26th June 2011 : Royston Pink Ribbon Run

The crowds and runners turned out in great numbers for the Royston Pink Ribbon Run, including members of the Club who inflated hundreds of pink balloons and manned the car park. Here pictured are some of the team with Laura Woodcock of Teenage Cancer Trust. If you hadn't noticed, Di Charles is under the balloons sitting on the frame to stop it floating away!!

Click here for more photos



21st June 2011 : Presentation of Swimanthon proceeds

At the Club meeting on Tuesday 21st June, President Jonathan presented cheques, each to the value of £1000, to Sharon Redrup of the Royston Day Centre, Sean Comerford on behalf of the Fire Fighters Charity and Anne Fleming of Myeloma UK






9th - 12th June 2011 : Visit to Paray

On Thursday 9th June a party of 18 Royston members and partners arrive by plane, train and car at the hotel Le Merle Blanc in Digoin, the meeting place for the Rotary Club de Paray le Monial et Charolais where we were royally met by our hosts. Needless to say, there isn't space here to describe fully the wonderful weekend we had at the hands of our hosts. Thurs - Dinner at members' homes; Fri - Wine tasting in St Sernin du Plein, a tour around the cathedral in Autun and the Rolin Museum, dinner at the Ferme Auberge, Amanzé with presentation of gifts; Sat - Free time, lunch at members' homes, play for the Ashes which we won, dinner in Luneau; Sun - Brunch and farewell at Le Merle Blanc.

Click here to see some photos

5th June 2011 : Monthly Walk

As this was the last Sunday walk of his ‘ Presidential’  year, Jonathan chose to lead his troops  into battle . Only this time it was with nature!

Twenty hardy souls met at The Waggon and Horses in Steeple Morden and headed off in the general direction of Litlington. Steaming along the wide pathway we enjoyed the wonderful landscape reaching out ahead of us. Down the hill we went aiming for the Copse below where we were then to head across the fields via a tiny bridge towards the village of Abington Pigotts.

Entering the village of Abington Pigotts we were abandoned by Bryony who had brilliantly walked the three miles without any mishaps . Well done Bryony.

At the site of the Woodland Trust Wood, we settled ourselves down for coffee and as this is also the site of an Alpaca farm, we persuaded Sandra to educate us all on ‘The Life of Alpacas’. Highly informative and entertaining it was too – BUT one message came loud and clear – ‘DO NOT stare them out – If you do and their ears go back – run!! - they can spit a very long way and the smell is diabolical!!

True to form we finished the walk exactly as the instruction sheet says - -Take the path to the church by ‘diddling’ round the back of the school.

There ahead of us was the glorious sight of the Waggon and Horses,  plus Neil and Sarah, Annette, Bryony and David Izod who thankfully has recovered enough to enjoy a nice cold pint but not the walk. The lunch was very tasty, the weather perfect and all in all it was a grand day out!

Click here to see some photos

20th - 22nd May : President's Weekend in the New Forest

This year's President, Jonathan, decided that we should visit the New Forest. As usual our Richmond's coach set off from Green Drift for the excellent Burley House Hotel in Burley. On Saturday the party split with some visiting Beaulieu House and the National Car Museum and some visiting Buckler's Hard with its Maritime Museum and a trip on the river. The sun shone and the sky was blue. Sunday, however, was cool, overcast and threatened rain as we left for home via Exbury Gardens. We had a little time to walk around the vast gardens and take a trip on the minature steam train before lunch in the restaurant and home. All agreed that it was a most relaxing weekend.

Click here to see some photos


18th May : New member - Induction of Paul Savage

At the Club meeting on Tuesday 18th May, President Jonathan had the pleasure of inducting a new member, Paul Savage, into the Club. Paul is the Northern European Manager for Rotam, an agrochemical company. In the past, Paul has been a member of Northallerton Round Table.






8th May 2011 : Monthly Walk

A walk with a difference, a guide who drove! Kash Sharma who had organised this month's walk had an injury incurred by playing too much golf so, instead of walking the walk he kept popping up at strategic points to give us directions to the next point. The walk starting behind Budgens in Buntingford took us up a pleasant roadway to St Bartholomew's church which was covered in scaffolding. Locals in the churchyard explained that the church was being converted into a house. From the church we crossed the fields to the B1038 and walked back into Buntingford. Walking through Buntingford we came to the bypass which we crossed with much care and into a field full of rape in which we lost our way - no Kash! Retracing our steps we found the path to Aspenden and on to Buttermilk Farm. After a coffee break we took the path to Throcking and thence to the footbridge over the bypass back to our cars. On to the Fox at Aspenden where we enjoyed an excellent lunch with Neil, Sarah, Jonathan, Linda and Vidyut.

Click here to see some photos

2nd May 2011 : Classic Car Show - Royston May Fayre

A record number of entries were on display at the Rotary Club of Royston’s Classic Car Show during the Royston May Fayre on Bank Holiday Monday.

Show organiser Ray Munden said: “The show goes from strength to strength. We seem to be attracting more vehicles each year.”

More than 100 vehicles from the year 1905 to the present day were on display along with 57 motor cycles.

The mayor’s prize presented by Councillor Martin Beaver went to Phillip Butcher for his 1938 MG TA Midget.

Rotary president Jonathan Berks presented the prize for the best car in the show to Edward Rayment for his 1933 Austin 7 and the best motor cycle in the show went to Dave Woods for his 1959 BSA.

Click here to see some photos from the show


5th April 2011 : Donations to Community Groups

More than £1,000 was presented to two organisations by the Rotary Club of Royston. The awards from the club's community fund were presented to Barbara Blower, of Royston and South Cambridgeshire Home-Start , and to Tony Gearing, of the Young People of the Year award scheme. Home-Start received a cheque for £750 and the Young People of the Year £500. Rotary Club president Jonathan Berks said: "Our donations always aim to recognise organisations which are playing a key role in the community. "In there different ways both the Young People of the Year scheme and Home-Start are providing a vital service and thoroughly deserved our support. "Both organisations showed clearly that there was a real need for the work they undertake,” said Mr Berks. The money for the club's community fund was raised during last year's Charity Kite Festival, the annual quiz and other events.


2nd April 2011 : Fancy Dress Party

David and Pat Easthope graciously allowed the Social Committee to hold a Fancy Dress Party at their home. The party was base on the theme - "What you were wearing when the Titanic went down". Dress ranged from elegant evening gowns to Dave Easthope in his pantomime dame's costume to Neil Heywood as a boiler room stoker. A good time was had by all.




14th March 2011 : Rotarians Offer International Study Opportunity

Rotary Club members in Royston are offering the opportunity of a year’s paid study abroad to a lucky local graduate.

Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial scholarships provide funding for post-graduate level academic study at a university in a country of the applicant’s choice. Scholarships can be used for almost any field of study, and they cover all travel, tuition and subsistence costs, up to a generous maximum. One scholarship has been specially set aside for applicants in Rotary District 1080, which covers East Anglia and includes Royston.

“There must be many young people who would be delighted to spend a year in a country of their choice studying a subject of their choice in a university of their choice” said the club’s International Committee chairman, Ray Munden. The selected candidate would receive around $26,000 towards their costs and represent our Rotary District 1080 abroad as an ambassador of Rotary. They also get the chance to enhance their interpersonal skills by speaking to a number of Rotary Clubs in their host country.

A further opportunity to study abroad is the Rotary International Peace and Conflict Resolution Programme for graduates and young business and professional people. Scholarships for this unique programme are available at six universities worldwide. The selected candidate (this is a world-wide contest for 60 places) would attend their chosen university to study peace and conflict resolution for two years.

The Rotary Club of Royston can handle initial applications and enquiries. Deadlines are 17 June for the Ambassadorial Scholarships and 1 May for Peace Fellowships. More information can be found by clicking above or by calling Ray Munden on 01763 241217.

4th March 2011 : Youth Makes Music

Yet again the talent of the young musicians from schools in the area was on display at the Rotary Club of Royston’s Youth Makes Music concert on Friday evening.

The packed audience in the concert hall at the University of Cambridge’s School of Music was enthralled by the wide-ranging performances with covered all musical skills from the classical to legendary rock.

Event organiser Ken Charles said: “The Youth Makes Music concert is a unique event giving our young people the opportunity to perform in front of an audience in an excellent concert hall.

“All those taking part this year certainly excelled and gave marvellous performances,” he said.

Taking part in Youth Makes Music were choirs and musicians from Barley First School, Barkway First School, Icknield Walk First School, Roman Way First School, Studlands Rise First School, Tannery Drift First School, Therfield First School; Greneway School, Roysia School, The Meridian School and the Royston Youth Choir.

The idea behind the event is for schools to portray the exciting work which is taking place both within and outside the curriculum.

One inspiring moment which captured the attention of the audience was a solo performance by pianist James Palmer, from Greneway School, with his own composition After Einaudi.

13th February 2011 : Swimathon 2010

The 2010 Swimathon finally got underway at 6pm on Sunday 13th Feb at the Royston Leisure Centre. Fourteen teams each swam for 55 minutes in a sponsored swim to raise money for the Royston Day Centre, Myeloma UK, the  Fire Fighters' Charity & Rotary Charities.

The amount raised will be announced in due course.

Pictured here is Jonathan Berks, President of the Rotary Club of Royston swimming for the Rotary team.


6th February 2011 : Cheese and Wine Party

Our President, Jonathan, and his wife, Linda, kindly hosted a cheese and wine party at their house. Fifty five members and their partners enjoyed a selection of wines from France, Italy and Australia (the New World had to get in there somewhere) along with cheeses from France, Italy and England (Aussi cheese is difficult to obtain at the best of times). Thanks to Linda, Jonathan, Howard and other members of the social committee.


6th February 2011 : Monthly Walk

Ray Munden organised our February walk which started in the car park of Foxton village Hall and took us to the Fowlmere Nature Reserve (where Ray is a voluntary helper), a short stop for coffee in the picnic area, then via Manor Farm where there is an airstrip, remnants of its day as home to 339th Fighter Group (mustangs) of the American Airforce. We walked through the village of Fowlmere and on to Thriplow and the Green Man where we met up with other members and/partners for an excellent Sunday lunch. It was then across the fields and alongside Hoffer Brook back to Foxton. Then it was off home for a shower and change before arriving at the President's for a chees and wine evening. Thanks to Ray for a very enjoyable walk. According to someone's GPS we had covered 9.66 miles!

2nd February 2011 : Technology Tournament

This year's Technology Tournament between schools from Royston and Buntingford was held on 2nd Feb at the Cambridge Motel. Twenty two teams, each with four team members participated in a project to build a crane, powered by an electric motor, out of the materials supplied.

There were two competitions, a Basic and and Advanced. The Advanced competition was won by Meridian A team. The Basic competition was won by Roysia A Team, Freman College C Team came second and Roysia B Team came third.

The trophy for the most innovative design, awarded by Johnson Matthey, was won by Roysia A Team. The trophy was presented by Royston Town Mayor, Councillor Martin Beaver, watched by Club President, Jonathan Berks


15th January : Rotary Annual Quiz

Seventeen teams battled it out in the annual Rotary Quiz at the Meridian School held on Saturday 15th January. The winning team was the "180 Degrees". The event raised over £800 for the Club's charity funds.







11th January : New member - Induction of Tony Briar

At the Club meeting on Tuesday 11th Jan, President Jonathan had the pleasure of inducting a new member, Tony Briar, into the Club. Tony, a retired IT Solutions Architect, was formerly a member of Kimbolton Castle Rotary Club






2nd January 2011 : New Year's Walk

This month’s walk was arranged by Sandra Scott – A circular walk, Hinxworth, Ashwell and other lovely Hertfordshire villages.

Our jolly band of walkers met at the Golf Club and headed off to the start of the walk from the church in Hinxworth.It was a cold but bright day and just what was needed to blow away the alcoholic fumes and turkey dinners of the last month.

Lunch at The Three Tons was a very welcome sight as were the faces of more Rotary friends, David Beardwell , who came to collect Liz and Annette Guttridge who joined us for lunch.Thank you Sandra - A great day was had by all.

14th December : Christmas Dinner

The Club's Annual Christmas Dinner was held on 14th December at the Royston Golf Club. After an excellent meal, President Jonathan Berks presented certificates to those members of the Club who had managed to walk the full 193 miles of the Hertfordshire Way as part of the Club's Walk for Polio project. Afterwards members and guests were entertained in music hall tradition by a singing quintet led by Mr Neil Heywood and MC "your very own" Mr Jonathan Berks. A lesson in how to dance the tango was presented by Mr Kash Sharma and Mrs Linda Berks. Mrs Linda Berks also gave a recitation of "Albert and the Lion".

Click here to see  selection of photos.

20th November - 24th December : Father Christmas

Club helps Santa at the Country Gardens Garden Centre, Melbourn

At weekends between 20th November and 24th December, members of the Club are helping out at Santa's Grotto at the Country Gardens Garden Centre, Melbourn. In the photos here you can see Santa checking that work is on schedule and also with his trusted helper Elf Lucy

20th November : Children in Need Collection









On Saturday 20th November, members of the Club joined in the fund raising events for Children in Need by collecting in Royston town centre. President Jonathan and his wife Linda are seen here on the left. They and other members were joined by a white rabbit and a funky chicken (in reality Di and Ken Charles). The collection raised £1,383.

10/17th November : Youth Speaks

Youth Speaks gives youngsters the opportunity to stand in front of an audience made up of parents and friends to talk about any subject that interests them. This year subjects included the Police, Aspergers, Victorians, Space, Animal Charities, Speedstack and Karate. The first day was for Royston First Schools and was hosted by Studlands Rise School. The second day was for middle schools including, Edwinstree (Buntingford), Greneway and Roysia Schools and was hosted by Greneway School.

14th November : Remembrance Sunday

President Jonathan joined in the Remembrance Day parade ans service to lay a wreath on behalf of Club members at the Royston War Memorial.

On 4th Sept, vandals broke the crow off the bronze sculpture on the War Memorial (see photo on right). Although the damage was covered by insurance there was an excess of £250 which was paid for by the Rotary Club of Royston. The crow was reinstated in time for Remembrance Sunday.

9th November : £3000 raised for Polio Plus

At the Club meeting on Tuesday 9th November, President Jonathan presented a cheque for £3000, for the Rotary Polio Plus project, to the District Governor, Rodney Howell.

The money was raised by members and friends through a sponsored walk around the 193 Hertfordshire Way footpath. A non-Rotarian, Sandra Scott who completed the full 193 miles raised over £800.

For details of the walk visit our blog at www.walk-for-polio-plus.blogspot.com

7th November : 2nd Rotary Sunday Walk

Great Hormead to Anstey and back

Nine members of the Club plus Sandra Scott set out on a walk from Great Hormead village hall, which took them south to Little Hormead and then northwards via the eastern end of GH to Anstey and the Blind Fiddler Inn for an excellent Sunday lunch. On the way, we visited Anstey church where we studied the memorial window, erected in memory of the American airmen who lost their lives during WW2 when their bomber taking off from Nuthampstead crashed behind the church. We were joined for lunch by Julia, Bryony, Tony and Lesley. The latter three accompanied us on the walk back to Great Hormead.

23rd October : District Conference

Royston wins Award for best Club Magazine

Royston was represented at the District Conference by President Jonathan Berks, VP Neil Heywood and JVP Chris Hardy accompanied by Lynda Berks and Sarah Heywood.

The surprise event of the day was being awarded the prize for the best Club magazine in District. The photo shows Jonathan receiving the award (a decanter plus bottle of port) from District Governor Rodney Howell. Well done to Ken and Di Charles who produce the magazine - this is the second time that they have won the award for Royston.

10th October : Carpet Bowls, Great Chishill village hall









Friday 10th October saw members of the Club enjoying a game or two of Carpet Bowls at Great Chishill village hall following expert tuition from Jim Webb and David Bannister. Refreshments included a fish and chip supper.

7th October : Eat a Curry for Pakistan

The Club's International Chairman, Ray Munden organised a curry evening at the Ashiana Spice restaurant in Royston to raise funds for Pakistan Flood Appeal. 45 Rotarians and friends attended the evening raising over £210. The money raised would be used to fund the purchase of Lifestraws through the Rotary Club of Minorca, who would also arrange for their distribution.

Click here to learn more about LifeStraws


3rd October : 1st Rotary Sunday Walk

Following the success of walking the Hertfordshire Way, some members of the Club decided to have regular walks once a month. The first walk, organised by Jim Webb took us from the Coach & Horses in Wicken Bonhunt via Arkesden and Stickling Green to the Fox and Hounds at Clavering where we ate an excellent Sunday lunch.

We should have then walked back to our starting point via Rickling Church but the wet weather and forecast of worse to come persuaded us to abandon the walk in Clavering


28th Sept : Rotary presents £3000 to Hope & Homes For Children

President Jonathan Berks presented a cheque for £3,000 to his charity of the year Hope and Homes for Children at the Club's meeting on Tuesday 28th September.

The charity is working on projects in Eastern Europe and Africa in helping children grow up in a caring family environment.

 Charity representative David James told the meeting: “We move children out of institutions into family-based care, help keep together families at risk of breakdown due to the pressures of poverty, disease or conflict, and to work to prevent child abandonment.”

After David James' presentation, President Jonathan said: “I think we have seen the importance of such a charity and the worthwhile work it is undertaking. It has a huge task in a world that always seems under threat where children are always more vulnerable. We can be proud to help such a charity.”

Click here to learn more about Hope and Homes for Children


Rotary and Pakistan Flood Aid

Rotary has once again quickly mobilized itself to help another disaster stricken area, the Pakistan floods.

Ironically, despite the cause of the disaster being flooding, a major problem is the lack of clean water for drinking and sanitation.

To help address this, individual Rotary clubs in the UK have already funded 400 Water-Survival Boxes. Each Water-Survival Box contains water filtration as well as essential survival kits including tools, buckets, filters, sanitary kits, torches, and cutlery. These items help a family to re-establish themselves in temporary shelter when they have lost all of their possessions. People on the ground are training villagers on the use of equipment in the boxes.

The Rotary Club of Royston has already donated £1250 to buy this much-needed equipment used in providing clean water.

The funds paid for five Water-Survival boxes, which cost £150 each, and £500 towards the cost of Life Straws, a unit containing a water purification system capable of providing up to 700 litres of clean water and which were to be distributed within three days of our donation.

The Club is hoping to provide more of this emergency equipment and contributions would be welcomed.  We can ensure that any aid funded will get through to the people most in need, and quickly.

If you would like to contribute please send chequepayable to “Rotary Club of Royston” and send to Rotarian David Smyth c/o WKH, 22 -24 Kneesworth Street, Royston, Herts, SG8 5AA.  Contributions can be gift aided and every penny will go to providing water purification systems.

Click here for more details


29th August : Will Payne Memorial Cricket Match

A cricket match was held at Don Kingsley's in honour of the late Will Payne, a well loved member of the Club who devised the rules of the particular game played. It was a great afternoon, the rain held off and we all had fun. The President's team won, of course!!

A BBQ followed with a champagne toast to Will very generously provided by Gill Payne


Click here to enjoy photos of the match


10th August : Happy 60th Birthday Mr President

At the Club meeting on 10th August we had a surprise 60th Birthday Dinner for our President Jonathan, pictured here with his wife Lynda and a magnificent birthday cake in the shape of the Rotary rondal surmounted by the "Building Bridges" symbol.

It was not only a surprise to Jonathan but to the rest of the membership! A very well kept secret. It was an excellent evening held at the Heath Sports Club.

Happy Birthday to Jonathan whose birthday was on 11th August.


For Birthday Dinner photos click here


1st August : Royston Kite Festival

Sunday again saw the skies above Therfield Heath alive with kites when the annual Royston Kite Festival took place, organised by the Rotary Club of Royston.

An estimated crowd of 5000 saw six hours of entertainment in the arena by a wide  variety of kite fliers, despite the occasional problems with wind conditions . To entertain the children, there was a puppet show and mini funfair, and in  addition a wide variety of charity and trade stalls.

It is too early top give  a precise figure for the amount raised, but it is expected to exceed the £5000 raised at the 2009 event . The  main beneficiary  this year is the charity 'Hope and Homes for Children' with other monies going to other Rotary charity projects.

President of Royston Rotary Club,Jonathan Berks, said ' it was a marvellous day..as usual the people of Royston, and from further afield, turned out in large numbers to enjoy a great family day out, and enable us to raise money for worthy causes'

23rd July : Rotarians Invest £1,500 in Royston’s Tennis Future

The Wimbledon dreams of budding Andy Murrays in Royston may have come a little closer this week, thanks to the members of the town’s Rotary Club. Trustees of the Deards Royston Rotary Trust presented a cheque for £500 to help with the costs of Royston Tennis Club’s successful youth development programme, which provides coaching to children of all ages, including pupils at 21 associated schools. Further Rotary grants of £500 are proposed for 2011 and 2012.

Rotary Community Service Award presented to Katherine Wholley

At the Changeover Dinner on 29th June the first duty of new President Jonathan Berks was to present Katherine Wholley with a Community Service Award for her outstanding contribution to the local community.

In making the presentation to Katherine, Rotary President Jonathan Berks described how she had resurrected the Royston Arts Festival in 2007, and under her guidance and leadership the festival had flourished and grown during the following two years.

This year’s festival will be held from 23-26 September 2010 when more than 60 events are planned over the four days.

Click here for more details of the Royston Arts Festival

Royston welcomes new President for 2010-11

At the Changeover Dinner at Bluntswood Hall on 29th June retiring President David Izod handed over the reigns to Jonathan Berks, who takes over as President for the year 2010-11.

Vice President for the year is Neil Heywood and Junior Vice President is Chris Hardy.





Click here to see News for 2009/10