The Toposcope in place on Therfield Heath
The compass plate viewed from above
The “grand opening” of the Toposcope
(You may also observe a youthful-looking David Richmond centre left)
“Alfie” Deards was a long-standing member of Royston Rotary Club and became our president for the Rotary year July 1975
to June 1976 (the same year his sister Elizabeth was president of the Inner Wheel).
The Compass Point on Therfield Heath (TOPOSCOPE)
Alfie was always a very generous man and donated money to various Rotary Club projects during his lifetime (often
anonymously) and some of the money he gave was used to construct the compass point on Therfield Heath, overlooking
the town Sadly, because of the time taken to organise the compass point, Alfie died before it was completed.
A local architectural stonemason and carver, Mark Raymen, was commissioned to build this toposcope in November 1996
by the Rotary Club as a memorial to Alfie Deards and to refocus walkers away from the bronze age tumulus nearby as they
were getting eroded by people walking over them.
It’s a lovely walk up over the heath to get to the Toposcope - it’s north of the Five Hills beside the chalk racehorse track. A
visit is highly recommended and it is a lasting tribute to Alfie Deards.
The Deards Trust
In his will Alfie left a large sum of money to the Royston Rotary Club. Alfie made no stipulation as to how the money should
be used so the club decided that it would set up the Deards Royston Rotary Trust in 1998 with this unexpected windfall.
The terms of the trust are as follows:
1. The relief of persons who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress as a result of local, national or
international disaster in the town of Royston or its surrounding villages;
2. The furtherance of the education (including social and physical training) of children in the town of Royston and its
3. Such or any charitable purpose for the general benefit of the inhabitants of the town of Royston or its surrounding
villages as the Trustees shall think fit;
4. All such other charitable purposes as the Club shall, in duly constituted meeting, from time to time direct
Over the last 22 years the Royston Rotary Club has made a variety of grants both to individuals and to organisations from
the trust. Despite these grants the capital of Alfie’s original bequest is intact and still providing help for the people of
Royston and surrounding villages.