Graeme and Linda Dargie welcomed us to their lovely house and garden to participate in the President’s Hello. The afternoon got off to a great start with a fly over by the Red Arrows - even previous President David Williams didn’t manage that despite all his Royal Air Force connections.The sunny weather was also just about perfect and a good turn out of Rotarians and guests stood around conversing happily until Graeme made the magical announcement ‘foods ready’. After meals were duly chosen from an amazingly wide and appetising selection, conversations were resumed from seated positions between delicious mouthfuls.Graeme and Linda have a beautiful garden which includes a water feature with water cascading over some shiny stone spheres, rumour has it only very recently installed for the benefit of the Hello.The forecasted rain (well, on some phones anyway), did not appear and the weather seemed to get hotter later on. Everyone agreed it was a wonderful day and felt well and truly welcomed, a great hello from our new President Graeme and from Linda. Thanks to them and to all who helped by providing food and helping with set up and take down.Words by Ray Munden. See the photo album here.
9th July - President’s Hello
Scrapbook for Rotary year 2017/2018
(All entries are in reverse chronological order)
What a beautiful day it was for our annual event on Therfield Heath, the winds were about 12mph and the sun was out for most of the day - and the rain stayed away, thank goodness.We had many hundreds of visitors again this year, many staying for the whole day rather than just the morning or afternoon. This year we also had the historic vehicles on display and, although it was their first time at the show, approx 65 vehicles attended.The kite festival had all the usual attractions, not the least being the famous “Teddy bear drop” where a few bears are hoisted aloft by kite but come down on their own little parachutes. The youngsters really enjoy that spectacle.Many thanks to our Kite Festival organiser for this year, Jonathan Berks, and to his committee and all the various helpers (including partners) who always do so much to make this event the success it was.Click on the link to see the photos of the Kite Festival here and for the Historic Vehicle Show here.
6th August - Kite Festival & Historic Vehicle Show
This was the first Rotarian walk we’d organised so we were a little concerned that the weather would be foul, that no-one would turn up, that the pub would get the meal choices wrong, or worse, that I had booked the wrong weekend; it has happened to me before!But what a morning! We were blessed with good company (twenty one Rotarians, spouses and guests), bright sunshine along with a cooling breeze and a pub that was ready and willing to welcome us back.It was a gentle walk starting from the village of Aspenden, along a mixture of farm tracks, shady footpaths and Roman roads. After six miles we were all pleased to see the pub and judging from the lively conversations in the restaurant everyone seemed to have enjoyed the morning.
13th August - Monthly Walk - Organised by Steve and Sue Higginbotham
Scrapbook For The Rotary Year 2017/2018
We are so sad to announce the death of David Williams, who has been one of our staunch members for many years. David had such a charming manner that he would immediately put you at your ease and was always interested in what you had to say to him. He had a wealth of stories and anecdotes to entertain which were suitable for every occasion. He had been a very successful President of the Club for the Rotary year 2015/2016 and during this year was able to present a cheque for £6,000 on behalf of the Club to the Willow Foundation, a charity very close to his heart.David began his career as an RAF officer, gaining his navigator’s wings and posted to 617 Squadron (The Dam Busters) flying Avro Vulcan jets during the cold war. A later posting saw him commanding a squadron of Victor refuelling tankers during the first Gulf War. He finished his military career with the rank of Air Commodore having just previously been the station commander at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.On retiring from the RAF David joined the Willow Foundation as its CEO and spent many years with them building it up from a small local charity into one that now has a national presence. It was natural therefore that the Willow Foundation would be David’s nominated charity during his presidential year.David’s funeral took place on 31st August at Barley Church and it was such a tribute to him that over 300 mourners from all over the country came to pay their respects. The church was full to overflowing with standing room only.David was a real family man and we pass our condolences on to his wife Sue and to their two sons Simon and Jamie and their families.David will be sorely missed!
15th August - Our Past President, David Williams OBE, Has Died
Saturday 16th September saw the annual Rotary contribution, jointly with the Royston Methodist Church, to the Royston Arts Festival. We were privileged to hold one of the first events of the Royston arts festival, featuring the Phoenix Chorus.The Phoenix Chorus can be up to 80 strong, but on this occasion we had 50. Phoenix is an award winning women’s choir (they were wearing medals as proof) who have sung at the Albert Hall and have recently won, by merit, a place in a forthcoming international competition to be held in St Louis, Missouri (and Jonathan via TaxAssist kindly offered to sponsor them as there will be significant costs). They sing “a cappella” songs in the barbershop style and their harmonies were beautiful. Even more impressively the singers for each voice weren’t standing together but were interspersed throughout the choir, so managing to stay in such close harmony was amazing.We were treated to a wide range of tunes, including pop and rock songs from Queen (Don’t Stop me Now), Simon and Garfunkel (Bridge Over Troubled Water), Adele (Rolling in the Deep), a hymn by Horatio Spafford (All is Well With my Soul, written after a series of horrendous disasters in which he lost most of his family and his wealth – its worth a web search on his name) and tunes from musicals such as Anthem from Chess. Several times quartets broke out to perform, again with very close harmony, and we even had a Hen Party quartet along with jokes – the bride to be was wondering how she could remember the stages of the wedding. Easy she thought, I have to go up the aisle, then I have to change my name, then there will be a hymn, so all I have to remember is ‘Aisle Change Hymn’ (say it out loud and you’ll get it)!The audience obviously appreciated the performance as was evidenced by the very loud applause. Many thanks to those from Rotary who helped with the tea, coffee and biscuits at the interval, to Howard for doing ticket sales and of course the Methodist Church for providing the venue and for booking Phoenix. The end result was £100 raised for the Church and, including the retiring collection, £240 for the Garden House Hospice - and all whilst everybody had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.Words and picture by Ray Munden
16th September - Concert By The Phoenix Chorus
At our meeting tonight we were delighted to welcome MIKE DAY and NICHOLA SHARPE to the Royston Rotary Family. Following their successful election, club President Graeme Dargie presented both of them with their badges and a welcome pack. The photo shows (from left) Graeme, Mike, Nichola and Martin Berry who was their membership sponsor.We look forward to getting to know Mike and Nichola even better in the months ahead.
26th September - Election of New Members
About 30 Rotarians and partners met up at the American Cemetery at Madingley near Cambridge for a tour by Tracy, one of the permanent guides. On first arriving one cannot fail to be impressed with the layout of the site and the neatness of it all. There are over 3,000 headstones placed in a series of semi-circles, radiating outwards from the raised flagpole, which is intended to be the focal point of the site. Apparantly every single headstone is washed three times every week.We were taken to the “Wall of the Missing” and our guide explained that over 5,000 names were carved into the long tablets of Portland Stone. She proceeded to bring some of these names to life by relating stories of how specific people were lost and showed a photographs of those persons. It was a sobering experience listening to the stories of these brave men and women.We visted the Chapel of Remembrance with it’s stunning mosaics on the ceilings and all down the east side. On one wall was an enormous frieze showing in relief the various theatres of war of WW2 and the involvement of the US, British and Canadian forces in each of them. At that point the tour ended and we individually browsed around the physical burials and the very interesting visitor centre.At 4.30 we were privileged to be involved with the lowering of the American flag. Once lowered there is a set sequence of folding until there is just a small triangle showing the stars on the flag. President Graeme performed this with aplomb but with more than a little help!Photos by Neil H, Bryony and Tony
29th September - Visit to The American Cemetery at Madingley
Many a Yee-Haw was heard today at our Wild West Party as Rotarians gathered for a fancy dress evening kindly hosted at David and Liz Beardwell’s home. As is typical of these events a fiendish quiz had first been set to test out our knowledge of the Wild West. Your scribe’s team only managed to score 6 out of a possible 15 whereas the winning team scored a creditable 11 points.It was soon time for chow-down and the cookhouse staff had prepared a typical cowboy’s meal of sausages, bacon and plenty of beans. The delicious puddings and cheese that were to follow were never experienced in any old westerner’s ranch house but were nevertheless much appreciated by all.We then came to the shooting competition where we were each given three shots to knock down a few empty bean cans. What a dismal failure we all were! There was many a shout of “aim low” and “shoot high” but without much success. Only a few of our sharpshooters were able to knock down any of the cans despite the fact that the distance from gun to target was only 5 feet!Linda Dargie announced that the prize for the best outfit went (deservedly) to David Easthope for also bringing his horse along (see picture)! There were a few other honourable mentions which included Jon and Linda Berks (pictured above). A great night’s entertainment and grateful thanks to the army of caterers who prepared the food, and to the Sports and Social team for arranging it all. Thank you also David and Liz for risking so much bean juice on your carpets and furniture!Pictures and words by Tony
7th October - Wild West Night
This month’s walk began at Stansted Abbots on the River Lea Navigation. Although there were fourteen walkers in all to do the six mile figure of eight, two walkers opted for an easier (and shorter) hike along the river towpath.The main group set off along the “New River” whose name is a misnomer. It is actually a man-made aquaduct which was constructed in a most imaginative way in the early seventeenth century to bring fresh water from springs near Ware all the way to London. The river exactly follows the 100 foot contour line for 40 miles, thus needing no bridges or tunnels in order to transport the water. After a couple of miles New River converged fairly close to the River Lea and the group diverted across this to visit the Rye House. This is a very old (15th century) grade 1 listed structure with attractive barley-twist chimneys and gateposts, but which, sadly has only the gatehouse remaining (see photo); however it is clearly marked out where the important rooms on the ground floor would have been. This building is famous for being the home of Katherine Parr, the sixth (and final) wife of Henry Xlll. In the seventeenth century the house was also the headquarters of the so-called Rye House Plot to (unsuccessfully) assasinate King Charles ll and his brother James, Duke of York.The walk continued along the towpath of the River Lea passing on the other side, a go-kart track with drivers roaring around. This track was the place which first saw the very young Lewis Hamilton learn his craft and which proudly contains many of his old trophies and posters in the clubhouse.The main group continued following the River Lea for another mile or so until they reached Dobbs Weir. At this point they were planning to cross back to the New River but eventually decided to walk the full return route along the towpath of the River Lea.Both parties met up for lunch at the Jolly Fisherman pub at Stansted Abbot where a convivial time was had by all. Many thanks to John Kelly for organising this walkPhotos by Bryony
8th October - Monthly Walk Organised by John Kelly
The defibrillator paid for by the Rotary Club of Royston club has been officially installed at the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust shop in Fish Hill Square.At the unveiling were Graeme Dargie (club President) and Karin (Last year’s Club President) from our Club, Maria Alexander (Head of Fundraising) and Tina Jolly (shop manager) from EHAAT and a representative of the supplier of the defibrillator.Graeme said ‘Our Club was already considering providing a defibrillator in Royston when we heard that EHAAT were going to raise funds to put one outside their new shop in Royston. As we think that EHAAT is a very worthy charity we immediately offered to fund the whole cost of the defibrillator and were delighted that our offer was enthusiastically received. Our club is committed to helping in the local community so were very pleased to be able to provide this service.’Words and picture by Ray Munden
2nd October -Presentation of Defibrillator to EHAAT
Our Club held the Annual Charity Swimathon event last Sunday, October 15th at the Royston Leisure Centre. Once again it was a highly successful event and well supported by organisations from around the town with 16 teams and with a total of 80 swimmers. The swimmers covered a total of 1611 lengths of the swimming pool – very impressive!The organizations participating were: •5th Royston Rainbows, •10th Royston Cub Scouts, •5th Royston Brownies (3 teams), •3rd Royston (Methodist) Guides, •2nd Royston Guides, •Greneway School Year 8 Girls, •Greneway School Year 8 Boys, •The Wilderness Explorer Scouts, •Greneway School Boys, •Home Start Royston & South Cambridgeshire, •Royston Methodist Church, •Royston & District Town Twinning Association, •Royston Freewheelers •Rotary Club of Royston A substantial amount of money has been sponsored for the event, we expect that several thousands of pound will be available for a wide selection of Charities, the final figure will be published when all has been collected.
15th October - Swimathon
This month’s walk was a variation on a route we had used earlier in the year. It was a circular walk alongside the river Great Ouse in what turned out to be glorious sunshine, if a little cool! We had 10 walkers for the day plus Tony and Bryony who were both medically below par so just supporting. It was so good to see John and Jennifer Kelly back with their new black labrador Emmy: We have missed seeing their old dog Bess who used to come on many a Rotary walk with us, so let’s hope Emmy enjoys these walks as much as Bess did.We started from the Axe and Compass pub in Hemmingford Abbots shortly after 10 o’clock and followed the route marked in red in a clockwise direction. The walk finished back at the pub by 12.45 just in time for a most welcome and hearty meal.Thanks to Bryony for organising the walk and to Martin for leading the party round.
5th November - Monthly Walk
On Wednesday 8th November, Studland’s Rise School hosted the 20th annual ‘Youth Speaks’ event for Year 4 Students. This event gives young people the opportunity to speak on a subject of their choice to an audience of parents, family members, teachers, fellow students and members of the Rotary Club of Royston.This year we were delighted to have fifty speakers (that’s 20 more than last year) from eight local schools (three more than last year): Icknield Walk First School , Studlands Rise First School, Tannery Drift First School, Barley First School, Barkway First School, Therfield First School, Reed First School and St Mary’s RC Primary School. The children spoke on nineteen subjects ranging from Michael Jackson to Japan; from the Chocolate to Dinosaurs. All the presentations were interesting and informative. Lukas Thirlwell (a child in year 3) deserves a special mention – he stood in for his older brother at very short notice to speak about Michael Jackson when his older brother was taken ill.The full list of speakers and their topics was as followsMartin Berry (Junior Vice-President of Royston Rotary Club) presented each student with a certificate to commemorate their participation in this event. We are very grateful to Mrs Alison Rinna, Head Teacher of Studland’s Rise School, for hosting the event.
8th November - Youth Speaks Event (year 4 students)
Tannery Drift School:· Holly Cobb Hobbies· Khadija Eyitayo Hobbies· Vienna Peacock Hobbies· Charlotte Lye Music Cameron Foley Japan· Kai Perkins JapanStudlands Rise School:· Luke Baker Harry Potter· Sam Falconer Harry Potter· Iris Flin Harry Potter· Oscar McKinnell Metals· Harry Miller Metals Emily Wilkinson Metals· Darcy Estwick The Great British Bake Off· Roisin Johnson The Great British Bake Off· Alice Parnwell The Great British Bake OffBarley & Barkway Schools:· Archie Cox Forest School in Newsells· Jasmine Carder Forest School in Newsells· Jamiey Brinkley Forest School in Newsells· William Brown Forest School in Newsells· Benjamin Gower Forest School in Newsells· Riley Valk Forest School in Newsells· Sonny Peverelli Forest School in NewsellsSt Mary’s Primary RC School:· Arthur Barber Sharks· Orla Patmore Irish Dancing· Ben Lambie Insects
Icknield Way School:· Toby Webb The Egyptians· Charlie Hardy The Egyptians· Benjamin Paterson The Egyptians· Samuel Gardner Sharks· Ashton Felstead Sharks· Julius Crosby Space· Joshua Waites Space Therfield School:· Donnie Rigaut Michael Jackson· Lukas Thirlwell Michael Jackson· Matilda Temple Matilda (by Roald Dahl)· Nellie-Emma Brizil Matilda (by Roald Dahl)· Lulabelle Hardman Matilda (by Roald Dahl)· Amelie Challis Dinosaurs· Grace Wilson Dinosaurs· Amelie Ellis Dinosaurs· Charlie Barrett Dinosaurs· Tomas Hewitt DinosaursReed School:· Amber Gration Chocolate Facts· Chester Clarkson Chocolate Facts· Jago Nottingham Chocolate Facts· Daisy Trigwell Where Chocolate Comes From Harrison Dela-Nougerede Where Chocolate Comes rom· Charlie Ward Where Chocolate Comes From· Aidan Liebenberg The Story of Chocolate· Jacob Bartlett The Story of Chocolate
Words by Martin Berry.
The Club’s very first memory cafe was held in The Old Barn in Upper King Street, Royston. It was a very successful event with a total of eighteen clients attending plus ten Rotarian helpers (including two from the Cambridge South Rotary Club who run their own Memory Cafe). The event is under the capable organising skills of Rotarian David Izod.The Memory Cafe is intended to be an informal “drop-in” centre for people with various memory disorders (plus their carers) to provide a safe and friendly environment and where their various failing faculties can be stimulated. It will be a regular event occurring on the second monday of each month.This first event included tea, coffee and biscuits for attendees followed by a brain training game of Lotto. After this we had a singalong to a number of popular songs from the 1950’s accompanied by Lesley Izod on the piano.The event lasted about two hours with many of the vistors expressing the wish to come again to the next session.
13th November - First Ever Memory Cafe!
A total of 23 Rotarians and partners helped with this year’s collection for Children in Need over the two days, some being deployed to stand in the foyer at the local Tesco supermarket whilst the others braved the biting wind whistling down Royston High Street.The result was a massive £3,712being raised - an amazingly successful sum which was primarily due to the generosity of Roystonians but also to the organisation that Rotarian David Izod had put into the collection.
17th and 18th November - Children In Need Collection
On Wednesday 15th November, Greneway School hosted the 20th annual ‘Youth Speaks’ event for students in Years 5, 6, 7 & 8. This event gives young people the opportunity to speak on a subject of their choice to an audience of parents, family members, teachers, fellow students and members of the Rotary Club of Royston.This year we were delighted to have 57 speakers from three local schools: Greneway Middle School, Roysia Middle School and St Mary’s RC Primary School. The children spoke on 20 subjects ranging from Roblox to Women’s Rights; from The Bermuda Triangle to Nelson Mandela. All the presentations were interesting and informative and many were also amusing and entertaining.Encouraging feedback was provided by Rotarian Clarice Wahlich & Di Charles, and we are very grateful to Mrs Laura Rawlings, Head Teacher of Greneway School, for hosting the event.The list of participants and the subjects on which they spoke follows:
15th November- Youth Speaks
· Greneway Middle School Eliza Kimsey Endangered zoo animals· Freddie Rouse Endangered zoo animals· Nancy Bradley Endangered zoo animals· Jess Woods Women's rights· Keira Louise Westbury Women's rights· Ellie Johnson Women's rights William Archer Unjust imprisonment- prisoners of war· Cameron Thompson Unjust imprisonment- prisoners of war· Rory Keenan Unjust imprisonment- prisoners of war· Rose Norris Nelson Mandela· Emma Todd Nelson Mandela· Lucy Parnwell Nelson Mandela· Charlotte Cooley Nelson Mandela· Abi Frost Music· Grace Gifford Music· Natasha Lye Music· Katie Temple Equality· Kerrie Wilson Equality St Mary’s Primary School· Rafa Bernedo The Olympics· Alex Telakis The Olympics· Annabelle Walsh British Authors· Freya Gordon British Authors· Tahliah Ireland Endangered Animals· Shalome Kaseke Endangered Animals· Hanna Kmiecik Endangered Animals· Alice O'Toole Endangered Animals· Keira Folscher Endangered Animals· Sophie Ji Baking· Francesca O'Callaghan Baking· Emilie Norton Baking· Alice Chernukin Baking· Thomas Rustean Artic Life· Stefan Georgiou Artic Life· Ishaaq Nabi Artic Life· Luke Gage Artic Life· Joseph Brownjohn Artic Life
Roysia Middle SchoolHenri Ferhati Roblox· Matas Jucius Roblox· Wasif Ahmed Roblox· Sophie McKenzie Save the Rain-forests· Mayuha Maganti Save the Rain-forests· Imogen Little Families· Aimee Reeder Families· Anamika Arayangat The Bermuda Triangle· Oliver Hill The Bermuda Triangle· Alpha Jallow The Bermuda Triangle· Garner Heath The Bermuda Triangle· Ria Duffy Reading· Erin Davies-Rutter Drawing· Madison Tye Special Effects· Katie Hall Special Effects· Francesca Hill Fashion Through the Ages· Molly Taney Fashion Through the Ages· Lily Evenden Fashion Through the Ages· Luisa Stachini Harry Potter· Lily Hughes Harry Potter Iona Berry Harry Potter
1st and 2nd December- Installing Christmas Trees
This is always a busy time of year for Royston Rotary Club. On Friday 1st December we installed and decorated a seven foot Christmas Tree at Richard Cox House which is a home in Royston for the elderly with long term needs and also for respite care. We were ably assisted by some of the residents including Peggy (pictured) who threw her weight into the decorating. The sherry and mince pies provided by the home were very welcome to the small band of Rotarians.On the following day an even larger team of Rotarians pitched up to St George’s Nursing Home to install and decorate three trees, including one upstairs on the landing. Our efforts were greatly appreciated by the home and mulled wine with mince pies (yet again) were very acceptable. We were accompanied by suitably seasonal Christmas carols which made us all believe that Christmas could only be just around the corner!
This evening we were delighted to have the formal induction of Oscar Sassoli into our club. Oscar is well known to club members having attended numerous functions and meetings over the years, as well as being a working colleague of Rotarian Tim Penn who will also act as his mentor for the next few weeks. We welcome Oscar to the Royston Rotary Club.The photo shows President Graeme Dargie congratulating Oscar after the induction.
28th November - New Member Elected
10th December - Monthly Walk
11th December - Christmas Memory Cafe
The overnight snowfall in Royston put paid to the scheduled monthly walk which was due to take place over the Therfield Heath. David and Lesley Izod were sadly left with oodles of shepherds pie for the expected lunch afterwards but put a brave face on it!
Rotary Walkers Lament (with apologies to Dean Martin)Oh, the weather outside is frightfulBut the fire is so delightfulSince walking will be a blowLet it snow, let it snow, let it snow.It shows no sign of stopping And Lesley’s made lunch for scoffingBut the roads are all no goLet it snow, let it snow, let it snow.The fire is slowly dyingBut the walkers are still good-byeingNext year we’ll get gentle blowsLet it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
December’s Memory Café had a Christmas theme in more ways than one! The snow outside reduced the numbers attending but a warm spirit prevailed. We had seven attendees and eight others who were unable to get to the Old Barn because of being iced in at home. After drinks and mince pies, we had a reading by Scrooge, (in his happy mode - see photo), of the famous story “A Christmas Carol”. This was followed by crackers, carol singing and with Santa coming down the chimney to present pre-Christmas gifts. A happy yule time was had by all, looked after by eleven Rotarians.P.S. A lady, whose mother had recently moved to be with her because of dementia, mentioned to Lesley Izod that "it was wonderful to see her mother totally absorbed" by our programme yesterday.
This year’s Christmas dinner celebration was held at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Cambridge (formerly The Garden House Hotel) which is set in a pleasant location on the banks of the River Cam.Following a lovely three-course dinner, President Graham announced two unexpected but richly deserved Paul Harris awards. The first was to Rotarian Brian Whittakerfor all his additional behind-the-scenes work he has performed for the Club over the years. The second was to Linda Berkswho has tirelessly helped Rotarians and their partners whenever either of them was laid up with an illness or infirmity. The photos show both Brian and Linda being presented with their Paul Harris awards.After the presentations we were entertained by Ebenezer Scrooge himself (aka Neil Heywood) reading extracts from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Neil’s rendering, in character, of this famous story kept us all enthralled for many minutes. This was followed by the whole party singing carols, accompanied by Lesley Izod on the piano and led by the lovely voice of Sue Pinner.More photos of the event can be seen here.
12th December - Christmas Dinner
From 2nd December through to 23rd December Club members went along to Bury Lane Fam Shop, near Royston, to help Father Christmas distribute presents to many visiting children. A total of 14 different Rotarians were involved to cover 21 separate 2-hour sesions in Santa’s grotto over the 4 weekends of December, bringing smiles and wonderment to the faces of the many children and parents who visited.The photo shows a picture of Santa in his grotto with his little elf helper on the last weekend before Christmas.
Throughout December - Helping Santa at Bury Lane Farm Shop
January 10th 2018 - Another Donation to Embocraft
Our International Projects Chairman, David Blundell, has announced that a Christmas gift of £1000 (approx R16,600) has been sent to our friends at Embocarft in Kwa/Zulu Natal, South Africa. The purpose of these funds is for the purchase of additional sewing machine and for training. Linda Venton at Embocraft expressed her delight and appreciation for the gift.The EmbocraftProject is designed to empower the people of an area devastated by poverty. It is based close to the Inanda Dam where the population of 25,000 is exclusively Zulu-speaking, with 88% considered poor. HIV/AIDS is endemic. Embocraft conducts skills training to develop products which can both benefit households and generate income. Those taking part learn to sew both for themselves and their community. For more details on Embocraft please see http://embocraft.co.za/ .
13th January - Annual Quiz
Greeneway School in Royston was the venue for the Annual Rotary Quiz Night, and once again it was very well attended. There was a total of 129 attendees spread over 17 different teams to answer the fiendish questions set by quizmaster Phillip Martin. There were a total of ten rounds covering different topics, each consisting of ten questions. The teams could select one topic in advance to play a “joker” which had the effect of doubling the score for that round.The winning team was “Bob Cats” who scored a total of 82 out of a possible 110, followed by the teams “T.A.D.S.” (78) and “Good Loosers” (75). The picture shows the captain of team “Bob Cats” receiving the winner’s cup.The event raised in excess of £1,000 for distribution to Rotary charities. Much thanks goes to the quizmaster, the scorers, the bar staff, the runners and the raffle staff for their hard work on the night.
14th January - Monthly Walk
The start and finish of our walk was the largest building in the village of Abington in the Clay, known since the 17c as Abington Pigotts. The latter name comes from the Pykot or Pigott family who owned the surrounding manorial land for four centuries. This early 18c Inn was for much of its life the ' Darby and Joan' becoming , in the 1980's, the Pig and Abbot.The four and a half mile walk was 2/3 on the road and 1/3 on well established footpaths to avoid the teddy boy thick soled shoes you normally get walking the fields this time of year. It was hard work for the spritely bunch struggling over the 28 foot rise and fall on their way to Litlington. This village, one of the few in the country with a one way system, offers a 13c Church whose, once spired, tower was used as a positioning post for the P47s and P51s USA fighters based at a nearby WWII airbase and a 2c 30 roomed Roman Villa excavated in 2010 by the BBC Time Team. During the walk through the village we passed the residence of our own Peter Franks, one of Royston's revered restorers, on our way to the river where Bassa's people settled. From the on route footpath on the right we had a fine view over open countryside to the Heath and a well known industrial conurbation. On reaching the bourn we turned left through a gate and keeping the village on our right walked through the wood, along a field and right onto a rough track to Bassingbourn Mill. Bassingbourn is well known for its deposits of Coprolite (dinosaur dung) which was mined in the 19th century for fertilizer, and also for its large WWII American bomber base.On crossing the mill stream we turned left and journeyed on down the lane until meeting Fen Lane completely bypassing the village. Two left turns and a further road walk found us back at the Pub where we were well wined and dined by Pat and her staff.Words by Jim, photos by Ray and Bryony
2nd February - Ceilidh
Nearly 60 Rotarians and partners/friends arrived at Thriplow Village Hall in anticipation of a pleasant evening of food and dance. And we were not disappointed as first we benefitted from a nice meal from the ever reliable Gill Williamson.Then the average age in the Hall plummeted when a group of incredibly young people arrived to set up as our entertainment band for the evening, the Cambridge University Ceilidh Band, who provided the excellent music to accompany the not so excellent dancing.A few people dressed up in the spirit of the occasion, or to be exact Graeme wore a hat and Howard a hat and wig.An enthusiastic Caller gave us clear instructions, despite which many of us went wrong but we still had a wonderful evening, in fact the missteps provided much merriment. There was a really high participation in the dances, although it did take its toll with a few dropping out later on and one going off in search of an asthma inhaler.At one stage, an apparition of a fierce (!) Scottish warrior, with very red hair and two swords appeared (rumour has it that it was actually David Easthope dressed up) and challenged our very (OK, slightly) Scottish President to dance around the crossed swords. Graeme obliged with an excellent dance, during which, much to the dismay of the audience, didn’t result in any severed feet. Our Health and Safety officer could be seen having convulsions.Words and photos by Ray Munden. See all the photos of the event by clicking here
7th February - Technology Tournament
21 teams of aspiring technologists from 6 local schools met last week to stretch their creative skills in Royston Rotary Club’s annual Technology Tournament. Now in its 11th year, the competition provides each team with the tools and materials needed to build a working model able to perform a specified task. This year, teams tried their hand at ballistics, designing a remotely controlled rig to fire a missile through a hoop to a height of 3 metres before landing in a target areaRoysia School’s Team 1 triumphed in the Foundation class, while in the Senior division Buntingford’s Freman College emerged with top marks. A special prize for design innovation, awarded by Royston-based multinational Johnson Matthey, went to Freman College’s Team 2. Teamwork and planning are very much part of the process, and count towards the final score. A team of judges, both Rotarians and external, toured the hall offering comment and advice before conferring to agree the points to be awarded under each category – Design Analysis, Development, Portfolio, and Construction, as well as the final practical test, which provided most points and much excitement as each design was demonstrated in front of the competitors. Some balls went way beyond the required height hit the roof of Meridian School’s assembly hall, and one or two lodged up there, never to be seen again.Our Area Governor Simon Lake visited us and stayed for the whole day; also visiting were three representatives of District 1260, to which Royston expects to transfer during the year. They included 1260’s Tech Tournament supremo Andrew Bullen, who commented very favourably, saying ours was one of the best organised he had seen anywhere.The club turned out in force to provide stewards, video, scoring, refreshments, (thanks, Clarice and Di) and those key sticky members of every TT, the expert glue station operators. Organiser Rotarian Brian Whittaker said: “We truly saw some budding engineers today.”Words and pictures by Neil Heywood.
Winning team Roysia 1 receive their awards from Royston’s Mayor Vera Swallow
11th February - Monthly Walk from Everton
Luckily, after a day of drizzle and then an overnight torrent, we awoke on Sunday 11th February to a cold but crisp and fairly sunny day. Meeting up in the Bedfordshire village of Everton, and after awaiting one couple who it seemed had first gone to the Merseyside version, we set off suitably attired against the cold. After a short stretch on road we soon plunged off into a field where cows had done their