this scheme is about to start.
Phil thanked President David and the club for supporting Petrus in these needy times.


 Thursday 23rd of August Peter Rawlinson ,Head of Planning, Rochdale Council

Peter came for his second visit after a 3 year gap and the Astley Rotarian gave us a very up-beat presentation of Rochdale's recent completed projects. Of particular interest was the successful attractive building of Rochdale 6th form college which has enhanced the view of Rochdale particularly seen from Manchester Road. The phased improvements of Hopwood hall's facilities has integrated well with the 6th form college

Perhaps not so well known was the planning department's role in the new Aldi store to improve both appearance and access. The Coop museum is about to open in September after a last minute sorting out of the ownership of the land and it is a building which will grow on you with time judging by the photo Peter showed.

The Riverside development is well under way and we had a detailed view of changes in the Town Hall, its square and opening up of the River Roch in front of the town hall. Moving of all the Council offices out of the Town Hall will give an opportunity to build up an attractive tourist venue to show off all the long interesting history of Rochdale and the townhall building. Destruction of the Black box and new car parking area with new bus station emphasised the complexity of the changes-removal of the present overhead car park access has obviously been a headache but sorted!

Views from the walkway along the River Roch under the Esplanade showed the good condition of all the bridges dating from mediaeval up to Victorian times. Removal of much of the road on the Esplanade will open up the river and with attention to proper attractive banks and some greenery there's a good chance of producing a Rochdale riviera walk. Various grants nationally available would mitigate the costs of this.

Trams(Bright Yellow) are on their way to Rochdale with Drake Street on target to be finished by next year. Drake street needs some upgrading at the bottom end hopefully the new tram system will encourage this with new businesses coming in.

The retail aspect of Rochdale is more difficult to be sure about with more people doing internet shopping and the consequent reduction in people going into the town centre for shopping. Having an attractive visitors' area based on the Town hall and environs will encourage more to come into the town centre to make up for this.

It seems that Rochdale Rotary club's meeting place the Masonic Hall is safe from demolition! Peter also was interested in the Rotary vertical grow bag scheme to help with greening up the town centre!

Thanks to Peter for such an optimistic view of what's going on in Rochdale in 2012!


Thursday, 16th of August. 'The Mysteries of Lost Civilisations'.

Member Robert Namushi revealed some of his spare time interests this evening.

I think that we have all been intrigued by the lost city of Atlantis, but Robert revealed that there are many lost civilisations around the world, including here in the UK. The big mystery is that in all cases there is no evidence of human remains, begging the question - where did the people go? Were they consumed by wild animals? Were they abducted 'en mass' by aliens? Did they leave following some kind of natural disaster? Robert's talk certainly left us all thinking! He has promised to come back and tell us more after further in depth research.

PP John Cannell.


Thursday 2nd of August. 'Sand Dams'

Robin Hall gave very interesting presentation about the concept and use of sand dams in Africa. A 2,000 year old idea has been brought up to date and is providing sufficient clean water for many villages. The charity is called 'Excellent Development Ltd', and provides the necessary know how and some materials to enable the local natives to build their own sand dams.

A sand dam is similar to the sort of dam that we are all familiar with. But since the rain in this area is torrential for a short time, it also washes down a lot of sand. This accumulates against the dam wall and sinks to the bottom. Over time, the sand reaches the top of the dam wall. However it's not all sand. At least 40% of the volume is water.  Being below the surface of the sand it doesn't evaporate, doesn't become contaminated and can provide enough water until the next rains come.

For more information look here:-


Thursday 5th of July. Neil Smith - 'Have Guitar will Travel'.

An unassuming gentleman joined us this evening as our guest speaker. His guitar case was almost as big as he was. After our usual business, he was introduced by President David, and took his place at the end of the room. What followed was a fascinating insight into a well travelled and very accomplished musician.

His talk took us all over the world, interspersed with samples of the kind of music that those countries enjoyed, played with the skill of a master of his instrument.

The half hour or so of Neil’s talk passed very quickly, with the audience being totally absorbed with his amazing stories and superb guitar work.

Neil has played for Royalty, for the BBC Radio 3 and with many famous concert orchestras around the world. It was a privilege to hear him this evening.

If you passed Neil in the street, he wouldn’t command a second look, but if his name appears for a concert anywhere, I’ll be first in the queue.

For more information, look here:-

On 13th February 2013 President of Rotary for Great Britain and Ireland John Minhinnick visited Rochdale as a guest of Rotary Club.

A spokesman for the club said 'This is the first time in living memory that the Rochdale club has had the honour of a visit from such a senior member of Rotary '. 

On a snowy Rochdale day John (who commented on lack of snow in his native Scotland) started his Rochdale experience with a guided tour of the Pioneers Cooperative movement museum .

He then went to the Town Hall for another tour as guest of the Mayor starting off in the Mayor's parlour and then met up with over 80 Rotary members and friends in the Great Hall including staff and volunteers from Pioneers museum and staff from St James school Wardle.Rochdale East and Middleton clubs were also well represented.

In the Great Hall were Displays of Rochdale Rotary's projects including the Water Conservation scheme Hanging grow bags and the mentoring scheme for mentally ill sufferers .A large display from St James' Wardle Rotakids partnership school was also on view.

Continuing the Coop theme Dinner included ingredients available in 1844 when the Cooperative movement started:-

Warm black pudding salad with mixed green leaves and wholegrain mustard dressing

Roast leg of lamb roasted with garlic and coriander

'Pauper's Pudding'-Spiced bread and apple pudding with a vanilla custard

English tea or Coffee (from the colonies) served with cubed fudge

John thanked the Club and Rochdale's Mayor Councillor Jim Gartside for their hospitality.

In a rallying speech to Rotary he commented on the fact Rotary is now looking for new members,particularly those with modern views of the world and encouraged members to bring in more new members(including women) to invigorate our service.

New ways of running clubs such as Breakfast Clubs who meet at 7.30am and Internet clubs whose business is conducted mainly via twitter and facebook were described.

The Mayor of Rochdale who very kindly made the town hall available for the visit and has been a regular attender at Rotary events this year was given a cheque for £500 for his charities (see photo, from left to right, of Mayoress,President of Rochdale Rotary David Smithard, Mayor Gartside and RIBI President John Minhinnick) He congratulated the Rotary club on its support of local and international charities ( Petrus and Sand dams are this years charities)
                                               RTN Elvet Smith


Speakers for the 2013/2014 Rotary Year.

Thursday, 10th of July. Mike Lucas. ABRSM.

It stands for "The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music", and was established in 1889. It is the leading authority of musical assessment in the UK. The ABRSM has close links with the four major UK conservatoires, the Royal Academy of Music, The Royal College of Music, both in London; the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

Over 600,000 candidates from 93 countries take exams organised by the ABRSM every year. Rtn. Mike Lucas has been responsible for organising exams in Rochdale for many years, and elswhere before he moved here. After 25 years, he has decided to hand over to someone else, and in fact was to deal with his final exams the next day, following his talk.

I doubt that many of those present knew much about the ABRSM before today, with the exception of two of three of our musically inclined members who were present, but Mike's well delivered and informative talk opened the eyes of the rest of us.

I introduced my children to music at a very early stage, and now, some thirty odd years on, they both enjoy all kinds of music, and had some basic training during their school years at Wardle High School, both being in a band there.

Mike stepped in when our arranged speaker let us down. Thanks for an excellent talk, Mike a nice surprise!

pp John C.


Thursday, 12th of June. Stan Fielding. The History of Rochdale Policing.

Well into his 90s, Stan delivered a most interesting talk about policing in our home town, going back to well before Victorian times. The tales he told us were remarkable! The one which stuck in my mind was a duel between two suitors - a real 'pistols at dawn' event. After three attempts, the two agreed to part friends. Little did they know, that at the time they had been firing blanks! And the lady in question married someone else...

Stan travelled from his retirement village in Chester to present his talk. A past member of our Rotary club, and Paul Harris fellow, he is now a very active member of a Chester club.

It was good to see Stan, and I hope it won't be too long before he visits us again.

PP John C.


Thursday, 22nd of May. Geoff Howard. Pots & China.

The Arcanum. Arcanum? A deep secret wisdom. In this case, the secret of the manufacture of porcelain, known in China, but not in Europe. In the 17th century, fine porcelain was more valuable than gold...

Porcelain was invented in China around 700 AD, a thousand years before it was manufactured in Europe. It is made from two related minerals, kaolin & petuntse, fired to 1,400 deg. C. It was imported to Europe from around 1497, thanks to Vasco da Gama's discovery of a sea route. Demand for porcelain products was huge, and so its value was high.

The Chinese guarded the Arcanum successfully for many hundreds of years, by keeping the manufacturing sites deep in the heart of the country, where few were allowed to go, and travellers were forbidden.

About the same period, alchemists were seeking another arcanum, the philosopher's stone, or how to transmute base metal to gold.

There were two main players in the race, Johann Frederich Bottger, a Prussian born in 1682, who eventually discovered the secret of porcelain manufacture, and Augustus, Elector of Saxony & King of Poland.

Bottger deceived a group of friends by seeming to turn silver into gold. The king of Prussia heard of this, but Bottger fled to Saxony, only to be imprisoned there until he found the arcanum for making gold.

Fortunately for him, he managed to discover the other arcanum, the secret of porcelain, which at least prevented his execution for failing to find the secret of gold - which, of course, he never would - but he kept trying, until he became increasingly ill with epilepsy, fever and mental instability, so Augustus took pity on him and he was released, only to die a few years later in 1719 at the age of 32.

Augustus, since the initial production of porcelain in 1709, amassed large quantities of the finest porcelain, and vast wealth from the trade, and died in 1733, aged 63.

Concluding his talk, Geoff handed round some examples of porcelain and china plates for examination. Most of us take porcelain products for granted, today, but I for one was fascinated by this interesting 'potted' history lesson. Thanks Geoff!

pp John. C.



Thursday 1st of May. Ralph Davidson. Not Forgotten Heroes.

Ralph noticed that there were differences between some of the plaques commemorating the fallen of WW I in Milnrow. He decided to explore further, and now, ten years later, he has produced a book with many amazing stories and coincidences. Ralph spoke for 30 minutes about his journey of ten years, and answered questions when he had finished.

It would spoil the enjoyment of the book, which is to be published later this year, to describe any of the strange and moving experiences that Ralph has patiently researched. Just buy a copy when it comes out!

'Not Forgotten', Milnrow & District Fallen Heroes of the First World War, by Ralph J. Davidson.

PP John.



Thursday 24th of April. Claire Lees, Soprano.

This was a real treat! Local lass Claire, accompanied by Ewan Gilford on the piano, gave us an excellent concert with works by Rossini, Puccini, Schubert and a selection of numbers from popular musicals.

From her modest beginings with the Rochdale Music Society, where she not only sang, but also played the French Horn, she progressed via the Birmingham Conservatoire, where she gained a BMus (hons) to her present studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Her website has more information about this talented young lady, who will undoubtedly do well in her chosen career.

A word too about her accompaniest, Ewan Gilford, another gifted youngster, who complimented Claire perfectly today. He graduated from Leeds College of Music with a BA (hons) in Music Studies and then moved on to his Masters in Repetiteur Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. He is currently freelance, as an accompanist, often representing the RNCM. More about Ewan here:-

We all enjoyed and very much appreciated listening to two musicians who I am sure have a great career ahead of them.

PP John.

Thursday 3rd of April. PDG Graham Jackson. Hope & Homes for Children.

Hope & Homes for Children is an international charity, working to ensure that all children have the chance to grow up in the love of a family.

In 1994, a retired UN Commander, Mark Cook, and his wife Caroline, visited the Bjelave children's institution in Sarajevo. On arrival, they found that only babies & older children were there, all the others having been evacuated by an aid agency. The conditions that they had to endure were unimaginable. No running water, no electricity, no glass in the windows and very little food. And they were regularly targeted by snipers. The younger children were in one small room, heated only by a naked gas flame. Mark & Caroline decided that something had to be done.

Hope & Homes for Children was born. Initially, they focussed on improving the living conditions of children in state run institutions, but it soon became apparent that what the children needed, more than anything, was a family to belong, to and a home. So the emphasis changed, the objective now being to close down institutions and re-locate the occupants to their original home if possible, or to foster parents.

Hope & Homes now operates across nine countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Africa.

Graham Jackson is an accomplished speaker and always a pleasure to listen to. I'm sure that many of our members will have been moved by what he had to say this evening.

Please have a look here:-  to find out more.

PP John.



Thursday 27th February Liz Varey -Petrus Digital Sparks films

Recent funding by Community Arts North West and the film company Albino Mosquito allowed Petrus Service Users to produce 2 films called ROOFLESS and THE HOLE.

Liz Varey has met many of the people featured in the ROOFLESS film in her work at the Petrus Hub day centre in Rochdale.The audience were shown the films and saw people describing their lives and they'd had many bad breaks,disappointments and failures.There were  background images of Rochdale towncentre and Broadfield park. One bird-loving service user described his attachment to a Peregrine Falcon seen soaring above the Town hall-no doubt envious of its vitality and freedom.It was all very heartrending but hope for the future came out of descriptions of how the Petrus charity had supported them during their bad times and helped them to literally get on their feet.

THE HOLE was a short showing feet going up a rather depressing street many times with a background commentary each journey describing falling in a hole.One was left to imagine what this hole represented and it conjured up the image of day to day hazardous life of the homeless.

Liz Varey mentioned how interested the service users had become in the making of the films which had a big night showing at Touchstones on 6th December.A video group is now meeting regularly at the Hub to continue the interest

President Neil had been to the Touchstones event and thanked Liz for giving Rotary a clearer view of what it means to be homeless.(Rochdale Rotary club has been a strong supporter of Petrus over the years and recently involved with the opening of their new Community retail store on Hamer Lane)

both films can be viewed on following u tube sites

PP Elvet



Thursday, 20th of February. Rochdale Special Needs Cycling Club.

At a time when there is a national campaign, urging everyone to take up cycling for a heathlier life style, it was good to hear from Steve Durham, a local solicitor, how Rochdale Special Needs Cycling club is responding to the challenge. In 1998 Louis Blank & friends organised local rides on Saturdays, when children & adults were free from school & work.

The club, based in Molyneaux Street, provides bikes of all shapes & sizes, including tandems, wheelchair bikes, rickshaws & helmets, for all sizes, free of charge. Steve informed us that the club became a registered charity in 2005, enabling it to appeal for, and to receive, donations from individuals and local and national charities, to cover annual costs of £5,000. He emphasised the fun and camaraderie members had, making life-long friendships, as well as enjoying the healthy activity of cycling in the great outdoors of our local countryside.

To keep them roadworthy, all bikes are repaired & serviced weekly at the club's premises by teams of volunteers. It was an impressive presentation of a local organisation that provides a great service to Rochdale, and after a vote of thanks to our speaker, a donation of £100 to the club was made by President Neil.

Rtn Mike Lucas.

Thursday, 23rd of January. Margaret Taylor, 'China'.

Margaret, along with three friends, chose to go on a holiday to China. Their first visit commenced with an eight and a half hour flight from Manchester to Beijing. The initial item on their tour was to Tiananmen Square, where they visited museums. The next day was a trip out to the Great Wall, which has to be seen to be believed.

On the outskirts of Beijing is the site of the Ming Dynasty Tombs, where they went next. Travelling around in a minibus, Margaret commented that the traffic was chaotic, with almost total disregard for traffic lights. They also experienced a rickshaw ride, which must have been interesting!

Next on the itinerary was the Terraccota Army, discovered in 1974 and still being carefully dug out. The four main pits contain hundreds of life sized soldiers, protecting the Quin Emperor's tomb.

Finally, a trip to Shanghai rounded off their trip China, a memorable experience! Margaret brought back several souvenirs, including a special bracelet. She was very disappointed to discover that the same thing was also available from Bury market....

Despite a 26 hour return journey, because of delays resulting in a missed flight, Margaret said that she would certainly go again, should the opportunity arise.

A facinating insight to an unusual destination.



Thursday, 16th of January. Dr. Ibbysuma. Developments in the Niger Delta.

The Niger Delta is the world's 3rd largest wetland & has 23% of Nigeria's population. Oil was discovered there in the 1950s, and now accounts for some 90% of export earnings. But at a very high cost in terms of the ecological damage and great poverty for much of the indigenous population. Most of the natural gas is flared, i.e., burnt off, and is the worlds largest singe source of greenhouse gasses.

The inevitable result of the poverty led to militancy by the indigenous peoples against the oil producers, and the army had to be called in to try and control the situation. The ensuing 'oil war' cost many lives, but in 2009 the government granted Amnesty to the militants, who surrendered their arms in exchange for a presidential pardon, rehabilitation programme and education.

The gas flaring continues, despite the Federal High Court of Nigeria making it illegal. This is often close to local population and presents many dangers. The frequent oil spillages have devastated significant parts of the Delta, and will take many years to rectify.

Dr. Ibbysuma's presentation was informative, and graphically illustrates how damaging greed on this scale can cause devastation & hardship to the local population.

pp John.



 Thursday 7th of November David Fisher
Regional Fundraising Manager, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Manchester at Arthritis Research UK

Formerly the ARC, Arthritis Research UK is the foremost charity in the UK funding research into all aspects of Arthritis .Also A large online patient information library has been developed. 1 in 10 of us develop some form of arthritis(over 200 types) -charity goals are
Goal 1 - Raise awareness and understanding of arthritis and the leading role Arthritis Research UK plays in the battle against it.
At least half of the UK’s population will be aware of the pain and disability associated with arthritis and will know how to reduce their risk of developing it. Awareness and understanding of arthritis will increase.
Goal 2-Be at the forefront of international efforts to develop new treatments for arthritis.
Treatments that accurately target arthritis will be identified for patients with most forms of arthritis, reducing pain, increasing mobility and allowing a normal quality of life.
Goal 3 - Ensuring people remain active and free from pain.
At least half of arthritis sufferers across all age groups will be able to undertake their normal everyday activities without pain.
Goal 4 - Reduce the economic impact of arthritis on the individual patient, their family and the wider economy.
The number of working days lost and the number of claims for long term Disability Living Allowance as a direct result of arthritis will be halved.
Goal 5 - Understand how arthritis starts and develops.
We will have a detailed understanding of the causes and consequences of most forms of arthritis.Reduce the number of deaths and severe complications from arthritis in all its forms The risk of life threatening complications of severe arthritis will be substantially reduced as a consequence of earlier and more effective treatment with the risk of premature death falling by 40 per cent.
Goal 6 - Reduce the number of deaths and severe complications from arthritis in all its forms.
The risk of life threatening complications of severe arthritis will be substantially reduced as a consequence of earlier and more effective treatment with the risk of premature death falling by 40 per cent.
Goal 7- Develop approaches to reduce the need for, and increase the life of, joint replacement.
Advances in knowledge will enable the development of new approaches to preserving joint function and minimising pain resulting from arthritis and therefore postpone the need for joint replacement. Such replacements will also last longer and the current rate of complications will be cut by 50 per cent.
Goal 8 - Reduce pain and disability in children with arthritis, allowing them to have a normal future.
Development of more effective treatments will substantially lessen the impact of arthritis starting in childhood allowing at least 80 per cent of children affected to have a normal future life.
Goal 9 - Be at the forefront of international efforts to harness the potential of stem cells.
There will be a well developed programme of research in the UK with the necessary expertise, investment and infrastructure to carry out internationally competitive research aimed at using the body’s own cells to replace worn out joints in disorders such as osteoarthritis
Goal 10 - Build a world class workforce to continue the fight against arthritis.
Enough expert scientists and healthcare professionals together with the necessary investment and infrastructure will be in place to continue the fight against arthritis for the foreseeable future.

David gave an overview of arthritis and treatments mentioning the new ANTI TNF DRUGS and read from a book written by a young athletic woman with severe arthritis now making a life for herself as a novelist.Very informative talk David! -for more info see

PP Elvet

Thursday 31st of October. Dr. N. V. Radhakrishnan. 'A Journey to the Roof of Africa'.

Popularly known as 'Krish', he started by explaining about Kilimanjaro, the Roof of Africa. Located in Tanzania, central east Africa, Kilimanjaro means Mountain with Snow. (This is but one of many interpretations of the name). There are three peaks, volcanic in origin, named Kibo, Mawenzi & Shira. 

Having enjoyed running and, more recently, long distance walking, Krish wanted a special challenge before his retirement. To his surprise, his wife, Shoba, agreed to accompany him.

The walk took a total of eight days. Whilst not being a particularly steep climb, stamina is essential if one is to reach the 19,341 foot peak of Kibo. From the cultivated land at the foot of the mountain, the walk crosses through rainforest, heathland, moorland, alpine desert and finally the volcanic rim of Kibo.

The last part of the climb is done at night, in order to see the sunrise. Krish's dramatic picture tries to convey the scene, but of course one has to be there to fully appreciate the sensation.

Apart from his personal satisfaction, Krish also raised monies for the Calicut Pain & Palliative Care Society and the Thrissur Pain & Palliative Care Society. More about these organisations can be found here:-

A facinating talk about a place that few of us will be able to visit. Thanks for sharing it with us, Krish!

pp John.

Thursday 19th of September. Rossendale & Pendle Mountain Rescue.

 Ivy Limbrick & Mark Wilds are two of the forty part-time volunteers in RPMRT and they joined us on Thursday 19th September to provide an insight into the work the team does. Based in Haslingdon they cover an area of 350 square miles of the South Pennines including our own hills surrounding Rochdale.

RPMRT is a charity that is classed as one of the Emergency Services but assisting walkers and climbers in difficulty in our local countryside is only a part of what they do:-
Looking for missing persons and increasingly this involves people with a dementia.
Evidence searches on behalf of the Police.
Body recovery in locations which are inaccessible.
Supporting the Ambulance service who do not have 4 wheel drive vehicles where conditions do not allow access to the ambulance.
Approximately 400 call-outs a year include peaks at times like Halloween when locals (worse the wear from drink) decide to venture up Pendle Hill after dark to visit The Pendle Witches and during snowfall in support of the ambulance service.

Supporting mountain rescue teams in other areas is also a part of the job and Mark (who also runs a chemical company with his brother) was involved in the search for April Jones who went missing in Wales earlier this year. Being a member of RPMRT therefore involves a considerable commitment in both time and training of people of any age who enjoy the outdoors.

The charity costs over £20,000 per annum to run and so when the volunteers are not out in our local countryside they will be found trying to raise funds. “Doc” the mountain rescue dog is the most effective fund raiser and will be found outside supermarkets or attending local events carrying a donation bucket in his mouth. To help raise funds a “Patron Scheme” is to be launched allowing both individuals and businesses alike to support RPMRT and help them continue the work they do in keeping us all safe in the hills and moors in our local area.

David Bradshaw

Thursday 26th of September. Vibeke Kristensen-White. My Gap Year in India.

Vibeke (it's Danish, she has a Danish mum) received a donation of £100 from us last year towards her planned gap year in India. A organisation called 'Project Trust', an Educational Volunteering Charity, who arrange gap year programmes, was Vibeke's choice.

The cost of the venture was £5,100, which she had to raise herself - asking Daddy was not allowed - so it was all down to her to raise the cash, which she managed over a year or so, with many self devised fund raising excecises.

Her group was organised in India by 'Assist' ( ) and Vibeke opted to teach English to children under the age of 12 - quite a challenge as they no knowledge of English whatsoever!

 During the school holiday periods, she had the opportunity to visit other parts of India, including the Taj Mahal. The local wildlife, spiders, snakes & gheckos were intersting, but monkeys were a pest, taking anything left in reach - certainly not cuddly & friendly!

At the end of the nine months, the groups met up again for a de-brief and to exchange stories. As with the other students that we have supported, Vibeke returned home with a different veiw of life. The week following her talk to us, she will be leaving home again, to York University, to read English & History.

PP John.

Thursday 12th of September. President's Charity, Mesothelioma UK.

This charity is a small concern so far, and a representative couldn't be with us today, so President Neil gave his own presentation.

Malignant Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that develops from the cells of the mesothelium, the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, which may only be brief and often many decades earlier. Because of this long latency period, diagnosis can be difficult, as the symptoms are typical of many illnesses. Shortness of breath, pain, lethargy, loss of appetite and weight loss will be apparent.

It is incurable, but if it is operable, survival could be up to five years or more, but early diagnosis is essential. Often it will be too late, and survival then is more likely to be only months.

In 1968 there were 153 deaths from the disease. Currently there 2,400 deaths a year and this is forecast to rise.

Despite the fact that the link with asbetos was confirmed in 1960, the importing of  the product was only banned in this country in 1999.

Neil's father in law Brian, a retired teacher, was fit and healthy, well capable of his regular five mile walk, when he became unwell. Mesothelioma was diagnosed, and he underwent just one course of chemotherapy, before being too ill to take any more. He died in July 2007 at the comparatively young age of 72, only months after the diagnosis.

His only possible contact with asbestos was when in school. How many of us have unintentionally been in contact with the stuff? Any one of us could have the disease.... has more information. Please have look, and do support the President's charity, this year especially.

PP John C.


Thursday 5th September 2013 Members and Friends evening at Rotary
with Auctioneer Nick Hall “Antiques”

Of Bargain Hunt and Flog It fame Auctioneer Nick Hall (at the Frank Marshall Auction rooms in Knutsford) gave Rochdale Rotary an insight into the present day scene of antiques, art and collectables. Talking very fluently Nick described the changing market scene with Chinese and Oriental art and porcelain in great demand. This is fuelled by wealthy buyers from overseas including China’s nouveau riche. Online auctions have opened up the sales room to more investors and visitors at auctions have to bid against a world-wide web based audience. He described a large 6’3” 17th/18thcentury copper alloy Sino-Tibetan statue of the one thousand armed Guanyin recently sold at his auction room for £126,000.00.
African art is in demand eg Benin bronzes-an example was brought along of a tribal piece from a palace later ransacked by British colonial forces in the 19th century-sold for £10,000 It was emphasised that the history and provenance of these art works are very important to check closely before being sold at auction - many fakes are in circulation.
Nick described the fall in value of the Victoriana, once the main interest of buyers; the modern buyer will be interested in non-antique collectables from the 20th Century –looks better to have in the modern home. L.S. Lowry has become very popular (also many fakes about) and a Lowry sketch recently sold for over £5000; A present day artist from Manchester who has lived in the Caribbean - Janice Sylvia Brock, a life long arthritis sufferer, was shown as an example of successful contemporary art increasingly sold at auction. Her dazzling picture belied it's title “ Midnight Shadows “ and likely to fetch at least £5000 .
Fine wine is being increasingly bought for investment (as well as quaffing) and prices are flowing upwards.
A session was devoted to examining objects brought in by members such as a Georgian silver teapot and porcelain of varying quality/rarity and pristine condition helps to raise the price. No one had a crown jewel for sale!
It was emphasised that antique dealers want to buy at the lowest possible price while auctioneers and valuers want to maximise the value of your object.
Thanks to Nick for his impressive and memorable presentation and we are all now having a look around our lofts and in the wine cellar!!

PP Elvet Smith

Thursday, 22nd of August. 'Ecuador', Rebekah Cheshire.

Rebekah, in a similar way to Sophie last week, was on a return visit to thank us for supporting her trip to South America. Her first challenge was how to raise the £5,000 to pay for the adventure. Her school, Crompton House, and Camps International, organised the event which lasted just under a month. The team from the school left for South America in July this year.

So for a year or so before going, Rebekah and her team set about fund raising. Amongst the twenty or so activities they undertook, were a sponsored climb up Snowdon, bag packing at Morrison's (been there, done that!) a School Summer Fare, an Ecuador Evening event and a car washing weekend.

The hard work paid off, and the cash was raised. After a disjointed journey from Manchester airport, she arrived in Quito. The first six days were spent exploring the Galapagos Islands - a place many of us would love to go to - before returning to Ecuador to the first of several camps and projects. Here, they helped to build a school dining room, a snake pit for a boa constrictor and dug a trench to improve drainage.  The next camp projects entailed more building - a house this time - and painting murals.

One of the many experiences Rebekah remembered, was looking at a clear sky at night, in an area where it was really dark, and seeing shooting stars.

More projects were undertaken at subsequent camps, including rebuilding a bridge, working on a local game reserve, and levelling an area of land to allow building work to be started.

Only five nights out of the thirty spent there were actually under canvas, so accommodation was not too bad. Rebekah overcame her dislike of 'creepy crawlies', experienced eating lemon ants (but never again!) and was impressed by the locals who had very little, but always looked happy. Despite the fact that Rotary's contribution was only 2% of the total, Rebekah took the time to return to tell us about her trip, with a very professional PowerPoint slide show, competently presented.

She heard, today, that she has achieved her required grades to enable her to start her studies at university in September. Another young lady with the right attitude!

PP John.

Thursday, 15th of August. 'Madagascar', Sophie Curzon.

Some time ago, Sophie approached us to ask for financial assistance with a trip she was planning, through her school, to Madagascar. In conjunction with 'World Challenge Expeditions', the trip took place this year, and Sophie told us her story this evening.

The trip lasted a month and cost £4,100, which she succesfully raised, in the months leading up to the departure. The Project was to assist in the building of a primary school in a remote village. A week of the stay was here, preparing the foundations & footings for the walls. The school consisted of two class rooms for some 200 pupils and four teachers. A far cry from Sophie's class of twenty!

The rest of the time was spent travelling around the island, with many nights under canvas, and opportunities during the day to marvel at the wildlife and and scenery. A month of challenges, which she will remember for a long time.

Sophie thanked the club for their part in helping her to have this character building experience. She hopes to study sport at university and to travel more in the future.

As is often the case with trips like this, Sophie has returned to the UK a different person, not least of all to appreciate life here!

PP John.

Thursday, 1st of August. Rochdale Pioneers Museum Talk.

Rochdale Pioneers Museum
Jenny Broadbent, Manager of the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, came along to our Friends & Guests evening on the 1st August to tell us what has happened during the first 9 months since the re-opening of the refurbished museum on Toad Lane.
After a brief reminder of the importance of the Toad Lane premises to the worldwide Co-operative movement, Jenny told us that the Museum had originally opened in 1931. Following the decision to refurbish the Museum 3 years ago, it had been decided to transfer it into the ownership of an independent body, The Co-operative Heritage Trust. This substantially increased the options for funding, including money from the National Lottery.
Jenny showed some photographs taken during the refurbishment of the building, which had been quite challenging due to its age. During the first week of opening in October 2012, over 1,400 visitors came through the doors, from 33 different countries around the world! Jenny told us that visitor numbers had continued to be well above expectations.
The addition of an access tower at the side of the Toad Lane building, with a lift, now makes the Museum more accessible to a much wider variety of Groups including Primary School classes, disabled visitors, etc. Jenny showed us some examples of School visits as well as the highly successful ‘Pioneer Wednesdays’ that had been run for children during holidays. These had included ‘Bee-Have’, Fairtrade Fun Day, and the ‘Defiant Radio’ day. Many of these events had been run in conjunction with local clubs and groups, which underlined the Museum’s commitment to the local Rochdale community.
Less than 6 months after opening, The Rochdale Pioneers Museum successfully won a national competition to host a ‘Museums at Night’ event, in conjunction with Touchstones Museum. This had meant a lot of unexpected work for Jenny and her team but the event in May had been very well received. Jenny thanked Rotary Group members for their votes and said that a decision had not been made as to whether to re-enter again for 2014.
A number of events were now also taking place with adults in mind, most notably the monthly Pioneers Lectures which had proved to be very successful. She advised us of the programme for the rest of the year and hoped that some Rotarians could come along.
Jenny highlighted the importance of having a number of volunteers, including club member Neil Williams, to assist her two Guides, Clare and Jonathon, and herself. As well as helping with showing visitors around the Museum, they had been involved in transcribing the Pioneers Minute and Visitors Books.
Jenny extended an invite to those Rotarians and friends that have not already visited the Museum to hopefully do so in the near future. The Museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday every week between the hours of 10am and 5pm.

Neil Williams.


Thursday, 25th of July. John Smith - USA on a bike...

Sol Kids Mexico Trust
Our speaker 25th July, 2013, was John Smith. His subject was the marathon 4,200 mile cycle ride he took in 2012 across the USA. John is an experienced cyclist having done the John O’Groats to Lands End and various other long distance routes in Europe. It took 2 months and started in Washington State ending in Massachusetts. Blistering heat was a problem for much of the way averaging 80 to 100 miles a day.He showed us some marvellous views of the Great Lakes and Niagara Falls along the way together with some outstanding mountain and valley scenery.

He raised over £3000 for the Sanctuary Trust, a Rochdale based charity, providing accommodation, support and encouragement for homeless people and Sol Kids with which he himself is involved.

Sol Kids Mexico Trust works to give assistance to vulnerable children and their families in the shanty community of Bella Vista, Mexico.
The children here are often left to their own devices when school finishes at lunchtime whilst the parents are trying to bring home enough to support the family. Drug and alcohol abuse is rife in the area, making the afternoon a vulnerable time for children to be without supervision.

The day care centre provides after school care for the children, that includes a hot mid-day meal which for some is the only one of the day. Followed by sports, arts and crafts activities, help with homework and a late afternoon snack before heading home.

In addition there is an all day nursery for younger children not yet of school age.
The project is set in the very heart of the Bella Vista community. Bella Vista is in the surrounding area of Ensenada, a port city on the Pacific coast of Baja California. The port itself is an affluent area frequented by cruise ships and a popular weekend
get-a-way for Americans from the California area. However the surrounding area and in particular the Bella Vista community is made up of shanty houses set on the hillside.

President Neil and the Rotary members thanked John for his spectacular presentation and presented him with a £100 cheque for his charity


Thursday, 28th of May. Ben Leach.

This was something different for our lunch time meeting today. It was Ben's turn to find a speaker. Like some of us, he decided instead to do it himself. However in his case, his hands did the speaking - not signing - playing the piano!

His programme was Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor, Beetoven's Moonlight Sonata, Chopin's Etude in A flat major and Elegie by Rachmaninoff.

Ben has been playing the piano since he was ten, and is an accomplished performer, despite claiming to occasionally get the right notes in the wrong order... Well I didn't notice any errors in a most enjoyable 20 minutes or so of our own 'lunch time concert'.

I'm sure that Ben will be asked to play for us again in the future, and I for one very much look forward to it.

pp John.


Thursday, 7th of May. Rochdale Youth Parliament, Leon Hollindrake.

Leon Hollindrake spoke confidently, showing a positive attitude and is a first class eaxample of the youth of today, nothing like those so often seen on the TV or in the press creating trouble.

Rather than try to present all that Leon told us, this link:-

does it far better. Please take a couple minutes to have a look. Another Good Thing about Rochdale!!

pp John.


Thursday, 26th of March. Rochdale Gateway Leisure, A. Tweedale.

Yet another charity organisation that doesn't receive enough publicity! Gateway Leisure is an organisation that meets the needs of people with learning difficulties, their families, and carers, by offering social, cultural and educational opportunities.

Gateway has a diverse range of facilities, from specialist transport to fun leisure activities, along with a cafe and dance classes.

There's really too much to include here, so do have a look at their very comprehensive website here:-

pp John.


Thursday, 19th of March. Jim Hancock Forty Years as a Political Correspondent.

Jim, whilst orignally from Plymouth, has spent the greater part of his working life in the north west. He started with Piccadilly Radio (later to become Key 103) in 1974. His interview with Sir Keith Joseph was one that he feels was not only one of his first, but his best. He soon moved to BBC's 'Look North' programme with Radio Manchester. A brief period with Independent News down in London took place from 1980 to 1982, before returning to Piccadilly Radio. Whilst here, he took on an assistant, who was very keen to get into radio, a chap by the name of Nick Robinson...

Jim then took the opportunity to move into TV, joining Granada in 1987, where he stayed until 1994, a familiar face on our local TV screens, as political correspondent. He finally returned to the BBC as North West Political Editor. During his time, he has interviewed every Prime Minister, and many other famous people on the political scene.

He told us many interesting tales, too many to include here, and concluded his talk with his views of how the next election might turn out. Inevitably this led to a question & answer session which took us well past our usual finishing time. A very interesting and informative talk. Thanks to Rtn Paul for arranging the evening, and to Jim for being one of our best speakers to date.

pp John.

Thursday, 12th of March. Fairtrade. Jan Hicks.

Jan started off by 'myth busting'. Fairtrade is not a charity. Fairtrade products are good quality. Fairtrade products are widely available - just look for the mark in any shop. The product range is considerable, covering mainly food and clothing from around the world. The concept is simple - to prevent exploitation of third world businesses, to allow them to be successful and to improve the lives of those people working there.

Jan showed a range of typical products and several of us made purchases. The chocolate that I bought was very good, and I will look out for it again.

To sum up, Fairtrade stands for changing the way trade works, through fair prices and better working conditions, to offer a more stable future for farming communities in developing countries. It's about the people behind every single product with the FAIRTRADE Mark, from bananas and coffee to wedding rings and shampoo. It's already putting 1.4 million farmers and workers in greater control of their lives. For more about what's happening in our town, look here:-

Look out for the Fairtrade logo in supermarkets and shops locally. And remember - the principle started here in 1844!

pp John.


Thursday, 26th of February. Town Centre Redevelopment. Gary Davies.

Gary Davies is a member of the Rochdale Development Agency, with responsibility for co-ordinating town centre development. Gary first went through the part of the plan that is now completed, which included the new Leisure Centre, Rochdale 6th form College, the Metrolink completion to the town centre, the Transport Interchange, Rochdale Pioneers Museum, and of course Number One Riverside.

Looking to the future, Gary went on to tell us about the projects that are already approved and under way. The next one to be started is the opening up of the river in March, to be completed during this year, The repair & restoration of our Town Hall is also to be started this year, along with the Town Hall Square area. This is expected to take until 2017 to be completed. Also, to be completed this year, is a new Shopmobility & Cycle Hub adjacent to the Transport Interchange.

Probably the most important and controversial development is the Town Centre East. This will include new retail outlets, a cinema, a hotel, cafes & restaurants and parking areas. 

Needless to say there were many questions! The river opening up clearly has those for & against, with few 'fence sitters'. Several questioned the reason for yet more shops, when there are so many empty already. Gary pointed out that the size and layout of the present units prevented any of the big names being interested, but the new development can & will attract the type of retail outlets that the town so badly needs. This, in turn, will encourage smaller players to come to the Exchange & the Wheatsheaf. If well done, we could well see many more coming to Rochdale to shop. The Transport Interchange will be only minutes away on foot from all the new facilities, much more convenient than the Rock in Bury, and free parking at the weekends!

We should be proud of our town. We have arguably the finest Town Hall in the country, a new award winning municiple building in Number One Riverside and a great programme to look forward to. In my view, in a very few years time, the trams will be bringing more people into Rochdale to shop than are going elswhere now. Bury & Oldham have completed much of their redevelopment. Ours is just beginning, and will be better...

Thanks to Gary for an interesting & informative talk.

pp John.


Thursday, 19th of February. Samaritans.

Like most of us, I've heard of the Samaritans, but tonight was the first time I've met one - well two, actually - Eleanor Marshal & Moyra Purves, from the Rochdale branch. The Rochdale branch opened in February 1968, and currently receives 20,000 contacts a year, about 54 a day. Nation wide there are 5 million contacts a year, with a potential suicide contact every minute. There are a lot of distressed people out there.

Founder Chad Varah wanted to try and do something about the problem back in 1953. As a vicar, he conducted funerals, and one in particular prompted him into action, a young girl who had committed suicide.

Eleanor and Moyra told us how they were trained, and that one of their most important skills is to be able to listen without being judgemental and of course to have a very special telephone manner. The ability not to react badly when being sworn at is another necessary skill!

Whilst not all branches are open24/7, there is a computer controlled network which ensures that every call is answered within 3 rings. It doesn't need to be near to where the person ringing in is located.

Known suicide locations have public 'phones nearby, in the hope that people may ring the Samaritans, rather than take their own life.

Each branch is self funding, and have few, if any, salaried members. All are volunteers, so donations are needed to keep things going.

A thought provoking talk, which prompted a number of questions. For more information, follow this link:-

pp John.


Thursday, 12th of February 2015.

 On 12 February our club had a visit from this year's Youth Speaks team.  This was a near real time flavour of the competition heats which are on the way. 

The title of the speech was" I'm worried ". This year the Falinge Park Team take a look at the sense of "Normality". The entire speech has been written by Ethan Marriot, Member of Youth Parliament for Rochdale. It takes a look in to the minds of teenagers and their struggle in life on the decision of conformity or to express themselves in their own manner and the perils that can bring. Ethan has participated in YS competition last year and got the Best Speaker award at District level. He has put a team together with Tahir Ali and Tabitha Rusden.  The students have spent several weeks writing, preparing and practising both during and after school and hope to progress in the latter stages of the competition. As a school  Falinge Park High have been extremely proud of their dedication and commitment during this time. 
The team also received a balanced feedback from the fellow Rotarians.

Rtn. Ravi Sharma.


Thursday, 5th of February 2015.

Local man Geoff Butterworth explained how a motorcycle accident allowed him to become one of the countries most appreciated watercolour artists. When on his way to work one day, he was thrown off his motorcycle by two cars, resulting in a badly broken leg. His three years of convalescence gave him the opportunity to practise his real interest - painting.

His illustrated talk of how a series of accidents enabled him to succeed in his chosen profession had us in stiches - this man is a comedian too! His wide ranging interests, from cars & aircraft to ancient monuments, result in superb local scenes and impressive cityscapes.

To find out more about our favourite local artist, look here:-

pp. John C.

And on the same evening....

The Rotary Club of Rochdale has made a donation of £2,000 to the Rochdale Cricket Development Group to help further develop the cricketing skills of young men and women from across the borough.

The money was presented to Bobby Cross, from the Rochdale Cricket Development Group, by former Test Umpire Rotarian John Holder during a Rotary club meeting last week.

Speaking about the donation, Mr Cross, the former Captain of Heywood Cricket Club, said: “Since Rochdale Rotary Club has been raising money for youth cricket there has been a dramatic improvement in the skill levels and enjoyment in the game by Rochdale's young people. This new money will be of great help to continue the good progress already made.

"The Rochdale Cricket Development Group have the responsibility of delivering a programme of district cricket for the borough. This sits above school and club cricket and acts as a stepping stone to county age group cricket. There is very limited funding available to help provide coaching, facilities and kit for this programme and the generosity of Rochdale Rotary Club is invaluable to us.

"Cricket promotes many of the values that are shared with Rotary and we are delighted that this relationship continues to flourish in Rochdale.

"We are incredibly grateful and look forward to the next charity dinner in September."

(Copy of Elvet's report to the Rochdale on Line)


Thursday, 22nd of January 2015.

John Smith from the Rochdale Camera Club gave us an interesting talk about the club and some hints towards better photography. As an example of why the club exists, he described how a partially disabled lady went from being a very below average 'snapper' to becoming a competion winner in a relatively short time. Very satisfying for both the club and the member.

John went on to show how, with some easily available software, to tell a story in pictures with a soundtrack. It takes a fair amount of time and patience, but the reults are impressive.

Finally, he gave us an excellent demonstration of how the software 'Photoshop' can be used to manipulate and totally change the original image - art in progress! And just proving that the camera frequently DOES lie!

If you would like to improve your camera skills, have a look at the club's web site here:-

Thanks to Rtn Keith Swift for inviting John today.

pp John.


Thursday, 8th of January 2015.

Appropriate for our first meeting of the year, was Craig Kirby, a physical fitness instructor! Craig spoke to us about his business which is at a crossroads. He trained in the army as a physical training instructor, and now in 'civie street' runs his own business helping disadvantaged or unbelieving of themselves people to get fit. He also has a second job as a delivery driver, but it has now got to the stage where there are just not enough hours in the day to do both...

After a brief introduction about himself and his dilemma, he asked the membership for advice. This was swiftly delivered by several members, with a number of Good Ideas being put forward, the most important being to farm out the paperwork, which he hates, and to focus on marketing. If people don't know he's there, it's not going to happen!

Contacts were suggested and names and addresses exchanged. With just a little guidance there can be no doubt that Craig will go from strength to strength!!

For more information, look here:-

pp John.


Thursday, 6th of November. 'A Trip to Ethiopia', Safia Asif.

Twenty one year old Safia wanted to experience a different culture and contacted the VSO, (Voluntry Service Overseas), who in turn directed her to VSO ICS, (International Citizen Service) a division aimed at 18 to 25 year old people who wanted to help fight poverty abroad.

The trip to Ethiopia lasted 12 weeks and needed some £2,500 contribution from Safia, who set about raising the money in a number of ways, including approaching Rotary.

After a very long day travelling, she arrived, along with others of similar mind. Her task was teaching English to children aged between 4 and 10 years old. Not too challenging? Well she first needed to learn their language sufficiently to be able to communicate at all, so it was a steep learning curve for both! She was staying with a local family and again had no choice but to learn their dialect variation of the language to make herself understood.

The teaching element altered dramatically when she was asked to take on the role of teaching English on a full time basis, including organising the curriculum, not helped by the local community's very flexible time keeping.

Safia concluded her very well presented talk by summarising the benefits of her experience. She learnt how to budget both time & money, organise events, organise classes, having had no previous teaching experience, many other organisational skills, and the value of teamwork.

Having now achieved her degree in English language, there is no doubt in my mind that this young lady will make a name for herself in industry or education. Rotary's contribution was only modest, but certainly money well spent. We wish her well.

pp John.



Thursday, 16th of October. 'Essential Oils', Rtn Joan Elbourn.

Some of the male members of the audience were expecting a talk about the importance of oil as a lubricant in engineering. However their disappointment was relieved when 'massage' was mentioned, only to be swiftly dampened when Joan put her school mistress hat on and called for quiet!

Her talk was, of course, about a form of alternative therapy, which is currently becoming more popular. An oil is 'essential' in that it contains the 'essence' of the plant's fragrance, extracted usually by distillation. Eucalyptus, rose and lavender are the most widely recognised, and frankincence indicates how long that essential oils have been used.

Joan handed round samples for us to sniff, and indicated their uses, methods of application and their benefits.

Yet another talk about a subject that I suspect few of us knew much about. A useful and informative Rotary lunch!


Thursday, 2nd of October. Human Trafficking, Maj. Fiona Broom.

I think all of us found Fiona's presentation disturbing. 2 million people a year are trafficked, 140,000 in the Eu, and 5,000 in the UK. Trafficking is the 2nd largest crime industry worldwide after drugs, and is worth $32 billion. These figures are a few years old and will have increased.

Both men and women are affected and all age groups. The Salvation Army has been helping to rescue victims of the crime since 1885 (Yes - 1885!) Vulnerable and desperate individuals are often tricked into being trafficked. Please follow the link below for more information:-

One way that we can all help, is by being observant. This link describes the indications that an organisation is probably involved. It is almost certainly happening in Rochdale somewhere.

pp John.


Thursday, 25th September. HS2, Martin Coupe.

In a very well researched presentation, Martin brought us up to date with proposed high Speed Rail project, highlighting some of the major issues that will need to be addressed over the next few years.

The project is still controversial, and Martin expressed some doubt that the project would go ahead in its present format. However it does, so far, have cross party support, and we certainly need to do something to increase rail capacity. The controversy continues!

pp John.


Thursday, 11th September. Mnyakongo School Project. Graham Berry.

This school is in Kongwa, Tanzania, and was attended by Graham as a pupil when his family lived there in the 1950s. In 2008, Graham and several of his fellow old pupils, re-visited the area, to see, some 50 years later, what it was like now.

The school had been rebuilt, but was seriously lacking in many areas, including desks! Being in a remote & economically depressed area, the future was not bright.

The group decided to see what they could do to improve matters, and in October 2008 established the Mnyakongo School Project. To find out about the full story to date, visit their website:-

pp John.



Thursday, 4th September. Youth Zones. John Ainley

John is a member of the board at the Oldham Youth Zone, called "Mahdlo" (Oldham backwards!) and told us how originator Bill Holroyd, who was involved initially with the Bolton Lads & Girls Club, set up a charity called 'OnSide Northwest' with a vision to expand the idea to other towns & cities.

Rochdale rejected Bill's approach, but Oldham didn't, and 'Mahdlo' was born...

Briefly, the concept is to develop sort of super youth club, in a new purpose built building, for local youngsters, who would be involved in its design and operation. So far, Carlisle, Blackburn, Harpurhey, Oldham and Wigan have been built, and Preston is underway.

The idea has Government support, and now is an ideal time for Rochdale to develop their own in the town centre.

These links give more information about these first class initiatives:-

Rather than try and alienate our local youngsters, we need to get them involved. This is the way forward.

John told us how the Oldham centre was established and how it is now run. There is a significant cost involved, but with the support of local businesses, it can be achieved.

pp John.



Thursday, 28th of July. Thailand. Rebecca Abbott

Rebecca requested financial assistance to support her trip to Thailand some time ago with VESL (Volunteers for English in Sri Lanka). Having successfully raised the required amount, £990, the adventure could now start!

Rebecca was based in Thailand for four weeks, and her well put together presentation showed us how she, and others in the team, taught English to children ranging from primary school age to about 11.

She found the experience very fulfilling, and thanked the audience for their part in making it possible. Rebecca is currently studying at Keele University, and is considering teaching abroad as a career.

pp John.


Thursday, 21st of July. Jewellery Valuations. Louise Butterworth.

Not, as we might have hoped, an opportunity to see what grandma's brooch is worth, but an informative and very useful talk about the how and why of valuations. Usually for insurance purposes, but not as easy as one might expect. Firstly, it's up to you, the owner of the stolen or lost property, to prove its worth, so a recent certified valuation and a picture are pretty much essential, if one is to succeed.

The process can take some time, so popping into your local jeweller and expecting an answer there & then is unlikely. Gem stones can be particularly difficult to value, as there are many synthetic products about which are virtually indistinguishable from their more expensive natural examples.

Other reasons for needing a valuation might be for probate, or security against a loan.

Whatever the need, I for one will be carrying out a review of our modest collection of rings and watches, several of which have been handed down, in case they might be worth a lot more that we realise.

Thanks to Louise for a very useful talk. I'm sure she'll be seeing a few Rotarians in the next few weeks in her shop!

pp John.

Thursday, 7th of July. NSPCC Childline Schools Service.

Childline Schools Service

On Thursday 7th August, Helen Matthews the Schools Service Area Coordinator ChildLine North West spoke to the Club about the Childline Schools Service, one of President Bob’s charities.

Helen told the members that the majority of callers to Childline were in their early teens, however most of them said that they had been suffering abuse of one type or another for several years by the time they called. In that time the emotional, physical and psychological damage has taken place is horrific. It casts a long shadow across the child’s adult life and often over future generations.

To reach out to younger children the Childline Schools Service has been launched with the aim of speaking with every child aged between 9 and 11 in every school in the country every two years.

The service is recruiting and training a network of volunteers. Using the skill and sensitivity Childline has developed through helping millions of children over the last 28 years, the Schools Service volunteers will work with children and teachers in two stages.

Firstly at a school assembly, the children will be introduced to Childline through Buddy, a large, green, cuddly speech bubble. A pair of volunteers describe a range of problems the children may experience using a sack that is filled with rubber bricks representing the burden a child may be carrying. Then the children are introduced to sources of help, which can help remove the burden, and the bricks, to lighten their emotional load.

A week or so later the children are reintroduced to Buddy in a classroom based workshop where key messages are reinforced. For example, abuse is wrong and is never a child’s fault or that a secret always has an end, they are not kept forever.

Helen presented a mock assembly to the Club members, making them raise their hands if the wanted to ask or answer a question, and showed how, through the use of appropriate language for the age of the children, the Schools Service worked.

The ultimate aim of the Childline Schools Service is to be inclusive and engage every child between the ages of 9 and 11 thus empowering a generation to speak out and stop abuse.

President Bob hopes to raise enough money in his year to fund the recruitment of a volunteer and their on-going training for a period of two years. This will need something in the region of £4,000.


Thursday, 31st of July.  'Harmonica Dad', L. Striech.

L. Striech turned out to be member Laura Heywood's Dad. We weren't quite sure what to expect, this evening, but we weren't disappointed. Leonard produced a fine example of a chromatic harmonica and a selection of sheet music, before starting his talk.

He gave a brief history of each piece before playing it on his harmonica, finishing his excellent recital with 'a Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square', to appreciative applause. In the Q & A session that followed, it transpired that Leonard was a professional musician, having played the french horn for many years, before retirement.

An unusual and enjoyable evening, making a welcome change from the usual PowerPoint presentation!

PP John.

Thursday, 1st of October, 2015.

Adam Partridge, Auctioneer.

One of Rotary's best evenings! From Adam's introduction by President Irene, to his final comments an hour or so later, no one moved.... He certainly has a busy life, not only with his involvement on the TV, but visiting many homes to look at unusual antiques and running auctions.

Most of his most interesting finds have been in 'ordinary' houses in towns such as Rochdale, Halifax or Stockport, and not, as might be expected, in the leafy lanes of Cheshire. He told us about some of his strange discoveries and amazing prices secured at auction. To coin a phrase - you couldn't make it up!

He also told us some secrets about his TV experiences, equally hilarious, and not really reproducible here, in case we get taken to court!

An excellent evening. If you have the opportunity to hear Adam speak, take it. You'll come away smiling & wiser for the experience.

pp John.

Adam Partridge gives good value!

This chirpy Auctioneer of Flog It, Cash in the Attic and Bargain hunt has entertained Lis and John Kay over a long weekend of Antiquary at his Macclesfield Business and was guest speaker at the Masonic Rooms on 1st October. He was exceptional at giving his busy version of the modern Auctioneers life .He started by apologising for being thinner on the top than when he first started going on TV!

   His auction Rooms are in Cheshire but the well healed Cheshire set are not the sort who provide him with the most   exciting antiques. 

  For example a rare Chinese libation cup made from Rhinoceros horn came from a rather poor single elderly lady who became £23,000 better off and she said “thank you for changing my life”. Rare 17TH century goatskin Jewish book and large Oriental vases also appeared out of modest circumstances. 

He bemoaned the fact that the press seem to be so enthralled with the bizarre citing the infamous Duck house claimed for on Parliamentary expenses by Sir Peter Viggers MP for Gosport. when Adam was hounded for a valuation he thought £300 but it did go for £1700 (Sir Peter gave money to Charity).A 2 pound lump of whale vomit (ambergris) was another press enthralling  item but Adam’s recent fascinating auction of ceramics in London he was going to after his talk to us was totally ignored!

Flog it is his favourite show but says he finds it upsetting when people sell off their family treasures particularly old war medals. He encouraged us all to tell our young family members about things of great personal significance so they will realise later that it should stay in the family.

 He is very keen on cricket and a member of the Lords Taverners. He loves the Caribbean and Dominica in particular. He and his wife travelled there a lot when working on Cruise ships and still go there regularly.  Kelvin Tyson is a close Dominican friend who came to the event and Adam is helping him to raise charity money following the ravages of the recent Tropical Storm Erika.

A very enjoyable evening for the 60 plus audience and Adam was thanked by Past President of Inner Wheel and Rotary President Irene and given a DVD of Cricketer Michael Holding’s recent Rotary sportsman’s dinner.

Elvet Smith



President Irene's Charity Christies Cancer Centre in Manchester has recently appointed Christine as one of their 14 Publically appointed Governors for the Rochdale area Its quite an important role with the following functions;

Christine gave members the astonishing details of Christies workload treating 40000 patients a year serving  a 3.2 million population .A quarter of patients come from outside the Manchester/Cheshire area £13 Million come from Charitable donations per annum out of a total turnover of £173 Million Apart from the main site at Withington, Oldham and Salford have separate Radiotherapy centres and Wigan has Chemotherapy.and this saves 30000 miles of patient travelling per year!New developments include a new £35 million treatment centre at the front of the main site with 70 beds and 65 treatment chairs-biggest chemotherapy facility in Europe.The clinical trials unit is also a European giant and a new private patients suite helps boost NHS income.Thanks to Christine for her super talk!

        Rotarian Ian Sandiford,  Ricardian, Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester

Ian gave the club a fascinating talk about King Richard the Third (the hunchback) who died in battle at Bosworth fields in the war of the Roses.The last Yorkist king his body ended up in Leicester in 1485 buried in an area known as Greyfriars which in recent times became a public carpark.The extraordinary tale of recovering his body in August 2012 and its eventual reinterment in Leicester Cathedral was unfolded to the spellbound members.Well done Ian!


Thursday 30th July 2015

Rochdale Cricket  Development Group RCDG,Bobby Cross

Bobby came to the club to meet members again and explain what the RCDG is doing and also to thank the club for its contributions to Youth cricket in the borough over the past 3 years.

Bobby gave a biopic of this life ;was a keen cricketer in Perth, Australia, Heywood and for a time a professional at Lancashire as a batsman.Recently he has taken up Administrative posts with the Lancashire Cricket board and helps Youth cricket development in Rochdale.Money the club raises at our next Charity evening in September will be administered by the RCDG to give extra coaching to youngsters keen to improve their skills.It is hoped this initiative will help to improve the chances of more junior cricketers going on to successful cricket careers.

Rotarian John Holder thanked Bobby for his talk and also Highfield CEO Paul Mc Gaughey fo sponsoring the Michael Holding dinner on September 10th



Thursday, 25th of June.

Nine Years at Speakers Corner. Mike Lucas.

Mike opened with an apology, which produced much laughter... He had actually been responsible for organising the speakers for our meetings for ten years, not nine!

One of the Club's unsung heroes, quietly working away in the background, ensuring that the guests appeared on time & at the correct venue - our meeting - Mike has been responsible for doing this since 2005. He described the process of putting the calendar together before the end of the preceeding Rotary year, which involved an in depth meeting with the Vice President, putting in all the fixed events and then filling the gaps with interesting & informative speakers.

All members of the Club are tasked with finding a speaker, which is not easy, and Mike frequently had to assist. Some chose to speak themselves.

Some four years ago, the Club decided to purchase their own digital projector and, more recently, their own laptop computer. As a result, the speaker's presentations have improved dramatically. Gone are the days of the flip chart and slide projector!

We are now much more aware of the time & effort needed to provide a years worth of entertainment, which can take many forms, not only presentations from charities, but musical imterludes from appreciative students and travelogues and historical stories from our own membership.

Thanks for ten good years, Mike!

pp John.

Then, of course, he has to make it happen!


Thursday, 4th of June.

Friends Evening, with guest speaker Sir David Trippier.

Sir David opened with a few amusing stories. These were met, not with the usual polite laughter, but spontaneous gales of laughter, as he very successfully tickled our senses of humour. It would be pointless to to try reproduce any of the stories here, but apparently they are in his biography, 'Lend Me Your Ears', so well worth a read.

Then he turned to his time in Westminster, during Mrs Thatcher's premiership, and his career leading up to that point. A very interesting tale, well told, concluding when he realised that his youngest son didn't know him very well, which made him finally turn his back on his political career.  

It was encouraging to hear that he had a lot of respect for his fellow MPs on all sides of the House, counting many as good and long lasting friends. It is disappointing that the press only too often seem to find satisfaction in emphasising the bad aspects of our MPs, and highlight the negatives.

Thanks to Peter Messum for asking Sir David. An excellent evening!

pp John.











Contact Information

Rotary Club of Rochdale

Masonic Buildings
Richard Street
OL11 1DU

Tel: 01706 767409

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