Rotary Club of Rochdale

Duty Members and Current Club Bulletin

  September December bulletins 2018 and March 2019 are  in Gallery


For archive of club bulletins follow link:


Club meets at Masonic buildings Richard Street Rochdale on 1st, 3rd and 5thThursday Evenings  of each month and on 2nd and 4th Thursday lunchtimes   of each month

 Duty Rota          Jan-April 2019

                  PRESIDENT    FINANCE

2nd May      R Sharma       A Sharples

9th May    Riverside social event

16th May  D Smithard     A Stott      

23rd May   Trip to Cumbria    

30th May   

6th June     

13th June    

BULLETIN  January 2018


 THIS EDITION includes

President Ann’s remarks

Unbelievably, January has already drawn to a close, but, a very belated Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year to all members and friends.

Last month we had a very enjoyable Christmas meal and Carol singing provided by our ever-growing U3A Choir, and the Christmas message was delivered by Reverend Ian Bullock from the Littleborough Benefice.

Earlier in the month a group of us attended Geoff’s Pop-up Art Shop for the Charity Raffle draw

The Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale did the honours and drew the winning tickets – all winners were delighted with their trophies - Geoff Butterworth framed prints!!

Our annual frugal meal in aid of the International Charity Mary’s Meals raised £250 providing nourishing meals for school children in very poor areas of the world.

Our newest member John Taylor gave a highly entertaining job talk rendition helped by IT, quips and captions from his lengthy Greater Manchester Police career. Mmm! – some jokes were on a par with those of our other colleagues – enough said!!!

Editor writes –President has reassured me that my jokes are not on a par with anyone. More of John’s job talk on page 4.

 The Youth Speaks District 1285 Heat at Falinge Park High School (page 2) was a huge success. I was in a large audience with fellow Rotarians, Friends and Inner Wheel members many of whom were involved in its organisation.

VP Ravi Sharma did a splendid job spearheading a very enjoyable event.

Speechmakers from Beech House, Falinge Park,        Bury Grammar and  Oldham Hulme Schools

 Saddleworth Male voice choir is at Bamford Chapel on Saturday 10th March and promises to be another great event-see you there!

 THIS EDITION includes

President Ann’s remarks

Unbelievably, January has already drawn to a close, but, a very belated Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year to all members and friends.

Last month we had a very enjoyable Christmas meal and Carol singing provided by our ever-growing U3A Choir, and the Christmas message was delivered by Reverend Ian Bullock from the Littleborough Benefice.

Earlier in the month a group of us attended Geoff’s Pop-up Art Shop for the Charity Raffle draw

The Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale did the honours and drew the winning tickets – all winners were delighted with their trophies - Geoff Butterworth framed prints!!

Our annual frugal meal in aid of the International Charity Mary’s Meals raised £250 providing nourishing meals for school children in very poor areas of the world.

Our newest member John Taylor gave a highly entertaining job talk rendition helped by IT, quips and captions from his lengthy Greater Manchester Police career. Mmm! – some jokes were on a par with those of our other colleagues – enough said!!!

Editor writes –President has reassured me that my jokes are not on a par with anyone. More of John’s job talk on page 4.

 The Youth Speaks District 1285 Heat at Falinge Park High School (page 2) was a huge success. I was in a large audience with fellow Rotarians, Friends and Inner Wheel members many of whom were involved in its organisation.

VP Ravi Sharma did a splendid job spearheading a very enjoyable event.

Speechmakers were from from Beech House, Falinge Park,    Bury Grammar and  Oldham Hulme Schools

 Saddleworth Male voice choir is at Bamford Chapel on Saturday 25th March and promises to be another great event-see you there!

Youth Speaks Rochdale District Heat at Falinge Park High School on 25.01.2018

Falinge Park's Iman Kazmi,Farah Khan and Shannon Hitchings

are through to District final!

It was our clubs honour and privilege to host this very successful event   Richard Rhodes from Falinge Park High school and MC John Kay were simply brilliant in its smooth running.  Susan Wood Assistant Head and President Ann welcomed all.  DG Elect Anthony Graves asked pupils to above all else enjoy the evening!

Falinge Park HS team above were intermediate heat winners after their speaker talked of the injustices in our society and the plight of many forgotten and neglected frail elderly people.-GOLDEN NUGGETS  Society should value and respect the generation who have shaped the modern world.

Bury Grammar school were senior heat winners with the addiction of the young  generation to videogames /on line gaming-ONLY A GAME-  not to be compared with smoking, drinking or gambling These can truly result in harm to physical, mental and financial health .

SEXUAL HARASSMENT speech described the shocking attitudes and inappropriate behaviour towards women by certain men in position of power. The influence and the emerging theme of Me Too scandals highlighted the scale of the problem.

 UNPOPULAR OPINIONS ON THE ARTS suggested making up your own mind as there’s often more beauty in less celebrated works of art. ALCATRAZ advised that many young people have confidence, responsibility and self esteem and should be given more credit by schools(not locked up in ‘Alcatraz’) and should give young people more of a chance to take part. 

SHOULD WE KEEP ANIMALS IN ZOOS was well presented emphasising the need for more natural environments and space.

All teams performed brilliantly and had certificates for taking part, best team, Chair, Speaker, Proposer of Vote of Thanks.

 District finals for winning teams are to be held at Forest Hills Hotel, Overton Hill, Frodsham, WA6 6HH  4th March 12.30 pm.

Rotarian Warren Heyes Youth Speaks Officer District 1285 was delighted and wants us to stage the event next year too.

A Big Thank you Mike Tomkinson and David Acton-Stewards,  John Cannell ,  Keith Banks, Elvet Smith, vigilant time keepers   David Smithard and Neil Williams and the members & friends of Rochdale Rotary 

 Ravi Sharma YS local heat organiser

Cricket news from John Holder

‘Recently I met with   Lancashire’s youth cricket groups and LCB’s Paul Allott Director of Cricket and Clinton Perren  CEO . Good news! a new cricket coach for Rochdale is promised who will approach schools and clubs to offer them services. 

Heywood Leisure Centre will be now be used and has excellent facilities.

Our club was thanked for its financial support   which has been a lifesaver. Our fundraising dinner may suit other Rotary clubs and I will talk to the LCB about this.

Annual fundraising cricket dinner this year is Thursday August 23rd.

Speaker is Jim Cumbes who for 25 years before retirement was CEO of Lancashire CCC. His sporting career was as a professional cricketer and a footballer. He kept goal for Aston Villa and played cricket for Lancashire, Surrey, Worcester and Warwickshire, where he was also Commercial Manager.

I have known Jim over 50 years and am confident he will be a great speaker.

Megan Klymowec      an update from mum Nicola

 ‘She is so enjoying Repton school work and doing hockey, Combined Cadet Force(CCF), Classics Society,  Classical Guitar group and will run the Parker 100 miles in Lent Term.  Megan plays hockey for Repton school and Repton club.  Repton Club under 18 girls are now the national champions (! YAY) and Megan is starting to play competitively with them. Megan also trials for Pennine Pumas in July. She has been loving CCF and is very proud to be promoted to Sergeant by Headmaster Mr Land. She gained  lots of A grades and the highest Physics mark.  In the Classical Guitar group she has the highest music grade and isn’t pressurised.   I still can't express enough how grateful we both are to Rochdale Rotary club for your great support.Thank you!’

New Geoff Butterworth Charity Raffle

The Rotary Club of Rochdale is very fortunate to have Geoff Butterworth FRSA BWS Watercolour Artist as a “friend” and to be able to raise monies for its charities by commission on sales of paintings and prints

The Bank Gallery at Castleton is a real treasure house with over 100 original paintings on display most week-ends. Although public interest is low our members and friends regularly help out.

 During a “Pop Up” Art Exhibition at Rochdale Exchange on 16th December   the Mayor of Rochdale Cllr Ian Duckworth drew the three winning tickets of Geoff’s prints. it raised £369.00 and the commission from sale of Paintings and Prints came to £1046.80 to go to our Charities this year.

A new Raffle starts with three prizes  of 2 Prints and 1 original  Geoff Butterworth watercolour. It will run until Sunday 15th July 2018 when draw will be  made during the club’s Classic Car Show.

John Kay PHF


Our new project at the Rotary Club of Mbale Uganda progresses. In December our £100 donation covered start-up costs in 2 community groups in Bwaise and Sapiri.  30 families do sweet potatoes, chilli peppers, courgettes, kale, tomatoes strawberries and herbs. We regularly update Stan’s Rotary on our progress following their kind donation.


Steve Kay is Project Leader-on February 22nd will speak about the Global Innovation Fund (G.I.F.) to   develop a high-tech fabric to grow fruit and vegetables in sea water. G.I.F. likes advanced prototypes - we can’t finance detailed design of the material and  do a small manufacturing run for further testing .However Steve discovered a  Trust set up to help textile employees with work related problems. The textile industry is very small now so textile related altruistic applications are sought after -this project may qualify. Mike Tomkinson  David Acton

Speakers at Rotary recently

On Thursday 18th January 2018 new member John Taylor gave a lighthearted and informative talk about his career as a camera operator for the Rochdale Observer and thirty years as a Police Officer.  Working across all of Greater Manchester he rose from Constable to Chief Inspector at Rochdale  for Neighborhood & Operational policing. 

Notable experiences included working at the scene of the Manchester bomb in 1996 and dealing with licensing and drug dealing.  He also helped Oldham Council to manage Community Safety Services. 

John intends to stand in the forthcoming local elections and wants to make a positive contribution to our local community. A keen photographer he also showed the club a few of his favorite images and his sense of humour went down well.

John joined Rotary to support all our excellent work for good causes and is particularly interested in local projects helping those in need. He enjoys spending time with like-minded people and hopes to have a good time along the way.

Thank you John and have a good Rotary!

Street Pastor Reverend Margaret Smith gave a lively and interesting talk about The TOWN CENTRE CHAPLAINCY (TCC) She leads a small group of volunteers from some Rochdale churches who ‘gift a listening & support ministry’ to the shop keepers & workers in the town centre. every Tuesday pm for 2 hours. Although some people are not responsive Margaret described how the Pastors’ listening and talking to people can make a real impact in some contacts lives. Friendships are being made and their presence increasingly welcomed. What a good (and brave) idea!

Edith Piaf lives again!

French speaker Any Partington (stage name Anne Valery) sang some well-known Edith Piaf songs at the Friends evening on 1st February.Everyone was just amazed and enjoyed a wonderful performance Songs were interspersed with a narrative about the famous French singer.

Anne does a lot of fundraising for Alzeimer’s disease after her husband suffered with the condition and she has kindly donated £70 of club members’ gratuities to the Alzeimer’s Society.

News from Ian Madeley about Brogan Crowley, Skeleton Bobsleigher-  a local former athlete who talked to our club last year. She is ‘running hot’ at the sport and is a Europa cup winner after a season where she won 1 gold 3 silvers 2 bronze & 2 4ths

She is “super happy” and why not. Congratulations from Rochdale Rotary Club!

New rotary members

2 new members have joined our club this month and President Anne inducted them into the club on February the 1st

Andy Sharples, a friend of Rotarian Ian Madeley, has been involved with Rotary for some time- as a travel consultant he had a stall at our Classic car show in 2017.Also he enjoyed a game of bowls at the Club bowls evening and wasn’t put off by playing with yours truly. The sun fortunately shone well on both occasions and he is looking forward to travelling the Rotary road with us all.

Selwyn Hodge is a friend of Rotarian John Cannell and a member of Rochdale Probus He has a long involvement with teaching and education and has worked in local government. He has already served Rotary by being a questioner to the Speakers at the Falinge Park Youth speaks event. He has a fund of knowledge acquired over the years and polymath Rotarian David Acton has already taken advantage of this!

News of Inner Wheel Club of Rochdale

Inner Wheel with 17,000 members in GB&I  and 100,000 members globally has  women from all walks of life.(not just wives and family of Rotarians any more).

Our Rochdale Inner Wheel is a vibrant club and has increasing membership.

We meet every 4th Wednesday evening at   Kingsway Hotel in Rochdale.  Meal followed by a Speaker from Charities or other topics of interest and Business meetings.

Social events include lunches, quizzes, visits to other District clubs events and day trips. Our ‘big’ one is a President’s Charity lunch at Nutters .    on Wednesday, May 9th  speaker is Edwina Currie   if you are interested get in touch soon.

Charities for this year are President’s Charity, Remap run by Rotarians who design bespoke  equipment to help disabled    people of all ages.

 International Charity is Maher Ashram, helps destitute people from all over India get a better life irrespective of gender, creed, caste or religion.

We volunteer, donate goods and fundraise for   Rochdale Foodbank and Petrus, an agency for the homeless.

Our monthly Bookgroup has 8 members and meet at each other’s homes to discuss the chosen book over a glass or two of wine and a light supper!  - great fun.

Forth coming Inner Wheel Events

 Wednesday February 28th Club Night at Kingsway Hotel.

Friday March 2nd

  60’s night, Royal Toby, Castleton  Music, dancing, carvery dinner.

 Tickets £20.  A very popular event

Saturday March 10th

 -  Coffee morning at Smithy Bridge Church, Smithy Bridge Road, Rochdale, 10-12 a.m.  (International fundraiser).

Wednesday March 14th -  Summerseat Garden Centre for lunch.

Wednesday March 28th -  Club’s Charter Night, Kingsway Hotel.

President Sue Cannell

Fundraising event

Rotarian Paul Rowen writes ‘I’ve arranged a Charity concert for the Presidents Charity with Saddleworth Male Voice Choir and St Michaels CE School Choir. Date is Saturday 10th March at Bamford Chapel. Tickets £10 and £7 Concessions’

Rochdale classic car show latest

All is progressing well with enrolment of cars on website and advertising far and wide. One sponsor has come forward-RRG Rochdale and more are being ‘courted’. GMP Dixieland Jazz band has offered its music free on the day! More news in March bulletin

Bulletin Christmas 2017

 THIS EDITION includes

President’s remarks

In November Past President John Cannell and I had the pleasure of attending Wardle Academy Year 11 Awards Evening.

the ‘Class of 2017’ former pupils received their exam certificates  Also awards are given for outstanding progress and achievements -our Rotary Club of Rochdale Shield is presented annually for the student most improved in their final year. The recipient this year was Ryan Hopkins see left

It was good to see so many young people receiving awards for their efforts.

At the end of October, with visas stamped, a large group travelled to Rotary Conference in Scarborough. There was a varied programme including the inspirational lecture presented by blind water ski world champion, Dr.  Janet Grey, who has overcome such tremendous obstacles in her life, and still maintains such a positive and determined attitude.  I have met her on a number of occasions in and around Rochdale, and never fail to be impressed by her resilience. Janet has another local link – she trains at Cowm Reservoir!!! She is a great ambassador for her Irish homeland, her love of water skiing, and even finds time for local councillor duties.

On 16th November I was very proud to preside over the 91st Charter Night of the Club. masterminded by Ian M as usual, and steered by Master of Ceremonies, Irene, the evening appeared to have been well received and enjoyed by all from the comments I have received, Including the Mayor and Mayoress and District  Governor Eric.

The speaker was Kevin Fitzgerald, BBC  North West political reporter,  who was entertaining and light hearted in his presentation.

Again, my sincere thanks to all who contributed in any way at all, and to all fellow Rotarians and friends who attended.

The November Friends evening went with a swing as I had the pleasure of TWO inductions.  The first was to ‘convert’ one of our Rotary Friends, John Taylor, as our latest member.  I have known John a long time and am sure he will contribute, support and uphold our Rotary mantra.

The second induction was to ‘bedeck’ Keith Banks as Vice-President. As a long standing member of our club and Secretary, his acceptance of office can only be excellent for the Club.

To complete a really good evening, our speaker was none other than our very own Bob Chadwick – walker/trekker/climber/expedition partaker/fund raiser – who entertained us with the highlights of his latest expedition to Everest Base Camp along with fellow NSPCC fundraisers.  His presentation was extremely interesting and informative and enjoyed by all. It’s another brilliant example of service to the community.

Everest Base Camp Trek for the NSPCC 2017

Following 18 months of fund raising and training, and a 24 hour journey from front door to Kathmandu hotel, a group of ten trekkers, a doctor and our guide took a 20 seater aircraft into the mountains of the Himalayas. Landing at Lukla on a short runway on the edge of the valley, apart from the odd helicopter, we weren’t to see another motor driven device for 13 days.

The trek was a mixture of up and down hill in both directions. We followed the Khumba river most of the way, but at times we would be 1,500 feet above it, then have to descend to cross it via a suspended, wobbly bridge, before climbing even higher up the other side of the valley. Everything that went up or down between the villages had to travel the same way as us. We were lucky, we just had to carry our day sacks, but we saw porters carrying wood, reinforcement bars, food, drink and even a sofa on their backs. (see right)

Apart from avoiding being pushed off the edge of the path by passing Yak trains, the trekking was fairly easy. We walked around 7 or 8 miles a day starting around 8am and finishing around 4pm, with regular stops for drinks, snacks and of course lunch. All our meals were cooked by our own team, though we ate them in the relative comfort of a teahouse with a roof over our heads, rather than in a mess tent as on previous treks. We did however sleep in tents for 12 nights.

My tent buddy, whilst used to sleeping in small cabins of a fancy yacht in Greece, had not done any camping before, so it took me a couple of days to teach him that he didn’t need to empty all his clothes out in the tent every night! Our only other problem was condensation especially on the way back from Base Camp. The weather turned cool and crisp, meaning our breath condensed on the inside of the tent and onto our sleeping bags. So, as they were wet when we packed them up in the morning, they were still wet for the next night. I ended up giving my sleeping bag away at the end of the trek.

After seven days of trekking, we finally arrived at Base Camp. It is on the top of a very slow-moving glacier, so is very barren and very rocky. There was not a flat area in sight where one could contemplate pitching a tent. However, we celebrated wildly and posed for lots of photos. From Base Camp we could see the Khumbu Ice Fall through which all the Everest expeditions have to pass several times.

It was just a mass of crevasses, again constantly on the move and somewhere none of us would want to venture.

The return to Lukla was still full of ascents and descents, but only took 5 days as oxygen refilled our lungs and allowed us to move more quickly. We felt sorry for those poor souls we passed who were struggling on the way up. It was funny to think we must have looked like that too.

Finally, a night of celebration took place in Lukla, where we thanked our crew and were presented with medals. We then retired to the Irish Bar before facing the flight back to Kathmandu the following morning.

Two days in Kathmandu followed, before the long journey home began. It was nice to get back not only in my own bed, but to have the use of a proper shower!

The trek was an experience I wouldn’t have missed and I’m also proud that my efforts raised over £5,200 for the NSPCC and Childline. Thank you to every one of you who helped me in attaining that total.


On Monday, 20 November your intrepid quiz team, comprising Rotarians Chadwick, Helliwell, Reid and Smithard went to the Norton Grange Hotel for this year's local quiz hosted by Middleton Club. We were joined by a small band of supporters led by President Ann.

There were five rounds under the headings of Brands; 1973; Music; Vexed and General Knowledge. The final scores were:

Heywood - 77 points;

Rochdale - 70 points;

Rochdale East - 67 points

Middleton - 60 points.

We can take some satisfaction (and pride?) in achieving the highest score in the popular music round with a score of 24 out of 30.

We had an excellent evening of fellowship, enjoyed a fine meal and look forward to competing again in next year's quiz, which is to be hosted by the Heywood Club."Rotarian Clive Reid

Pop up shop

John Kay Writes

Geoff Butterworth has re-opened a “Pop Up” Art Exhibition in Unit 29/30 Market Way at the Exchange Shopping Centre! Geoff and Andrea would be delighted if you all visit the exhibition and also can spare an hour or so to help .

We need people to supervise the exhibition so no-one runs away with a painting. They are all screwed to the wall but better to avoid temptation! 

We also need to sell more raffle tickets. Each one sold is a pound to our charities.  If you can help then please speak to Geoff and Andrea so they can put you on the rota. We have our Rotary Raffle tickets to sell with three framed prints    The Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale have agreed to draw the three winning tickets for our Charity Raffle at 11.00am on Saturday 16th December 2017 

Please will you try to support this if possible.  Andrea would also welcome help with the teas & coffees. 

President Ann will be in charge. 

Rotarian John F Kay PHF

Club speakers last 2 months

 Finlay Galloway gave the club a fascinating account of what goes on behind the scenes in the organisation of athletics meetings A successful sprinter in his Youth but an engineer by profession Finlay spoke of how he enjoyed being part of a team of voluntary officials at the Olympics, Commonwealth games and many other events over the past 30 years

Rotarian Mike Lucas PHF

Middleton Rotarian Pauline Journeaux gave the history of Rochdale online from its early days as a home based venture with cables everywhere to its present position as one of the most popular online newspapers for Rochdale and Manchester .

Most people are now viewing the paper on their phones and expansion of commercial advertising continues.

Voluntary organisations in Rochdale have benefitted from free access for websites and publicising of events-Our Rotary Club in particular! Thank you Pauline!

Andy O’Sullivan gave a view of his life from humble beginnings to gaining various honours and medals. He has done extensive Police and Charity service. He policed Rhodesia’s independence elections and is a keen runner and organises Charity runs. He gave our club a £100 cheque after the Roger White run he had organised recently in aid of both Petrus and Rotary Charities. Ever the fundraiser he raffled a bottle of wine at the club for Rochdale Hospice which John Kay was presented with!

His Irish sense of humour was obvious on the night!

Ben’s dad Dr Frank Leach gave an interesting talk about the Manchester Graphic Society(for drawing) established in Victorian times and still going

Laura Heywood’s guest  Marie English is a teacher at Redwood special needs school and is the project leader for their Real Work Project

 This helps their students to get real life paid work placements in businesses helped by support workers .Despite their many disadvantages the young people have great dedication and the majority are able to continue.Laura was full of praise for the scheme having successfully employed someone from Redwood for the past 2 years. What a great idea!

£3,800 donation for Rochdale Young People’s cricket development group

Elaine Roydes came to the club as secretary of the group and received the cheque from president    Ann as the net profit from the David Gower evening

Eileen thanked the club for the donation which follows the many contributions the club has made over the past 7 years and has helped many school children to develop their cricketing skills and enjoyment of the game.

Rochdale classic car show is reving up!

 after a lot of discussion with a local farmer  a large field next to the Rakewood sports ground will now be available as car parking space for the public to attend on 15th July

A team is being led this year by Past President John Holder and the event is going in the Morgan Historic & Classic vehicle events yearbook for 2018

Impressions from Scarborough Rotary Conference  by your editor


 20  Rochdale Rotarians and partners had a great social as well as instructive weekend starting sunny and mostly dry (weatherwise)

The Youth Showcase was particularly good with sax player Nick Rushworth playing like a concert pro and Youth exchange’s Grace Milner describing her wonderful travel experiences with the help of Rotary funding and her local Rotary club. Rotaract President Italian student Andrea Codolini recruits members from the Manchester student population again with a lot of help from local Rotary Clubs and is very active at charity fundraising and doing social events.

 Dr Janet Grey’s talk was mentioned by President Ann but also Ian Hopkins Chief Constable of Greater Manchester was impressive. Retrak was his supported Charity  helping abandoned street children with school opportunities ,medical and social support. Our Club project. Accessible Edibles is a project these children could be involved in to produce food for themselves and relatives.

David Acton and Mike Tomkinson have since been to talk to Ian about this. as a way to improve the  health and wellbeing of these young people.

The traditional comedian slot on Sunday was filled by Lea Roberts he had some great gags not previously heard even by John Cannell!

Socially Saturday night’s ‘Under the Covers’ was a good rock group to hear and dance to and I avoided any serious injuries .to myself or anyone else!

A leaking toilet cistern gave Liz and I some paddling practice and a room change  but didn’t dampen our spirits for too long. Roll on a dry Southport on Oct 26-28 2018!

Youth Speaks District 1285 Heat at Falinge Park  School on 25th Jan 2018!

Rotarian and 2nd VP Ravi Sharma is leading this project and has already enrolled a core team to help out .The school are always providing teams for the competition and are very enthusiastic. It’s a prompt 6.30 start so do all support the event and come to help out and cheer on all the speechmakers!

Book Group Meal at Cenetta date tba

Feb 5th My Journey Into The Heart of Terror. Ten Days in the Islamic State by Jurgen Todenhofer.

September Bulletin 2017

David Gower hits us for Six!!!

On 8th August former England cricket captain David Gower gave the club an evening off from his busy schedule as Sky sports commentator. The event was as relaxed and humorous as we remember him in his playing days - his first thought was that cricket should be fun and enjoyable for players and spectators. He gave a very interesting talk and his impressions of fellow ex cricketers particularly Sir Ian Botham had the audience of 150 falling off their seats with laughter.

Dudley Doolittle was as amusing as ever. A Raffle and a Geoff Butterworth print helped raise £3700 .

The money raised for the Rochdale Cricket development group will be presented to their secretary at the Friend’s evening on November 2nd.Our Rochdale young cricketers will again be able to have another year of professional coaching which can only be good for their future and that of cricket generally.

John Holder says ‘I was so impressed with David (Gower) and how he brought such a relaxed approach entertaining us all so well on the night.

I first met him when he captained Leicestershire CC and he was just the same then He is so unaffected by all the praise and positive publicity he has received over the years’.

Past President John  gave the vote of thanks to David, to generous Sponsors BMI Highfield Hospital and also presented a Charity donation of £3800 to Medic Malawi’s Stephen Drew -proceeds from the Classic car show .

Charity Brass Band Concert raises £700 for Rochdale Heartbeat

President Ann writes

 ‘Our club recently joined forces with Rochdale Heartbeat, a chosen charity for my year, and staged a Brass Band Concert in Heywood Civic Hall. Middleton Brass Band gave an exhilarating performance particularly in the second half with Last Night of the Proms pieces and much flag waving and vocal participation from the audience.

Rochdale’s Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Ian and Christine Duckworth  attended - It was the Mayor's birthday and he was greatly surprised, and highly delighted to be given a framed Town Hall print (by our own celebrated Rotary  Friend and Artist, Geoff Butterworth of course) from ourselves and Rochdale Heartbeat. There was also a birthday cake and balloon to accompany the picture which, in his own words, is 'his favourite place in Rochdale’.

Thanks go to all Rotary members particularly John Kay and friends for their support, and helping with the raffle. Also to John Cannell who did the camera work.  £700 plus was raised for Rochdale Heartbeat and they are delighted.’

£4000 donation to Macmillan Nursing Prostate Cancer Care service.

Rose Tipton, Regional Fundraising Manager  Macmillan Nursing was extremely pleased to receive  £4000 from the club at a Rotary evening 10/8/17 from IPP John Holder and President Ann. Money was raised at the July Classic Car show and follows a £1000 donation in April. What a worthwhile cause!

Rotary Sponsorship of £750 to Megan Klymowec,

The 15 year old from Kirkholt will attend Repton School to further her Hockey playing and Classic Guitar studies but looking at her excellent GCSE results the sky is the limit!

On 17/8/17 Megan played several pieces for our entertainment  and promised to come back again and keep us informed of her progress.

Her fees to Repton School for 2017/8 are  fully paid thanks to our Club’s £750 (presented by President Ann above) and grants from the Mayor’s Charity, Rochdale Ancient Parish Trust , Rochdale Childer and a Scholarship from Repton School.

Rotarians John Cannell and John Kay


Mike Tomkinson writes

If the 2018 Classic Car show is to take place we need members and friends to help organise the show as well as  help on the day of the show -it is  a great opportunity to continue to develop this big project for charity.

The only way to make the car show sustainable and secure into the future  is for my knowledge & experience to be taken on by other Rotarians  and friends.

John Kay organised an hour long meeting in his office at Octagon House Rochdale on Monday 16th October  from 5 to 6 pm when the next Car show was discussed. Past President John Holder became the lead person for the event and a team has been formed.The next stage is to confirm that Rochdale MBC is happy for us to do the event  with the aid of a traffic management company to allow better and safer access to the Rakewood site-watch this space!

IPP John Holder also writes ‘all who attended the show thought the event was a great success.  £7800 was raised  for Medic Malawi and Macmillan Nurses. We have decided  to repeat the event if safety issues with the narrow access road are sorted out and with help from members and friends to organise and run it. Mike did a great job last year but there is far too much to do  for one person. The Classic Car Show has the potential to raise many thousands of pounds for the club’s charities and is a great event for the Borough of Rochdale’.

Curry, Cars and Art at Bank Gallery

Rotarians and friends joined our artist Friend Geoff and Andrea for a reminiscence of the car show(with a 200 picture slide show of the day)Some even had a curry beforehand to hot things up .What a great venue for further events -if anyone has ideas contact Geoff and Andrea

Rochdale Town Hall Abseil – 11 August 2017

Taking leave of my senses with 3 colleagues I abseiled down Rochdale Town Hall Clock Tower.  ‘Doddle’ I thought having abseiled 40 years ago down a small tower at Butlin’s in Minehead . We took the lift to  2nd floor then up 8 steep open-tread wrought iron stairs, -out of breath and panicking. We put on  harnesses and  hard hats.   A helper asked why the white rope we were using appeared 3 foot short!-not what we wanted to hear.    2 almost vertical staircases led to a trap door,- even I ducked!  Finally up a step ladder across an iron girder between 2 of the (silenced)bells and a 3ft stride over a big drop into the ‘take off’ window.  

 After involuntary shaking of legs standing on a 4” sill I was lowered 8ft backwards a cable was attached and  ropes checked.  Then I  went to a board’s edge (not easy without specs)!  I ‘walked’ down the wall round a lighting frame, guttering, a gargoyle and an overhang.   ‘Just walk the walk’ they said –  rope up to go down and down to stop.  Seemed easy – Noooo!   I was best at swinging out – not intentionally, not straight but I got pretty fast.

At the bottom, I was asked to wave to the crowd. It took me all my time to stand up and not be sick!   I did enjoy the experience but not  one  to be repeated.

Thank you Rotary for your sponsorship. The 4 of us   raised £1200 for Springhill Hospice, WHAG (Women’s Housing Action Group) and Rochdale Mind(My company’s charity)    

Nichola Helliwell Rochdale Inner Wheel

Recent Speakers

Ray Smith Chairman of Pennine in Bloom showed what can be done in your community to keep plants and flowers goingand give an artistic and colourful look to brighten our lives. Cheerful Ray told us how Wardle village has been enhanced .Peter Williams DRUMBEAT

described this Ugandan charity run by a successful local entrepreneur which aims to give better education to girls and boys in the community. Peter attends Thrum Hall Methodist Church and has strong links with the charity. It is great that local African people get involved with educating their youth of the future

Mary Burke described the CVSR Volunteer Driver Service given The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2015. Disabled People  are often unable to use mainstream transport .This rewarding & important service is always looking for new volunteers. If you would like to know more, contact Mary on 0800 032 0868 during working hours.

Astronomers from Todmorden

Peter Drew, who designed & made telescopes retired early to build an observatory.  Located in a hollow, high up in the Pennines on Bacup road where light pollution is less of a problem.He and fellow amateur astronomer Andy Sieroslawski,  now have an enviable collection of telescopes, many made by Peter, housed  around the site. You can visit most Saturdays Stargazers!

Visit with Inner Wheel to Saltaire

Over 30 Inner wheelers and Rotarians had a great day out at Saltaire near Bradford a world heritage site and a tribute to Sir Titus Salt a mill owner who developed a community around his mill to look after the workers .A guided tour of the area was notable for a look back at times when large families were the norm. For some reason John Kay re-enacted the life of a busy patriarch of the time-he will give you full details!

A super lunch in the mill cafe and a look at David Hockney’s colourful art gallery rounded off a super day out. Thanks go to Inner Wheel President Sue Cannell.

President’s Town Hall Afternoon Tea

About 80 people attended this event to raise monies for  Rochdale Heartbeat & Springhill hospice. Attending the event were Rochdale Heartbeat secretary Sue Ridgard, Mayoress Christine Duckworth and  Rotary President Ann Stott who says ‘It was enjoyed by all who came, brilliant atmosphere and excellent food-the Mayoress drew the extensive raffle -£606 profit-thanks to all who attended and donated in any way’

Walking Aids to Yemen

Around 40 pairs of crutches from Highfield hospital were recently rescued from the scrap heap by your editor and Mike Tomkinson (second hand but in great condition-crutches not us).Mike delivered them to a charity Jubilee Outreach in Shipley who sent them to Yemen - we will continue to collect more from Highfield.

Rotary Conference Scarborough 27-29 Oct

 20 Rotarians and partners are attending  guest speakers include Ian Hopkins Chief Constable of GM Police, Blind skier Dr Janet Gray, Comedian Lea Roberts and Rotary Youth  competition winners .Get your dance shoes on on Saturday night with The Undercovers-your editor will try his best!

Book now for our 91st Charter night on 16th November!

Guest speaker is Kevin Fitzpatrick BBC Political Journalist and it promises to be a great night out. Ian Madeley has details.



·    President’s remarks·    Classic Car Show·    Rotarian Laura Heywood Award

·    Apprentice awards·    Farewell Allister·    100th and 50th birthdays

·    Bowls evening·    Gallery·    Future events

President’s School leavers visits

In the final week of the Summer term, I had the honour of attending two  Leavers Assemblies to present the Rotary Annual Star Awards.At Littleborough Community School, was Celeb Edwards (Year 6) who, in addition to our Award, got a 100% attendance Medal and a Governor’s Medal   for contribution and commitment throughout  the  years.

There were many presentations of memories and videos by Year 6,  accompanied by Littleborough CPS band, under the ever watchful eye of Lee Rigg. It was one big happy family –  tears were shed by both leavers, younger pupils, parents and staff!!!!

Rotarian Keith Swift, and I also went to the Moorhouse Primary School in Milnrow, where the Rotary Star Award was Charlie Hilton (Year 2) who, in spite of suffering a brain tumour with a devasting effect on his physical well-being, he battled against all the odds to overcome these life changes, and is a tribute to the school ethos.School leavers remembered their schooldays by talking, dancing or singing. Sunflower type picture sticks were taken home.  This school also had a family atmosphere with lots of damp eyes – not just from pupils.

Classic  Car  Show  our  best  event  of 2017!!!

£7700 RAISED FOR Macmillan nursing and Medic Malawi

What a feat of organisation this Charity event was! Most of the Club’s members,friends and family were involved and Project leader Mike Tomkinson of Red Jaguar fame was  our leader,planner,guide, mentor, pusher, puller, cajoler. After a very busy time Mike seems to have settled down to his normal superhuman pace of life. Of course the calming influence of wife Heather was essential to bring his rev counter just below the red!

We all look forward to next year’s event and with a few minor tweaks it may be even better. Anyone wanting to see more photos of the show can find them on the link below

Kleenstrikes(and Rochdale Rotary’s) Laura Heywood receives A Lifetime Achievement  Award  at  The  Recycler Live event in Warsaw.

The award was presented by The Recyclers’ Editor and Publisher, Stefanie Unland who said “Laura has worked tirelessly on promoting  and supporting the industry as the Secretary of UKCRA, the UK trade association. It was Laura’s work led to a landmark vote in the European Parliament to exclude the use of anti-recycling devices in Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling (WEEE) leading to the more recent revision of (WEEE) she  is still lobbying on Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)legislation and promoting the industry at every opportunity.”

Laura started her business Kleenstrike UK Ltd with her husband Don over thirty-four years  ago  and  provides  a  full  range  of printer related services. It is one of the leading remanufacturers in the UK.


Rotarian Clive Reid writes

"At the Hopwood Hall College Further Education Awards Ceremony held at Middleton Arena  on  15  June 2017  our  club once again sponsored six apprentices The 4 showing most improvement were Ellis Rosenthal; Hannah Cotterill; Lucy Mann and Katie Offley.  Aaron O'Neill showed best achievement and the award for learner engagement went to Khadeejah Hussein. Each got a £20 voucher from our President John Holder.(photo shows President John and Rotarians Robert Clegg and Clive Reid from the Hopwood Hall College Board)

Guest speaker Andrew Walker was an active, successful and ambitious 28 year old man. After hitting a rock sea diving in Goa he was paralysed from neck down.Six years on, his life is full of adrenalin-filled activities including sailing, mountain climbing, skiing and charity runs. His message was one of positivity, humour and determination-  a  positive  mental  attitude can achieve great success in life, education and business."

LINDSAY HURST | MARKETING & ADMISSIONS MANAGER Hopwood Hall College writes “I just wanted to say thank you for the sponsorship of our FE student prizes last week. We’ve had some lovely feedback on the event, which wouldn’t be what it is without the support of our sponsors.I hope you enjoyed the ceremony and look forward to seeing you, and members of Rochdale Rotary again soon.”

Farewell to Rochdale from Allister Holt

“By the time you read this I will be well on with packing ready for move south to Oxfordshire and started talking posh. I promised Elvet I would give him one as soon as I could and so here is my swansong.

Six years have flown by and so much has happened, your support through my four years   of   illness   was   invaluable,   many friends have been made and being able to serve the club has been a pleasure. Also the various Presidents I have served under have been generous with their time and patience, many providing hours of good company and not a little hilarity along the way. I can say without fear of contraception that Rochdale Rotary Club is a club to be very proud of. I will of course try to ingratiate myself into another one but they had better be at least half as good as Rochdale before I ask to become a member.

I could of course rhyme off a list of achievements the club has accomplished while I have been here but you all know those already so I will stick to the other things that we all take for granted-David Acton’s legendary bowel movements.Puddings.Irene’s uncanny abilities with peas.Did I mention puddings?Elvet and his ( in your endo).Even more puddings,I could go on but in my mind’s eye I can see the looks on some faces (they shall remain anonymous). I will miss you all!- Keep up the good work “

Rtn Allister Holt

Former Rochdale Rotary's Stan’s 100th do John Cannell writes

I was on the bus on Tuesday, along with 20 odd others, to meet up with Chester Deva Rotary to celebrate Stan's imminent 100th birthday. He was presented with a second        PHF Sapphire award, and interviewed by one of Deva's members about his life.   David Acton was called upon to receive a cheque for Growbags. We all enjoyed a dinner of Chicken & chunky chips, followed by chocolate gateau...  Our new  President and David Acton also said a  few words.

Only Half way to Stanland!

Rotarian Neil Helliwell shocked a lunchtime Rotary meeting with a contribution to the Smile Box(proceeds to club charity funds) Amazingly Neil has reached the half century without any external evidence of this except for a large badge obtained from Riverside colleagues. Neil should be reassured he has only reached halfway to Stanland and all in the club thank Neil for his continuing efforts in bringing down the average age!

Bowls evening at Castleton Bowling clubBetween the showers we managed  a friendly  game  (7  up)  and  arrived at  the lucky winners your Editor Elvet and Rotary friend Ann Whitley-well bowled U2!

Gallery of events and speakers

Handover of Presidency from John Holder to Ann Stott

thank you John for a  great Rotary year!Good luck Ann we’re all in your team and are ready to go!

Sue Ridgard, current Secretary of Heartbeat and former Woman of Rochdale gave a review of the Local charities work to support Rochdale’s people with cardiac problems. It is President Ann’s chosen charity and such a worthwhile cause

Tom Hobson becomes Honorary Member

After many years a member, Past President and prolific organiser of Charity Brass band events Tom Hobson was made an Honorary Member of Rochdale Rotary Club in July- many congratulations Tom!

Physiotherapist David ‘Rooster‘ Roberts came  to  the Rugby  club  as John Holder’s guest. From early days in Rochdale Infirmary physio dept David scaled the cricket heights for England and Worcester treating many great players including Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff. David gave a fascinating insight into how physiotherapy is an essential part of the professional game.

Jane Ashworth Education  Lead for    Springhill Hospice gave  a good   presentation about expansion of palliative   care  to Rochdale people in their own homes This is the other of President Ann’s chose local  charities  for 2016/17

Assistant District Governer Rotarian Dennis Hobson came to club assembly and complimented the club on it’s wide variety of worthwhile projects.

Tatton Flower Show

The Macmillan Charity Legacy Garden at Tatton park was a place of reflexion in a modern style and emphasised how important Legacies are to help fund their work

Congratulations Rochdale Rotary as organisers of Ascot at Nutters 2017!NSPCC Coffers were increased when £9000 was raised in June .Photo shows John Whitley, Neil Williams, Ann Stott, Irene Davidson, Ann Whitley, John and Liz Kay, Bob and Merrilyn Chadwick in all their best Ascot dress (photo courtesy of Rochdale Online)

Fundraising Event for Petrus and Rotary Charities!

The Roger White Cowm Reservoir 5k Race for walkers and runners

Roger White was one of the founder Trustees of Petrus in Rochdale and has recently retired.  Please circulate  to all your contacts and you can walk and not run-the more people register the better!

Wednesday 20/09/2017  06:45 pm

Event Enquiries Tel.: 01706 750620

The Cock and Magpie Pub,Cockhall Lane, Whitworth, Lancashire, OL12 8BJ

Book Group Date

Sep 4th at David’s A Time to Kill by John Grisham

Club Timetable for Aug/Sep 2017

10 Aug L Clubs Projects and Committees

Presentation of cheque - Prostate Cancer

17 Aug E      Visit of DG Eric Cowcill. Presentation of sponsorship money to

Megan Klymowec and performance on guitar

24 Aug L Ray Smith "Pennines in Bloom"

31 Aug E     Peter Williams

"Drumbeat Children's Charity, Uganda" F      7 Sep E     President's Focus Interview.

14 Sep   L    Fellowship at the Riverside

21 Sep E     Peter Messum

25 Sep     Monday       Club Council

28 Sep   L     Mike Lucas

F  5 Oct E Peter Drew, Andy Sieroslawski

"The Astronomy Centre - Todmorden"

12 Oct   L   Club, Projects, Committees


May Bulletin 2017


·    President’s remarks·    Inner Wheel and Probus- New Presidents

·    Bob’s Boots·    Classic Car Show·    Forthcoming events


President’s remarks

My  year as President is  nearly over  It’s been interesting, enjoyable and a privilege to serve the club. There are 3 highlights:      Jonathan Agnew (Aggers) ex England fast bowler and Test Match Special commentator was an outstanding guest speaker at our annual dinner  funding young   cricketers coaching. It was the 25th  anniversary of the extremely hilarious Botham ‘leg over’ incident in a Test match I umpired in 1991. Agger’scomments made Brian Johnston     laugh and be speechless for 5 minutes.Aggers got the surprise of his life to be given a cake (as in pic) showing leg over event (expertly made by Heather Williams)-so impressed that next day at Old Trafford Test he told listeners all about the Rotary’s event and  cake. I    went    to    the    TMS commentary box and it tasted so good!

    The  90th  Charter of  our club was an historic milestone and the celebration was excellent. A special touch(in view of my   cricket   career)   were   miniature cricket bats specially inscribed; given to all attendees.

    The   50th     Anniversary   of   Barbados Independence from Britain was marked by Jubilee awards to 50 Barbadians in UK who have promoted Anglo Barbadian relationssurprise and delight I got one!I  am  now  involved   with   our  inaugural Classic Car Show on 17th July(trophy for best  car  shown)  and  our next   cricket dinner   on 3rd    August with     David Gower ex Leicestershire  and England cricket captain now Sky Sports Commentator. I want to say thank you to all members, friends and staff at the Masonic for their help and support.On behalf of the club I have made 2 very important club charity donations recently.

£1000 to Macmillan Nurses’ Rose Tipton Regional Fundraising manager. She emphasised the Charity’srole in producing highly trained nurses to help Cancer sufferers get on with their lives. Our money will be directed particularly to helping sufferers with Prostate Cancer.

Also £1500 to Brass for Africa

Michael Cavanagh received the cheque at the Riverside iunch on behalf of the  Charity.He  is a Baritone player with the A4 Brass Quartet(the  other 3 were in the middle  of  their final exams-good luck to them)


Vice President Sue Cannell writes

‘This year our Club celebrated its 80th Charter, with >60 members  and  guests, including local Inner Wheelers and your own President, John Holder. We are very proud to have reached such a great age and still be a vibrant and go  ahead  group  of  women,  who  enjoy fellowship, friendship and fun!

This will be my 3rd stint as President. I am greatly looking forward to it, knowing that I have the support of a fine bunch of ladies (just a bit of buttering up!)

My charities for the year include Remap, Rochdale Food Bank and also supporting Petrus.  Remap is a charity which uses the engineering skills of volunteers to make equipment for disabled adults and children to gain increased independence - this can make  a  huge  difference  in  their  lives  . There   are   80   groups  nationwide-   our nearest is Bolton.   They need fundraisers and people to promote Remap locally, to help them reach more people who  need their help. Those hearing their talk at Llandudno  Conference  were  very impressed.

I have volunteered at Rochdale Foodbank for several years now, and I think it goes without saying that the need for help in terms of money and goods is always there. Our annual trip on Saturday August 12th is to  Saltaire  Museum,  Bradford,  a  World Heritage site. Lots to interest everyone and the necessary eateries! I will send a list around Rotary and Inner Wheel soon and if you        would   like   to   go,   please   register. (further details in the next bulletin.)”

If Rotarian Members and Friends know of women(Inner Wheel is female only club) who wish to join Inner Wheel do contact Sue (who is also a Rotary Friend)


Probus update Past President of Rotary and Probus John Cannell writes

“Having completed my term as President of Rochdale  Probus  club,  I  can  now  relax whilst my successor, Peter Ingram takes the chair. I enjoyed my time as President, and we had number of very good speakers covering  a  wide  variety  of  topics  and several new members during the year.

Just a reminder that Probus was initiated by Rotary(men only). It was Stan Fielding who talked me into joining, and I’m glad that I did. It’s nowhere as demanding on people’s time as Rotary, and meets less frequently. Most members just turn up to be entertained and to enjoy fellowship.

We meet twice a month at the Masonic on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays each month, with breaks  during  the  summer  months.  Our next meeting is the 14th  of June, then the12th & 26th of July. If anyone would like to come to a meeting, just turn up around 10.00 a.m. on one of the above dates to see what we do – you’ll be very welcome.


Alphea Wiggins Barbados Deputy High Commissioner gave the club a talk about her role in the UK and Barbados’ plans to improve its transport structure, business and tourism-she gave the club a glimpse of the Caribbean sun!


Bob Chadwick has worn out his boots but  not himself!

Bob’s boots have finally retired  after the   Welsh   3 Peaks-perhaps the  view  from Pen Y Fan was too      much! They do deserve a good rest     but    Bob continues  to climb        ever higher  and   raising funds for NSPCC. Let’s  hope  the  new boots are made for walking!Well done also in doing Yorkshire and Welsh 3 peaks   recently   in   a combined time of 21  hours 36 minutes, Allistair Holt guessed the time to the exact minute!  He  won  £20  2nd  PRIZE  Geoff Butterworth got a Bottle of wine 3rd PrizeJohn Cannell had mint chocolates Bob gave £135 sponsorship money to NSPCC.-well done Bob!


We have filled all the 29 stalls in our three marquees and have 12 more external stalls on the showground and are still accepting registrations from traders who can bring their own gazebos.  51 classic vehicles    have  registered  and  paid which is a very encouraging number for a new show as the majority of vehicle owners will not pre-register but will wait to see if there is good weather on the day before deciding whether to attend.

There is  a  Birds  of  Prey  static display and interactive discovery zone to the children’s entertainments area as well as a Face Painting stall.

Additionally  the  trophy  for  the  People’s Choice Car of the Day has been completed.We  are  hoping  to  recruit  additional stewards from the Masonic and Rochdale Circle  as we are very short of numbers. If any Rotary Member or Friend has not yet signed up please do so as soon as possible. There are static and active jobs so something to suit everyone and the registration sheet will be available at all forthcoming meetings. It will be an enormous help if you can attend for more than a 2 hour slot.To   comply   with   the   Rotary   Insurance declaration and risk assessment   I will be circulating Steward’s              Guidance          Notes. There will be a final briefing on the day. Space  will  be  very  very  tight  so  Please encourage any friends or family to use our free shuttle buses from the Rowing Club or Visitor’s Centre car parks at the Lakeside. stewards also -please   share a car and use the shuttle buses.

If we suffer bad weather and the showground is washed out and unusable before the show, we will transfer most of the exhibits onto the Sports Club car park and  restricted  to  stall  holders,  stewards and disabled badge holders.

If the sun shines on our cameras like on this shot of President John escaping with a red classic Jag then an offering to the sun gods will not be needed!

Rotary Shoeboxes.-Thanks to our club After a lot of work at the Warehouse near Preston head of the team David Smithard received   the   following   letter   from   Jim Houghton the manager there-

‘As we approach the end of the current Rotary Year I thought I would take this opportunity to give you an update on the Shoebox Year.

To date we have sold almost 66,500 flat packs and have sorted a total of 50,700 boxes. This has been a successful year and one of the best since the project started.

This   success   in   turn   placed significant demands on the warehouse and it’s only with the considerable support by yourself and colleagues that we have been able to handle these large quantities.  So on behalf of   Rotary   Shoebox   and   myself especially may we extend a sincere thanks to everyone who has helped.  If you can pass this on to club members please.’

Well done David and fellow team members John Whitley, John Holder and Derek Heywood ably backed by Pauline Smithard, Neil Williams and Keith Banks. David reckons that in 6 visits this year his team has  sorted  around  18000  boxes  of  the 50,700 total so what an effort from these club members!

Book Group Dates

June 12th at John W's CORPUS by RoryClements

July 3rd at Mike T’s Pour Me a Life by A.A. Gill.

Vice President Ann Stott writes

‘I feel sure that in the aftermath of  the recent atrocious event in the City, we are all maintaining   our   long   standing   ethos   of ‘Service Before Self’, and doing all we can to stand stronger together with all our varying volunteer work for the good of others and to assist when and wherever we can.

My aim in the coming year is to assist as many local charities as possible in any way I can  ( hopefully with  members’ support)  - my main   local  charities   will   be   Spring   Hill Hospice, particularly the Hospice at Home Palliative Care section; and Rochdale Heartbeat,  having  been  touched  on  a personal basis  by illnesses involving these. With this in mind  I hope to have some extra charity events in addition  to our usual ones, as  well  as  supporting  other  members  with their respective aims, and continuing with my own voluntary work – just hope there are enough days in the year !!’





                                                           March Bulletin 2017



President’s remarks

I was at the Regional Finals of Youth Speaks recently- what a pleasant surprise! 8 schools competed, 4 at intermediate 4 at senior level. Falinge Park HS seniors represented Rochdale.

What impressed me was how confident, fluent and humorous the students were. Not everyone would agree with the final adjudications but the standard of performance was very high. Though Falinge Park didn’t win, they would all have benefited hugely from the experience. I would like to attend again next year when Falinge Park school will host the event.

This year’s Cricket Dinner Speaker will be David Gower the former England and Leicestershire captain on Thursday August 3rd.A regular commentator for the Sky cricket programme he will be fascinating to listen to.

President Wendy invited me to the 80th Charter of Inner Wheel.-The first event in my adult life where women so massively outnumbered men, 67 to 4.  Geoff Butterworth, the guest speaker, a brilliant artist has a wickedly dry sense of humour. There was such laughter as he spoke of his life.

Glenda and I also attended the Brass for Africa concert at the Riverside in Whitworth.   100 attendees had a great experience. Our own Tom Hobson played with The Whitworth Vale and Healey band and they were very good.The A4 Brass quartet of hugely talented young men  stole the show. with such a unique purity of sound in their music raising £1400 to teach young African musicians.

Recent Speakers

The Rochdale Rotary Club has had such a range  and variety of excellent speakers  recently!

Rotarian Elvet Smith described the early history of the formation of the NHS .A relic of a bygone era the Hospital consultant domiciliary visit is still available for people unable to get to hospital out patients. He has experience of doing over 1400 visits in Rochdale over a 30 year period and many a tale was told in his usual light hearted manner.

Granville Dobson ex steam train  cleaner,stoker and finally driver had a busy complicated job. Also very hazardous in days when health and safety issues were not felt to be so important.

Howard Newall ,community fundraising officer  for Christies thanked our club for the recent £4000 donation  .The renowned cancer treatment centre does pioneering research, proton beam therapy, has specialist cancer funds, patient research and interventional radiology. Funds are being used for the teenage and young adult unit, the School of Oncology and the Mobile Chemotherapy Unit coming to Rochdale.

Travis Townsend  and  Josh Schofield from Sale Shark’s coaching staff  gave the club a talk about  Sharks’ Hitz Community programme aimed to help youngsters who have missed out on education for various social reasons –what a very worthwhile idea!

Rotarian John Miles described the Guildford Eye Project at a Town Hall evening under the vaulted ceiling.Much involved with India now Bangladesh is the target to rescue the sight of children with eye diisease transforming their situation from dependency on others to independent living.

Rotarian Roger Shepherd from Heywood Rotary is closely involved with the Young chef competition and gave us the background to how the competition has evolved and become more and more popular at a tme when TV has promoted the chef competition idea.

Marenka Vossen  from the Red Cross  works with refugees and asylum seekers in Rochdale at St Mary in the Baum Church on Mondays. Asylum seekers often have valuable skills but are not allowed to work while waiting for their cases to be processed. They are, however, allowed to do voluntary work. It was sad to hear how terribly these people had suffered and many still have a long wait before they are allowed to work and support their families.

Fire Investigations & some advice.

Rotarian John Cannell writes  Deon Webber was one of our best speakers for some time. A very informative & entertaining evening .Deon’s 42 years in the fire service, included Commander of Rochdale from 1999 to 2005.  Also did full time fire investigation for Greater Manchester, finally   joining IFIC Forensics. (see case histories!).

After he was involved in the Woolworths fire in Manchester soft furnishing materials were made  fire resistant. He was also at Strangeways prison and  Summit tunnel fires.

Evidence is important

a) to rule out arson(commonest cause -police involved)

 b) so that insurance companies will pay out and

 c) for prevention of similar fires.

The number of fires is falling, but number and cost of  insurance claims is increasing

Don’t be tempted  to torch your failing business, as minute  traces of accelerants will be present, and specially trained dogs will find them

After amusing stories of failed attempts at arson,was a chilling video of a typical carpeted living room, with a pine Christmas tree ,settee, small table, reading lamp. One  match ignited the tree. It took just 45 seconds to gut the room….

Overnight use of dishwashers, washing machines and especially combined washer dryers are the commonest  causes of  house fires. Cheap replacement Mains Chargers  for electronic devices can also ignite!.


The Regional Final of this year’s Rotary Young Chef competition took place recently using Hopwood Hall College’s excellent catering facilities Clive Reid is on the College Board and again did a great job to allow Rotary to use the college

 8 competitors from the North West  3 Rotary Districts battled  to go to the National Final in Lincoln on the 13th May

Competition is tough- overall winner goes to Italy to learn kitchen skills and food preparation.

3 competitors had travelled from North Wales, as far away as Porthmadog and one from Millom in Cumbria. Each had family and host Rotary Club members to support them and while waiting a few hours for their chef to conjure up a 3 course meal they dined in the Riverside Restaurant.

Judging of such a competition is difficult and to the organiser’s credit a manager and chefs from the Marriot Airport Hotel came along.  Rebecca Wilkinson from Woodhey High School in Ramsbottom(see photo above) won through to the final( by less than 1 point!)

On a wet and dreary Saturday afternoon, it was great to sample each of the dishes that had been made! Rebecca’s Smoked Haddock and Lancashire Cheese Soufflé followed by an ‘Eastern Mess’ certainly deserved to win.

If any Club member or friends would be interested in putting forward a Rochdale student and budding chef next year do have a word with me.

Rotarian Neil Williams

Rotarian Mike Lucas Writes

Rotary Youth Speaks is the most popular and rewarding of all Rotary competitions and goes from strength to strength. Students express views on a variety of topics in front of their peers, parents and Rotarians. Confidence, maturity and enthusiasm are on display.

At the Manchester heat  at  Loreto college Falinge Park HS had 2 intermediate and 1 senior team The intermediates spoke confidently on ‘Shorts or Skirts’ (equality in Sport) and The Talking Clock (time pressures at school) but didn’t progress. However Farah Khan won the prize for Proposer of the Vote of Thanks as did Sadia Begum as Chairperson .Well done to Senior Team’s Omar Sharif ,Wajahat Qaisar and Emaan Liaqat winners  with their talk on ‘Doctor!’(Career Choice by parents or students?) through to  District Final on 4 March. Ravi & Anita Sharma, David and Pauline Smithard President John ,Neil Williams and I had a tedious 2 hour journey to Frodsham (football traffic)

Falinge battled orally with teams from 4 NW Secondary schools. The ‘Doctor’ presentation, thought provoking and humorous, was well received but didn’t make the Regional final in Darwen but they gave it a good go!

Congratulations to our 3 Falinge Park teams in their success. Thanks also to the hard working staff organising and preparing the students and Ravi Sharma for his successful liaison. When I first invited the school to take part 20 years ago little did I realise.....

Bank Gallery Visit by Mayor and Raffle drawn!

The Mayor of Rochdale Cllr Ray Dutton and the Mayoress Elaine Dutton visited the “Bank Gallery” in Castleton on Saturday 1st April 2017.

They walked  the three floors of the Gallery with “friend” Geoff Butterworth and were visibly impressed by the variety of Geoff’s paintings.

The Mayoress is a teacher and felt many schools  might like their pupils to visit and Geoff confirmed that special openings of the gallery during the week could be arranged.

The   raffle of 1 of Geoff’s original and 2 prints gave  ticket numbers 0187, 0005 and 0010- winners have been contacted.  A new raffle begins draw for this is on 16/12/17

Geoff and Andrea Butterworth have been  to London after an invite to exhibit a painting in an exhibition by the Royal Institution of Painters in Water Colours at the  Mall Galleries  London SW1 .They went to a Private Viewing on 5th April 2017.

Our club’s  exhibition of Geoff’s prints  is in Units 29/30 Market Place in the Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre together with an exhibition of John Cannell’s photographs.

A “Pop Up” cinema is in the unit  during the school holidays- children can watch free films if their parents have evidence of a purchase within the centre. This is proving very successful with over 60 children attending the showing of the first film. This should increase visitors to the exhibition to buy our raffle tickets for Rotary Charities.

Rotarian John Kay

Classic Car Show July 16th latest News

Our Project Leader Mike Tomkinson is still looking for volunteers for the event.If you can stay for the whole day Rotarians if possible! If not at least a few hours will help. Ask friends and family to commit their time as well.

There has been some visits to our main sponsor Tetrosyl’s headquarters in Town and herewith some photos –note Mike’s superb Jag. The building houses some spectacular racing cars and a Dragon sculpture made up of car parts!

Latest Style Magazine has good article on Car Show!

 3rd world Appeal from David and Mike

Make young urban farmers, from tip pickers

Children reading our website know how to grow food when money, space, soil and water are in short supply

      Those children scavenging on garbage tip  would like to know how!

       Please visit:


Friday 12th May 730 pm at Norden Cricket Club

contact Keith Banks if you want tickets.

Stats from website from Jan 17 top 4 hits

Total hits –            3242         12/day

 Bulletin page –       963         12/day

 Sand Dam  –          754           9/day

 Book Group –         614          8/day

Archive bulletins –  535          7/day

Book Group Dates

 May 8th at Elvet’s SKYFARING by Mark Vanhoenacker

  June 12th at John W's CORPUS by Rory Clements

Vice President Ann Stott writes

My Charities for next year will be Hospice at Home (part of Springhill palliative care services) & Rochdale Heartbeat


January Bulletin 2017

Claire Lees Soprano & Elizabeth Legroux piano gave

the Christmas Meal  a musical flavour!

We had a tasty meal at the Masonic on December 14th with lots of super operatic singing to a festive Rotary friends and family with a selection of operatic and Christmas songs Rotary also in good voice and enjoying a great meal Reverend Denise Owens from St Clements and St George’s Church gave the Christmas message.


Claire Lees from Norden has been sponsored by our club in the past and now studies with Yvonne Kenny at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, she continues her studies on the Opera Course from September. She is a Concordia Artist and is supported by The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, The Kathleen Trust and Help Musicians UK Tutton Award. Prior to this, Claire studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire, where she gained a BMus(hons).  

Thank you Claire and Elizabeth for a super musical experience!

Kate Cross England women’s Cricket international came to talk to our club on 5th Jan alongside her proud father David former West Ham professional footballer. Kate described her rise through the ranks from Heywood cricket club playing cricket for Lancashire Women's First XI at the age of 13; at 15 she was the first girl to be named in the Lancashire County Boys Academy, and progressed to the England Women's Academy and Development Squad. Having impressed for England women's academy in 2010, Kathryn was called up to England women's tour of Australia in January 2011.

She is now a regular International and says she got great inspiration from the late famous Dame Rachael Heyhoe Flint a pioneer of women’s cricket.

She also remembers John Holder being supportive to her when he was an umpire during a match when she bowled a lot of wides. Modern cricketers have a rigorous fitness regime and particularly so for pace bowlers like Kate. Intensive physical and mental training is essential.

David Sidebottom gives Transport Focus News

As guest of Rotarian Paul Rowen CE David gave an overview of Transport focus and it’s role

This independent transport user watchdog. aims to get the best deal for passengers and road users. It has a strong emphasis on evidence-based campaigning and research,It knows what is happening on the ground and more able  to make decisions to benefit everyone.  

  A survey more than 60,000 passengers a year  produces the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) – a network-wide picture of passengers’ satisfaction with rail travel. Passenger opinions of train services are collected twice a year from a representative sample of journeys. It is the largest published rail passenger satisfaction survey in the world.

Good news -new trains and passenger stock are coming and the well publicised south east rail woes are not typical of transport everywhere. Better and less complicated ways of buying tickets for your whole journey are on their way!             


Stan Fielding reaches 50 not out!

Elvet Smith writes

Believe it or not our Honorary member Stan Fielding has been a Rotarian for 50 years to the day on 2ND February. Stan was much in evidence during my presidential year in 2009 doing the car treasure hunts to all parts of Lancashire. Also winning at the bowls evening(defeating me on the way) also getting a Paul Harris fellowship Presenting this to him was my first official task as President and I did it twice at the bowling club and then in the more formal surroundings at the Masonic.Stan has always rolled his sleeves up to help in events. An example was the Rotary box packing which the club did at the DFL warehouse for some years. Stan was also a keen member of our book group and was sorely missed when he moved to Chester 5 years ago. President John presented him with the Club certificate on 2nd February in front of 50 plus members and friends

 “The bank gallery continues  and now back to the Exchange shopping units!”

The Geoff Butterworth Gallery in Castleton is continuing with Rotary stewards at weekends Sat and Sunday

£1000 has been raised for the Rochdale Connections trust; now funds are sought for Rotary Charities and Petrus; more marketing is required to increase visitors The building is repaired so access will be better.

Rochdale Exchange Shop Centre Exhibition

Geoff Butterworth and John Cannell now have keys to set up the exhibition They will notify members by email if help is required.

Units 29/30 are for our use for the Exhibition. There is space for Geoff Butterworth Prints and John Cannell Photographs, National Young Photographer Competition,Classic Car Show Marketing,Grow Bag display,promotion of Rotary and Inner Wheel Once the Exhibition is set up we will arrange an opening ceremony

Sale proceeds will raise 30% for the Charities split 15% to Petrus and 15% to Rotary

Petrus will man the Exhibition. Petrus manager Liz Varey will move her office into the Unit

Rtn John Kay wishes to thank all members and “Friends” for being so supportive

Shoe Box latest from PP David Smithard

When you hear and see what’s happening in Romania from the Networks on the ground team you understand why David and fellow Rochdale Rotarians are slogging away at the Rotary warehouse to get the boxes ready to goSeveral of of NetWorks Romania Team Şiria, Romania January 2017 write

“To everyone at Rotary, HAPPY NEW YEAR! & THANK YOU!

Despite temperatures of – 20   deg C, over 650 poor children had a shoe box of fun.. Oh, and what joy did this bring to their hearts! It's been one of the coldest handouts we have ever had to do in the communities we work in.

Most children stayed at home whilst their parents came to collect their boxes; struggling to stay warm, they patiently waited their turn.

“The kids in community have been asking about  this day for weeks and now that it is finally here excitement fills the air. A mother walks home with four shoe boxes for her kids all waiting at home.

Later in the day as I go by their house her son is running around in his new red super hero suit, his little sister tells me to come in and join her playing with the fun bouncy balls she got and the two older sisters talk about their schoolbooks and pens .The smiles on their faces are priceless!”

 “We did the distribution from one of the houses in the community. To our astonishment, although we categorize the shoeboxes, they do not see it that way. It isn't: This is my box and this is yours.” They opened each box and shared amongst themselves the content of each box.”

 “Dani (3 years old) has parents employed in DeCe- one of our trade companies This year Siria, Arad county has become increasingly stable and peaceful. Dani walks to kindergarten each morning with one of our volunteers. He loves it! And this present tops it up!”

“Ionut (age 6) is raised by his grandmother, his parents left him behind in Siria trying to have a

better life. It's very hard for her to raise him on her own. Christmas presents are always welcome,and have always brought a smile to Ionut's face. This year he got  a little toy trumpet -he's been playing it and showing it to everyone!

“For most of the kids, these are the only presents they ever receive throughout the year. I cannot wrap my head around that .So many families are struggling today to make ends meet. We just want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”

Cheque parade!

After all the club’s fundraising it is great to hand over ‘loads a money!’

1) £1000 to Rochdale Connections Trust mentoring and helping disaffected youngsters in improving their lives. President John presented cheque to Chief Executive Kathy Thomas

2)£4000 to Rochdale Cricket Development Group providing coaching to young amateur cricketers in Rochdale cheque handed over  to secretary Elaine Royds

3)£4000 to Christie Hospital for their mobile chemotherapy unit.

IP President Irene writes

"After the club raised so much money in my  Presidential year I approached The Christie for the best way for the money to benefit the Rochdale community.

 I thought the best way of ensuring the money was used locally  was that it goes towards the mobile chemotherapy unit visiting Rochdale on a regular basis.

The unit parks on the Tesco car park, this means that a lot of our residents in Rochdale can get their treatment without the long journey to hospital, it is a great service and we as a club have supported this valuable service."

Thank you all

Editor writes

And to give more good news about this the Christie mobile chemotherapy van comes to Tesco Silk Street Rochdale every Monday to give life saving treatment to around 20 of Rochdale’s Cancer sufferers.

Although a mobile caravan the inside is kitted out with all the latest equipment and served by highly trained staff

Well done fellow Rotarians  for such worthwhile fundraising for causes which serve our Rochdale Community!

President’s called to book!

The monthly Rotary book group had a special event-the author of the book they had readcame to the meeting and joined in the discussion!

Our President John Holder has already written an illustrated guide to the Laws of Cricket illustrated by Paul Trevillion in 2009 still serialised in the Observer.

His second book alongside ex Hampshire team colleague Andrew Murtagh is called Test of Character. It tells John’s story of his rise from humble origins in Barbados to become an International Test Match Umpire via London Underground transport and fast bowling for Hampshire.

The book is a study of the recent history of county and Test cricket in particular how umpiring has become a highly skilled and professional job. Many characters of cricket are mentioned in the book and ball tampering by bowlers figures prominently.(When balls are tampered with by cutting or scraping they can swing more and confuse the batsman).

Unfortunately umpires who mentioned the problem to captains were not popular. This was a hidden aspect people were trying to ignore ‘for the good of the game’ and John’s career may have been blighted by his honesty (dropped from Test panel soon after an incident on the field) However he did get back and since retirement is still going to Radio’s Test match special to answer listener’s questions on the laws of cricket. It was a great evening and thank you John! Keep on writing!

A day in the life of a PAT tester.

What? PAT? Portable Appliance Test. Before Petrus can sell donated electrical items, they need to be safe. My prime function at Petrus, along with others(including Rotarian Keith Banks), is to carry out a PAT Test.

In Petrus’ Hamer Lane store the two work surfaces are usually covered with donated items -first move them – if there’s room on the floor! Then tackle the biggest stuff first, to gradually clear the room and tidy up.

What’s involved?. Take a cylinder vacuum cleaner. First, is the casing cracked or damaged, the plug  in good condition and has sound cable insulation?. If ok -does it work? (some items are beyond repair!!) Let’s say that it starts, but is seriously lacking in suck.  Often it’s a blocked filter, and washing & drying the filter restores the suck.

Now we have a potentially saleable item, so the test begins. The plug. If it’s a moulded on one, all that can be done is to check that the correct fuse is installed?. For a vacuum cleaner it can only be 13 amp. If the plug is the sort that can be opened,  tighten up terminals and correct wrong wiring then the vacuum cleaner is plugged into the test unit.  It’s then just a matter of pressing the class one or class two button. If it’s a class one device,(2 wires) a suitable piece of exposed metal needs to be identified and the earthing probe applied. The tester then checks if the insulation and earthing is correct, and if so puts the figures on the screen and ‘pass’. Next this information has to be logged. Every piece of equipment that is tested has a unique number allocated to it.

A label  goes onto the plug, with the number, test date, the person who carried out the test and the recommended re-test date.

There is an endless variety of electrical equipment but the job is interesting, sometimes challenging,(when trying to find a good earthing point how to take something apart,) but very satisfying if someone  decided it can’t be fixed!

Pp John C.

Volunteers wanted



 “Brass for Africa” is a charity based in Kampala and supported by the whole Brass Band Movement in Great Britain.  “A4 Brass” are an extremely talented Quartet of young men in their final year of study at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Our club has invited them to put on a concert with the help of Whitworth and Healey Band in the Riverside suite at Whitworth Civic Hall on Friday 24 March 2017 at 7.30 p.m. – tickets £10 each.

As a result of the “Brass for Africa” charity there is a growing brass scene in Uganda in particular.  Many young children who cannot afford to go to school are given a musical awareness and education.  This offers them an escape and a rare privilege to broaden their lives and opportunities in what is a very under-privileged society. We can help them!

Tom Hobson

B). ROCHDALE Classic car show July 16th 2017 needs team leaders and troops!

Mike Tomkinson writes

Many thanks to all who offered to help both before and on the show day July 16th.

I now would like Members and Friends to volunteer as Team Leaders..


The show will be open from 0830 for classic car entry and from 1000 for visitors close at 1600.

Some cars will have bookedon line and will be displaying a windscreen sticker so the entry team will just wave them through to the showground. Those that have not pre-registered and individuals will pay on entry .

This team will also hand out Show Programs and car of the day voting slips to all visitors.


We are advertising the show but there will be a large number of general visitors to Hollingworth Lake, particularly if the sun is shining, who will not know about it. We have cars,live music, a variety of stalls and children’s entertainment this will be attractive to lake visitors.

So leaflets go to visitors to direct them to either walk to the showground or take the free shuttle bus from the lakeside / Visitors Centre


We will be promoting Rotary on the day using displays of various club projects. Additionally this stall will be an information point where visitors can ask about the show.


Although Bob Chadwick is the Team Leader he will be away on holiday on the day of the show. We need two people to coordinate with Bob before the show and look after things on the day.


This will involve promoting the donation of prizes before the show and running the stall on the day.

If anyone just wants to be one of the troops in these areas just let Mike know



Friday 7th April 730pm at Norden Cricket Club


Friday 12th May 730 pm also at Norden Cricket Club

Please contact Keith Banks if you want to come to these events.

Latest 70th birthdays

Keith Swift had a knees up at the Cedar tree hostelry and even got Stan a 50 year old Rotarian and 99 year old human to cut his own bit of cake!

John Kay has Butterworth makeover

Geoff did a cartoon memento for John after a particularly gorgeous weekend at Filey where dohnuts are the stuff!

Book Group Dates

  March 6th at David's The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes. April 3rd at Elvet's To Rise again at a decent hour by Joshua Ferris

President John’s news

John has been appointed the Hon President of the new Pennine Cricket League which has been recently formed from the old Central Lancashire and Saddleworth Leagues.

A new system of promotion and relegation is hoped to bring a bit more spice to the games and there are now 22 clubs competing.

Congratulations John on your recent award of a Barbados Gold Jubillee award (see bulletin December 2016)


2nd VP Neil Williams writes

"YOUTH SPEAKS-Falinge Park High school have 2 intermediate and 1 senior team in the District youth speaks competition-well done Ravi for helping them enter.

 The first round competition starts on Tuesday next week  14th February 2017, Manchester, Loreto College, Chichester Road South, Manchester M15 5PB (Hosted by Manchester Breakfast Rotary) 5.30 p.m.

I believe David Smithard and Mike Lucas are going and if others would like to go with them please contact David"


RIBI CONFERENCE MANCHESTER 2017 Friday 7th - Sunday 9th April 2017

With Will Travers, Russel Grant, Virginia McKenna, Ade Adepitan -anyone going?

Thanks to Rotary

Hilary, daughter of the late Moddy Wood writes

“Please pass the thanks of my family and me to all the members of  Rotary and Inner Wheel. We really appreciated their attendance at the funeral and all the donations”

Advanced Notice

Rotary Bowls evening will be at Castleton Bowling club on Friday July 21st

Seniors Out afternoon also at Bowling club on Wednesday August 16th



November Bulletin 2016

 President’s remarks
 Rotary Display at All in One
 Bank Art Gallery raffle winners
 Llandudno Conference, Club Quiz, Charter night and lots of club activities!
President’s Remarks
Thank you all for your great support at Charter night. Special mention to Ian Madeley for organisation and drive; Chris Bryning who in his unfussy way gets things done; Bob Chadwick for imaginative art work; John Whitley -always supporting / offering advice; Ann (Stott) for standing in for me while I am away in November; others too numerous to mention.I hope you all enjoyed the evening as much as I did.
I’ve been to 3 London events to celebrate Barbados’ 50th year since Independence. An Official Reception was held on October 29th at Lancaster house where the Charter of Independence was signed 50 years ago. All those who had been chosen to receive awards were invited.
Clive Reid had rightly told me how beautiful Lancaster House is!- It took my breath away. The Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart addressed the reception and was responded to by Minister from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sir Alister Duncan, who gave the toast to Barbados.For me events were overshadowed by the grandeur of the surroundings.

Next evening was a reception at the Barbados High Commission offices, just re-named Barbados House. Prime Minister Stuart gave an address about the road to independence and Barbados's progress since 1966. The final highlight of the events was a Gala Dinner and Awards presentation at the Waldorf Hotel. It was for 50 Barbadians living in the UK considered to have made a significant contribution to Anglo/Barbadian relations and have been outstanding in their respective fields. I was pleasantly surprised but yet delighted to have been chosen. The icing on the cake for me was to be presented with my award by Sir Garfield Sobers (see pic). I had played against him for Hampshire in the late 60's when he captained Nottinghamshire CC. He is regarded as the greatest cricketer of all time and is Barbados' sole living hero. .
As I write I am on holiday back in Barbados ; on November 30th the island celebrates its 50th Independence Anniversary.Back in 1966 I attended the beginning of independence at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, now I am in Barbados 50 years later. How the years have flown by and how the island has changed!
President John

All in One Expedition by 2 Intrepid Rotarians and their wives
Rochdale Rotary projects were on display at Our stand at the All in One Garden Centre Christmas Art and Craft Fair with our Vertical Grow Bags for arid countries and Parallel Bar ( we now refer to them as 'Stretcher')raised Beds for easier gardening in the UK.
We attended Thurs Nov. 3rd to Sunday the 6th. Alongside were stalls selling craft products, gifts and artisan foods. We highlighted our Young Photographer of the Year Competition and all the other Rotary Youth Projects including Rotaract. We offered Mike Tomkinson’s 'Conker Creatures' the proceeds from which support MIND and displayed John Holder's new book (not for sale but with caption Rotary Club of Rochdale President )
The number of people was less than expected however, when visitors 'crossed our threshold' we welcomed them heartedly.
Mike, Heather, Sheila and David.

The Bank Gallery latest news!
“The bank gallery project has now been running for three months and the Raffle was Drawn by Geoff Butterworth himself at the club charter night on Thursday 3rd November 2016.This Raffle was to raise funds for Rochdale Connections Trust and realised a profit of over £500. The winning numbers were
1st Prize Mrs Turner Ticket No. 000339
2nd Prize Tracey Marrow Ticket No. 000381
3rd Prize Tracey Marrow Ticket No. 000378
4th Prize Maureen Barker Ticket No. 000398
All the prizes have now been collected. We are still calculating how much profit the club has earned from the 20% commission on all sales during the period to 3nd November.
Rtn John Kay wishes to thank all those members and “Friends” who have given time to run the sales desk at the Gallery.
We are now moving into the next phase with a new Raffle for three limited edition signed and framed Geoff Butterworth Prints. All profits from this Raffle will go to the club’s “Rotary Charities” and so we do hope that members and “Friends” will continue to support the project by giving a little of their time.
We also have several evening events including one for the Littleborough District of NSPCC and one for Rochdale Connections Trust. If any other club or group wish to have a special viewing of the Gallery this can be arranged through me”
Rotarian John F Kay PHF

Rochdale Rotary Young Photographer Competition
Following discussion David and Sheila Acton have organised a Rochdale Rotary Photographic competition for local youth-Smart phone cameras allowed. If you know any young people interested ask them to contact David and Sheila who have application forms and competition rules.
Shoe Box latest fom PP David Smithard
‘John Whitley, I and others have been helping with the dispatch of Shoeboxes from the warehouse at New Longton to all corners of the UK. Altogether over 48,000 were sent out - a record!They are starting to be returned and this will soon become a deluge. We already have two further visits to the warehouse planned and I'm sure
more will be needed during December and January. Any help would be appreciated'.

International Curry night 2016
Thursday 20th October saw the International Curry Night for 2016. Once again held at the Copper Pot restaurant, 36 Rotarians, Friends and their families had a great meal and good fellowship. A raffle was held with umpteen prizes, the final one being President John’s booby prize. This was a miniature cricket ball that was won and immediately cherished by Past President Neil Helliwell.
The event raised £370, this was made up to £600 from International funds, and the Club Charity account then added a further £400. Thus a cheque for £1,000 was presented to Stephen Drew on Charter Night for Medic Malawi.
Thanks to everyone who attended or donated to the event.
PP Bob Chadwick International Convenor

Moves afoot at Rochdale Foodbank
A number of Rotarians and Friends who volunteer at Foodbank have had a busy few weeks helping re-locate food donations from the building that is to be the new town centre Post Office. The timing of this move made it an even bigger task as it came immediately after the many donations received following the Harvest season.
The good news is that due to quite a bit of building work in the upstairs of the existing Foodbank and the use of some space in Moss Mill, the stock was successfully moved in a very short period of time. As well as moving stock it was possible, again with Rotarian help, to date all food items to ensure that only stock with a best before date of 2018 and after was moved to Moss Mill. Shorter dated stock remained in the town centre premises.
As a mark of appreciation to the many people who help with the Foodbank an Afternoon Tea was held at the Town Hall and every Volunteer was given a certificate of appreciation.

Remembrance Sunday November 13th 2016
Our Club’s wreath of remembrance was laid at the cenotaph this year by Neil Williams who deputised for President John who was in Barbados visiting family members. The service was well attended ; undoubtedly the soldiers from Rochdale, who fought in the Great War, would have found it difficult to contemplate that so many people would stand in front of our Town Hall on a cold winter’s morning to remember them.

A ‘Bop’ in Llandudno
Many Club members attended the Rotary District Conference, October, in Llandudno -a good time was had by all. especially so on the Saturday evening with excellent group ‘That’ll be the Day’. One Club member certainly enjoyed himself on the dance floor – can anyone guess who?

90th Anniversary Charter Night
Our Club recently celebrated the 90th anniversary of its charter from Rotary International. President John opened proceedings and was supported by Toastmaster Elvet Smith. After a very good meal the 90th reading of the Club’s Charter was read by our newest member, Merrilyn Chadwick. A toast to Rotary International was proposed by Ann Stott and was responded to by District Governor, Stan Bowes. Doug Sutton from our sister Club, Rochdale East, proposed a toast to our Club and President John gave an excellent response. Like all ‘big’ birthdays we had special presents to celebrate, in the form of mini cricket bats, and a big birthday cake made by Heather shared by all at the evening’s end.
President John introduced Stephen Drew from Shrewsbury who gave us the top ten reasons, in true ‘Top of the Pops’ style why it was crucial we continue to support Medic Malawi which is one of our Presidential charities this year.
We now look forward to our Centenary!
Rotarian Neil Williams

4 Rotary Clubs Quiz Night -East win again!
It was another success for Rochdale East as they showed once again a great all round general knowledge to win at the Success to the Plough. Just a point behind was Middleton and Heywood and Rochdale held up the rear.
You can see how concentrated East must get and think very deeply, -is this the key to their success?The top table was ably chaired by Ian Sandiford who gave his side a fierce stare to help them on their way .Rotary in Action!Ken Davies was his usual cheerful chirpy self as question master and even sang one or 2 music questions to help keep the proceedings going!
You’ll be sorry to hear Rochdale were chastised verbally for listening to ‘loose talk’ from the gallery and never recovered after that; ah well -better quizzing next year ?.

What a way to run a railway!?
by Club Speaker Ian Buchan.
Ian has had a long career in the bus and rail industries and as former Chief Exec. Rail Division National Express knows more than most about the rail system in the UK .Past President John Cannell, a close friend, summarises his interesting talk.
He said ‘The UK rail system is safer , with more passengers now, than at any other time. Despite lots of investment, however, reliability and punctuality are falling, with investment schemes behind schedule.’
‘The Dept For Transport ‘owns’ the system, sets the Network Rail budget, specifies the content of the franchises and controls key fares.
Network Rail does the track, signals & stations.
The budget for 2014 to 2019 is £37 billion.
18 passenger franchises typically last from 7 to 10 years. The bidding process is very expensive, with big losses if companies are not chosen.
ROSCOs, Rolling Stock Operating Companies, source & own the rolling stock, which is leased to the franchises.
ORR, Office of Rail & Road, is the independent safety & economic regulator for the railways.
Should we renationalise the railways? Network Rail and ORR are already in public ownership. The DFT set the fares and very tightly specify the franchise agreements. The ROSCOs can't be nationalised and it would cost millions to buy the rolling stock. The franchises only make around 2% profit margin. So public ownership has little to gain financially and possibly a lot to lose.
In the north west the Ordsall curve is going ahead allowing southern trains to go beyond Piccadilly to Victoria and the north. Line Electrification is however behind schedule.
HS2 is essential. The existing network is close to capacity. Running more trains on the present system is not possible, longer trains need longer platforms and more time at stations. As capacity is reached, people will go onto already heavily congested roads. Why high speed? Well if new lines are needed, why not? Most other European countries have high speed systems. By taking the urgent business traffic off the existing network, the 'old' system would give the rest of us space to travel.
HS3 is a different story. an east west high speed link would, currently, be prohibitively expensive.
Ian concluded that the existing structure is broadly correct, but Network Rail should be further devolved. The franchises should be longer term; existing ones don't allow proper development, they worry their next application will be unsuccessful. 21 years would be better, with reviews at 7 year intervals. He cited Chiltern rail as an example of a long successful franchise.
Thanks to Ian for a full transporting experience!

Book Group Dates
Dec 5th Test of Character by our President John Holder at John Whitley’s
 Events next 2 months
Dec 8th SGM
Dec 15th Christmas meal entertainment by Clare Lees Soprano & Elizabeth Legroux piano Dec 22nd and 29th No Club Meeting
Jan 5th Kate Cross
Jan 12th Granville Dobson
Jan 19th Rotarian P Rowen
Jan 26th Lunch at Riverside



Afternoon tea at the Town Hall.

On Saturday 21st May, in the magnificent setting of our Gothic Town Hall in Rochdale, there was the chink of China and the buzz of social chit chat. There were superb refreshments served to and appreciated by every one at each table, another true testimony of the catering staff's ability. The ambience in the reception room was warm, cordial, and the large raffle - ably drawn by the President and her young helper, Charlie, - went down a storm. The function which raised £500 for its good cause was a winner - something which will be repeated in the future. Proceeds this time to The Christie.

Ann Stott.



President Irene, together with a small group of us, visited the Christie Hospital at the end of November, following an invitation from Christine Mathewson who is the Public Governor for Rochdale on the Hospital’s board. The Christie is of course one of the two charities, chosen by Irene, that the Club is supporting during her presidential year. To get us off to a good start, Christine presented at a Club meeting last summer to give an insight into the fantastic developments being made at the Hospital.

Resulting from her visit, Christine was able, at short notice, to arrange for a small group to see the start of the building of the first Proton Beam Therapy centre in the UK on the Christie site. The group was also able to attend one of the ‘Spotlight’ talks, in the afternoon, that are specifically organised for supporters of the Christie and are held on a quarterly basis.

The new Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) centre is due to be fully operational by August 2018 and together with a Centre in London will reduce the number of cancer patients having to go abroad for this type of treatment. PBT is a very specialist form of radiotherapy which substantially reduces the damage to healthy tissue in the body. It is very precise at targeting certain types of cancer and gives the patient a significant reduction in side effects whilst enabling a higher level of radiation to be administered if required.

By chance, our visit coincided with the first pouring of concrete to form the 4 metre thick base and walls that will be required to meet Health & Safety standards for the new centre. There will be three PBT treatment pods plus a further test pod which will be used for research in the future. It is hoped that the Centre will be able to handle about 90 patients each day for specific PBT treatment.

Whilst the building will be more or less complete by the start of 2017 there will of course be a need to fit out the Centre to a very high specification. We were told that the budgeted cost of the building is £91million and it is currently running to budget. We also learnt that the reason such big projections as this rely on charitable funding is that VAT is not payable whereas Hospital Trust only funding would result in costs that are 20% higher!

After a good lunch in the Hospital’s restaurant, we made our way to the Education Centre for the Spotlight lecture. Whilst the subjects covered at these lectures can be quite complex they are put over in layman’s language that everyone can follow. The talk was excellently given by Dr Prakash Manoharan, a consultant radiologist and nuclear medicine physician.

We were told about the great improvements in the Christies Magnetic Resonance (MR) scanning capabilities that will result from the introduction of new state of the art ‘3 tesla’ MR scanners. Currently the scanners are 1.5 tesla (this is a measure of magnetic strength) and whilst these will still be more than adequate for most cancer scans the 3T gives a very precise image. Such scans will be crucial to the successful usage of the Proton Beam Therapy technology we heard about earlier in the day.

We plan to have more visits to the Christie during 2016 and indeed we were given an invitation for Club members to visit the PMT building as it progresses (hard hats and yellow jackets required of course!). We also hope to organise further trips to the Spotlight events in the future which are well worth attending.

We are lucky to have such a good Christie Public Governor for Rochdale in Christine and we look forward to building a strong relationship with the Hospital in coming years. Our first goal however is to raise as much money as we can during Irene’s presidential year for this greatly deserving cause.

Neil Williams


Bulletin September 2016


  THIS EDITION includes


President’ s Remarks

To start with it was great to introduce the first new Rotary member of my Presidential year- welcome to the club Merrilyn!

I am keen to involve the club in good fundraising events this year –please rack your brains everyone for suitable projects.

The next three months will be pretty hectic for me, with several speaking engagements at Rotary clubs, cricket clubs and the celebration of 50 years since the island of my birth, Barbados gained independence from Britain.

 Miss Alphea Wiggins the Deputy High Commissioner of Barbados to Britain has agreed to be guest speaker at our club some time during the winter. Her talk will be about the long connection of relations between that island and UK and her great love of cricket.

Middleton Rotary has invited me to propose a toast to that club on 30th September. Next day I go to London to attend, as a Patron, an end of season presentation held by the British Tamil Cricket Federation. On October 3rd I’m off to the charter of Rochdale East Rotary.

A few high profile events to celebrate Barbados’s Independence from Britain were organised by their Government and London’s High Commission. In July there was a special dinner at Lords, the home of cricket. Three days later was a cricket match between a Barbados Legends X1 and a PCA Masters X1 at Wormsley, arguably the most stunningly attractive cricket ground in the world. I was invited to umpire this match and it was good to catch up with old friends like Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Wes Hall, Mark Ramprakash, Gordon Greenidge, Matthew Hoggard, Joel Garner and many others.

The highlight will be a Gala Dinner and awards ceremony at the Waldorf Hotel  October 29th. Some 50 Barbadians living here who have contributed to Anglo/ Barbadian relations and have excelled in their fields will be honoured. I was pleasantly surprised to have been recommended for an award and asked to attend. I must therefore apologise for Glenda and I missing the Llandudno Rotary Conference. Do have a good weekend in Wales.

 Glenda and I will be in Barbados on November 30th, the Independence Day, thousands of Barbadians returning from the UK, America, Canada and other Caribbean islands (see view above taken from my deckchair).(There has been a drought in Barbados for past 3 years so hopefully President John will find a watering hole- Ed.)    


Our hosts are Rochdale and District MIND and Hourglass who together on this site are known as the Growth Project.

During the past year there have been two very damaging floods. Following a great effort, on both occasions the site was both restored and improved upon.

The threat of a Council cut to this project was averted by many letters of support. Thank you to members of this club who helped by writing  to the Council to encourage their continuing involvement with the Growth Project.

Throughout the year there have been three very important events.

  1. Setting up for and welcoming the judges from the RHS Northwest in Bloom Competition. The result of this contest will be announced in Southport on the 28th October.
  2. The Growth Project is now on the National Gardens Open to the Public register. Our open day raised £300 from donations at the gate and visitors received tea and biscuits.
  3. The Equinox Barbecue which is a celebration for all the people who enjoy the facilities of the Growth Project and work so hard there. With the exception of a two week break at Christmas, work continues every Wednesday and Thursday throughout the year.


Our part of the Growth Project is continuously evolving. Input from our members and visiting groups suggest “Elevated Gardening” continues to be a boon for elderly folk plus those with limited mobility as well as capturing youth interest.


We have made two visits to Honorary Member Stan Fielding’s club at Chester to discuss extra support for our project.  Stan’s club intends to hold a fund raising curry night and make a donation to our new project start up fund.

This fund will, in partnership with an overseas Rotary club, channel small amounts of money to new ventures and will be focussed particularly on deprived areas of Africa.

David  Acton and Mike Tomkinson

Rotary Youth Services

Following the amalgamation of the two Rotary Districts in the North West the Youth activities of the former Districts have obviously required some changes. John Shepley, who is the Chair of Youth Services for the new District visited our Club in August to update us about changes  made and outlined the many opportunities  to involve young people in Rotary competitions and projects.

John was keen to point out that what was available was a ‘menu’ . Rochdale has for many years had teams competing in the Youth Speaks competition and he told us that this is by far the most popular competition in our District.

  Other competitions  include Young Musician, Young Writer, Young Citizen, Technology, Young Photographer and Young Chef.For a number of years District Finals, and next year the Regional Final, of Young Chef has been at Hopwood Hall College in Rochdale although our Club has not recently had any local competitors. Our Community committee is also looking at the possibility of a local photographic competition  and having an entry into the national Young Photographer competition.

John also touched on other national schemes that Clubs could be involved in such as Rotakids, Interact, Youth Leadership, and Youth Exchange. These are all things which could potentially be of interest and help to young people in Rochdale. All the details of these are available in an information pack and also on the District website:

Neil Williams, who is the Convenor of Youth Services in our Club, would welcome any Members or Friends who would like to possibly get involved in any of these Youth initiatives, or maybe have some additional ideas, to get in contact with him. The next meeting of the Youth Services committee will be during our Club lunchtime meeting on Thursday 13th October. However if this is not convenient then please contact Neil by email at or on his mobile 07814100823 and have a chat.

Community Events

VP Ann Stott JP writes

Seniors  Out

The 17th August dawned with some trepidation on my part in view of our fluctuating summer!!  However, all was saved as it was gloriously sunny and warm for our Rotary Club’s Seniors Out event held at Castleton Bowling Club in Rochdale.  Senior members of our community enjoyed viewing and some participating in the bowling, followed by a scrumptious buffet tea provided by local caterer, Gracie.  The musical entertainment was provided by Dolly Blue – a highly professional duet who helped to create a warm ambience within the Club House – also allowing our own ‘Keith’ an afternoon off to enjoy the revelries!!

All in all another enjoyable afternoon was had by everyone.” 

“ Crocus  Bulb  Planting 

As all members are aware in February 2017 it is the Centenary of our Charity – Rotary Foundation – and to publicise and honour this, the four Rotary Clubs within the Rochdale Borough are hoping to plant purple crocus – additionally to also publicise Rotary’s Campaign to eradicate Polio from the world.

There are in the region of 25,000 – yes 25,000 – bulbs to be planted, and with support from RMBC, areas in Broadfield Park, Hare Hill Park, and Milnrow Memorial Park have been earmarked. Additionally it is hoped (bulbs permitting) to expand into other small public areas and schools. 

It is hoped that Friends of the Parks will assist in the planting, but, other volunteers may be required – so watch this space please!!

The pilot behind the scheme is Frank Hauxwell  from Rochdale East Rotary.”

 Merrilyn Chadwick becomes a Rotarian!

After a long association with Rochdale Rotary  Club as a Friend Merrilyn was inducted as a Member by President John

on the 1st September.  On the Charity front Merrilyn has been a keen supporter of Littleborough NSPCC for many years and hobbies include choir singing.

Welcome to the Club Merrilyn!


Stephen Drew writes

“It was thrilling to be at St Andrew’s Hospital Malawi in July,  in the week of the free eye surgery, and to be able to talk at length with our visiting surgeon, my ex-student , Amos Nyaka. He comes to our hospital in rural Mtunthama each month to operate and restore sight, usually about 60 operations a month. 75% of blindness in Malawi is curable –often the result of untreated cataracts. Amos operated for two days, and I had the privilege of seeing the patches come off, and sight restored .

I was in the room with permission from Amos : he even warned the patients that the first thing they might see would be some white visitors ! Gently, gently, he moved around, taking off the patches and wiping eyes .  Slowly, slowly patients blinked , smiled –  some were silent at first , taking it in. One lady burst into song, then others joined, clapped and cheered . One man made a speech of thanks.

But it is the nervous smiles I will remember most, Smiles of sheer joy.

Nothing sums up more profoundly the work of Medic Malawi than those smiles of Joy . Thank you for all the support you have given as a Club , and you know that every penny donated goes to Malawi, with no UK costs or salaries or expenses. It really does get through , does get to work ,and I have seen for myself the impact - the eye surgery is the most striking, but there are huge benefits from the routine daily work of the hospital, as well as the feeding centre for the malnourished ,  the two orphanages and educational projects especially for girls . Innovations this year focus on self help : we have established  microloans  to support individual enterprise ; we have a poultry project which now contributes 10% of orphanage income ; we are building a bakery and bringing into use no less than 7 hectares of unused land ,recently given to the orphanage by a local farmer , to grow maize and beans  for the children and a surplus for sale  . There will  be smiles of joy when all that is harvested, and it will be sustainable , year by year , decreasing dependence on Medic Malawi. Thank you to all who have helped bring these smiles.”

Stephen is guest speaker at our 90th Charter Night on

November 3rd-book your places now!


Rochdale Foodbank is appealing to the public of Rochdale to give food generously be it  from schools, churches, mosques or privately during the Harvest Thanksgiving season.

At present, food stocks are very low of many items that are included in a food box.

Shortages of sugar, pasta sauce, milk, jam, instant mash potato and fruit juice are particularly acute

Food can be given at our donation points:

Tesco, Silk Street, Sudden, Rochdale, OL11 3ER 

8 South Parade, Rochdale, OL16 1LR, donation point is at the store entry – near the security position.

 Food can also be donated at the back of Rochdale Foodbank. 
Opening hours are 11.00am – 12:45pm Monday to Friday. A member of staff will greet you and make sure your donation is safely booked inFood can be collected by contacting Dave Hill: 07922 658346

Hon Member Martin Coupe writes

“Tesco do still support us very well with a dividend on all the products  we buy. Also they have a collection point at the main Rochdale Store which generates a lot of donations each week. We can fill up to 8 of their Green Boxes weekly.”

            PETRUS    Charity News

Recently Petrus has become a member of Regenda a large organisation specialising in housing for Special needs and has been very helpful in rehousing of Petrus service users over the years.

In these days of increasing government cutbacks in services this link will give Petrus services in the Community more support and  stability in the near and long term.

Rochdale Rotary Members and Friends continue to help out as volunteers particularly at the Community store on Hamer Lane and donations of furniture, electrical equipment and clothing will be gladly received-phone Claire or Pamela on 01706341189 if you want to volunteer or make a donation.

Geoff Butterworth Charity Art Bank Gallery

The Gallery was first opened to the public on Saturday 6th August 2016 and has been opening every Saturday and Sunday since then with a lot of Rotarians and Friends acting as Stewards/Raffle sellers. Well done everyone!

There is a special opening on Monday 31st October 2016 when all members and friends are encouraged to bring visitors to the gallery for an evening of fun with  John Kay-anything can happen knowing John!

It is hoped that all members and “friends” will help with the sale of the raffle tickets. The prize draw will take place at the Club’s Charter Night on Thursday 3rd November 2016.

 If you haven’t been yet these pictures will show you what a unique building this is both outside and in!

Recent speakers at Rochdale Rotary

Kathy Thomas gave a very good round up of Rochdale Connections Trust history and present activity helping disaffected Rochdale youth.The mentoring service has been a particularly innovative aspect of their work and of course the Bank Gallery Raffle will give them a sizeable donation to continue their work


Mr Neeraj Sharma gave a very straightforward and easy to understand talk about prostate cancer  our President’s Charity fundraising will help support work in this area and Mr Sharma had some useful ideas re where to donate any Rotary funds-watch this space!


Rotarian John ShepleyFrom Bolton and District officer gave an extensive review of Rotary Youth competitions.(See Neil’s article on page 2/3.He is obviously a busy man also involved with the Britain in Bloom  Competition and was coming round Rochdale as a Judge for that competition recently!

Alan Baker from the Rochdale Multiple sclerosis society has been involved helping other sufferers from the disease to maintain a positive attitude by socialising and getting exercise both mental and physical.

Rotarian Ben Leach’s father Dr Frank Leach with his Pharmaceutical knowledge   gave the story of   how a drug for human disease has to be tested in the lab then through clinical trials.It’s often over 10 years before it goes on general release!

Thanks to our speakers for their efforts!

Barging around Salford...

That's a bit unkind, really. The Inner Wheel organised boat trip on the Bridgewater canal on Sunday afternoon was a far cry from the dirty old town that I know. The boat, the 'Francis Edgerton' (the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater) was waiting for the 30 or so members & friends of Rochdale Inner Wheel.

Sue, myself, Linda & David , Elvet & Liz  commandeered the six place table at the front of the boat, organised the drinks and were ready for the off.

We cast off on time from Worsley, near to the old 1849 Court House. The sun was shining (most of the time) and the trees looked very fine, with some  early signs of autumn foliage. The canal was built on the instruction of the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater to transport coal from  Worsley into Manchester. And whilst it wasn't the first canal to be built in the UK, it was the first not to follow an existing water course and to be built for a specific purpose. It was opened on the 17th of July 1761.

The afternoon tea was soon served. Quite a feast! Sandwiches, scones with jam & cream, and a selection of cholesterol challenging sweet things. And tea or coffee to wash it down with.

As we reached Monton, we were advised to look out for the lighthouse-see pic.... Indeed there is a lighthouse on the canal, but it's not a navigation aid. Phil Austin, a narrow boat owner, hit on the idea as a weekend retreat. He had to part with his boat in order to complete it, but now enjoys relaxing there, away from the hustle & bustle of modern life. It does have a light, but it's only used on special occasions. We passed under the M602 and the Manchester to Liverpool railway line, before approaching the the aqueduct over the Manchester Ship Canal. This aqueduct also swings, to allow the larger vessels on the Ship Canal to pass. Before the Ship canal was built, a brick aqueduct was used to carry the canal over the river Irwell.see

After the aqueduct, the boat was turned round to return to Worsley. As we approached Worsley, we went past the mooring to turn round again, and saw the original entrance to the mines.

A very good way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

PP John Cannell.

Copper Pot Evening


Roll up everyone for an evening of Indian food fellowship and fundraising to boot!

Starts6.30 for 7

Cost £21 -Raffle prizes needed please

Fund raiser for Medic Malawi-do come along or give a donation instead

Martin Retires!

After many years as steward at the Masonic Martin Lewis is retiring on 30th September. We’ll miss your roast potatoes Martin! Have a great retirement and best wishes to you and Tina from Rochdale Rotary Club

Bulletin July 2016

    President’s school visits.
    School awards
    3 Peaks Challenge
    NSPCC Award
    Cricket dinner
    Geoff Butterworth gallery
My first four moving and enjoyable Presidential school visits (described in more detail below)included    Redwood School’s    Sports Personality of the Year Awards and Most Improved Students Presentation.Both were impressive and showed how Redwood can transform young people giving them much more confidence to achieve more in life .Thanks to Dean Sherriff for inviting me to go.
Off to Moorhouse School’s cricket coaching with Scott Kershaw for mixed ability boys and girls- all keen as mustard. One Bangladeshi boy now fluent in English is one    to    watch    for  the future .Finally    with    Ann Stott    and    Neil Williams off to
Littleborough Community Primary School’s  end  of term celebrations.Young wheelchair bound Harris Khan was the Most Improved Student of the Year.
The school’s award winning brass band played beautifully ; year 6 leavers thanked their most influential teachers also describing the highs and lows of their school days. I was so impressed with the very little ones sitting so quietly for 90 minutes and behaving beautifully - an excellent visit.
President John Holder
Rotarian Keith Swift (Chair of Governors at Moorhouse CPS) says “ I was very pleased when President John came and watched our year 4,5,6 children’s cricket coaching session.Each class has a coaching session paid for by funds raised at our cricket dinner, the Lancashire Cricket Board and partly by school funds but these children volunteer for an extra session during their lunch hour.
President John and I had a short meeting with head teacher Helen Brougham(a cricket fan) then met Coach Scott Kershaw.
Scott had 2 teams playing Rapid Cricket -3 balls were bowled under arm, in quick succession after ball 3 the Batter runs around a circle of cones scoring a run for each cone they pass before fielders throw 3 balls to the Bowler. Players get really excited and a little frantic at times. President John had come to watch but after about 30 seconds he coached the batters. “keep watching the ball and head down when you hit it”. Perhaps John’ll show how to bowl a Yorker(ball going under the bat onto stumps) next time.
A thoroughly enjoyable time for everyone and our fund raising money well spent”
Youth Convenor Neil Williams writes
“ Keith Swift and I presented the first ever 'Pupil of the Year' award to Holly Maclean at an end of year assembly at Moorhouse Primary School in Milnrow on the 15th July. Keith had the idea of the award of a special plaque presented annually. Councillor Andrew Kelly was a sponsor having appreciated the school his children attended .
A packed hall saw awards for achievement, attendance etc. then a hushed audience heard Neil announce Holly the winner Holly was so overjoyed with her plaque made all the better with her parents witnessing the event.
This will undoubtedly be the start of a strong relationship between our Club and Moorhouse School”.
Littleborough Community Primary School – Annual Star Award
It was Rotary Friend Helen Boulton’s idea for our club to give an ‘Annual Star’ award recognising great achievement by a pupil with Special Educational Needs and the Head, Mrs Sinker agreed. At School Leavers’ assembly President John Holder and VP Ann Stott( a local Councillor) and myself presented the award after a rousing performance by the School brass band. The winner, Harris Khan, who uses a wheel chair, was undoubtedly a very popular choice judging by the applause from students, staff and parents.
The assembly was rounded off by an excellent presentation by the Year 6 leavers of their personal memories and videos. It was really inspiring to see every student take a personal part in the emotional presentation. John, Ann and Neil were definitely close to reaching for their paper handkerchiefs on a few occasions!
Our Club will persue more initiatives at Littleborough CPS in the future.

“Past President Irene Davidson and myself also attended the annual Hopwood Hall College Further Education Awards evening held at the Middleton Arena on the 9th June. Our Club has sponsored the Best Apprentice awards for a number of years. This was initiated by Rotarian Clive Reid who is on the College Board of Governors.
A very entertaining evening was had by all thanks to some really inspirational input from noted Manchester poet and Chancellor of Manchester University Lemn Sissay who certainly made the evening a memorable one for everybody who attended.
Hopwood Hall College is something that Rochdale should rightly be proud of as its students consistently perform at a level much higher than might be expected.
The evening was one of Irene’s last duties as President and was undoubtedly one of the many highlights of her Presidential year.”
Any other Member or Friend who has a strong link with a School, which they believe could potentially benefit from an award sponsored by the Club, please speak with me.”
Neil Williams Rotary Youth Convenor

Friend Merrilyn Chadwick writes
“What an amazing day July 6th, 2016 turned out to be.
I set off down to London with Bob to pick up an award for Branch of the Year - North of England
from the NSPCC on behalf of Rochdale Branch.
There was also another award for Local Branch of the Year.
We had decided we wouldn't get this.
So what a shock when the Chief Executive of the NSPCC Peter Wanless said ROCHDALE.
Bob was fumbling for his phone which he had put away and I was in shock. I went up to collect the award a little teary but very honoured to accept the award from our Patron HRH Sophie Wessex.

National Three Peaks for Christies June 2016
One of my trekking buddies fancied trying to do the National Three Peaks Challenge, Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours,. Being game for a laugh, I put my name down too.
So on Friday 3rd June 5 walkers and one driver set off up the M6 and M74, stopping overnight at a Youth Hostel adjacent to a lovely pub in Crainlarich, before venturing on to Fort William to get stoked up with food ready for a 5pm start.
At the foot of Ben Nevis, many other groups were also there. After a brief rain delay we set off on the 4.114 feet ascent in balmy temperatures of 25°C. Fighting the descending hordes we eventually got to the summit some 3 hours later. The views were incredible. It’s the third time I’ve been to the top, and
not before have I seen more than 10 feet off the edge!
After taking pics, we set off down, sliding over a snowfield for a bit of fun before hitting the rocky track. all down in 2 and half hours to the wonderful sight of Driver Steve with mugs of tea. Even the pesky midges couldn’t put us off. then off into the night...
Sleep didn’t come easy round the twisting roads between Fort William and Glasgow, especially around Loch Lomond. A break at Gretna Green services was welcome before we shot back into England and round the Cumbrian coast heading for Scafell Pike.
it never really seemed to go dark and by 4.30am we were zooming past Wast Water arriving at Wasdale Head. so warm coats and waterproofs were left on the bus, our poor feet into walking boots the slog upwards began again.
Scafell Pike is not the most inspiring climb. if the mountain wasn’t on the 3 Peaks Challenge, no one in their right mind would ever walk up it. around 7am we reached the top. One of our team, Mandy, didn’t feel well but after 10 minutes with her legs in the air, she set off downhill and led all the way!
After Food and drink, the sweaty clothes discarded next Wales!. due to the nice weather Lake District and the north wales coast road were very busy and So no chance of < 24 hours; we set off anyway, minus Mandy who was too exhausted .
I left the others behind to get close to the time.Summit at 6pm was the first time I had felt the cold . I was back at the car park by 7.30, - 26½ hours overall. Now we had a shower,meal, champagne and a few pints before falling asleep sometime around midnight.
Driver Steve and I raised £560 for Christies, the others all raised at least £300 each for their own charities. Would I do it again…..of course I would!
Past President Bob Chadwick

Geoff Butterworth Charity Art Gallery
It is now some time since our very successful “pop up” Art Exhibition in the Exchange Shopping Centre. We have now, through our Charitable Company, arranged to open an Art Gallery in Castleton and our “friend” Geoff Butterworth has agreed to supply a wide range of excellent paintings and to donate 20% of all sales to our charity.
The Gallery will first open to the public on Saturday 6th August 2016
It will be open for pre-arranged events. Our members and “friends” will act as stewards on a rota basis.
We can also agree to allow other Rotary Clubs and organisations to hold their own events at the Gallery subject to an appropriate donation to our charity
On this occasion we will be raising funds for Rochdale Connections Trust which is a local charity that trains volunteer mentors to a high level of competency and then matches them to disaffected youngsters to get the youngsters back on track to make something of their lives. Our member John Kay PHF is a founder member of the charity.
When we held the Art Exhibition, much of the money was made from a charity raffle. We are again to sell raffle tickets for £1.00 each with the first prize being an original painting donation by Geoff which is worth £650.00. There are also three prints as prizes for the
runners up.
It is hoped that all members and “friends” will help with the sale of the raffle tickets. The prize draw will take place at the Club’s Charter Night on Thursday 3rd November 2016.
This is a project which will be great fun. It is hoped that everyone will get involved
John F Kay PHF 18/07/16

Latest Cricket dinner 21st july 2016
Another great evening of entertainment with Dudley Doolittle cheekily MCing and Jonathan Agnew telling tales on Geoffrey Boycott and standing up for test cricket(he is much taller than you imagine)Next time I listen to Test Match special I will put the radio on the top of the wardrobe for realism!
Even your editor unusually managed a smile!
Sheila Acton becomes a Paul Harris Fellow
After a lifetime supporting good causes in Rochdale Rotary Friend Sheila Acton has been awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship.She had previously received a Rotary Family and Community Service award in 2010 After the sudden announcement by Past President Irene Sheila has taken some time to get over the surprise but she eventually managed a well composed photograph. Well done Sheila and so well deserved!
Martin Coupe becomes Hon Member
As recognition for Past President Martin’s great contributions to our club (including many years as Club secretary) he has been made an Honorary Member. We hope to continue seeing Martin at the club in between his family and other many Charity activities.
Bowls evening magnificent duo!
David and Pauline Smithard braved a rain swept Castleton Bowling club to win the bowls competition on 1st July. Both have been bowling along together for many years and it’s good to see all that practice has finally paid off!
Events in the next few months
Remember to ask people to Seniors out!
Dolly Blue with Keyboard/Bass Guitar and nice tea followed by bowling and relaxation in the dreamy atmosphere at Castleton Bowling club on 17th August
Inner Wheel Canal Trip
President Wendy Gandy invite Rotarians to a canal boat trip(centrally heated) with sumptuous afternoon tea on Sunday 25th September. leaves from and returns to Worsley. Cost £18 per head, reducing to £15 if we can fill the whole boat! Please let Liz Smith ( know by 19th August .
Book Group Dates
Sep 5th A thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini at MTs


   May Bulletin    2016            


  THIS EDITION includes

Speakers highlights 2016

                                                 Susie Cuthill of the Prince’s Trust described what is arguably the most admirable of our Prince’s ventures; we were given plenty of info on the Trust’s work helping disaffected youngsters back into  meaningful life.


Reverend Ian Stamp gave a gripping account of his career in the Clergy helping the poor of Heywood and also the  longer lived Bury people. This was followed by some unusual wedding christening and funeral occasions including the rifle volley over Middleton and long singsongs in church and crematorium with starving vicar needing his tea! He is still working at St James’ church Heywood where sermons must be well attended!

Do you want some excitement?- what about Skeleton Bobsleigh? Fantastic former track athlete Brogan Crowley gave a brilliant account of thrills and spills with the British bobsleigh team and showed us some of the gear for dashing at breakneck speed down slippery slopes!

Sophie Cox Judo expert was another athlete you wouldn’t argue with though she said she’d never had to use her skills in ordinary life-the power of her eye must be enough!

Our very own Allister Holt (no not Alice Tyrole from the mountain passes)  gave us his take off (no he staid clothed) Double entendres. President Irene had to be resuscitated after a constant stream of suggestive innuendos which ‘the Master’ Benny Hill would have been proud of!

Kathryn McKenzie talked about a trip to Uganda with Manchester police to see attempts at rescuing children living on the streets;such an awful situation for so many children but the charity RETRAK is trying hard to resettle at least some.

Jean Briggs came to talk about Street Pastors who valiantly try to help keep young people safe on the streets when they’ve been out in the night life in Rochdale. Not an easy task but amazing what an offer of a lollipop can do to defuse a situation when people are threatening others. What bravery!

Katy Muscat from Manchester university explained their attempt at getting University places for disadvantaged young people who are making brave attempts at getting an academic university place despite all the odds. PP David Smithard as a Trustee of the Bateman Centre fund has recently overseen a donation of £5000 to help fund 5 medical students through their early careers all coming from less favourable homes in poorer parts of Greater Manchester including Rochdale.

Tova Leech told us about Rainbow Trust .This was founded in 1986 by Bernadette Cleary OBE when she helped a neighbour with palliative care for her child. Despite their phenomenal growth, including  9 Care Teams around the UK, their values and mission remain the same: To provide individual support to families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness. In 2015 they supported over 1,900 families and their vision that one day, every family facing caring for a child with a life threatening or terminal illness will have access to a Rainbow Trust Family Support Worker remains. Tova gave us a great review of the organisation which is so worthwhile

Rod Barry from Castleton (well known to our President Irene) has had  a very busy and interesting life as a comedian, entertainer, actor and writer; this was all after being  a  sports and stadium administrator! He gave a snapshot of his life among the stars. He’s even won the weakest link surviving Ann Robinson and was amused to be reminded by the BBC to cash the cheque within 2 months as if he would forget!A contestant on Countdown he won 3 rounds winning against a University lecturer finally losing out to a Glasgow Dust man.

All these speakers have helped to keep our club a place to come to learn what great things people do often above and beyond the call of duty! As Rotarians we are so lucky to have such regularly interesting presentations and thank you to the speakers and their Rotarian sponsors for their efforts.

RIBI Conference – Bournemouth April 2016

IPP Bob Chadwick had a great time!

Having got over the shock of our first hotel having to cancel our booking due to subsidence, Merrilyn and I rolled into the Best Western just up the road from the Bournemouth International Centre on Thursday afternoon in glorious sunshine.

Next morning we had chance to sample the retail outlets of the town before the start of the Conference at 2pm. The usual welcomes by the Secretary, District Governor, National President and the Mayor were followed by the R.I. President in person K.R. Ravindran from Sri Lanka. His talk was both interesting and inspirational.

A couple of ex-politicians addressed us, Baroness Gillian Shephard and Sir Liam Donaldson. He was heavily involved in the World Health Organisation and is now Chairman of the Independent Monitoring for the Polio Eradication Programme. He told us how the programme has not been plain sailing and stressed the need to keep going to ensure that Polio is eliminated completely.

The final speaker of the day was John Humphries of Mastermind and Today fame. He has a charitable trust ‘The Kitchen Table’ but  he regaled us with tales of interrogating politicians and the reactions of their Press Officers. He took lots of questions but because of his contract with the BBC, he didn’t  give us his true thoughts on current politicians like Boris Johnson and Donald Trump.

Saturday saw an early start with a relevant topic for us, how to start an e-club. There is definite merit in doing so, and this club which was spawned from an existing club, is now chartered in its own right after two years, with 15 members. They meet in person monthly , and by e-mail or video fortnightly.

Next was Steve Brown, the captain of the Paralympic wheelchair rugby team in 2012. He was a troublesome youngster but  grew up through his love of sport and managed a holiday camp business in Europe - inspiring. Then his accident- falling from a balcony,  sober and alone, paralysed from the waist down, with movement but no feelings in his chest or arms. His outgoing personality was lost, he became withdrawn and lonely. His parents decided sport might rescue him  again. After watching wheelchair rugby he was hooked. It took a couple of years to get strong and skilled and he became  captain of the London  Paralympics team. No medal unfortunately and whilst training for 2016, he badly broke his thumb, so cannot now compete. However, on the day he learned that so did Channel 4, who asked him to be a commentator on the games, and the BBC want him to work for them on the next Invictus Games.

At the end there were few dry eyes in the house and Steve got a 5-minute standing ovation.

Later that morning the Inner Wheel National President addressed us and the Young Citizen Awards were presented and recorded for broadcast on the BBC News Channel. Jenny Agutter talked about the Shakespeare School Festival and how they help schools put on adaptions of plays throughout the country. A class of Special Needs children performed an excerpt from their version of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Former Derbyshire and England cricket captain Geoff Miller had the audience in stitches as he talked about his playing career and the characters  he had met.

Then Eric Knowles wrapped up the morning session.

In the afternoon,I, Bob did my stuff at the Annual Business Meeting while Merrilyn went to the general interest session and listened to the Mad Fish Lady, watched some dancing and did both with the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists.

On Sunday morning our first speaker was the Reverend Richard Cole known for his BBC work, in the eighties he was half of the pop group the Communards. His tale of how he started in both professions was both interesting and highly amusing!

RI President Ravi gave us another rousing speech, but left us in no doubt that those clubs which don’t or won’t change and that do not become attractive to new and younger members, will die. He wasn’t a man to mince his words.

The Rotaract Chair talked of their steady growth, and implored us to bring Rotaract to our towns. Ken Robertshaw from Halifax described a fascinating kayak trip from the source to the mouth of the Mississippi

with great pictures of an ever-changing river.

 RIBI President Peter Davey  gave us his thoughts on the conference and Rotaries future. Sir Richard Stilgoe  then  talked about  Orpheus Group helping young, disabled people prepare for independent living through the performing arts. Three students with him were incredible singers.

For Merrilyn and I, this was the best Rotary event we have attended. Even the exhibition was interesting and several organisations were new to us.

We spent an extra day  visiting Monkey World, Swanage and Poole, the only day the sun didn’t shine!

IPP Bob Chadwick

John Cannell, President of Rochdale Probus,says

“Probus is a Club for retired, or semi-retired, professional & business people and others with some measure of responsibility in any worthy field and who are  respected in their communities.

Each club is autonomous  and sets its own rules, and meets regularly for fellowship and an extension of their interests.

The Probus movement was formed in the United Kingdom in 1965, and had its beginnings in two clubs, created by Rotarians in Welwyn Garden City. It has now spread to many countries through the world.There are two clubs in Rochdale- Rochdale and Roche Valley both meeting at the Masonic , Richard Street.  Rochdale Probus meets twice a month on Wednesday mornings at 10 am finishing about 1130. After announcements, there is usually a speaker, sometimes a member, sometimes not. An annual trip is organised by the President,this year the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port  in late June.

The founding father of the Rochdale club was Rtn John Grice, forming it in 1982. It is still a 'men only' club. Several Rochdale Rotary members are in Probus”.

More information about Rochdale Probus Club is on

Contact John Cannell if you want to join!

ROAR AGM 2016.The fellowship of radio amateurs AGM this year was held on the Wirral. What an Interesting Experience! I chose Liverpool as there is more than plenty to do. Sue & I chose the Leasowe Castle Hotel on the  coast . -an  interesting old property with loads of history...

We arrived, along with seven other members and wives, on Thursday afternoon, and looked forward to dinner. From 7 p.m., it took over two hours to complete the meal! The food was fine, but the service... Friday was a 'free' day so we toured the Wirral, took some photographs in the warm sunshine, enjoyed morning coffee, etc. back for  dinner- again Great food, lousy service. But they did try harder.

On Saturday A.M. from Seacombe ferry terminal we cruised to the pier head in Liverpool. The three Graces looked magnificent in the sunshine, and the  pier head area has improved tremendously in the last few years. We explored the Liverpool Museum, the Albert Dock, the Maritime Museum and in some cases Liverpool One shopping centre.Many of us were flagging, and took the earlier ferry back -an extended trip with a commentary about what we could see by the river.

We convened at 1800 for the AGM, whilst the wives kept the bar warm for us over the next hour; just time for a quick aperitif before a much better dinner. The staff were really good; they had a Murder Mystery Night on the Friday, so were dealing with two different parties, plus other guests and on the Saturday they had a wedding party. There were many strange things about the rooms -the refurbishment has some way to go. But we all enjoyed our quirky weekend, which we’ll remember for some time!

PP John.

Rotary Tea Party!

On Saturday 21st May, in the magnificent setting of our Gothic Town Hall in Rochdale, there was the chink of China and the buzz of social chit chat.

There were superb refreshments served to and appreciated by every one at each table, another true testimony of the catering staff's ability.

The ambience in the reception room was warm, cordial, and the large raffle - ably drawn by the President and her young helper, Charlie, - went down a storm.

The function which raised £500 for its good cause was a winner - something which will be repeated in the future.

Ann Stott, 2nd VP.




                THIS EDITION includes

Youth Speaks Competition 2016

Our Club was once again proud to sponsor a team from Rochdale in this year’s Rotary International Youth Speaks competition.

Falinge Park High School entered a team of three students, Tabitha Rushden, Wajahat Qaisar, and Aamnah Hanif, in the competition and, following the first round at Bury Town Hall, they successfully reached the District Final held recently in Frodsham. Whilst the team did not manage to get through to the Regional Final, a member of the team, Aamnah, won the overall  prize for the best ‘Vote of Thanks’ proposal in the competition. This was all the more impressive as Aamnah had stepped in as a late replacement for the team’s original proposer, Omar Sharif, from the first round!

The Rotary YS competition, for those people who may not know too much about it, consists of teams of three students who take the roles of ‘Chairperson’, ‘Speaker’, and ‘Proposer – Vote of Thanks’. They choose a Subject to ‘debate’, albeit on one side only, and are judged on a number of criteria which amongst many points includes how well they handle each of the three roles, their confidence in speaking (ideally not using notes), meeting strict time constraints, and how well they answer a challenging question from the audience.

The Falinge Park team was entered in the Senior competition, which is for ages 14 to 17. As the School does not have a Sixth Form this inevitably means that they are often one of the youngest teams in the competition and are competing against a number of Sixth Form colleges. There is also an Intermediate YS competition,for 11-13 year olds, which was entered this year by Beech House School (sponsored by the Chadderton & Failsworth club) although unfortunately they did not get through to the District Final.Falinge Park’s subject this year was ‘The Problem with Soccer’. This however was not a sports related topic but a highly passionate speech about the ‘Americanisation’ of the British language and a plea to return to using ‘English’ words such as ‘football’ rather than ‘soccer’. The subject was certainly well received by the audience.

The team was supported by a number of Club members at both the first round and District final and everybody was highly impressed by the general standard they saw from all contestants. As one of only eight clubs to sponsor a team in the finals of the new enlarged District 1285 we should be proud of what Falinge Park School have achieved.

Rotarian Neil Williams


       Christmas Thank You from Rumania

from Anna Larsen on behalf of the Networks Team

 We are still rejoicing after the big Christmas handout. Thanks to your generosity we provided over 600 children from poor communities with a shoe box bursting full of presents. 

Working with Roma communities in the North-West of Romania. Established in 2001, NetWorks is made up of Romanian, Swedish and British volunteers and staff  helping around 350 families in three different communities. Using a four-stage development model we try to help people out of poverty and equip and enable them to have a bright future. Education is a huge key to this, and we run a pre-school and homework clubs, but we also have different micro-enterprise projects providing opportunities for generating income and a dignified way for someone to provide for their family

 On the way home after the Christmas handout, we processed the day together. One volunteer particularly enjoyed spending time with the children who came in to the kitchen for warm fruit tea whilst their parents queued up for the food parcels. They played, danced and laughed – partly because due to language barriers they couldn’t always understand each other. But she also loved the fact that despite the language barrier they were able to have fun together, and today there were no time tables, no rush, no pressures.

These Christmas presents (and the food we give out alongside them) give us and the people receiving them a reason to smile. It gives us a reason to open our centres without schedules or restraints: it gives us time to relate, love people and  laugh together. 

Thank you more than words can say for transforming people’s Christmases. You brought hope and light, the wonderful things this holiday stands for!


Anna Larsson

for the whole thank you David Smithard has the copy

Mike Tomkinson has also got good news about

                           ACCESSIBLE EDIBLES

David and I have recently given talks at the Rotary clubs of Astley, Chester and Manchester and as a result have different possibilities for future developments. Following an invitation from our Honorary Member Stan Fielding to talk at his new club in Chester they have given us a £200 donation for our new project start up fund.

You may remember that as a result of our club members emailing information about our Accessible Edibles website to countries in Africa and Asia we now have 22 Rotary clubs in seven different countries who have expressed an interest in partnering us to start new UrbanFarm projects.

Ideally we would like to link a UK Rotary club with one of these 22 and support them both in helping to establish vegetable and fruit production in any of their local overseas communities who are in need of some help. Alternatively Rochdale Rotary could directly partner one or more of these overseas clubs.

The Rotary club of Astley are keen to do this but may delay initiation until the new Rotary year. Additionally they are very interested in our low price Rotary Stew nutrition project. They already have connections with local allotment societies and are interested in using the Rochdale model together with our online instruction video to supply their local food bank with vegetables.


  Rotarian Clive Reid writes     

"Rotarian Roger Shepherd from Heywood Club approached me, in his capacity as district organiser of the Rotary Young Chef competition, to facilitate holding the district finals at Hopwood Hall College once again.


So, on 30 January nine young chefs met at the College to battle it out for a place in the regional finals. They had two hours to prepare and cook a three course meal which was then judged by a panel of professional chefs. Despite high standards from all the competitors, it was Kieron McCormack from St. Catherine's Academy, Bolton who won first place. The judges gave their personal feedback to the three winners that would help them progress to the Regional Final in Kendal. The participants were all presented with an award by the District Governor elect, Stan Bowes from Saddleworth Club.


Rotarian John Holder Writes!!!

My biography is scheduled to be launched on July 13th at the Barbados High Commission in London. It was written by a former Hampshire team mate, Andrew Murtagh, who wrote the biographies of two former great Test batsmen, the late Tom Graveney of England and more recently the former South African opener Barry Richards. Barry was also a team mate of ours at Hampshire.

I actually knew the father of the High Commissioner from my early days in London. I used to play for the BBC and his dad was very friendly with two other Barbadians in the team. The high Commissioner was then a very young boy.

The biography covers my early life in Barbados, growing up in the country as one of six children, and being taught how to play cricket by dad. Also included is playing for my high school Combermere which was named after Lord Combermere. The shock of life on arriving in England in winter from tropical Barbados, working on the London Underground, playing county cricket for Hampshire, coming to Rochdale and most enjoyably and successful, the 27 years umpiring county and international cricket.

There are contributions to the book from my three sisters and brother, former Hampshire team mates Trevor Jesty, Keith Wheatley and Richard Lewis, friends with whom I played club cricket on first arriving in London from Barbados in 1964, one former umpiring colleague Barrie Leadbeater, and ex players from county cricket Matthew Maynard, Paul Nixon, Paul Grayson, Jon Agnew and Vic Marks. The former West Indies legendary fast bowler and now Sky commentator Michael Holding did the forward.

This year is the 50th anniversary of Barbados’s independence from Britain, so the book launch at the High Commission promises to be a special event for the 80 invited guests.

Song and Laughter for The Christie

PP Bob Chadwick writes

On Friday 30th January, over 100 people attended the Ratcliffe Bar to be entertained by Phil Reynolds’ Rock Choir, Natalie Jacques and comedian Terry Cotta.

The Rock Choir with over 40 members on stage performed seven songs from the current pop charts to soul classics. It also had a Rotary connection, featuring our Friend Merrilyn Chadwick and the Immediate Past President of Middleton, Keith Trinnaman.

Natalie Jacques at only 10 years old is the latest protégé from Rochdale and she sang songs from musicals as diverse as Les Miserables and Frozen. After the pie and peas supper, Terry Cotta had everyone rolling in the aisles with his local humour.

The whole event was organised by Rtn Maureen Barker and raised over £900 for President Irene’s charity, The Christie.

Ten Pin Bowling Challenge

30 Rotarians and friends had a night out rolling down the aisles at Strike Ten bowls on   17th March

For  the uninitiated .Bowlers have 2 attempts to knock all of 10 pins down on an alley around 25 yards long  .If pins are knocked down after 1 attempt this is called a strike and after 2 attempts a spare and each of these attracts bonus points. A game consists of 11 goes for each player at the 10 pins and the player with highest total wins. The lanes are served by a mechanised reloading system and computerised scoreboard for each player (totals are worked out for you)

Special shoes are worn and varying weight bowls available in different colours dark blue being the heaviest(16 lb).Your Thumb and one finger are ‘holed up’ in the bowl. Gutters swallow up bowls not in a straight line to pins.

There is nothing quite like(or almost nothing like) the (hopefully) smooth, flowing ,delivery; then  the anticipation; followed by the sound of pins being smashed all over the place (if you’re lucky) Otherwise guttural  groans can be heard far and wide as those 10 pins continue to shine in the sun!

Many a bowler has suffered post bowling syndrome with most of one’s anatomy (including one’s pins) continuing to ache for some time after the effort. This particularly affects proud bowlers who feel cissy with less than that 16 pounder - stretching the whole arm down the lane is a strange and unpleasant sensation. Also steel toe caps should be available for the clumsy.

 Teams had 2 games for each player.

Mike’s Marauders (Mike , Karen ,Brian ) averaged 73 per player, John’s Jets (John H, Neil W, Elvet) 97 , Dean’s Dambusters (Dean, Bob, Ann, Clive) 56, Pam’s people (Pam, Allister, Keith B, Keith C) 69

A tasty meal was provided and great fun was had by all.   Thanks go to John Holder and Keith Banks for organising the evening


Ascot Ladies Day at Nutters

Following the success of last year’s event, the Club is once again organising the Ascot Ladies Day event at Nutters Restaurant on Thursday 16th June 2016.

The event which will also celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, will raise money for the NSPCC’s Childline, which itself is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016.

Starting from 12 noon with a champagne cocktail, a three course meal carefully chosen by Andrew Nutter, will be followed by four races from Royal Ascot shown on screens around the restaurant. A Race Game and Tote will give the chance to win a magnum of champagne cash prizes and prize for the Best Hat.



January Bulletin 2016






      A great Charter night at Rochdale Town Hall on   November 21st was attended by over 80 Rotarians and friends. Pam Cumpstay, our newest member, gave an excellent reading of the       Charter signed in 1926.

           Former Theatre Actor and writer Bob Morton gave us amusing anecdotes from his life in the entertainment industry. Bob has been busy in recent years writing, directing and acting at the Hebden Bridge Little theatre and he and his wife Kate must have had a good time as they have now become official Friends of the club alongside our Mayor, Councillor Surinder Biant.

Rotary Christmas Meal at Rochdale Town Hall

 Rochdale Rotary had its Christmas meal at the Town Hall on 10th December with a fine festive meal and all the trimmings.

Some members of our club Dean Sherriff and Neil Helliwell came along with fellow choristers (including wives Marion and Nichola) from Thrum Hall Church choir and provided sparkling entertainment as a post prandial treat. All the usual and some unusual carols were sung with lots of skill and gusto.

The Reverend Helen Johnson conducted proceedings and gave a Christmas message reminding everyone about the true meaning of Christmas beyond the rather commercialised version presented by the media nowadays.


During the autumn of 2015 and in the pre-Christmas period Derek Heywood, John Whitley, John Holder, Keith Banks, David Acton, David and Pauline Smithard have visited the shoe box warehouse on six occasions.

  Each time about 3000 boxes from around the UK were unloaded, sorted and repacked onto pallets ready for transport to Eastern Europe.

  Our regular help was crucial enabling the lorry making the pre Christmas trip and delivery to Romania to depart 'fully loaded'. Hopefully another delivery will be on its way before the end of January and we have already made another trip to the warehouse.

 The number of clubs in our district helping with shoe box packing has significantly diminished over the years, hence the need for more frequent visits by us. It would be good to have one or two more groups to help. Please let me know.

PP David Smithard

Latest news on Christmas Reindeer sales

Reindeer shepherd Mike Tomkinson writes

‘Our final total was £1,100 from the sale of our reindeer, hedgehogs and Christmas tree decorations all made from tree branches. The money has gone to The Christie -one of President Irene’s charities.

My thanks to Geoff Butterworth, John Cannell, Ralph Davidson, Keith Swift and my neighbour Tony Sloan for help with the manufacture of the 160 reindeer sold.  I’m also grateful to Sheila and David Acton and my wife Heather for their selling efforts on the three Craft Fair stalls that we attended as well as their endless encouragement on the many cold days in the garage!  Also thanks to Rotary Friend Jenny at Capture Design for making a sign for our stall as well as project labels for the reindeer.

Finally a special mention for Tony Sloan who raised £200 selling reindeer to the staff and parents at Woodland Primary School Heywood and for Heather who also raised £200 from sales to the staff at Crossgates primary School Milnrow.

Mike has also got good news about

                           ACCESSIBLE EDIBLES

‘We have been asked to help the ORA Network, a European organisation based in Berlin that helps young people develop their interest in sustainable living.

As our Accessible Edibles website is a complete DIY guide to developing an Urban Farm, ORA are planning to promote it through a program of Urban Gardening Workshops starting in Bosnia. This will eventually spread across all the European countries in their network.’

           Tributes to Jack Howorth PHF

   Rotarian and Past President Jack Howorth recently died after a long illness bravely endured. He was a member of Rochdale Rotary for 49 years and an inspiration to many fellow Rotarians. Hard working and with a close attention to detail he set very high standards few Rotarians could expect to achieve.



        Rotarian Keith Crossley writes

       “I have known Jack since I left school in 1953 and joined Rochdale Rugby Union Football Club. Jack was  a really enthusiastic captain and in the 1950s he led ‘the most successful club team’ with more wins, least losses, more points for, and less against, than any previous team (and for a number of years to come).      A great lock forward who Manchester Guardian called “the best uncapped forward in Lancashire”.

     I met Jack again when I joined Rochdale Round Table in 1958 and he was a hard working (and playing) member becoming Chairman in 1962.My wife Anne and I spent many happy times with Jack and his wife Eileen  putting the world to right!    Our friendship continued after I joined Rotary in 1978  Jack’s eloquent speech making was a delight and at Charter Nights etc he was amusing and interesting without using notes!-What a great talent.

  When asked about this he admitted to many weeks of preparation and practice before each event.

       Jack was a great member of this club.”

Rotarian John Cannell writes

“Sue, after a Wardle High School governors meeting in 1993 suggested I & the Rochdale & District Amateur Radio Society might assist with the Water Walk. Rotary was new to me but then I met Jack Howorth, Chairman of the Rotary Water Walk project. So started a friendship lasting 22 years.

After helping with the Water Walk, Jack invited me first to Charter Night then to join Rotary in 2002. This sequence of events changed my life significantly.

Early on at Rotary Jack offered sound advice; I usually sat near him at meal times, and appreciated his dry wit and erudite comments on world affairs.

About two years ago, his knees restricted his mobility and he could no longer drive. His attendance at club meetings & events stopped but I often called to see him and enjoyed discussing many subjects, often relating to engineering, especially of the Victorian era, a time Jack appreciated. On matters Rotary, as ever, his comments were correct and helpful.

A special memory was when as President it was down to me to say a few words at a ‘Stan’ car treasure hunt. I stood up to thank Stan & his team. Later, I asked Jack if I had done things correctly. 'Yes' he said, 'but you're not wearing a tie'. I protested this was social not a formal occasion. 'Yes' he said, 'but there are ladies present, you should be wearing a tie'. That was so typical of him- the epitome of the English gentleman Thank you, Jack, for introducing me to Rotary. I’ve made many new friends and enjoyed, in a small way, putting something back into society.”

Rotarian Elvet Smith writes

“Jack was a towering figure in the club always immaculately dressed- even when gardening! We had many exchanges about Rugby Union and latterly I would give Jack a call after a battle with the English-sometimes no reply! He was a keen walker and took me in his BMW to the 3 peaks walk in 1993-he breezed through the walk while I struggled over the 26 miles.

I had a fright- when he drove me back my legs were burning; Jack informed me wife Eileen had left the seat heater on- we enjoyed a good joke together. He had expanded his family’s electrical business all over the country and would think nothing of visiting a site on the south coast and drive back the same day! Operatic music and all-day breakfasts sustained him on these long journeys. Jack was a unique ‘man of his time’”. 

Jack Joined Rotary 2nd March 1967. He served from 1970 to 73 as Club Correspondent. From 73 to 75 and 84 to 87  on the Club Council. International Convenor from 80 to 83   Vice President  and Club Service Convenor 95/96 President 96/97  Water Walk Chair in 2000/2001       Elected PHF in 2008 and Hon Member 2015

                  QUIZ NIGHT AT TOWN HALL


On Thursday 21st January, the four Rochdale Clubs (Rochdale, Rochdale East, Heywood and Middleton met up once again to resume friendly battle on the quiz field.  Despite some fiendish (and hopefully not so fiendish) questions from my good self, the four talented teams were outstanding and the scores extremely high (including full marks for one team on one round).  As an act of self preservation, I did set myself up nearest the exit so I could leave sharpish from a baying mob but this was unnecessary, no-one fell asleep and everyone seemed to enjoy the evening (even despite a half past nine finish...oops).

There were four rounds including pictures (on a big tv screen), general knowledge, music (no Barry Manilow due to health and safety legislation) and a true or false round which finished with a few lateral thinking problems (with two of the answers accidentally left on screen....oops again).

Congratulations to Rochdale East (Doug Sutton, Ian Smith, Frank Hauxwell and Len Albon) who won the trophy for the millionth time.  Heywood and Middleton put in spirited performances.  Rochdale finished a creditable third and won the music round (I can see myself setting a future quiz with nothing but music questions in future).  Well done to our team David (Smithard), Clive, Bob and Keith (Banks) and thank you to everyone who helped and supported the event.

Rotarian Neil Helliwell

Quiz setting novice

For those who weren’t there some examples of fiendish questions were

“Is it true that swallowed chewing gum stays in your gut for at least a week?” A –No, straight out!

“Is it true Chameleons change colour to match their surroundings?” A –No, they do it to please their mates!

Cheque for £4000 presented to Rochdale Children’s Moorland home

On a dark winter night on the moors above Whitworth our intrepid President Irene ascended to a committee meeting of the Moorland home. The builder involved with their new extension was present. The money raised through the Geoff Butterworth summer pop up shop was handed over to a very grateful Jane Barker Chairman of the Committee. The money will be used to help refurbish the kitchen area as part of an upgrade which includes a future extension.

On the 18th January Jane emailed

“It just so happens that I have just read your email on the morning that the kitchen alterations are due to start.

The builders will be starting to rip out the units this morning so that they can then knock down the dividing wall between the two rooms.

Unfortunately the planning permission hasn't come through yet, so we can't start the extension but looking at the snow at the moment, that isn't a big problem.

We will be refitting all the kitchen units to save costs.”


Story Time Dads has been through a difficult time recently. Between early October last year and last week, 21st January, 2016 there were no sessions mainly due to the unavailability of the Multi Faith Centre on Thursday afternoons. Other activities have been scheduled on the Story Time Dads normal slots.

We have notified other potential users of our dates for the next six months and so hope to avoid similar problems. The service continues to be well appreciated by the prisoners; our “customers” now include grand dads as well as dads.

There are currently three volunteers and we are always on the lookout for more. 

Rotarian Dean Sherriff

TURKEY BUT NO VEG !(Power Cut Rotarian Sagas)

Our plan this year was to have the Williams family Christmas dinner on Boxing Day but it turned out to not be a good idea! My daughter is a nurse at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and worked on Christmas Day. We therefore delayed Christmas Day festivities by one day - a good idea at the time. My granddaughter is too young to know about days or dates - no problem there .On Christmas Day evening; I set the oven’s automatic cooking of the turkey for 5am next morning. The smell of turkey when I woke confirmed success! By 10.30 our turkey would be cooked; then we would do our veg, roast potatoes, stuffing, gravy, Christmas pudding, brandy sauce, etc.

The big lake outside the patio door that Boxing Day morning, covering our garden, was interesting to look at but not of any great concern (good to live up a hill we said!). The power going off for a few seconds just after 10am was annoying but it soon came back on again. Respite was short lived- power off again with a cacophony of house alarms,- we started to worry!

  We tried to ring our daughter in Norden village but the phone was dead (first learning: always have at least one corded land-line phone in your house). Never mind, we could use the mobile phone to ring her and use 4G to look at the internet! (Second learning: when the power goes off the mobile phone transmitters go off as well). It was a dark morning so I searched for torches, candles and matches (third learning: make sure you know where they are just like we did in the 1970’s and 80’s!). I was annoyed with myself for being so unprepared!

  Good news from wife Heather! - leave the turkey in the hot oven another hour to cook to perfection!  We have a friend with a gas hob in Bamford and we cooked our veg there. I got our calor gas burner out but it would not work (fourth learning: always keep spare gas canisters – I didn’t, but I have now!).

By 2pm, 2 hours later than planned, we ate our Christmas Dinner by candlelight - turkey, mashed potato, veg and gravy (which warmed it up).

It was good, but not the same without roast potatoes and we were definitely beginning to tire by that point.

Our inconvenience was nothing compared to many other people’s problems that day, both in Rochdale and elsewhere in the country, but it certainly brought home to me how we are now almost completely reliant on electricity in our lives. Having a big wind farm behind our house was of no help either!

All in all I learnt a few things last Boxing Day, the most important - ‘always be prepared’ and - Christmas Dinner is best served on Christmas day and not Boxing Day. Roll on 2016!

Rotarian Neil Williams

Candle emporium in Bamford !

I’ll never again criticise Liz for all those spare candles in the Garage-scentless ones too! I realised quickly that you get a much better light with them stuck into wine bottles (empty of course).Those battery powered led lights I rarely use were very handy with their light shining off  the white silk ceiling. The Odeon cinema Star Wars warmed us up and I got expert at carrying hot pans from gas cooker to make drinks and wash up. Candlelit supper would have been romantic in other circumstances. Next day the whirr of the Generator attached to our substation was so welcome! Just 27 hours 47 minutes later the power came on. An hour later our water stopped for 8 hours! Another tip -if you get buckets of rainwater from the water butt put contents into the cistern not into the pan-I won’t elaborate! My bemused visiting sister in law went back to London- the North South divide may have widened!

Rotarian Elvet Smith

Winter Cricket Coaching in Rochdale

Scott Kershaw, a very enthusiastic coach, former captain of Littleborough CC , tells V P John Holder-

“The winter has seen a lot of activity:-

48 boys and girls (under 9s, 11s and 13s) have been coached at Wardle indoor nets for 10 weeks before Christmas and they start again in February.

Our u11 and u13 cricketers played in an indoor tournament (footage on YouTube) over the holiday period. They played very well and their enthusiasm and behaviour was excellent.

Our “Get into Cricket” female programme is at its halfway point, 22 players of all ages are in the scheme so far and we have high hopes for phase two at Hollingworth High School and Hopwood Hall College.   This programme has led to an invite to run enrichment sessions at the college and this starts next week with lots of girl cricketers.

 Rochdale Youth Service is giving us access to male and female members of the Asian Community with Friday night and Saturday sessions at their youth fusion groups.  If RYS agree I intend to hold a tape ball or street cricket summer tournament.

 “The support of Rochdale Rotary has enabled us to vastly increase our activity both with existing cricketers and with new players to the game, our initiatives are ongoing and I think we can safely say that because of your help we are now one of the busiest districts in Lancashire.”

Christmas Parcels Rotarian Dean Sherriff writes

Rochdale Young Carers are very appreciative of the Christmas Parcel project. Andrea and the staff have said how pleased the families were to receive what to them felt like a lovely gift. It was great that somebody had been thinking of them and had gone to all the effort of putting together a parcel, a gift for all the family to share. Many of the single parents or parents with young children would not have received any personal gift at Christmas either because they have so little money or simply because there was no one to buy a gift for them.

As one parent put it “What a lovely surprise on opening the door”





November Bulletin 2015

President Irene and members of the Youth & Vocational committee, recently visited the Annual Award Presentation evenings for both Falinge Park High School and Wardle Academy  held in the magnificent Great Hall at Rochdale Town Hall.

The ‘Most Improved Student’ awards (MIS),   sponsored by our Club at both schools for many years, are a key part of school Presentation evenings.  students are not just recognised for their final achievements at the end of their school lives, before going on to further education, but for what they have done throughout their time at that school to improve their knowledge and understanding. Both events were greatly enjoyable and it is good to see that we can do our bit to help a number of schools in Rochdale celebrate the success of their students. We were certainly made very welcome as always at both

 of the events. The winner at Wardle Academy  Greer Hatchell,  has battled disability through her years at the School  greatly exceeding expectations of what  she could achieve when she first arrived at the school. It was extremely gratifying to see the award go to her, and President Irene was especially pleased - known Greer since she started at Wardle in Year 7.  It was the final Presentation evening for the current Head of Wardle Academy, Dr Wright, who will be leaving in December to head up a newly formed Academy trust. We are very hopeful that we will be able to build upon our past relationship with Wardle, steered excellently by John Cannell, to open up other potential opportunities that this new Trust may provide in 2016.Ravi Sharma has an excellent relationship with Falinge Park High School and again organised th e presentation of the MIS AWARD on behalf of our club and accompanied by President Irene and David Smithard during the Awards evening on the 4th November. This year’s winner was Yackza Tahir. The event was a very grand affair with everybody seated for awards ceremony then for a meal at round dinner tables in the Great Hall ,different from  previous years and very memorable for all involved Rotarian Neil Williams




REDWOOD Special needs School on the Oulder Hill site under the Head Teacher Stuart Pidgeon goes from strength to strength with strong links with our Rotary Club over many years .We have supported their events and sponsored many activities including a most improved student award.For Members information Editor has had the latest news from Rotarian Ian Madeley and Inner Wheeler Marion Sherriff.

The poster shows the opening of a new Education and Enterprise centre REEC in Middleton. For some time Redwood has been building up Vocational and Job training for its students to get them prepared for the world of work. Our very own Laura Heywood has been closely linked with their REAL WORK PROJECT and has been amazed by the dedication of the young people she has had with her at her  Kleenstrike business premises.

 This new facility expands the opportunity to understand and experience a work place setting for the older pupil and allow expansion of the Redwood mission in Middleton where a significant number of students

have  their homes and will make their travelling times much shorter.



Rotarian(Rein it in!) Mike Tomkinson has always had a hankering to help out Santa at Christmas and has organised a massive building program of Reindeer construction. Mike and numerous other members and friends have produced!.President’s husband Ralph should be partularly mentioned (he has some time on his hands until next July).Also PP John Cannell for his particularly ‘petite’ output.These jolly little and large objets d’art have galloped all the way to the Town hall to be auctioned off to the Christmas buying public in aid of our President’s Charity Christies hospital

People wanted to buy Sheila but David stepped in

Mike Tomkinson says

“Our next reindeer stalls are at the craft fairs are Sunday December 6th and Saturday December 12th at Hollingworth Lake Visitors Centre from 1130 to 1530. “

£500 has been raised from the first 2 Craft fairs and well done Mike and everyone particularly Heather who has not seen Mike for wood dust for weeks now!

There’s still time to make your very own Reindeer and help to re-house these wonderful creatures! contact Mike or Santa for further advice



President Irene and 6 other Rotarians visited the Christie on the 26th of November and witnessed the first concrete being laid for the new Proton beam unit a 5 storey building on Oak Road which will treat up to 90 patients a day after 2018.Irene says “I’ve never seen so many hard hats and yellow jackets before as the concrete was laid and our Club is on the official photograph of the event!I met the contractor on site from

Interserve Construction Ltd and it was not just a job to him more a labour of love.”

“In the afternoon we went to a Spotlight talk meeting one of the Clinical Fellows and had a talk about the new xray and scanning facilities.This brought it to life as to why we are raising money for Christies this year .Our Charity money will help buy new equipment and save lives and also will not attract VAT.”

“Thank you Rotarian Neil (Williams) and Christine (Matthewson the Christies Governor who came to the club recently) for organising the event. Everyone will be able to visit the site again later when more of the building is in progress”

Editor writes Proton beam therapy is a type of radiation treatment used to treat cancerous tumours - but unlike conventional radiation therapy - it can be targeted directly at the affected area.

It means less damage is caused to surrounding tissue, reducing side-effects and particularly useful for children whose delicate tissues suffer more when using conventional radiotherapy There is a centre in Clatterbridge for eye tumours but most patients are going overseas for the treatment at the moment. Alongside Christies another centre will be built at University College, London.

For Neil Williams detailed  description of the visit on the 26th see website





£4000 raised for Rochdale Cricket Development Group

Bobby Cross accepts cheque from President and with Pal McGaughey CEO of The Highfield BMI Hospital and Vice President John Holder

Following the highly successful Michael Holding cricket dinner in September the £4000 proceeds were handed over at the lunchtime Rotary meeting on 27th November to Bobby Cross a member of the Rochdale Cricket Development group  to fund the coaching of young amateur cricketers in Rochdale.

Proceedings were observed by Paul McGaughey who represented the Highfield hospital -principal sponsors of the event. VP John Holder says “Paul has been so impressed with the whole fundraising event that he is keen to continue supporting our Club next year which is very good news”


On a sadder note Rotarian Keith Banks writes on the death of former Rotary member Bob Thomas(Aug. 1986-June 1997).He had been an organiser of Charter Nights,a district caravanning group and supported our Charity Water walks using his baking expertise.

 “ Bob”, as he was known to all , passed away on 27th October after suffering from Alzheimer's for several years.

 Members and Friends of the Club attended his funeral service on 12th November at Christ Church Healey, where Bob was Church Warden for many years.

   Knowing the kind of man he was I would be surprised if the current members who knew him don't remember him as one who gave himself wholeheartedly to the Club Projects including the Water Walks”

 We knew each other from our late teens when he used to “come a courting” my sister Sonia. I seldom ever met him when he did not have a smile on his face. I doubt that he had many facial expressions that didn't involve smiles. Perpetually up-beat and most generous of spirit was Bob. I cannot recall ever hearing him say a bad word about anyone. If anyone deserved the appellation

“A true Christian Gentleman,” it was Bob Thomas. It was that approach to life that made him shine out just like his big smile and rosy cheeked face that I will always remember

R.I.P Bob.

“It all started with a 'phone call.”

From son Tim, down in London. His friend Gareth's son Lucas aged three was on chemotherapy for leukaemia. Gareth had  a 'Just Giving' page, Tim helped with  raising funds and did the Three Peaks in 24 hours and the Tough Mudder assault course.

We donated to the Just Giving site but Sue wanted to do more. Chris Bryning (at Strawberry/cream Jazz event)  introduced Tony Sheldon owner of a Rochdale jazz club and he suggested the Tame Valley Stompers may help.

They had Friday 16th October free, and gave a special rate. Ratcliffe Bars  is also free for Charities on Fridays,

Only three months to get  tickets sold .  Chris's tame printer produced posters and tickets at a very competitive price.  Persuasive Sue , daughter Diana and baby Joey set about distributing them round the town  and did a great job getting shops & businesses to put up posters, and also to donate raffle prizes!

President Irene  let me pass a board round at the Rotary meetings but time went by, and ticket sales were slow....some club members who could not be there kindly made very generous donations,particularly Rtn. Jack Howorth, who I visit regularly. These donations covered the cost of band and other expenditure.

Near the date interest grew and 100 had sold. -it might work... a hectic final week -  Gareth's mum,  Rochdale Probus and Inner Wheel helped to a final tally of 134.  It looked as if we were in for a Good Night with people from far and wide including Accrington and Sale!

At 6 45pm we arrived at the venue-  nicely laid out. 50 raffle prizes to put out; selling tickets as people arrived.  The band still hadn't arrived by 7.30 to start at 8. Were they lost? Stuck in traffic?  But phew-a few minutes later they arrived and started setting up.

Somehow we managed to start at 8, yours truly acting as compère. Gareth and wife Jo travelled up from Lincoln. He addressed the audience  and told his story.  Son Lucas is now doing well .Tim had rounded up his Rochdale pals after arriving from London that day (returned next morning for work on Saturday afternoon).

The evening was a  roller coaster ride. I had allowed 45 minutes for the supper, but we re-started before everyone had finished their 2nd course to do the raffle at breakneck speed,  Sue, Diana & Jo fielded the winners, whilst Gareth pulled tickets out of the barrel passing them to me to announce. We presented all 50 prizes in 15 minutes, before the band played their final session!

Sue & Diana totted up the takings from the raffle, to get a rough idea of the final total- just over £1,500, much better than the estimated £900! The evening  ended at  around11.00. The band packed up and we said our good byes.The following morning, I was in my 'office'. Sue came in  in her dressing gown, with the final total- £1,862. and still one or two to pay. Quite amazing....

The Thame Valley Stompers in full flow

BUT this couldn't have worked without the support of our friends, so on behalf of Sue, Diana, and myself, THANK YOU, fellow Rotarians for your part in making our first personal  attempt to raise some monies for two very deserving charities, Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust and Children with Cancer UK, a very successful & enjoyable evening.PP John Cannell

More in memoriam pp Geoff morris

Editor writes

I was sorry to hear of Geoff’s death recently. He had been a very influential and organised member of the club for many years and as a fellow lover of sport we had many happy times comparing the merits of Welsh v English rugby .We were also fellow sufferers with head injuries his from a flying road sign mine from a loft ladder and had many a joke about it (after our recoveries)! He was president of our club in the Millenium year following on from another ‘powerhouse’ President -Peter Smith His Message from the President in bulletin  November 2000 starts in fine fashion “The President is the most important member of the Club according to District Governor Harry Pease (his words not mine)Personally I do not wholly agree with these sentiments because clearly an army can march into battle being directed by its general from the rear.I consider the most important person in the club to be the bulletin editor who gives his instructions in print with which we all have to comply”

He was a keen Golfer at the Rochdale club up the road.

His sporting interest led to his Charter Night guest speaker being John Abrahams former captain of Lancashire County Cricket Club later a club pro at Heywood (105 people attended Charter that year-shows the drawing power of a good speaker and a tribute to Geoff’s persuasive powers)

Both Geoff and Inner Wheel wife Barbara were very active club members and so many meetings and events were held at their house it became a second home for both Rotary and Inner Wheel.A structural engineer and much into Real estate Geoff had built a timber framed   house including a vacuum cleaner system available though an inlet pipe in each room.He and Barbara moved south to be nearer his children 10 years ago.

Thanks for the memories Geoff!




Bob’s Himalayan Hack in the

    Himalayas in Aid of NSPCC

            £7529.25 Raised!

       After the challenges of raising £4,000 to go, getting fit, packing my bag and hauling it to Heathrow, my latest Charity Challenge to Stok Kangri in the Indian Himalayas really took off on 4th September 2015.

An 8½ hour flight was followed by a whirlwind tour of Delhi by rickshaw and minibus, and then a 5am flight  to Leh 3,000 metres up in the Himalayas. The landscape and the town were very dusty, n mixed with the altitude, made breathing a little tricky. After two days sightseeing, shopping and acclimatising a two hour drive to Chilling meant no civilisation for the next 9 days .

 Our first campsite had ‘long drop’ toilet facilities. a hole in the ground with a long drop to everyone else’s droppings! A good sense of balance was essential, not everything always goes in the direction you assume it will!

We had a party of 15 trekkers, most of whom I’d either trekked with or trained with in the past. Also a young doctor and guide  had done many adventures and were eager to impart their advice; by far the best I’d met – they were proper team players .

During the trek we were in bed by 9pm at the latest and woken with a cup of tea around 6am. Breakfast was at 7 then walking by 8am. we went higher and higher every day, but overnight camps were usually at a lower altitude, to help our acclimatisation . Over two days it was heart-breaking and lung-busting climbing over 1,300 metres, then down 800 metres, only to climb a

further 1,000 metres the following day.Every day was blazing sun and blue skies. But  the shorts and t-shirts had turned into coats and hats when we reached Base Camp.3 nights here, two to acclimatise and one more after the summit attempt.



“It all started with a 'phone call.”

From son Tim, down in London. His friend Gareth's son Lucas aged three was on chemotherapy for leukaemia. Gareth had  a 'Just Giving' page, Tim helped with  raising funds and did the Three Peaks in 24 hours and the Tough Mudder assault course.

We donated to the Just Giving site but Sue wanted to do more. Chris Bryning (at Strawberry/cream Jazz event)  introduced Tony Sheldon owner of a Rochdale jazz club and he suggested the Tame Valley Stompers may help.

They had Friday 16th October free, and gave a special rate. Ratcliffe Bars  is also free for Charities on Fridays,

Only three months to get  tickets sold .  Chris's tame printer produced posters and tickets at a very competitive price.  Persuasive Sue , daughter Diana and baby Joey set about distributing them round the town  and did a great job getting shops & businesses to put up posters, and also to donate raffle prizes!

President Irene  let me pass a board round at the Rotary meetings but time went by, and ticket sales were slow....some club members who could not be there kindly made very generous donations,particularly Rtn. Jack Howorth, who I visit regularly. These donations covered the cost of band and other expenditure.

Near the date interest grew and 100 had sold. -it might work... a hectic final week -  Gareth's mum,  Rochdale Probus and Inner Wheel helped to a final tally of 134.  It looked as if we were in for a Good Night with people from far and wide including Accrington and Sale!

At 6 45pm we arrived at the venue-  nicely laid out. 50 raffle prizes to put out; selling tickets as people arrived.  The band still hadn't arrived by 7.30 to start at 8. Were they lost? Stuck in traffic?  But phew-a few minutes later they arrived and started setting up.

Somehow we managed to start at 8, yours truly acting as compère. Gareth and wife Jo travelled up from Lincoln. He addressed the audience  and told his story.  Son Lucas is now doing well .Tim had rounded up his Rochdale pals after arriving from London that day (returned next morning for work on Saturday afternoon).

The evening was a  roller coaster ride. I had allowed 45 minutes for the supper, but we re-started before everyone had finished their 2nd course to do the raffle at breakneck speed,  Sue, Diana & Jo fielded the winners, whilst Gareth pulled tickets out of the barrel passing them to me to announce. We presented all 50 prizes in 15 minutes, before the band played their final session!

Sue & Diana totted up the takings from the raffle, to get a rough idea of the final total- just over £1,500, much better than the estimated £900! The evening  ended at  around11.00. The band packed up and we said our good byes.The following morning, I was in my 'office'. Sue came in  in her dressing gown, with the final total- £1,862. and still one or two to pay. Quite amazing....

The Thame Valley Stompers in full flow

BUT this couldn't have worked without the support of our friends, so on behalf of Sue, Diana, and myself, THANK YOU, fellow Rotarians for your part in making our first personal  attempt to raise some monies for two very deserving charities, Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust and Children with Cancer UK, a very successful & enjoyable evening.PP John Cannell

More in memoriam pp Geoff morris

Editor writes

I was sorry to hear of Geoff’s death recently. He had been a very influential and organised member of the club for many years and as a fellow lover of sport we had many happy times comparing the merits of Welsh v English rugby .We were also fellow sufferers with head injuries his from a flying road sign mine from a loft ladder and had many a joke about it (after our recoveries)! He was president of our club in the Millenium year following on from another ‘powerhouse’ President -Peter Smith His Message from the President in bulletin  November 2000 starts in fine fashion “The President is the most important member of the Club according to District Governor Harry Pease (his words not mine)Personally I do not wholly agree with these sentiments because clearly an army can march into battle being directed by its general from the rear.I consider the most important person in the club to be the bulletin editor who gives his instructions in print with which we all have to comply”

He was a keen Golfer at the Rochdale club up the road.

His sporting interest led to his Charter Night guest speaker being John Abrahams former captain of Lancashire County Cricket Club later a club pro at Heywood (105 people attended Charter that year-shows the drawing power of a good speaker and a tribute to Geoff’s persuasive powers)

Both Geoff and Inner Wheel wife Barbara were very active club members and so many meetings and events were held at their house it became a second home for both Rotary and Inner Wheel.A structural engineer and much into Real estate Geoff had built a timber framed   house including a vacuum cleaner system available though an inlet pipe in each room.He and Barbara moved south to be nearer his children 10 years ago.

Thanks for the memories Geoff!




Bob’s Himalayan Hack in the

    Himalayas in Aid of NSPCC

            £7529.25 Raised!

       After the challenges of raising £4,000 to go, getting fit, packing my bag and hauling it to Heathrow, my latest Charity Challenge to Stok Kangri in the Indian Himalayas really took off on 4th September 2015.

An 8½ hour flight was followed by a whirlwind tour of Delhi by rickshaw and minibus, and then a 5am flight  to Leh 3,000 metres up in the Himalayas. The landscape and the town were very dusty, n mixed with the altitude, made breathing a little tricky. After two days sightseeing, shopping and acclimatising a two hour drive to Chilling meant no civilisation for the next 9 days .

 Our first campsite had ‘long drop’ toilet facilities. a hole in the ground with a long drop to everyone else’s droppings! A good sense of balance was essential, not everything always goes in the direction you assume it will!

We had a party of 15 trekkers, most of whom I’d either trekked with or trained with in the past. Also a young doctor and guide  had done many adventures and were eager to impart their advice; by far the best I’d met – they were proper team players .

During the trek we were in bed by 9pm at the latest and woken with a cup of tea around 6am. Breakfast was at 7 then walking by 8am. we went higher and higher every day, but overnight camps were usually at a lower altitude, to help our acclimatisation . Over two days it was heart-breaking and lung-busting climbing over 1,300 metres, then down 800 metres, only to climb a

further 1,000 metres the following day.Every day was blazing sun and blue skies. But  the shorts and t-shirts had turned into coats and hats when we reached Base Camp.3 nights here, two to acclimatise and one more after the summit attempt.

That  began at 1am in the darkness. I had seven layers on my top half and 5 on my lower body. It was a steep climb up onto the first ridge then a two-hour walk to the glacier, crossing by the light of our head torches. Despite a sound of running water beneath our feet we crunched on to the bottom of the snow field.On up  a slope 1 in 5  we trudged on, all roped together. Sunrise 6 30am .Two   turned back the rest  reached the ridge at 8am. - 5,900 metres, none been higher before.

The summit was 250 metres above us, only about ½ a mile in distance. we had only two hours to reach it before snow melt when we had to descend.  our guide said we had to have enough strength for that descent. so seven of us decided we had achieved enough, but three brave souls went for the top.

10 steps at a time was all they could do at that altitude, but 1¾ hours later they reached the summit of Stok Kangri.

That night back at camp we all had an early night, waking next morning to a dusting of snow. We felt sorry for those in the camp attempting the summit that morning. We trekked down the valleys for seven hours before meeting our support vehicles and being whisked back to our hotel.

We spent two nights here celebrating our achievement before flying back to Delhi, and then driving to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort. One more night in Delhi and then a flight back to the UK saw the end of another unforgettable experience.

Immediate Past President Bob Chadwick

Latest News from Petrus Community club activity

PP David Acton writes


Our Clubs Parallel Bar Planters have escaped damage twice in the same month. First at the Petrus site when vandals attacked their Community Allotment and now at the hands of Mother Nature when the River Roche flooded the Kellett Street Site. The plants in the Parallel Planter were held above the water line ( you can just see our frame it is sited at the end of the Arches, Michael and I deliberately sited it there because it is situated close to the Roche and low level) yet another advantage of holding vegetables above ground level.

The second photograph I took this afternoon, showing that the flood waters have now almost subsided, as you can see the plants in the Parallel Planter look very healthy, although the flood water came up the legs it did not effect our product or plants at all.

PP Elvet Smith writes

I bring the great thanks from the Petrus Community Charity Staff and Trustees for the strong support many club members have given to Petrus with much ongoing activity at the Community Store and the above PIER project garden-your help is much appreciated!

Spot the Bob Competition in July Bulletin

3 Bobs were included –one on page 2 and 2 on page 5

Charity Concert in aid of President’s Charities on January 29th 2016 at £20 per person

 Rotarian Maureen Barker writes “We have Phil Reynolds Rock Choir who enjoy singing and promise to be very good.Terry Cotta is a new comedian but has been at the first Cricket dinner with Michael Vaughan. Please come and bring friends and family. We need a minimum of 80 people or we pay £100 for the room in addition to cost of potato pie supper”

Speakers/events  for NEXT 2 MONTHS

Date      Time      Programme                                   

03 Dec (friends) E   Karen Lyons  Town hall

10 Dec  Club  Christmas meal at Town Hall

13 Dec  Charity Tesco Collection contact Ann Stott

17 Dec  L  SGM and Frugal Meal for MARYS MEALS

19 Dec Christmas parcels ready Contact Ann Stott

24 th  and 31st Dec  No meeting

07 Jan   E  Kathryn Mackenzie Children of Uganda

14 Jan   L  Rotarian Ian Madeley

21 Jan   E Quiz night at Town Hall

26 Jan    Club Council

28 Jan  L Club Projects and committees

Book club dates

Dec 7thThe Mark and the Void (Paul Murray)at John W's

January     5th  2016     New Year Dinner at Cinnetta Italian Restaurant Manchester Road 730pm
February   1st      The Lunar Men: The Friends Who Made the Future, 1730-1810 (Jenny Uglow) at John C's









September BULLETIN 2015

Michael Holding Cricket Dinner

The former West Indian fast bowler and now a cricket commentator for Sky TV came to a packed out dinner    He had a very pleasant manner and gave an insight into the cricket world both past and present. The evening started with a reception for our Main Sponsors Highfield Hospital with 24 of their guests having drinks, canapés and an opportunity to meet Mikey ;even a photo and autographed programme was their treat.

 Dudley Doolittle was in a state of extreme extroversion and could hardly be contained all evening to the extent that some audience members looked apoplectic at times. Fortunately medical help was at hand but thankfully not needed.

 A £5 donation in a signed envelope was people’s passport to the raffle which included a copy of Lancashire CC’s Centenary book signed by the present Lancashire players. Tea at Nutters was another treat.

After a vegetable soup, chicken in cream sauce and fruit salad the intended ‘stand up’ Bingo became ‘standard’ bingo on Dudley’s insistence and made more money as people bought a lot of bingo cards at a £1 a time as a result.

   It then became time for Mikey to speak-audience had put in written questions which he sorted out before standing up. In a very straightforward and relaxed manner he gave a  broad insight into modern cricket having travelled the world meeting many of the modern cricketers  and officials. Of course the West Indies team of the 70s and 80s were all-conquering and Mikey feels this is unlikely to be repeated.With careful management

he feels West Indies will make a comeback eventually. Home advantage seems to give Test Match countries the edge and not many, apart from South Africa seem able to win away consistently. He described his famous over against Boycott thought by many to be the fastest sustained bowling ever seen. He’d been told by Clive Lloyd that he was only on for a few overs so felt able to let it rip! Close friends with Ian Botham and other former cricket opponents he gave amusing anecdotes on life as a Sky commentator. Beefy’s expensive life style was described! After much applause

Dudley, President Irene and Rotarian John Holder gave thanks to Mikey on behalf of the club and all who attended.

It then came to the Auction of a Clive Lloyd signed bat also signed by Test Match special celebrities after John Holder waved it at them on one of his Ask the Umpire sessions in the BBC radio box. £300 was bid half going to the Sarah Percy hope tribute fund (had died of a brian tumour and family had set up this charitable fund at Christie Hospital)Half into club charity.

An Acrylic painting donated by Geoff Butterworth  of a  floodlit Old Trafford T20 game Lancs V Derbyshire entitled ‘home win’ sold for £500-many thanks to Geoff for his great generosity and efforts for our Club charity .

This has been the best event we’ve had so far –well done everyone concerned!

Rotarian John Holder writes-

“Our annual charity fund raising dinner this year was a huge success. That was the opinion of many of those who attended and it is my opinion also. Everything about the evening was good and from where I sat watching the audience, it was evident from their faces that they were having a good time.

“Our guest speaker, the former West Indies, Jamaica, Derbyshire and Lancashire fast bowler and Sky commentator was Michael Holding whom I have known for many years. The things that impressed me about him was how friendly and approachable he was, chatting easily with people and taking photos with them easily. Even more impressive was the manner in which he handled the questions asked. His responses were direct and factual but also humorous at times.

“Equally entertaining was our MC/Comedian Dudley Doolittle who did a wonderful job. He almost constantly had the audience in stitches. Thanks, Dudley.

“A special compliment must be paid to the men responsible for arranging and fine tuning the event, John Whitley, Neil Helliwell, Martin Coupe, Derek Heywood, Elvet Smith and Chris Bryning. We would meet at John's house to plan the event and they all were helpful in their comments to make sure that the evening would be a success. I sloped off to the Caribbean for four the last weeks before the dinner, knowing that they had everything under control and so it proved on the evening. Thanks, gents.

“Like last year, the chef served up another excellent meal. Finally, let me say thanks to our club and members for their continued support of the event.”

Seniors out at Castleton Bowling Club on Wednesday August 12th

  This was our 3rd event at God’s Green Acre Castleton Bowling club set in a quiet garden between the houses gives a glimpse of what it was like to live in the 1900s playing bowls on a balmy afternoon when the pace of life was much less frenetic than nowadays. It was a marvellously sunny afternoon enough to get some people to put on exotic sunspecs and all- covering hats. Seniors came in good number (over 30) including people involved in the local Alzheimer’s society and Mind groups .Another 20 or so Rotarians, Friends and Inner wheelers also came

President Irene asked me to thank all who helped on the day and particularly Mike Tomkinson who invited lots of people along. Must admit to having strong memories of Ralph Davidson’s jokes about the Welsh some of which I hadn’t heard before.

 Rotarian Keith Swift was in fine voice and a rapt audience enjoyed Sinatra all over again .Tom Jones was also revitalised.

Tea was plentiful and caterers did us proud very nicely served out by many of the clubs Friends and Inner wheelers and President Irene rolled her sleeves up. Stewart and Peter from Castleton bowling club opened up for us and manned the bar-on a hot afternoon much cool fluid was consumed.

2 new members from the same household!

Brian and Pamela Cumpstay, after having a taster of the Club as Friends over the last few months, are now  full members and welcome to you both! We will hear about their somewhat unusual lives fairly soon but the following abridged biopics will make you want to know more!

Pamela writes “Born in Manchester  I have an elder brother Stanley.....

Dad was an Optician I went to Moston Fields School and North Manchester High School for Girls

Dad had just opened a new practice so I went to work for him. I then decided I wanted to do Optics and ended up doing a day release course at Bradford Technical College...

I then married Brian and had two daughters Kay and Tracy and over the next few years lived abroad....

I then bought a Delicatessen which I had for 7-8 years Sold it and then was recruited back into Optics by Boots and spent the next 11 years working in City Centre Manchester I then decided to go freelance (ie locum work) travelling to different practices which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Then one day decided I had had enough and retired.I also travelled with Brian on business. Went to some wonderful places and met some very interesting people....

Then time for a change and I am now a volunteer with the National Trust and I work at Quarry Bank Mill at Styal.....

Brian writes

My Parents had a Newsagent & Tobacconist Shop on Moston Lane, Blackley, Manchester....

In the early days the anti-aircraft guns made quite a racket, and this carried on until the end of the Second World War in Germany.

My only Souvenir was a Chipped Incendiary Bomb that had the Audacity to Land on Our Roof. 

Then counting coupons, in the shop, after school had finished ,was a real bore. Over time this got worse because I had to serve People in the Shop when I wanted to be out with my mates.

At the Grammar School "I was a bit of a trouble maker" and whilst cycling around the Quadrangle I managed to run over the Headmaster, Mr Sibson!

 Then Freedom! at Nottingham University. doing Economics,

However with my "Best Mate" at University we Engineered a 3 month break in USA.

 Sitting on the roadside at New York Airport after dark a beep beep came from a car and a voice yelled at me I explained that I was en route  to Boston to stay with my Pen pal. I had a Working Permit so should make out, being strapped for cash.

The "Guy" said "hope in" and we drove through the night to Boston. Sad to say I can't remember his name....

Married Life started in 1964 living over the Newsagents & Tobacconist Shop, in which my Father was Postmaster. We had moved from Blackley to Urmston.

We had 2 wonderful daughters Kay, and Tracy combined with Globetrotting. Living in The UK, The Caribbean, Puerto Rico and Nigeria. Lots of lovely sunshine & sea in hot temperatures. At the end we were glad to get back to the UK

In Nigeria the biggest problem was to repair Accounting Machines after the rats had chewed the cables,.... .

Finally we came back to our house in Shevington Moor, Wigan. We set up KayTac Global in conjunction with a Nigerian Businessman. Letters of Credit and Customs kept the business on thin ice....

So we sold the house to pay for a Delicatessen in Standish, Wigan.  As for me I got a Job with TBA and, eventually, we all moved to Mizzy Road....

Leaving TBA l met my Partner and Established  ......

I loved it!

Recently retired I've found it a little difficult to adjust. For most of my life, I have been able to cross seamlessly between Work & Social Life. Perfect!

However Pamela has other ideas as she considers me to be somewhat Imperfect!


What is going on at the Rochdale Food bank?

Tuesday Volunteer Rotary Friend Sue Cannell writes

“Each weekday  a team leader supervises up to 15 volunteers  mostly women but as quite a lot of lifting is involved, some  men are essential.  To open  to the public from 11a.m. and 1p.m., volunteers arrive by 10.30, to say a prayer ,prepare and hear any relevant information necessary to our work.

First and foremost are the clients, so a group of volunteers  work “out front” welcoming clients, checking their vouchers  issued by  the Job Centre, Petrus, Salvation Army to name but a few.  Asking about special dietary needs we are then able to prepare a ration of food , toiletries and any treats we may have in store.  We do chat to the clients and serve them with tea or coffee and biscuits.  Some happily talk about themselves  their concerns and worries,  others need gentle encouragement to open up.  Others come in groups and are often very gregarious!  Experience helps you to work out the best approach.

 While clients are being kept company  behind the scenes others prepare their food bags   which may be for singles, couples, families of varying sizes.  the clients  sign for the bags to take home.  The volunteers who packed then for replenish the stocks. 

The third team  receive food bags brought in by the general public, and this Harvest Festival time of year is a particularly busy one, from churches and schools.  many private donations and regular deliveries from one or two food companies.  We never cease to be amazed and delighted at the generosity of people.  A big job is to check dates on  containers of every kind to be sure we are not issuing out of date foodstuffs. Any fresh food,  bread, vegetables and fruit has to be distributed immediately.

Other volunteers enter up client details on a computer database. Everyone mucks in and moves around where needed.We  work well together, deriving a great deal of satisfaction from the different jobs we do.

Clients vary tremendously and come from  all walks of life.  A very smartly dressed well spoken Asian gentleman with a family of 3 teenagers, came one morning looking very distressed.  He was at first very quiet and it was difficult to find an opening to a conversation with him.  With eyes watering he started to say how very ashamed he was to need the Foodbank, but had recently lost his job , awaiting benefits, and had no choice but to turn to us (via an Agency).  He ended up crying copiously and desperately ashamed almost to the point of walking out before we had made up his food bags, however 2 cuppas later he had gradually managed a little coherent conversation and   began to improve. Before he left he shook my hand vigorously and thanked me profusely for our kindness at talking with him and helping to ease his problems. He was a lovely gentleman, one I won’t forget in a hurry!

“Believe me, this is very different to the “Dear Auntie” columns in magazines, in fact it could not be further removed.  We never fully know the reasons behind a person’s plight, and if we can help them just a little, then we are doing our job to the best of our abilities.”

Friday Volunteer Rotarian Kathleen Halstead writes

“I think helping in a foodbank is the only place where we don’t want any clients coming in, where we can just sit around drinking coffee and chatting and finally having to close up and go home, sadly we are a long way from that happening.

Over the summer we have seen more elderly people ; Grandparents looking after their grand children while their parents are working, but haven’t enough money to pay for the extra food needed to feed the little ones . Older people are often embarrassed to find themselves having to visit a foodbank and it must be difficult for them to even come into the shop. Everyone is welcomed with a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits and someone will always sit and chat with them whilst their bags are being made up.

In contrast to this we do have our “regulars” who, when they are eligible, will breeze in and greet us as long lost friends and order their coffee and biscuits as if it’s a social event.

We are now approaching the Harvest Festival Season when local schools and Church’s have, in the past, made very generous contributions to the Foodbank for which we are very grateful.  It is the one time of the year when we can be sure we will be receiving more food  in than is going out.If you are planning on going to any of the Harvest Festival Services or would simply just like to make a donation to the foodbank it would, as always, be much appreciated.  Might I suggest  however, that as well as the everyday items you might like to add a few “treats” – such as shower gel, toothpaste and tooth brushes, bath wash,  shaving soap, shampoo, tampons, toilet rolls, washing up liquid, and for the children small sweets or chocolates. Thank you.”

Food Bank Trustee Rotarian Martin Coupe writes

“The Food Bank tokens are available from about 100 agencies in Rochdale ranging from, the Job Centre, Petrus, Borough Housing, RMBC Community Champions, Schools, Doctors. Drug Rehab, Bond board and many others. They are limited to 3 vouchers in any 6 months with a few exceptions.   .  We are always short of Jam, Mashed potato , Milk, Pasta Sauce, Tinned tomatoes, Custard.We are currently giving out 50/60 parcels per week which is a little bit reduced from the peaks seen last year.”

Inner Wheeler Denise Hobson and Rotarian Ian Sandiford from Rochdale East are also volunteers at the Food bank

Rochdale Children’s Moorland home

                                  club visit

(Chosen by President Irene as our Charity for 2015-16)

About 27 Rotarians and Friends had a wonderful afternoon tea at the Moorland Children’s Home on Sunday 20th September. We were given a very warm welcome on arrival, followed by a talk about the work they do with the Children and a guided tour of the premises. We learned how they intend the money we have raised to help with the refurbishment of the kitchens which are no longer able to cope when a full class require lunch.

This was followed by a slap up Afternoon Tea (which  President Irene could not finish, even with my help)

Rtn Allister Holt

Denis Skelton Coordinator of Petrus writes about


Since 2012 PIER ( previously known as The Green Gym) has given a highly successful broad range of community gardening services within the Borough of Rochdale.120+ volunteers from both the Petrus Community and local people have done >23 gardening projects.

  It has succeeded in involving people with significant mental and physical health challenges and substance misuse issues alongside people in local communities. Partnership working has been a key feature

Surveys have shown improvements in physical and mental health and wellbeing, community and social engagement, access to training and improved employment and education prospects.

The project has a PIER Engagement & Development Worker funded by  Heywood, Middleton & Rochdale CCG. PIER has also been able to  fund equipment costs with support from B&Q.

Benefits include: engagement of people within their local community in activities which promote health & wellbeing, increased understanding of healthy living and nutrition, improvement in the local environment and a better shared ownership of responsibility for open spaces in urban areas.

Development of land next to Croft Shifa Health Centre

Petrus, with Rochdale Council and land owners support, have rented a sizeable piece of land next to  Croft Shifa medical centre. PIER  members  will engage with the local community and medical centre. A variety of vegetables, fruit and flowers will be grown. The project will be called Incredible Medical, making people aware of  how to have a nutritious diet. We have discussed this with local members of the large BAME community  and also Incredible Edible, a movement founded in  Todmorden by Pam Warhurst CBE who will support and develop this exciting new venture

Rotarian Mike Tomkinson writes

“The club's Accessible Edibles and Carry on Growing projects are supporting the above PIER project. Unused land adjoining the Croft Shifa Health Centre is being utilised for community growing and the photographs show enthusiastic gardeners hard at work on a very wet Saturday.”

“We've donated three growing rigs using some old metal frames from David Acton's Cavernous Emporium combined with the bag carrying stretcher assemblies that are currently used in our Parallel Bar Planter. We've planted Kale that should grow and survive the winter hardships producing a very healthy and tasty harvest.”

President Irene Writes

Well here we are, nearly through September -doesn't time fly! Firstly can I thank you for the kind reaction to my interview the other Thursday, I was a little worried about it but there was no need. Can I also welcome our two new members Pam and Brian Cumpstay- I am sure they will enjoy every moment with us.

Thanks to John and his team who put together the Cricket Evening, everyone who attended really looked to be having a good time including me,  plans for our Charter are not been put together yet, except it will be at the Town Hall on the 19th November I am sure it will be a night with a difference.

On Sunday 20th some of our club attended the Moorland Home for a wonderful afternoon tea, we had a tour of the house and a full explanation of future plans for the kitchen area which any funds we raise will help in that plan.

I will be attending Rotary Club of Middleton Charter as a guest of President Sue. This will be my first official charter as your President. I will be going with John Whitley to District Council on Thursday 24th   

As you know my other Charity is The Christie, I am looking for ideas to help raise funds for this very worthy charity.

President Irene

Recent Kenyan Rotarian Visit

at our last Visitors evening we had a visitor from Nairobi Rotary club Rtn Dorcas Otieno came with Lorraine Dixon  and her sister She was pleased to hear of our efforts to help Kenya with our Sand Dam and the Grow bag project and mentioned the Nairobi club’s efforts to help their unemployed youth to get involved with sporting activities particularly football.She was keen to develop some joint working with our club-watch this space.





£1600 Club Donation to Medic Malawi

(funds a hospital in Mtunthama, rural Malawi,since  2001, together with a clinic for feeding the malnourished and an orphanage for 100 children).

 In This Edition

Convenor and Vice President John Holder writes

“I had emailed Stephen Drew about how to use the £1600 funds we have recently collected for Medic Malawi and he replied-

“ The current 'Wish List' includes an  oxygen concentrator for about £900 - £950 , depending on prevailing exchange rates-  how about we ascribe £900+ to that piece of kit ( a life saver I think ) , and the remainder to other costs - the largest of which will be paying the medical staff who look after the sick .”

 The International Committee approved the donation at the end of July”

Following this, Stephen has sent the club the following update on the charity which our club has supported for some years now. Each picture tells a story

Medic Malawi recent news

  “On June 15th 2015, Vera Masica arrived at our small rural hospital in Malawi hospital, totally blinded for ten years by her cataracts. The next day, along with 38 others, she left, head held high, her sight restored. Eye surgery has been a wonderful innovation this year. For £30 an operation, and with the monthly help of a visiting Malawian eye surgeon, Amos Nyaka (who happens to be an ex-pupil of mine from my teaching days in Malawi!).  We can attack the fact that 75% of blindness in Malawi is curable. 

We are also seeking to' get out more' - a hospital on wheels - so many cannot come to us without transport.

“They often are unaware of the existence of the hospital.  Currently  we  educate people about burns-it’s winter and fires are lit and children play by cooking  fires all the time (as in the picture above).It  looks endearing but so so dangerous) - our outreach will combine prevention with training about initial treatment of the horrific burns which too often are the result .

 “The effectiveness of all this is still underpinned by the fact that every penny we raise goes to those who need it - there are no UK costs, salaries or expenses , (and even Barclays bank have been waiving their International charges for me recently! ) . Medic Malawi is focussed , which helps accountability , continuity and transparency , but it is still very wide in its scope -  the services we offer, and the local  employment we generate, trickle out to the benefit of, at the latest count 800,000  people . Finally the orphanages have now grown to care for 100 children, and we are encouraging self sufficiency and training by growing a variety of vegetables and having a small chicken farm there.


  “Thank you, Rochdale Rotary, for all the help you have given and promised for the future. It is wonderful to have your support.”

 Stephen Drew, Director of Medic Malawi


Having just taken over as the Convenor for Youth & Vocational Service I am hoping to visit as many schools, that we have links with,  as possible in the coming months (from September of course). Hopefully we will also be able to add a few more to our list as well in the near future.

As most members will know, St. James’s Primary at Wardle has very good links with our Club and it is officially a ‘RotaSchool’. Rotarians are always welcome to visit the School and especially the many events they have. An important one is the Year 6 Leavers Concert at the end of the summer term which has been attended in previous years by a number of Club members. During this event the ‘Service above Self’ award, that our Club sponsors, is presented usually by our President.

Due to a prior engagement with John Holder, and a few other Club members at Old Trafford Cricket ground, I was unable to go to the official Leavers Concert. Similarly Ann Stott was otherwise engaged with a Council meeting. Thanks to Joan Elbourn, both Ann and I were invited to see the Leavers concert a couple of days before the main event as it was being performed for the whole school in the afternoon.

Ann and I had a great time watching a very funny and entertaining performance by the Year 6 pupils. It was based on a staff meeting being held on the first day back at school after the 6 weeks summer break (Teacher Training Day).

The 7 ‘teachers’ were planning the year ahead – Harvest, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Sports Day, Leavers Day, etc hoping to avoid the ‘disasters’ that had occurred during the previous school year. The other Year 6 children acted out each of these events with hilarious consequences and then sang a song for each event with very funny lyrics.

Editor writes;  Catherine Aden has retired but a new Head teacher Rob Andrew, started at Easter  email

The finale of the performance, which was the children acting out the Leavers Party, ended up with hardly a dry eye in the house (or hall to be more precise). Quite a number of the children from other years who were watching were in floods of tears!

The whole event was excellent and confirmed in my mind that education should be fun and certainly from what I saw at St. James’s this is what they also believe.

Rotarian Neil Williams, Vocational Convenor

On Wednesday 15th July, President Irene, PP Bob and I went to the year 6 leavers’ concert at St James School, Wardle, which Neil has already described in his report.

We had a wonderful evening. After the concert PP Bob presented our “Service above Self” award to Ava Lawrence, a bright, intelligent young lady who very ably portrayed a harassed teacher in the concert.

 Next day Bob and I went to Catherine’s leaving party which started at 3.30 and is probably still going strong while I am writing this (9pm). I have never met such a dedicated head teacher (and I’ve known a few), she has literally given her life to her school. Now she is starting a new chapter on the Isle of Skye with her partner and lots of animals.

  I gave her a card from all of us at Rochdale Rotary Club wishing her much happiness. I am sure that after a few weeks of rest she will be looking for something to do, she won’t have to wait long, because the UNESCO representative who was at her leaving party told us all that they have their eye on her for heading their schools’ programme on Skye – I think that for Skye we can substitute Scotland.

  She will be greatly missed in Wardle and a very hard act to follow. Joan Elbourn  PP

ROCHDALE Children’s Moorland home

(Chosen by President Irene as our Charity for 2015-16)

Summary taken by Editor from website

During the school holidays children  selected by the local social services department come to the Home on a Monday morning staying until Friday afternoon.

During term time, children attend from underprivileged areas and extra support is given to children with learning or physical difficulties.

The Matron, deputy and  activity coordinator are responsible for the care and entertainment of the children giving them tasty, nourishing, home cooked meals .A variety of trips include the circus, the seaside, children’s theme parks, bowling, the cinema, Animal Quackers, Healey Dell, Hollingworth Lake, local parks and picnics areas to name just a few.  Children create a gallery in the dining room of photos and mementos of the trips and events.

We need to balance the cost of outings against those that are free - the money has to be obtained from charitable donations. The children love going on the trips and it would probably astound you that many of them have never seen the sea or been to the cinema, but what is even more astonishing is that often these young people have never seen cows or horses and they love the local walks on the moor to see the cattle and young foals.  Despite today’s society of electronic games etc, our young guests can’t get enough of traditional, liberating free fun  playing outdoors on the swings, trampolines, slides and large wooden adventure play equipment. These, along with the wooden fort, the football pitch and the fresh air, ensure they get plenty of enjoyment and exercise.  It’s surprising just how many of the children have never had the chance to play outdoors like this. Come bed time, with all the fresh air and running around, they are ready for a good night’s sleep to prepare them for the next exhilarating day.

 The Matron Becky and her team have over 40 years experience working in children’s services for Rochdale Council and enjoy taking the children on adventurous outings, doing simple baking and running a sandwich bar for the children to make packed lunches.

Becky’s hens and chickens are also a great success the children collecting free range eggs daily.  The look on their faces when they see the chicks growing from day to day is enough on its own to make the job seem worthwhile.

We strive to improve facilities e.g. the recreational barn was completed in 2014 offering us space to do a wide range of indoor activities, games and sports .Rochdale College Construction Department  totally refurbished our  play fort, built new picnic benches, plant stands and  bird boxes attracting wild life

We were awarded The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award for Volunteering 2012.

Latest News 26th-29th May 2015

During the May half term week children from Whitworth stayed with us and went on 2 day trips.

At Moss Bank Park the children had a picnic, played in the play area and had a go on the bumper cars at the fair. After the park we went bowling. We were lucky enough to receive a number of trips out paid for by the Rochdale shopping exchange and this was one of them. We had lots of fun, the children split into 2 teams and an adult went with each group. The children had their tea out as part of the trip too.

The next trip was swimming- always a popular choice. We enjoyed playing in one of the pool fun sessions with the floats, mats, balls and toys.

On Tuesday evening the Rossendale Community First Responders came to the home to deliver the Heart Start course to the children teaching basic first aid skills , how to help someone who is choking, bleeding, having a heart attack or is unconscious. They all completed the course and received a certificate and booklet.

Thursday night was party night where the children enjoyed party games such as musical bumps, statues, chairs, pass the parcel etc. We also enjoyed our party tea and the children take part in ‘Moorland Homes got talent’. We had a lot of acts this week with children telling jokes, performing dances they had learnt, singing and many more.

Throughout the week we had art and craft activities such as making table mats and loom band bracelets,  quizzes and races. In Ryan’s Den activity barn we used the new table tennis table, played table football, pool and air hockey. We had a lot of fun in the grounds, playing in our play area.

On Thursday the children worked fantastically in teams to build their own dens inside the Home and slept in them that evening! They used chairs, old bed sheets, string, tape, garden canes to build them but as the children said the best bit was sleeping in them!!

End of Pop up Art shop phase three on July 17th 2015

On a sad Friday  Rochdale’s Mayor Surinder Biant and Mayoress Cecile Biant  finally closed our club’s pop up shop after a total of 6 months in the shopping exchange Another raffle with prizes of  Geoff Butterworth’s  art raised a further £2000+  to go towards Rochdale Children’s Moorland home.

Our first stint last November in the far reaches of the centre was perhaps more noteworthy for the noise of Geoff’s brushes rather than the patter of eager art loving feet . It still, however, was a big financial success with over £4000 raised for NSPCC Schools service . Rochdale people got a glimpse of a talented Artist in Residence and learned that Rotarians are not so bad when you get to know them.

The next stint over 4 and a half months was much nearer the entrance and attracted many more people. It was also nearer to walk to  for the closest Rotarian John Kay to Pop in with the keys and sporting a big smile as usual. Up until the last 3 months Rotarians had been very much ‘hands on’ as stewards and painters/handy people and were perhaps relieved to hand over to Rochdale Connections trust who were able to supply ‘ready to go’ Shop assistants. Rotarians still ‘popped in’ but only for much shorter spells to advise and help out.

 It was a great opportunity for five Connections Trust supported young people to get back to the world of work and they made a great success of it. They are now able to look for further work with 3 months paid employment behind them to put on their CV. One has already secured another job in a Rochdale shop.

We should remember the generosity of the Shopping exchange to give the club access rent free and also Rochdale MBC foregoing payment of rates. Also thanks Andrea for providing regular refreshments when sorely needed. Petrus store supplied a nice big shop counter.

And what now?........

Geoff Butterworth goes on to do some much needed gardening and has a summer exhibition at Townley Hall in Burnley .As a temporary measure John Kay has some pictures stored at his office and no doubt his mind is whirring about the next venture!

Parallel Bar Planter Project Update.

The construction of the new workshop area and manufacturing jigs has now been completed. We have built the first batch of Planters and proved our workshop documentation procedures. We are confident that there will be no problems if other helpers such as Remploy staff  become involved.

Rochdale in Bloom

The Planter was appreciated by judges of the Rochdale in Bloom competition at our Kellett Street site. This is the same site that we used last year to grow vegetables as part of our Accessible-Edibles development. Our vegetables, together with those from the associated Mind and Hourglass projects, were given to and later distributed by Rochdale Food Bank under our “Rotary Stew” initiative.

For further details see Also in order to make our website more accessible, particular for users in developing countries, Rotary Friend Jenny Hodgkiss and husband Jimi at Capture Design have sharpened its appearance and updated the site to make it mobile phone friendly as this tends to be the route used by overseas visitors.

Rotarian Mike Tomkinson

Bowls Evening on 17th July

 On a balmy evening the club had its annual bowls evening at Castleton bowling club. Liz Smith kept bowlers in order and Sue Cannell wrestled successfully at keeping the Pies hot.

After a bewildering number of games (over 30 attended) finalists Neil Helliwell and Martin Coupe, Ann Whitley and Pauline Smithard  ‘slugged it out’ getting up a good appetite for the pies later. Ann and Neil were the winners and received very nice personal Trophies and a bottle of red wine from our President-one to gaze at and one to drink!

Thanks to all who helped out , (including Stuart and John at the club) and for being such good sports.

PP Elvet Smith

President Irene Writes

Hello everyone, well, two to three weeks in to my year and it’s not been too bad a start. I have given out prizes at Redwood’s presentation evening, What a lovely group of young people and I can see why it must have been so hard for them to pick out any winners. I have also given out awards at one of the schools I am governor of -Newhey County primary,- again a wonderful school and young people.

It was a sad, yet happy day on Friday when we drew the raffle for the winners of the Geoff Butterworth Original and prints, and we saw the closing of Art exhibition. A massive thank you must go firstly to John for his organising skills, to every member of our wonderful club who got it off the ground and keeping it going, My final thanks go to Connections trust and the wonderful ladies that they found us to take us to the end.

Till next time



President's remarks

It’s hard to believe this is the last bulletin of my year already. I’ve had a fabulous 12 months and it’s all thanks to you, the members and friends of the Club. Your support, friendship and fellowship are second to none.

Since last time Andy Tweedale has enlightened us about one of Rochdale’s best kept secrets, Gateway Leisure Ltd with Social work activities without accommodation for the elderly and disabled; also

residential care activities for learning difficulties, mental health and substance abuse Sue Cannell encouraged to us to get green fingers with her Gardens in Spring presentation. John Holder told how cricket has changed over the course of his career, Leon Hollinrake spoke about the Rochdale Youth Parliament and gave us hope that the youngsters in Rochdale have a strong future and finally we had a visit from our long standing friend Rotarian Dr Pam Joyce who brought us up to date on the work of Disaster Aid UK. Along with our meal at the Riverside restaurant it has been a busy period.

Phase One of the Art Exhibition ended on 17th April having raised over £5,000 for the NSPCC Childline Schools Service. I must thank once again Geoff and Andrea Butterworth for their commitment to the project, Andrea’s afternoon tea on the final day was scrumptious.

John Kay needs congratulating on his efforts to organise and co-ordinate the event and of course thanks to all of you who help with the setting up and stewarding. The exhibition now continues in aid of the Rochdale Moorland Children’s Home, another excellent organisation that is worthy of our continued support.

I attended the Inner Wheel Charter Night at the end of March and the Heywood Charter Night earlier this month, both enjoyable evenings. The Stroke Awareness Day in April, held at the Art Exhibition, gave me a clean bill of health. This was good news given that my training for the Himalayan Trek has started in earnest. I’ve been up and down one, two or all three of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks in the last 8 weeks, as well as taking part in the Todmorden and the Littleborough Boundary Walks. If you had a go at my ‘3 Hacks Guess the Time’ competition thank you very much. The results are imminent and you could be a winner.

I’ve also been at the unveiling of the Mayor’s Rochdale Scroll of Support plus a 60’s Night in aid of her charity appeal. At this event I was totally outshone by the dapper Geoff Butterworth and his spiv outfit!

So with just over a month to go, I’ve still got a few things to do. I have my charity presentation on 11th June, followed a week later by the Ascot Ladies Day at Nutters Restaurant. It will a great day and all the money raised will be going to the NSPCC as always, but this time it will have the Rotary stamp on it. Tickets are still available, they are a bit expensive but it’s for a great cause and I’d love to see you there to help round off the wonderful year I have had.

Finally I can’t finish without thanking my wife Merrilyn for her support throughout the last 11 months when I’ve been going here and there all the time for not only Rotary but in support of the NSPCC.


No, nothing to do with big cats, just Rotarians who can make themselves heard around the world from home for the cost equivalent of the amount of electricity needed for a light bulb. In April 1966, Rtn. Harold Chadwick, of the Rotary Club of Worksop, set up an amateur radio station at a 'Hobbies & Use of Leisure' exhibition. Amongst many others, he spoke to a Rotarian in the Virgin Islands, George Chatfield.

This sparked off the idea of forming Rotary Radio net in the UK. This idea was put to the Radio Society of Great Britain who published it in their journal 'Radio Communication', which is sent to all UK radio amateurs. A Rotarian from Birkenhead, Gordon Leigh was the first to respond. Gordon & Harold then contacted all known Rotarians who held an amateur radio licence. In May 1967, 36 Rotarians were invited to hold a net once a week. (A radio net is when several radio amateurs agree a time and frequency to talk to each another via radio. One person is in control, and calls each in turn to speak). Various names were suggested, but ROAR was the one that most approved of, and so it has remained. Over the years, ROAR has grown to become a world-wide Fellowship, with international nets being held every week, along with European and inter UK ones too.


On the weekend of the 9th & 10th of May this year, Sue & I attended the 49th AGM of ROAR in RIBI in Kennilworth, where the first AGMs were held. We met on the Friday evening for dinner, then enjoyed an interesting day out on Saturday at the Motor Heritage Museum at Gaydon, before returning to the hotel for the AGM before dinner. We enjoyed another day out on the Sunday, to two NT locations in the area. Monday morning soon came round, and we said our goodbyes, and were already looking forward to next year's event. 

PP John Cannell.

Careers Day for 7 Year Olds!

I recently spent a very interesting and rewarding afternoon giving ‘careers advice’ to pupils at Belfield Community Primary School. The School made contact with the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, at which I volunteer, to ask if anybody at the Museum could help them with their ‘Careers Day’.

Children, aged from 7 to 11, were to be given the opportunity to interview adults from the community about their careers and training. With Rochdale being an area of high unemployment, the hope of the staff organising the event was to give younger children an insight into the broad range of options available to them in further education and employment when they leave school. You can never start too early to try and inspire and motivate youngsters to have a positive attitude to finding a career they might enjoy

Together with two other colleagues from the Museum, we arrived at Belfield School to a warm welcome.

We were joined by20-25 people from a number of local businesses, Rochdale College, the 6th Form College, ambulance and hospital staff.

  We sat at a number of tables in the hall waiting to be interviewed in a style similar to ‘speed dating’ (not that I have any experience of that of course!!).

The children trooped in to meet us in pairs and had a maximum of 3 minutes to ask us as many questions as they could. These included: What job we do (or in my case use to do)? What did we want to do at their age? Did we like our job?  Did anything we studied at school help us in getting our job? What advice could we give them? How much do we earn?!, etc

I spoke about my career in the Co-op which I soon found they could quite easily relate to as there is a Co-op shop very close to their school. The two hours we had went very quickly, as did my voice! I was pleasantly surprised at the confidence of many of the children I met and found the whole experience to be very uplifting.

I think that the ‘Careers Day’ was a really excellent idea and it was certainly something I would like to participate in again. Perhaps fellow Rotarians may be interested as well?

Rotarian Neil Williams

" Rotary "Pop Up" Charity Art Exhibition Mark 3”

"The  Rotary "Pop Up" Charity Art Exhibition is now in full swing in the Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre with well over 1,000 raffle tickets sold and both paintings and prints being purchased. The visitor's book tells it all with many wonderful words of praise. 

The funds which we raise will go to support the Rochdale Children's Moorland Home at Nab Farm, Wardle, Rochdale OL12 9PN ( which was started in 1921 and gives children from underprivileged areas an opportunity to spend a week of enjoyment in its wonderful facilities.

Children who have never seen a cow or a horse can enjoy walks on the moors and take part in activities which will leave them with memories which will last a lifetime. The home can take about 25 children a week and costs about £2,000 per week to run when open.

The home won the Queens Jubilee Award for volunteering 2012. The Rotary Club of Rochdale is proud to support such a worthwhile organisation

Many people would like to support the home and help the children in a tangible way.  They can do so between 1st June and 6th June 2015 as our club will be holding a "Gift Week" during which the public are asked to donate socks and underwear for Children between 5 and 11 years of age and bring them to the "Pop Up" Art Exhibition where there is a container to collect them. Some of the children are poorly clothed and to be able to send them home fitted out with these essential items will enhance their lives even more."

PP John Kay


Fellow Rotarians and Friends, our annual fund raising cricket dinner is on September 10th. We are privileged to have as our guest speaker the former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding. Mikey, affectionately known as ‘whispering death’ hurled thunderbolts at many  hapless batsman . His silent run up set him apart from all other fast bowlers and he unleashed 90+ mph  deliveries to terrorise the opposing batsmen.

Following his successful playing career, Mikey has become one of the game’s most highly respected TV commentators. After last winter covering international cricket in India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, he is now in England to cover the Tests against New Zealand and  Australia for the Ashes . Mikey is friendly and approachable but is a no nonsense speaker who will be very interesting. He has a very distinctive Jamaican drawl.

We have been fortunate in attracting a major sponsor

in The BMI Highfield Hospital .Executive Director Paul McGaughey  said that the hospital not only needs to get more involved in the local community, it also needs to be seen to do so and that they look forward to a long association with us. They have also offered to support my fund raising effort for prostate cancer during my year as president.

The funds raised will go directly to the Rochdale Cricket Development Group. They are a group of local volunteers who operate under the auspices of the Lancashire Cricket Board.

Its chairman Kenny Gale said: “Volunteers are becoming fewer as the years go by, so with the help of funding from the Rochdale Rotary Club and this year from the BMI Highfield Hospital, we are able to subsidise coaches and managers for the time that they spend working with young cricketers during trials, training sessions and matches.

“The contribution also helps for facilities to run trials pre-season to assemble the squads for each age group and the hire of practice facilities so that each squad can be brought together prior to the games commencing. All of this aids in the development of youngsters in the District Cricket programme which hopefully they can use as a stepping stone towards higher levels of the game, whether it be county cricket or just improve the standard of players emerging at club level which is evident around most clubs in the district.

 “I would like to thank John, The Rochdale Rotary Club and this year, the BMI Highfield Hospital for their efforts so that young cricketers in Rochdale can be, and are, encouraged to improve and enjoy their cricket. I’ve been involved in cricket locally for many years and with the district for the last 5 or 6 years and it’s  good to see the standard that so many youngsters  have achieved. Hopefully this will carry on for many years to come.”

I hope that members of the Rotary Club will support the dinner by purchasing tickets and encouraging their friends and business associates to give their support.

Many thanks

Second VP John Holder

Rotary Nidderdale Walk Sunday May 10th 2015

This was Harrogate Rotary Club’s first venture outside Pateley Bridge after 21 years and Sir Thomas Ingleby allowed the use of Ripley Castle as a focal point for the walk.After around 15 years of our club taking part it was great for 10 of us to have a new route starting at Ripley and doing a circular 10 miles through sheep and cow inhabited country;super bluebell woods; attractive riverside paths ;super stone cottages for poor farmers and rather deep muddy boggy paths at times.

Afterwards egg and turkey sandwiches and lots of tea were consumed in Liz’s and my holiday home in Glasshouses and Maureen Coupe’s cakes were a treat.

£100 sponsorship will go into President’s ever swelling Charity pot. Do come along next year!

PP Elvet Smith

Speaker’s Secretary Joan’s plans for next year

As you all know Mike Lucas is stepping down from the position of Speaker’s Secretary after many years of very efficient and successful service. I am taking over the position and if I can do it half as well as Mike has I will be very pleased.

Now that we all have access to computers I would like to make the publishing of the programme a paperless system and use our website for you all to view it.

My idea is to map out the whole year as far as possible with important dates and speaker finders put into place. Inevitably changes will happen but putting these on the website as soon as I know about them will make the system more fluid and hopefully up to date at all times.

Our Friends’ evenings are especially important as we try to find different speakers. If any of our Friends know of someone who would be good to listen to, or indeed have something they would like to talk to us all about, please let me know.

I hope my plan meets with your approval, and that you will let me know as soon as possible if changes need to be made. If anyone has a problem viewing the website, let me know and I will print off a hard copy to keep them up to date.

All constructive criticism gratefully received.

Joan Elbourn (PP)



To say February is the shortest month in the year, a lot seems to have happened since the last bulletin. January finished with the excellent International Cabaret event, where my association with winter gritting was pounced on by Dudley Doolittle.Our cricket season started with a £2000 donation to Bobby Cross of Rochdale Cricket Development Group helping local amateur cricketers to get professional coaching.

Our first Friends Evening saw us learn more about the Accidental Artist Geoff Butterworth who is, I’m glad to say, now one of our Friends. Middleton Charter Night followed where we were entertained by the Rock Choir, and you can be too, look out for the invitation to the President’s Party elsewhere in this bulletin. I then went to visit Todmorden Rotary Club to find out about their Boundary Walk, and ended up their speaker for the night! There is more about this walk later in the bulletin too.

Ravi brought the Youth Speaks team from Falinge High to show us their skills. Tabitha, Tahir and Ethan were excellent, and whilst they didn’t win the event, Ethan was crowned best male speaker. I’m sure we will all hear more from Ethan in years to come.

Merrilyn and I had a short break in Scotland with the grand children and their families before Eleanor and Moyra from the Samaritans visited the club. They told us their 63 volunteers received over 20,000 contacts per year and that they have around £30,000 annual running costs. In the same week I really enjoyed the Inner Wheel Tapas Evening raising funds for Medic Malawi and also visited Moorland Children’s Home with VP Irene to deliver a car full of toys donated over Christmas.

Gary Davies form the RDA explained the latest proposals for the development of Rochdale Town Centre and fielded a few intense questions from members, then the March Friends Evening heard from comedy writer Jenny Roach. Unfortunately I missed that as Merrilyn and I were watching Millie and Zachary singing their hearts out in the Young Voices concert at Manchester Arena.

Joan Elbourn, Ann Stott and I attended the Fair Trade Assembly at our Rota School and collected a cheque for £98 for Polio Plus from the sale of crocuses. And as luck would have it our next speaker was Jan Hicks from the Rochdale Fair Trade shop who told us of the history of the project and about some of the 4,500 products which carry the Fair Trade logo.

The inaugural Ten Pin Bowling competition against Rochdale East took place at Sandbrook Park, with a turnout of over 40 people. It was a great night of friendship and fellowship and I’m glad to say our Club triumphed! Finally from a speaker point of view, the Club were enthralled by Jim Hancock, the former political editor of BBC North West. There was another lively question and answer session mainly focussed on the forthcoming General Election.

If all that wasn’t enough, I was very pleased to see the opening of our second Pop-Up Art Exhibition in the Rochdale Exchange. Thanks to everyone who helped transform a tatty old unit into a smart-looking gallery, and of course to you all for volunteering as Stewards. A big thanks to John Kay for his negotiating skills and to Geoff and Andrea Butterworth for donating both the raffle prizes and 20% of all sales.

My year continues to fly by, and my enjoyment of it also continues unabated. Please look out for the details of the ‘President’s Party’ and ‘Bob’s 3 Hacks in May’ elsewhere in the bulletin, and I hope I can count on your generous support.

Rochdale Operatic Society Charity Evening 3OTH JANUARY 2015

A super evening at an ice-bound Radcliffe suite was given by 18 members of the Amateur Operatic society  Organised for the International committee by Rotarian Maureen Barker she  liaised with the society’s own Kath Meredith. The Society very kindly gave their services free of charge and gave delightful performances of many of our favourite songs notably  Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the opera .Highlights were songs given by Lead Lady solo singer Sarah Thewlis; Craig  Milnes and another notable soloist John Gardener were also in fine form . Ably accompanied by pianist Elaine Marsden and conducted by John Simmons over 100 Rotarians, family and friends enjoyed a relaxing evening with a tasty Meat and Potato pie supper –plenty for all. Comedian Dudley Doolittle was in his element when he saw familiar faces in the audience and many got a light hearted ribbing –ask our President and Derek Heywood for more details!

£700 was raised for Medic Malawi -thanks again to all who came!

         Bob’s 3 Hacks in May           Guess the Total Time

In September 2015 I am undertaking the Stok Kangri Trek in the Indian Himalayas to raise money for the NSPCC Childline School’s Service.

As part of my training for the 13 day trek which reaches heights of over 20,000 feet, I am undertaking 3 Hacks in May, each of between 20 and 25 miles in length. I want you to guess what my total time for the 3 Hacks will be.

Hack #1 is the Todmorden Boundary Walk, approximately 22 miles in length and I’ve not done it before.

Hack #2 is the Yorkshire Three Peaks at almost 25 miles long. In the past it has taken me between 9½ and 11 hours to complete.

Hack #3 is the Littleborough Boundary Walk of 20 miles, which I have done in just over 6 hours in the past.

The time for each hack will be rounded up to the nearest minute, so guesses should be made in hours and minutes. Prizes will be awarded to the guesses which are on or closest to the total time. In the case of more than one correct guess the prizes will be shared.

Each entry costs £2.50.                First Prize:  £25 cash;   Second Prize  Wine;    Third Prize:Chocolates.      Registered Charity No. 216401


On Friday 6th March President Bob, Ann and I went to the Fair Trade assembly and coffee morning at St James's School Wardle. It always feels a great privilege to sit in the hall and watch the pupils file in quietly and to see their eager anticipation of what is to come. The assembly was really impressive with the children acting out what it means to the producers in the third world to get a fair price for their goods. 

President Bob was presented with a cheque for £98.65 by Millie Carberry and Pheobe Clarke, money raised from the sale of crocuses.

This was followed by coffee and cake served by waiters with pen and pad, very professional. 

Once again a most enjoyable visit to our RotaSchool. 

Joan Elbourn (PP)

New Pop up Art Shop promises to be another successful Rotary Event in Rochdale Town Centre Shopping Exchange

After our last Pop up Shop in November ‘14 Rotary was asked by the Exchange Manager  to have another event bringing some local colour and art to the town for the enjoyment of Rochdale people, The club has been given a very accessible rent free unit near the exchange main entrance for 6 weeks from 1st March.

Geoff Butterworth has again become Artist in residence and Rotary club members, having painted the walls and helped arrange the display, are stewarding the shop.20% of sales of Geoff’s Paintings and prints will go to the NSPCC Childline Charity fund along with proceeds from a raffle of 4 of Geoff’s art works.Geoff was busy gathering his art works at the start but after a lot of hard work the shop is finally open! Thanks to all Rotarians and Friends who have helped so far -do enrol as a steward if you can spare the time!

An Evening with Michael Holding -  ROCHDALE MASONIC BUILDINGS

  THURSDAY 7 PM                    10TH SEPTEMBER 2015

Former West Indies legendary fast bowler and current Sky Sports Cricket commentator Michael Holding aka "Whispering Deathwill be coming to entertain and inform us and to continue our Charity fundraising annual events.

All pro ceeds from the evening will as per previous events provide much needed cricket coaching for Rochdale Amateur cricketers .It will be instead of our usual Rotary evening so please support the event and bring your family and friends.

There will be a 3 course dinner followed by entertainment from ‘Mikey’. 

Local Comedian Dudley Dolittle will be MC , former test match umpire John Holder will keep order.

There will be a prize raffle and stand up Bingo  .

TICKETS COST £35 each (tables of ten can be booked, smart casual dress, vegetarian opti

                     Come to the President’s Party!

On Friday 8th May, I am holding the President’s Party at Richmond Hall, Lomax Street, Rochdale.Starting at 7.30pm you will be entertained by Phil Reynolds Rock Choir and our own Jonathan Swift.

Tickets cost £15 and include a pie and peas supper.

Bring your friends and family and let’s make it a great party night to celebrate what has been a wonderful Presidential year for me. All proceeds are going to the NSPCC Childline Schools Service.

President Bob

VP Irene writes Thank you to all who helped with the Moorland home collection- fantastic result and still more coming in.Hoping to deliver the items before Easter.

 10th of June Kids Out  the young people who went last year had such a wonderful day. I hope it can be repeated again this year. On Saturday  the 13th June Milnrow Carnival will take place. Due to new regulations on health and safety we have to increase the number of stewards. If anyone can help from 12.30 till 2.30pm on that day it would be appreciated.

I attended my first bit of Rotary training to help me during my year as President (let’s see if it works). It was nice to see some old faces again (that is meant in the nicest way). VP Sue from Middleton was there and I hope that during our year we can work closely together for the aims of Rotary. One of the main items was Membership, and I am sure that with John Kay's leadership in this matter we can and will do well.

I have spent a lot of time at the Art Exhibition. It has been a pleasure to meet the wonderful array of people who have visited. If you haven't been there or helped out yet,- please do so, you will not regret it at all.




President Bob Chadwick's Remarks

At the Council meeting in November, we knocked the ‘lighter lunches’ experiment on the head, accepted Geoff Butterworth and my better half, Merrilyn as Rotary Friends and agreed that convenors should hold meetings of their committees prior to Council. Then following Council we can have one Club and Projects meeting to share everything with the Club.

December seemed somewhat short of speakers because of the Club and Projects evening and the SGM. However 4th December saw us join forces with the Mayor’s Charity and have a meal at the Town Hall. The event was organised by Simon Danczuk who brought his colleague Jack Straw MP to speak about his life as an MP.

Our Christmas meal on 19th December was a lovely way to end my first 6 months as President. Despite a cock-up over the start time everything went smoothly. The Rev Sharon Jones from St Andrews, Dearnley gave us some Christmas thoughts, and Freda Farnworth along with the Rochdale Retirement Choir had us singing away in to the night.

Our first meeting of the New Year saw the return of Craig Kirby. He had last visited the club some two years ago to talk about his health and fitness programme.However due to health problems in his family he had been forced to seek steady paid employment. He was back now seeking advice on how to resurrect his original plans, and our members had much to offer him.

The special Friends Evening on 15th January saw Mike Tomkinson and John Holder make short presentations on the Befriending Scheme, Urban Farms and Medic Malawi. It was a well-attended evening at the Town Hall.

In the run-up to Christmas I took part in the bag packing day at Morrisons, and joined Irene and Elvet to deliver the toys we had collected with Inner Wheel to the Queen Street Centre in Heywood. The staff were overjoyed with the donations. Thanks to those who donated toys, and also to those members who delivered the Christmas parcels in Christmas week.

Rochdale Camera club’s John Smith showed us his wizardry with photography–members projects included a fascinating history of Rochdale Children’s Moorland Home .The club meets at Syke Church centre  on Tuesday evenings.

 I’m pleased Joan Elbourn agreed to take over as Speaker Secretary from Mike Lucas when he steps down at the end of my year. All we need now is a volunteer for 2nd Vice President ....don’t all rush!

In the next month as well as the International Do on 30th January, I’m speaking at Middleton Charter on 6th February, where the Rock Choir will be performing, and their leader speaking. Then on 20th February it’s the Inner Wheel meal at the Cedar Tree in Newhey which is raising money for Medic Malawi. I’d love you to join me at either or both events.

Sad to hear about  Hon Member Jack Wilkinson’s death and condolences to his family.

Congratulations to Rochdale East’s Robert Clegg awarded an OBE -he has worked tirelessly for Springhill Hospice over the last 25 years.

Also well done Rotarian Ian Sandiford who has become Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester after many years of Rotary service with Rochdale  East.

President Bob Chadwick

Events over Christmas 2014

Jack Straw evening

At the town hall a talk from former Foreign and Home Secretary Jack Straw lightened a dark winter evening with over £2000 proceeds going to the Mayor’s Charities; Springhill Hospice, Heywood Youth Link and Rochdale Children’s Moorland Home.President Bob and our Club was there in force with  Master of Ceremonies John Kay .Jack Straw was exceptionally friendly with the audience and spent some time having conversations with many and seemed interested in people’s lives and livings. He was remarkably soft spoken  but despite Town Hall acoustics gave a ‘Blackburner comes to Rochdale town Hall’ speech in a witty dry humorous fashion. Simon Danczuk drew the winning tickets in the Raffle and our very own Sheila Acton won one of Geoff Butterworth’s prints –not sure if she has the wall space!

  Toy Donation to Queen Street centre

    Vice President Irene was beavering away collecting loads of new toys from Tescos customers and Inner Wheel and Rotary members  .Presentation of the toys at the Heywood centre was a grand success with a great thank you from the staff who looked forward to the joyful faces of the disadvantaged children they work with. Well done Irene and everyone involved!

Irene and the club were also busy helping to decorate a Christmas tree at St Chad’s .The Christmas parcels went well with particular thanks received from Rochdale Young Carers Charity after disadvantaged families were given parcels.

   Morrison’s Bagpacking

A good turnout from the club ensured a successful day at Morrisons on a very cold winter day.Despite the fog and ice the stoical Morrison’s customers still turned out to shop and also donate over £600 to our president’s charity NSPCC Childline.Yours truly was involved in a smashing time when a jar of coffee broke into  Smithareens on the floor-no it wasn’t because I was talking too much or that I didn’t like the coffee-just extreme bad luck! After that I subsided into doing what I like best-catching people off guard on my camera!

  Christmas Eve Lunch for Rochdale’s Homeless

There was no time for any late Christmas Eve shopping for Mike and Heather Tomkinson and Neil Williams as they were busy ‘serving on’ at an excellent Lunch for the Homeless of Rochdale.

The Christmas Eve lunch was the idea of Mr Ahmed Nadim, a Solicitor based in Manchester, and was hosted by the Rochdale Parish Church of St. Chad’s. Mr Nadim, his family and friends, provided a 3 course lunch to be served to homeless people. Members of a number of charity organisations, including our Rotary Club, Petrus, and some of the Churches and Mosques in Rochdale helped out with setting up, serving, chatting, washing-up, and clearing away in time for the Christmas Eve Midnight Carol Service at St. Chads.

As this was the first event of this kind to take place at St.Chad’s there was some uncertainty prior to it as to how many homeless people and helpers would actually come along. These fears were unfounded however as about 70 people partake of the meal and there was no shortage of willing helpers.

Hopefully this event will be repeated once again this Christmas and I am sure we will be there to lend a helping hand.

Rotarian Neil Williams

  Tributes to Jack Wilkinson

Geoff Howard writes of his former friend

‘A long serving member of the Club , Jack Wilkinson died on 6th December 2014.

Jack was the epitome of the best type of Rotarian;  honest and honourable in all his dealings. His quiet studious temperament was combined with a determination to uphold that which was right. A lovely  man.

He and I joined Rotary on the same day in 1972.We had not met before but soon became friends and then firm friends. He was Secretary for 3 years later President in 1990-91(see photo).He was also a Freemason in a Manchester Lodge. He had several degrees, wrote several books and specialised in Chemical Engineering becoming Senior Lecturer at Salford University. He and Mary, his wife, played an active part in Rotary and Inner wheel.

They had three children .He enjoyed sport and played cricket in his home town of Burnley.

He loved billiards and snooker having played from a young age with his father. Fellow Rotarian Elvet Smith tells me he was a long time committee and playing member at Castleton bowling club becoming Vice President and helping to keep the club afloat in difficult times. He was a very keen billiard player with a minus 40 handicap(very good) and was known for his pump handle almost ‘jack-in- the-box’ action with the cue sometimes spearing the light fittings above the table and on one occasion deposited a table of full beer glasses on the floor. Fellow players learned to keep well clear!

With Mary he became an accomplished gardener  and after a granddaughter was born with cystic fibrosis they raised a lot of funds for research into the disease. Much to Elvet’s delight who had grown up with the breed  he acquired 2 Welsh terriers who happily rushed around his lovely family home.His scientific knowledge allowed him to add a solar panel on his roof and produce his own electricity.

Mary ,sadly missed, died a few years after the passing of my own wife Marion and as two ‘survivors’ Jack and I had Sunday evening season tickets at the Halle at Bridgewater hall for some years. Increased frailty and poor mobility led to sale of the family home moving to Alverston with his daughter Sarah who extended her property to give him a comfortable last few years. He was made an Honorary member of our club in 2007’

Another close friend Honorary member Geoff Foulkes  writes ‘Jack was a lovely friendly person - always ready for a laugh, even when the joke was on him.

  Befriending Voluntary Opportunity for Rotarians and Friends

Rotarian Mike Tomkinson is asking for help in Befriending people who have mental health problems .A training induction day is arranged via the Charity Together;  befrienders engage in a social activity with the person allocated after discussion about personal interests, Expenses for travel can be claimed .

John Cannell comments

“Following the inaugural meeting & training session, I was introduced to ‘X’ a few weeks later, accompanied by Mike, at his house in Middleton. My first meeting with him was in November 2008. He didn't talk much, but enjoyed going to the park in Heywood, and then a drive round the area for about ½ an hour. This procedure continued, with variation on the theme, i.e., different parks and occasionally to a shopping precinct, where he enjoyed a cup of coffee and did some shopping. Towards the end of March 2009, after meeting most weeks, I had a call from Carol at Together, to tell me that ‘X’ didn’t want to continue with the scheme any longer, his condition was  worse.

A few months passed, and then Mike found me another client, ‘Y’ who was completely different to ‘X’. -Younger & much more talkative. He was bipolar and slightly autistic, following a cycling accident some years earlier. But we got on well, going out walking or to the cinema every Wednesday afternoon. I also took him to the model flying club, which he enjoyed. This continued for about four years, when he announced that he wanted to become a Befriender himself. He was clearly unsuitable for such a position, but seemed determined to go ahead, and said the I was no longer required. I of course had several conversations with the staff at Together, and we agreed that it would be best to do as he requested.

Since then I’ve not had any further requests to take part in the scheme. When I started, it was soon after I had retired, and there was a gap in my week which I filled with Befriending. However in the time since then, I found, as many others have, that there was a lot more that I wanted to do than time allowed. I now go to Petrus on the Rotary days when we meet in the evenings, and spend the morning helping out there.

Befriending is in some ways challenging, requiring patience & understanding of the client’s condition, but it means a lot to them, and is providing a much needed service to the local community. If you can spare half a day a week, it is well worth taking part in the scheme.”

John Whitley also says

“I have only positive thoughts for the scheme the only reason I have not carried it on was the sickness of my daughter. 

I still see ‘Q’ but he has his ups and downs , it is a commitment and you haven’t to take it to heart if they let you down”

For further information contact Rotarian Mike Tomkinson

Why not volunteer to further Urban Farm development in Africa?(via the Internet)

Following a promotional road show tour in Manchester on December 10th, the Department For International Development will shortly be launching the Common Ground Initiative Fund. This fund will be managed by Comic Relief and they will take project funding applications from 1st April. Payments are restricted to African based projects and only certain countries are targeted as beneficiaries.

Should we decide to, we can submit a proposal asking for money to fund seed and compost purchase in the project areas which will be translated into small start up grants. We are due to start emailing overseas Rotary clubs as soon as we have enough volunteers to make the project worthwhile.

The plan is to send our standard email advertising the project and directing Rotary club recipients to our accessible-edibles website. Additionally I'm proposing that we use these contacts as a survey to ask Rotary clubs in developing countries if they would be prepared to administer our start up grant to their local Urban Farm project, should our grant application to Comic Relief be successful.

Application for funding looks somewhat daunting, and the club will also have considerable commitments to Comic Relief for the safe and suitable use of this fund. Our new overseas Rotary club emailing project will act as a useful survey of the likely take up. Should the returns not be positive I doubt it will be worth submitting a funding application, given the responsibility that the club will have for the safe disposal of the funds and the amount of work required for the application.

The first link in this chain is sending out emails to overseas clubs and for this we need more helpers. The potential benefit to African communities is tremendous and a great spin off will be the number of clubs in developing countries who will have a direct link to Rochdale Rotary. In future these contacts may well grow into useful links for other overseas projects.

Please let me know if you are able to lend email support to this great project.

Rotarian Mike Tomkinson


Volunteers needed 2 HOURS A WEEK AT Petrus Store bric a brac shop in Smallbridge

This is an offshoot of the main Petrus store on Hamer Lane and volunteers to help in the shop are needed and Rotarians and Friends would be very welcome .

Contact Editor Elvet for more details

Volunteers needed for Storybook Dads Scheme

At Buckley Hall Prison, 1st, 3rd and sometimes 5th Thursday, 1.00 to 4.30 pm

Provides opportunity for prisoners (male) to be filmed reading a story to their children.

DVD and book goes to children’s home.

Encourages and maintains good relationships between prisoners and their families

No special skills required but volunteers must be non judgmental

Security vetting and key training mandatory

Speak to Dean Sherriff (364 981) or Allister Holt (370 140)

Help the Homeless

Volunteers needed to link Local schools and Businesses

Rotarian Ian Madeley Convenor for Youth and Vocational Committee writes

“We are looking to develop the Most Improved Student award and create connections with additional schools and local business at the same time.

 Thank you to Irene Davidson for the introduction to Moorehouse School in Milnrow who are interested in developing the award in school. What we now need are introductions to local business in Milnrow who would be prepared to sponsor the award for 3 years at a cost of £150.

 If members have connections with schools or local businesses that would want to participate in the award scheme please let us know.

 Many thanks for your support”

Volunteer to be a writer for our Bulletins

Qualifications-knows a bit about Rotary, Life and the Universe (but not all of it)

Suggested preliminary reading-Old editions of Punch, Private Eye,Girls Own, Beano, Dandy, Twinkle and the Eagle

Main role –to prevent the Editor from getting too involved when he has alternative things such as snooker to go and sort out.

Extra qualifications such as ability to read cartoons backwards would be an advantage particularly when your computer goes on the blink

Suggestive further courses available

   “How Samuel Johnson wrote his dictionary” (O!Pen university”

    “When your editor needs help”(Far Eastern School of Imaginary Diseases)

   “Keep that bogy rolling” (Frankie Lane’s Autobiography)

Preferable bits of Apparatus/Equipment

(contact Petrus Store if not available online)

a) very large brain with impulsive properties

b) 72 inch lapstop for storing large Gigabytes of information ready for next enlarged edition.

c)  Partner who likes to see you in front of a screen(?turned on).

         Contact Editor as soon as you can or send for an application book from Box 12345!

 Recent Rotary Activities 2014/5

    Shoebox trip to Preston

 David Smithard and 4 others had a great day recently packing shoe baxes for dispatch to Eastern Europe .Some sleeping was noticed in the back of the car on the way back well done everyone.

         Arthritis Research UK

Members may recall that one of our speakers a couple of  years ago was from Arthritis Research UK invited by Rotarian Paul Rowen. Paul is a Trustee of AR(UK) and here he explains what his work as a Trustee entails. I was invited to become a Trustee of what was then known as ARC ( Arthritis Research Campaign) six years ago as one of three trustees appointed to change the way the Charity operated. AR(UK) was founded over 77 years ago and is the fourth largest funder of  medical research and the largest funder of research into Arthritis. Like Cancer arthritis is a generic term covering over 100 different diseases. It has an excellent record of research (including funding the discovery of Anti TNF drugs), advice through booklets issued through Primary and Secondary health centres and for supporting the training of up and coming medics and para medics. However despite spending over £30m per year on research on a disease that affects over 8m people in the UK the charity was unknown to most of the general public. Part of my role as a Trustee has been to help grow the campaigning and influencing role of the charity so that it is better known both to policy makers in government and the general public. A higher public profile helps with fundraising which apart from legacies, and a few shops was a minor part of the charities work. The past few years have nothing but a revolution in the charities work. We have established a Policy research team, now have a Royal Patron (HRH The Duchess of Cornwall) and have several sporting and political ambassadors. NHS England now comes to us for advice on developing policy and our recent report on Musculoskeletal Health – A Public Health Approach has been sent to every Chair of local Health and Well Being Boards. Though still a research charity we are now much more focussed on the needs of Arthritis suffers to find a cure and to take the pain away. As someone who has spent a lifetime campaigning, mainly in the political arena, it has been refreshing to be able to use those skills in another field. Anyone who would like more information about the work of AR(UK) or would like to get involved should visit our website at

Rotarian Paul Rowen

                                                       Latest News from Petrus people

A regular 6 or 7 Rotarians attend the Hamer lane second hand Charity store usually on Wednesday or Thursday .It continues to attract more and mpre donations from the public and sales are increasing steadily.The main activities we are doing are assembly of furniture-wardrobes beds tables PAT testing electrical equipment sorting out clothing,bric a brac and electrical items.Some painting jobs have also been done.An auction of more valuable/quirky or rare items is being planned alongside a social evening and meal so watch this space.

The store continues to need all your old furniture and second hand clothes /shoes electrical and kitchen stuff in serviceable condition so ring Pamela(01706 341189)  between 9 30 and 3 pm Tuesday to Friday until 12 noon on Saturday.A recent official opening of the store by the Bishop of Manchester was well attended.

                                          Jonathan Swift(alter ego of Keith)

                                                    Singing Swing Sinatra Style

Celebrating Frank Sinatra's Centenary year on Saturday 3 January 2015, Jonathan appeared on two BBC Radio shows where 5 Live presenter Eleanor Oldroyd said "I can't tell the difference between Jonathan and Frank" and Paul Ross described Jonathan singing "Fly me to the Moon" as "Fantastic".

Both were live at 8.25 and 9.05 on Saturday morning from Media City. Jonathan says “I am not at my best at that time (even if I am out of bed!) so I am quite pleased with my being able to sing at all.” 


John Holder has invited Michael Holding commentator and ex cricketer to speak to us in early September;more info soon 

                                                   Charity events

                                 TEN PIN BOWLING in aid of Medic Malawi

                                    AT SANDBROOK PARK ROCHDALE

A tenpin bowling match with Rochdale East will take place on Tuesday March 17th at 7pm. A buffet will be laid on. Each person playing will play two games, with each game lasting an hour roughly. The cost is £ 15 for players and £ 10 for non players. There should be six players per lane, so depending on how many competitors there are, we might need  up to seven lanes.

Please put this in your diary and a circular re your attendance will come round at club meetings

VP Irene writes  “It’s been a very busy few months, Bag packing, the Christmas tree event at St. Chads, Christmas Parcels ,last but not least the Toy collection .All went very well indeed; thank you to everyone who took part and helped, the reaction we received from the people who had a parcel delivered made it all worthwhile. Queen Street Children's Centre were over the moon with the amount of toys we delivered proving that when Rotary and Inner wheel get together there’s   no stopping us, once again  a BIG THANK YOU”



President Bob Chadwick's Remarks

I must start with a sincere thank you to everyone who helped organise and steward the Pop-Up Art Exhibition. What a great success it has been for the Club. A special thank you must go to John Kay for all his work on the event and to Geoff Butterworth for donating 20% of the proceeds to my charities. RIBI President Peter King visited the exhibition along with District Governor Stewart Sawle and both were very impressed.
Recent speakers have included Martin Coupe giving us an excellent insight to the proposed HS2 rail link and giving us a lot of food for thought on the economics of the project. Major Fiona Broom of the Salvation Army told us of the horrors of human trafficking that unfortunately appears to be going on all around us.
On 9th October Malcolm Ross joined us along with six children from our Rota School to talk about Marys Meals. The children presented him with £125 from their harvest festival, and our frugal meal and collection more than doubled this. The school had also sent 40 back packs of clothes and goodies to Marys Meals. That night, 50 of us attended the Copper Pot restaurant for an excellent meal, raising £500 for our International fund.
Joan Elbourn gave us a talk and a sniff of essential oils and explained how they had been used in early medicine but are now seen more as part of the beauty industry.
Stuart Pidgeon the head teacher from Redwood School told us of the outstanding year the school had just enjoyed.
The District Conference found 23 of us in Scarborough for the weekend. Merrilyn and I had to leave on the Saturday, so Irene took the reins and really needed a whip when attending the President’s drinks event!
I unfortunately missed Safia Asif telling us about her visit to Ethiopia but I’m told it was very informative, as was the talk by Christine Matthewson about The Christie.(see website for info)
In between all this, Merrilyn and I have been to see the Jersey Boys show, Il Divo in concert and on a Transatlantic cruise to New York on the maiden voyage of the Quantum of the Seas. We braved force 9 and 10 gales on a very rocky ship, had an unexpected trip to the Azores to drop off a sick passenger, did a bit of sunbathing, ate and drunk plenty, and I took part in a wedding proposal flash mob on board. Something that had been planned for 3 months by e-mail, and eventually around 50 passengers, none of whom had met before, took part. Thankfully the bride to be said yes!
I’m pleased to welcome Peter Messum back to the Club and to hear that David Acton is recovering wellfrom his by-pass operation.
Finally Charter Night appeared to be a great success. Andy ‘Big H’ Hargreaves kept everyone entertained with stories of his showbiz life, and the odd bit of mickey taking out of me. I was very pleased to present Chris Bryning with a well-deserved Paul Harris Fellowship. I must thank Ian Madeley for organising the event with Chris’s input, and also Neil Williams for his help and for being the MC on the night.
As Christmas approaches and the first six months of my presidency comes to an end, I’d like to thank you all for your support and I’m looking forward to continuing the good work of the Club in 2015.

Rotary “Pop Up” projects
The “Pop Up” Art Exhibition in the Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre which featured in the last Bulletin successfully ran its course and was closed on 30th October when The Member of Parliament for Rochdale, Simon Danczuk drew the winning tickets in the Raffle.
The project was a great success in several ways. We raised nearly £2,000 for the NSPCC Child Line, which is one of the President’s Charities, we helped promote Geoff Butterworth, a most talented local artist who is now a “Friend of the Rochdale Rotary Club”, we gave several Charities an opportunity to promote themselves and many of our members and friends not only enjoyed the experience but also got to know their fellow members better.
“When are we having another” has been asked. We think that perhaps next year we will put on another exhibition which will be improved by all the lessons which we have learnt from this year’s event.
The main purpose of the “Pop Up Project” is to promote Rotary and the services and projects which we have in hand. To this end “Pull Up Banners” are being prepared to market our projects. We will soon be ready to use these.
So when you least expect it, Our Rotary Club will “Pop Up and Pull Up” to attract the people of Rochdale to join us in the ideal of “Service above Self”.
Rotarian John F Kay PHF, PP

Does Anyone else know what you do at Rotary

At conference this year, I met PDG Elizabeth Tatman, and she was telling me what she is doing now. Well she seems rarely to be at home! I commented that I don't do much.... She challenged me to tell her what I do for the club in Rochdale. At first, I couldn't think of anything, but having been to Petrus the day before, that soon came to mind. “I go to the local Petrus, just half a day when we have an evening meeting, to help out by testing electrical items for sale in the shop – no big deal, but interesting for me.”
“What else?” she demanded.
After some thought, I replied, “well I am the liaison officer with the local high school, and have been for about the last ten years. And I look after the club's projector and sound system for guest speakers.”
“Do you help with any other events organised by you club?” she asked, “do you support your President?”
“Well of course I do – don't we all?”
“Well”, she replied, “I know plenty of people who do a lot less than you! Tell others! Tell people what Rotary does!”
So what's the point of putting this down on paper? To let other members of the club know what's going on within the club. I know that at most meetings 'spots' keep some of us informed. (Not everyone is at every meeting). This bulletin helps with the larger projects, but little is said about all the little things that we all just do anyway. And how many of us remember what was said after we leave the room?
By each of us putting a few words together each month, we can see what others are doing and maybe want to get involved with this or that group, for our own reasons, but mainly to help others. Don't be shy – tell the rest of us what you're up to and see if you can recruit some more to join you. Like me, you might not be doing a lot, but every little helps and collectively we can be a force to be reckoned with!
PP John Cannell

Co-op Dividend Tokens Donated to the Rochdale Pioneers Museum
Rotarian John Kay owned some historic Rochdale Co-op dividend tokens which he has kindly donated to the Rochdale Pioneers Museum on behalf of Rotary Club of Rochdale.
These tinned iron tokens with Co-op society name and value were introduced mid-19th century and enabled members to obtain their ‘divi’ for purchases made in store.
The system was simple to operate. Tokens were issued to customers equal to the sum they spent in the store. A quarterly or half yearly dividend was declared by the Co-op Society. If the dividend was declared at 2/- in the pound e.g., then £5 in purchases (£5 in tokens) enabled the customer to get 10/- in coin of the realm.
The system could give an accurate reading of the store takings, since the monetary amount of tokens issued should be the same as the cash in the till unless there was dishonesty or human error. Some members held back their tokens or bought some off poorer members hoping for a better dividend in the next quarter, so if a low dividend of 3% was declared and two thirds of the members waited for a dividend of 6%, the society would end up paying double on tokens with prior value of 3%. Small societies had serious financial problems as a result.
Forging of high value tokens, those of 10/-, £1 and £5 (hopefully not John’s!) and from numerous societies gave more financial woes. Locally a prolific forger in Halifax was sent to prison in 1881. A few societies that used tokens also used a member’s book system where their purchases were recorded, giving an accurate account of how much dividend they were entitled to. The book and the tokens had to tally to get the dividend, but even this system was abused by alterations in the book and token buying.
Most societies abandoned their metallic tokens for the 'climax' triple paper counterfoil system before 1920 so it is likely that the tokens John has donated, from both the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society and its rival the Rochdale Provident Society, date back well before then. The tokens will be on display at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum in the near future. Please ask a member of the team to look at them if you are visiting.
Rotarian Neil Williams
Wardle Academy Most Improved Student Award
goes to Demi Radevic Charity Fundraiser Extraordinaire

Vice President Irene attended Wardle Academy’s Prize Giving at Rochdale Town Hall recently and writes “Demi was completely selfless throughout the period of her Illness.During that time she worked incredibly hard to raise funds for other young people suffering the effects of brain tumours by organising a “Wear A Hat Day " charity event.It was so successful the Academy will be doing it again next year”.
More info on this innovative fundraising method can be found on the web site It details next year’s National event on 27th March 2015
Charter Night Moments 2014 -Editors Picks

Our Charter night went very smoothly this year and President Bob made for an excellent evening starting with remembering all our guests and supported by a suitably firm and clear speaking master of Ceremonies Neil Williams who must have kept everyone in order when at the Coop!
Despite my terrible jokes to Ben about previous flustered and unintelligable first nighters he gave a clear recitation from the Charter document.
DG Stuart Sawle gave an interesting history of Paul Harris soon after a very calm Chris Bryning received his well deserved award after so many years in the engine room of the club.
VP Irene also gave a new slant to the toast to Rotary international with a fascinating historical image of Rotarians beavering away in all parts of the world and who are often unsung heroes.
Our guest speaker Andy Big H Hargreaves was in fine form and described his and Bob’s complicated lives in a very humorous fashion.He certainly didn’t encourage me to enter quiz shows after desscribing the antics of some of the fellow contestants.
I couldn’t resist videoing Andy so if anyone wants a listen to him again let me know, though perhaps once is enough for the time being.
PP Elvet Smith
Rotarian Maureen Barker writes
“It will soon be New Year and Time for another concert to be held at the Ratcliffe Function Suite ,Sandy Lane (see notice above)This wil be a good evening’s entertainment as we have Rochdale Operatic Society who have volunteered to sing music from the shows in aid of our Rotary Charities.Also our very own local comedian(remember him from the Mike Gatting Cricket evening)Dudley Doolittle will be up to his antics-beware of catching his eye during the evening!We should all come away smiling.
“I would be most grateful for the donation of Raffle prizes as this will help to boost net profits from the evening.
“I have had A4 size posters printed so would be pleased if people could put it up in their local shops or public buildings.”
Mock Interviews at Failsworth School
Our Club members have done these for local schools in the past as a way of introducing teenage students to the hazardous situation of going for a job or college interview.So when Ian Madeley circulated a request for Rotarians to help I was keen to have another go.
I must say I was very impressed with the organisation of the event by Oldham Employment and Skills service .I saw five 15 year olds who had filled in quite a detailed form describing their activities ,hobbies school subjects and plans for the future.
Questions and discussion easily flowed as a result of so much information .As you would expect at this age their views of their future careers were a little blurred they were often hesitant and shy but most seemed well organised in their lives.
If anyone else in the club is interested in taking part in future interviews Kelly Baxendale is the contact name and I can supply you with her email address.She was keen to have more help from you if you can spare the time(during school hours)
PP Elvet
Updates from Project Leaders
Vocational and Youth appeal
‘Joining the Dots’

Following our summary review at the Committees evening we are interested to hear from Rotarians who have contacts in schools with a view to extending our “Most Improved Student Awards”
If you can introduce the Club to a school we hope to interest them in the scheme and connect this to business by Inviting a local business to sponsor the award for 3 years at a cost of £100.
The business would have their company name on the annual award.
Thank you to Keith Swift for the introduction to Moorehouse Primary in Milnrow who are very keen to move forward,
We just need a local business to connect with if you know anyone?
Thank you for your support in extending awareness of Rotary into schools, business and the community
PP Ian Madeley
Urban Farm and Together befriending scheme
Re UrbanFarm there's some cash available from DFID with a meeting on 10th December at Manchester Uni. The secretary of state Justine Greening no less is speaking so I'm practicing my curtsy! There are organisations in the voluntary sector who have already received funding there to advise potential applicants so it sounds useful. Will probably just need the use of a handcart to carry away the application forms!!
I'd like us to have a fund of money to cover start up costs for seed and compost and possibly timber for frames in the right applications as we're ready now to start contacting Rotary clubs in developing countries.
If we can include the potential offer of a small amount of cash, that might help to raise interest. we still need helpers to email the clubs.
The befriending at Together for people recovering from mental illness continues and it seems to be well established and supported by their volunteers.
More Rotary volunteers would be welcome as there is a waiting list for befrienders. Training would be given.
If you are interested contact Julie Radcliffe
on 01706 750740

Rotarian Mike Tomkinson
Shoe Boxes
PP David Smithard is taking filled boxes up to Preston shoebox ware house again on Monday December the 8th.He appeals for you to fill a box in(John Whitley has a supply) and would be glad of assistance on the day.
Interclub Quiz at The Heywood Pub 11/11/14
Our club team of Clive, David Smithard, Neil Helliwell
and myself had a fun evening competing for a cup and also having a good social evening with a potato pie supper and refreshments.Despite fighting valiantly over the evening we came a close 3rd 5 points behind Rochdale East one point behind Heywood and well ahead of Middleton .The lack of medical questions was a handicap to me but probably a relief to the other teams!
Rochdale East Captain received the cup from Heywood President .We are hosting next year’s event.

Dates for your diary
Book club dates
December 8th ‘I Am Pilgrim’ by
Terry Hayes at John W's January 12th 'How bad are bananas' by Mike Berners -Lee c/o John C
at Rake Tapas bar Littleborough
Charity events
VP Irene Davidson writes
“ Where does time go? three events are catching up with us,
Christmas tree Dressing which this year is
" Pride of Rochdale " .We are going to do The Rochdale music service.I am asking members and friends to give me tree decoratdecorations with a music theme and it has to be ready for the 4th December.”
Bag Packing on the Saturday the 13th December at Morrisons, Kingsway.
Christmas Parcels- the community group would like names of people who they think are well deserving of a special Christmas gift from our club.
Opera Night Friday 30th January 730 pm at
Contact Maureen Barker






Doesn’t time fly, or is it only when you are the President? Since the last bulletin so much has happened at and away from Richard Street.

Leonard Striech, Laura’s dad, from USA played his  harmonica in a classic fashion and made the instrument sing.

Helen Matthews from the NSPCC Childline Schools Service gave assembly and I was amazed at the number attending-meeting finishing at the ungodly hour of 8.50pm! IPP Neil presented the Val Scerri award to Marion Sherriff and Sybil Oakley, founders of the Story Book Dad’s scheme at Buckley Hall Prison. I also presented VP Irene with her medal.

D. G. Stuart Sawle talked about the RI theme of Light Up Rotary, asking us to hold a Rotary Day and perhaps join with the District in founding a Rotaract Club. Then Stuart came to the allotments Open Day, to be updated on Grow Bags and Urban Farm schemes.

Louise Butterworth, after 50 years in the jewellery trade, described different   valuation methods -the right sort is important for insurance purposes and best updated every 4 or 5 years. Jewels may not be what they appear to be; tricks of the trade can make them look more expensive. Reputable dealers can detect these; others may not. So buyer beware!

Rebecca Abbott, after a club donation for her trip to Thailand, enthused about her 4 weeks of teaching in a primary school. She was made to feel really welcome   and called her host family her ‘Thai Mum, Dad and brothers’. She is now in Canada as part of her Keele University course.

Saddleworth Rotarian John Ainley talked about Mahdlo Youth Zone in Oldham. After describing the building , start up and running costs he stressed how well it was serving the youth of Oldham and hoped  Rochdale would soon open its own Youth Zone.

 Graham Berry talked of childhood in Tanganyika  (Tanzania) A British Ground nut project had failed miserably, but left a significant white population in the region and Graham went to a school there in a class of 16 children.

 Returning in 2008 the rebuilt, poorly, funded school had over 800 pupils so he and other former pupils now return to the school on a regular basis to improve the school for the benefit of the area’s deprived children.

After Ralph Davidson’s book launch in the Town Hall, Littleborough Townswomens Guild heard my Ecuador trek talk then did a photo shoot at Asda for  Grow Bags . My Presidential Meal at the Waterside Restaurant raised £400 for my charities. Next to Harrogate to see Claire Lees  in The Mikado.

 After the Wine Tasting evening,  I abseiled the Town Hall clock tower next morning. Another photo shoot with Irene and John Kay for the Pop-Up Art Exhibition and then it was the Race Night and £900 for the NSPCC and the Rochdalians football club.

Next to North Wales to ‘fly’ a mile at 100mph on the longest zip wire in Europe. A fantastic experience,  Rotarian Keith Swift is following suit. I and Ecuador fellow trekkers also climbed a sunny Tryfan in Snowdonia.

 Merrilyn and I went to the Dorset coast to visit her beloved Monkey World-not just an ordinary visit but  a Sleepover Event camping inside Monkey World, though not in a cage! It was Merrilyn’s first night under canvas ever but thankfully she enjoyed it. Wandering through the park without the hindrance of the general public was a godsend. Seeing the apes going to bed and getting up may sound odd, but was an amazing experience.

Vowing to do another sleepover next year, we then went for three nights R&R at Weymouth to explore the Jurassic Coast further.  Taking in Chisel Beach, Portland Bill, the Abbotsford Swannery and Weymouth itself, we were blessed with lovely warm sunshine for the whole period.

With a Lake District 20 mile walk in memory of a former work colleague, the Pop-Up Art Exhibition, Rochdale East Charter Night, the Copper Pot meal   and the District Conference, things don’t look like slowing down much before my Atlantic Cruise in November.

Seniors out at Castleton Bowling Club on August 6th

It was a sunny afternoon as Keith Swift unloaded his gear ready for entertaining 35 Seniors gathered by members to have a fun afternoon out singing eating and playing crown green bowls .

Thanks to Mike Tomkinson the bulk of the attendees  were members of the Mind and Alzheimer’s Society support groups.  Everyone, including some Senior Rotarians and friends, were royally entertained.

A new caterer was used, VP Irene rallied the troops in  the kitchen , the food was great and there was tea aplenty, Stuart and John from Castleton bowling club sorted the bar and John Cannell and I got out the bowls for anyone who wanted the sport. Some just enjoyed watching the bowlers go by from the comfort of their benches.

Back in the entertainment suite a charming moment came at the end of Keith’s singing when couples got up to dance! Keith himself got quite excited and waltzed around the room .

Thanks to everyone, it was a worthwhile afternoon, helping people to be happy, at a club  event to be remembered.

PP Elvet

Charter Night Guest Speaker

Andy Big H Hargreaves

Andy ‘Big H’ Hargreaves has been in the entertainment business for many years. He was a colleague of mine both in the Council several years ago and with Birch Radio and Roch Valley Radio, before he broke into professional radio at Rossendale Radio. He can now be heard on-air daily at Bolton FM plus on Sunday at Signal Radio, Stoke.

Andy’s moment of fame came on the Weakest Link about which he’ll tell you more on the night, and that was followed by an appearance on Pointless. He has also starred on stage at the Curtain Theatre.His Life motto is‘We are here for a good time not a long time’Never short of a joke or two as those who have attended my Race Nights will know, Andy will keep us entertained on Charter Night.

President Bob Chadwick

Charter Night for our club, it’s 88th birthday party is on Friday 21st November at Richard Street Masonic Buildings and our newest member Ben will read the Charter.PP Ian Madeley will soon be letting you know all the details.

Half Centurion Rotarian Dougie Wood and his artwork is revealed again!

It was in 1964 while I was still doing my O levels Dougie Wood ex Coal merchant came with a ton of fun to join Rochdale Rotary Club .With a vivid imagination he enjoys a certain celebrity status for thinking up interesting projects which revealed fellow Rotarians’ previously unknown ‘tendencies’. A self taught artist Dougie set about painting successive club Presidents

Dougie did contribute tremendously in my time particularly by organising Christmas parcels for the needy elderly of Rochdale and was a backbone in  Catering for the Old Folks Christmas Dance at Rochdale Town Hall .He was one of the first to do Cine recordings of club events and you always knew who the tall figure was, with a camera hiding his face. He commented that I was ‘a great mover’ when doing my talks at the club and difficult to record on camera.When I first came to the Club Dougie was asked to provide some ‘props’ for a dancing spectacular. Much to Moddie’s relief and safer floor boards 4 man-size puppet dancers were retrieved from Dougies loft. All smartly dressed in coat and tails(one was Dougies original best suit).4 of us  danced away with these at the Rolling Rotarians show at the Masonic to great applause.It was the first time lipstick had been used by some of us.

Despite Dougie’s pleas Moddie refused to accept these almost human characters back and so each of us had to seek a means of disposal. Firstly I put one up in our loft but it didn’t fit.So after solemnly giving Dougie back his dress suit on a hanger at a Rotary lunch  I set about disposal.It was well put together and so I dismantled it on my front drive.Sitting down by the side of the car I hammered this life-like effigy into bits. People going past sped up a bit but I wasn’t reported to the authorities, fortunately.

  I hope this gives you a flavour of just a few things Dougie has been up to in his 50 years at the club.His health has not been good recently but let us all wish him and Moddie  the very best and thank him for the fun and for supporting our club for so long!

PP Elvet


For 6 WEEKS between 20th September and 30th October Geoff Butterworth, well known local artist, has been given a rent free unit in Rochdale Exchange with the help of Rotarian John Kay. He has kindly offered to give Rotary Charities 20% of his takings during this time.

The Rotary members have offered to act as Stewards for the event in 2 hour blocks through the day and will be selling raffle tickets to passersby in aid of our Rotary Charities. Geoff has kindly offered 4 signed prints as prizes for winners of this raffle. The shop will be open from 10 am until 4 pm every day including Sundays. It will be a great opportunity for Rotary to show its presence to the Rochdale people. John Kay writes “Charities of our choice will be invited to come and the manager of the Shopping Centre has no objection if, under our guidance, we allow other Rochdale Charities to "adopt a day" and to provide Stewards for the Exhibition while promoting their own Charities on that day. We have divided each day into three 2 hour shifts. (10.00am to 12.00 noon, 12.00 noon  to 2.00 pm, 2.00 pm  to 4.00 pm ) We need two stewards for each shift. The duties are very simple

  1. Sell raffle tickets
  2. take details for sale of paintings (when Geoff Butterworth is not there)
  3. talk about Rotary to anyone who would like to be involved

Geoff Butterworth will be there most days but has another exhibition on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th October.John Kay will act as Organiser and Michaela Slough, an Arts Graduate, will work as his assistant.Geoff will have about 50 exhibits on display.

 John Cannell will also display four of his canvas photos for sale.

Geoff Butterworth’s Limited Edition prints, mounted but not framed would be sold for £35 and framed for £60. His original paintings will be priced.”

If you have not already volunteered as a steward contact Mike Tomkinson .This is a new venture for the club and may point the way to similar events in the future .There are always empty shops/units around and it is great that Charities be given the opportunity to promote themselves and improve the shopping experience for Rochdale people.



While we have been making good progress in emailing details of our website to many NGO’s in developing countries we are now starting to contact other Rotary Clubs to see if they would be interested in promoting UrbanFarm in their own areas. We propose to target clubs in selected countries within Africa and Asia and particularly where we have projects operating nearby.

This is a huge job and we would welcome any volunteers who would be willing to help us send a standard letter to a list of email addresses that I will supply you with.

Having carried out this exercise over the last 10 months I have to confess it is not the most exciting job in the world but, with your help, it will certainly allow us to start new Accessible-Edibles projects and hopefully links to Rotary Clubs in developing countries.

Rotn.Mike Tomkinson


 We have all seen many events to commemorate the ghastly history of WW1 this year and just a few images which have impressed me have been a statue of a soldier in full uniform from a graveyard in Shropshire -so proud and immaculately turned out.

Another was the Show garden at Tatton flower show of the Trenches; conjuring up their horrors; more so because it was a gloriously sunny day and it was surrounded by marvellous flowers at the show generally. Dean Sherriff writes with great feeling in the following poem;

                       MY NAME IS ……………

My name doesn’t matter…..

But I can tell you

I’ve been around a very, very long time.

Many high moments but many troughs of deep despair

How I have suffered in the last 100 years!

Many times I wondered if I would survive.

Like when they assassinated Archduke Ferdinand

Like that day when Britain declared war.

A day I remember with horror.

A day I nearly died


But things got even worse still ………


How the sound of that word plunges a knife into my heart!

A million casualties in one battle.

Millions abandoned me.

Many reluctantly, many honourably

and reached for their weapons

What futility!

What waste!

What senseless carnage!

I loved listening to my friends

Rupert, Wilfred, Siegfried

What powerful yet sadly true feelings they expressed

Such insight, such wisdom!

So many, many people lost their lives

Then I saw things beginning to change

The League of Nations came on the scene

I began to take heart; my spirits revived

My heart rejoiced that all these countries yearned

to end all wars.

“Collective security and disarmament“ That was sweet music to my years

I should have known it was too good to last

I heard someone say

“The League worked very well  when sparrows shout,

but it was no good at all when eagles fell out.”

How sadly true!

I limped and stumbled on my strength beginning to fail

The unbelievable happened… another world war!

Far worse than the last one

I could feel my life ebbing away…

I felt terminally ill, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Auschwitz

horrors of unimaginable proportions,

deeply inflicted wounds

There was no future, no hope but then 

humanity reasserted itself.

The fighting stopped and the UN gave me new hope,

Mankind is moving on, I thought

“Give peace a chance”

the nations of the world sang

I waited with bated breath……….

Was this what I had been waiting for all my existence?

No!    No!   No!

When it mattered most, they failed.

Their  commitment turned out to be penny pinching,


If only they had really tried to make it work

*  *  *  *  *

I still live in hope

but when the cruel fires of war still burn

in Palestine, in Syria, in Ukraine, in Iraq, in  Afghanistan,

in South Sudan

I just wonder…….

*  *  *  *  *

By the way, if you are interested

my name is……..


PP Dean Sherriff   30th July, 2014

RIBI President and District Governor Visit Art Shop

It was very pleasing to have a  visit from the RIBI President on Monday 22nd September. Photo shows Yvonne O'Reilly from the Shopping Centre, DG Stuart Sawle, President Bob, RIBI President Peter King and Di King , Geoff Butterworth  in the middle.

RotaKids Mary's Meals Presentation

On Friday Joan Elbourn and our President attended the school assembly at St James, Wardle to officially receive all the back packs and assorted items they have collected for Mary’s Meals.

For those who don’t know what the Charity Mary’s Meals does it sets up school feeding projects in some of the world's poorest communities, where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education. It was founded in 2002 and has grown from its first feeding operation of 200 children in Malawi, to a world-wide campaign, providing free school meals in hundreds of schools and feeding over 860,000 children daily.

 We are having a light lunch at the club on 9th of October when half our lunch fee will go to the Charity which President Bob has as one of his preferred Charities this year.There is quite a detailed description of the Charity on Wikipedia

Sue Cannell’s recent visit to Monet’s garden, Givenchy, France

Sue writes”The gardens are indescribably beautiful, very strict geometric layouts disappear beneath  profusions of flowers.  Facing the house, Clos Normande, on the central path a wisteria covered (flowering virtually over when we were there) Japanese bridge spans the pond, which was created by diverting a stream.  The Water Garden, Monet’s greatest masterpiece, is a separate garden and is a meandering lake full of water lilies”

for her full article see Inner wheel website

July bulletin 2014

President’s Remarks

    Wow! nearly a month into my Term of Office already, doesn’t time fly? Handover was a great event ; the Paul Harris Award  to John Whitley was a moving affair and  richly deserved. In my  time in Rotary, John has been a great help, always there when needed. Dean Sheriff accepted the District Val Scerri Award  for  work he and Marion do for Storybook Dads at Buckley Hall prison. He nearly got a hernia carrying it to his car; Marion wants it on show at Charter Night, so its double(truss) trouble ahead for Dean!

 VP Irene was recuperating from her operation and PP David Smithard away so I’ll bring my step ladder to the next Friend’s Night and give Irene her gong and David his pin. Irene is on the mend and looked wonderful at the Bowls evening.

 Finally thanks to Keith Swift for the entertainment  and to Keith Crossley for enthusiastically joining in-he does it all the time on his holidays in Tenerife.

   Next day two tables of Rotarians and partners were at Old Trafford to celebrate the Lancashire cricket Board OSCAs; we support LCB through John Holder’s marvellous cricket evenings.

At my first proper meeting Mike Lucas stepped up to the mark and told us about ‘Making the Grade’ in music exams. Mike has 40 years’ experience in Rochdale and Darlington and the Queen Mother has congratulated him on his service. The sheer number of different instruments on which exams are taken is staggering and although the numbers have dropped in recent years, there are still over 150,000 exams taken annually in this country alone.

That same day, I presented the ‘Unsung Hero’ award at  Redwood School Sports Personality of the Year . The Club sponsors the award, which is given to show that you don’t have to be the fastest, the strongest or the best; as long as you do your best and try your hardest you will amaze everyone just how much you can achieve. A few days later I attended  Redwood’s Intern Graduation ceremony at no.1 Riverside. Here was another example of just what these children can achieve if given the chance. The employers of all 7 interns had nothing but praise for their dedication and hard work and  commented how refreshing it was to have young people wantIng to work and not just turn up and do as little as possible. The whole ethos of Redwood never ceases to amaze and the dedication of all the staff is incredible.

 Then it was the annual Bowls Night. Thanks  to Elvet and Liz Smith for organising the night and to Castleton Bowling Club for allowing us in again. Also  a big thanks to Sue and John Cannell for sorting the food. Congratulations to Maureen Barker on being the Best Lady on the night and to Mike Lucas the overall winner, with Ralph Davidson the runner-up.

24th July   was my Focus Interview with questions ably put by Neil Helliwell. Hopefully you  learned a little more about me that you didn’t know before. Later that day 11 of us went to Old Trafford to see   Lancashire Lightning play the Durham Dynamos in the 20/20 Blast league. I’m glad to say Lancashire won easily, a victory that saw them top the northern Group table. Thanks go to John Holder for organising the evening.

To add to the above, my Mum came home from hospital / rehab home after 14 weeks. So far she is settling in well and trying to do as much as she can. Merrilyn and I helped  NSPCC’s Baking Competition ‘raising’ over £500.Then to Dyfi in West Wales to view the Ospreys in the flesh or feather whichever you prefer. Merrilyn follows their escapades on t’ Internet.

  2 quick reminders; the Presidential Meal on Tuesday 19th August at the Waterside Restaurant Littleborough;  £20 per head a two course meal and a drink, with £5  to my charities. Places are limited so let me know  you want to come if you are not yet on the list.

 Race Night and Potato pie supper (£3 pp)is on Friday 5th September at Rochdale Catholic Club  Ann street; a joint event with the Rochdalians Football Club.

International Project for 2014/15

International Committee is going to raise funds during the year for Greenland Orphanage, Uganda with a restaurant evening and 10 pin bowling events in the pipe lane .AIDS has decimated the Uganda population leaving many children orphaned.

Convenor John Holder says “Most of the money raised to build and run the orphanage came from Rochdale by Ugandans living here. The ones who headed the project are three brothers who own Arien Refrigeration on John Street.
  “About six years ago while on an MCC cricket tour of Uganda I took  some of the tour members to the orphanage. We were well received and given an in depth tour of the facility. The children were well looked after and appeared happy.  With limited funds and in difficult circumstances, the staff do an excellent job in caring for the orphans.

One of the brothers, Rafiq runs the Orphanage. He told me that any assistance Rochdale Rotary Club can offer would be gratefully received” see   website Pics show children,staff and visiting doctors

Story Book Dads

First of all thank you very much for choosing the Story Book Dads project to be nominated for the Val Scerri Award at District. We have been running this project since 2004 and during that time we have recorded over 600 DVD’s. The Rotary Club of Rochdale turned this project around when in 2006 your response to support this Prison work was to give us a grant of £500. With this money the project received an injection of new life, as we moved from audio to visual recordings.

 Over the years many families have been touched by this project and, to this day, prisoners are very appreciative of the work being done. Rochdale Rotary again responded to a request for money when we needed to buy a new camera, having worn out the first one, and so the work continues.

 Marion is to retire from this work in August of this year, but we are pleased to report that the project will continue. Dean and Allister will continue to be part of this work and so Rochdale Rotary will still be actively involved in this community project.

  Thank you again for all your support and we are delighted that this has been recognised by District in awarding the club the Val Scerri Vocational Award.

Marion, Dean and Allister


Our RotaSchool

On the evening of Wednesday 16th July, Neil and I went to St James’s School Wardle to the Year 6 Leavers’ Concert. All the year 6 pupils took part.

With their teachers’ help they had written a play with songs looking back on their experiences of school from the perspective of four young adults waiting to be interviewed for their first job.

It was clever, funny and truly entertaining. When it came to their final song where they were saying goodbye to their teachers and the school there were quite a few tears, not only from the children but many in the audience. It was very moving.

Neil and I were hugely impressed, not only with their talent but also with their obvious affection for the school, and all those who had influenced their education. It made us proud of our RotaSchool and want to involve our club and members even more with the school and its activities in the future.

At the end of the evening Neil presented our Rotary club’s “Service above Self” award to Aimee Cardiff. Since starting at St James’s Aimee has been involved in every aspect of school life, willingly giving help wherever she could. She is bright and pleasant,  I have never seen her without a smile . In September she will start at Crompton House School and I am sure she will succeed in whatever she decides is to be her future.

Joan Elbourn PP


(Or, to be less basic – POLLINATION)

 The function of the flower is to produce offspring. Pollination is the transference of pollen from an anther to a stigma, i.e. from the pollen bearing part in a male to the female part of the flower.  Pollen may come from anthers in the same flower (self- pollination) or from a different flower (cross-pollination).  A flower may be pollinated by a different flower on the same plant – this is known as in-breeding.  If pollinated by a flower from a different plant, it is known as outbreeding.  The source of pollen may be the same flower in self -pollination or a different flower in cross-pollination, although for practical plant breeding purposes cross-pollination should include different plants. 

  The agents of cross-pollination include wind and animals (mostly insects in Britain), but more tropical climates may have birds, bats and mammals acting as vectors.

   Wind pollinated flowers are usually small, green, lacking nectar and unscented, for example the grasses and catkins on trees such as willow, birch, hazel, beech, oak, and nettles. They also tend to have large stigma (female) to maximise the chances of intercepting pollen grains in the air.

   Animal pollinated  flowers are usually bright and attractive, and are scented to attract insects and produce nectar to feed them.  The insects such as bees and flies then collect pollen on their bodies and carry it to other flowers.  Examples of these bright, attractive flowers include buttercup, foxglove, tulip and poinsettia.  Indeed the poinsettia’s small, yellow flowers would not be noticed by animal pollinators, if it were not for the brilliant red, modified leaves, called bracts, below them.  Similarly, the bougainvillea has small white flowers which are inconspicuous too, but are contrasted by its wonderfully colourful bracts.

   Plant breeders may use houseflies, enclosed in a glasshouse to carry out pollination, or mechanical transference of pollen which can be achieved by hand using brushes. Some types of floral structure such as antirrhinum (snapdragon) and clover physically prevent non-pollinating species by allowing only heavy bees to enter the flower.  Others trap pollinators for a period of time to give the best chance of successful fertilisation, e.g. Arum lily. The lily’s reproductive parts, which are pale green against a pure white background, are very clearly displayed when laden with pollen.  Also the pollen grains adhere to the lily’s sticky stigma. 

I hope you have found this interesting; maybe it will give you food for thought when purchasing plants in future. We need to encourage as many insects as possible, so please consider colour and scent, also wide, open daisy type flowers that the insects can see  from afar.  At this time of year it is wonderful to see many types of plants smothered in bees. 

Long may it last!

Rotary Friend Sue Cannell.


Back in the Air!(as some Rotarians do)

  Way back in about 1958, I experienced my first flight in an aircraft where I could actually take the controls in  an open two seater glider of the Derbyshire & Lancashire Gliding Club,  Great Hucklow,  It was the first of  week-long holidays with flying friend Ian, over the next ten years or so, at various gliding clubs.

 Fast forward some 50 odd years to last Tuesday, the 22nd of July. I couldn’t refuse a RAYNET friend’s invite  to a club by a village called Chipping near Preston.

  It was a perfect evening. A light breeze, a clear blue sky, several fine old gliders and a group of club members keen to give a selection of people their first (in most cases) experience of flying. I got chatting to the lady  in charge of sorting out who would be flying with who, and she kindly said  she would arrange for me to go with Ged,  the most experienced instructor, in the hope that I would be allowed to ‘drive’ and not be treated as a raw recruit.

Her plan worked well. When it was my turn Ged asked a few questions and said that he would deal with the launch and landing ; I could do the rest. Brilliant!

I was prepared for the violent acceleration that a winch launch gives. From the first slight movement to leaving the ground at some 50 mph takes about 3 seconds and subjects one to about 1g, i.e., your weight doubles and the blood rushes to your head… But that is over very quickly, followed by a climb at about 45 degrees to around 1,000 feet, when the cable to the winch is released by the instructor. The aircraft is now free to go where you tell it to.

Ged ,good as his word,  handed the controls to me and told me where to head for. Initially, a large hill   a mile away, where  paragliders enjoyed the rising air. (A paraglider is a special wing shaped parachute that can be controlled by the person it’s attached to – the simplest form of flying). These flyers kept us too far from the hill for us to be kept up too, so the return was too soon… Ged landed smoothly and it was all over.

But the lady in charge had other ideas hinting I shouldn’t go home just yet, as she had a cunning plan. I enjoyed just watching and chatting to the other club members, reminiscing about our early flying experiences, and watching the sun sink towards the horizon. I was just about to leave, when I was called again. “It’s down to Ged, but if he approves, you can go again – you only had a short flight before”. Ged approved, and off we went again, in what would be the last flight of the day. Again we headed for the hill, and by now the paragliders had packed up and gone home, so we could get in much closer, and there was enough wind to allow me to maintain our height by flying long figure of eights in the rising air. Bliss….

After about five minutes I could judge our speed by the sound of the air going past. All too soon Ged told me to head back to the field. “But keep the speed down – with a bit of luck they’ll have tidied it all away before we land”. And so it turned out. His final comment as we walked back in the gathering dusk was “Not bad – we’ll make a glider pilot of you yet”. I reminded him that he’d better be quick – I’m getting on a bit now!

pp John Cannell

.Talking of flowers Liz and I saw an NSPCC Show Garden at Tatton flower show –theme our President’s Charity Childline School Service!

-a very hot day but wonderful colour everywhere

   PP Elvet

Kids Out at Gullivers World

Rotarian Chris Bryning writes “we had a warm and wonderful day out with 15 Redwood pupils 14 Rotarians and school staff .There was a lot to keep the kids and Rotarians interested with rides and funfair enjoyed by everyone. A Jurassic Park area had lots of Dinosaurs ;a circular train took you around the site; a maize didn’t result in any lost kids!  Music struck up and some of the kids began dancing along and so good  to see their enjoyment.Many thanks to Ian Madeley for his chauffeuring and photography,VP Irene Davidson for conquering her nerves of rides and David Acton for negotiating a reduced entrance fee!”

IPP Neil Helliwell’s final month(and a bit)

I had an amazing year , learned a lot , had  many fabulous  experiences ,tried to smile to not  ruin any photos. Pudding evening was a major highlight (also Allister’s with a new 5 Rotary puddings eating record – hail new pudding king).  A big thank you for  the donations; special mention Heather Williams for 7  puddings (2 Diabetic)and a great mystery pudding round. I was glad not to  be blindfolded. 

 I gave a toast at Heywood Charter Night -  President Phil Corns movingly spoke of the stroke he suffered but had fabulous support from his Rotary. Thank you all who came; Sorry Joan - too full to eat  your pud.      

President’s Charity night  speaker Graham Dring Co-ordinator of  Greater Manchester Asbestos Victim Support Group, gave a fascinating talk on mesothelioma and received a £100 donation.  Thanks Graham for coming at  short notice with Paul Rowen’s help.Jill Lemon, Fundraising Manager, Mesothelioma UK wrote to thank the club for donating£1,500.Thanks everyone- a very special and  emotional evening.

 Stan Fielding’s talk on the history and ‘goings on’ of Rochdale Policing was full of interesting facts and anecdotes.  Next to Middleton Rotary club where Pam Joyce  gave us an update on Disaster Aid’s progress.  Eight clubs from two districts each contributed £200  for the school Disaster Aid Tent. 

 At Club assembly ADG Ken Tonge came after a horrendous two hour motorway trip to get to us. 

Thanks Clive Reid for representing our club at  Hopwood Hall  Student Awards the same evening. Ben Leach gave his excellent job talk with some useful advice and skilful bell ringing .

 At a moving handover I was extremely proud to award a Paul Harris Fellowship to  Treasurer John Whitley (served the club tremendously for 25 years; now in his 14th year as Treasurer) Club got  Val Scerri  Vocational trophy for the Story book dads project- couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish .

I ‘pretended’ to be President at year 6 St. James’ School Awards Night.  The children’s fabulous show ‘A great place to start’ had songs and drama -very tearful  during the final song as it sank in they were leaving .I presented the Rotary ‘Service Above Self’ award to Aimee (see Joan’s article)finally thank you all for wonderful support (I could not have done it without you);wishing President Bob and team all the best .

Immediate Past President Neil

Foodbank update

In July, Foodbank use reduced from the high levels in winter when numbers were up to 100 per week but the 4 weeks of July were 53, 64,67,66. This downward trend is encouraging as more people seek work.

 we recently had a 3 day Tesco collection generating 2.3 tons of food-A welcome event to restock our dwindling shelves . We  currently  need  sugar, coffee, pasta sauces and toilet rolls.

 We also have a need for cash donations to cover our monthly overheads running at just under £1000.

  Many thanks to Mike and David for their kind donations of fresh vegetables during the winter .

 PP Martin Coupe Trustee of Rochdale Foodbank

Membership Committee News from John Kay

The membership committee met on Tuesday 1st July 2014 and is not complacent about membership.  The Club has 34 full members, 2 members on leave of absence and 13 Friends. However, many people  would like to join us to take part in our numerous projects but they don’t know how to do so.

Plans are to have a supply of marketing materials  “Pull Up” banners will describe our projects. Community Committee will design the first.

 “Pop Up” displays in empty shops and other venues with free tea and coffees will attract visitors.

More “friends of the Rotary Club of Rochdale” are needed for  projects such as “the Gracie Fields Project” and the “Youth Zone Project”

What next? -“Business Cards”, E.Marketing, a Community “Natter” Project and ?new Rotaract Club- watch this space – and do get involved.

The next meeting of the  Committee will be on Tuesday 2nd September 2014 at 5.00pm in Rochdale Town Hall.  Everyone is welcome.

News about ‘Our Gracie’

Councillor Farnell leader of the Council has secured a sponsor to enable a statue of Our Gracie to be erected in Rochdale and this has been great news for the Rotary Clubs of East and ourselves as well as the Gracie fields Appreciation society –well done John Kay and other club members  for your persistence in promoting this cause.


Mikey (Michael Holding) at our next Cricket event

Rotarian and Former umpire John Holder has known Michael Holding, legendary West Indies fast bowler,  for many years  and 'Mikey' is now a Test match cricket pundit and commentator –he has a very distinctive deep bass  West Indian drawl and great sense of humour.He has agreed to come to our next Cricket event date to be finalised but sometime during 2015 cricket season when he will be in the North of England for Tests at Old Trafford and Headingly.

 Well done John for persuading him to come–you can’t have called no ball very often!

Hopwood Hall Most Improved Students

   On 19 June - our Club Assembly night - on behalf of the President I presented gift vouchers to the six most improved apprentices which we had sponsored at Hopwood Hall College. The Annual Awards evening was held at Middleton Arena once again and was attended by hundreds of trainees and parents to applaud all those who were receiving awards.

Our Rotary club has been sponsoring these awards for a number of years now and each improved trainee receives a £20 voucher. In return, we have our name and logo displayed at the event and on the programme.

On this occasion, the event was held at a brisk pace as England were playing their first match in the World Cup that night so we had to make sure that proceedings were finished before 8:00!

Rotarian Clive Read


Petrus seemed to have weathered the reduction in Government funding by getting other income  via various successful Grant applications.It  continues to operate 8 supported housing services in Rochdale and Oldham for 76 men and women .New premises in Heywood will accommodate a further 4 single women in a shared house.Petrus won a tender with Rossendale Council to manage an 18 bedded housing service for homeless people .The Petrus Hub provides a wide range of services and activities for the homeless and is a vital centre for Rochdale people.

 Petrus Community store at Hamer has been heavily supported by our club members and is getting increasing weekly revenue(more than a £1000) but still has some way to go to recoup  initial set up costs.

  Many thanks to all members who volunteer and the club generally in its support of a very well run worthwhile local Charity

PP Elvet ,Petrus Trustee

Hot off the Press! ASDA give Rotary and Redwood School £200 for Urban Farm Project

 On 30th July 14 Asda  gave this donation as part of their contribution to improving Rochdale Community charity activities  .PP David Acton received the cheque with ASDA staff and Redwood pupils(some a bit sleepy!) in attendance

MAY BULLETIN 2014 In this issue -Presidents Remarks, UrbanFarm, Ted Jenkins tributes, Vice President’s plans, Nidd Walk

President’s Remarks -Into my final Presidential month after a hectic fun year. Sad news of PP Ted Jenkins passing away; I was honoured to attend a moving service at Rochdale Crematorium. Ted was President in 1984/85, a great Rotarian who will be fondly remembered. Visitors evening  included Michael Muriithi, President of Ugandan Rotary Club of Nkumbu  Past DG Graham Jackson of Hope and homes for children has a tremendous aim - a family home if possible. Harrowing stories highlighted what great work the charity does and delighted to give £100 to Graham(club donated £500 previously).The whisky tasting evening raised £253  for Mesothelioma UK.   I don’t drink whisky but learned about the whiskies on offer - fun watching others enjoying it. A big thank you to Keith Banks, imbibers, helpers. Ian Birchenough, Chair of Governors, Matthew Moss High spoke of their very innovative project-based learning  methods;  a thought provoking talk - great to see the children becoming more confident, self-reliant and thinking for themselves -inspiring  that they are showing their method to other schools .After an enjoyable five day break in Basle and the Black Forrest -the AGM: great  to elect 2 members of council (the first time in my memory it’s happened).Congrats Ann and Michael and a big thank you to nominees Maureen and Keith .

UrbanFarm launch at new fire station ;Mayor Peter Rush’s  garden shears cut the ribbon; I got a bit worried when he appeared to be pointing them at me (thankfully I had not upset him).Well done David Acton and Mike Tomkinson on a successful launch / stride forward for a fabulous project. That evening District and national grants seminar in Bolton - useful to hear about the RI website.

Soprano Claire Lees sang for us- Club gave £200 towards her studies at the Guildhall School of Music . A fabulous soprano ably accompanied by Ewan-a star in the making (I particularly enjoyed her ‘ Ave Maria’) .  I am so lucky- two wonderful singers in my year.

Ralph Davidson’s moving talk on 2 WW2 Milnrow heroes was from a book painstakingly compiled (with assistance) over seven years. Congratulations Ralph on a great tribute to the fighting men of Milnrow. Joan and I gave St. James School a cheque for £250 matching the money the children raised to buy school uniforms for children in Namibia.  I was a little nervous speaking before the whole school but the children were brilliant  ?future Rotarians. Under sunny skies, Nichola and I supported a charity cricket match (umpire John Holder) at Royton CC -£7,000 for mesothelioma UK. Our club meal at Hopwood Hall College raised over £100 for polio plus- a lovely meal -hope for repeat in Bob’s year.A rewarding and productive new committees evening made me look forward to details at club assembly in June. Dean and I attended Redwood School present most improved student award to Safia Bi.-thrilled to have outstanding progress in all  subjects, conquering her fear of water, outstanding behaviour. Shield bounced off windowsill (undamaged) prior to the presentation-students had clapped so hard- we  waved both hands instead .Well done Safia . Geoff Howard gave us an informative/ educational talk about ‘pots’ and China. Not come across stapled plates before; history was fascinating (pretending to make gold from base metals meant King’s dungeon awaited).Plates were safe even with ‘butterfingers’ President. We also had a visitor from Mauritius, Mr B Ashok Mody, of Rotary Club  Beau Basin /Rose Hill-an honour to exchange club banners. Congratulations again to Ben and Hannah Leach on birth of baby Simon Joseph.

By July’s bulletin VP Bob will be President ;I wish him all the best; hope you will give him the same fantastic

support I received. Hope also you enjoyed ‘President’s remarks’ over the past eleven months giving a flavour of a Rotary President’s life. Talking of flavour, not long now before the pudding event.

President Neil


No, nothing to do with big cats, just a bunch of Rotarians with a shared interest in amateur radio. Rotarians Of Amateur Radio is a world wide fellowship, with a group based here in the UK. We communicate by radio on a regular basis, every Sunday morning around the UK, and also around Europe and America and Australia at different times of the day.

We have an AGM in May, which is held in a different part of the country each year, as members are scattered far and wide, from Inverness to Devon. This year it was my turn to organise the event. I chose Chester initially, and then decided to centre the meeting at Stretton, near Warrington, at the Park Royal hotel, part of the Qhotel group, as we have used others in the group in different parts of the country and found them to be good value without being too expensive.

The format of the weekend is simple. We meet on the Friday evening for dinner, and then on the Saturday explore the local area as a group, before returning to the hotel for the AGM before dinner.

As there is so much potential for places to visit around Cheshire, I suggested having an extra day, which was accepted, so we had a ‘free’ day on Sunday, before setting off to our respective homes on Monday morning.

We agreed that there were two places that the majority wanted to visit out of the list of six that I’d suggested. They were the Anderton Boat Lift and Jodrell Bank. Since they are not far from the hotel, or each other, we managed to do both in the day. On Sunday, we split into two groups, some went into Chester and some to Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

The weather was perfect, the company great, and overall the event was judged to be a success. Quite a few of the members had never visited the area before, and were suitably impressed  - even surprised – at what we have to offer north of Watford Gap services!

 Pp John.

Latest from Rotakids School

Neil and I went to St James's School this morning to present the Rotary District Matching Grant towards the purchase of school uniforms for pupils in Namibia. 

It was a full school assembly,Neil spoke to the children and presented it to  Harrison Mills, Chair of the School Council. 


PERENNIAL PLANTING -  maintaining those borders!

The choice of plant, for the conditions it is going to be living in, is vital.  “Right plant, right place”!

The quality of the plant at the time of buying i.e. leaves in good condition, no discolouration or withering is very important.  It should not be totally pot bound, but roots do need to be spreading throughout the pot.  The surface of the compost must not be covered in moss, weeds etc.

When planting first soak the plant in its pot, then dig a hole larger then the pot it comes in and incorporate organic matter (bought compost or homemade), and a handful of bonemeal at the bottom.  Mix some of the surrounding soil with this and water the hole thoroughly. Place the plant in the hole and backfill with a mix of the organic matter and surrounding soil. Press down around the stem firmly.  Water well again, and water weekly until the plants are established.

Mulching will help the plants by retaining water below the surface of the soil and stops weeds germinating and coming up which then compete with the plants.  A yearly feed of ‘Growmore’ or blood, fish and bone around the base of each plant with help with growth and health of the plant.

STAKING  -  Always stake early in plant growth, using cut branches of birch or hazel, metal supports, bamboo canes and twine. Plant densely so plants will support each other.

About this time of year plant stems can be cut down by half.  This prevents plants from splaying outwards and looking untidy, besides giving more, but smaller flowerheads.  This is known as the “Chelsea Chop”!

FEEDING  -  This is achieved by two methods, base dressing and top dressing. Base dressing is applied to the soil before planting or seed sowing, and it is dug into the topsoil.  Once the plants are actively growing, extra nutrients can be applied in solid form around the base of the plants, or in liquid form when watering.  Fertilisers supply short term plant nutrients. Most come in granular form, which are easy to distribute, but CARE must be taken to avoid the plant tissues, as they can be easily scorched.  The top dressing should be watered in well, and is best added in Spring.

WATERING  -  Watering is generally dependent on site, climate and the individual species of plant.  Most established plants, provided they are grown in the appropriate conditions, often need little irrigation.  (This is NOT true of plants grown in pots)!  Watering is best carried out in the evening when it evaporates less quickly from the soil surface.  Newly established plants need watering frequently.  Thorough watering is essential to enable the water to sink deeply into the soil and target the plant’s roots.  Applying small amounts of water is of little value as much of it simply evaporates off the soil surface before it can reach down to the roots.

Brilliant examples of herbaceous borders can be seen at Arley Hall in Cheshire, and Newby Hall in North Yorkshire, to name but two!  If you want further information on these and other great gardens in the North West I can help.

Rotary Friend Sue Cannell.

Nidderdale Walk May 17th 2014

A happy band of 9 walkers from the club and it’s environs had a glorious sunny day (see cool dudes with sunspecs)on the hills above Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire –the photo above is of the 6 hardy souls who had enough energy to do 8 miles up Nidderdale and back again.

You will see Helen looking peaceful at that moment but you should have seen her go! Keith received praise for fathering such a sturdy walker and gallantly ‘accompanied’ Helen several hundred yards in front. Neil was glad of some cooperative movement with Mike who did his best to keep up but had to admit defeet. At the back was a medical fold protecting the rear . Much rumination went on about life the universe and everything .Nobody had the answer but we all were reunited with ‘the 4 milers’ Pauline and the 2 Heathers(they had ambled by the Nidd River bank)  back at the scout hut to deregister.

A quick trip back to an idyllic Dale’s cottage resulted in greetings from Liz sitting us down to a good Yorkshire Gold tea ,salmon and egg sarnies various tastie meaty titbits; cool beers and wine ; followed by  cream scones with bilberry jam and Pauline’s strawberry cake

To cap it off Neil Williams and I also raised £300 for Mesothelioma UK (thanks to Inner Wheel / Members / friends for your sponsorship money)

See you again next year!

Tributes to Rotarian Ted Jenkins deceased (by 2 of his closest friends)-Ted became a member 46 years ago. He served as Youth Exchange Officer for 8 years and was President in 1984/85 Hon Member since 2010.

PP Jack Howorth writes-ALIAS TED

To his family and friends and to many of  the inhabitants of Milnrow, Thomas Edward Jenkins was known as ‘Eddie’ but to the Rotary Club of Rochdale he was known as ‘Ted ‘–why? It all began when in his early thirties Ted joined Rochdale Round Table and because of his initials he became Ted and the name stuck to him for nearly sixty years.

Although  quiet by nature Ted lived a full life. During the War he trained with the Commandos in the Cairngorms (which he always said he enjoyed, even the swimming in the icy Lochs )and he was eventually commissioned in the Royal Signals and posted in Malta.

He returned to marry Joan and started a long acquaintance with the manufacture of fireproofing materials, first with asbestos at Turner Bros. and later with ceramics in the family- owned firm of Edward Keirby and Co. Ltd.

ln public life he was a magistrate, first with the County Bench and, after amalgamation, with the Rochdale Bench. He was also a member of the Committee of the Salvation Army in Rochdale but his major contribution was in the civic life of Milnrow where both he and Joan were Councillors.

In the year when the Queen opened the M62 motorway he was Chairman of the Council and had the privilege of riding in the convoy as she travelled from Milnrow over Windy Ridge and on into Yorkshire.

After the double amputation of his legs in later life he became housebound but his continuing courage and cheerfulness were an inspiration to all who knew him.

So really the name didn’t matter; it was the quality of the man who bore it which we will remember with admiration and affection.

PP Geoff Foulkes writes;

My first meeting with Ted was when I joined Rotary in 1983 and he was the President that year. As was the thing in those days  and  perhaps it still is, I was made assistant secretary and at the end of his Rotary year, he invited Margaret and me together with all the officers of his year, to a celebration at his home on tree- lined Buckley Hill.  This led to a subsequent Rotary meeting when he tapped me on the shoulder and said "You liked the road I live on, well-the house next door to me is for sale and it's a bargain." Thus we became next door neighbours to Ted and Joan.  This was the mid eighties and since then we had become good neighbours. We used to exchange venues for Sunday morning Coffee (and something a bit mysterious in a thin little glass), Ted and I took turns to drive to Rotary on a Thursday, but then suddenly Joan died a tragic death at their Lodge near St. Anne's. Not long afterwards, Ted had to have both of his legs amputated. I remember thinking that I should have to have a ramp installed at my house for his wheel chair, but  Ted   decided he would not  venture out.  I settled for regular visits to his home-good friendship-bits of shopping (he loved garden peas in pods that he could shell and cook for himself).  Then, just over a year ago Margaret and I moved to our daughters in Norfolk and so sadly our regular association with Ted ceased tho' we still tried to keep up Sunday morning phone calls.

Ted never complained or grumbled about his fate or difficult circumstances despite his fairly regular discomfort. Margaret and I have lost a dear friend.                                                 

My Presidential Year Ahead

Vice President RTN Bob Chadwick

Doesn’t time fly, it seems only yesterday I was coerced into becoming 2nd Vice President and it’s almost two years ago! Now I’ve been Vice President for nearly 12 months and the Presidency beckons within a few weeks. I’ve been formulating plans for a few months and now I’m having to get them ready to implement, things are beginning to get a bit real.

I will be supporting the NSPCC Childline Schools Service and Mary’s Meals as my two main charities.

I want to fund an NSPCC volunteer for two years, delivering a  service  into Rochdale primary schools. Nearly £4,000 needed so will have a Prize Draw / Raffle the main prize  a week’s holiday for 2 in Gran Canaria in July 2015. Winner will be drawn at a ‘Rotary Day’ event maybe at a Christmas Lights switch-on/late night shopping event.

On 7th August, we will be joined by the Schools Service, showing the assembly they deliver in schools.

 Mary’s Meals to celebrate World Porridge Day on 9th October with a frugal meal. I plan a fundraising visit to  Odeon Cinema  to see Mary’s Meal film ‘Child 31’ followed by a newly released film.

 I am meeting with the Rotaschool  Council in June to discuss  a joint Mary’s Meals venture

 A Presidential Welcome Meal in early August at the Waterside in Littleborough, a Race Night, a meal at Thamin, another Houghton Weavers concert and dare I say another Cricket event are hopefully events our  excellent Committees will  organise .

I’ll be representing the Club at the Redwood Sports Personality of the Year on 17th July.

On 14th August, DG Stuart Sawle will be visiting the Club and then on 22nd September the RIBI President is visiting the District and we will be invited to attend a meal that evening organised by the Middleton Club. A good turnout would be appreciated, so we can show how we support our daughter clubs.

On 30th August I will be abseiling down the Town Hall clock. Although I will be representing Rotary, the funds raised will be for the Gateway Centre, a very worthwhile local charity that doesn’t seem to get talked about as much as it used to for some reason.

I have to make one apology and that concerns the District Conference. Merrilyn and I can only attend up to Saturday lunch time as we received rather expensive tickets from our daughters at Christmas to see Il Divo in Manchester on 25th October. So Presidential Drinks will be on the Friday evening before dinner, and hopefully Irene will represent me and the Club at the DG’s reception on the Saturday night.

I’m looking forward to my year and to all the other events and activities that our Committees will be organising or supporting. And I am available any time to chat about anything you want for the Club.

VP RTN Bob Chadwick

Urban Farm visit to Department For International Development  East Kilbride

 We discussed with DFID how to access our Embassies and High Commissions in developing countries to channel UrbanFarm website details to organisations, but  the system that allowed such transfers of information to take place was dismantled some time back.Vincent Gainey from DFID gave us a good grilling trying to pick holes in our UrbanFarm model and its application in developing countries but concluded that our approach was sound.  Good news is that  he is prepared to send our details to some of his contacts in various development organisations. The fact that he is prepared to do this is encouraging as it suggests that an expert in overseas development thinks our project thinking is soundly based. we are far too cheap and are actually on the brink of being free. They are used to backing projects valued in millions of pounds and that's obviously just not us.

We are expanding  our current plan of circulating information to different development organisations. eg  registering UrbanFarm with different websites that development organisations use to seek out useful projects that they can adopt. 

Littleborough Lions  have shown an interest in our project. Lions have clubs in developing countries and may consider helping us to promote UrbanFarm via their own contacts.

David & Mike

Rotary Young Chef Competition “After being approached by Roger Shepherd, District 1280 Young Chef  Co-ordinator, I have agreed with Hopwood Hall College that they will once again host the Regional Final of the  Young Chef competition next year; the College hosted this event in 2010.There will be eight contestants, travelling from as far as Carlisle to North Wales and the winner will then compete in the National Final sponsored by Phillipo Berio Oils. As on the last occasion, the competition will be judged by well known chefs who appear on television, such as Andrew Nutter, and will be held on a Saturday in March. Those of us who attended the competition in 2010 very much enjoyed the afternoon.I will let members know when the date has been finalised and how many places will be available so that some of us may attend the event.” Rotarian Clive Reid


Dates for your diary

             Book club dates

9 June Inn at the Top at John Whitley’s

7 July  A Year in Provence at John Cannell’s

Next Bulletin issue on 31st July 2014

Please send any submissions to bulletin editor Elvet Smith by Monday 28th July

March Bulletin 2014

President’s Remarks

My Presidential year is absolutely flying by and there are only three months left of it now as I write this.  May I also take the opportunity to warmly welcome Ben Leach as the newest member of our club and he has also taken my mantle over as the youngest member of the club (a good thing indeed even though it reminds me that I am getting older.   Ben is a solicitor, based in Rochdale. His interests outside work include playing the piano & organ, restoring vintage radios and learning Italian. In a roundup of events since my last President’s remarks 

on 22/1 I was made very welcome when I visited Inner Wheel.  Helen Boulton gave a great talk on Medic Malawi and the club also presented a number of scooters and other wheeled gifts bought for a Queen Street Care Centre in Heywood.

Margaret Taylor gave us an interesting talk about China on 23/1 and this was followed the next evening by the Mayor’s Ball, a grand event attended by several members of the club.  The event had a Burns night theme and we all enjoyed a lovely meal (including haggis) and some fabulous entertainment.

On Feb 6th, the leader of Rochdale Council, Colin Lambert, gave us his ‘Vision or Rochdale’ which centred on people rather than just the bricks and mortar.  Whilst we might not agree with everything he said it was an illuminating talk which challenged us all to be part of the future vision for Rochdale.

Feb 13th saw John Cannell talking about the history of Manchester Airport and it was fascinating to see its progress over the decades.  It included some great pictures, and he did well to pack everything into half an hour.  The following week, Steve Durham from the Rochdale Special Needs Cycling Club gave us an

insight into the amazing bikes and rickshaws they have and the inspirational work that they do (their reward being the smiles of the people they help). 

On Feb 27th, at very short notice, Liz Varey from Petrus showed us the two videos their homeless service users have recently made.  Both films were very moving films and cleverly done (telling their personal stories in their own words) and I loved the shot of the peregrine falcon at the end perching on the town hall (symbolic perhaps).

The following morning, I joined several members at St. James Primary School (our Rotaschool) for a coffee morning raising money both for fair trade and school uniforms for an Africa School (which is being match funded by a district Rotary grant)(see Joan’s article below).   That evening  I also attended Middleton Charter Night, a great night of fellowship (and food) and an amazing magic act (including a full bottle of wine produced from behind a balloon that was no more than five feet away from me).

On our March 6th visitors evening, Pam Wilkinson and Helen Boulton gave us a great talk on their Medic Malawi trip.  It was a nice touch that they focused on different aspects of their trip and there were some great pictures too to set the mood.  As friends of Rotary, they were fine ambassadors for our club and it was also a pleasure to read out a thank you e-mail to them from Stephen Drew.  Well done both of you.

Mar 13th saw David Acton and Mike Tomkinson give us an update on their inspiring and award winning project urban farm.  Their enthusiasm is amazing (and infectious) and we all really hope this project goes from strength to strength.  You can read more about it on their website and in following articles.

 Our clubs third annual cricket evening took place on March 20th with current umpire Neil Mallender joining John Holder for a look into the world of umpiring.  A big thank you to John and everyone who helped to raise over £1,500 for youth cricket coaching in Rochdale on the night (and around £6,000 for the three years combined).

 The following night Keith Crossley and I represented our club at Rochdale Round Table Charter Night (celebrating their 80th birthday).  This was followed on Sunday by the District 1280 Youth Speaks final in Frodsham (attended by Dean Sherriff and myself).     We were represented by Falinge High School with their talk on ‘the greatest gift that I possess’.  Whilst the team unfortunately did not qualify for the regional finals, their speaker Ethan Marriott did win the best speaker prize in the seniors section (Ethan is a member of my Boys Brigade club).  Well done to the team for a great effort.

To finish, I would like to mention that Derek Heywood and I visited Jack Howarth recently.  Jack is struggling with his mobility now and but was in good spirits and sends his best wishes.  He is happy to have the occasional visitors but in small numbers please and only briefly as he does get tired quite quickly.  It highlights to me that we should never take our health for granted and our thoughts go out to anyone struggling with illness.

Thank you again for all the hard work that you all do in the name of Rotary.  Keep up the great work.

President Neil

For views of Petrus films Roofless and There’s a Hole in my sidewalk go to links below


Urban Farm website is


video about Urban Farm is on


UrbanFarm ® Project Update

We've had a couple of emails that I wanted to pass on to you. As our website is a DIY guide to establishing an UrbanFarm unfortunately we will never know how many projects have been established so it's tremendous to hear first hand about what's happening on the ground.

Firstly from Julius Mungania in Tharaka - they have a problem because the rains were poor between October and December. The sentence below that was part of Julius' email shows that they are still using the Grow Bags and that the Grow Bags are proving to be a lifeline for growing food as 90% of the ordinary crops failed.  

“Brother John, I write to that the report from the three communities that benefited from Rain Water Harvesting by Rock Catchment project is that Grow Bags projects are proving the way out for the entire Tharaka community due to the perennial rain failure”

Best wishes,


The second is from Farm Africa.  the message is from Ket Wangi orphanage. Farm Africa are setting up UrbanFarm projects in Kenya and Tanzania.

“Your UrbanFarm project is so great and simple to run. I have forwarded your details to our team in our respective countries of intervention, should they need more details, they will be in touch.
Wishing you all the best with your project”
Kind regards
Magali Ferron

Programme Information Assistant
Farm Africa

Rotarian Mike Tomkinson

Rotary Stew promotes healthy eating in Bolton( a meal at the Mela!)

Mike Tomkinson writes ‘We had a busy time on 15th March  at the Bolton Health Mela. Rosemary Boardman District Community Chair describes the event in the below article  sent to Rotary On line.

We  did a short interview and photographs with a journalist from the Bolton Evening News. To be brutally honest we may not have been his primary target but he arrived late and we were one of the few stalls still busy, as most had already packed up and gone!!

Rosemary writes     “Rotary stew invented by the Rotary Club of Rochdale as part of their Urban Farm project, was given it's first public health promotion by Rotarians Mike Tomkinson & David Acton at the Health Mela in Bolton on Saturday 15th March. The stew comprising onions, potatoes, carrots, a stock cube and tomato puree can be made at a cost of 84 pence using ingredients from the local market. Once cooked, this amount will make 12 bowls of tasty stew at a cost of 7p per bowl. All who tasted the dish agreed it was delicious, particularly Doreen Hobson President of the Rotary Club of Bolton Daybreak and chief guest Suzy Lishman, Vice  President of the Royal College of Pathologists.(she will know when food is ‘pure’ goodness). The Mela was a joint venture between Bolton University, Bolton Council, the NHS and the Bolton Rotary Clubs. “    

Sue asks you to Spring into

      Rotary Action!

Winter is over and Spring is on its way – so they say!  My thoughts turn to gardens and I thought it might be of interest to share this information about perennial planting with you.

Most perennial plants are herbaceous.  Botanically speaking herbaceous means that the part of the plant above ground dies down each year, while the root system lives on for several years.  Some perennials e.g. Hellebores sp. are evergreen, and so are invaluable  in Winter.

Most perennials flower, set seed and then die back to ground level by Autumn/early winter and are dormant until Spring.

When choosing perennial plants there are many factors to consider.  These include shape, form, colour, texture and scent. Perennials with ornamental leaves help extend the season of interest as the foliage lives longer than the flowers.

Some perennials look particularly good in containers as a speciman plant or in an arrangement.  Specimen plants would include Agapanthus sp. (African Lily) or a grass such as Carex comens.

Perennials worth growing for their scent are Dianthus sp. (carnations and pinks), Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley) among many others.

Many perennials attract beneficial wildlife – bees, butterflies and other insects.  Examples of these are Sedum spectabile and Angelica sp.

Prolonging the season into Autumn is possible by choosing plants with interesting seedheads such as Iris sibirica and Achillea sp.

When choosing perennials for your planting scheme it is important to make sure that they are right for the place they are to go.  Conditions such as soil type, micro climate and aspect all need considering.  If the environment is right plants are much more likely to flourish and require less maintenance than those placed in unsuitable positions.

I hope you find this useful and will be inspired to try different plantings.  I will (if I’m allowed)(yes please!Ed) follow this up in the next bulletin with further information on perennial planting.

Happy gardening!

Rotary Friend Sue Cannell

For members and friends interested in going to the

Harrogate Spring Show with some spectacular displays like the above from their Beatles theme room last year and plants/equipment/garden furniture/sheds for sale  the date is  from 24 to 27 April and is open between 9.30am and 5.30pm (4.30pm Sunday).

Editor and wife will be going so if you want to have some company do get in touch

Rochdale Youth Orchestra Springtime Spectacular.

On the evening of Saturday the 22nd of March, Sue & I went to The Riverside in Whitworth to listen to the Rochdale Youth Orchestra, the Tonacliffe Primary School Choir, and the RYO Jazz Ensemble.

The programme included ‘Spring’ from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, the Skye Boat Song and Havah Nagilah from the RYO. I am always amazed by the standard that these young people achieve. I have played the acoustic guitar in the past, and know only too well how much time is needed to reach a reasonable standard with a relatively simple instrument.

Next, was the Tonnacliffe Primary School Choir. Only about half of them were present, but they put out an excellent sound, plenty strong enough for the large hall. Their version of ‘This Little Light of Mine’ and ‘Zippedee Doo Dah’ were very good, with a solo by a little girl, whose diminutive size belied her impressive voice, which produced an spontaneous round of applause.

After the interval, spent chatting with President Keith Swift, his partner Sue, the ever smiling Ken Davis and his wife, we returned to the auditorium for the second part, with the RYO Jazz Ensemble. For us, this was the best part of the evening.

Chris Jolly was in charge of the group of seven, occasionally joining in himself, but mainly conducting. They played five numbers, with two standing out. Soloist Grace Morris gave a memorable rendition of the Amy Winehouse ‘Valerie’, and violin player Moet Griffiths soloed with Bill Withers ‘Ain’t no Sunshine’.

The finale brought the RYO and the choir together with a medley of ‘Do-Re-Mi and ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ arranged for the RYO by Chris Jolly. An excellent evening’s entertainment. We’re looking forward to the next one!

PP John C.

PS from Editor

We have been strong supporters of RYO over the past 15 years both as a club and as individual members (our club is still mentioned in Concert Programmes) so members will be interested to know that the

Next Youth Orchestra events are

   Summer Spectacular 7.30pm Sat 12th July

    at Rochdale Town Hall

Christmas Concert 7pm Saturday 6th December

 at the Gracie Fields Concert Hall

Jazz Ensemble events are planned this year as well and fellow Rotarian Keith Swift who is now President of the RYO will have information about these later
Fairtrade Coffee Morning at St James School Wardle

The pupils at St James are raising money to buy school uniforms for children aged 12 to 14 at a school in Namibia. They have found out that attendance at school there drops off after the age of 12. School uniforms are handed from child to child, year after year, but because there is no one aged 12 or over to hand down a uniform, and they can’t afford to buy one, the children just can’t go to school. St James’s pupils thought this was one problem which could be solved quite simply - provide uniforms and enable the Namibian children to continue their education. They have a Rotary grant of £250 which they must match, and they decided to hold a coffee morning as a start towards their goal.

It was held on Friday 28th February in the school hall, during Fairtrade Fortnight. Living so close to the school I was able to attend their assembly before the coffee morning proper started. Their speaker was Jan Hicks from Fairtrade Rochdale who spoke wonderfully well, and really engaged the children. She was full of interesting information and they all listened attentively. I certainly learned a thing or two. The assembly was also attended by many parents, Friday morning assembly is open to anyone who is interested, and on this occasion we were graced by the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale.

After the assembly the children filed quietly back to their classrooms and the room was set up with tables and chairs. Some of the older children stayed behind to help and to serve coffee and cakes. All the tables were filled with parents and Rotary members who came to support the event, and was much noisier than at any time the children were there! The coffee and cakes were extremely good and the children very polite and helpful, we all enjoyed the pleasant low key atmosphere of genial interaction. A great many cakes and buns had been made by the pupils and school cooks for sale to the pupils during breaks and lunch times, also to raise money for uniforms. Fortunately I had pre-warned our President of this fact so he was able to bring a container to carry his supplies away from the school.

The event was a huge success with many more people attending than last year. Their efforts raised about £270.00 which exceeded their expectations and is enough to match the Rotary grant. Catherine asked me to thank all the members who supported the coffee morning and a big thank you to those who sent donations because they couldn’t be there.

This is a school we can be proud to call our Rotakids School.

 Joan Elbourn (PP)

The Umpires Strike Back!

Rotarian John Holder and team produced another evening which bowled us over. The Masonic staff did us proud with a delicious meal and Malcolm Ashton gave a masterly performance as MC.

Darth Vader John and Ghost Neil Mallender were asked questions varying from handling sweaty caps to being an electronic umpire. Use of technical wizardry like hot spot and Hawkeye are here to stay to help in getting a more accurate view of controversial moments –is the batsman out or not? It seems professional cricketers are increasingly using the technology more for tactical purposes in situations where only the umpire can decide on the dismissal. The use of the technology was meant to eradicate the occasional bad umpiring decision. There were insights into some of the characters of cricket-Shane Warne, Kevin Pieterson Derek Randall . The obvious enjoyment both umpires had experienced both playing and umpiring cricket was obvious on the night.

With the help of a raffle and Standup bingo and auction everyone had a great time; money to go  to amateur youth player coaching in Rochdale

Anyone who missed the Cricket evening or wants a copy of proceedings a video record is available from me at £10 to go in club charity account.

PP Elvet Smith

Hon TREASURER John Whitley is pleased to announce that Membership dues are to remain the same next year.

We are obviously an efficient club in that only 13.7 % of our membership fee  is used for our club’s purposes allowing us to give the rest as funds towards District and  Rotary International causes.

Dates for your diary

             Book club dates

Apr 7th Ian Rankin’s Saints of the Shadow Bible at Neil Williams’

May 12th Bill Bryson’s At Home at Elvet’s

April 4th    Whisky tasting Charity event at   Rochdale Rugby club -tickets from Keith Banks




I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying their New Year. I had a week away with friends (there were sixteen of us, including six children, sharing in a big house near Oxford).

Recapping events since the last bulletin……

On November 28th, Vice President Bob gave an enlightening talk on his fund raising trip up several volcanoes in Ecuador. There were some stunning pictures and Bob should be proud of a great achievement in making up the highest of the volcanoes (at over 19,000 feet) and raising over £5000 for charity. I am also pleased that he has saved me the effort of having to walk up the volcanoes to see the fabulous views.

On Dec 5th, Seb Lassandro came to talk to us again about Gracie Fields, concentrating specifically on her visits to Rochdale. Despite technical problems which he coped with admirably, he gave a great talk and it was interesting to listen to her old songs and speeches. Julian Jefferson (Head or Arts & Heritage at Touchstones) had also kindly put together a Gracie Fields exhibition which we toured at the end of the evening. A lovely evening and many thanks to John Kay for all his hard work plus everyone who supported him.
The following night, Elvet and I were at Touchstones to see two moving Petrus videos made by the service users with help from various parties. You can view the videos if you go on their website.

On Dec 10th I had my first of many Christmas meals thanks to a kind invite from Rochdale Probus Club. Thanks as well to Chris Bryning for covering the secretarial role at our SGM and possibly becoming the clubs first ever assistant, assistant secretary.

On Dec 14th VP Bob kindly covered for me by attending the opening of Milnrow skate park (a project for which 2nd VP Irene has put in a great deal of work). I got there later -for the food (no surprise there then). Congratulations to Irene and everyone else involved (Irene won the charity football card competition later, perhaps a welcome reward for her hard work).

Dec 20th was Morrisons bag packing day. We raised £580 which is a great sum for an unusually quiet Friday just before Christmas) and a testament for the hard work of our members on the day. Later that day, we also had our club’s Christmas Meal. A great turnout and it was really nice to have the Madeley children there too. We were royally entertained by members of the Rochdale Retirement Choir led by Freda Farnsworth who even got us participating in the Twelve days of Christmas (the participation enthusiasm award was won by Lis Kay by a distance).

January has so far seen interesting talks including oil pollution in the Nigeria Delta and a visit to China.

On Jan 17th we had the Houghton Weavers Concert at the Radcliffe Arms. There were over a hundred of us there which made for a great atmosphere and the event raised around £680. Huge thank you to Bob and to everyone else who helped. Maybe we might do it again next year. Finally, last Friday (24th Jan)  Nichola and I attended the Mayor’s Ball at the Town Hall along with other members of the club.

I am now into second half of my year and cannot believe how quickly it’s going. I know I say thank you a great deal in every bulletin but there is no club without you and all your hard work, drive, enthusiasm and fellowship (and there would not be a second pudding in sight, a sad thought indeed). Please keep up the fabulous work everyone.
President Neil


UrbanFarm ® Project Update
Since our website went live at the end of December last year we have moved onto probably the most important phase of the project. We are now emailing organisations working in developing countries with details of our UrbanFarm website. We are targeting those involved with agriculture, food and development.
To do this we are using a database of groups registered with the World Association of Non-Governmental Organisations.
We have decided to start with Bangladesh and Kenya, the two countries where we have projects running successfully. Our intention is to concentrate on adjacent countries to these and then work outwards.
This is a very big job. There are several barriers and, to give some idea of what is involved, it has taken the best part of two weeks to contact and reply when necessary with the 120 registered organisations in Bangladesh. We have started work on India but there are 1,501 possible contacts there, so obviously we can’t complete this task alone in anything like a reasonable time frame.
We need help from members and friends who have access to a computer with a broadband connection. We will run a training course to update volunteers on all aspects of the UrbanFarm project as well as how to carry out the search and contact procedure for the organisations concerned. This course will provide a complete overview of the finer project details. This will help when you visit the website of an organisation as UrbanFarm is particularly adaptable to a wide range of climatic and social conditions.
We have prepared course notes to explain the search and contact procedure and a standard email letter to be sent to all of the contacts. I’ll divide up the list of organisations into manageable blocks and email a block and the standard letter to each volunteer. Once you have completed the block and if you would like to continue I’ll send you some more names.
We have already had good responses from several organisations contacted who are interested in using UrbanFarm at their projects in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Sierra-Leone and Tanzania. Additionally Farm Africa, who have projects in many African countries, are very enthusiastic and they have sent our website details to all their contacts. You may have seen Farm Africa being promoted by Michael Palin.
It’s often difficult for us to fully appreciate what an apparently simple technology like UrbanFarm can mean to people on the ground in developing countries. The following letter showing the minutes of a recent meeting at Tharaka one of the projects David visited in Kenya will help to illustrate what a difference it can make, particularly when the climate becomes extreme:
The Secretary reminded the members that the UrbanFarm project is going well and encouraged those who have not started to start so that they can all have a regular supply of vegetables for their homesteads.
The members thanked John Brooker for bringing our dear friend David Acton to Tharaka and they thanked David for introducing this very wonderful and special project that has really assisted their families during the drought and famine in getting vegetables.
They offered a short prayer for the two good friends for God to bless them and their families and to give them long lives to assist many more people in the world.

If you would like to help us make contact with the huge number of development agencies that will put UrbanFarm into operation across the world please send me an email.
Many thanks.
Rotarian Mike Tomkinson

What’s happening at FA (Family Action)?

The past several years have seen a number of changes.
* 50 % reduction in grant income. This inevitably resulted in a number of redundancies and consequent reduction in the number of families we could support.

* To achieve savings in running costs, we left St. Alban's Street and moved to Langley Estate, where the rent was considerably lower.

At the time this move gave rise to the rumour that we had gone out of business. Fortunately, to paraphrase Mark Twain, "The reports of our death were greatly exaggerated"

The remaining staff remain in remarkably good heart and run two projects:

Rochdale Young Carers Service – This offers a
comprehensive support service to children
and young people aged 5 to 18 and their families.

Parent Partnership – the Parent Partnership is a
service that offers support and advice to parents
of children with special educational needs.

Last June the Young Carers showed their appreciation to all the volunteers and supporters by inviting us to a meal at St. Andrew’s Church in town. They gave short presentations about their activities. We were also addressed by Simon Danczuk. M.P.

Last Christmas great support was provided by the churches (and the Rotary Club of Rochdale East) who together supplied 27 Hampers and, of course, our Club who provided 15 Christmas Parcels. The staff tell us that the families are overwhelmed by the generosity displayed by these gifts.

In the autumn the office base moved again to the Unique Enterprise Centre, Belfield Road which is much more accessible to the families.


“Story-Book Dads” at Buckley Hall Prison, Rochdale,
a Dream Team Project

Set up in August, 2005, by two Methodists, Marion Sherriff and Sybil Oakley. Three other volunteers have since joined Marion: Allister Holt and Dean Sherriff, both members of our Club, and Paula McKeogh.

In 2006, our Club donated a camcorder and later in 2012 replaced the lap top. Well done Rochdale!

The scheme is very simple. We work with individual prisoners who choose from a stock of children’s story books specially bought for the purpose. The camcorder films Dad reading the book.

Once the prisoner is happy with the recording, a DVD is “burned”. Both the book and DVD are sent home to the child/children by 1st class post. Typically they arrive within a couple of days of the recording. The children get to hear and see their dad reading to them. You can imagine them shouting, “Look, Dad’s on the tele!”

Nearly 500 DVD’s have been produced to date.

We take a modest pride in the fact that our scheme does better than most of those in other gaols in three respects:
The child actually receives a copy of the book
The book and DVD arrive very soon after the recording is made
The scheme produces DVD’s not CD’s

Prisoners show great interest in taking this opportunity to make contact with their families and there is an excellent response from the families who have received the discs. There is always a waiting list.

A final word. When the prison was “Ofstead-ed” the Inspector was so impressed with Storybook Dads, that he felt that it should happen in all prisons. He said that he intended to recommend this to the “authorities”.

Past Presidentx2 Dean Sherriff

Rotary Club of Rochdale
Wikwatyo Wa Kiambani sand dam

We have finally received a super powerpoint display showing the completed sand dam in the above village.Pictures show the dam, a plaque stating Rochdale’s role and photos of completed dam a map of Kenya with area outlined.Also some pictures of locals and people involved in building the dam and description of self help group

The group consists of residents from Kithaayoni and Kavingoni villages, located in the Muthingiini sub-location which has a population of 13,903. This area is part of the Kibwezi district, one of the least developed regions of Kenya is prone to drought and food shortages.

Quote from the thank you letter sent to the club
‘The Wikwatyo wa Kiambani SHG is the epitome of Excellent Development’s self-help ethos,
in which all projects are carried out by community members and all self help groups take ownership of their development projects. The group started working with Excellent Development in July 2010.
They currently have 17 registered members: 14 women and 3 men. Their main aim in setting up the group was to address the water scarcity in the area and develop agricultural opportunities.’

Houghton Weavers Charity evening
Over 100 Rotarians friends and Folk music addicts crowded into the Ratcliff bars and enjoyed a very relaxing evening of music with a very Famous name in Folk. Lead singer Tony had a gruff voice but this only added to the interest. Due to the passage of time all three remaining Weavers have had health problems so reinforcements were sent for with Tony’s brother a super harmonica busker and a Rock guitarist to add to the mist.

We heard all the old favourites Mon like thee, Blackpool bell, Uncle Joe’s Mint balls, Matchstalk men and Matchstalk cats and dogs, Saturday cowboys together with some American folk songs including Bob Dylan to add to the mix.

Our President has had choir training and my left ear told me he was enjoying it as we all did. Bob, Neil and myself invited ourselves into their dressing room at the end for a few photos; if their health holds out let’s invite them again next year but I’ve asked them to pick on another ethnic group apart from the Welsh next time!

Congratulations called for!

Neil Williams has been given a special volunteers Award for doing over 300 hours of service at the Coop museum-well done Neil.

Shoe Box impresario David Smithard has been working closely with Inner Wheelers who can knit (Pauline knows) and a large consignment of wool donated by a district Rotary club has resulted in a batch of woollen hats and scarves being sent along with shoeboxes to Eastern Europe.

The Umpires Strike Back!
An Evening with
John Holder and Neil Mallender
Cricket Test Match Umpires
Get the inside story from ‘the men in the middle!’ Test umpires with vast experience of the game, John Holder and Neil Mallender’s careers have spanned 3 decades into the modern era. Come and enjoy their company at a Rochdale Rotary’s Charity event at the Masonic Rooms on Thursday 20th March 2014.
menu Vegetable soup
Chicken in white wine sauce green beans, carrots roast and mash potatoes
Veg option- Mediterranean Wellington(veg in puff pastry)
Gin and Tonic cheesecake with cream
Coffee/tea with mints
Question and answer session conducted by test match special’s Malcolm Ashton
All proceeds from the evening which includes a Raffle will provide much needed cricket coaching for Rochdale Amateur cricketers
Tickets are available now £30 each from John Whitley

Date Programme Time
30 Jan Club and Projects E

06 Feb Friends Councillor Lambert Vision for Rochdale E

13 Feb John Cannell
Manchester Airport L

20 Feb S.Durham Rochdale
Special Needs Cycling club E

27 Feb Kath Halstead
Petrus Digital Sparks films L

06 Mar friends
H.Boulton and P Wilkinson
Trip to Medic Malawi E

13 Mar David Acton L

20 Mar Cricket Charity evening John Holder and Neil Mallinder

25 Mar club Council

27 Mar Clubs and Projects L

Dates for your diary
Book club dates
Feb 3rd Joanne Harris’s Blackberry Wine at Mike Tomkinson’s
March 3rd Le Carre’s A delicate truth at David Smithard’s
March 20th Cricket event see above
April 4th Whisky tasting Charity event at Rochdale Rugby club -tickets from Keith Banks

November Bulletin 2013

President’s Remarks
A bumper edition of ‘Presidents Remarks’ as the hectic life of a Rotary President continues apace but it is great fun. At least I am typing it with a fully recovered thumb after it lost a fight against an egg piercer . The surprising thing for me was not how I could be so daft as to manage to punch a hole in my thumb rather than the intended target (i.e. the egg) but that so few people have ever heard of an egg piercer(including doctors)
On September 26th, Vibeke Christiensen White spoke to us about her trip to India (our club donated £100 towards her trip). She did amazingly well to do without chocolate for nine months (something I would find impossible) and shared her trip with a cobra, gecko, spiders, fanta pinching monkeys and an ugly toad in the toilet. At least a trip to the Taj Mahal would have made her 28 hour train journey more bearable.
Helen Chicot, Lead Officer at RMBC for Adult Literacy and Numeracy came to talk to us on our friends evening on October 3rd. Helen may have been our first speaker who did not speak for a full five minutes whilst sending us back to school but she did give us a fascinating exercise on dyslexia which I found particularly useful in demonstrating the difficulties dyslexic people may face. I hope some of us can support literary champions and thanks to Keith Swift for inviting Helen along.
Llandudno Conference was a special weekend for Nichola and myself. For those able to come we really hope you enjoyed the weekend. Some of us arrived two minutes late for the Friday night entertainment and I had a friendly tap on my shoulder from District Governor Ged Hetherington who commented that he was glad we could make it. Rumours we were slightly late as we were in the local pub were wildly inaccurate but we did not dispel them as it gave Ged something to talk about in his monthly bulletin.
My first charter night dinner of the year was Rochdale East Charter Night on 14/10. There were five members of our club there and it was an enjoyable evening. The main speaker was Rtn Geoffrey Lawton who did well to condense his normal talk to fit time constraints (not an easy thing to do).
Our club had a trip around Rochdale on Oct 16th. Thankfully the rain held off (mostly) and both Nichola and I enjoyed the trip around the co-operative museum, the ghost walk, the meal at the Baum and particularly some of Elvet puns. Many thanks to Neil Williams for organising the trip which also included a visit to Touchstones and the Town Hall.
We had our DVD, book and music auction on 17th October. Head auctioneer Keith Crossley did a fine job ably assisted by Mike Lucas. I am now a proud owner of a ‘where is the stig’(?Top Gear) book but I am still to find my first ‘stiggy’.
The following Thursday was a busy one. Our lunchtime meeting of 24th October raised £150 for Mary’s meals. Malcolm Ross, District 1280 International Service Chair kindly talked about the charity; thank you to VP Bob for all the organising. We then had a charity fundraiser on the same evening at Thamin restaurant in Littleborough raising £385 for our international charity.
31st October, Dr Radhadkarishnan (or Krish for short) gave us an illuminating talk on his ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Palliative Care charities. The pictures he took at the summit were truly stunning. The following week, we had an informative talk about arthritis from Arthritis Research UK and I was delighted to present them a cheque on the night for £100.
I was proud to lay a wreath on behalf of the club at the remembrance Sunday service. It was a moving service and I would like to thank the Mayor for inviting me to walk out with the Mayoral party.
Charter night was a special night. Our guest speaker was Julia Lee, one of the first female professional rugby league referees in the country who gave an insightful and humorous talk about her refereeing career. A huge thank you to Ian and everyone involved in organising the evening and thank you to Stan Fielding who, in a break with tradition, I asked to read the charter. He read it beautifully (for the second time in his time in Rotary and it was a nice touch that he first read it in 1967, the year I was born.
On Nov 21st, VP Bob kindly covered the meeting whilst I presented the Rotary Shield Award at Wardle High School to the most improved student.
Congratulations to David Acton and Mike Tomkinson for their award at the Southport RHS North West in Bloom awards (in the outstanding category) and also to Number 1 Riverside which won the GM Chamber of Commerce Building of the Year.Thank you all so much for your continued support ( I really could not do it
all without you). I hope you continue to enjoy Rotary as much as I do.
President Neil

  Congratulations ‘Speedy Gonzalez’ Clive Reid- Motoring Raffle Prize "On a lovely early autumn Sunday, I was able to enjoy my prize from last year's Rotary raffle of a ride in Mike Tomkinson's Jaguar XK150. This had been slightly delayed by a complete body rebuild of the car!
Off we roared with the hood down, Mike driving us to Denshaw then taking the A640 over the Pennines, bearing off to Moselden Height past the reservoirs, cutting down into Ripponden then back over the top to Littleborough and home.
What a wonderful drive, sitting behind that long bonnet and being entertained by the marvellous noise of the 3.4 litre six cylinder XK engine. Thanks to Mike for donating the prize."
Petrus store -Rotary in Action
With the opening of Petrus Homeless Charity’s Retail store on Hamer Lane it was an opportunity for our Club to help out an important local charity. Around 15 members and friends have offered to help and much to everyone’s delight we do seem to have made a difference-the store opens to the Public on the 26th November and this would not have happened without our efforts. The store has attracted a lot of donations from the public and members have done a range of tasks including gardening, painting, cleaning, putting up shelving
from the old Wheatsheaf library ,installing a dishwasher, removing a sink, sorting books, toys,clothing, furniture .Your editor (blue boiler suit man with Smurf hat) noted Derek Heywood’s gigantic Knee pads and large trailer behind; Neil Williams and Keith Banks let loose on wall and ceiling painting; Martin Coupe consultant plumber with his own gear, also boiler suited; Joan, Pauline, Maureen and Heather pouring over clothes, books and bric a brac; John Whitley King of the flower beds ;David Smithard and Mike T heavy into shelves and awkward fixtures. Must admit it was very rewarding but as tiring as a workout at the Gym!(ed.)
Food Bank 1st Anniversary At the beginning of November a lunch was held at Rochdale Town Hall to mark the first anniversary of the opening of Rochdale Foodbank.
The lunch, sponsored by Rochdale Rotary Club(£300) and The Well Community Church was attended by the Mayor Rotarian Peter Rush and Mrs Rush together with several Council members , and was by way of a thank you to the many volunteers (including Rotarians Martin Coupe ,Kath Halstead and Friend Sue Cannell) who regularly help at the Foodbank.
Iain Wight who, with his wife Margaret, was responsible for opening the Foodbank paid tribute to the volunteers and also to the many individuals, schools, churches and other organisations who make regular contributions, the figures are staggering – since opening over £80,000 worth of food has been distributed to people who would otherwise be going hungry. Particular thanks were extended to the schools and churches who during their harvest collections in October contributed more than 8 tonnes of food.
Musical Entertainment was provided by our very own Rotarian Keith Swift.
Council Leader Colin Lambert pledged the Council’s continued support for the coming year acknowledging that without Rochdale Foodbank some people would go hungry; adding that this is just not acceptable.
Rotarian Kath Halstead

  Rotakids Update
St James’s School went through a full re-decoration during the summer holidays and a new computer server was installed which ended up causing total chaos for the first full two and a half weeks of the first term as the emails kept getting lost. This had the effect of delaying school council elections however I am pleased to say that the new Chair is Master Harrison Mills and Secretary Evie Hampson who also act as President and Secretary for RotaKids.
During last term children and staff from an Oldham Primary School met Council to Council spending the full day learning how things are done at St James’s. The school from Oldham are trying to move from Level 1 to Level 2 as a Rights Respecting School and were very impressed with the way things are done at St James’s.

ECO SCHOOL – have teamed up with a local man who has an allotment which backs on to the school field. He is assisting children by allowing his allotment to be used by them to grow vegetables etc and has, with the assistance of the children, replanted the soft fruit with the original fruit orchard. This has allowed children who normally shy away from involvement and others with low esteem to build confidence.

HEALTHY SCHOOL – the emphasis this year is keeping active. A rota of children to be play leaders has been drawn up whose job is to make sure that active games are being played. They have been taught 50 skipping songs and various games etc.

RIGHTS RESPECTING SCHOOL (this is section of the school also deals with the fund raising activities of the school). Already this year they have:
• provided food for the Food Bank at Harvest. Other collections for the Food Bank will take place every half term.
• collected for Children In Need raising £365.00
After Christmas they will sell Rotary Crocuses and Marie Curie Daffodils.
Rotary Members are reminded that they are welcome to attend any Friday morning assembly but please contact the Head first. Also, on the 20th December at 10.00 am the School Carol Service will take place and again a warm welcome is offered but there will be no tour of the school. Please contact the Head to secure a seat.
Rotarian Allister Holt

Gracie Fields Museum-latest news from Rotarian John Kay
We have continued to promote our ideas via Sebastian Lassandro, the President of the Gracie Fields Appreciation Society, and we now have agreement that Julian Jefferson of the Head of Link4life and the council's Arts & Heritage Service will erect a display in the Town Hall which will start our exhibition and also signpost the public to the existing display in the Touchstones Museum.
Further they will, as part of our exhibitions programme for 2014, be mounting an exhibition ‘Legacy’. The aim of this exhibition will be to celebrate the philanthropy of individuals, who through their donations, have provided a rich cultural legacy for current and future generations. Gracie will be one of the individuals highlighted in the exhibition. It is planned to open ‘Legacy’ in May 2014.
Sebastian has also been working with Link4Life to catalogue their archive of Gracie Fields items as they did not really know what they already had. He has also arranged for a colleague, Chris Webster, to professionally transfer "the Tapes" on to CD but he is based in Spain and will not be back in this country until the New Year. In the meantime Julian Jefferson is in touch with the BBC to check on ownership of the Intellectual Property rights to the recordings and thereafter to see if they will let us use them to promote the exhibition and if so at what cost

The Rotary Club of Rochdale East is also promoting Gracie and has persuaded the Rochdale Councillors to authorise the erection of a memorial to her in the sunken gardens opposite to Rochdale Town Hall

Seb is speaker at at the Rochdale Rotary Club for members and Visitors on the 5th the town Hall. We hope to promote a special group of "friends" who are interested in Gracie Fields and through them to collect more memorabilia from the Rochdale Public before it is lost.

A Grand Day Out in Rochdale

In past years the Club’s Annual Day Out has seen Members travel far and wide throughout the UK and, on one occasion, Paris, I believe! However to do our bit in reducing energy consumption it was agreed that this year’s trip would be to… Rochdale!
The idea was to see our town through the eyes of people stepping off the newly opened tram / bus station and looking to spend a few hours in Rochdale. Do our existing tourist attractions deliver? This was the time to find out for ourselves! So on a wet Wednesday in the middle of October nearly 30 members and partners embarked on a journey around our own ‘backyard’.

Some of us (mainly people of leisure) started off at the Town Hall in the early afternoon and had an excellent guided tour. It is true to say that we all learned something new about the grand building (including our past Mayor, Irene!). This was followed by a most welcome Afternoon Tea in the Café, which I would definitely recommend to others and is great value.
It was then out into a torrential downpour for a very quick walk up to the Rochdale Pioneers Museum. Unfortunately the rain put paid to our planned brief visit to Touchstones but we can always do that again sometime.

Once we reached the Museum everybody soon dried out on the top floor whilst watching an old 1944 film called ‘The Men of Rochdale’. We were also joined at this point by a few more Members (who are still earning an honest living for themselves during the day). After the film we then descended to the ground floor of the Toad Lane premises for Clare, a Museum Guide, to tell us all about the Pioneers and a great deal more besides.

As predicted by our very own weather expert, John Cannell, the rain had stopped by 7pm and we joined our next guide, Colin Meredith, for one of the famous ‘Ghost Walks’ around the Town Centre. We heard a number of spine chilling stories about goings on in old Rochdale and walked down a number of ginnels and passages that we had never been down before (and probably will never go down again!)

At the end of a busy day there is only one place to go for good wholesome food and beer, so it was a happy throng that trooped into the Baum for a choice of Cottage Pie or Curry (or both!) and a few drinks to help wash them down.

So is Rochdale worth a visit? I think everybody who joined us would say a definite ‘Yes’. Hopefully once the tram comes down to the Town Centre more people will give the town a try and be pleasantly surprised. For those of you that could not make it, a ‘trip to Rochdale’ in the near future is highly recommended.
Rotarian Neil Williams

Rotarian Laura Heywood gets a Rochdale Business Award for ‘green business practices’-well done Kleenstrike!-a real family business producing quality office supplies and protecting the environment.

The Avenue of Volcanoes Ecuador Challenge
On Friday 13th September 2013 a group of 16 people aged from 22 to 61 met at the Hotel Veija Cuba in Quito, Ecuador to attempt to trek through the Avenue of Volcanoes to raise money for each of their charities.
Rotarian Bob Chadwick was there in aid of the NSPCC with the aim of going higher up a mountain than he had ever been before.
Under the beady eye of the German guide Mike Sauer, the original Sauer Kraut (his words not mine) we were lead through six days of acclimatisation climbing higher and higher each time.
First there was Pasochoa at 4,199 metres, then El Corazon at 4,788m, third came Iliniza North at 5,126m before finally Cotopaxi at 5,897m. There were rest days between each volcano, but even on those days hikes were arranged to keep our bits moving well.
Most of the group had previously climbed Kilimanjaro which is only two metres lower in altitude, so there was a lot of confidence in the group. However Cotopaxi was a completely different mountain as was Iliniza North and not only altitude sickness, but nerves took their toll and only 7 of the group reached the ultimate summit.
More details will be revealed in my talk to the Club on 28th November but I can confirm I was one of those who made the top. Though due to a promise made with my Climbing Buddy, 22 year-old Jess, it looked unlikely halfway up Cotopaxi.
I have been incredibly supported by friends, family and my fellow Rotarians and as a result I have raised £4,907 for the NSPCC.
What’s next I hear you ask? Stok Kangri in the Indian Himalayas at 6,140 metres (20,182 feet) in the summer of 2015 is the current target’(selection of Bob’s pics below)(

ROTARY INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR VALERIE TAYLOR(who welcomed and housed Mike and David on their trip to Bangladesh recently-remember Mike’s talk?)
Valerie Taylor has won the Rotary International award. She received a custom-designed trophy and US$ 100,000 as prize money. The money, presented by award sponsor Richard Elman, is to help CRP take forward her humanitarian causes even further. In the Citation, the award committee said, “Her work restoring the lives of the paralysed here in Bangladesh is truly unparalleled. She has great compassion for the neglected members of Bangladesh’s society.”

My trip to Malawi – July 2013
I had attended a ‘Friends of Rotary’ meeting last year when Stephen Drew from Medic Malawi was speaking, I was enthralled by his talk and completely bound over by the VT, I knew there and then I wanted to be part of one his volunteer groups to visit the orphanage in the village of Mthunthama. Fortunately with the support of family, friends and of course Rotary, I was able to make the trip this July. I knew I was going to love the trip the minute we landed at Lilongwe airport! The people I met there were the most friendly, selfless people you could ever meet. The orphanage at the time of our arrival was home to 74 orphans, though there was only beds for 69, when we arrived, babies had to share cots, with about 9 cots crammed into one room; however, a new block had just been completed and I was involved in painting and preparing the block, painting a ‘playroom’ with lots of bright pictures, which seemed ironic, as there were no toys to play with in the playroom. We moved the very excited girls into the new block, they were thrilled to have bedrooms with new beds and each bed now had a mosquito net. Another important part of the trip was the opening of a bore hole that had been sponsored by another Rotary club which meant within a few days of us leaving, the orphanage and hospital would have its own free supply of water which will have a massive impact on their daily lives. I was involved in other duties, such as washing children’s clothes, bathing the children and preparing food, of course, without washing machines and cookers! At the end of the two week trip, I was really sad at having to leave, but have vowed I will return!!
Rotary Friend Helen Boulton
Date Programme Time
28 Nov Rotarian Bob Chadwick –S.American JourneyL
05 Dec Seb Dalessandro Gracie Fields Town Hall E
12 Dec Special General Meeting L
20 Dec Christmas Meal E
19 ,26 Dec and 02 Jan NO MEETINGS
09 Jan D Heywood L
16 Jan R Namushi E
17 Jan Haughton Weavers at The Ratliffe Suite
23 Jan C.Bryning L
28 Jan Club Council
30 Jan Club and Projects E
Dates for your diary
Rotarian Irene Davidson writes “the grand opening of the Milnrow Skate Park will be on the Saturday 14th December at 2 pm followed by a visit from Santa at 4 pm, all welcome.
Bag packing Morrisons Friday 20th December 10 - 4pm
Christmas Parcels will be ready for pick up/delivery at Cunliffe’s on Saturday morning 14th December ”
Book club dates
2 Dec ‘Manchester Man’ at John Whitley’s
Jan 6th ‘Vulcan 607’ (book group night out)

January 17th Houghton Weavers at Ratcliffe Bars , Sandy Lane charity fundraising
Charter Night DVD
Available from editor if you missed Charter night or want to revive memories of the evening.


 September Bulletin 2013

President’s Remarks

Life as President continues at a hectic and hugely enjoyable pace. Going over events-Many thanks Dean for arranging a speaker in less than an hour for July 25th . your standards are slipping -please speed things up in future please! John Smith did a charity cycling trip across the USA, 4000 miles in nine weeks. –delighted to present John with a £100 cheque for Sol kids- Mexican disadvantaged children
Aug 1st I had the audacity to take a day off to see a little game of cricket to boot! - first day of Old Trafford Ashes Test with auctioned tickets from the Mike Gatting charity event ( double checked that Elvet was not bidding first this time). Thank you VP Bob for covering on your birthday (did you all sing him happy birthday)?
Neil Williams arranged the speaker on the Coop museum which I greatly enjoyed.
Club projects night was an update on grow bag scheme and a future trip to the wonderful town of Rochdale ( to Town Hall, Touchstones, the Co-op museum and the Baum).
Sophie Curzon was the first to receive £100 club grants towards educational trips -she gave us a great talk about Madagascar -4th largest island in the world (highlights included a Lemur monkey visiting her tent looking for food).
Rebekah Cheshire went to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (surprised to hear that you can only visit 7% of the islands the rest is a wildlife sanctuary) Highlights were swimming with sharks, constructing a boa constrictor snake pit, eating lemon ants and sharing a tent with a vampire bat. Otherwise, a fairly quiet experience! Rebekah had only just got back and had a hospital visit after such a strenuous trip at high altitude.
I visited Rochdale Foodbank -launch of our Urban Farm vegetables scheme (a first for any Foodbank in the country I believe). -grown on local allotments and given out along with a soup recipe. The scheme has been very successful - congratulations to everyone involved.
It was great to see D.G. Ged Hetherington who answered club questions and congratulated us on a busy programme.
Nick Hall gave us a fabulous talk on antiques. I held (very carefully indeed) my first (and I expect last) genuine Lowry painting (valued at £15,000, hence the careful handling bit). If anyone has seen my record for damaging crockery then they might have been worried. Many thanks to Mike Lucas for his hard work arranging Nick’s visit.
My talk on my main charity Mesothelioma UK was a little emotional at times ;thanks to everyone for your kind words. For members not there, I can forward on a copy of the PowerPoint or even repeat the talk if you wish.
Ivy and Mark from Rossendale Mountain Rescue gave a fascinating talk despite laptop problems(the joys of technology). They were ready for plenty of questions -their previous Rotary club talk lasted over two hours. A link to their website is below I wish them luck in fundraising. I failed to borrow their search dog Doc for our fundraising- so cute with bucket in mouth and money pouring in!
My acting debut in a video for growbags has had to be put on hold. ?chance to get my equity card beforehand - my first Oscar nomination may be some way away.
Our club and Rochdale East are keen on working together on 2 Gracie Fields projects (a museum display in the Town Hall for us and a monument / display for Rochdale East.) I am liaising with President Donald Stewart; our first meeting is due soon.
Charter night guest speaker on 15th November is Julia Lee, a good friend of Nichola and I, one of the first female rugby league referees in the country and volunteers for guides and other youth projects. Julia came to the club on Sept 5th and thanks you all for making her so welcome and hope you will make her equally welcome on Charter night. Thank you all so much for your continued support- really could not do it all without you.I hope you continue to enjoy Rotary as much as I do.
President Neil

Congratulations Hon Member Dougie Wood and wife of 60 years Moddie on their Diamond Wedding Anniversary-Queen sent her regards-Dougie was temporarily ill-He was well enough to say ‘don’t argue’ as a recipe for a long marriage!

For all you sad people weeping over Schubert’s Lieder
this may be of interest..
Ever wondered about the power of music then read on thanks to Classic FM website!
Listening to music that's seen as 'sad' might release positive emotions. According to a study by researchers in Tokyo, listeners perceived the sadness in sad music, but felt both sadness and pleasure when the music was played.
Participants rated how 'sad' a piece sounded, and were asked to choose descriptive words or phrases to match the emotions they experienced. The results revealed that sad music, while being perceived to be more tragic, actually made participants feel more positive (and even more romantic!) than the emotions they picked up in the music.

The researchers avoided selecting well-known pieces of music in case any of the participants had their own emotional memories connected with the piece. They used Glinka's La Separation, Blumenfeld's Etude Sur Mer, and Granados's Allegro de Concierto in both major and minor versions, to see if it was the key itself or the music which provoked an emotional reaction.

"The sad emotion that is induced when we listen to sad music that is not accompanied by extra-musical factors would be regarded as vicarious and can be pleasant," the study says. "Because the danger that is associated with listening to sad music does not pose a direct threat to us, listeners are able to trust and enjoy the listening process."

It's not just musicians who felt unexpected emotions when listening to the pieces. Regardless of musical background, the participants in the study experienced a similar level of positivity after listening to the sad music.

Rotary Friend Dianna Cannell
Keep on weeping over your music folks!It’s positively good for you but restrain yourself until the Spring!

We cricket lovers envy John Holder- still able to fraternize with the greats of cricket; wonder if he ever did give anyone out ? eg recently had a reunion with “old” Hampshire team mates(40 years since they last won county championship) and met up with that batting machine Barry Richards.
Yours truly is now President of Rochdale Billiards League-not sure why ?only one who likes billiards?able to prop it up in a crisis-will let you know later?
Bowls lovers? consider joining Castleton bowling club and you can compete against bowling demons like John Cannell (he prefers biased things)For next season u can buy good 2nd hand bowls from BUTTS Bowls ,Rushey Fields, Off Dorset Avenue, Shaw OL27DS
Phone before calling John or Laraine on 01706 842750 mobile 07713841935
They have a small bowling alley for you to try the bowls out and sell second hand stuff at very reasonable price

Shoe Boxes impresario for the club is now IPP David Smithard who you can contact for further details
Beech house school on David’s suggestion are filling boxes at half term and help to get the 100 boxes to Preston warehouse will be much appreciated. Talking of the school they had a team in a new under 12s football competition open to Rotary sponsored teams from all across England.
The 2013 competition took place on Sunday 4th August from 9am until 4pm at St George’s Park, the National Football Centre c/o Burton Rotary Club and David and Martin attended with the Beech House team and teacher.
The President of Rotary in Britain and Ireland, Nan McCreadie, the first lady President of RIBI, attended the competition and presented the trophy and certificates to all the young footballers. President Nan was assisted in the presentations by Rory Delap, the new Burton Albion player and former Republic of Ireland, Stoke City, Derby County, Carlisle, Sunderland and Barnsley player.
The teams played 5-a-side on the David Beckham Pitch.
Beech house had a great day but there were some excellent football teams and the final was contested by Eckington Juniors (sponsored by Bredon Hill RC) and Preston City (sponsored by Preston Amounderness RC.) Preston City emerged winners by 1-0 in a closely fought match and thoroughly deserved to lift the trophy.
Update on Hopwood Hall College
"As most members of the Club are aware, I have been involved with Hopwood Hall College for a number of years. I am currently Vice Chairman of the Governors; I also chair the Audit Committee and serve on the Remuneration Panel.
In addition, now that I am retired and free during the day, I can attend other committees if they are not quorate, meet Ofsted inspectors if they wish to talk to a governor and otherwise stand in for the Chairman, Robert Clegg, if he is unavailable.
Each governor is assigned a department of the college as their "focus area" which in my case is Early Years and Health and Social Care. Last week I spent half a day sitting on the panel considering the Self Assessment Report for this department and I meet the manager on a regular basis to discuss how the department is progressing and offer any support I can give.
Members will have seen the improvement that the new cladding has made to the exterior of the Rochdale campus. Much other work has also been done at the site and this week I will be attending the openings of the Riverside Salon and the Riverside Restaurant, both of which will be open to the public.
Members may have seen the article in the Rochdale Observer on 21 September about the launch of the new Life Sciences area at the Middleton campus. This will provide training for animal care science and horticultural students; it is the only one of its kind in Greater Manchester and is attracting students from all over the region. This opening coincides with a long term project to bring the original Hopwood Hall building back into use by creating a wedding and banqueting venue and hotel.
I thoroughly enjoy my involvement with our local college and helping to make it one of the most successful in the North West.
Rotarian Clive Reid

Update on St James’ Rotakids School
Rotary District grant of £250 has been awarded to the school recently and this will be used to send paper,pens and study books to Lingdadze school in Malawi
At this time of year the School council is formed by election of 2 representatives of each year and also a Chairperson ,secretary and treasurer from the older pupils.Council meets once a month and Allister Holt has been attending- charity for the year will be decided soon

Mesothelioma –what is it?
A lung cancer developing many years after exposure to asbestos affects the pleura(covering around the lung)with pain and shortness of breath.Despite Turner brothers history in Rochdale locally we don’t seem to be any worse off than other areas .It’s more common in workers from dockyard areas involved with ship refits-asbestos lagging would shed fibres in the air like a snowstorm and before risks were known workers would play snowballs with the asbestos!Still a lot of asbestos around the plumbing in old schools, hospitals and other public buildings .The powdered and fibrous asbestos is worse than the hard compacted roofing type as it can more easily be inhaled deep into the lung .It can also cause asbestosis which is an asthma- like disease and ‘ordinary ‘lung cancer is more likely particularly in smokers exposed to asbestos.-Ed
North East Manchester RAYNET Update...
During my Presidential year, I invited a group of my radio friends to give a talk about RAYNET, the Radio Amateur's Emergency Network, to make the club aware of its existence. RAYNET is not unlike Rotary; most people have never heard of us!There had been a RAYNET branch in Rochdale a number of years ago, but, as often happens in voluntary groups, the minority doing most of the work had had enough, and the group disbanded. I was a member of that group, and moved to the Greater Manchester RAYNET when it ceased to exist.
During 2010, I was asked to form a new group in this area. With a view to recruiting outside Rochdale, I named the new group North East Manchester RAYNET. In fact the majority of us are from Littleborough & Rochdale, with just a couple from outside the immediate area.
We are now nine strong, and making our presence felt, not only by having sufficient manpower to organise our own events, but by increasing GMR's capability too. I took over the responsibility of organising the two main events that RAYNET assists, the Lion's Boundary Walk and the Lion's Canal Walk. Both events raise significant amounts of money for their chosen charities each year.
Sunday the 22nd of September saw their Canal Walk, from Manchester to Todmorden, some 22 miles along the tow path. With five check points and the start and finish, we were stretched to man them all, with two members not available. However with a bit of multitasking, we managed to do it. For me and two others, it needed an alarm clock to get us up at 0530, to be on site with a car full of equipment by 0700. But it was a fine morning, and an excellent day for walking. The numbers were down on previous years, but good enough.
Everyone was safely at Todmorden by 1900, so we were back home for a very welcome evening meal by 1930. Another Good Day of practise for RAYNET, some more money raised, in this case for Christie's, and happy Lions....
In this modern high tec age, local radio amateurs are well placed to bring their skills into play, be it to provide a safety function at a charity event, or to assist the emergency services in a time of crisis. More information about RAYNET nationally can be found here:-
PP John Cannell

2nd VP Irene Davidson set up the Friends of Milnrow Memorial park 8 years ago since then many projects have taken place, new and improved play areas, but the pinnacle of all is the 106k Skate park, the idea of the skate park was murmured at the very beginning of the group’s set up but was out of reach till this day.
The money has been raised over 3 years from various places, Veolia Environmental Trust, Rochdale MBC, two local charities The Doctor Chadwick Trust (set up in the late 18 hundreds for the benefit of local young people also a new Trust set up to the memory of a young man who sadly died at the age of 19 year.the project will take 10 weeks to complete( allowing for weather that is )
Quiz question -who is that face next to Park sign?

The Gracie Fields Project has now been adopted as an official club project. It can be summarised as follows:-
1. Sebastian Lassandro is the president of the Gracie Fields Appreciation Society which has 170 virtual members. He also gave a talk to our club and has studied Gracie Fields for his English degree at Manchester University
2. Gracie Fields is probably one of the greatest musical artists to be born in Rochdale and the project is to give her due recognition
3. The Town Hall have allocated two ground floor rooms for an Exhibition of Gracie Fields Memorabilia. The Society have enough exhibits but we are trying to get RMBC to release those which they have in store
4. John Kay is restructuring the Society into a Charitable Company and we will then have both virtual members and Local members. We hope the Local Members will open the Exhibition to visitors
5. The Club now has a committee of Nine Volunteers to take this project forward. Rochdale East Club may join us in this.
6. The Exhibition will be opened at our club meeting on Thursday 5th December 2013 which will be at the Town Hall
7. The Actress Judith Hibbert and the Comedian Roy Hudd are supporting the project and have made available the Master Tapes of a series of interviews which Roy made with Gracie Fields in Capri. These are currently being professionally transferred onto CD
Sebastian Lassandro is currently editing a book he has written which will be the most comprehensive publication on this great lady. The Rotary Club is honoured to act as a catalyst to give this great lady a public exhibition which should attract visitors from all over the country as part of Rochdale’s rebirth as a heritage centre.
PP John F Kay
Who is that smoothy caricatured below(car is the clue)

It’s our very own Auctioneer Keith Crossley ! Graham Longden of travel fame was a fellow Round table member and had a cartoonist’s talent .Keith has many memories from his Round table days and you will get a rundown on these in the next Bulletin in November
Book Auction at Club meeting Thursday 17TH October
Keith will auction off your books but CD s DVDs and Videos can also be sold to raise money for our own Rotary Charities(don’t forget extra cash to buy something you’ve always wanted)
Petrus Update -on new Community Store Hamer Lane
Second hand furniture ,bric-a brac ,electrical and clothing
is welcomed and if you’re having a clear out do contact 07807 412 462.They are also looking for volunteers to help sort out the goodies for display and if you’re interested in helping have a word with Elvet .
Bob Chadwick volcano update -he’s safe and sound!
Merrilyn looks forward to Bob’s return after
Bob wrote on 20th Sep ‘At 8.10am Ecuador time I stood on the summit of Mount Cotopaxi at 5,897metres high.
It was a steep hard climb on ice and snow. I feel chuffed to have done it all for the NSPCC.’

Forthcoming Club Events and
Duties for Members and Friends

Note Visitors and friends evenings 03 Oct and 07 Nov
No meeting on 14 Nov day before Charter Night
Date Programme Time

26 Sep Vibeke Kristensen-White My GapYear in India L
03 Oct Helen Chicot “Literacy” E
10 Oct Club and Projects  L
17 Oct Auction of Books,Videos,DVDs E
24 Oct Rotarian M. Ross “Mary’s Meals” L
31 Oct Rotarian Ravi Sharma E
07 Nov Arthritis Research UK E
14 Nov no club meeting
15 Nov Charter Night at Masonic Hall
21 Nov David Smithard E
28 Nov Bob Chadwick S American Journey L

Dates for your diary
October 4-6th Llandudno Rotary district Conference
October 16th Club Grand Day out in Rochdale starts at Town Hall then Touchstones ,Coop museum ending with evening meal at The Baum-Neil Williams has details
October 24th Indian banquet at Thamin Restaurant Littleborough -charity fundraising event-tickets available from John Whitley and Bob Chadwick
October 26th "Crocus" collection day at Tesco's in Rochdale for Polio Eradication campaign- Volunteers needed.-contact Derek Heywood or John Whitley

Book club dates October 7th -at Neil Williams’-‘Sweet Tooth’ by Ian McEwan
November 4th -at Elvet Smith’s- ‘The Meaning of Sport’ by Simon Barnes

January 17th Houghton Weavers at Ratcliffe Bars , Sandy Lane charity fundraising night


President Finance
26 Sep K Halstead M Lucas
03 Oct A Holt D Sherriff
10 Oct C Reid D Smithard
17 Oct I Madeley R Namushi
24 Oct J Kay N Williams
31 Oct P Rowan D Acton
07 Nov A Stott M Tomkinson
21 Nov J Banks R Sharma
28 Nov C Bryning J Cannell

Next Bulletin issue on 28th November
Please send any submissions to bulletin editor Elvet Smith by Monday 25th November

Focus interview DVD
Available from editor if you missed or forgot Neil’s performance-excuse views of lunch table.

I am only three weeks in and I am already out of breath. I really could not ask for a better start to my Presidential year (outside of a lottery win maybe). May I say a really big thank you to everyone for their help and support .
We started off on July 4th with the Presidential handover. Ailsa sang beautifully (I dream a dream was a huge highlight for me) and Ben, her accompanist was fabulous (I did not know that iPads had replaced sheet music – I suspect it is easier to turn the page on an iPad).
Well done to IPP David for a great year but his rest from the limelight only lasted a week as he was on President’s duty for July 11th’s focus interview (we did not want him having any withdrawal symptoms now did we)?
The focus interview was conducted by Michael Parkinson (I did not realise the Mr Parkinson was Allister Holt’s twin brother). Thanks to Allister for being so gentle and I hope you all enjoyed it. At least you all know that my love of two puddings is hereditary (from my father who is known as ‘two sweet Jack’) so why fight something if it’s hereditary.
Vice President Bob kindly attended the Redwood School Sports Awards on the evening of July 11th to present an award sponsored by Rochdale Rotary Club; I wasn’t able to go- cooking sausages in Healey Dell and trying not to give any of Boys Brigade food poisoning. I bravely tried one first ,just in case, and then maybe a couple more later just in case anything had happened to them in the meantime.July 18th was our annual bowls competition in glorious warm sunshine (did someone move Castleton Bowling Club to Portugal when no-one was looking)? Congratulations to Keith Swift (who eliminated the new President in the first round) and Lis Kay(defending champion) for winning the two competitions. My early exit (to a worthy winner) meant I could have an international challenge match with Yaroslav Portukhay from the Ukrainian Rotary club of Lviv. Yaroslav was visiting the UK for ten days and desperately wanted to visit Rochdale Rotary Club and it is fair to say he picked a great week. Despite having never even seen a bowling green before (nor bowls) and limited English he was a natural and even won an end. Yaroslav was joined by a former Rotarian Nick Lajszczuk and friend Phil Reed.
After a wonder potato pie supper and one pudding (by choice), Yaroslav told us a little about his club with Nick interpreting and he kindly presented the club with a book on the history of the club and its members (which I will bring to a future Rotary meeting). I thanked Yaroslav, Nick and Ian and showed off my fluent Ukrainian language skills with a phrase Nick had kindly written for me (no-one was fooled). A huge thank you to everyone who helped with and supported a great event.
Unfortunately won’t attend August 1st visitors evening as I will be at the Old Trafford Ashes test match-an auction prize I bid for at the Mike Gatting evening. A huge thank you to Bob who is standing in for me and on his birthday and hope you all have a great evening.Nichola and I are due off to Guide camp for four days straight after this Thursday’s meeting. Please wish me luck (especially tenting with thunder storms possibly forecast).
President Neil

Congratulations to John Holder now a regular radio visitor to Test Match Special , President of the Association of Cricket Officials in Lancashire and continues to mentor budding umpires.
Also to Martin Coupe for raising £1527 for the Friends of Oliver Charity on the recent Nidderdale Walk

Kids Out – Gulliver’s World – 12th June, 2013
Commander David, the kids and staff of Redwood, 9 Rotarians (4 from Rochdale East) and 1 Friend had a fine Kids Out day The first ride we tried was in very slow shallow boats which were unceremoniously dumped into a narrow channel. Much water was shipped and the occupants, still very damp, rode on with their feet submerged.
Things rapidly improved, many more rides taken; some sedate, others, like the roller coaster, adventurous. Some children went on them all, with a few brave Rotarians ! Our Commander had a short nap, worn out and dreaming of grow bags!
A Royal lunch was provided by Countryside Caterers, a.k.a. David and Sheila Acton.
The weather was fine, all returned happy if a bit wet
Everyone had a great time -see photos at
PPx2 Dean Sherriff

A War time veteran returns to Canada
In 2012 as an RAF Association member I got Big Lottery Funding to visit Saskatchewan, Canada where I had my WW2 flying training.
My 2 daughters Carole from Pantymwyn N.Wales and Dianne from Mississauga,Canada, came too and we first went to Swift Current (in 1941 the airfield was waterlogged so no training) Now it has an excellent massive Aircraft Museum.
Next to Caron,(my first training base) to visit a British cemetery, Union Jack flying, where eleven trainee pilots are buried –died in training accidents
Moose Jaw ,where I got my Wings, was a hick town in the 1940s.( US slang for a southern, mostly redneck town that has few offerings other than simply being a
community that knows and cares for each other above all else). It is now an unrecognisable modern small city. At the Rotary Club we had a great welcome and I gave a talk about my wartime service.
Next day we went to the United Nations Training base for the main part of my visit where the cavalcade began. First to the Harvard training aircraft (my Harvard was much more basic) then to the Hawk where the platform was in position for me to climb in .On to the mock Hawk cockpit to have ejection explained –I was blasted 3 feet in the air(strapped in). I tried a flight simulator - bird smash on the windscreen and also visited the control tower .The lady CO of the Snow birds (like the Red Arrows) explained the intricacies of formation flying whilst we sat in beautiful leather chairs . Artifacts of the 1940s were laid out to remind me of those days training in Saskatchewan.
At a mess lunch we were overwhelmed by CO and eight senior officers lined up to shake our hands.
After lunch I gave my talk to the CO,who had also heard me at the Rotary meeting, with his officers and trainee pilots; answered questions; finally quoted Canada’s National Anthem –WE STAND ON GUARD FOR THEE. I hoped standing on guard would be all they had to do during their RCAF service not wishing on anyone the task of defending a lifestyle and killing other human beings.
The C.O. thanked and presented me with a framed picture of the present Harvard aircraft complete with presentation plate.-What a visit!
Hon Member Stan Fielding (happy 96th birthday!)

John Cannell writes-‘Stan flew several planes, the main types being the Bristol Beaufighter and the de Havilland Mosquito  The Mosquito was known as the 'wooden wonder' as it was mainly made of wood, resulting in one of the fastest aircraft of WW II, with a top speed of around 420 mph’.

Rochdale Rotary members/schools news

Question How do you have a very enjoyable evening meal with friends, a sociable drink or two, hear tales of daring do, and some belly laughs from an Ex England Cricket Captain, and end up with the services of a Cricket Coach for two hundred Primary School Children?
Being a member of Rotary Club of Rochdale is a very good place to start.
For the last two years members of the Club have organised just such evenings, with Ex England Captains Michael Vaughan and Mike Gatting as guest speakers, to raise funds to be spent in the Rochdale Borough, by Lancashire County Cricket Board Coaches, to promote the enjoyment of playing, understanding, skills, and love of the game of Cricket to local young people.
The experience of the organising team from Rochdale Rotary was evident from the outset. With a Fast Bowler, a Straight Bat, a Leg Spinner, and several Googly experts in the side, they made selling one hundred and forty tickets, seating plans and arrangements for those of a Vegetarian disposition look easy.
Although they did have to call upon the Googly specialist on more than one occasion to sell more Raffle Tickets and prompt the big spenders at the Auction.
Having had a thoroughly wonderful evening I kept an appointment next morning with the Head teacher of Moorhouse Primary School, Milnrow, in my role as Chair of Governors.
Entering the Head’s office I was greeted with “sit down; you look a little bleary eyed this morning.”
“You know, I had a smashing time last night,” I said “I met an Ex England Cricket Captain and a chap from Lancashire County Cricket and if I remember rightly he said the money we raised was to be spent in Rochdale Schools.”
“Would they come here?” said the Head.
“I don’t see why not” said I “I’ll ask the Fast Bowler to send a Bouncer down to Old Trafford; they’ll take some notice of his Bouncer!”
Well the Fast Bowler played a blinder, and Lancashire Cricket Board Coaches have met with the Head teacher and agreed to start coaching Moorhouse Primary pupils, both boys and girls, in the new school year. They are also arranging a link for us with Milnrow Cricket Club so our pupils can progress on to the Coaching Scheme at the Club.
Have a great night out and arrange Cricket Coaching for Primary School Children?
Quite straight forward really. You become a member of Rotary Club of Rochdale!
Rotarian Keith Swift

Rotakids update
St James’ is involved in the Big ‘If’ campaign ( There’s enough for everyone if…) and wrote to David Cameron before the recent G8 summit to urge him to protect the rights of the developing nations.Useful material on this is found on-
-very thought provoking videos with world leaders portrayed by children. We used them in assembly for a week and they are superb! We are currently putting together our campaign for ‘Send my friend to school’‎ which this year is campaigning that every child needs a teacher.
Our veg growing is going well and we have started to eat home grown lettuce . Other successes,- our band qualified to play in Birmingham in July as part of the National Festival of Music for Youth. Our ‘b’ Football Team won the B League, and our Lower KS 2 Golf Team and Upper KS2 Golf Team both won the Borough Finals and qualified to represent Rochdale at the Greater Manchester Games as did two of our SEN children who will again represent Rochdale in Golf in the Playground 2 Podium Games (Schools equivalent of Paralympics).
On a very hot and stick Thursday evening July 18th IPP David Smithard and Allister attended an exceptionally good concert by year 6 followed by presentations at St James’ primary school. David presented our first ‘Service Above Self’ RotaKids award to Jacob Harrisson. Many members will remember this very articulate young man from the District event we had earlier in the year at Norton Grange Hotel. Throughout the year amongst other things he has consistently been there for others, assisting where ever possible in the running of the school council and so on. As you can see from the expression on his face this was something to be very proud of.
Jacob acts as advocate for our very youngest children, at School Council and reporting back any decisions, he has also welcomed and guided lots of visitors including Denis Sheils, a Chelsea Pensioner who, after his visit, donated a Chelsea Pensioner Bulldog Toy which we use to reward children who carry out particular acts of kindness. Jacob has continued to write to Denis and inform him of life in school.
Catherine Aden: Head teacher ,and Allister Holt
Best Apprentice Awards
On behalf of President David, I attended the Hopwood Hall College Further Education Awards Ceremony on 20 June at the Middleton Arena. I presented the £20 awards for Intermediate Apprenticeship Hannah Royle ,Danielle Firth; Advanced Apprenticeship - Amber Whitehead, Adam Stanaway and Programmes for the Unemployed -Tracey Schofield, Stephanie Preston. The awards were for those showing best progress and achievement.
(more detail on web site)
Rotarian Clive Reid
International News

a)Sand Dams Update-our first is on its way!
Following the Club’s £1500 donation combined with an anonymous donation of £5000 a Sand Dam will be built by a self- help group of 14 villagers in a very dry area of SE Kenya - total population of 13000
Wikwatyo wa Kiambani village is the place; ‘In south eastern Kenya, the name comes from the local Kikamba, meaning ‘The hope of the Baobab tree.’ It’s an apt name for this community, as Baobab trees are well known in Africa for having the ability to flourish in dry conditions. They do so because of their capacity to capture water during the rainy season, storing it in their swollen trunks to survive in spite of the harsh drought conditions that are prevalent throughout dryland environments.’ - See more at:
August is planned; Rochdale Rotary Club will be displayed on the dam signage. It could not have happened without so much of the Club’s and donor’s support!
IPP David Smithard

b)MedicMalawi visit
Our sponsored Friends Helen Boulton and Pam Wilkinson have just returned safely if a bit tired after school and hospital duties were performed-more news on their visit later

Dates for your diary
Book club dates are as follows:-.
August 5th-at Mike Tomkinson’s-‘The God of Small things’ by Arundhati Roy
September 2nd -at David Smithard’s- ‘Earth, the power of the Planet’by Iain Stewart and John Lynch
Focus interview DVD
Available from editor if you missed or forgot Neil’s performance-excuse views of lunch table.

Club Bulletin MAY 2013
President’s Remarks
A rather less hectic time of the Rotary year has nevertheless included a number of fascinating speakers on topics, some of which could lead to future projects.
In mind I have Fire safety and the Youth project fair as well as Gracie’s Sword,
the Soldiers Charity and Transatlantic travel.
As these are my last presidential remarks I should reflect on my year. I've thoroughly enjoyed it- certainly the Presidency is the best job in the club!
As to the future there are always concerns about membership, both new members and motivating existing ones. Our district is launching a new project shortly called Visioning, to help clubs who want to develop their profiles. This may be a way forward.
Finally, thank you all for your help and support over the last twelve months.
President David Smithard

News from RIBI Conference Harrogate
Voting at conference will in future be available on-line and delegates will not even have to register for Conference but will need to spend 3 hours in front of their computers!
President David and myself did actually find the business meeting interesting!(don’t say ‘get a life!’). For more details of Conference see Rotary website.-Editor

Rotary Members and their Charities

Bob Chadwick is doing a challenging Trek later this year up The Avenue of Volcanoes in Equador.- for NSPCC and Childline
High altitude and an active volcano awaits Bob who has hardened his muscles doing long distance walks and also at altitude in Peru last year.
As part of his fundraising Bob is planning a Soul Night at The Ratcliffe Suite, Sandy Lane, Rochdale on Friday 7th June 2013 at 7.30pm.
Featuring Soul Provider a 12 piece Soul band playing songs from the 60’s to the present plus a disco and a raffle for an iPad Mini donated by Brakes International.
Tickets are £12.50 and include a buffet supper (not including raffle ticket).
Bob is also doing the arduous Yorkshire 3 Peaks 25 mile walk on June 15th and is looking for sponsors for donations to Heart Research UK -to obtain tickets or sponsor him contact:
Bob on 07788 838676 or 01706 924678

Martin Coupe ‘On 19th May my Nidderdale Walk for Charity was in aid of “Friends of Oliver”- A little 5 year old boy who suffers from a very severe chronic disease Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) The Charity was set up by Oliver’s parents to further research the disease’ –more info from Martin and http://www.friendsofoliver
Nidderdale Charity Walk 19th May
Harrogate Rotary Club held it’s 20th Walk and we had a super day on the hills above Pateley Bridge walking for the 8th year in a row up a steep hill to Greenhow ;the 8 miles were completed by 8 Rotarians and wives .Some met up with a selection of woolly and hairy wildlife

We also visited Coldstones limestone quarry where at least one member pondered a rocky life

Egg and salmon sandwiches produced by Liz and Maureen was the reward for survivors
PP Elvet (recovering from walk)
The Rochdale Ancient Parish Educational Trust -RAPET
Alan Shackleton, Martin Coupe and Tom Hobson are all trustees of the above Charity which not many people are aware of.
The Trust was established over 200 years ago by the rich industrialists of the Town to provide financial assistance for educational purposes, where there is a clear hardship, to young people within the Ancient Parish. The boundary is not that of the RMBC, but extends to Saddleworth, Todmorden, Whitworth and Bacup incorporating the former Pennine Urban Districts and Old County Borough of Rochdale.
Individual grants of up to £500 are awarded to qualifying young persons in education who have a need for, books, uniforms, fees, transport, equipment for apprentices and any other justifiable expense. The application forms are obtained through the RMBC website.
Until very recently the administration work was undertaken by a department at the RMBC. However, due to the austerity measures the Council can no longer provide this service to this and many other similar Charities throughout the Borough. Fortunately, we have been able to place this business with Wyatt Morris to administer for us and the Trust will continue to serve the Town.
News re Foodbank
Rochdale Council have taken on the rental of premises in town centre until Foodbank finds other suitable site. Recent news -ASDA customers were generous with 3/4 ton of food donated one weekend and CIS also generous
Up to the end of March total .Donations of food was 21.90 tons 16.08 tons so far given out
Number of food vouchers exchanged is 1166 (over 20 weeks)
PP Martin Coupe (Foodbank and RAPET trustee)

Mr Vice’s Column - building up to next Year
It’s nearly July already and time for Presidential handover - Don’t Panic!

Whilst David’s year still has five weeks to go as we go to press (can you tell I’m an ex bulletin editor?), it seems a nice time to ease in gently (bulletin wise) before I take on the ‘President’s Remarks’ next issue.
On the subject of the bulletin, please support Elvet and try to contribute articles whenever you can (don’t be shy). You could write about an event you have attended or club activity you have taken part in (coming up is kids out for example). Perhaps you could write a piece on a current or past member. Also, if you have any nice pictures then please send them to Elvet as they do add a bit of colour (even if Elvet uses it for a caption competition – oops, hope I am not giving Elvet any mad ideas here).
I am really looking forward to my year as president (don’t let the sheer look of terror on my face fool you). I think we have a really friendly club and it would be great to use this strength to continue to grow the club and increase our numbers. One suggestion is to be prepared should a stranger or friend ask you about Rotary (it happened to me recently and I did not find it easy). Perhaps you could just scribble down a few things on a card and keep it handy for such instances (let me know if you want any help).
Finally, I just wanted to let you know that my charities for the year will be Mesothelioma UK and to continue with Sand Dams for a second year. I will tell you more about both charities in the next bulletin.(web links below)
VP Neil

Highlights from District Assembly 11th May
It looks like the new megadistrict is later than planned but the good news is that there will be a succession of Rochdalians as District Governor-Ged Heatherington 2013-14 followed by Stuart Sawle 2014-15 and Nigel Danby 2015-16                                     Nigel is first DG of the new District 1285 combining 1080 and 1280.                                We should be ok for DGs visits to our club!
is the Rotary Motto for the coming year and
RI President Elect Ron. D. Burton says “The most important thing we can do for the future of Rotary is make sure that Rotarians are engaged & doing the most we can...” “We need to make sure that every Rotarian has a meaningful role to play ”
Rotarian Stuart Sawle has a new idea called Visioning –clubs make a 5 year plan to increase membership and find Good Causes eg Sand Dams with district appeal.
New Generations is now called Youth Service Group and will carry on much as before District now has 2 Rotaract and 3 Rotakids clubs (includes our own)
On the International front there is a lively scene with many worthwhile causes ;
A Project Library – mainly focused on Sand Dams, Mary’s Meals and Micro Finance (
The Pahar Trust –funds and build schools in Nepal and establish links between them and British schools.
Funding of Projects by Global and District Grants -confusion reigns whether the District has enough Foundation funds for matching. Keith Unsworth, the District Foundation Chair would attend a Club meeting.
Dates for the diary – World Porridge Day 10th October, World Polio Day 24th October, International Rally 20th February 2014, Rotary Day 23rd February 2014.
Rotarians Keith Banks and Bob Chadwick

Ailsa Mainwaring comes to Rotary!

After the Presidential Handover at our Friends evening on July 4th the club will be entertained by a programme of ‘Music for a Summer evening’ to be provided by Ailsa Mainwaring ,a young Mezzo soprano who is making a name for herself locally.
Ailsa , having successfully completed an M.A. degree at the Royal Academy ,has been awarded a place on the prestigious Opera course at the Guildhall School of Music in London in September.
She wrote to the President requesting support for her living expenses and,Council, having agreed to help her, asked me to organise a fundraising event.I have invited her to ‘sing for her supper’ (for about half an hour) at our handover maximise support for her, I have arranged a buffet meal to be served for £5.50, while members ,friends and visitors will be charged £10. To raise a worthwhile donation for Ailsa I am appealing to members to bring friends and visitors to come to listen to an attractive programme of light music given by an up and coming musician with a ‘special’ voice. A list will be circulated in June .Thank you for your support!
PP Mike Lucas


President David Smithard
MARCH 2013

President’s Remarks
We have had a very eventful few months with a national and international flavour.
  Firstly Drogana Vidovic, Rotary Peace Scholar, spoke movingly about her childhood in
Bosnia and highlighted Rotary’s involvement in conflict resolution.
  Next we entertained the RIBI President, John Minhinick and took him to the Co-operative Museum - the birthplace of an international movement.
  February saw us collecting for Polio Plus -Rotary’s global project contributing to the eradication of the disease.
  Whilst in Australia we visited the Rotary Club of Sydney, I saw how diverse clubs can be.They recruit by invitation from the professional and business sector of the city and raise large sums for their projects. One sees  obvious evidence of Rotary’s activities in the form of plaques and notices at sites of community projects.
  At home we have been engaged in national school competitions. Our entrants in Youth Speaks and Young MusIcian performed well and reached their regional finals.
  Finally our evening with Mike Gatting ,again supporting schools, was a hugely enjoyable event. My thanks to John Holder and team
                    David Smithard.

Once again I am making a collection to pass on to Petrus so if you find that your spring/summer clothes have shrunk ! don’t just throw them away put them in a box or bag and give them to me at a meeting at end of March or in April(planning 2 deliveries in April) or at any time as year goes on
Many thanks,
Rtn Keith Crossley

David made contact last year with the International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT) in Dhaka and they had agreed to trial the growbag system. Additionally Mike , who had spent over 2 years with VSO in Bangladesh in the early 70’s, had made contact with the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) who also started a trial. Other organisations we contacted also expressed an interest

As a result we left Manchester for Dhaka via Dubai on Sunday 17th February . We only had 75 minutes to transfer but with an on time departure from Manchester things looked promising. Unfortunately air traffic was very heavy over Dubai and we spent a full hour going around in circles. Fortunately there were 40 passengers who also had to make the Dhaka flight and Emirates kindly delayed its departure so we could all make the connection. This required an inter-terminal sprint led by a member of staff who had clearly represented the Emirates in the Olympic relay race with an additional train journey allowing us a slight breather.
We arrived at Dhaka early Monday morning and were staying at the CRP on the outskirts of the city. However due to a general strike and the potential for problems on the street we were met by an ambulance and, with David in the front seat
and Mike lying on a stretcher in the back giving a passable imitation of a patient, we were guaranteed a safe passage through any difficult areas.
The road from the airport to the hospital that used to pass through rice fields for as far as the eye could see has now become part of a Lowryesque Industrial revolution landscape with giant chimneys belching smoke from countless brick kiln manufacturers.
At CRP we were met by a very old friend Dr Valerie Taylor who had set up the centre in the 1970’s in a small house in Dhaka city. From such a small acorn CRP has become a mighty oak tree and we were hugely impressed with the size and professionalism of an organisation that over the last year has treated 407 Inpatients and 49,923 outpatients who have severe spinal injuries. We were put in the visitors flat and after a short sleep to catch up on jet lag we started to explore the site.
We soon discovered the growing area where vegetables, fruit and flowers were farmed and sold to raise funds for the hospital and help with the patient rehabilitation program. We were delighted to see the Rotary growbags under trial and David spent most of the following day giving help and advice to the Head Gardener and his
staff and similarly throughout the week at several other projects.
  Mike was determined that we remained fit not only out of an enlightened self-interest but, after David’s last club talk following his Kenya trip, to protect Rochdale members having to endure a similar presentation but this time on Bangladesh gastro-intestinal difficulties. Fortunately we were able to eat almost exclusively at the hospital and were well cared for with delicious food from Shamalee our very own cook.
  One evening Shamalee took us on a short walk to visit a local event that turned out to be a book fair with a large number of temporary stalls set up on a piece of open ground. There was music and a large number of young people socialising and showing a great interest in both the books on sale and the two visiting Rotarians.......?(next episode in May-Ed) See links below
Rtns David Acton & Mike Tomkinson
An Evening with Mike Gatting 21st March
After months of organisation John Holder and the team were glad to see Mike Gatting coming in to bat in front of 130 Rotarians (led by our President David) Mayor Gartside and cricket fans at the Norton Grange. Mike was in great form telling us how he survived West Indian pace bowling albeit with a broken nose at one point. Humerous tales of Botham –yes he did like his beer,Gooch  to open the batting with and Gower (‘optional’ nets-out in a catamaran while everyone else practiced)Food was great.Dudley Doolittle in fine form  £2000 raised for cricket coaching–well done to John Holder , Doug Hill sponsor and everyone involved!

Rochdale Rotary members- Charity news

John Kay is more ‘over the moon’ than usual-
he is a Founder Trustee of RCT (Rochdale Connections Trust ) which has helped disaffected youngsters grow up with a structured social and educational support package.
A large lottery grant of £261,212 came to the charity in November 2012 and John is celebrating !
RCT will work with RMBC Youth Service to deliver an individual package of support to young people Ages 10-18. These young people will have been identified from their school/college as needing additional support in order to continue or resume their formal education .
The length of the project is 3 years- starting 02.01.2013 and ending 31.12.2015 -and the total number of young people will be 200 i.e. about 70 per year between RCT and RMBC Youth Service.
There will be support by RMBC’s Key Worker and RCT’s Development Worker will work one-to-one initially and then the Volunteer Coordinator will arrange a Mentor if appropriate. Weekly Drop In sessions enable development of social skills, make friends, do activities and attend workshops.
Referrals will be identified and then discussed at the School Targeted Youth support Panel Meetings, Five High schools within the Borough are delighted to have the partnership with RCT.

Coop museum update with Neil Williams

Neil who is a regular volunteer at the Coop Pioneers Museum on Toad Lane has some good news.Firstly with the opening of the tram service there has been a noticeable increase in visitors from outside the borough including people from Oldham! The Museum has recently been awarded the Museums at Night Award and there is to be a big celebratory event at the Museum on the 16th May .In collaboration with Touchstones a procession will start from St Chads through the town ending at Toad Lane museum.(no doubt members will enjoy attending and helping out)
Another event in the offing is a visit from Michael Portillo continuing his televised train journeys around Britain.Toad lane is humming if not croaking!

Rochdale Food bank Update - Martin Coupe
Martin has been a volunteer at the bank on the Esplanade and has noted that there is obviously a great need for the bank to continue with worries as to whether the lease on the property will be continued when present 6 months charity donation runs out .Club members please continue your generous donations of food (money if you like)but they have plenty of baked beans and soups at the moment! RIBI has obviously been as impressed as we have and recently made Food Banks an official Rotary supported Charity

Rotakids update from Allister Holt
St James’ CE School Wardle has an assembly every Friday morning at 9 a.m. and Head teacher Catherine Aden would be delighted if Rotarians would like to attend(don’t worry you won’t have to bring your birthday cards or play the recorder).It would be as well to ring the school on 01706 378268 to let them know you’re coming. It will give Rotarians an insight into a school where pupils get a lot of involvement in it’s running.

Date - Thursday 25th April
Time - 6.15pm to 9.30 p.m.
Place – Norton Grange Hotel, Middleton

Speakers Catherine Aden (Head teacher
St. James CE Primary School)
Josh Payne (Youth Mayor of Oldham)
Helping empower the next generation, Rotary stalls/displays with a youth and community emphasis e.g. Rotakids, RYLA, Choral Speaking, Trussell Trust (food banks), Urban Farm, Youth Exchange, Youth Speaks, Mock Interviews, Coram Life Education, Young Musician, Young Writer, Young Photographer, Boys’ Brigade, Young Chef, Life Education and Excitement of Science.

Club Correspondence Team
Please note that there are now 3 people dealing with our club’s ‘literary output’
John Cannell knows everything about the website and will be keen to get new copy to put on-important we show the on-line world what we’re up to.
Kath Halstead will be taking on the link with local newspapers so will be writing reviews of speakers and events but please help her out with your own version particularly if it is your speaker you invited along.
Elvet Smith (me) will be doing bulletin every 2 months and need updates /photos about current events –convenors please let me know latest news and ? committee meeting dates in advance. Please note I will not be duplicating what is already on website.








President’s Remarks

It's been a busy and rewarding six weeks since the last bulletin. In the immediate pre-Christmas period bag-packing at Morrisons was very successful, raising a four figure sum for our charities. I much appreciated everyone’s
help including those from Petrus.
Christmas Parcels was its usual success. Delivering the parcels and meeting the recipients is in itself a useful eye-opener.
I'm pleased to report that another team from the club went Shoe-Box packing early in January and we intend to go again before the end of the month.
A number of interesting subjects have been covered at our weekly meetings. Undoubtedly the most uplifting was 'The Rochdale Food bank'. It was good to hear how successful it had been so quickly in supporting the needy through difficult
times. Equally heart-warming has been the response of the people of Rochdale in both kind and effort.
One thing I do need to highlight is the support given to the club by the current Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale. They attended Charter Night, spoke at our first friends evening of 2013, are playing an active role in the visit of the RIBI president in February and supporting our
Cricket Event. It has been suggested that it would be a welcome gesture from us if we were to make a donation towards their chosen charities. This will be discussed at our next council meeting.
Finally, on a personal level, it was pleasing for Pauline and myself to have our daughter, Julia, attending two Rotary meetings, bag-packing and shoebox packing during her recent holiday. She's now safely back in Oz!

President David for more detail of Mayor's talk and other speakers at the club meetings

Book Club((Latest news from yours truly)

‘The woman who went to bed for
a year’ by Sue Townsend
Our book club New Year night out was at the Rake Tapas, Littleborough. It went well and we had a tasty evening, eating under low wooden beams ,sitting on farmhouse style furniture with microbrewery beer to boot!
Arriving on a frozen January night in warm chauffeur- driven vehicles Mike was already there supping amber liquid in a very bookish fashion(concentration and dreaminess combined)- we all followed his example-the mellow Autumn Gold the most popular. At a large wooden table the 6 of us tucked into a variety of food ranging from whitebait to spare ribs.Replete we discussed Julian Barnes’ book ‘The Sense of an Ending’ ; in the subdued light some had difficulty reading their notes(written on beer mats and backs of envelopes)We all reminisced about our youth and student life ; our memories were not that accurate and tended to romanticise, or gloss over the bad bits- Julian Barnes’ character Tony Webster did the same in the book! –on our way out of front door Landlord offered a brewery guided tour .If anyone is interested Mike T knows landlord well-no, not a former client !

In Conversation with VP Neil -bulletin editor(retired)-almost verbatim
(due to the absence of Neil in some unknown location I have put down as much as I can remember from a conversation over 3 large puddings at Christmas meal)
‘Thanks to Elvet for taking over after my 7 years in post (itching started so I needed to change)I have to build myself up for leading you into a new Rotary year from July 2013 and felt that being editor would reduce my energy and you would not have seen the best of me.
‘Seriously I did enjoy being editor and was so touched by all the puddings and flowers received during my tenure and hope these will not dry up (custard and water has been offered-ed)
‘To the person who sent me a large printing press as a farewell present could I let you know that my usual scrap metal dealer has been stopped by the police from receiving metal from joe public and could you please move it off the Masonic car park!

District international Rally and Project Fair Swinton Masonic Hall 14th February 6 30 for 7 pm
Organised by Oldham Metro Rotary club Colin Parry OBE is guest speaker. He and his wife Wendy lost a child in the Terrorist bombing in Warrington in 1993 and formed the charity Foundation for Peace
supporting those affected by conflict, acts of terror and political violence.
Various charities in the Project fair include Rotary Shelterbox, Shoebox, Mercy Ships, Mines Advisory Group, Trade Aid,Guildford Eye Project,
International Rescue, Jaipur limb, Hope and Homes, Pahar Trust and many others. RIBI President John Minhinick will attend .

NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening

The NHS has since 2009 been providing AAA Screening for all men in this area during their 65th year.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm can occur if the wall of your aorta – the main blood vessel that supplies blood to your body – gets weak and starts to expand. The condition can be serious. I am told that about 4% of men have this condition.
  I have just experienced the ultrasound scan. A pleasant, pain free and interesting experience with an instant result. I am fine and I am not pregnant.(too old now?-ed)
I asked “what about men who were 65 years old before 2009”. I am told that if they ring up the AAA team on 0161 291 5716 they will be given an appointment and can check that they are not pregnant and have an AAA Screening at the same time.
I can say that, as Membership Convenor, I recommend it as the longer our members live the better our membership statistics.
PP John F Kay

Calling all Gracie Fields fans!
Some tapes of ‘Our Gracie’ interviewed by Roy Hudd have been given to a healthy John Kay by actress Judith Hibbert (he is an octopus with tentacles in many seas)
Anyone who can help to get tapes onto CD for public release please contact John Kay


President’s Remarks

Almost halfway through the Rotary Year and two important events, District Conference and Charter Night, have been successfully
negotiated. They were much enjoyed by all.

The speakers at the weekly meetings have been varied and informative.

There is an on-going debate about the venue and possible alternatives for the future.

Last week along with four other members I went Shoebox packing at the warehouse near Preston. It was good to see Rotary in action and the scale of the project is very impressive. More volunteers will be needed early in the New Year and I would strongly recommend it to those who have not been before.

Finally, especially for those who are not able to come to the Christmas dinner, I would like to wish you a happy Christmas.
President David

  The New Food Bank Project
As you may know the Community Committee has recently adopted this project so I thought it would be worth giving members some background information. The original request to donate tinned food came from Paul Wilson at the Salvation Army via Tom Hobson.
Since then the Food Bank has opened in Rochdale at 9-10 South parade and is coordinating the supply of food to local people. They are open from Monday to Friday between 1100 and 1300. This is a non-profit charitable organisation that distributes food to those who have difficulty purchasing enough to avoid hunger. Food Bank originally started in America in 1967 and a large number have opened in Europe since 2006.
For people to qualify, they must arrive at the Food Bank with a voucher supplied by one of a number of local agencies for example Petrus, Salvation Army, Age UK, Victim Support and Together (our partner in the Rotary mental health befriending project).
Food Bank is asking for donations of any tinned food, long life milk, coffee and particularly baby food. Members can bring donations to Rotary meetings and give them to David Acton or Mike Tomkinson. If we are not at a meeting please leave your tins in the Rotary cupboard. Alternatively you can take your food directly to the South Parade office of the Food Bank where you can also stay for a cup of tea if you like.                   

Rtn Mike Tomkinson





Contact Information

Rotary Club of Rochdale

Masonic Buildings
Richard Street
OL11 1DU

Tel: 01706 767409

Where we are

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