Rotary
Club of Royston,Herts, UK
President: David Blundell

Scrapbook For The Rotary Year 2018/2019

26th June - Changeover Dinner at Madingley Hall
Changeover   Dinner   is   our   annual   event   to   celebrate   the   changing   of   our current   president   of   the   club   to   the   new   president   for   the   coming   Rotary year   (effective   1st   July).      It’s   also   an   excuse   for   Rotarians   and   their   partners and   guests   to   dress   up   in   their   finery   and   enjoy   a   pleasant   evening   with   good food and in the company of friends. This   year   the   event   was   held   at   Madingley   Hall   near   Cambridge   and   was   the   first   time   the   club   had visited   there   which   proved   to   be   an   inspired   choice.      The   hall   is   set   in   beautiful   surroundings   and the   perfect   weather   showed   it   off   at   its   best.      A   few   Rotarians   were   unfortunately   delayed   by traffic   so   our   meal   was   postponed   until   8pm   to   allow   for   everyone   to   be   present;   but   the   catering staff were easily up to this challenge and the food courses were both timely and delicious. With   the   meal   over,   outgoing   President   Graeme   Dargie   thanked   all   who   had   supported   and assisted   him   over   the   last   12   months,   particularly   his   wife   Linda   (to   great   applause).      He   then proceeded    to    formally    hand    over    the    chain    of    office    to    our    new    President,    David    Blundell.      President   David   made   his   acceptance   speech   before   handing   over   the   vice   president’s   chain   to Martin Berry who, in turn presented the junior vice president chain to Nichola Sharpe. With   the   formalities   now   over,   Rotarians   mingled   with   all   the   other   guests,   some   of   whom   had   travelled   a   long   distance   to   be   there, and many who had had long associations with the club.  A really great evening to celebrate our changeover. Words by Tony Briar, Photos mainly by Ray Munden.  To see all the photos, click here.
New President David with wife Diane

President’s Charity

8th July - Monthly Walk
We   had   a   glorious   English   summer   day   for   this   6.6   Km.   walk.   Hats   and   sun-cream were   necessary.   Had   we   given   some   thought   to   how   hot   it   was   going   to   be   we   might have   taken   swimwear   too   for   a   refreshing   paddle   in   Ashwell   springs.      From   the lovely   village   of   Hinxworth   we   strolled   to   Ashwell   and   did   enjoy   a   rest   by   the   springs. But   there   were   a   number   of   families   messing   about   in   the   water   so   poor   Emmi,   the Kelly’s lively Labrador had to make do with a paddle on her lead. As   we   neared   the   end   of   our   walk   we   stopped   by   the   medieval   Hinxworth   Place   and admired   the   sculptures   in   the   garden.   The   sculptor’s   wife   greeted   us   and   invited   us   to look   around   the   garden.   She   also   kindly   fetched   a   bowl   of   water   for   Emmi.   The walkers   who   also   needed   a   drink      had   to   wait   another   ten   minutes   until   we   arrived   at the   Three   Horseshoes.      This   pub   is   well   worth   a   visit.   The   food   and   the   service   was excellent. We enjoyed a most congenial lunch in the shady garden. We   were   eleven   in   the   group   including   regular   walkers   Jim   and   Sephrone   Webb;   Ray   and   Joan   Munden;   Peter   Ross;   Sandra   Scott   and John   and   Jennifer   Kelly.   We   had   a   very   special   guest   walker   with   us.   Sophia   Daoudi   from   Paray   le   Monial   who   is   working   in   Cambridge for   three   months.   She   is   a   charming   young   lady   who   intends   to   come   on   the   August   walk.   John   Kelly   had   also   invited   along   Keith   and Marian Taylor. All told it was a very relaxing and enjoyable day. Words, pictures and walk arrangements by John Kelly
15th July - President’s “Hello”
It’s   a   Royston   Rotary   Club   tradition   that   a   new   President   for   the   year   entertains   the   club   members   and   their   partners   to   a   social event   sometime   shortly   after   his   or   her   appointment.      This   year   was   no   exception   and   our   new   President   David   and   his   wife   Diane invited us all to their lovely home in Melbourn on a beautifully sunny afternoon. Of   course,   the   whole   event   was   held   in   the   garden   where   a   lot   of   preparation   had   obviously   been undertaken   with   gazebos,   awnings   and   plenty   of   tables   and   chairs.      David   had   even   arranged   for an outside bar in the confines of a garden shed - eminently practical! Approximately   40   Rotarians   and   their   partners   were   present   in   addition   to   10   friends,   helpers   and family   so   the   conversation   was   animated   and   it   was   pleasant   to   chat   with   people   one   hadn’t   seen for    a    while.        However,    the    talking    had    to    be    cut    short    once    it    was announced   that   the   food   was   ready   and   we   all   admired   the   array   of food on offer - even more so with the sweet course which followed.  Throughout   the   afternoon   we   were   entertained   to   old   78rpm   vinyl   jazz   records   on   a   genuine   wind-up gramaphone.      Our   resident   DJ   was   David’s   son   in   law,   Brent,   who   apparantly   has   a   massive   collection   of vintage   records.      Your   reporter   was   quite   taken   with   the   very   effective   and   responsive   volume   control   in the form of a large duster pushed up the horn to quieten the sound where necessary. Mention   and   thanks   for   the   delicious   food   must   go   to   Diane,   Ann   Bannister,   Liz   Beardwell,   Linda   Berks, Jo   Mellor,   Di   Charles,   Linda   Dargie,   Pat   Easthope,   Lesley   Izod,   Barbara   Mitton,   Glynis   Smith,   Clarice Wahlich,   Sephrone   Webb,   Annie   Whittaker   and   Polly   Hardy.      There   were   also   welcome   contributions   of chocolates and wine.  My apologies if I have left anyone out. A great afternoon and special thanks to David and Diane for hosting and arranging.
5th August - Annual Kite Festival and Classic Vehicle Show
A   brilliantly   sunny   day   for   this   annual   event   held   as   usual   on   The   Heath   and   we estimate   that   over   six   thousand   people   from   the   Royston   area   attended.      Ice   cream vendors   did   a   roaring   trade   and   the   fresh   fruit   juice   stall   was   sold   out   by   early afternoon,   such   was   the   demand.      The   show   was   opened   by   Royston   Town   Mayor, Cllr   Iain   Leggett   and   the   photo   shows   him   with   Royston   Rotary   President   David Blundell,   DG   Dave   Ford   from   Rotary   District   1260   and   Royston   Town   Crier   Graham Pfaff. Although   very   hot,   the   wind   was   a   bit   temperamental   and   there   were   long   periods   in the   morning   when   the   lack   of   it   stopped   the   professional   kite   fliers   from   showing   their skills;   but   the   wind   picked   up   in   the   afternoon   so   a   spectacular   show   of   kite   flying   was put   on   by   the   various   clubs.      Many   children   even   got   to   see   their   beloved   teddy   bears do a long-awaited parachute drop from a kite (see picture). Apart   from   the   kite   flying   we   had   children’s   face   painting,   a   kite-making   workshop   run   by   the   Lions   Club   and,   of   course,   Royston Rotary   Club’s   famous   tombola   tent   with   in   excess   of   five   hundred   different   prizes.      All   this   plus   various   stalls   and   sideshows   and,   not forgetting the bouncy castle and childrens roundabout In   the   display   area   we   were   later   entertained   to   a   talented   group   of   youngsters   who   were   part   of   the   Crystallite   Majorettes   from Letchworth.  This troupe can certainly twirl the pom-poms, as we saw! There   were   some   75   entries   in   the   Classic   Vehicles   Show   which   was   run   alongside the   Kite   Festival      A   number   of   the   classic   cars   were   eventually   shortlisted   for   a   prize and   the   selected   cars   were   processed   around   the   display   area   and   lined   up   ready for    the    drivers    to    be    interviewd    by    the    MC.        Eventually    the    winner’s    cup    was presented   to   John   Ives,   the   owner   of   a   beautiful   1955   Armstrong   Siddley   Sapphire limousine.      The   photo   shows   John   Ives   being   presented   with   the   cup   by   ADG   John Hammond   from   Rotary   District   1260   (left)   and   our   own   Royston   President   David Blundell (right). A   great   day   out   for   all   the   family   and   all   the   money   raised   will   benefit   charity,   especially   Acorn   House   (part   of   the   Sick   Children’s   Trust) which is Royston Rotary President David Blundell’s chosen charity for the  year. Grateful   thanks   must   go   to   all   Rotarians   and   their   partners   who   worked   so   hard   to   make   the   show   a   success.      Particular   praise   must go   to   Rotarian   Jonathon   Berks   who   organised   the   Kite   Festival   this   year,   and   to   Ray   Munden   who   organised   the   Classic   Vehicle   show.     Thanks also must go to Royston Scouts for their hard work in the heat on car parking duties and litter picking. Words   by   Tony   Briar,   photos   by   Neil   Heywood   and   Ray   Munden.      See   all   the   photos   of   the   Kite   Festival   and   Classic   Vehicle   Show   by clicking here.
10th August - Presentation of Cheque to Garden House Hospice
Music to Garden House Hospice Care’s ears When   the   Rotary   Club   of   Royston   heard   that   the   Garden   House   Hospice   Care   were raising    funds    for    Music    Therapy    sessions    it    immediately    decided    to    support    the initiative with a donation of £1000. Kash   Sharma,   Chair   of   Community   Service   for   the   club,   said   ‘We   frequently   support   the Garden   House   Hospice   care   as   a   deserving   local   charity   and   so   we   are   very   pleased   to be able to donate to this wonderful initiative’. Lisa    Seccombe,    Director    of    Fund    Raising,    Marketing    and    Communications    for    the Garden   House   Hospice   Care,   said   ‘We   appreciate   the   continual   support   we   get   from The   Rotary   Club   of   Royston   and   are   grateful   for   their   support   of   our   Music   Therapy sessions,    which    have    been    demonstrated    to    significantly    benefit    patients.    Our qualified   Music   Therapist,   provides   one-to-one   and   group   music   therapy   sessions   for patients.   Patients   can   choose   to   play   instruments,   sing   or   simply   listen   to   a   piece   of music.   They   can   then   discuss   the   feelings,   emotions   and   memories   the   music   invokes. Music   therapy   helps   improve   emotional   wellbeing,   promotes   relaxation   and   reduces   feelings   of   anxiety.      Our   Music   Therapist   also runs   an   in-house   choir   including   patients,   family   members   and   carers,   and   volunteers.   Such   support   makes   a   huge   difference   to   the local community of which we serve”. Words and picture by Ray Munden.
12th August - Monthly Walk Around Wicken Fen
A   good   turnout   for   the   August   walk   saw   20   people   take   a   leisurely   5   mile   stroll   around Wicken   Fen.   The   party   included   Jonathan   and   Lyn’s   family,   complete   with   18   month   old grandson,   Harrison.   Sophia,   daughter   of   Khalid   Daoudi   past   president   of      Paray   Rotary Club, also joined us before returning to Lyon the following day.   Wicken   Fen   is   such   a   special   habitat.   It   may   be   flat,   but   the   skies   can   be   dramatic   and   at this   time   of   the   year   there   are   plenty   of   dragonflies,   damsel   flies   and   butterflies   to   look out   for.   The   walk   took   us   past   the   Visitors’   Centre   and   right   onto   Adventurers’   Fen.   We followed   Wicken   Lode   to   the   footbridge   at   Reach   Lode.   A   left   turn   here   took   us   to   the junction   of   Reach   Lode   and   Burwell   Lode   where   we   stopped   for   a   break.   Ray   took   the opportunity to bird watch and spotted a Marsh Harrier in the distance.   We   continued   alongside   Burwell   Fen   until   we   reached   Cock-up   bridge,   a   swing   bridge   which,   when   lowered   over   the   lode,   can   be used   by   pedestrians,   horses,   cycles   and   vehicles.   This   was   supplemented   by   an   ugly   fixed   concrete   bridge   in   the   1990s   which,   as   the guidebook   says,   is   OK   for   pedestrians,   difficult   for   bicycles   and   impossible   for   horses   or   vehicles.   A   left   turn   took   us   along   Mark’s Lode with St Edmund’s Fen on the right and we followed this back to the National Trust car park.   The   Visitors’   Centre   is   well   worth   a   look   and   facilities   there   now   include   a   café   and   education   room   –   a   far   cry   from   the   ‘facilities’   that were   present   when   I   came   on   school   trips   in   the   1970s   and   1980s.   There   is   also   an   electric   boat   which   provides   a   very   pleasant   ride along the lode. Surrounded by magnificent swaying reeds you get a close up view of the wildlife.   Lunch   was   at   the   Maid’s   Head   in   Wicken   village.   This   is   a   large   pub   and   we   were   lucky   to   have   a   room   to   ourselves.   The   food   was good and the staff friendly and helpful. A lively Harrison kept us all amused! Words and photos by Clarice  
14th October - Annual Swimathon
This   annual   event   was   held   in   the   Royston   Leisure   centre   on   a   wet   and dismal   Sunday   evening.      Despite   the   rain   we   had   a   total   of   twelve   teams participating    spread    over    three    sessions.        Each    session    lasts    for    fifty minutes   and   each   team   has   to   swim   as   many   lengths   of   the   pool   as possible   in   that   session   but   with   only   one   team   member   swimming   at any time. There   were   a   total   of   sixty   swimmers   in   the   twelve   teams   and   the   total number   of   lengths   swum   was   1206.      It’s   too   early   to   say   how   much sponsorship   money   was   raised   by   the   teams   but   event   organiser   Howard   Peacock   expressed   his   satisfaction   at   how   smoothly   the event had gone to plan.  Howard also expresses his thanks to the army of Rotarian helpers and partners who assisted at the event.
14th October - Monthly Walk
What   a   day!   The   rain   had   lashed   down   all   through   the   night   and   only   eight   bedraggled   souls turned   out   for   this   October’s   walk.      But   with   waterproofs   on   (Jim   getting   a   little   assistance   with   this from   the   ladies)   the   party   set   off   from   the   Old   Bull   Inn   in   Royston,   heading   southward   up   the   hill to   the   hospital.      After   turning   west   a   further   long   climb   was   ahead   through   pathhways   taking   us eventually to the top of Therfield Heath. We   walked   westwards   through   the   woods   pretty   much   in   parallel   to   the   heath   and,   after   crossing the   Therfield   Road   eventually   came   out   at   the   top   of   Pen   Hill   where   we   stopped   for   a   well   earned coffee   break.      The   rain   appeared   to   have   eased   but   that   was   only   to   give   us   a   sense   of   false security   for   once   we   had   started   off   on   the   homeward   leg   over   the   Heath   (with   no   trees   for protection   this   time)   the   frequent   sharp   showers caught us all once again. Nevertheless,   a   pleasant   walk   of   just   over   5   miles   and   a   welcome   carvery   and drink at the Bull once we’d returned. Words by Tony Briar
End of September - Isle of Wight Walking Week
Northcourt  Manor Revisited Northcourt, for those who haven’t visited, is a handsome 3 storey Jacobean mansion hidden in a woody valley in the Isle of Wight. There are lots of bedrooms and bathrooms, a big kitchen and an enormous ballroom, lovely gardens, a good pub five minutes walk away, and a helpful landlord whose family had been smart enough to buy the place for less than £10,000 in the 60s. A bunch of Rotary monthly walkers went there last year and liked it so much, we decided to book in again this year – but this year, we booked a whole week (didn’t cost much more) so that those who had the time could do the full seven days. There were 19 of us, eight couples and three singletons. Peter and Sue Ross would have made it 21, had it not been for Peter’s serious accident. We missed them! Most of us arrived on Friday afternoon in time for tea and a lot of home-made cake (warning: there will be a lot of eating and drinking in this report) and then, after not very long, our first appointment: at the Crown at Shorwell where the food and beer were as good as we remembered from 2017. Saturday dawned grey and wet, and it must be recorded that not all of us were brave enough to pull on our boots and head for the great outdoors. Quite a few jumped in their cars and went sightseeing; several to Osborne, Queen Victoria’s country pile, and very impressive it was, even in the rain. Somehow or other our return trip took us back to the Crown (just checking that they were looking after their beer properly) in time to see the sodden walkers trudging back home for tea. Their spirits weren’t at all dampened; they’d had a lovely time, and later on, Clarice will tell you all about it. We had a festive dinner in the ballroom that evening, and serious inroads were made on the wine stocks. Another gloomy morning greeted us on Sunday. For some of us walking in such weather still failed to attract, and a surprising number were to be found instead visiting the island’s last few miles of steam hauled railway, where we puffed happily back and forth for an hour or so. Kash doesn’t approve of steam trains, we discovered; smelly and inefficient, he claimed. Then we dispersed to view other island delights such as the Garlic Farm (well worth the visit) and picturesque Ventnor, where the sun came out and the ice cream was good). When we returned to North Court the walkers were already back, and they had enjoyed an excellent day.  Dinner was a barbecue, thoughtfully purchased during the day by Ruth and Phillip, and expertly sizzled by the latter. Some more of the wine stocks were consumed as nearly everyone settled in front of the TV to watch the last episode of an unmissable (they all said) TV programme. Monday came next; your scribe and Sandra Scott had to head for the ferry and the M25. Just as the sun was coming out too. Most sensible souls were staying on for another few days, including the Wahlichs. Clarice now continues the saga……. By popular request we did the Tennyson Downs walk again on the Saturday. Using our bus passes (the youthful Sandra missed out here) we caught the bus from the village pub to Freshwater. The walk takes you over the Downs and to Needles. Unlike last year, when we had glorious sunshine, the walk started overcast and got much wetter. We did manage some spectacular sea views but the café at the NT battery was most welcome. As a measure of how wet we were, Jim’s walking trousers had become transparent! Fortunately, they dried out quickly. After lunch, and a very wet wait at the bus stop, we took the island Breezer to Yarmouth. It’s a nice place but we didn’t see it at its best. Two bus rides later and we arrived back at Northcourt for tea and cakes. Special mention must go to Kash who did the walk without a waterproof jacket relying on a big umbrella to stay dry! On Monday we did the Warrior Walk named after a local war horse that was exercised along the route. It began inland then followed the coast before returning inland to the National Trust’s Mottistone gardens. The weather was sunny and warm giving us fantastic sea views. The church at Brook  was interesting as we were able to have a go at bell ringing. Several of us followed the notes provided and one or two people even recognised the tune! Lunch was very pleasant.  At Mottistone we met up with Lyn and sat in the courtyard  eating our sandwiches before a quick stroll around the lovely gardens. After lunch we had a gentle walk, of about an hour, back through fields and woods. On Wednesday eight of us did a very good walk around Yarmouth. It was nice to enjoy the sunshine there after our soggy visit on Saturday. The walk was one Lyn had found in a newspaper. Sadly, Lyn and Jonathan were leaving that day so they didn’t get to experience it. It was a gentle stroll from the town, through fields and alongside the estuary. We had a quick stop coffee at the pub. Moving on,  were lucky enough to see some red squirrels playing in the trees. Lunch was at a converted railway station. The food was very good although the portions a bit larger than we had expected but we coped. After lunch the walk took us alongside the seawall where we could watch the sailing boats. The last stretch was through the  town passing some very nice buildings along the way. Once back at the cars it was boots off and on to the botanical gardens at Ventnor and some gentle walking to work off the lunch. Special thanks from us all to the organisers, especially to Peter and Barbara for planning and logistics, Clarice and John for masterminding the walks, and the several members who produced a lot of astonishing home bakery; not a soggy bottom between them. Wonder where we’ll go next year? Words by both Neil and Clarice.  Photos courtesy of Neil.  Click here to view all the pictures.
16th October - Presentation to Ken Charles for 40 years service
At   the   end   of   a   successful   partner’s   evening   we   were   delighted   to   see   our   long-standing member   Ken   Charles   being   presented   with   a   certificate   to   mark   40   years   of   service   with the Rotary Club of Royston. President   David   Blundell   listed   many   of   Ken’s   achievements   during   the   last   40   years.     He   had   joined   the   club   in   1978   and   became   president   in   the   year   1983/84;   he   was elected   Governor   of   Rotary   District   1080   in   1997/98   and   later   went   on   to   become   RIBI International   Chair   for   1   year   and   RIBI   Youth   Activities   Chair   for   2   years.      At   Royston, Ken   was   instrumental   in   introducing   various   annual   youth-centred   activities   to   the   club including   Youth   makes   Music,   Youth   Speaks   and   the   Technology   Tournament.      Ken   was also   active   in   the   Children   in   Need   charity   and   the   Kite   festival   as   well   as   founding   and publishing   the   monthly   Royston   Rotarian   magazine   since   1998   (with   the   active   support of wife Di). The    photo    shows    Ken    (right)    being    presented    with    his    certificate    by    1260    District Governor Dave Ford. In   Ken’s   reply,   he   thanked   all   concerned   and   passionately   emphasised   the   need   to continue   to   engage   fully   with   the   young   which   he   was   convinced   would   bring   ample reward both to Rotarians and to the youngsters involved.
7th November- “Youth Speaks”
Once     again     we     were     treated     to     some     entertaining     and     informative presentations    from    the    year    4    children    attending    five    of    the    local    first schools.      The   range   of   subjects   was   extensive   from   “World   War   2”   to   “Harry Potter”.      Many   of   the   presentations   were   done   in   groups   of   two   or   three   but eight   of   them   presented   bravely   on   their   own.      The   purpose   of   the   event   is   to give the children an early confidence of speaking in public to total strangers. The full list of presentations was as follows
Tannery Drift School
Icknield Walk School
St Mary’s School
Studland Rise School
Reed School
19th November - Presentation of Cheque to British Legion
This    morning    at    Royston    war    memorial    the    Royston    Rotary    Club presented   Chris   Murphy   of   Royal   British   Legion   with   a   donation   of £500   to   mark   the   centenary   of   the   Armistice   of   WW1.      Club   President David   Blundell   said   “It’s   a   time   when   we   all   remember   the   sacrifices made   in   two   world   wars   and   many   other   conflicts.      The   whole   club wanted   to   show   their   gratitude,   and   we   all   respect   the   invaluable work   the   British   Legion   does   for   our   veterans   and   their   families.      I know they will use our donation wisely.” Photo    shows    (l    to    r)    Neil    Guttridge    (Secretary),    David    Blundell (President),     Chris     Murphy     (British     Legion)     and     David     Smyth (Treasurer)  
16th/17th November - Children in Need Collection in Royston
The   annual   Children   in   Need   collection   was   held   on   these   two   days   to   co-incide   with   the   BBC’s national   appeal.      Many   Rotarians   braved   the   biting   wind   to   stand   outside   Royston   Tesco   and   also up and down Royston High Street. As   usual,   Roystonians   were   most   generous   and   organiser   Rotarian   Jonathan   Berks   has   reported that   the   amazing   sum   of   £3,309   was   collected.      This   complete   sum   is   being   sent   to   the   BBC Children In Need Appeal fund. The picture shows Rotarian Clarice Wahlich in the guise of Pudsey Bear outside Tesco.
13th Oct - A Very Special Wedding
A   very   special   wedding   ceremony   took   place   between   two   of   our   Royston   Rotarians   at   Fanhams Hall,   near   Ware.      The   bridegroom   Mike   Day   was   marrying   Nichola   Sharpe   at   this   beautiful   and romantic   Jacobean   mansion,   tucked   away   in   the   Hertfordshire   countryside.      It   is   a   beautiful   location where   brides   and   grooms   can   get   married,   enjoy   their   wedding   celebrations   and   afterwards   have some breathtaking photos taken in the vast grounds. The   wedding   was   a   black   tie   event   and   everybody dressed   beautifully   for   the   ceremony   which   was held   in   the   Oak   Room.      Derek   the   bride’s   dad,   was on    a    mobility    scooter    and    unfortunately    was unable   to   walk   Nichola   the   whole   length   of   the aisle   so   her   two   sons   Chris   and   Paul   walked   her three   quarters   of   the   way   and   then   Derek   walked   her   the   last   part.   It   was   a   beautiful moment   that   really   touched   the   heart,      Mike   was   very   emotional   and   Nichola   looked absolutely stunning. The ceremony was performed by Richard Edwards from Hertford Registry Office. After   the   ceremony   the   couple   had   their   reception   drinks   in   this   amazing   room   and   had   their   first   dance   together   as   husband   and wife   to   the   Shadows   4-piece   tribute   group   The   Runaways   who   really   got   the   crowd   going.   The   plastic   guitars   came   out   and   people joined in and interacted with the band. What a great day so much laughter Mike and Nichola later honeymooned in Cyprus.
8th December - Decorate Christmas Trees at St George’s Nusing Home
A   small   band   of   Rotarians   descended   on   St.   George’s   Nursing   Home   in   Royston   today   to   provide some   festive   decoration   for   the   residents.      This   is   an   annual   event   for   our   Rotary   Club   and   we derive as much pleasure out of it as the residen’ts themselves. We   usually   put   up   and   decorate   three   separate   trees   in   the   nursing   home   in   various   communal areas   and   are   often   rewarded   with   some   warm   mince   pies   and   sherry.      This   year   was   no exception.      Our   photo   shows   the   lovely   Rina   from   St   George’s   in   front   of   one   of   the   trees   and about to dispense some Christmas fare to us. Many thanks to Rotarian Bryony for once again organising this.
9th December - December Walk
Our   walk   this   month   was   ably   organised   by   David   Beardwell   and   he   kept   with   tradition by not leading us on too gruelling a walk in the lead up to Christmas. We   met   up   outside   the   stable   block   at   Wimpole   Estate   and   walked   via   Wimpole   Church to   admire   the   many   monuments   to   the   Yorke   family   who   owned   Wimpole   Hall   in   the seventeenth   and   eighteenth   centuries.      The   church   is   interesting   to   visit   but   does   not belong to the National Trust, rather it belongs to the benefice of nearby Orwell parish. Leaving   the   church,   we   headed   westwards   past   the   front   of   the   Hall   and   followed   the many   pathways   and   tracks   on   the   estate   before   arriving   at   the   recently   refurbished Folly   which   stands   on   a   hill   at   the   north   end   of   the   estate.      By   this   time   the   sun   had made   an   appearance   so   we   settled   down   to   a   welcome   break   here,   drinking   in   both   the coffee   and   the   view.   A   less   energetic   walk   took   us   back   to   the   stable   block   again   but   via a   different   route   and   those   among   us   who   had   walkmeters   had   clocked   almost   exactly three miles. We   repaired   back   to   David’s   and   Liz’s   home   in   Royston   where   we   were   tempted   by   three   different   hot   soups   followed   by   cheese   and biscuits, mince pies and cake.  A jolly time was had by all - thank you Liz and David and all your other helpers.
11th December - Christmas Dinner at Madingley Hall
The   club   held   its   annual   Christmas   Dinner   at   the   fine   Jacobean   mansion   of   Madingley   Hall,   near   Cambridge.      And   didn’t   the   Rotarians and   their   partners   scrub   up   well   for   it!      Although   intended   to   be   a   black   tie   event   there   were   many   more   striped,   Christmassy   or   just bright coloured bow ties than conventional black ones - a sign of the times perhaps or maybe of the Christmas spirit creeping in. We   met   in   one   of   the   upstairs   reception   rooms   where   we   were   treated   to   a   welcome   glass   of   bubbly   and   entertained   by   the   excellent live   music   of   Simply   Reeds.      We   had   time   to   chat   with   one   another   for   half   an   hour   or   so   before   the   call   for   “dinner   is   served”, whereupon   we   trooped   downstairs   to   the   main   dining   room   to   be   seated   in   tables   of   eight   but,   thoughtfully,   able   to   pick   our   seating companions rather than have a fixed place setting. Following   grace   President   David   presented   a   Paul   Harris   Fellowship   award to   our   club   secretary   Neil   Guttridge.      This   was   a   very   popular   award   and richly   deserved   for   all   the   hard   work   that   Neil   has   performed   for   the   club over    the    years.        Our    photo    shows    President    David    (left)    presenting    the certificate with Neil’s wife Annette looking on. We   had   pre-ordered   our   three-course   meal   a   week   or   so   earlier   and   many   people   had   opted   for   the   traditional   Christmas   menu.     When   our   choices   were   served   at   the   table   they   lived   up   our   expectations,   such   that   when   the   coffee   arrived   at   the   end   of   the   meal we all knew that we’d had a fine feast! Much   thanks   must   go   to   Martin   and   Josephine   for   all   the   organisation   and   preparation   for   this   event.      One   of   the   best   Christmas dinners we’ve had for a while, this scribe believes. Words by Tony Briar, Photos by Ray Munden.  To see all the photos, click here.
13th January - Monthly Walk
Keen   to   shake   off   the   Christmas   excesses   a   very   good   turnout   of   21,   plus   dog,   met behind the Old Bull Inn for the January Hidden Secrets walk. The   walk   never   strayed   more   than   around   half   a   mile   from   the   town   and   yet   the   group was   still   frequently   amongst   trees   and   out   in   lovely   countryside   with   beautiful   views.     The   total   walk   was   4.7   miles   but   a   few   walkers   took   advantage   of   the   many   exit   points and   shortened   their   journey,   paying   the   Old   Bull   Inn   an   early   visit   for   coffee   or   other refreshment. We   walked   through   “The   Plantation”,   a   wooded   area   within   the   town   boundaries.      In   the   summer with   the   trees   in   full   leaf   you   can   hardly   see   the   nearby   houses,   in   winter   they   are   not   quite   so hidden   but   still   a   very   pleasant   walk.      From   there   we   headed   out   towards   Burloes   Hall   and   then across   to   pass   by   the   fields   where   Sandra   keeps   her   Alpacas,   which   were   on   view.      A   footpath was   then   followed   across   country   towards   the   south   side   of   Royston,   stopping   for   coffee   at   a point   where   we   had   a   wonderful   view   across   the   countryside.      Crossing   over   the   A10   we   followed a   path   alongside   Royse   Grove,   skirting   the   infamous   field   where   Gladman   want   to   build   over   100 houses behind Ray and Joan’s house! Returning   to   the   Old   Bull   Inn   along   Sun   Hill   some   walkers   took   the   short   cut,   missing   out   on   a diversion   through   some   trees   into   Layston   Park, where   there   was   an   entertaining   use   of   wellington boots on display. Finally   all   walkers   were   reunited   at   the   Old   Bull   Inn   where   we   were   treated   to   some lovely   food   and   a   lot   of   lively   conversation   (Brexit   being   studiously   avoided!).      It   was   a lovely   walk,   made   all   the   better   by   the   mild   weather   and   the   lack   of   rain   having   made it quite dry under foot. Words and pictures by Ray Munden
17th January - Presentation Cheque to The Sick Children’s Trust
 President David Blundell writes: Diane   and   I   recently   had   the   pleasure   of   a   lunch   at   Madingley   Hall, where   we   presented   on   behalf   of   Royston   Rotary   a   cheque   for   £5,000 to    Acorn    House,    my    chosen    charity    for    this    year.        “Acorn    House provides   through   The   Sick   Children’s   Trust   a   “home   from   home”   for   the parents   and   carers   of   very   sick   children   being   treated   at   Addenbrooke’s Hospital.   It   has   15   family   rooms   as   well   as   a   fully   equipped   laundry, playrooms    and    a    children’s    garden.    The    adjoining    Chestnut    House, which    is    also    supported    by    the    Trust,    accommodates    parents    with seriously ill newborn babies. It’s   been   a   pleasure   to   meet   some   of   Acorn’s   staff   and   supporters   over the   past   few   months;   one   of   them   has   been   the   redoubtable   Dame Mary   Archer   and   part   of   the   afternoon’s   “entertainment”   at   Madingley   was   Dame   Mary’s   recollection   of   a   remarkable   life.   Apparently, she   first   realised   she   wanted   to   become   a   scientist   when   as   a   little   girl   she   tied   a   worm   into   a   knot   as   an   experiment   to   see   if   it   could unravel   itself.   In   later   life   she   married   a   leading   athlete   (what   was   that   chap’s   name   again?),   lectured   in   chemistry   at   Cambridge   and, among   many   other   achievements,   became   a   director   of   the   Fitzwilliam,   a   member   of   the   Council   at   Lloyd’s   and   chairman   of   the Cambridge   University   Hospitals   Foundation   Trust.         Oh,   and   in   case   you   were   wondering,   that   worm   never   did   succeed   in   undoing itself. The   afternoon   also   included   an   entertaining   talk   by   the   writer   and   broadcaster   Hugo   Vickers,   an   expert   on   the   Royal   Family   and   its history. Pictured   are   Royston   Rotary   President   David   Blundell   and   wife   Diane,   Patsy   Glazebrook,   Vice   President   of   the   Cambridge   Fundraising Committee of The Sick Children’s Trust, Neil Guttridge, Secretary of Royston Rotary and Neil’s wife Annette.
26th January - Presentation of Cleaning Materials to Acorn House
Following    a    cry    for    help    from    Acorn    House    for    a    range    of    various    cleaning    and    toiletry products,    the    Royston    Rotarians    individually    collected    together    a    wide    range    of    these necessities.      Our   photo   shows   Rotarians   Mike   and   Nichola   Day   who   presented   the   hoard   to   a grateful member of Acorn House. Acorn   House   is   President   David’s   chosen   charity   for   the   year   and   is   part   of   The   Sick   Childrens Trust    which   provides   a   “home   from   home”   for   the   parents   and   carers   of   very   sick   children being treated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.
26th January - Presentation of Cheque to Embocraft
Royston   Rotary   Club   has   made   a   further   donation   of   £500   to   the   Embocraft   Training   Centre   Trust   located   in   Kwa   Zulu-Natal.     Embocraft    trains    students    over    a    15    week    course    on    sewing    machines    to    enable    them    to    learn    a    life    skill    and    to    become independent.      This   donation   will   provide   for   five   machines   which   the   students   are   presented   with   upon   completion   and   they   can   go home and work at sewing for their community and family. Linda   Venton,   CEO   of   the   Embocraft   Training   Centre   Trust   writes   It   is   always   such   a   joy   to   see   the   students   graduate   and   when   we   are able   to   give   them   a   sewing   machine   to   take   home   their   joy   is   overwhelming.      Your   donation   received   will   pay   for   5   of   these   machines   which will uplift and empower the students in that they can go home and work at sewing for the community and families.  We   are   hoping   to   secure   further   funding   for   the   balance   of   5   machines   which   will   mean   all   10   students   will   be   able   to   continue   with   their newly   acquired   skill   with   us.   Its   so   wonderful   that   you   will   be   part   of   this   and   your   club   will   be   part   of   the   sponsors   on   the   certificate.      The students   pay   R250.00   [about   £14]   registration   fee   for   their   15   day   course.   As   these   people   are   all   unemployed   even   finding   this   small amount is sometimes extremely difficult. Click here to see some of Embocraft’s recent successes,
29th January - New Rotarian Induction
President   David   Blundell   had   the   pleasure   of   inducting   a   new   member, Kasifa   Puffett,   into   Royston   Rotary.      Kassifa   has   been   a   guest   at   the   club a   number   of   times   previously   and   obviously   hasn’t   been   too   put   off   by our   sometimes   raucous   company!      She   will   be   mentored   by   Rotarian Nichola Day and will serve on the Community Service committee. The   photo   shows   President   David   (left)   formally   inducting   Kasifa   into Rotary, with her sponsor Rotarian Len Bell shown on the right
26th June - Changeover Dinner at Madingley Hall
Changeover    Dinner    is    our    annual    event    to    celebrate    the    changing    of    our current   president   of   the   club   to   the   new   president   for   the   coming   Rotary   year (effective   1st   July).      It’s   also   an   excuse   for   Rotarians   and   their   partners   and guests   to   dress   up   in   their   finery   and   enjoy   a   pleasant   evening   with   good   food and in the company of friends. This   year   the   event   was   held   at   Madingley   Hall   near   Cambridge   and   was   the   first   time   the   club   had visited   there   which   proved   to   be   an   inspired   choice.      The   hall   is   set   in   beautiful   surroundings   and the   perfect   weather   showed   it   off   at   its   best.      A   few   Rotarians   were   unfortunately   delayed   by traffic   so   our   meal   was   postponed   until   8pm   to   allow   for   everyone   to   be   present;   but   the   catering staff were easily up to this challenge and the food courses were both timely and delicious. With   the   meal   over,   outgoing   President   Graeme   Dargie   thanked   all   who   had   supported   and assisted   him   over   the   last   12   months,   particularly   his   wife   Linda   (to   great   applause).      He   then proceeded    to    formally    hand    over    the    chain    of    office    to    our    new    President,    David    Blundell.      President   David   made   his   acceptance   speech   before   handing   over   the   vice   president’s   chain   to Martin Berry who, in turn presented the junior vice president chain to Nichola Sharpe. With   the   formalities   now   over,   Rotarians   mingled   with   all   the   other   guests,   some   of   whom   had   travelled   a   long   distance   to   be   there, and many who had had long associations with the club.  A really great evening to celebrate our changeover. Words by Tony Briar, Photos mainly by Ray Munden.  To see all the photos, click here.
New President David with wife Diane
8th July - Monthly Walk
We   had   a   glorious   English   summer   day   for   this   6.6   Km.   walk.   Hats   and   sun-cream were   necessary.   Had   we   given   some   thought   to   how   hot   it   was   going   to   be   we   might have   taken   swimwear   too   for   a   refreshing   paddle   in   Ashwell   springs.      From   the   lovely village   of   Hinxworth   we   strolled   to   Ashwell   and   did   enjoy   a   rest   by   the   springs.   But there   were   a   number   of   families   messing   about   in   the   water   so   poor   Emmi,   the Kelly’s lively Labrador had to make do with a paddle on her lead. As   we   neared   the   end   of   our   walk   we   stopped   by   the   medieval   Hinxworth   Place   and admired   the   sculptures   in   the   garden.   The   sculptor’s   wife   greeted   us   and   invited   us   to look   around   the   garden.   She   also   kindly   fetched   a   bowl   of   water   for   Emmi.   The walkers   who   also   needed   a   drink      had   to   wait   another   ten   minutes   until   we   arrived   at the   Three   Horseshoes.      This   pub   is   well   worth   a   visit.   The   food   and   the   service   was excellent. We enjoyed a most congenial lunch in the shady garden. We   were   eleven   in   the   group   including   regular   walkers   Jim   and   Sephrone   Webb;   Ray   and   Joan   Munden;   Peter   Ross;   Sandra   Scott   and John   and   Jennifer   Kelly.   We   had   a   very   special   guest   walker   with   us.   Sophia   Daoudi   from   Paray   le   Monial   who   is   working   in   Cambridge for   three   months.   She   is   a   charming   young   lady   who   intends   to   come   on   the   August   walk.   John   Kelly   had   also   invited   along   Keith   and Marian Taylor. All told it was a very relaxing and enjoyable day. Words, pictures and walk arrangements by John Kelly
15th July - President’s “Hello”
It’s   a   Royston   Rotary   Club   tradition   that   a   new   President   for   the   year   entertains   the   club   members   and   their   partners   to   a   social event   sometime   shortly   after   his   or   her   appointment.      This   year   was   no   exception   and   our   new   President   David   and   his   wife   Diane invited us all to their lovely home in Melbourn on a beautifully sunny afternoon. Of   course,   the   whole   event   was   held   in   the   garden   where   a   lot   of   preparation   had   obviously   been undertaken   with   gazebos,   awnings   and   plenty   of   tables   and   chairs.      David   had   even   arranged   for   an outside bar in the confines of a garden shed - eminently practical! Approximately   40   Rotarians   and   their   partners   were   present   in   addition   to   10   friends,   helpers   and family   so   the   conversation   was   animated   and   it   was   pleasant   to   chat   with   people   one   hadn’t   seen for    a    while.        However,    the    talking    had    to    be    cut    short    once    it    was announced   that   the   food   was   ready   and   we   all   admired   the   array   of   food on offer - even more so with the sweet course which followed.  Throughout   the   afternoon   we   were   entertained   to   old   78rpm   vinyl   jazz   records   on   a   genuine   wind-up gramaphone.      Our   resident   DJ   was   David’s   son   in   law,   Brent,   who   apparantly   has   a   massive   collection   of vintage   records.      Your   reporter   was   quite   taken   with   the   very   effective   and   responsive   volume   control   in the form of a large duster pushed up the horn to quieten the sound where necessary. Mention   and   thanks   for   the   delicious   food   must   go   to   Diane,   Ann   Bannister,   Liz   Beardwell,   Linda   Berks,   Jo Mellor,   Di   Charles,   Linda   Dargie,   Pat   Easthope,   Lesley   Izod,   Barbara   Mitton,   Glynis   Smith,   Clarice   Wahlich, Sephrone   Webb,   Annie   Whittaker   and   Polly   Hardy.      There   were   also   welcome   contributions   of   chocolates and wine.  My apologies if I have left anyone out. A great afternoon and special thanks to David and Diane for hosting and arranging.
5th August - Annual Kite Festival and Classic Vehicle Show
A   brilliantly   sunny   day   for   this   annual   event   held   as   usual   on   The   Heath   and   we estimate   that   over   six   thousand   people   from   the   Royston   area   attended.      Ice   cream vendors   did   a   roaring   trade   and   the   fresh   fruit   juice   stall   was   sold   out   by   early afternoon,   such   was   the   demand.      The   show   was   opened   by   Royston   Town   Mayor, Cllr   Iain   Leggett   and   the   photo   shows   him   with   Royston   Rotary   President   David Blundell,   DG   Dave   Ford   from   Rotary   District   1260   and   Royston   Town   Crier   Graham Pfaff. Although   very   hot,   the   wind   was   a   bit   temperamental   and   there   were   long   periods   in the   morning   when   the   lack   of   it   stopped   the   professional   kite   fliers   from   showing   their skills;   but   the   wind   picked   up   in   the   afternoon   so   a   spectacular   show   of   kite   flying   was put   on   by   the   various   clubs.      Many   children   even   got   to   see   their   beloved   teddy   bears do a long-awaited parachute drop from a kite (see picture). Apart   from   the   kite   flying   we   had   children’s   face   painting,   a   kite-making   workshop   run   by   the   Lions   Club   and,   of   course,   Royston Rotary   Club’s   famous   tombola   tent   with   in   excess   of   five   hundred   different   prizes.      All   this   plus   various   stalls   and   sideshows   and,   not forgetting the bouncy castle and childrens roundabout In   the   display   area   we   were   later   entertained   to   a   talented   group   of   youngsters   who   were   part   of   the   Crystallite   Majorettes   from Letchworth.  This troupe can certainly twirl the pom-poms, as we saw! There   were   some   75   entries   in   the   Classic   Vehicles   Show   which   was   run   alongside the   Kite   Festival      A   number   of   the   classic   cars   were   eventually   shortlisted   for   a   prize and   the   selected   cars   were   processed   around   the   display   area   and   lined   up   ready for    the    drivers    to    be    interviewd    by    the    MC.        Eventually    the    winner’s    cup    was presented   to   John   Ives,   the   owner   of   a   beautiful   1955   Armstrong   Siddley   Sapphire limousine.      The   photo   shows   John   Ives   being   presented   with   the   cup   by   ADG   John Hammond   from   Rotary   District   1260   (left)   and   our   own   Royston   President   David Blundell (right). A   great   day   out   for   all   the   family   and   all   the   money   raised   will   benefit   charity,   especially   Acorn   House   (part   of   the   Sick   Children’s   Trust) which is Royston Rotary President David Blundell’s chosen charity for the  year. Grateful   thanks   must   go   to   all   Rotarians   and   their   partners   who   worked   so   hard   to   make   the   show   a   success.      Particular   praise   must go   to   Rotarian   Jonathon   Berks   who   organised   the   Kite   Festival   this   year,   and   to   Ray   Munden   who   organised   the   Classic   Vehicle   show.   Thanks also must go to Royston Scouts for their hard work in the heat on car parking duties and litter picking. Words   by   Tony   Briar,   photos   by   Neil   Heywood   and   Ray   Munden.      See   all   the   photos   of   the   Kite   Festival   and   Classic   Vehicle   Show   by clicking here.
10th August - Presentation of Cheque to Garden House Hospice
Music to Garden House Hospice Care’s ears When   the   Rotary   Club   of   Royston   heard   that   the   Garden   House   Hospice   Care   were raising    funds    for    Music    Therapy    sessions    it    immediately    decided    to    support    the initiative with a donation of £1000. Kash   Sharma,   Chair   of   Community   Service   for   the   club,   said   ‘We   frequently   support   the Garden   House   Hospice   care   as   a   deserving   local   charity   and   so   we   are   very   pleased   to be able to donate to this wonderful initiative’. Lisa    Seccombe,    Director    of    Fund    Raising,    Marketing    and    Communications    for    the Garden   House   Hospice   Care,   said   ‘We   appreciate   the   continual   support   we   get   from The   Rotary   Club   of   Royston   and   are   grateful   for   their   support   of   our   Music   Therapy sessions,    which    have    been    demonstrated    to    significantly    benefit    patients.    Our qualified   Music   Therapist,   provides   one-to-one   and   group   music   therapy   sessions   for patients.   Patients   can   choose   to   play   instruments,   sing   or   simply   listen   to   a   piece   of music.   They   can   then   discuss   the   feelings,   emotions   and   memories   the   music   invokes. Music   therapy   helps   improve   emotional   wellbeing,   promotes   relaxation   and   reduces   feelings   of   anxiety.      Our   Music   Therapist   also runs   an   in-house   choir   including   patients,   family   members   and   carers,   and   volunteers.   Such   support   makes   a   huge   difference   to   the local community of which we serve”. Words and picture by Ray Munden.
12th August - Monthly Walk Around Wicken Fen
A   good   turnout   for   the   August   walk   saw   20   people   take   a   leisurely   5   mile   stroll   around Wicken   Fen.   The   party   included   Jonathan   and   Lyn’s   family,   complete   with   18   month   old grandson,   Harrison.   Sophia,   daughter   of   Khalid   Daoudi   past   president   of      Paray   Rotary Club, also joined us before returning to Lyon the following day.   Wicken   Fen   is   such   a   special   habitat.   It   may   be   flat,   but   the   skies   can   be   dramatic   and   at   this time   of   the   year   there   are   plenty   of   dragonflies,   damsel   flies   and   butterflies   to   look   out   for. The   walk   took   us   past   the   Visitors’   Centre   and   right   onto   Adventurers’   Fen.   We   followed Wicken   Lode   to   the   footbridge   at   Reach   Lode.   A   left   turn   here   took   us   to   the   junction   of Reach   Lode   and   Burwell   Lode   where   we   stopped   for   a   break.   Ray   took   the   opportunity   to bird watch and spotted a Marsh Harrier in the distance.   We   continued   alongside   Burwell   Fen   until   we   reached   Cock-up   bridge,   a   swing   bridge   which,   when   lowered   over   the   lode,   can   be used   by   pedestrians,   horses,   cycles   and   vehicles.   This   was   supplemented   by   an   ugly   fixed   concrete   bridge   in   the   1990s   which,   as   the guidebook   says,   is   OK   for   pedestrians,   difficult   for   bicycles   and   impossible   for   horses   or   vehicles.   A   left   turn   took   us   along   Mark’s Lode with St Edmund’s Fen on the right and we followed this back to the National Trust car park.   The   Visitors’   Centre   is   well   worth   a   look   and   facilities   there   now   include   a   café   and   education   room   –   a   far   cry   from   the   ‘facilities’   that were   present   when   I   came   on   school   trips   in   the   1970s   and   1980s.   There   is   also   an   electric   boat   which   provides   a   very   pleasant   ride along the lode. Surrounded by magnificent swaying reeds you get a close up view of the wildlife.   Lunch   was   at   the   Maid’s   Head   in   Wicken   village.   This   is   a   large   pub   and   we   were   lucky   to   have   a   room   to   ourselves.   The   food   was good and the staff friendly and helpful. A lively Harrison kept us all amused! Words and photos by Clarice  
14th October - Annual Swimathon
This   annual   event   was   held   in   the   Royston   Leisure   centre   on   a   wet   and dismal   Sunday   evening.      Despite   the   rain   we   had   a   total   of   twelve   teams participating    spread    over    three    sessions.        Each    session    lasts    for    fifty minutes   and   each   team   has   to   swim   as   many   lengths   of   the   pool   as possible   in   that   session   but   with   only   one   team   member   swimming   at any time. There   were   a   total   of   sixty   swimmers   in   the   twelve   teams   and   the   total number   of   lengths   swum   was   1206.      It’s   too   early   to   say   how   much sponsorship   money   was   raised   by   the   teams   but   event   organiser   Howard   Peacock   expressed   his   satisfaction   at   how   smoothly   the event had gone to plan.  Howard also expresses his thanks to the army of Rotarian helpers and partners who assisted at the event.
14th October - Monthly Walk
What   a   day!   The   rain   had   lashed   down   all   through   the   night   and   only   eight   bedraggled   souls   turned out   for   this   October’s   walk.      But   with   waterproofs   on   (Jim   getting   a   little   assistance   with   this   from the   ladies)   the   party   set   off   from   the   Old   Bull   Inn   in   Royston,   heading   southward   up   the   hill   to   the hospital.        After    turning    west    a    further    long    climb    was    ahead    through    pathhways    taking    us eventually to the top of Therfield Heath. We   walked   westwards   through   the   woods   pretty   much   in   parallel   to   the   heath   and,   after   crossing the   Therfield   Road   eventually   came   out   at   the   top   of   Pen   Hill   where   we   stopped   for   a   well   earned coffee break.  The rain appeared to have eased but that was only to give us a sense of false security for   once   we   had   started   off   on   the   homeward   leg   over   the   Heath   (with   no   trees   for   protection   this time)   the   frequent   sharp   showers   caught   us   all once again. Nevertheless,   a   pleasant   walk   of   just   over   5   miles   and   a   welcome   carvery   and drink at the Bull once we’d returned. Words by Tony Briar
End of September - Isle of Wight Walking Week
Northcourt  Manor Revisited Northcourt, for those who haven’t visited, is a handsome 3 storey Jacobean mansion hidden in a woody valley in the Isle of Wight. There are lots of bedrooms and bathrooms, a big kitchen and an enormous ballroom, lovely gardens, a good pub five minutes walk away, and a helpful landlord whose family had been smart enough to buy the place for less than £10,000 in the 60s. A bunch of Rotary monthly walkers went there last year and liked it so much, we decided to book in again this year – but this year, we booked a whole week (didn’t cost much more) so that those who had the time could do the full seven days. There were 19 of us, eight couples and three singletons. Peter and Sue Ross would have made it 21, had it not been for Peter’s serious accident. We missed them! Most of us arrived on Friday afternoon in time for tea and a lot of home-made cake (warning: there will be a lot of eating and drinking in this report) and then, after not very long, our first appointment: at the Crown at Shorwell where the food and beer were as good as we remembered from 2017. Saturday dawned grey and wet, and it must be recorded that not all of us were brave enough to pull on our boots and head for the great outdoors. Quite a few jumped in their cars and went sightseeing; several to Osborne, Queen Victoria’s country pile, and very impressive it was, even in the rain. Somehow or other our return trip took us back to the Crown (just checking that they were looking after their beer properly) in time to see the sodden walkers trudging back home for tea. Their spirits weren’t at all dampened; they’d had a lovely time, and later on, Clarice will tell you all about it. We had a festive dinner in the ballroom that evening, and serious inroads were made on the wine stocks. Another gloomy morning greeted us on Sunday. For some of us walking in such weather still failed to attract, and a surprising number were to be found instead visiting the island’s last few miles of steam hauled railway, where we puffed happily back and forth for an hour or so. Kash doesn’t approve of steam trains, we discovered; smelly and inefficient, he claimed. Then we dispersed to view other island delights such as the Garlic Farm (well worth the visit) and picturesque Ventnor, where the sun came out and the ice cream was good). When we returned to North Court the walkers were already back, and they had enjoyed an excellent day.  Dinner was a barbecue, thoughtfully purchased during the day by Ruth and Phillip, and expertly sizzled by the latter. Some more of the wine stocks were consumed as nearly everyone settled in front of the TV to watch the last episode of an unmissable (they all said) TV programme. Monday came next; your scribe and Sandra Scott had to head for the ferry and the M25. Just as the sun was coming out too. Most sensible souls were staying on for another few days, including the Wahlichs. Clarice now continues the saga……. By popular request we did the Tennyson Downs walk again on the Saturday. Using our bus passes (the youthful Sandra missed out here) we caught the bus from the village pub to Freshwater. The walk takes you over the Downs and to Needles. Unlike last year, when we had glorious sunshine, the walk started overcast and got much wetter. We did manage some spectacular sea views but the café at the NT battery was most welcome. As a measure of how wet we were, Jim’s walking trousers had become transparent! Fortunately, they dried out quickly. After lunch, and a very wet wait at the bus stop, we took the island Breezer to Yarmouth. It’s a nice place but we didn’t see it at its best. Two bus rides later and we arrived back at Northcourt for tea and cakes. Special mention must go to Kash who did the walk without a waterproof jacket relying on a big umbrella to stay dry! On Monday we did the Warrior Walk named after a local war horse that was exercised along the route. It began inland then followed the coast before returning inland to the National Trust’s Mottistone gardens. The weather was sunny and warm giving us fantastic sea views. The church at Brook  was interesting as we were able to have a go at bell ringing. Several of us followed the notes provided and one or two people even recognised the tune! Lunch was very pleasant.  At Mottistone we met up with Lyn and sat in the courtyard  eating our sandwiches before a quick stroll around the lovely gardens. After lunch we had a gentle walk, of about an hour, back through fields and woods. On Wednesday eight of us did a very good walk around Yarmouth. It was nice to enjoy the sunshine there after our soggy visit on Saturday. The walk was one Lyn had found in a newspaper. Sadly, Lyn and Jonathan were leaving that day so they didn’t get to experience it. It was a gentle stroll from the town, through fields and alongside the estuary. We had a quick stop coffee at the pub. Moving on,  were lucky enough to see some red squirrels playing in the trees. Lunch was at a converted railway station. The food was very good although the portions a bit larger than we had expected but we coped. After lunch the walk took us alongside the seawall where we could watch the sailing boats. The last stretch was through the  town passing some very nice buildings along the way. Once back at the cars it was boots off and on to the botanical gardens at Ventnor and some gentle walking to work off the lunch. Special thanks from us all to the organisers, especially to Peter and Barbara for planning and logistics, Clarice and John for masterminding the walks, and the several members who produced a lot of astonishing home bakery; not a soggy bottom between them. Wonder where we’ll go next year? Words by both Neil and Clarice.  Photos courtesy of Neil.  Click here to view all the pictures.
16th October - Presentation to Ken Charles for 40 years service
At   the   end   of   a   successful   partner’s   evening   we   were   delighted   to   see   our   long-standing member   Ken   Charles   being   presented   with   a   certificate   to   mark   40   years   of   service   with the Rotary Club of Royston. President   David   Blundell   listed   many   of   Ken’s   achievements   during   the   last   40   years.     He   had   joined   the   club   in   1978   and   became   president   in   the   year   1983/84;   he   was elected   Governor   of   Rotary   District   1080   in   1997/98   and   later   went   on   to   become   RIBI International   Chair   for   1   year   and   RIBI   Youth   Activities   Chair   for   2   years.      At   Royston, Ken   was   instrumental   in   introducing   various   annual   youth-centred   activities   to   the   club including   Youth   makes   Music,   Youth   Speaks   and   the   Technology   Tournament.      Ken   was also   active   in   the   Children   in   Need   charity   and   the   Kite   festival   as   well   as   founding   and publishing   the   monthly   Royston   Rotarian   magazine   since   1998   (with   the   active   support of wife Di). The    photo    shows    Ken    (right)    being    presented    with    his    certificate    by    1260    District Governor Dave Ford. In   Ken’s   reply,   he   thanked   all   concerned   and   passionately   emphasised   the   need   to continue   to   engage   fully   with   the   young   which   he   was   convinced   would   bring   ample reward both to Rotarians and to the youngsters involved.
7th November- “Youth Speaks”
Once     again     we     were     treated     to     some     entertaining     and     informative presentations    from    the    year    4    children    attending    five    of    the    local    first schools.      The   range   of   subjects   was   extensive   from   “World   War   2”   to   “Harry Potter”.      Many   of   the   presentations   were   done   in   groups   of   two   or   three   but eight   of   them   presented   bravely   on   their   own.      The   purpose   of   the   event   is   to give the children an early confidence of speaking in public to total strangers. The full list of presentations was as follows
Tannery Drift School
Icknield Walk School
St Mary’s School
Studland Rise School
Reed School
19th November - Presentation of Cheque to British Legion
This    morning    at    Royston    war    memorial    the    Royston    Rotary    Club presented   Chris   Murphy   of   Royal   British   Legion   with   a   donation   of £500   to   mark   the   centenary   of   the   Armistice   of   WW1.      Club   President David   Blundell   said   “It’s   a   time   when   we   all   remember   the   sacrifices made   in   two   world   wars   and   many   other   conflicts.      The   whole   club wanted   to   show   their   gratitude,   and   we   all   respect   the   invaluable work   the   British   Legion   does   for   our   veterans   and   their   families.      I know they will use our donation wisely.” Photo    shows    (l    to    r)    Neil    Guttridge    (Secretary),    David    Blundell (President),     Chris     Murphy     (British     Legion)     and     David     Smyth (Treasurer)  
16th/17th November - Children in Need Collection in Royston
The   annual   Children   in   Need   collection   was   held   on   these   two   days   to   co-incide   with   the   BBC’s national   appeal.      Many   Rotarians   braved   the   biting   wind   to   stand   outside   Royston   Tesco   and   also up and down Royston High Street. As   usual,   Roystonians   were   most   generous   and   organiser   Rotarian   Jonathan   Berks   has   reported that   the   amazing   sum   of   £3,309   was   collected.      This   complete   sum   is   being   sent   to   the   BBC Children In Need Appeal fund. The picture shows Rotarian Clarice Wahlich in the guise of Pudsey Bear outside Tesco.
13th Oct - A Very Special Wedding
A   very   special   wedding   ceremony   took   place   between   two   of   our   Royston   Rotarians   at   Fanhams Hall,   near   Ware.      The   bridegroom   Mike   Day   was   marrying   Nichola   Sharpe   at   this   beautiful   and romantic   Jacobean   mansion,   tucked   away   in   the   Hertfordshire   countryside.      It   is   a   beautiful   location where   brides   and   grooms   can   get   married,   enjoy   their   wedding   celebrations   and   afterwards   have some breathtaking photos taken in the vast grounds. The   wedding   was   a   black   tie   event   and   everybody dressed   beautifully   for   the   ceremony   which   was held   in   the   Oak   Room.      Derek   the   bride’s   dad,   was on     a     mobility     scooter     and     unfortunately     was unable    to    walk    Nichola    the    whole    length    of    the aisle   so   her   two   sons   Chris   and   Paul   walked   her three   quarters   of   the   way   and   then   Derek   walked   her   the   last   part.   It   was   a   beautiful moment   that   really   touched   the   heart,      Mike   was   very   emotional   and   Nichola   looked absolutely stunning. The ceremony was performed by Richard Edwards from Hertford Registry Office. After   the   ceremony   the   couple   had   their   reception   drinks   in   this   amazing   room   and   had   their   first   dance   together   as   husband   and wife   to   the   Shadows   4-piece   tribute   group   The   Runaways   who   really   got   the   crowd   going.   The   plastic   guitars   came   out   and   people joined in and interacted with the band. What a great day so much laughter Mike and Nichola later honeymooned in Cyprus.
8th December - Decorate Christmas Trees at St George’s Nusing Home
A   small   band   of   Rotarians   descended   on   St.   George’s   Nursing   Home   in   Royston   today   to   provide some   festive   decoration   for   the   residents.      This   is   an   annual   event   for   our   Rotary   Club   and   we derive as much pleasure out of it as the residen’ts themselves. We   usually   put   up   and   decorate   three   separate   trees   in   the   nursing   home   in   various   communal areas   and   are   often   rewarded   with   some   warm   mince   pies   and   sherry.      This   year   was   no exception.      Our   photo   shows   the   lovely   Rina   from   St   George’s   in   front   of   one   of   the   trees   and about to dispense some Christmas fare to us. Many thanks to Rotarian Bryony for once again organising this.
9th December - December Walk
Our   walk   this   month   was   ably   organised   by   David   Beardwell   and   he   kept   with   tradition by not leading us on too gruelling a walk in the lead up to Christmas. We   met   up   outside   the   stable   block   at   Wimpole   Estate   and   walked   via   Wimpole   Church to   admire   the   many   monuments   to   the   Yorke   family   who   owned   Wimpole   Hall   in   the seventeenth   and   eighteenth   centuries.      The   church   is   interesting   to   visit   but   does   not belong to the National Trust, rather it belongs to the benefice of nearby Orwell parish. Leaving   the   church,   we   headed   westwards   past   the   front   of   the   Hall   and   followed   the many   pathways   and   tracks   on   the   estate   before   arriving   at   the   recently   refurbished Folly   which   stands   on   a   hill   at   the   north   end   of   the   estate.      By   this   time   the   sun   had made   an   appearance   so   we   settled   down   to   a   welcome   break   here,   drinking   in   both   the coffee   and   the   view.   A   less   energetic   walk   took   us   back   to   the   stable   block   again   but   via a   different   route   and   those   among   us   who   had   walkmeters   had   clocked   almost   exactly three miles. We   repaired   back   to   David’s   and   Liz’s   home   in   Royston   where   we   were   tempted   by   three   different   hot   soups   followed   by   cheese   and biscuits, mince pies and cake.  A jolly time was had by all - thank you Liz and David and all your other helpers.
11th December - Christmas Dinner at Madingley Hall
The   club   held   its   annual   Christmas   Dinner   at   the   fine   Jacobean   mansion   of   Madingley   Hall,   near   Cambridge.      And   didn’t   the   Rotarians and   their   partners   scrub   up   well   for   it!      Although   intended   to   be   a   black   tie   event   there   were   many   more   striped,   Christmassy   or   just bright coloured bow ties than conventional black ones - a sign of the times perhaps or maybe of the Christmas spirit creeping in. We   met   in   one   of   the   upstairs   reception   rooms   where   we   were   treated   to   a   welcome   glass   of   bubbly   and   entertained   by   the   excellent live   music   of   Simply   Reeds.      We   had   time   to   chat   with   one   another   for   half   an   hour   or   so   before   the   call   for   “dinner   is   served”, whereupon   we   trooped   downstairs   to   the   main   dining   room   to   be   seated   in   tables   of   eight   but,   thoughtfully,   able   to   pick   our   seating companions rather than have a fixed place setting. Following   grace   President   David   presented   a   Paul   Harris   Fellowship   award   to our   club   secretary   Neil   Guttridge.      This   was   a   very   popular   award   and   richly deserved   for   all   the   hard   work   that   Neil   has   performed   for   the   club   over   the years.      Our   photo   shows   President   David   (left)   presenting   the   certificate   with Neil’s wife Annette looking on. We   had   pre-ordered   our   three-course   meal   a   week   or   so   earlier   and   many   people   had   opted   for   the   traditional   Christmas   menu.     When   our   choices   were   served   at   the   table   they   lived   up   our   expectations,   such   that   when   the   coffee   arrived   at   the   end   of   the   meal we all knew that we’d had a fine feast! Much   thanks   must   go   to   Martin   and   Josephine   for   all   the   organisation   and   preparation   for   this   event.      One   of   the   best   Christmas dinners we’ve had for a while, this scribe believes. Words by Tony Briar, Photos by Ray Munden.  To see all the photos, click here.
13th January - Monthly Walk
Keen   to   shake   off   the   Christmas   excesses   a   very   good   turnout   of   21,   plus   dog,   met behind the Old Bull Inn for the January Hidden Secrets walk. The   walk   never   strayed   more   than   around   half   a   mile   from   the   town   and   yet   the   group was   still   frequently   amongst   trees   and   out   in   lovely   countryside   with   beautiful   views.     The   total   walk   was   4.7   miles   but   a   few   walkers   took   advantage   of   the   many   exit   points and   shortened   their   journey,   paying   the   Old   Bull   Inn   an   early   visit   for   coffee   or   other refreshment. We   walked   through   “The   Plantation”,   a   wooded   area   within   the   town   boundaries.      In   the   summer with   the   trees   in   full   leaf   you   can   hardly   see   the   nearby   houses,   in   winter   they   are   not   quite   so hidden   but   still   a   very   pleasant   walk.      From   there   we   headed   out   towards   Burloes   Hall   and   then across   to   pass   by   the   fields   where   Sandra   keeps   her   Alpacas,   which   were   on   view.      A   footpath   was then   followed   across   country   towards   the   south   side   of   Royston,   stopping   for   coffee   at   a   point where   we   had   a   wonderful   view   across   the   countryside.      Crossing   over   the   A10   we   followed   a path   alongside   Royse   Grove,   skirting   the   infamous   field   where   Gladman   want   to   build   over   100 houses behind Ray and Joan’s house! Returning   to   the   Old   Bull   Inn   along   Sun   Hill   some   walkers   took   the   short   cut,   missing   out   on   a diversion    through    some    trees    into    Layston    Park, where   there   was   an   entertaining   use   of   wellington boots on display. Finally   all   walkers   were   reunited   at   the   Old   Bull   Inn   where   we   were   treated   to   some lovely   food   and   a   lot   of   lively   conversation   (Brexit   being   studiously   avoided!).      It   was   a lovely   walk,   made   all   the   better   by   the   mild   weather   and   the   lack   of   rain   having   made it quite dry under foot. Words and pictures by Ray Munden
17th January - Presentation Cheque to The Sick Children’s Trust
 President David Blundell writes: Diane   and   I   recently   had   the   pleasure   of   a   lunch   at   Madingley   Hall, where   we   presented   on   behalf   of   Royston   Rotary   a   cheque   for   £5,000   to Acorn   House,   my   chosen   charity   for   this   year.      “Acorn   House   provides through   The   Sick   Children’s   Trust   a   “home   from   home”   for   the   parents and   carers   of   very   sick   children   being   treated   at   Addenbrooke’s   Hospital. It   has   15   family   rooms   as   well   as   a   fully   equipped   laundry,   playrooms and   a   children’s   garden.   The   adjoining   Chestnut   House,   which   is   also supported    by    the    Trust,    accommodates    parents    with    seriously    ill newborn babies. It’s   been   a   pleasure   to   meet   some   of   Acorn’s   staff   and   supporters   over the   past   few   months;   one   of   them   has   been   the   redoubtable   Dame Mary   Archer   and   part   of   the   afternoon’s   “entertainment”   at   Madingley   was   Dame   Mary’s   recollection   of   a   remarkable   life.   Apparently, she   first   realised   she   wanted   to   become   a   scientist   when   as   a   little   girl   she   tied   a   worm   into   a   knot   as   an   experiment   to   see   if   it   could unravel   itself.   In   later   life   she   married   a   leading   athlete   (what   was   that   chap’s   name   again?),   lectured   in   chemistry   at   Cambridge   and, among   many   other   achievements,   became   a   director   of   the   Fitzwilliam,   a   member   of   the   Council   at   Lloyd’s   and   chairman   of   the Cambridge   University   Hospitals   Foundation   Trust.         Oh,   and   in   case   you   were   wondering,   that   worm   never   did   succeed   in   undoing itself. The   afternoon   also   included   an   entertaining   talk   by   the   writer   and   broadcaster   Hugo   Vickers,   an   expert   on   the   Royal   Family   and   its history. Pictured   are   Royston   Rotary   President   David   Blundell   and   wife   Diane,   Patsy   Glazebrook,   Vice   President   of   the   Cambridge   Fundraising Committee of The Sick Children’s Trust, Neil Guttridge, Secretary of Royston Rotary and Neil’s wife Annette.
26th January - Presentation of Cleaning Materials to Acorn House
Following    a