Monday, 19 December 2011

Scatter Week

When you become a member of Rotary you become a member of worldwide family - welcome at Rotary Clubs everywhere.

It gives a great opportunity to meet and to get to know other business people who are committed to making a difference through working with the Rotary movement and to find out how they are achieving that in their own local communities.

In common with many other Clubs Tettenhall devotes one week in each year to a Scatter Week and instead of holding a meting of our own members split up and visit other Rotary Clubs in the area. This years scatter saw members visit Clubs at Albrighton, Bilston, Kinver, Stafford Castle, Sedgley and Wombourne and West Bromwich. Our thanks go to the members of those Clubs for their hospitality and fellowship and we look forward to being able to reciprocate in the future.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Santa at Sainsbury's

Santa and his helpers from the Club will be at Sainsbury's on Anders Square in Perton in the run up to Christmas. Santa will be looking to find out what the boys and girls want for Christmas this year whilst his Rotary helpers will be collecting on behalf of Compton Hospice and other Rotary Charities.

We'll be there on:

Friday 16th December from 10 until 6

Saturday 17th December from 10 until 4 - thats our Church Choir day when we'll be joined by local choirs to entertain us with Christmas Carols

Tuesday 20th December from 10 until 4

Wednesday 21st December from 10 until 4

Thursday 22nd December from 10 until 4

Friday 23rd December from 10 until 12

Saturday 24th December from 10 until 12

Thursday, 15 December 2011

We're helping Santa Claus get ready for Christmas

It's that time of year again and all of the members of Tettenhall Rotary Club are looking forward to helping Santa Claus as he visits the children of Wolverhampton to find out what they would like him to leave in their stockings this year.

You can follow Santa on his new website or on his twitter account @WolvesSanta.

Santa's sleigh will be following these routes:

Saturday 17th December 2011 - CLAREGATE

Starting 5 o'clock at Aldersley Avenue, Pendeford Lane, Claregate Island, Blackburn Avenue, Burland Avenue, Aldersley Avenue, Lynton Avenue, Blackburn Avenue, Derby Avenue, Crossland Crescent, Blackburn Avenue, Aldersley Road, Green Lane, Blakely Rise, Blakeley Avenue, Green Lane, Pilot Pub.

Sunday 18th December 2011 - LOW HILL
Starting 5 o'clock at  Leacroft Avenue, Whitgreave Avenue, Neve Avenue, Perry Avenue, Neve Avenue, Leacroft Avenue, Hill Crest Avenue, Low Hill Crescent, Walker Avenue, Wingfoot Avenue, Goodyear Avenue, Thorne Avenue, Showell Circus

Tuesday 20th December 2011 - OLD FALLINGS
Starting 5 o'clock at  Annan Avenue, Dickinson Avenue, Old fallings Crescent, Fourth Avenue, Humphreys Road, Hawksford Crescent, Fifth Avenue, Goodyear Avenue, Thorne Avenue, Showell Circus.

Wednesday 21st December 2011 - FORDHOUSES
Starting 5 o'clock at  St Anne’s Road, Marsh Lane, Winchester Road, Sandon Road, Patshull Avenue, Harrowby Road, Winchester Road, Marsh Lane.

Thursday 22nd December 2011 - BUSHBURY
Starting 5 o'clock at  Rushall Road, School Lane, Fairfax Road, Northwood Park Road, Ireton Road, Carisbrook Road, Cromwell Road, Northwood Park, Egerton Road, Lauderdale Road, Hamilton Gardens, Egerton Road, Pendrill Road, Wentworth Road, over Grifford Road, Hellier Road, Staffordshire Volunteer Pub

Monday, 21 November 2011

Henry Carver - How to Generate Wolverhampton

Tonights speaker Wolverhampton business man Henry Carver has made quite an impact in the City over the last year.

Frustrated by the failure of the Summer Row development Mr Carver called  on local businesses to join together to fight back against what he saw as obstructive Council policies and red tape which he believed to be blighting the City.

Over 300 people attended the first meeting with Mr Carver called in February leading to the formation of the Wolverhampton Business Group which aims to develop pro-business, pro-job policies and to encourage and support the City Council to enact those policies in order to create a more vibrant local economy in which there are more and better paid jobs.

Following lobbying by  Wolverhampton Business Group and other interested parties they believe that there has been a "sea change" in the Planning Department following recognition by the Council of the urgent need to send out a "pro-business, pre-development message" but Mr Carver urged the business community in Wolverhampton to remain vigilant and to maintain consistent pressure on the Council to keep up the good work.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Auction of Promises

Today saw the Club's Auction of Promises at Patshull Park organised by Club member Ken Whalley in support of Compton Hospice.

Club members and supporters donated a wide range of promises including rounds of golf at South Staffs Golf Club and at the Belfry, County Cricket Days at Edgbaston and holiday flights and accommodation in Majorca (the days star performer raising £540).

In all 58 lots were offered under the expert hammer of local auctioneer and Club member Ken Swash. The two Kens gave us all a great day with a lot of laughs and the generosity of the room amply rewarded all of their hard work raising £8,800 for Compton Hospice. Our thanks go to the two Kens and to everyone who supported the event.

Monday, 14 November 2011

The Olympics - Trevor James

We were joined this evening by Trevor James who gave a talk on the English origins of the Olympic Games.

Trevor is the Honorary Secretary of The Historical Association a charity which supports the study and enjoyment of history.

He explained to the Club how the history of sporting competition in this country stretched back to at least 1614 with the Cotswold Games and the sporting competitions which followed it helping to generate huge public interest.

By the 1850s these had developed into recognisable athletic meetings and Trevor argues that it was the success of events such as this which formed the template for the modern day Olympic Games.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

In Memory - Remembrance Day 2011

Rotary is built on the ideal of 'service above self' and in recognition of the selfless sacrifice made by former and current generations in furtherance of that ideal Vice President Ian Rigby today joined with President of Tettenhall Inner Wheel Club Lynn Cave, the President of Wolverhampton Inner Wheel Club Eileen Gosling, President Richard Green of the Rotary Club of Wolverhampton and President Chris Barry of the Rotary Club of Wolverhampton St George's and with representatives of other service organisations from around the City to pay our respects to the fallen at the Civic Service for Remembrance Sunday.

Following the observance of a two minute silence and a Drum Head Service in St Peters Square poppy wreaths were laid before the City's cenotaph.  There was tremendous support for the ceremony which was followed by a formal service in St Peter's Church where the sermon was given by The Reverend (Squadron Leader) Christopher Lawrence Chaplain DCAE Cosford.

Reverend Lawrence called on his own memories of serving under fire in Kandahar and spoke of the struggle which many surviving service personnel face when returning from active service to cope with their memories of conflict and of the importance of their being given the time and support to allow them to work out the meaning of those memories and to emerge with a renewed understanding of the purpose of their life.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Armistice Day Concert

Perton Community Hall was the venue for a special Armistice Day fund raising Concert hosted by the Club this evening. Over 200 guests were entertained by the Four Oaks Big Band with a selection of classic big band music.

A sell out night the concert raised £2,500 which will go towards the funding of the Rotary Volunteer Suite at Compton Hospice. Our thanks go to the Four Oaks Big Band for great nights entertainment and to Rotarian Peter Maddox for all of his hard work in organising the event.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Wolverhampton MS Therapy Centre

Rotary has always recognised the powerful difference which can be made when local people work together -putting service before self - for the benefit of their community.

Over the years Rotarians from the five Rotary Clubs of Wolverhampton have translated this into action and have been involved in the foundation and operation of many local charities including Compton Hospice and the  Wolverhampton MS Therapy Centre.

This year the Centre celebrates its 25th Anniversary and we were joined tonight by Wolverhampton Rotarian Peter Williams to tell us about its history, its current work and its future development.

The Centre operates a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber which helps to relieve the extreme fatigue which sufferers feel. It also offers a range of physiotherapy and reflexology services designed to alleviate some of the more distressing symptoms of the disease and to help sufferers to cope a little better with everyday life. Many of the services are provided with the assitsatnce of trained volunteers and Peter explained that more volunteer assistance was needed if the Charity is to continue its vital work into the future. Looking to the future the Centre has recently acquired additional premises which it is in the course of developing to provide further support for its users.

If you'd like to volunteer to help the Centre to continue its work or to make a donation towards its annual running costs of over £90,000 the Centre would love to hear from you and the Centre Manager can be contacted on 01902 744888.

New Member - Roger Lewis

Its always great to welcome a new member to our Club and this evening President John had the pleasure of inducting Roger Lewis into the Rotary family.

Roger, a legal executive specialising in debt recovery matters, lives in Bobbington with his wife and three children. The son of former professional footballer with Birmingham City Roger is a keen sportsman and we are looking forward to him teaming up with a couple of the Club's more recent recruits to mount a serious challenge in the District Golf competition.

Monday, 31 October 2011

John Richards- a Wolves Legend

John Richards doesn't make habit of speaking to Rotary Clubs so we were over joyed when he agreed to support his old Round Table friends in the Club by agreeing to speak at tonight's meeting.

John entertained us with tales of his days playing with fellow Wolves legends Derek Dougan, Steve Kingdon and Danny Hegan amongst others. While at the Club he experienced both ups and downs - with UEFA cup run excitement, League Cup victories and relegation to the lower leagues. It's clear that John thinks that the modern game has lost something in its focus on avoiding relegation at all costs and he looks for a return to the time when cup glory mattered to both players and fans.

Originally from Warrington John's connection with Wolverhampton spans 42 years now and he described to us not only the sense of privilege in playing for the Wolves but also his gratitude for the way in which its fans have and continue to treat him.

John is still involved with football and through his involvement with Pitchcare he gave us something of an insight in how technology affects every aspect of the game - even down to blade of grass. We're grateful to John for sharing his stories with us and wish him continued success.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

So We're From Canada EH!

Rotary’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country's culture and institutions, observe how their occupations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.

For the last four weeks we've been fortunate to have the company of the visiting GSE team from Rotary District 5550 which spans Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada. As their visit to this country draws to end Tettenhall had the great pleasure of hosting a Farewell Rally for the team - an opportunity for the team members to let us know what they’d learnt and experienced during their visit and to thank the Rotarians who had made the visit possible whether by hosting them in their homes or by arranging the extensive program of social events and occupational visits.

Team member Alicia Smith works in the water industry back home in Moose Jaw . Whilst here Alicia has had the opportunity to spend time with South Staffordshire Water, Severn Trent and OFWAT. Her fellow team member Jody Jury works on the family farm in Neepawaand. The visit here gave her the opportunity to visit Harper Adams University, to spend time with a number of local farmers and to gain an insight into different farming methods. Probation Officer Brennan Brooks from Saskatoon had the opportunity of not only seeing the operation of his English counterparts but was also able to spend time with Walsall magistrates to gain an insight into their decision making process. Brennan has been particularly impressed by the work of the Drug Rehabilitation teams which he met. For Shauna McKim a police officer from Regina, it must have seemed like business as usual with visits to five police stations and the opportunity to be involved in the arrest and processing of suspect whilst visiting Hanley.

The team was led by Rotarian Dave Bennet, a retired teacher, who was himself given the opportunity to visit a number of schools, colleges and universities whilst with us and even to step back in front of the blackboard again.

Its not been all work for the team though with time for boat trips on the local canals, and visits to Alton Towers, JCB, Wroxeter, the RAF Cold War Museum, Stafford Castle and the Black Country Museum.

The team have been excellent ambassadors for their Rotary District and for their country. We hope that the experiences which they have had will help them in the development of their careers, that the friendships they have made will last a lifetime and that they have a safe journey back to Canada.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Wolverhampton's Big Killers

As chair of the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust there aren't many people who know more about the state of Wolverhampton's health than Rotarian Barry Picken.

Whilst the Trust has been able to secure some notable successes over recent years including the elimination of deaths from hospital acquired infections Barry explained that the public health problems  in Wolverhampton were amongst the worst in the country.

With life expectancy for men in the area being two years shorter than the national average and for women just over a year shorter the Trust is currently focusing efforts on reducing deaths from the City's big killers - Alcohol, Lung Cancer, Infant Mortality, Suicide and Coronary Heart Disease. In developing and implementing eductaion programmes and improved facilities to deal with these the Trust hopes to address some of the healthcare inequalities within the City.

Barry is a member of the Rotary Club of Wednesfield and District Governor Nominee2013-2014.

Philip Williams - In Memory

We have been sorry to learn of the death of Philip Williams, a former member of our Club.

Phil joined the Club during it's first year and was inducted by our inaugural President Malcolm Bason. He went on to become an active and popular member of the Club eventually serving as Club Secretary.

Phil retired from the Club following relocation but his wife Rene, who survives him, remained a member of the Inner Wheel Club of Tettenhall and our thoughts are with her and her family.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Life Talk - John Whitten

All Rotary members are asked to give a life talk after joining our Club - it's an opportunity for them to give fellow members an insight into their past and to learn a little bit more about them. This evenings talk was given by John Whitten and with the words 'I learnt a lot about life in the slaughter house' we knew that we were in for an interesting evening.

A master butcher trading from premises on Tettenhall Upper Green John explained to the Club what had been involved in his training and the ups and downs of his life as a butcher. With some truly horrifying stories of initiation ceremonies which have been meted out to him over the years its surprising that John remains so level headed.

John's first contact with Tettenhall Rotary Club followed the theft from his shop of an Air Ambulance collection tin. When the Club heard about the loss we stepped in to make good the money that had been stolen and in the process gained John as our youngest member.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

District Conference - Hope and Homes For Children

With over 30 years service as a soldier with the Ghurkhas Colonel Mark Cook has witnessed at first hand the effect of conflict on families and children. The conditions which he and his wife witnessed at orphanages in Sarajevo following the Balkan War of the 1990's were so appalling that they decided that they must do something to help and so was born Hope and Homes for Children.

Initially the Charity worked to rebuild and refurbish orphanages but their work has now progressed to moving children out of institutional care and into caring family environments and to work to prevent family breakdown which leads to children being placed there in the first place.

This change in direction came as a result of their listening to children and understanding that what they really want and need is the love of a family - something which Mark is convinced cannot be provided in an institution.

Mark says 'More children are been orphaned or abandoned today than ever before in history and many of them will have to resort to begging, crime, prostitution or violence just to survive.The world has to realise that this is a crisis on an unprecedented scale as these children will grow up disenfranchised angry people'.

The Rotary movement has been a long term supported of the Charity's work and following Mark's moving presentation Val Campbell, Chairman of Inner Wheel District 21, presented him with a cheque for £750 which the ladies of Inner Wheel had collected at the own District Conference with a further £250 being donated by District Governor Elect Trevor Davis.

District Conference - ShelterBox

District Conferences are meant to be motivational and there can't be a much better motivational story than that of Rotarian Tom Henderson and the work of the ShelterBox charity which he launched.

Just 10 years ago Tom, a member of the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in Cornwall, noticed that the aid response to most disasters took the form of food and medicine to help people survive the immediate aftermath but that little or no assistance was given in terms of proper shelter to help them through the first few days, weeks and months as they tried to rebuild their lives. He started to think about how that gap could be filled - and from that was born the ShelterBox.


To date over 100,000 boxes have been distributed by the charity - now a Rotary Global Club Project - each containing a durable family tent designed to house a family of 10, thermal blankets and netting, a stove, water purifcation equipment and a toolkit as well as an activity pack for the children.

Along the way ShelterBox has gained a reputation for being one of the first on the scene of major disasters - something which Tom credits to the role which Rotarians with their local knowledge and connections play in ensuring that ShelterBox can get their response teams and boxes through where and when they are needed most.

District Conference

This weekend saw the Rotary District 1210 Conference at Chester Racecourse.

Each of the Districts within the Rotary movement holds an Annual Conference to give Rotarians an opportunity to network with other Rotarians, to listen to inspirational addresses, and to discuss the development of Rotary.

The conference aims to give Rotarians a vision of Rotary beyond the club level, an opportunity to recharge their Rotary batteries and the inspiration to become more involved in service.

This years 1210 Conference saw inspirational presentations from Tom Henderson OBE, the founder of ShelterBox, Colonel Mark Cook OBE, President of Hope and Homes for Children, Sue Cook, a member of the first all women expedition to walk to the North Pole, and from former Test Cricketer Henry Olonga.

Showing his own support for the ShelterBox project District Governor Barry Preen based himself for the weekend in a ShelterBox tent pitched in the racecourse. The tents have been especially designed to stand up to extreme weather conditions and it certainly proved to be wind resistant when during the early hours of Saturday morning Barry woke up to find a police helicopter hovering over the tent whilst it assisted with an incident on the racecourse. If you are wondering about the fine head of pink hair that Barry is sporting in the picture the wig was a homage to Sergeant at Arms Greg Watson of the Rotary Club of Whitchurch who had dyed his hair pink for the month of October to raise money for cancer research.

Midway through their visit to our District the Conference was attended by Rotarian Dave Bennet and his visiting GSE team from Rotary District 5550 which spans Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada. Team members Shauna McKim from Regina, Jody Jury from Neepawa, Brennan Brooks from Saskatoon and Alicia Smith from Moose Jaw gave Conference an insight into life in Canada and what they'd look to take back to them following their vocational visits on our District. We look forward to meeting them again when we host their Farewell Rally at Tettenhall later this month.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Wolverhampton's Medical Heritage

Since the formation of the first Rotary Club back in 1905 the Rotary movement has shown how local people can join together to pool their resources and talents to help serve communities in need and to achieve some truly remarkable results.

Roy Stallard, a retired local nurse with a special interest in the history of healthcare, talked with the Club this evening about how the local people of Wolverhampton have worked together in the same way over the course of two hundred years to improve local healthcare and in the process to develop one of the top two none teaching hospitals in the country.

In the days before the formation of the National Health Service provision of local health provision lay mainly in the hands of local people themselves through voluntary contributions. Roy traced this proud history from the opening of the original Queen Street Dispensary in 1821 through to the glory days of the much missed Royal Hospital. You can learn more about the history of the Wolverhampton hospitals by following this link to a site maintained by Roy and his colleagues.

The history of the development of Wolverhampton's hospitals is a perfect example of what local people can achieve by working together and is one which we and the other Rotary Clubs of Wolverhampton are following today in our continuing support for Compton Hospice. You can help us to continue this tradition by supporting our fund raising events in November with the Big Band Concert at the Perton Community Hall on the 11th and the Auction of Promises at Patshull Park on the 20th.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Club Meeting - Slot Car Racing

The Club's fellowship month continued this evening with a visit to the Wolverhampton Scalextric & Slot Car Club.

Based in the grounds of the Aldersley Stadium and with two tracks it offers adults and children of all abilities the opportunity to build and race slot cars. Its amazing how far the cars have come since the time when most of us were playing with Scalextrix tracks at home and it is now a competitive sport with intentional teams visiting the Wolverhampton Club to race.

Needless to say that the members of the Tettenhall Club will not be posing a serious challenge on the international stage in the near future but the racing did make for fun night with John Margetts crowned Club Scalextrix champion.

Congratulations to the podium finishers:

1. John Margetts
2. Ken Whalley
3. John Francis

Monday, 1 August 2011

Club Meeting - Bowls Competition

It's August and for the Tettenhall Club that means its Fellowship month - when our regular monthly meetings are suspended in favour of social events. These events offer a further opportunity for members to build on the friendships which are such an important part of Rotary.

This first fellowship meeting of the year saw the staging of the Club's Crown Green Bowls competition at the Summer House pub in Wolverhampton.

The competition took the form of a doubles competition this year but despite that and the attempt to level the playing field by matching last years champion Greg Instone with one of the Club's worst players Greg still charged his way through to regain the Club title for further year in what we hope will bode well for the Club in District competitions.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Tom Warren City Fellowship Meeting

Only five Brits have had the honour of holding the top job in Rotary as the President of Rotary International. One of those was Tom Warren who was a member of the Rotary Club of Wolverhampton. Taking over the job in 1945 Tom is credited with helping to steer the Rotary movement through a very difficult time.  Each year the Rotary Clubs in the City hold a dinner to honour his achievements and this years meeting was hosted tonight by the Rotary Club of Bilston.

In his keynote speech to the Rotary Convention in 1946 Tom encouraged Rotarians to work towards solving the problem of learning how to live together as good neighbours in a rapidly shrinking world and so Bilston took as their theme for the night the issue of Fair Trade.

Wolverhampton has been a Fair Trade City since 2004 and the Churches of the City having been instrumental in bringing this about it was fitting that the Right Reverend Clive Gregory, Bishop of Wolverhampton, led us in Grace.

We were joined for the evening by Lord Bilston, Dennis Turner, who is Chair of the Fair Trade Association in Wolverhampton. Fair trade gives a better deal to farmers in developing countries to ensure that they receive a fair price for their goods which enables them to further develop their businesses, to invest in health and education projects and to better care for their community's environment. Lord Bilston explained the development of Fair Trade in the City and the importance of trade and not aid in improving the lives of people.

Paul Birch perhaps better known for his association with Revolver Records but who now is heavily involved with fair trade products in the Co-operative organization through Revolver World then spoke about the difference which Fair Trade can make to the lives of people in the third world and of the power of individuals to effect change on a large scale simply by changing their own buying decisions.

Bilston certainly believe that Fair Trade would have had the support of Tom Warren if it had been around in his day and the Club hopes now to encourage other Rotary Clubs around the country to become Fair Trade Partners.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Listen to Your Heart to Help Others

District Governors are expected to attend meetings of each Club in their District at least once during their year in office. Fortunately we've managed to get hold of our new District Governor, Barry Preen, at the beginning of his year in office before the miles take too much of a toll on him.

As the representative of Rotary International one of Barry's jobs is to communicate to Clubs the thinking behind this years Rotary theme, Reach Within to Embrace Humanity - a theme which has caused a little puzzlement amongst many Rotarians. To help members make more sense of the theme Barry told us of a meeting with a District Governor from Sweden who had translated the theme into Swedish and back into English after which it reads Listen to Your Heart to Help Others - a theme which the members of the Club can certainly relate to.

Rotary International President Banerjee is not a fan of change for its own sake and he is encouraging Clubs to continue with their long established programmes but to be conscious of the ways in which a little more can be done to help those causes which we support - as with Tettenhall's commitment to raise an additional £10,000 to support the new Rotary Suite at Compton Hospice.

It was clear from District Governor Barry's presentation that he does not take a one size fits all approach to matters and that his views of Rotary are very much in step with the members of the Tettenhall Club and we look forward to supporting him in the coming year.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Wolverhampton Youth Orchestras

Each year Wolverhampton Youth Wind Orchestra and Wolverhampton Youth Orchestra top off their year by taking the show onto the road. This year they will be touring Umbria and Tuscany with concerts in Soave, Torri della Benaco, Casalmoro, Mariana Mantovana and Wildpoldsried. Tonight saw the Orchestras pre tour concert at the City's Civic Hall - an opportunity to thank the sponsors who help to make the tour possible.

Tettenhall and the other four Rotary Clubs of Wolverhampton have been supporting the Youth Orchestras summer tour for 15 years now and its a pleasure for us to be able to support such gifted and dedicated young musicians who really are a credit to their City.

The Orchestras are made up up of some wonderfully talented musicians and the evening is an opportunity to recognise the achievements of many of the individual musicians with the presentation, by the five Rotary Presidents, of key stage certificates which have been attained over the last year - many with distinction and for excellence playing several instruments.

It was a great evening with some excellent individual performances and we have to make special mention of Young Musician of the Year, Eleanor Cooper, and her enchanting flute solo in Chaminade's Concertino for Flute.

Its clear that these young musicians really do have a great time playing together and its is wonderful to see so many alumni of the Orchestras attending the pre tour concert to catch up with friends and to give their support. We're sure that the tour will be a great success and that these young musicians will be excellent ambassadors for the City of Wolverhampton.

Wightwick Hall School Business and Enterprise Week

Throughout the last week schools from throughout South Staffordshire have been taking part in competitions as part of Wightwick Hall School's Business and Enterprise week.  The competitions aim to build students confidence and to give them an opportunity to appreciate in a practical context the challenges and opportunities of running a business - hopefully inspiring some to go on to become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

As well as the Club providing financial support for the programme a number of Rotarians brought their own business skills into play and acted as guest judges for the events. All of our judges were impressed at the enthusiasm and commitment shown by the students as well as by the high quality of their work.

The week was rounded off by a celebratory BBQ and fete run by the students of Wightwick Hall School. The BBQ was attended by Rotarians and by students and their families as well as by local MP Gavin Williamson who once again showed his support by attending the event. Despite the variable weather the evening was a great success. Our congratulations and thanks go to all of the students and staff who took part in the competitions and especially to Raphael James under whose direction this event continues to go from success to success.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Dictionaries 4 Life

Rotary is committed to helping to improve literacy rates both locally and around the world. Since 2007  Rotary Clubs across the country have distributed over 200,000 dictionaries to 11 year olds graduating from their primary schools as part of the Dictionaries 4 Life project. Throughout this week members of Tettenhall Rotary have been attending special assemblies at local primary schools to present the dictionaries to pupils.

The use of dictionaries has been shown to improve pupils reading and writing skills as well as helping to develop their autonomy and confidence - a core goal of education - and we hope that they'll be put to good use for many years to come. We've also been pleased to see that many of the schools have  begun to use the dictionaries as year books in which teachers and pupils can leave good luck messages - a lasting reminder for the children of the happy times which they have spent at the school.

Monday, 18 July 2011

New Member - Chris Starkey

There is no better way to start a new Rotary year than to welcome a new member into the Club and this evening we were pleased to welcome Chris Starkey to our number.

Members of Rotary have an opportunity to give something back, to give hope to those less fortunate and to make lives worthwhile and fulfilled. The enormous sense of achievement you can experience doing something really worthwhile is matched only by the enormous amount of fun you can have - or as we say at Tettenhall 'Fun with a Purpose'.

Socialising and networking with like-minded people who have the same interests and aims as you gives a great opportunity to make firm friends as well as worthwhile business contacts and you're always sure of a warm welcome from other Rotarians around the world whenever you're on your travels.

Chris, who works with international removal firm Burke Brothers, is no stranger to service organisations having previously been a member of Round Table and of one of the Walsall Rotary Clubs. We are all glad to see him as a member of our Club and look foward to getting to know him better.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Presidents Diary

Well what a roller-coaster of a start to my year as President of the Rotary Club of Tettenhall.

Monday 4th July 2011 was the Valedictory and hand-over evening and I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to Immediate Past President Jim Murphy on an excellent year as President. He has guided the Club well and left it stronger than when he started. He will be a hard act to follow. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the Induction evening when Ian Rigby became the President Elect and Sammy Chung the Vice President. The incoming Secretary is John Margetts and the Treasurer is Brian Tranter. We have a very strong Club and I am looking forward to a very strong year.

On Tuesday 5th July I visited Wolverhampton St. Georges for the induction of Chris Barry as the incoming President and enjoyed breakfast with a very active group of Rotarians.

At lunchtime I went onto the Rotary Club of Wolverhampton for the induction of Richard Green as their new President. Wolverhampton are a very strong Rotary Club and over 80 Rotarians sat down to lunch.

On Thursday 7th July I visited the Rotary Club of Sedgley and Wombourne for the induction of Rotarian Richard Garbett as President. Sedgley and Wombourne are a much smaller Club but have excellent spirit.

Sunday 10th July was the Rotary Club b.b.q. which, unfortunately, I missed due to a D.V.T. in my left leg and my admittance to New Cross Hospital. The b.b.q. raised £837.00 for a Water Project in Africa.

My stalwart Vice-President stood in for me at what should have been my first meeting but I am hoping to be fit enough to attend our meeting on 18th July.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Club Meeting - Compton Hospice

Jerry Hobbs never fails to make an impact when he visits our Club. A long standing member of the Rotary Club of Wolverhampton and Vice Chair of the management board of Compton Hospice Gerry joined us this evening to talk about the Hospice's recent development and the £3.3 million investment which will lead to the introduction of 18 private suites for patients later in the year.

Due to Jerry's inspiration the Rotary Clubs of Wolverhampton have come together to commit to raising an additional £60,000 over the coming year to fund one of those suites which will be named the Rotary and volunteers suite. These suites will have the facilities to ensure that patients can be treated with dignity during their time with the Hospice. Our own Club has committed to raising an additional £10,000 towards the cost of the Rotary Suite.

Jerry and other Rotary club members were instrumental in the formation of the Hospice nearly 30 years ago now. Over that time the Hospice has grown so that in addition to the in-patient services it also supports over 280 patients in the community, provides training services to those involved in social services and runs an invaluable day care centre.

Our own fund raising kicks off in November with a Big Band Concert at the Perton Community Hall on the 11th and with an auction of promises on the 20th.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Rotary Summer BBQ

Today saw the Club's annual summer BBQ at the Wolverhampton Cricket Club. Oragnised by Doug Evans and his International team the event was held to raise funds for Village Water, a charity which had impressed the Club with the emphasis that it places on the sustainability of its projects.

In the past many schemes which aimed to deliver clean drinking water to communities in Africa have foundered as organisations have simply dumped pumps in communities without providing the infrastructure necessary for their continuing maintenance. Village Water ensures that local people are trained to maintain and repair the pumps which they install so as to ensure that their projects have a meaningful long term impact. Additionally the supply of the water pump is only part of a wider sanitation programme with all the occupiers of the village being required to sign up to and to implement basic sanitation measures in the form of latrines and handwashing facilities before the pump is brought into use. By invloving the comunity in this way Village Water ensures that their projects have a long term impact on the communities which they help reducing ill health and deaths as well as encouraging economic activity.

With Chris Bowyer and Izeham Che Dan on BBQ duty it was wonderful opportunity to enjoy a range of BBQ food generously supplied by the Club's very own butcher John Whitten - the black pudding being especially good. Monies raised from ticket and raffle sales on the day mean that the Club has now met its Village Water fundraising target and another Zambian Village will benefit from the sanitation services and clean water supplies which the charity delivers.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Sedgley & Wombourne - Handover Meeting

President John attended the final induction of the new Rotary Year today at the Sedgley and Wombourne Rotary Club.

New President Richard Garbett takes over the reins at the Club for the third time and as his first act he was pleased to recognise four members of his Club who had served the community through their 30 years of membership. There is always a warm welcome at the Sedgley club and a strength of fellowship which we are sure will make Richard's year a great success.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Wolverhampton - Handover Meeting

Induction season is well and truly underway and following his morning visit to the Rotary Club of Wolverhampton St Georges lunchtime saw President John at our mother club, the Rotary Club of Wolverhampton.

Founded in 1921 Wolverhampton is one of the oldest Rotary Clubs in the country and traditionally is the largest of the five clubs in the City. Outgoing President Kewal Krishan passed over the chain of office to new President Richard Green. Richard is a dedicated Rotarian heading up the District Foundation committee and UK Director of the International Fellowship of Rotary Musicians.

During his year of office Richard aims to bring a musical flavour to his Clubs events as well as raising over £40,000 to benefit local and international charities and good causes. We have no doubt that he'll keep the Club members entertained and well motivated as they work towards their target.

Wolverhampton St Georges - Handover Meeting

This morning President John attended the handover meeting at the Rotary Club of Wolverhampton St Georges as Sylvia Morgan passed over her chain of office to incoming President Chris Barry. One of the five Rotary clubs in Wolverhampton, St Georges is a dual gender breakfast club which meets every Tuesday morning. Despite the early start its one of the liveliest Clubs in the area and visitors are always made welcome. We know that the Club is in safe hands with Chris and wish him every success in his year.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Handover Meeting

As this was our first meeting of the new Rotary Year this evening saw the handover of the running of the Club from outgoing President Jim and his Council to our new President John Francis.

New Rotary International President Kalyan Banerjee has adopted the theme 'Reach Within to Embrace Humanity' for the coming Rotary year urging Rotarians to discover within themselves and to develop the strength to embrace humanity. President Banerjee urges Rotarians to harness their inner resolve and strength to achieve success in Rotary. "In order to achieve anything in this world, a person has to use all the resources he can draw on. And the only place to start is with ourselves and within ourselves," Banerjee says. Once Rotarians find their inner strength he believes that they can accomplish great things both in their communities and around the world.

President John's own Club theme for the year is 'Fun with a Purpose'. John aims to combine these themes to build upon the already strong fellowship within the Club enabling us to significantly increase the support which we are able to provide to our local community.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Tettenhall Summer Fete

On the first Sunday of July each year our friends at Tettenhall Round Table host the Tettenhall Summer Fete on the Village Green. The Fete is great opportunity for all types of local community organisations to come together, and to let the people of Tettenhall know what we do as well as raising money for local charities at the same time as having a lot of fun.

Blessed with fine weather this years event was the best yet with more stalls, more displays and more visitors than ever. Over 400 people tried their arm at the Club's Nok Em Off stall raising over £200 to benefit Rotary charities whilst the ladies of the Inner Wheel Club of Tettenhall worked tirelessly throughout the day raising over £800 for their charities from their brick a brack stall.

Our thanks to Club member Ray Hill for all of his hard work in building the Club's stall and to the lads of Round Table for organising such an enjoyable event which as well as bringing the Village together helps to raise much needed funds for local charities.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Willenhall - Handover Meeting

July sees the changing of the guard in Rotary Clubs around the world as new Club Presidents take up their posts together with their Council members and begin to implement plans for their Club which have been in preparation for many months.

Its traditional for neighbouring Clubs to send representatives to these Handover meetings to extend our congratulations to the new President and his team and to wish them success in the year ahead. President Elect Ian Rigby had the pleasure of being our representative at the Rotary Club of Willenhall this evening to pass on our greetings and best wishes to new President Simon Sims. We wish President Simon and all of the members of the Willenhall Club every success in the coming year.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Wolverhampton Armed Forces Day

Today was Armed Forces Day an opportunity to raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, and an opportunity for the City to show its support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families and from veterans to cadets - all embodying the Rotary ideal of Service Above Self.

Regular, reserve, and cadet forces paraded through Wolverhampton today together with ex servicemen (including Club members John Wain and Les Bouts). The salute was taken by City Mayor Councillor Bert Turner and Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of West Midlands, Paul Sabapathy CBE before an outdoor drumhead service in St Peter’s Square.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Tettenhall Summer Fete

Every year our friends at Tettenhall Round Table host the annual summer fete - this years event will take place on the Green on Sunday 3rd July starting at midday and running until five.

As with previous years Tettenhall Rotary will be supporting the event and it will also be the first outing for our new Nok Em Off attraction. The result of many hours of hard work by Club member Ray Hill we expect this to be a regular feature of this and other events for years to come - so don’t forget to try and win a prize by knocking all the cans off.

The Inner Wheel Club of Tettenhall will also be running a brick a brack stall at the event and we and the other community groups present hope to raise over £10,000 to benefit local good causes.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

New Inner Wheel President

Congratulations to Lynne Cave who has now taken over as President of the Inner Wheel Club of Tettenhall from Shirley Jones.

Shirley has had a great year at the helm and its been a pleasure to spend time with her and with the other members of the Inner Wheel Club. During the course of the year the ladies of Tettenhall Inner Wheel have supported through their fundraising the West Midlands Lupus Group (Lupus UK), the Alzheimer’s Society, Motor Neurone Disease Association, National Osteoporosis Society, Compton Hospice, Acorns and the Air Ambulance.

Originally founded in 1923 by a group of ladies who decided that they wanted to help with the work of their Rotarian husbands the objects of Inner Wheel are to promote true friendship, to encourage the ideals of personal service and to foster international understanding. The Tettenhall Club exemplifies these qualities.

Inner Wheel is an all female organisation with membership open to female relatives of Rotarians or former Rotarians, Inner Wheel members and Rotaract. Lynne is the wife of Club member David Cave and I have no doubt that they will make a formidable team over the coming year.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Life Talk - Mike Dickerson

Rotary is great way to get to know people - but sometimes you can learn a little too much about them as we found out with tonight’s life talk from our newest member Mike Dickerson.

Whilst we were expecting to hear few war stories arising from Mike’s current business, caring for peoples feet, we were instead treated to an entertaining resume of his life - his early career extorting chocolates from his sisters boyfriends as the price for leaving them alone - his early training at the Staffordshire agricultural college where they appeared to have grown some very strange plants - and his later career selling vibrators (the concrete variety) to the Germans.

A member of the International team in the coming year we are sure to see some novel fund raising ideas from Mike. The team’s fundraising in the new Rotary year kicks off with a BBQ to be held at Wolverhampton Cricket Club on Sunday the 10th July in support of Village Water, helping to bring clean drinking water and sanitation to Africa. Tickets are just £12.50 and everyone is welcome - if you’d like tickets then contact a Club member or email us.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Ascot Ladies Day

Over 600 people today attended the Ascot Ladies Day event organised by Club member Ken Whalley and his wife Jan. Now in its tenth year the event has become regular fixture in the social calendar of many of those attending and has raised thousands of pounds for Rotary and other local charities.

Held at the Wolverhampton Rugby Club those attending were treated to an excellent meal and to entertainment from the Bill Bailey Jazz Band and later the opportunity to don lederhosen for a spot of traditional post race oompah band action.

Throughout the day we were able to follow the racing and fashion action on screens around the marquee and to lay bets on our fancies with the assistance of an on site bookie. As in previous years the ladies attending the event dressed fit for the Royal Enclosure and proved once again that you don’t need to be at Ascot to have great ladies day at the races.

The day was a tremendous success and once again all due to the work of Ken and Jan - our congratulations and thanks to them for organising such a great day.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Magistrates in the Community

Magistrates' courts are a key part of our criminal justice system dealing with over 95% of all cases.

Cases in the magistrates' courts are usually heard by a panel of three magistrates who are appointed by the Crown.  Magistrates aren't paid for what they do and whilst they may claim expenses and an allowance for any loss of earnings the role which they undertake exemplifies the Rotary ideal of service to their community.

Stephen Russell, a member of the Wolverhampton bench, joined our meeting tonight as part of the Magistrates in the Community Project - a Magistrates' Association initiative that has developed over the past few years to increase public awareness of the role of magistrates in the criminal and civil justice system.

Stephen ran through a number of scenarios with members of the Club which gave us a valuable insight into the decisions which he and his colleagues take when sentencing. The presentation gave rise to a lively discussion in the room and left us with a much greater understanding of the work of our magistrates.

Stephen and the other magistrates involved in the Project are willing to attend primary, secondary, sixth form colleges, schools, community groups and employers to discuss their work and on the evidence of tonight it's well worth doing. Visit the Magistrates Association website to arrange a visit of your own.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

This Close

The members of the Tettenhall Rotary Club have joined with Rotary Clubs around the world to meet the challenge laid down by the Gates Foundation to match its 200 million dollar contribution towards the cost of eradicating Polio.

The money raised from thousands of events held by Rotarians around the globe means that this disease is now on the verge of eradication. The latest Rotary campaign highlights just how close this is.

Visit the This Close website to add your support.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Rotary Kids Out Day 2011

40 children and staff from Wightwick Hall School enjoyed a fun-packed day as the Club's guests at Drayton Manor Park today, joining over 20,000 other disabled, disadvantaged and special needs children at events held across the country as part of the Rotary 'Kids Out' Day.

Drayton Manor Park - Photo by Tony Charnock
This annual event, organised by Rotary, enables children who are underprivileged, disabled or have special needs to have a great day out for free. Rotary has been providing days out for children with special needs since 1990 with the Drayton Manor event being organised by our colleagues in Rotary District 1060. Its a tremendous amount of work for them but it was obvious from the reaction of the kids that it was time well spent.

George Bryan OBE, founder of the award-winning theme park, helped to conceive the idea for the annual Kids Out Day to be held at the park and our thanks go to all of the management and staff at the Park who helped to make such a great day for the kids.

The kids were a credit to their School on the day and everyone enjoyed the huge number of rides and attractions at the theme park, with the new Ben 10 ride proving to be a particular hit with the kids and with Rotarian Greg Instone.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Club Assembly

The Club Assembly is an important part of every Rotary club’s calendar.

With one Rotary year drawing to an end and another about to begin the Club Assembly is an opportunity for our incoming president and his team to set out their objectives for their year and to engage the support of the members of the Club.

Incoming President John Francis and his team have put an impressive amount of planning into their year and there’s little doubt that this will translate in to an exceptional year ahead of the Club in terms of its fundraising, its community service and its fellowship; amply fulfilling John‘s aim of ‘Fun with a Purpose‘.

The Club Assembly was also an opportunity to hear about the direction set for the movement by the incoming Rotary International President, Kalyan Banerjee, at the Rotary International Convention in New Orleans


Saturday, 21 May 2011

Stroke Awareness Day

Today is Rotary 'Stroke Awareness Day'. Every year, in Great Britain and Ireland, over 100,000 people suffer a stroke for the first time; and 70,000 die. Stroke is the largest single cause of severe disability and at any one time, affecting over 300,000 people.

High blood pressure is the largest single preventable cause of stroke and it is estimated that 4 out of 10 deaths due to stroke could have been prevented if only their high blood pressure had been diagnosed and properly treated.

In an effort to reduce these figures, Rotary Clubs around the country, in collaboration with the Stroke Association, today held their ‘Stroke Awareness Day’. Members of the Tettenhall Rotary and Inner Wheel Clubs offered shoppers at Wolverhampton’s Wulfrun Centre the opportunity to have their blood pressure and blood sugar levels tested by qualified health practitioners.

Over 240 people took up the opportunity and were tested and those with higher than normal blood pressure were referred onto their GP for treatment.

Our thanks to all of the medical professionals who volunteered to give up part of their weekend to make the day possible, to the management and staff of the Wulfrun Centre for their help in staging the event and to Rotarian Brian Barnwell who organised the event on behalf of the Club.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Rotary Young Writer Competition

The promotion of literacy is one of Rotary’s core objectives. Each March Rotary Clubs around the world recognise the importance which literacy plays in helping people to play a full and active part in their society, in improving economic development and in helping to reduce illness and disease by highlighting literacy and education issues in Rotary Literacy Month.

Once again this year the five Rotary Clubs in the Wolverhampton celebrated Rotary Literacy Month by joining together and inviting local school children to enter a writing competition. 234 entries were received and we were pleased this month to recognise the winning entries with the presentation of gift vouchers and Certificates of Achievement.

Our congratulations to the winners listed below:

Years 3 and 4

First: Subhaan Khan- Woodthorne PrimarySchool

Second: Reuben Lal – Woodthorne PrimarySchool

Third: Dean Collins – Woodthorne Primary School

Years 5 and 6

First: Lola Gregory- Christchurch Junior School

Second: Ethan Boachie – Woodthorne Primary School

Third: Morgan Phelps – Woodthorne Primary School

Years 7, 8 ansd 9

First: Emma Moulding Kings School

Second: Navneet Benning – Deansfield School

Third: Karis Weightman – Deansfield School

Years 10 and 11

First: Nisha Fishlock – Kings School

Second: Maryam Jiva – Kings School

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Charity Golf Day

14 Teams braved the blustery, high winds at Worfield Golf Club to support our Charity Golf Tournamment today but the scenic surroundings inspired some excellent golf, together with the occasional watery graves on the 9th and 18th holes!

With 18 holes of golf, pre-match bacon butties, post match dinner and entertainment everyone enjoyed a great day, which was rounded off with the award of prizes for the Best Team Score, Nearest the Pin, Longest Drive and a Booby Prize. But the real winner was Rotary International’s Foundation Charity Polio Plus Fund which benefited from the day’s proceedings to the extent of £2,250.

At the Prize Giving, when thanking all who had taken part and contributed to the financial success of the day, the President of The Rotary Club of Tettenhall, Jim Murphy explained that the day’s proceeds would be used towards the Club’s ongoing efforts in support of the Rotary Foundation Charity 'PolioPlus' programme which aims to eradicate polio from the world and which to date has raised some $163.4 million towards Rotary's latest US$200 Million Challenge.

These contributions will help Rotary raise $200 million to match $355 million in challenge grants received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The resulting $555 million will directly support further immunization campaigns in developing countries. Since the PolioPlus program's inception in 1985, more than two billion children have received oral polio vaccine, with only 4 or 5 countries throughout the world still reporting cases of Polio.

Our thanks go to all who sponsored and supported this very worthwhile event and in particular to our main sponsors Decantae Mineral Water, TATA Steel, Business Report, Keith Bradshaw and Barclays Business and to the organisers of the day David Cave and Chris Kraushar.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

In Memory of Paul Whitehead

The Club today celebrated the life of Paul Whitehead, one of our number who has sadly passed to higher service.

As well as his membership of Tettenhall Rotary Club Paul was involved with many local societies - The Old Tettenhallian’s Club,  the Old Tettenhallian’s Golfing Society, South Staffs Golf Club, Oxley Wanderers Golfing Society, Old Tettenhallian’s Rugby Club, Wolverhampton Rugby Club, Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis and Squash Club, Tettenhall Round Table and Tettenhall 41 Club - and it was a testament to the high regard in which he was held within the area that it was standing room only for many at the Service held to celebrate his life at St Michael's Church.

Paul will be greatly missed by all at the Club and our Fellowship the lesser for his passing.

The Club extends its condolences to Paul's wife Sue and to all of his family.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Rotarians Tackle Wolves Fans

Football fans were urged to dig deep for a charity that provides powered wheel-chairs for disabled young people when they arrived at Molineux for the local Black Country derby clash with West Bromwich Albion today.

Wayne Hennessey, Rachael Hayhoe Flint, Mick McCarthy and Marcus Hahnemann join Eric Johnson of Tettenhall Rotary and Jaymi (CORR) Portman to promote the bucket collection at the Wolves v Albion match.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Club AGM

Following on from our wonderful Ladies Weekend in Cambridge it was back to business tonight at the Club Annual General Meeting. As well as receiving reports from this years committee chairs the Club also approved the appointment of the Committee Chairs who will take post from the 1st July.

To ensure that our Club can provide service to its community, retain members, and grow we have to make sure that we operate efficiently. Our Club committees are charged with carrying out the Club’s long-range and annual goals.

Our congratulations and thanks go to:
  • Mike Unwin - Fellowship and Social Chair
  • Roger Timbrell - Community Service Chair and Protection Officer
  • Chris Kraushar - Money Raising Chair
  • Chris Bowyer - Sleigh Committee head
  • David Eaton - Programme
  • Brian Nicholson - Membership/Retention Chair
  • Ivan Hill - Communications Chair
  • Izeham Che Dan - Foundation Chair
  • Doug Evans - International Chair
  • Derek Evans - Youth Activities Chair
  • Greg Instone - Attendance Officer
  • John Whitten - Sports Officer
  • Wasil Buczkowski - Regalia Officer
  • Bert Finch & Sammy Chung - Family of Rotary

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Ladies Weekend 2011 - Cambridge

Our weekend was rounded off today with a walking tour of Cambridge. Given the quality of much of the architecture we've seen in the City it is truly amazing that so many of the buildings which the various colleges have erected in the last 40 years are in this context nothing short of eyesores - and hanging the skeleton of a dead whale under them does nothing to hide the fact.

Thankfully what was there before more than makes up and after a tour of the grounds of Queens' College we were simply blown away by the splendour of Kings College chapel which definitely was the icing on the cake for us- so familiar through the Christmas Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols but in the flesh so much more imposing.

Blessed with fine weather and good fellowship we'll all take away happy memories of our visit to Cambridge and look forward to our next Ladies Weekend in 2012.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Ladies Weekend 2011 - Dinner

A traditional part of every Ladies Weekend is the Saturday black tie dinner. This year we were based at the University Arms Hotel in Cambridge and our dinner was held in its Newton Rom which overlooks Parker's Piece - its a perfect venue for this type of occasion, the food was good and the staff really took care of us so our thanks to all of them.

The toast to the Ladies was formally proposed by President Jim in recognition of all of the invaluable support which they give to the members during the year - a vital part of this Club's success. The Presidents Lady, Alison, thanked the members for all of the support which they had given to Jim and herself during his year of office and for making it such an enjoyable time before the ladies toasted the members of the Club.

Clearly weekends such as these don't just happen and the success of this Ladies Weekend is due to the hard work of Peter and Pat Maddox who put a tremendous amount of time into preparing the event and selflessly gave of their time during the weekend to make sure that everything ran smoothly. Alison and I, together with the other members attending, are all extremely grateful to them for making such a great weekend and leaving us with such happy memories.