18th June 2013 : An evening of Archery

Members of the Rotary Club of Royston have been given a new experience.

More than 20 took the opportunity to join in a sessions run by the Royston Archery Club on Therfield Heath.

Rotary Club of Royston president Chris Hardy said: “It was a new experience for all those taking part and I think everyone realised it was much harder than it looked.

“We will certainly not be producing anyone for the next Olympic Games, although most members did manage to hit the target.”

The session was run under the expert eye of archery club coach Deborah Martin and other members giving expert advice.

Click here for some more photos of the evening


13th-16th June 2013 : Visit to the Rotary Club of Paray le Monial et du Charolais

A party of fifteen members and their partners travelled to the town of Paray le Monial deep in the Borgogne to visit members of our twin Club of Paray le Monial et du Charolais. We were well looked after by our hosts who treated us royally. On Friday we were taken on visits to the city of Moulins, where we ate at Le Grande Café, and the Chateau de Riau with its ancient tithe barn. In the evening, we were dined "en chapelle" by our hosts.

On Saturday morning, we had free time with our hosts. Lunch, for us, was at the home of Jean Pierre & Marie Thérèse Météry with Khalid & Samira Daoudi, Véronique Granger (our host), Ray & Joan Munden and Karin Weston. After a hearty meal it was on to play for the Ashes held at the house of their President, Philippe Gay. Competitions included boating and pétanque. Miraculously, the visitors won.

At the dinner in the evening, Philippe Gay presented me with the Ashes and I him with a keg of bitter and an engraved tankard.

A gallery of photos gives a flavour of the weekend.

Chris Hardy



12th June 2013 : Kids Out at Wimpole Hall

Wimpole Hall was the venue for Kids Out. Luckily the rain held off ad the windy conditions were ideal for the kites that the children had made.

Other attractions included a visit to Home Farm, a bouncy castle and puppet show. Di Charles and Liz Beardwell were kept busy all day face painting and a visit from Annie the Clown raised a few giggles.

A packed lunch was provided and the arrival of Gerry's Ice Cream van with free ice cream was a welcome sight.

Click for photos


9th June 2013 : Royston Open Secrets

The Rotary Club of Royston, for the second time, have organised a Historic Vehicle show to run alongside the Open Secrets Event on Therfield Heath. Open Secrets is an event organised by local business people as a showcase for local businesses and voluntary organisations. The Rotary Club of Royston was one of the organisations exhibiting in the marquee.

Click here for more photos from Open Secrets



4th June 2013 : New Member - Noel Cooper

Noel Cooper, a retired engineer, is the latest member of the Rotary Club of Royston. President Chris Hardy welcomed Noel as a new member at the Club's meeting on Tuesday 4th June.

Click here for a larger photo which shows President Chris Hardy, Noel Cooper and Noel's sponsor Ray Munden who is Vice President of the Club.





2nd June 2013 : Monthly Walk, Haslingfield

This month’s ramble was a circular route, starting and finishing in Haslingfield. Eleven superbly fit individuals undertook this task, including for the first time, Adrian and Vivien Dent.

 After the initial ascent of Barrington Hill, the walk took us along a delightful footpath along the chalk ridge of the hill, giving the opportunity to see the vast extent of the now defunct cement work’s chalk quarry. This path follows the line of the prehistoric trade route known as Mare Way.

The route then led down to Barrington itself, where a short break for refreshment was called for. Thence onward towards Button End Harston, which led us beside the River Rhee and some delightful countryside. From Button End, a further loop led us back to Haslingfield, and the prospect of lunch. Seven and a half miles is enough!

Neil and Sarah then joined us at The White Horse in Barton for a most enjoyable meal.

Click here for more photos


12th May 2013 : Monthly Walk, Abington Piggots

A select group of eight took a leisurely amble on Sunday 12th May from Abington Piggots to Steeple Moden and back again. At slightly under five miles in length I was expecting complaints about the short distance but, instead people seemed to appreciate the opportunity to sample the excellent ales at the Pig and Abbott, winner of CAMRA accolades.

Despite torrential rain on the Saturday night the route, mainly across arable land, was fairly dry and the weather fine, despite an adverse weather forecast. The route is mainly quite level, with well-marked and maintained public footpaths, with only a few hundred yards of road walking (on very minor roads).  The circular route back from Steeple Morden rises quite high and presents a marvellous 360 degree view of surrounding countryside.

Back at the pub we were joined by five more people. The landlady Pat, well-known to many Rotarians from when she used to work in the Golf Club, the Old Bull, the Boar's Head and elsewhere in Royston, and husband Mick have created a most successful village pub, and the three-course Sunday lunch I succumbed to (I had intended having only one course) was most welcome. Don and Jennifer, old friends of Pat, joined us for lunch and as Don tempted me to a glass of Rioja on top of the two excellent pints of Oscar Wilde mild, Julia had to drive me home.

The photo of the strollers has been magicked by the President: it is in fact two photographs, one taken by me, one by John Kelly. Moral of the story: never trust photos provided by Chris Hardy - all may not be as depicted.

Click here for more photos which include one depicting the medieval gateway by the moated mill on the outskirts of  Abington Piggots, which we passed on the return journey.

6th May 2013 : May Fayre - Historic Vehicle Show

After last year's rain which caused the whole May Fayre and the Historic Vehicle Show to be cancelled, this year the sun shone in abundance and consequently we had a tremendous turnout. The gallery of photos shows but a selection of the vehicles on show.

Rotary President, Chris Hardy awarded his prize for the Best Vehicle to Richard Healey with his 1954 Ford Popular 103E and his prize for Best Motor Cycle was awarded to Alan Smith with his 1959 BSA Goldstar D.B.S34.G.S

Town Mayor, Lindsay Davidson chose Peter Nightingale's 1967 Rolls Royce Phantom 5 as her Best Vehicle.

The Club would like to thank its sponsors Mark Weatherhead Ltd, J R Ford, BAS Auto Supplies, Bassingbourn Garage, G&B Autospray, Richmonds Coaches, Stationery Cupboard, Windmill Car & Commercials, WKH Accountants, VB Trophies & Engraving


18th-21st April 2013 : President's weekend in Stresa

What a lovely prospect…four days in sunny Italy with your fellow Rotarians and other halves....what bliss!! 

And it was a wonderful time, apart from one small inconvenience…rain.

It all started at an ungodly hour for most of us on Thursday morning...meet at 4.15 at Robin Hill for a coach to the airport (16 of us, two somehow forgot what day they were going, and went a day earlier, and nine drove and joined up with us there) . The plus point of the early start was that we were in Stresa by 11.30, and we were soon settling in with vino and lunch in the square in glorious sunshine. The afternoon was spent getting our bearings in Stresa, before dinner in our lakeside hotel. This really was an excellent hotel with good food and extremely friendly staff.

On Friday we all set off on a trip which took us by regular train to Domodossola, followed by a two hour scenic journey on a narrow gauge railway to Locarno in Switzerland. This was the highlight of the day...the scenery really was marvellous. At Locarno, after a swift drink, we took a short ferry ride to Ascona for a three hour break, during which lunch was taken. Being still in Switzerland, the price of lunch was somewhat unreal! Until this point the weather had been fair…….then the rains came and didn’t stop until we left on Sunday…..here’s to sunny Italy. We left Ascona by ferry for the two and a half hour journey back to Stresa in a tumultuous thunderstorm……nothing could be seen apart from lightening……certainly no scenic beauty as it was impossible to see the edge of the lake for most of the time.

Saturday was our day for visiting the Borromean Islands in the lake, in the cold and rain. These three islands took their name from the aristocratic Borromeo family who took ownership of the land in the 16th and 17th centuries. They were bankers!! Firstly we went to Isola Madre, where we had a guided tour of the palace, the highlights of which, apart from the magnificent rooms, include a marvellous collection of the puppet theatres which provided the family entertainment. I am sure that the gardens were beautiful but judgement is somewhat influenced by the weather.

We were then transported by boat to Isola Pescatori for an excellent lunch, before another boat transfer to Isola Bella, to be guided around another stunning Baroque palace, and to see the elaborate Italianate gardens…still in the rain!

Sunday was a free day...many went after lunch by ferry to visit The Hermitage of Santa Catarina on the other side of the lake, while others visited gardens and parks. Miraculously, the rain stopped that afternoon. We left in the early evening for the flight home from Milan.

In spite of the weather, everyone thoroughly enjoyed this weekend…the fellowship and laughter were wonderful. Thanks must go to Chris, and especially his daughter Sarah for organising such a memorable trip…here’s to Dartmouth next year, in the sun...hopefully!

Click here for photos of the weekend


14th April 2013 : Monthly Walk, Brent Pelham

When Peter Mitton tried out the walk a week before it had been dry for sometime and the going underfoot was dry and firm, however, in the intervening week it had rained and the ground had become somewhat sticky particularly where our path crossed ploughed fields.

We met by the church in Brent Pelham and after the customary group photo set off on our way. It was a beautiful sunny day. We were soon approaching Whitebarns where we turned left and followed the path down in the valley of the River Ash. Not much of a river at the point where we met it as we turned and walked along the river bed which also forms Violets Lane. However, we did get to a point where the river widened out to block our way and we had to scramble up the bank back onto the main footpath.

Shortly after our mad scramble we turned in the direction of Stocking Pelham Hall. We stopped to have refreshments among the gravestones in the little churchyard. Afterwards we set off to follow the path alongside Hall Wood and across the fields to Washall Green and from there across more fields and tracks to Brent Pelham.

We couldn’t have our Sunday lunch, for which we had worked up a hearty hunger, at the Black Horse as it had closed in February. Just as well Peter and I had reccied the walk! Lunch was at the Three Tuns in Great Hormead to which the former landlord of the Black Horse had moved. We were joined by Sephrone and Polly for what was an excellent lunch.

Unfortunately, Sarah was not well and she and Neil had to pull out at the last minute.


26th March 2013 : Easter Bonnets

At our quarterly meeting with partners, members and their partners were asked to attend wearing hats suitably decorated for Easter. There was a tremendous turnout of hats of all descriptions which can be seen in the Easter Bonnets Gallery.

In line with the theme of the night, Graham Thomas gave an amusing demonstration of how hats and fascinators can change how you look. Models were Peter Mitton (wearing ladies hats?) and Di Charles. Graham also chose Di Charles' hat as the best hat of the night for which she was presented by the President, Chris Hardy, with an Easter Egg by Hotel Chocolat.


17th March 2013 : Monthly Walk, Nuthampstead & Barkway

Nine hardy souls set off from Nuthampstead on a not very promising day, weather-wise.  However, the Gods were kind to us and we only experienced a few light showers on our five mile circular route via Barkway.

No sign of the gambolling lambs on our walk that we had been rashly promised! However, some of us were really fortunate to see a herd of around 15 roe deer in the distance who obviously took fright at the thought of Rotary walkers in the vicinity that they took off with some haste.  We also passed by two football matches at Barkway (where we stopped for a coffee break) and a magnificent Charolais bull (just waiting to be let out into the Spring fields with his ladies).

After five miles we arrived back at the Woodman PH where we were joined by a further five Rotarians and partners to partake of a rattling good pub lunch.  And didn’t that first pint of Becks taste great!


15th March 2013 : Youth Makes Music

Youngsters proved yet again their “extraordinary display of talent” at the annual Rotary Club of Royston’s Youth Makes Music concert.

More than 250 youngsters from Royston schools took part in the concert at Cambridge University’s West Road Concert Hall on Friday evening.

Club president Chris Hardy said: “The talent in our schools is absolutely amazing and a concert such as this proves the importance of having music on the curriculum."

“The concert seems to improve each year as the schools become more ambitious in their performances.”

“Of course, it would not be possible but for the exceptional talent and dedication of the staff we have in our schools. They manage each to create so much enthusiasm in those taking part,” said Mr Hardy.

The schools taking part were from The Meridian School, Greneway Middle School, Roysia Middle School, Barley First School, Barkway First School, Reed First School, Roman Way First School, Studlands First School, Tannery Drift First School, Therfield First School and the Royston Youth Choir.

There were a number of surprises, these included pupils from Roysia School Stomp Band celebrating 150 years of the London Underground to the Royston Youth Choir performing The Beatles’ All You Need is Love and Eleanor Rigby.

The concert covered a whole range of musical tastes: from the James Bond Theme to a lively performance of the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy to the Status Quo classic, Rocking all Over the World.

Classical music, was included with pieces by Purcell and an accomplished trumpet solo of Hohne’s Slavonic Fantasy from Meridian student Hollie Woodley and the West End musical was included, too, with an emotional medley from Les Miserables performed by the Meridian Wind band.

All those taking part were on the stage to close the concert with a rousing performance of Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sing.

Click here for more photos


9th March 2013 : Rotary Sponsors Football Match between Royston FC and Chertsey Town

The photo shows Royston Rotary Club President, Chris Hardy presenting Alan Barlow, President of Royston Football Club with a cheque for £100 as sponsorship for the match against Chertsey Town in the Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central. Royston won 1-0.

President Chris named Ross Collins as Man of the Match and presented him with a bottle of champagne.


Photograph by Kevin Richards, Official RFC photographer.



7th March 2013 : Theatre Trip to see "A Cricket Match" by Alan Ayckbourn

A party of some forty members, partners and friends visited the Gordon Craig Theatre to see a performance of "A Cricket Match" by Alan Ayckbourn starring Stephen Beckett (The Bill, Coronation Street) and Jenny Funnell (As Time Goes By). The performance was preceded by a meal at the Pi Bistro.





4th March 2013 : Rotary Sponsors Royston in Bloom

This year’s Royston in Bloom competition is being  sponsored by the Rotary Club of Royston.

The photo shows Ray Munden, the Club's Vice President, presenting a cheque to Lindsay Davidson, Royston Town Mayor.

Royston in Bloom committee chairman Les Baker said: “Last year we had a number of themed sections on the Queen’s Jubilee and the London Olympic Games. “We saw the success of these and it gave us the opportunity to be more innovative this year,” he said.

“We have introduced two new categories for the competition in the hope of attracting a wider interest from our community.”

The new categories this year will be Grow-a-Boot and for nursery and toddler groups Plant and Decorate a Pot. The Grow-a-Boot category is a young person’s project using recycled material and the idea is to use a boot of any kind for growing a plant. Other categories will be for the best front garden (including container garden and low maintenance); best kept street or community area; best young persons project from a school or club and best kept allotment.

Mr Baker added: “The support we have received from the Rotary Club of Royston will help enormously in this year’s competition.”

Club president Chris Hardy said: “The Rotary Club of Royston decided to support Royston in Bloom as part of its commitment to playing a role in the community. “We see the importance of getting people involved in an event of this kind which can attract everyone from the young to pensioners.”

Entry forms are available from Royston Town Hall and online at www.roystontowncouncil.gov.uk

The Royston in Bloom committee will be running its annual Tallest Sunflower Contest in September.



3rd March 2013 : Annual Charity Swimathon

The Rotary Club of Royston is hoping to raise more £2,000 from its charity Swimathon event at Royston Leisure Centre on Sunday.

Some 13 teams took part in the event and the money raised will be split between the East Anglian Air Ambulance; Headway, (the brain injury association); and the Royston Rotary Trust Fund

Organiser Tony Briar said: “Although this was not a competition, there did appear at times an element of rivalry in the best sense possible.

“After all, the teams were raising money for charity from the number of lengths completed in a given time.

“We had support from teams of youngsters and those not so young who all seemed to relish the idea of taking to the water to raise money for charity,” he added.

During three sessions each six-member team had to swim as many lengths as possible in 55 minutes.

There were a number of impressive performances which included one of three teams from The Meridian School, Royston, completing 153 lengths.

In all the 13 teams completed a total of 1,302 lengths.

Other teams taking part were from the Reed First School parents, the Bassingbourn Air Cadets, the Royston Brownies, the Royston Army Cadets, the Rotary Club of Royston and the Warburton family.

Click here for photos


26th Feb 2013 : SOS Children

A donation of £500 has been made by the Rotary Club of Royston to SOS Children’s Villages.
President Chris Hardy handed over a cheque to Kitty Blackwell after she had given a talk about the work of the charity.
The Cambridge-based charity helps abandoned and orphaned children in more than 500 children’s villages in 125 countries across the world.
In her talk, Kitty spoke of the problems for children in Greece due to the economic climate there and the work the charity is carrying out to care for deprived children.
Kitty said: “The key to the charity’s work is to ensure that children have the opportunity to grow up in a family environment.
“Many of the children have been traumatised by events and can be in a desperate situation,” she said.



19th Feb 2013 : Maya Dukmasova, Ambassadorial Scholar

Maya Dukmasova, a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, recently visited the Club to talk about herself and her studies. Although born in St Petersburg, Maya moved at an early age, with he family, to live in the USA. She hold a BA in Philosophy and Religion from the University of Rochester and during her Scholarship at St John's, Cambridge is studying for an MPhil.

Maya is exploring the architectural history of Venice in the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing specifically on the history of restoration and conservation of buildings. Maya's talk included a particularly interesting review of her studies into the history of the Fish Market in Venice.


12th Feb 2013 : Rotary Invests in Togo and Ecuador

Royston Rotary Club has invested over £500 in two small businesses based in Togo and Ecuador.

This investment has been made through the charity lendwithcare . Pauline, in Togo, runs a small cafe and Jorge rears pigs; the investment is to help them grow their businesses and generate more income to enable them to send their children to school. Once the loans have been repaid the money will be invested in other businesses.

Details about Pauline and Jorge can be found at

Royston Rotary at lendwithcare



10th Feb 2013 : Monthly Walk, Linton Cambs

Linda and Jonathan Berks organised a walk around the village of Linton in Cambridgeshire, starting and finishing at the Dog and Duck where we had an excellent lunch. Unfortunately, we had to suffer a fine drizzle during most of the walk which meant we weren't able to see any of the views across the Cambridgeshire countryside. Neil and Sarah Heywood joined us for lunch.

Click here for more photos


9th Feb 2013 : Pancake Race - Rotary Team Disqualified!

On Saturday Feb 9th, the now Annual Pancake Race took place to raise funds towards the building of a new Church Community Hall for Royston.

During their race, one of our team was alleged not to have tossed his pancake the requisite 3 times whilst on the run and hence the team's disqualification!

They'll have to get some practice in before next year!

Click for more photos




6th Feb 2013 : Technology Tournament

PUPILS had their innovative skills put to the test in the Rotary Club of Royston’s annual schools technology tournament on Wednesday.

The pupils had to design and create a working model which would climb a ramp under its own power. They were judged on putting together a portfolio on the making of the model and their creative skills in design and technology.

Chris Hardy, the president of the Rotary Club of Royston, said all those taking part had done “amazingly well” in solving the technical problems of putting together the models.

He said pupils had applied good application in solving the task and displayed a great deal of scientific knowledge in creating the working models.

Mr Hardy added: “This was probably the hardest task we have seen in the past six years of running the tournament. Everyone did amazing well.”
Schools represented in the tournament were from Roysia, Greneway and Meridian in Royston and Edwinstree and Ralph Sadleir in Buntingford.
There were also sixth-form teams from Meridian and Freman College, Buntingford.

The tournament at the Cambridge Motel, Shepreth, was supported by Johnson Matthey, the TTP Group in Melbourn, Cambridge Consultants and North Herts District Council.

A team from Freman College won the lower school competition and Meridian School the upper school contest.

A special presentation sponsored by Johnson Matthey and awarded by John Gourd, the company’s site planning and services director, was awarded to pupils from Greneway School.

Click here to see gallery of photos from the day


5th Feb 2013 : Khandel Light

The vital work of the charity Khandel-light – set up more than 10 years ago by local GP Peter Gough – has been explained to members of the Rotary Club Royston. The charity works across a network of 26 villages in the Rajasthan district on India delivering projects which are seen “as a route out of poverty”, said Dr Gough.

He explained that in the past 13 years the charity has grown from one providing health care to a body which has now involves aid to education and the empowerment of women.

Indeed, Dr Gough stressed: “The empowerment of women is important in an area where women under-valued and there are huge inequalities.” He said the charity was “challenging inequalities” and attempting to “break the cycle of poverty”.

To this end Khandel-light has set up a scheme to sponsor students who would not otherwise receive an education, a literacy programme and self-help groups for women. Its work, however, still involves health care and schemes to improve water supply across the region.

Dr Gough received a donation of £500 for the charity from Chris Hardy, President of the Rotary Club of Royston.



22nd Jan 2013 : Leslie Manthey, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar

Leslie Manthey, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lehrte in Germany to study International Law at Cambridge, visited the Club recently and gave a fascinating talk about herself and her studies in International Law. Leslie took her First Sate Exams in Law at the University of Leibniz in Hannover where she is also studying for a PhD.






12th Jan 2013 : Rotary Quiz in aid of End Polio Now

More than £1,000 was raised for charity by the Club's Annual Quiz.

The quiz night at Greneway School saw more than 20 teams taking party with TADS (Thriplow Amateur Drama Society) winning on a tie-break.

All money raised will be donated to Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign, which is working to eradicate polio across the globe.

Chris Hardy, president of the Rotary Club of Royston, said: “Rotary has been helping the fight against polio for the past 25 years and it is determined to see an end to this crippling disease.

“The money raised will be used to provide the vaccination of children in such countries as Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan where the fight against polio is continuing.”


5th Jan 2013 : Paray Party

During their visit to Royston, our twin Club, Paray le Monial, presented us with a rather large bottle of white Burgundy wine. On 5th Jan, those who had hosted our guests joined immediate past President Neil Heywood for the evening to consume said wine.






27th Nov 2012 : Donation to mothers2mothers

The Rotary Club of Royston has handed over a cheque for more almost £4,000 to help the work of a charity.Rotary president Chris Hardy presented the cheque for £3,800 to Emma France, the European director of the charity mothers2mothers.

The charity is working in Africa helping mothers, who have HIV, to prevent it being transmitted to their babies.

Mr Hardy said he had always thought it grossly unfair that babies were being born with HIV through no fault of their own.

By chance Mr Hardy saw a talk by singer and philanthropist, Annie Lennox, about how the transmission of HIV from mothers to their babies could be prevented.

“This gave me the idea of the kind of cause I wanted to support during my year; it was then a question of how,” he said.

“I came across mothers2mothers, a charity working specifically to reduce the number of babies being born with HIV, which fitted my criteria exactly.

“It does an enormous amount of work in sub-Saharan Africa – in preventing the mother to child transmission of HIV and, in doing so, can help the next generation,” he said.

Ms France said: “The charity has developed a model of care that has helped in preventing the transmission of HIV from mothers to babies.

“Rotary’s donation will pay for the education and support work of a Mentor Mother for 21 months allowing her to help hundreds of pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV.”

The money donated was raised during this year’s Rotary Charity Kite Festival on Therfield Heath in August.

Click here to learn more about mothers2mothers

25th Nov thru Dec 2012 : Helping Father Christmas

Through November and December the Club was helping Father Christmas to entertain children to breakfast and tea at the Country Gardens Garden Centre, Melbourn.

We also helped Round Table and Father Christmas on his float to make his rounds of Royston and surrounding villages.





24th Nov 2012 : Party at the Wahlich's

Thanks to John and Clarice Wahlich for an entertaining and educational evening. The evening's entertainment included the deciphering of a substantial number of pictograms, devised by John, denoting stations on the London Underground. By the end of the evening we all had a better knowledge of many of the lesser known Underground stations.





14th & 21st Nov 2012 : Youth Speaks

Here is President Chris with the youngsters that took part in the First Schools Youth Speaks on 14th November at Studlands Rise First School. Youth Speaks provides the youngsters with an opportunity to give a presentation on a subject of their choice to an audience of parents, teachers, Rotarians and fellow participants. A second session was held for middle schools at Greneway Middle School on 21st Nov.

Mrs Julia Garfit and Rotarian Les Baker provided comments aimed to help the youngsters progress their skill of speaking to an audience.

Schools taking part were : Barkway First School, Icknield Walk First School, Roman Way First School, Studlands Rise First School, Therfield First School, Greneway Middle School, Roysia Middle School, Edwinstree Middle School.

17th Nov 2012 : Children in Need

Pudsey and members of the Rotary Club of Royston raised £1,610 for this year’s BBC Children in Need appeal. Rotary members were collecting at The Cross and in Angel Pavement, Royston on Saturday morning and at the Tesco superstore during the afternoon. Royston club president Chris Hardy said: “As in the past, the response from the public was absolutely marvellous. “It certainly helped to have Pudsey there. He was a great attraction for the youngsters who could not resist giving a donation,” he said.

Click for more photos

15th Nov 2012 : Lifestraws Curry Night

Members of the Rotary Club of Royston have raised £350 towards giving people in some of the most deprived areas of the world the chance of having clean drinking water.

Royston club president Chris Hardy said: “It’s difficult to believe that there are places in the world where such an essential commodity as clean drinking water is not available.”

The money raised from a fund-raising charity at the Ashiana Spice restaurant in Royston on Thursday evening will be donated towards the provision of much-needed Life Straws. Life Straws are a portable water filter that effectively removes bacteria and parasites which are responsible for causing disease.

“These are life-saving pieces of equipment and essential to areas of the world where there are contaminated water supplies,” said Mr Hardy. “Life Straws are helping to save the lives of many sick and starving people.”

The Life Straws are purchased by the Rotary club and then distributed through Unicef or Medecins Sans Frontieres.

Click for more photos.

11th Nov 2012 : Remembrance Sunday

President Chris and his wife Polly attended the Remembrance Service at the War Memorial in Royston. Chris marched in the procession and laid a wreath on behalf of the Rotary Club of Royston.

Click here for more photos





11th Nov 2012 : Monthly Walk - St Ives

The walk, postponed from May due to extensive flooding, actually took place in November! Fourteen walkers and one dog set out from St Ives in beautiful sunshine albeit somewhat chilly.

The six mile circular route, based on a stretch of the Great River Ouse, led to a lunch break at the Axe & Compass in Hemingford Abbots, the return walk to St Ives was via Houghton Mill & Houghton Meadows.

Click for more photos.


20th October 2012 : District 1080 Conference

Pictured are Royston's delegates to the 2012 District 1080 Annual Conference, Ken Charles, President Chris Hardy, Neil Guttridge and Jonathan Berks. They were accompanied by Di Charles and Annette Guttridge. The conference was held at the Trinity Park Conference Centre, Ipswich.

Amongst the various sessions, we learned about Community Foundations from Stephen Singleton, Chief Executive of the Suffolk Foundation [There is a Herts based Foundation, more details of which can be found at Hertfordshire Community Foundations website ] and the Ormiston Trust from its CE, Geoffrey Prescott, more about the Trust can be found at www.ormiston.org.

 One of the highlights of the day was the keynote speech, Inspire a Nation, given by Sharron Davies MBE

14th October 2012 : Monthly Walk - Lilley

For those who don’t know, Lilley is a small picturesque village just off the A505 between Hitchin and Luton.
We all met in front of the Lilley Arms pub, to which we would return for lunch. Once our leader for the day had arrived, Sandra, on this occasion, we posed for the now customary group photo. As it was taken by our President Chris, he doesn’t appear in it! Off we set.
Although at the start it was cold and sunny by the time we were half way round it was getting warm and layers of clothing were being removed. Our walk took us NW along Hexton Rd for about one and a half miles before we left the road and turned SW towards Wards’ Wood. Just after reaching the two mile stage we turned due south. Our path took us up a gentle hill at the top of which we could look down on the town of Luton glistening in the sunshine! We continued on our way ending up on Butterfield Road before we realised we had missed our turning but a helpful local put us right.
Follow this hedge up to the farm and go through the hole in the hedge! We nearly missed it a second time and, no wonder, the hedge and bushes were so overgrown they had totally engulfed the signpost! Once through the hole we were on the last lap for a well deserved pint and lunch at the Lilley Arms where Neil and Sarah joined us.

For those asking the question, the lion symbol we noticed on buildings and signs etc is the crest of the Docwra family who lived in the nearby park of Putteridge Bury many years ago.


21st September 2012 : "Cricket Match" & BBQ at Don's

Don and Jennifer Kingsley once again lent their excellent facilities for members of the Club to enjoy a little friendly and amusing cricket, played, of course, to the Club's own rules, if there are any!

Once or twice, the better batsmen among us managed to hit the ball into the gardens of the Fox & Duck next door.

Don, as always, umpired the match sat on his shooting stick, glass of red wine in hand. Many balls were called wide but enough got by to let runs be scored and the odd batsman be bowled out, including President Chris.

Mike Taylor, as usual, organised the BBQ; the beef was excellent!

All in all a very enjoyable and fun filled afternoon.


Click for more photos



9th September 2012 : Monthly Walk - Ardeley

We were blessed with fine, sunny and reasonably cool weather as we set off what was to prove to be a 6.89 mile walk. However, the paths were flat and mostly easy going apart from a couple of fields where the farmer set us the task of harrowing them with our boots!

 Because of holidays, injuries and the Village Cricket Cup Final at Lords we were a little light on numbers (10 walkers plus 5 eaters). At least the beer was considerably cheaper than at Lords.

Ardeley is more of a hamlet with a picturesque green edged with Arts & Crafts type thatched cottages and village hall and a communal pump house. Opposite is the village pond and the 13th century church of St Lawrence.  When we reconnoitred the walk we could not see any fish in the pond.
   The watering hole is the Jolly Waggoner’s, which gave us a warm welcome and the nosh wasn’t bad either.

Bennington dates back much further. It was the residence of the kings of Mercia and later an important castle was built there. Most of the castle at the Lordship is now demolished and in its place is a folly. The ducks at the pond at Bennington will appreciate any bread thrown to them and there are fish in their pond! Unfortunately, we arrived at The Bell just too early as the licensee was mucking out the loos so the floors were too wet for Health and Safety to let us in!


21st August 2012 : Cricket Without Boundaries

Andrew Ryan from Cricket Without  Boundaries gave a talk to Club on Tuesday 4th September about the work of the charity.

Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) is a UK cricket development and AIDS awareness charity. It is run almost entirely by the dedication and enthusiasm of its volunteers.

 Since its formation in 2005 CWB has become one of the world's leading Cricket Development and AIDS awareness charities. It is dedicated to helping, educating and developing local communities around the world through the spread and growth of cricket. It is about personal empowerment, both for adults and for children.

Working primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa it has sent projects to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. In the process CWB has coached tens of thousands of children in some of the poorest communities in the world as well as training several thousand adults to become ICC qualified cricket coaches. CWB is committed to taking the game of cricket to a new generation of coaches and children in Africa, as well as supporting existing cricket development.



Click for Cameron Foster - RIBI Young citizen of the year

Click for CWB report on Royston Donation


19th August 2012 : 30th Anniversary of the Falklands War

President Chris Hardy along with Rotarian David and Mrs Christine Richmond attended a Service of Remembrance to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Falklands War in the Parish Church, Royston.








16th August 2012 : Pétanque

Two dozen Rotarians and their partners assembled at the Chequers, Barley on a balmy16 August for an evening of pétanque – the version of boules you often see played in French village squares on summer evenings by picturesque locals in flat hats. Howard Peacock assembled us into teams using a secret seeding system, and play commenced under the Chequers’ floodlights, accompanied by much beer, sausages, and chips. For the record, the Swifts (Kash Sharma, John and Margaret Newnham) won the series, trouncing a brace of Garfits and Phil Martin in a closely fought final. Many spectators admired Margaret Newnham’s pinpoint accuracy and vicious snookering of her opponents, which went a good way to securing the Swifts’ victory.


9th August 2012 : Community Flagpole Presentation

The flag pole to commemorate 50 years of Rotary in Royston has been “unveiled” at a ceremony in the Priory Memorial Gardens - and to mark the occasion the Rotary flag was hoisted by President Chris Hardy.

Those attending the ceremony included Rotary members, the Mayor of Royston, Councillor Lindsay Davidson, and Royston’s MP Oliver Heald.

Speaking before the unveiling, Chris said: “When we started talking about our 50th year we wanted to ensure that part of our anniversary was to provide something for the community.

“We had a number of ideas, but in the end the provision of a community flag pole seemed to be the most practical and workable.”

He stressed: “This is a community flag pole and that means any club or group in our town will have the opportunity to fly its own flag to mark an event or occasion.” Chris continued that the project would not have been completed without the help of Rotary members and the generous support of the Brian Leslie Racher Charity Trust, Councillor Fiona Hill from her County Council locality budget and a grant from the Royston area committee of North Herts District Council.

Rotary will work with Royston Town Council to ensure there is a turn-over in flags being displayed and will also recognise national events with the hoisting of the Union flag.

Just before the end of the ceremony a town crest flag donated by Rotary was presented to the town council.

Click for more images


5th August 2012 : Royston Charity Kite Festival

The 21st Royston Charity Kite Festival was held on Sunday 5th August. Apart from a short rain shower the sun shone. A wonderful day was had by all, entertained by demonstrations of kite flying, children's games, a record number of stalls and the fantastic Rotary Tombola.

The Kite Festival was officially opened by Councillor Joan Kirby, Chairman NHDC.

Although, at around 4000, attendance was slightly down on previous years due, probably, to the Olympics and the forecasts of thundery rain during the previous days, early indications are that the Kite Festival will have raised something approaching £5,300.

Click here to see photos from the Kite Festival


24th July 2012 : Swimathon Charities receive £1,200

The Rotary Charity Swimathon held in February 2012 raised £4,500. At the Club meeting on 24th July, Chris Hardy, President of the Club, presented Jane Shann from the Phoenix Group for Deaf Children and Cate Mitcham of the Alzheimer's Society each with cheques for £1,200.






15th July 2012 : Car Rally & BBQ

Eight car loads of intrepid travellers set off from the Town Hall car park on Sunday afternoon all determined to find the pot of gold.

Their journey took them through the rugged countryside of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. The natives of Cockayne Hatley and Waresley proved to be most helpful although two charming ladies in Waresley mistook our treasure seekers for their long lost ancestors!

Despite extensive flooding (it wasn't there on Friday!!) all arrived safely back at chez Michael's to enjoy a welcome BBQ with those less adventurous members of the Club.

A presentation of the 'trophy' was made to winning couple Tony and Bryony. President Chris thanked Phillip (an his wife Ruth!) for planning the Rally and to Mike and Ruth for hosting the BBQ.

8th July 2012 : Monthly Walk

The monthly walk in July, organised by John Kelly, started and ended at the Moon & Stars, Rushden.








1st July 2012 : President's Hello

The new Club President, Chris Hardy and his wife Polly held the traditional "President's Hello" at their home in Royston when 46 members and their wives sat down to a splendid repast organised by Polly.

Click here for more photos



26th June 2012 : Handover to 2012/13 President

The President's handover took place at Bluntswood Hall near Buntingford. Outgoing President Neil Heywood handed over to incoming President Chris Hardy. Also taking up their offices were Ray Munden as Vice President and Clarice Wahlich as Junior Vice President.
















Click here to see News for 2011/12